Fresh Faves: Batch 145

CaStLeS

Photo above: Calvin Aaron Thomas, Cynyr Hamer and Dion Hamer of CaStLeS.

These Fresh Faves were picked by our readers over the weekend – and are reviewed by Team Freshnet’s Steff Lane this week. You can hear all these tracks in a single Soundcloud playlist here.

BLEDIG – Psychoanalysis

As I delved into this dark and mysterious track, I was surprised to find out that Bledig means “Wolf” in the Welsh language, even though “Blaidd” is a more common translation. So I decided to call upon my darker side for analysis – id, ego and super ego. My id instinctively loves this offering. My ego has been satisfied. My super ego makes me feel proud to be listening to such a fine track. Bledig is the music of Richard Brincklow (with a little help from his friends)and has been featured by the likes of Mary Anne Hobbs on BBC 6 Music and Jamie Cullum’s Jazz Show on Radio 2. Building up, full of melancholy to a point at 1:45 before falling back into it’s sombre mood. There is so much happening within this track that it needs no analysis at all, just admiration and appreciation of a very tuned mind at work.

Official | Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | Bandcamp

CaStLeS – Ar Agor

Isn’t it nice to know that music holds no language barriers. This offering, from the Welsh band CaStLeS, proves that good music can be appreciated by listeners in any form that it manifests itself. The Welsh title Ar Agor translates to “open”, and I only wish that Castles had been slightly more open on their Soundcloud page regarding information about themselves because there is much to like about this band. Is it Dream Pop/Shoegaze? I’ll let you decide on that. They have been played on Radio Wales by the DJ who has done so much for Welsh musicians – Adam Walton. I rest my case! TR adds: they were also featured on my BBC Introducing Mixtape only 6 weeks ago – guys please leave it 3 months before sending us anymore of your fine tunes –  give us a chance to support other deserving artists in the meantime…

Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | Bandcamp

DISRAELI GEARS – Born And Bred

Disraeli Gears (who share their name with the 1967 Cream album) were formed in 2011 by Teia Fregona and Tom Kitson while they were both at Leeds University. They later added Sam and Alex to their lineup. Their varying influences transforms into an honest and interesting sound. Teia, their lead vocalist, who was born in South Africa and also holds a degree in music, hopes that her roots are carried on into the band. Born And Bred – released as a single last Monday (16 March 2015) – is their overdue first offering since we last heard of them late on in 2013. I really like Teia’s voice on this track accompanied by subliminal harmonies, while the minimal arrangement adds something special to the overall performance.

Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

ELF AND STACEY – So Lonely

Health And Safety? No this is our old friends Elf and Stacey who are a dark electronic pop duo. They began their musical journey whilst working and living on a building site in West Dulwich, London, where the matter of health and safety formed a big part of their working lives. Forced to make their own entertainment and inspired by nights out in Brixton, they finally returned to St Leonards On Sea where they recorded their first EP ‘Backbone’in a tiny rented studio using cheap equipment. So Lonely is a dark track evoking so many feelings. I feel you!

Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Bandcamp

ELLIE MAKES MUSIC – Core

We shall be voting next May for a national bird to represent Britain. Now, if we were voting for a songbird, surely Ellie James from Cardiff would be on our shortlist. Core starts with a soothing guitar, then 23 seconds in, an angelic, delicate, yet assured vocal kicks in. Maturity laced with innocence! This has all the elements that’s ever needed to melt even the hardest of hearts. I salute you Ellie!

Official | Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | iTunes

GIZMO VARILLAS – Time Will Tell

Lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist with indie band Crash Island, Mr Gizmo Varillas has now extended his talent with his own solo project. Well traveled for his age, having been born in the port City of Santander before arriving in London via Bilbao, Cardiff and the South Of France. He writes and performs uncomplicated songs which have the advantage of being accessible to the listener. Time Will Tell opens with melodic panpipes before progressing into a Latin/Reggae guitar rhythm bathed with a gentle vocal. Will we be hearing more of this ”dark tropical” sound? Only time will tell, but it’s my guess that we surely will.

Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Instagram

JIM PEARSON – Struck

Using Soundcloud to test the water regarding demos and ideas is no bad thing. It certainly seems to work for Jim Pearson if the end results are anything like his latest tune Struck. Beautifully crafted and arranged,this gentleman from Liverpool struck a chord with our listeners this week. Jim left it later in life than most songwriters (he didn’t start writing songs until his very late 30’s) but still retains a quality that is often missing in those with extended experience. Jim also has a new band called Scaredycats who have received rave reviews. ”Nobody knows what’s around the next corner” he sings, well in this case Jim, I predict more good things!

MySpace | Soundcloud | Facebook | Reverbnation | YouTube | Bandcamp

LEWIS & LEIGH – Devil’s In The Detail

A truly haunting track that’s beautifully executed! Al and Alva – knows jointly as Lewis & Leigh – began writing songs together in early 2014 with no definite plans in place. Drawing upon their love of Celtic folk and Americana they have come up with their very own blend of music. The harmonies complement each other perfectly , creating an alluring sound.

Official | Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Instagram

THE BLACK LAGOONS – The Creature

The Black Lagoons are an indie band who, erm, sing about a creature that’s going to get you when you’re swimming in the lagoon. Sorry, but that’s all the information available. Which is a darn pity considering how popular they were on this week’s Listening Post :-(  See our handy Fresh On The Net guide on How To Write A Band Biog – and why it matters.

Soundcloud | Twitter

THE GRAVITY DRIVE – Hearts And Minds

For all you longstanding listeners and voters, here is a duo that you might be familiar with. The Gravity Drive are Elijah and Ava Wolf who are a husband and wife duo from Bridport in Dorset. They have won your hearts in the past and have done it yet again with their track ‘Hearts And Minds’ I can hear why they are so popular going by this latest offering. My ears perceives this song as a blend of ABC and Prefab Sprouts –which is a good thing in my opinion –but these are my ears and my thoughts only –others might see different! Whichever way you listen –it’s a great song indeed!

Official | Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Bandcamp

THE STRANGLER FIGS – Attack Of The Strangler Figs

We close this weeks Fresh faves with a Leicester 5 piece Alternative band – The Strangler Figs. On first listening, I envisaged The Strangler Figs as being a theatrical band who would blow your socks off at a live performance and (having listened again and again) my views are the same. The audio is so refreshing and I bet the visual aspect would be amazing. They have already headlined at Oxjam and have secured a place in the big festivals in Leicester. Joe Pickering (vocals) is joined by his brother Freddie, Joel Hanson and Joel and Rosie Price. The Listening Post never fails to amaze me – carry on creating!

Official | Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube
The Strangler Figs
ARTISTS: If you’ve submitted a track that hasn’t made the Listening Post you’re welcome to re-submit it another week. If your music has appeared on the Listening Post but not in our Fresh Faves, feel free to send us an even stronger track another week.

But if we’ve recently featured you in our Fresh Faves – or on my BBC Introducing Mixtape – please wait three months before sending us another track, so we have space to help other deserving artists… For more info see Robinson Has A Good Old Moan.

Steff

When not creating structures out of individual stone, I spend my time constructing songs out of individual notes. As an added bonus, I was invited by Tom Robinson to be a small cog in the giant wheel that's Fresh On The Net. Welsh is my 1st language and I'm often asked if I think in Welsh and then translate to English - well I have no answer to that - it's just a natural process which is hard to define - like writing a song I suppose! Follow me on Twitter @SteffLane

6 Comments

  1. Hi Steff,

    We are The Black Lagoons, we didn’t put anything on the biog because we wanted people just to listen to our music as we are a very young band;

    Harry (12 years old – wrote The Creature / Sings / guitar)
    Joe (15 years old – guitar)
    Patch (16 years old- bass)
    Jamie (16 years old – drums)

    Harry and Patch are brothers / Joe and Jamie cousins

    We have six more songs that we are recording at the moment and have just started gigging (got another one this week), this resulted in us being asked to play the ;
    RICK WITTER INTRODUCING STAGE at the Apollo Festival.

    We are blown away by the response thank you

    THE BLACK LAGOONS
    theblacklagoons

  2. Disraeli Gears, man, wow!!! Right up my street. I’ll reiterate what I said on their SC. It’s like Howling Bells meets Radiohead; perfectly beautiful and haunting with top production.

    Devil’s in the Detail – Also a great tune and performance, very compelling!

    The Black Lagoons – Seriously good effort lads, keep it up, you’re only gonna get better!!

  3. Top job on the reviews Steff

    Top work on the music people

  4. ace reviews Steff!:)

  5. Wonderful music.

    Well done ladies and gentlemen of music, your knocking it out and i’m loving it.

    Steff, as always superb reviews.

  6. The creatures comin to get yer, comin to get yer soon… Listened to this all morning! It’s put a massive smile on me face…

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