Artists at a glance
THE WILD THINGS
These Fresh Faves were picked by our readers over the weekend – and reviewed by Fresh On The Net’s Rob Ball this week. You can hear all these tracks in a single Soundcloud playlist here.
ANSWER BACK – She’s Into Rock ‘n’ Roll
Starting this week’s top ten with a very catchy classic rocky/poppy track. Good guitar riffs, sharp vocals, throw in some brass, a sax solo and you have a great fast-paced foot tapper. This is so slick I wouldn’t have been surprised if Mike Batt (The Wombles, Katie Melua) had been the producer. Answer Back are from Worcester and it appears to be a duo, Oli and Chris, who join up with friends as and when. Based on what we hear here when they do, then I would hope it is something that becomes more permanent. I can see these guys in this format being a perfect act to get a party atmosphere going at a festival. Unfortunately, there don’t appear to be any forth coming gigs scheduled.
GRINGO – Down South
From fast-paced rock, we go to a slacker laid back, scuzzy bluesy sound with haunting guitar licks. Nicely melodic and immediately evocative of a west coast beach in America imagining a beach fire, friends, a few beers, a couple of guitars and portable amps. So it came as no surprise when I found out that Gringo are a ‘surf rock’ group from California!
HALFWAY KID – Hannah
What do you get when you combine electronica, soul and dance and add a bit of hip-hop? [I don’t know Rob, what do you get when you combine… oh you get the picture. Ed.] Well I think you get the chilled laid back sound of Hannah with producer Halfway Kid struggling to get inside the head of Hannah. It’s really quite a hypnotic after a couple of plays.
Halfway Kid is one of those artists who has very little online information that tells us much about him and if that’s the plan then that’s fine with me.
P.S. He has a cool hat!
HUMA – Vertigo
“Minimalism is a style that uses pared-down design elements”
So says Wikipedia. It must be true. And it is very hard to do because there isn’t a lot that goes into it but when it is done well it is really good, as is the case here.
Vertigo is what I would class a minimalist track, it has a repeated guitar riff and simple drum beat underneath at the heart of it. Over the top are smooth vocals that remind me of early Marc Bolan and the occasional whoop. It’s addictive and has had me hitting repeat lots of times since I first heard it last night.
Again, I wish I could tell you more about Huma – they appear to be a male duo who are at, or have been at, BIMM Brighton. It may be that this is just a project which would be a shame as it would be great to hear them play live.
KETO – Superstar
Well I never, Keto were in Fresh Faves 188, which was my first set of reviews.
Superstar starts with a melodic guitar and accompanying violin which just invites you to sit on the floor and listen in before the rich emotional vocals come in from singer Leah Sanderson. This time last year Keto was very much Leah’s own work, but with a band joining her to expand her “atmospheric soundscapes”. Time has passed on and it appears that Keto is now very much her focus. The band play what they describe as lo-fi hypnotic folk music and have a series of gigs around the country supporting Julia Jacklin starting at the end of February.
MYHEARTISAMETRONOME – Tierp
Back to a more upbeat sound is indie rock track Tierp. With gentle verses building up to an anthemic chorus, the track also has a lovely ’70s rock inspired guitar solo in it. It appears to be about a drifting relationship with the chorus asking “what you going to do about it?” It may however, not be as I assumed, about a human relationship at all but in fact about the town where the band are from; Tierp in Upsalla, Sweden. myheartisametronome grew from singer and guitarist Mattis Malinen’s solo project and then grew into a band when he was joined by Gustaf Simonsson on bass and Felix Carlsten on drums.
THE WILD THINGS – I Think You Can Do Better
From Indie Rock to Classic rock. Heavy guitar riffs ? pulsating bass ? strong female vocals ? loud but controlled ?, tight as hell ?! I Think You Can Do Better is a song with a bit of edge in it, with lines like “Build your house I’ll burn it down” and “I am more than just my voice”… is there a hint of revenge in here? The Wild Things are a 4 piece from London who have a real interest in taking action to protect the live scene in London and promote their own pop up Festivals and shows around the capital.
They have no future gigs listed but one thing is for sure, they will soon.
TONY PENULTIMATE – I’d Like To Eat You All
And now for something completely different…
I’d Like To Eat You All is a delightful parody on a ’40s style song. Classic female music hall vocalist telling us about her love of foods like deep fried Mars bars and a vindaloo, before a rousing chorus that sounds like it was part of a singalong in and East End pub of old. Tony Penultimate is actually a member of the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain and has released 3 albums of his own work to date. He is also quite a character and I would advise having a look at his work as lead actor and CEO of the Airlines Toilet Theatre Company.
VANWYCK – Carolina’s Anatomy
Carolina’s Anatomy is a track blending traditional folk and country influences with lyrics conceived on a Berlin dance floor. It is based on watching a friend dancing in the early morning at an all-nighter when everyone else is flagging. It has gentle finger-plucking guitar and beautiful warm vocals, and you can so easily imagine the movement as “Carolina dances on the roof beneath the starlight as she sways to the beat of the drum machine”
Van Wyck is Dutch based New Zealand born artist who last year completed the mammoth task of writing one song a week for a year. This track is the first release from the 52.
Between November last year and April 2017, she is doing a series of house concerts in The Netherlands and Belgium. If you’d like one of those and have a space that can hold a minimum of 20 people, then drop her a mail.
ZEROWE – Remember Me
Remember Me is an RnB track with synth bass, electronic beats, samples and some smooth and soulful vocals. If vocals were chocolate, then these would be rich velvety truffles. There is a certain vulnerability to them. It is hard to know if Remember Me refers to singer Thomas Roberts old band Nevrland who have taken a break, or if he is referring to an illness he has? One hopes it is not the latter.
Zerowe is his first solo project and whilst there are no live show listings, he has released his first EP Beats and X-rays.
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.