Artists at a glance
These Fresh Faves were picked by our readers over the weekend – and are reviewed here by Jersey inhabitant and headphone enthusiast Nick Walker this week. You can hear all these tracks in a single Soundcloud playlist here.
ANGHARAD DRAKE – Baby
Angharad Drake lives in Brisbane, Australia and at 24 has been crafting her work for over five years. This song is her first release since a debut album Sword released last year.
Angharad’s beautiful controlled vocal soars over the guitar and percussion. Her use of pauses in the structure, make this song stand out immediately. Melodic and passionate in delivery, Baby covers the selfishness of love, exposed through the paranoia and envy of one side of a relationship.
Top quality and more to come here soon for certain.
AUSTERITY – Glass House
Brighton based three member band Austerity present here their debut single Glass House. Thomas Vincent (guitar, vocals), Stu Chaney (bass, vocals) and Sam Luck (drums and percussion) are the men behind this post-punk sensation.
Citing amongst their influences Gang of Four, Devo and Green Gartside’s persona Scritti Politti, they already have my attention.
Because of the song structuring – for me this is as exciting as Swindons early raw XTC – with stunning bass play and the unapologetic vocal delivery, this song powers along to a cacophony of mid-song mayhem. These guys are having real fun making very strong aggressive music. What a fantastic debut!
Thanks Austerity for allowing me to put cacophony in a review legitimately.
FAITALA – Forty One
Faitala are David Faitala from New Zealand (guitar, vocals) along with EV Houlton (keyboards) and Oliver Hughes (drums) and the band are currently based in Manchester. Forty One is a track from their debut EP Departures, that is being released next week. The band formed in 2013 and almost immediately they were playing live sessions on Marc Riley’s 6 Music show.
Forty One is a song about a friend who laments getting old. (Just like me!) The dance beat deliberately making light of the subject. Forty One bubbles along with joyous stops and starts, has a feel good vibe and their performance here has a refreshingly confident delivery.
GOGO LUCK – Peacock Punks
Gogo Luck is a mysterious artist from Greenville in North Carolina, USA. Peacock Punks is a song from the Old Pyongyang EP and you can hear it all now on the artist’s Bandcamp page. (I admit I bought it on the strength of this song alone.) Oddly it says it is only released next month.
Note: Pyongyang is the capital of The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea or as we casually know it in the West, North Korea.
Gogo’s unique style of vocal delivery is more than memorable. This great song motors along with musical complexity. I love it – and as for the lyrics…”Unscrewing jars of skunk like a Shaolin Monk” … simply amazing stuff Gogo.
I have my own hunch that Gogo Luck might just be an established artist having fun under a pseudonym. If I am wrong it’s a compliment and I predict Gogo Luck will and should make it big.
HYDROMAG – I Need to Know
When I first heard this I knew it was good. I’m a sucker for bass and when it kicks higher at 29 seconds I was hooked.
Hydromag is a solo project of 21 year old producer and songwriter Josh Best-Shaw, a bedroom artist of the new age.
This song unlike many of the genre does not get stuck anywhere. It changes, moves, cruises along and is very polished. I particularly like music that develops and finishes strongly and this certainly does. There is nothing to get tired of in this work. I need to know more [see what you did there Nick! Ed.] and I Need to Know is the debut single from Hydromags EP Sweet Obsession that is not available yet. Already a record of the week at BBC Introducing in Kent and now a Fresh Fave here, you’ve made a quick impression Josh. Excellent vibe.
LOW ISLAND – Anywhere
From the first note your attention is held. Floating vocals, percussion, bass and guitar meld in this dense and smooth creation. The bass is (I said this about an earlier song here I know) stunning as is the vocal delivery.
The Low Island sound is just perfect for evening listening – it’s on as I write this – either at home or at the wheel [I hope you’re not writing at the wheel Nick! Ed]. This is as gorgeous a nighttime track as Hipsway’s Long White Car and that is a massive compliment from this reviewer.
Anywhere is a song from the bands forthcoming EP. Named after a rock off the South West Irish coast, the band are Jamie and Carlos (vocals and guitars) with Jacob (bass) and Felix (drums) and they are based near Oxford.
MOTIONS – Back to Where I Begun
Back to Where I Begun is the debut single from Motions, who are from Dublin. Motions are a duo of Tom Daly and Dave Nulty who are credited as co-writers of the song. As an aside I found an interesting music video online [NSFW] and it adds more to the duo’s mystery. They seem to be keeping a low profile online that cannot last long now. But they are out performing I see.
The vocals are undeniably good and the lyrics are considered and clever. For me the beauty of the song is the superb build right from the start with its occasional picking guitar through to its almost anthemic finish.
SPACEHEADS – Laughing Water
Andy Diagram, Richard Harrison and Vincent Bertholet together make up Spaceheads on this designated promo song.
Double bass, jazz trumpet with soft percussion delivers smooth driving groove jazz that made me just reach for the
replay arrows as soon as it finished. Laughing Water is the title track from the forthcoming Spaceheads album of the same name.
Making jazz real fun is an art. Andy, Richard and Vincent have succeeded because this is tight and refined. No surprise that this has made the Fresh Faves this week. Magnificent stuff. The single is available on bandcamp now for you to stream Laughing Water. No pun intended.
WHITE ROOM – Stole the I.V
Jake Smallwood (vocals), Jacob Newman (lead guitar), Tristan Sava (guitar and keys), Josie McNamara (bass) and Hen Sava (drums) are White Room from the South Coast of England and do they produce bloody good psych(o) rock!
Stole the I.V is their new single released this week.
“You’re not laughing now it’s falling apart” sings Jake. But nothing is falling apart here. This is an accomplished song that sweeps around your head. Cleverly, they don’t overdo this song like many would in the genre. At just shy of three and a half minutes they leave you wanting more.
Brighton rock from Brighton rockers. Showing class beyond their years. White Room is, for me, the cream of the week’s Fresh Faves. Sorry to sign off like that but I couldn’t resist it. Showing my age!
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.