This week’s Fresh Faves, chosen by our readers over the weekend, come from our newest recruit Bobby Colcombe – Time Out writer and news editor at top Manchester blog Silent Radio. You can hear all these tracks in a single Soundcloud playlist here.
There was a rich and lush collection of tracks submitted this week and I’ll admit I’m feeling really privileged that my first Fresh Faves review got to be such an amazing and eclectic final ten. So, let’s see how you voted…
ANDRE TAJCHMAN – Smoke
A perfect way to be transported into our Fresh Faves this week is to let London-based Belgian Andre Tajchman take us on a deep, dark journey of escapism with this track Smoke. It’s full of atmospheric synths and beats that really set the downtempo trip-hop feel from the off. Whilst his delicate yet piercing vocals dictate the journey “away from this town”. It’s a perfect winter-retreat song. Definitely one to be enjoyed most with headphones on.
ANDTHEMOON&THESTARS&THEEARTH – Beat Generation
Filtering through 150+ tracks is no picnic and you’re liable to forget a few songs here and there but not with this track – that string intro!! This is just a pinch of perfect psychedelic pop, from the ‘Tomorrow never knows’ influenced drums to the warm, whirling drone of the strings and keys. Hailing from London, with not much more info to go on, And The Moon And The Stars And The Earth are another act with irritating search engine results. Described by their Facebook page as ‘ the brainchild of songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Daniel Bloomfield,‘ I can’t wait to hear more. This track will also teach you how to enunciate your Os.
BEÄFETS – So Far Away
This band’s dedicated PR team describe them as “The sound of adolescent men drowning in red panties.” I can happily confirm that their sound is something that’s far kinder on the ears – plenty of counter melody in the trebly guitars with simple yet effect lead parts. A huge slice of 90’s influenced Britpop for the modern age. Pretty impressive stuff from a band “Regrettably named after a Magaluf tattoo”. Beäfets are: Adam McMonagle, John Loughran, Ryan Caldwell, Aaron Johnston and based in East Kilbride.
BENEDICT BENJAMIN – I Wish Your Lies Were Better
Taken from debut album Night Songs, London-based folkster Benedict Benjamin aka Ben Rubinstein performs a truly lovely vocal performance, which is in fact for the most part a duet, over some sumptuous production that makes the drums and guitar sound like they’re straight out of the 60’s Doo-wop era. The lyrics are a delicate tale of all the fears of an unravelling relationship that you’ve tried to ignore begins to become more apparent and clear. Catch him live in London @ The Islington for his album launch on March 30th and @ the Dim Swn Festival in Cardiff on April 9th. Night Songs is released on March 25th
BILLIONAIRE – Next Year’s Model
So happy this made the final list! Brooding and catchy pop aplenty. There’s a hint of Glass Animals at work with free flowing interweaving lyrics from the man at the centre of Billionaire – John J Sterry. The bass is dubby and bounces the song nicely along into the refrain that has some wavy-guitar-awesomeness, giving the track a sun kissed edge. The acappella outro has Sterry questioning the material nature of man and the constant need to have the next best thing. I want it though! More of this please.
PSYBLINGS – Boxed Up World
Psych rock stomps into this week’s faves with Psyblings and a raw and beefy live version of Boxed Up World. Singer Greg Dixon channels his best Robert Harvey over grungy jams and progged up psych-outs. So much energy going on everywhere, culminating in Dixon screaming ‘Every breath feels like a lifetime’. I would love to catch these guys live….guys?!? Psyblings are: Ellis Cullen – Drums, Dan Coleman & Sam Bullock – Guitars, Greg Dixon – Vocals//keys and Jordan Lythgoe – Bass
RÖE – Ghost
This is one of the sweetest pop entries this week for sure. Röe (short for Derry songwriter Roisin Donald) has crafted a blissful, summery acoustic song of loveliness that makes you want to brush the frost of your bike and find the nearest canal path to cycle on. Upbeat, playful melodies and the Music box / Glockenspiel absolutely kills it – her youthful voice makes the whole sound reminiscent of Lucy Rose. Only 17!? Too much talent – the future’s bright for this one.
SUMMER HEART – The Forbidden
Fall into the foggy depths of dreampop that Sweden’s Summer Heart aka David Alexander has created here. This track The Forbidden beckons us in with spacey begins coming off as a cross between Tame Impala and Beach House, then jerks us up a gear to a fuzzed up chorus that really absorbs the listener in a storm of synths, guitars and hazy vocals that manages to sound intense and calm at the same time. This track is to be featured an a forthcoming EP due for release this year and, state-side he’s just been booked to play SXSW. Lots of noise being made about Alexander and rightly so if this is anything to go by.
VIOLET SOCIETY – Nonsense
A lot of readers loved this tune Nonsense by Violet Society. Manchester based brothers Alfie and Joe Prior, along with the help of friend Victoria Farrel-Reed on (expertly played) violin have created a sound that’s an interesting crossover. The song finds the young Mancunians struggling for clarity bellowing lines: ‘Stop talking gibberish/I can’t make sense of it’. No live dates announced yet for the band but Joe Prior will be playing solo at Seven Miles Out in Stockport on April 16th.
ZOE ANITA LEONARD – Bluey Greenish
More ambient trip-hop delight. Oh, sweet production! There’s definite breaths of Massive Attack – with emotional power that’s difficult to figure but there’s certain grandeur in the music also – this track could easily become an obsession. It’s cunningly crafted by the exceptionally talented Zoe Anita Leonard – who is only in her second year of study at university. Bluey Greenish is taken from her 4 track EP Chrysanthemum which went up last month and is available to stream on her soundcloud. Personal fave.
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.