Fresh Faves: Batch 182

Benbo

Last week our moderators listened to over 170 tracks in our inbox and chose our favourite 25 for our Listening Post. Our readers then picked their own favourites from that shortlist over the weekend.

The most popular tracks overall are reviewed below by Fresh On The Net’s Christopher McBride – host of The Metaphorical Boat music blog. You can hear all these tracks in a single Soundcloud playlist here.

Whenever people say that “a stopped clock is right twice a day”, they say it as if it’s a bad thing. Well, what’s wrong with being a stopped clock? I’m pretty happy being a stopped clock.

Think about it. A large number of clocks in the world are either running too fast or too short, and therefore will never by correct. By comparison, the stopped clock will be right infinitely times more than such clocks.

The moral of the story – Be a stopped clock. Then you’ll be right at least some of the time.

And on a different note, here are the tracks that most found favour with the voters of the Listening Post this week. You might not agree with my thoughts and opinions about the songs in question, but hey, what do I know? I’m just a stopped clock.

BENBO – Nurvel Durd

This is one to file under “jolly different indeed”. Nurval Durd by London producer (and cartoonist) Benbo is built around a simple yet hypnotic guitar riff, which over the course of 1 minute and 53 seconds is pulled, prodded, bent, blistered and manipulated electronically in every conceivable direction until it’s barely recognisable. It’s the kind of glitchy folktronica that one imagines that Four Tet would have put out at one point.

Official | Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube
Bandcamp | Tumblr | Instagram

CATTLE & CANE – Birdsong

The amount of support that the Teesside band Cattle & Cane have enjoyed to date is enough to make anyone jealous – they’ve played T In The Park, recorded a live session on Radio 2 with Dermot O’Leary and have their music featured in grey matter-sapping TV shows Made In Chelsea & The Only Way In Essex. It’s not hard to see why they’ve found so much favour with so many people, Birdsong is a song that seems to be created to be as palatable as possible to as many people as possible. It’s the kind of sinister emotional indie-folk that left so many people’s hearts a-fluttering over Hozier last year.

Official | Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube
iTunes | Spotify | Instagram

CHRISTA VI – Every Time

Sleek, polished electro-pop is the order of the day from German/Australian singer/songwriter Christa Vi. Every Time is written as a lament to being in a relationship that you feel is going nowhere, and although it’s become something of a cliché to describe is as such, it sounds like it would go down a treat if it was featured on the soundtrack for Drive.

Official | Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube
Bandcamp | Instagram

HOT COPS – Passive Passive

Hot Cops are a band that I’ve enjoyed for many years, so I’m delighted to see that the epizeuxially titled Passive Passive has gone over so well with everyone on the Listening Post. The Belfast trio, who already have a performance at Radio 1’s Big Weekend under their belts, are well regarded for their slacker-rock sound, and Passive Passive is a great embodiment of that nonchalant alt-rock sound, which gives off some great Placebo vibes.

There’s a very funny story about how I first came to hear about Hot Cops, but unfortunately due to confidentiality reasons I am unable to divulge the details. What I can divulge however  is that they’re pretty powerful live band, well worth seeing if possible.

Gigmit | Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Bandcamp

KINDER THAN WOLVES – Hazel Days

It’s somewhat hard to believe that Hazel Days by Kinder Than Wolves is the Orlando trio’s first single, given that its confidence and scope seems to convey a band with a high level of maturity beyond their fledgling status. The song is a hypnotic indie-rock track that mixes heavy guitars with dreamy vocals, a bit like Wolf Alice at their more introspective.

Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Bandcamp | Spotify

LEFTERIS MOUMTZIS – Now Happiness

It’s not every week that a song from a Cypriot artist makes the Listening Post, so it’s nice to hear Now Happiness from duo Lefteris Moumtzis. The song is a breezy acoustic track with luscious harmony vocals that calls to mind recent Mercury nominee C Duncan.  

Official | Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

MOON TOURISTS – Dream

You really can’t go wrong with a slice of well crafted, well produced synth-pop, which is exactly what you get from Moon Tourists. Dream is a little bit Goldfrapp, a little bit Sophie Ellis-Bextor, but also huge dollop of their own particular sound thrown in for good measure.

Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Bandcamp | Instagram

THE CLEAR – Yesterday Morning

The most popular track among voters of The Listening Post this week was this lovely track from Sheffield trio The Clear. Yesterday Morning is a track filled with hazy nostalgia, but at its heart has a timeless songwriting. It is a slice of sultry sixties pop in the mode of Burt Bacharach (I’m a real sucker for those floaty strings), whilst also calling to mind the sound of fellow Steel City inhabitant Richard Hawley.

Official | Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

PS from TR: if you’d like your tunes considered for the BBC Introducing Mixtape on BBC Radio 6 Music, don’t forget to upload them to BBC Introducing in the first place, via this link. Among the 150-200 tunes that arrive our inbox each week, we hear at least half a dozen great tunes by UK artists that haven”t been uploaded there, and like it says in our guidelines: NO UPLOAD = NO AIRPLAY

If we do feature you in the Fresh Faves or BBC Introducing Mixtape please do us a favour and wait three months before sending another track, so we can help other deserving artists in the meantime… More info here.

Christopher

Christopher McBride is the Belfast-based captain of The Metaphorical Boat, a music blog dedicated to new music, brilliant music, and the glorious intersection between the two. He has also written for Drowned In Sound & Chordblossom, and was on the judging panel of the Northern Irish Music Prize from 2013-2015. Has a known penchant for Battenberg cake, and once forgot about the existence of rhubarb whilst appearing on a popular Channel 4 gameshow.

3 Comments

  1. John

    If the reasoning behind the listening post and the fresh favourites is to help up and coming un-established artists get their music heard by the public in order to gauge their feedback and opinion so they can then go on to improve their craft, is it really fair that an established band such as Cattle & Cane who have management, booking agents and a record label behind them are allowed to enter and subsequently be picked above the very artists the listening post was set up to help ?

    As you point out they have already enjoyed major success, to use your words –

    ‘they’ve played T In The Park, recorded a live session on Radio 2 with Dermot O’Leary and have their music featured in grey matter-sapping TV shows Made In Chelsea & The Only Way In Essex. ‘

    With that in mind do they really need to gauge peoples reaction to their music via the listening post at this stage in their careers ? surely they have quite a good idea of how their music is perceived by the public when they have already done all the above? they have a full team behind them and have just released a debut album, is it right they should be going up against bands that are just starting out and have likely recorded the music in their bedroom with no help from anyone ? does a band such as Cattle & Cane really need anymore of a leg up then they have already received ? specifically at the expense of other bands who haven’t been fortunate enough to enjoy such exposure as yet ? .

    Cheers John – I’ve answered your comment here: http://freshonthenet.co.uk/equalchance
    Tom Robinson

  2. Jim

    Great words to some excellent tunes Chris.

    Re John’s comment above – while I understand his point in general, it should be noted that (as a FOTN mod) I and the rest of the team listen to circa 180 tracks a WEEK, before selecting our favs that go into the weekend Listening Post.

    That means we come across a lot of new artists and their music, but it doesn’t mean we have an encyclopedic knowledge of all artists in the UK, let alone the wider world. Cattle & Cane are a case in point as, despite their success to date, at this time last week I don’t believe I’d ever heard of them.

    Speaking just for myself, I select my favourites based on the song alone, and at no point during the moderation process (Mon – Thur) do I research the background to the artists. There just isn’t the time.

    And that’s part of the beauty of the Listening Post. It doesn’t matter whether a song was recorded in the artist’s bedroom or in Dermot O’Leary’s studio, it’s purely down to the quality of the songwriting, and how it makes an impact on the ears of the mods. The rest is down to the folks that pop along at the weekend to listen and vote.

    That seems a fair process to me.

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