Artists at a glance
These Fresh Faves were picked by our readers over the weekend – and reviewed by recent Fresh On The Net recruit Sharon Pearce this week. You can hear all these tracks in a single Soundcloud playlist here.
DANIEL LAND – New York Boogie-Woogie
Daniel Land, originally from Devon, is a solo artist currently living in London. An experienced artist, previously fronting Manchester based Daniel Landing & The Modern Painters, Daniel was also a member of Engineers and The Steals.
From what I can gather Daniel has recently made a return after taking some time out, suffering from some health issues and seriously pondering whether to even continue with his music. Well, luckily for us he made the decision to continue and has recently released his single the title track from his forthcoming album In Love With A Ghost.
A piano line and vocal reminiscent of Keane, but with a fresh take, builds up this atmosphere that a ghost of the city is right in the room with you. I can just feel myself walking over Brooklyn Bridge in the middle of the night walking to the beat to meet that soulful sax solo in the centre of the bright lights. That final bass drum at the end finishes the song leaving you wanting more, wanting to explore more of the talent from this man.
Daniel is now supported by a live band and has an album launch party this November in London, with the album scheduled to drop at the end of this month. There is also the official video available, filmed in New York by Daniel himself.
ECHOS – Take
Echos state that “you run from the feeling and it finds you”, and with their song, Take, this message certainly resides. From Portland, USA, this already established duo seem to be leaving a mark in the music world and are showing no signs of stopping with a newly released EP.
Straight away the melodic synth line encapsulates you into a different world ready to listen to what the joint male and female vocal has to say. A raw lead vocal takes centre stage within this uniquely innovative and mesmerizing song. I was left feeling rather haunted at the end of this track. You can instantly tell this aspiring duo has drawn influences from people such as Imogen Heap and they’ve brought the sound into a completely fresh and organic realm.
Tickets are on sale for their upcoming West Coast Tour in the USA. Here’s to hoping they jump over the pond and do a tour here as well.
Their new self-titled EP is now available to download now.
LEON HEART – Smash Up The Clocks
Leon Heart‘s new track Smash Up The Clocks was a popular choice this week!
The dark synth intro sets the mood immediately. A hugely present lead vocal kicks off the verse with acoustic guitar in the background. As every musical layer is introduced, the dynamics increase. The lyric “The tender tick tock has got my life in its noose” expresses how life is too controlling and fights against that almost mechanical, regimented drumbeat that is life. It’s a powerful message overall, with a strong backbeat to go with it.
Leon seems to have a minimal online presence, which sits well with the vocabulary of this song! She herself states that she is into the arts and sciences, so possibly doesn’t spend too much time on a computer (which isn’t always a bad thing!)
MAT HUNSLEY – Fires
Mat Hunsley is an acoustic singer/songwriter from Newcastle. Although originally starting out recording demos on a second-hand recorder in his student bedroom he still managed to attract the attention of The Line of Best Fit amongst others.
His recent folk tinged single Fires is gently backed by a softly strummed acoustic guitar with his soulful smooth vocal style gliding you along. The clever introduction of reverb fueled guitar adds another dimension to emphasise his story. Exquisite story telling with lines like “Oh darling can’t you smell the smoke – why are we running now?” keeps the listener intrigued right until the end. The song is a cleverly put together complex piece of perfection.
Sadly no signs of any upcoming live shows at present but I’m sure there will be in the not to distant future so keep them eyes peeled.
Mat has also recently released another single entitled Dropping and has an EP, To Being Free, available for pre-order now. So, what are you waiting for?
MEGAN LANDRY – Questions [on the Cliff]
Megan Landry is a young Interactive Media Design student and is based in Ottawa, Canada. Her debut album Stills was released last year with a second album in the works for release this winter so not long to wait for that to drop.
Questions [on the Cliff], Megan’s recent release, was the front-runner with this week’s voters. It immediately drew my attention. It is clearly innovative and new. Megan wears her heart on her sleeve in this track, and in wondering if she’s “gotta keep my questions on the cliff” sums up the conundrums hanging over her generation’s future.
The track pulsates along, cleverly layered with her vocals poised on top so that you’re not distracted from the message she’s trying to convey. Megan is right to question her future and Questions… clearly lets you in on her view of the world we live in today.
In her own words, Megan states “I feel the world is more messed up now than ever. My prospective at 20 is one of fear” If Megan’s music is anything to go by, I think she has a very promising future ahead of her in my opinion.
MOTOR TAPES – What I Want
Motor Tapes are a Cambridge based four-piece, formed in 2010. The members are listed online as Paul, Dominic and Lee, err so who’s missing?!
What I Want is their most recent work, and is also accompanied by an official video. It’s catchy indie tune with a pulsating, rhythmic feel. Sandwiched on top is a real hard hitting yet simplistic vocal with a slice of dissonant guitar bouncing off it for good measure. The band have a real unique sound going here with those garage room drums and that beauty of the melodic Synth coming together to really back that prominent lead vocal.
Looks like they’ve played plenty of live gigs this year but no sign of any upcoming ones in the pipeline at present. Unless they’ve just forgotten to update their profile of course, cough, cough.
Their third EP, Count To Ten was released earlier this year.
RAPHAEL DOYLE – I Come From Ireland
Raphael Doyle (gosh I just love that name) has been around the music circuit for many years, first appearing in the acoustic harmony trio Café Society together with his friends way back in the 1970s.
The title, I Come From Ireland is emphasized throughout the track and although there’s mention of a strong connection to England, the line “England became my default setting and I became a pretense” gives the impression that, although living in England with his family, Ireland is where Raphael’s heart and soul truly lies, his roots, and rightly so.
His beautiful word play and hypnotic tone sets the mood and takes you on a captivating journey where Raphael shares his life’s experiences, thus far. His trials and tribulations, pain, sadness, love, joy and even some admittance perhaps of some self indulgence along the way. I Come From Ireland tells a story that every listener will have a different take on of course; only Raphael knows the story’s true meaning, it is his after all. Thank you for sharing it.
Raphael Doyle is currently busy working on his forthcoming album Never Closer together with his youngest son Louis (Slides, The Spare Room) and renowned Irish producer Gerry Diver, and is available for pre-order.
SWOOP AND CROSS – Los
Swoop and Cross is the musical alias of Ruben Vale, an ambient-electronic music composer/multi-instrumentalist based in London.
His track Los is a dreamy, heartfelt piano instrumental. The pulsing low notes draw you right into the depths of this song and eventually pulls you out to the climatic highs at the end. It’s a completely euphoric sound that makes you stop what ever you are doing and close your eyes and just imagine this beautiful piano piece being played right in front of you.
Ruben says of himself “Both my creative process and the final results it leads to are very personal and close to my heart, and this clearly shows.”
There’s no word of any upcoming releases so make sure to subscribe to his social media outlets and indulge!
SYKOYA – Your Silence
Sykoya are Anna Marcella, Curtis Elvidge and Joe Cross, an electronic trio based in London.
Releasing their debut EP earlier this year, Your Silence is their latest release. In my opinion, an outstanding work of art. For the whole four minutes and five seconds I was under their spell. Anna Marcella’s eerie mystical vocals create a hypnotic, moody atmosphere that entices you in. Seductively backed by rhythmic electronics and melodic synths together with outstanding production and bass work from Curtis Elvidge and Joe Cross.
Additionally, the official video for their first single Closer achieved selection for the Berlin Music Video Awards and Toronto Art House Film Festival!
Sykoya have a single launch show for Your Silence on the 29th October at Camden Assembly (formerly the Barfly). They also have further live shows to follow with dates available on their website.
Sykoya’s debut EP, Strange Night is available now.
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.