These Fresh Faves were picked by our readers over the weekend – and reviewed by Fresh On The Net’s most prolific moderator at present – supporter of grass-roots music and proud single mother, Ola Szmidt! You can hear all these tracks in a single Soundcloud playlist here.
ALEX STACEY – The Only Heart
Alex Stacey shared with us his new single and it has proven popular along the voters. Alex is only 18 years old and comes from Wales. The Only Heart is a powerful, emotive pop-song, with a catchy melody and hook. Could it brings about his introduction to the mainstream? With hints of The Script, The 1975 and The Feeling, this track marks a powerful debut from the young singer-songwriter. He’s releasing the single on 22nd of July, and is receiving a fair bit of airplay in the meantime. It seems his songwriting abilities are well beyond his years.
CROSS WIRES – Pink Dogs
I sat in a busy café with headphones whilst reviewing this time. The song is catchy, well structured and forgive me… My mind drifts into a soundtrack of a Xavier Dolan film – I can see him running in the middle of the street or splashing – in Jackson Pollock’s style – paint all over a wall to this tune…. In my mind it would fit so well! If Xavier ever came across the band?! Cross Wires‘ music is filled with a rebellious attitude and will make you want to jump around to it! Looking to make some endorphins? Great, Pink Dogs will be a perfect aural companion.
F E L L – Live Now
Live Now by F E L L (aka Nicolas Burrows) is beautiful poetry delivered with a distinctive voice. The arrangement of the song is stunning, evolving and revealing hidden places in unknown lands. There are so many nice moments in this aural journey that I could not help but listen to it several times. This is a gift when you can create music, which transfers people to other places and it’s not written purely for the purpose of reaching high points on charts, focusing on the hooks. This one is sophisticated and written straight from heart and I can sense it. I will go back to it and you should go and check it out too.
KETO – Jackie
Personally my favourite track to review this week. I’m honoured that I have a chance to share my thoughts with you. This is not a happy song and I like that. I like those who are shaking us a bit inside and Leah Sanderson does it perfectly. The sounds are sneaking inside of me slowly. This song was born to calm and dry those tears after serious emotional burst out or when you exhausted and wanting to hide away from the world. Keto will wrap you in a duvet of a soothing sounds and you will feel better. This is library of sounds for sensitive souls and melancholics.
The song comes from debut EP released in May 2016 and as Keto’s Soundcloud page states, the EP is: ‘a poignant collection of hauntingly slow burners that reveal a clear, and disarmingly intimate portrait of love and love lost and decimation of memory through illness’. Well, now all I can say write them down in your diary and let’s wait for some live shows, as I would love to see them performing live I think that will be an unforgettable experience.
LAKE RUTH – The Greenfield Industrialist
I didn’t listen through to our inbox last week due to family commitments, but this would definitely have landed on my list of favourites! But I’m happy to at least review it and send smiles to those who voted in our Listening Post! The song reminds me of creations by Stereolab (Laetitia Sadier). I’m not going to go any further with it. I love it and I think the comparison is a monumental compliment. Strangely, I’m dying to hear how it would sound in French! [Uh oh! Is everything okay Ola?]
So who are they? Lake Ruth is a new group formed by Hewson Chen (The New Lines), Matt Schulz (Holy Fuck, SAVAK, Enon) and singer Allison Brice (The Eighteenth Day Of May). If you like their sound head to Soundcloud. I also recommend videos on YouTube.
MARSICANS – Far Away (Saudade)
Welcome Marsicans to Freshnet! They describe themselves as an UPBEAT INDIE band with dirty pop. The song and lyrics are fab! Fantastic album cover. It’s mixed and mastered wonderfully too. Top notch drumming and guitar riffs, vocals and harmonies – perfect!
My fellow moderator Oldie Rob told me that they are incredible on the stage, as he saw them live. And how can I not add this? You can see them performing at Glastonbury BBC Introducing Stage this week too, alongside our very own Tom Robinson! Boom! Head to their website to check out the video and watch out I’ve got a feeling they are going to be next commercial breakthrough!
MAZOULEW – Overdue
Wow! This is a breath of fresh air! Stunning piece of music. I love electronic, down-tempo vibes so this one is totally my cup of tea. I adore it so much, that I will take with me on my skateboard ride later on! Thank you for sharing it with us Mazoulew. I’m going to throw some bad-ass comparisons out there – this tune is reminds me a little of productions by Cinematic Orchestra and Fourtet. The treatment of string section with a saxophone revealed towards the end of the instrumental is blissful. Lovely unfolding of primary climax and atmosphere all the way through is making me super relaxed. Go and listen to it!
MIDÉ – Right Where You Are
Bravo! Pretty-damn-good-pop-song-writing. A brilliant, uplifting, cheer up song from Midé! It should get into your Summer / Happy Tunes / Party playlist. If you are a fan of Ed Sheeran, Newton Faulkner or Jack Johnson this will be up your street. It’s full of summer vibes and you will remember the melody after the first two listens. I ended up singing it to myself around the house, and played it to my daughter. She said: ‘mommy is this a song from Zootropolis? I love it! Play it again!’ All I can say is that she grabbed me to dance immediately and wanted to hear it again and again…
RUSALNAIA – Cast A Spell
The song was premiered on Folk Radio UK last week and landed in my review list for this week. You can buy it here.
Rusalnaia are a duo from Sheffield Gilian Chadwick and Sharon Krauss). The strength of the piece is in the growing dynamics of its instrumentation. The vocals are hypnotic, with pagan like chanting casting a spell right from the beginning. What made me like it particularly was those explosive guitars in the finale. Such a nice exodus! If you like psych-folk with bewitching experience make sure to attend one of their upcoming live dates.
SIMON SCARDINELLI – Make Us Happy
Simon Scardinelli is a composer, songwriter and performer (also an actor who used to perform in an experimental theatre group called Wet Paint). The song was popular among the voters and I do like the vibe and the lyrics a lot! The upbeat melody set against thought-provoking words serves as very poignant social commentary on how media can control people’s minds. Make Us Happy is the title track of Simon’s latest album, released in March – which you can buy on both iTunes and Amazon! I would also recommend you to check out his website and to read his extremely interesting biography there.
PS from TR: If you’ve submitted a track that hasn’t been picked for the Listening Post, our team has definitely listened to it and there’s no need to send it again: feel free to send us an even stronger track another week. The same goes if you were picked for the Listening Post but didn’t feature in our Fresh Faves.
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.