Artists at a glance
LOW LOW LOW ETC
THE HONEY ANTS
WILD ROSSA & THE 88
These ten Fresh Faves were picked by our readers over the weekend – and reviewed this week by composer, performer and Fresh On The Net moderator Ola Szmidt. You can hear all these tracks in a single Soundcloud playlist here.
BABEL – Miracle In The Maze
Babel are a pop duo who hail from Japan and consist of Nene Aganawa (vocals) and Yuni Minami (composer). I adore the transition at the beginning, which makes me think of droney soundtrack to The Fountain. In addition the angelic vocals are reminiscent of the early songwriting of Nicola Hitchcock from Mandalay. Lovely instrumentation, too. One constructive criticism: what hurt my ears was a heavy beat crusher in the middle of the song. It comes unexpectedly and is very aggressive – for me, it took the joy away. Since I think this may be an early demo I’m just sharing my honest opinion and very much looking forward to hearing how they are going to progress with this project. (Audio mix nerd :-p)
BLEDIG – Bad Day For Lupus
We featured Bledig before – and we don’t get that many jazz and soundtrack-based submissions… SO, it’s a real joy that it got such a good response from the public that I can review this piece now! This is one of the most beautiful and magical pieces I’ve heard in long time. How sublime and meditative is it ? Well, for me it matches masters like Fennesz with Ryuichi Sakamoto, early E.S.T or Nils Petter Molvaer, as carries very similar aesthetics. Get ready for 5 minutes and 47 seconds of blissfulness – it’s so moving! The samples come from (Richard tells me :) “a 50’s sexual education film shown to university kids in simpler times. Out of copyright thankfully.” Now there’s a surprise!
CECILIA MEADOWS – Cerulean Blue
I’m delighted to introduce you to Cecilia Meadows… She’s from Sweden, her voice is light as a feather and her songwriting is absolutely gorgeous – one to watch, for sure! The song has been my “ear-warmer” all this past week… Blissful, dreamy and goosebump-inducing, the lyrics are perfection – this is going to be on my summer playlist! I think you won’t want to stop on just this one song – you should seriously head to her Soundcloud page and listen to the rest of the EP. If you like Marika Hackman, Laura Veirs and Charlene Soraia I have a feeling she could fit comfortably in your heart.
DEATH MASKS – Always Lost
Death Masks describe themselves as a “new dreamy indie-pop band from North-west England” whose longawaited mini-album Queens Language is finally out. This track Always Lost will fill your room with a lot reverb and sounding a la Tame Impala. I think this is a wonderful summer music – if you stick this tune on when you are out late on a warm evening it will work its magic. It will make you want to lie down in the middle of a field, close your eyes and dream away. You can buy their album right now from their Bandcamp.
FLORA CASH – Save Me
Now here’s an unusual duo from Sweden – a couple who actually met on Soundcloud! They each uploaded their own music, friendship turned into a relationship – and now they’re married and recording music under the name of Flora Cash. Aww – what a story! You can hear this love on Save Me – the vocals are ethereal and subtle, and the production is very sleek – full of hooks! I imagine this being played a lot on the radio this summer – it also deserves to end up on a soundtrack.
GHOST SUNS – Wait Out
It sounds to me like Ghost Suns are bent on creating a serious electro revolution. Do I like this song?? I adore everything about it! Amazing progressions, vocals, lyrics, synths and bass lines. Brilliant song-writing over a hooky, summery, synthy floating cloud of sound. Strangely, when you study the lyrics closely they’re rather less joyful than they sound and the mood becomes more melancholic. But decide for yourself on which level you want to explore their music – me, I’ll be happy to swing and dance. This band is the REAL DEAL – they sound ambitious and the vocals are very strong – definitely one to watch. I’m looking forward hopefully to seeing them get signed one day soon, as their potential is enormous. I also spent some time enjoying the rest of their tunes on Soundcloud – it all sounds highly promising!
LOW LOW LOW LA LA LA LOVE LOVE LOVE – Harvesting
Harvesting takes a little time to appreciate – though perhaps not as long as saying the name of the band :-) I always had a weakness for music like this, and still do. Never having heard of Low Low Low La La La Love Love Love before they hit our Fresh Faves in January, I’m planning to buy the album and am very thankful they shared this track with us! I could now go on to list bands they remind me of but… they deserve to be heard without me associating them with anybody else. And that, I believe, is a massive compliment! Anyway, they could easily support Sufjan Stevens – or maybe even Sufjan should support them? I’ll leave that decision up to you!
THE BUZZARD ORCHESTRAL – One Stone
This was one of my personal favourites from this week’s Fresh Faves. Every time I listened, it made me feel like turning up the volume and dancing around the room. Rather than analysing the whole song, let’s just say this is a track you need to experience and jump around to. If you’re after after a musical weapon to hit when you’re out on the road – or pretty much anywhere you can imagine – this is a powerful and sexy contender! Recommended for fans of QOTSA, Mars Volta and Muse, this is strong songwriting out of the very top drawer. There’s a bright future ahead of The Buzzard Orchestral: I’m sold for one – and keen to catch them in concert! How about you?
THE HONEY ANTS – Gold Plated
Have you ever heard the music of D.D Dumbo? Personally I love his work and this song reminds me of it a lot. Shepherds Bush duo The Honey Ants are John Grimsey and Rebecca Hamer who are playing their first ever headline show at Servant Jazz Quarters in London next Thursday July 16th. I enjoyed listening to Gold Plated a lot – the way their female and male vocals wrap together really grabbed me. This would be the perfect soundtrack for a long journey with headphones on while staring at the landscape.
WILD ROSSA & THE 88 – Five Year Fool
Wild Rossa know how to start a party, and Five Year Fool won’t let you stop dancing. Just wait till that gypsy jazzy loveliness kicks in after the intro – it’s just GREAT! This has been mixed and mastered with such attention to detail it sounds like a pure gem. Somehow the energy of this song teleports me to Montreal. I visualise a band of buskers with people dancing in a circle on a street in the middle of the night. And what a crazy end too – it left a big smile on my face! If you need a Vitamin D boost, this tune will definitely balance your system with all the good energy it carries inside.
PS from TR: 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.