Fresh Faves: Batch 254

Lost Cat

Artists at a glance

CHUCK
EVER HAZEL
ITCHY TEETH
LLOYD LLEWELLYN
LOST CAT
LYVES
RYD
THE JACKOBINS
VOS
WILL KILLEN

These Fresh Faves were picked by our readers over the weekend – and reviewed by Phil Meadley this week. You can hear all these tracks in a single Soundcloud playlist here.

CHUCK – Becky

Chuck is described by his label Audio Antihero as a multi-instrumentalist songwriter living in Brooklyn who makes “weird kid pop music”. My description of his track Becky would be wonky pop of the type that made Beck so famous. Things always feel a little bit off key and stoned. He even refers to this in his lyrics: “Playin’ iPhone games, Smokin’ Mary Jane, Eatin’ Beef Lo Mein’. It’s funny, quirky, leftfield music that has a slacker charm to it.

Twitter | Bandcamp

EVER HAZEL – Another Adventure

This dainty ditty is taken from Reading singer-songwriter Ever Hazel’s recent EP A Surgeon’s Hand. She’s got that sort of vulnerable, confessional voice that Beth Orton has used so effectively over the years. Music-wise alternative pop springs to mind. It’s too well polished to be lo-fi, but the mix of acoustic and softly played electric guitar, plus the bass playing of Diane Fox does lend it that warm home-grown sound. Softly appealing stuff.

Official | Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Bandcamp

ITCHY TEETH – Brian Wilson Is Still Alive

This is a trippy tune from the amusingly named Itchy Teeth, a slightly avant-garde psychedelic 4-piece guitar pop band from London who insist that they actually all live in a car. The title is a nice reference to the Beach Boys great, and revealed within are the kind of gentle harmonisations that Mr Wilson would probably approve of. They also cite The Flaming Lips as a reference and I can definitely hear that. My joint favourite of this week’s batch and certainly a band I’ll keep an eye out from now on.

Official | Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

LLOYD LLEWELLYN – Long Way Down

This London-based singer-songwriter seems to be a favourite of our Tom’s, and there’s no denying that he’s got a decent pair of lungs with commercial appeal. Lloyd Llewellyn’s influences include Ray LaMontagne and Ben Howard, and he definitely falls into that category. I really like the use of trumpet to accompany the piano about a minute fifteen in. Nice claps too! I also like the way the track builds as it goes along too. Long Way Down is a skillfully polished and accomplished tune.

Official | Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

LOST CAT – Pastel

Knowing that lo-fi pop artist Lost Cat is based in Bristol wins brownie points from me, because somehow that laid back West-Country city always produces really interesting artists, dating back to the emergence of The Pop Group in the late seventies. There’s a lot to admire here. I love how her voice is almost drowned out in delay and distortion, along with layered guitars that wash over the stereo field nicely. It makes the whole thing drift along in very appealing, hypnotic psychedelic pop manner. I know I should probably care more about what her lyrics say, but to my mind it’s mostly about the added texture. Nicely done.

Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Bandcamp

LYVES – Holding Back

Lyves is the alias of London based singer-songwriter Francesca Bergami who describes her music as alt-soul. I’d agree. It didn’t come as much of a surprise to discover that she recently supported Coldplay on their European tour. It’s got that similarly expensive, polished commercial sound that seems to be de rigueur right now. In her biography it says that Francesca sings of “loss, adaption, and survival”, which would connect with her career as a mental health advocate in psychiatric hospitals. Holding Back seems to contain all of those aspects and should appeal to fans of The xx and London Grammar.

Official | Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

RYD – Work It Out

Talking about London Grammar and The xx, another band that would fall neatly into that category are London contemplative pop act RYD. Can’t tell you too much about them as their social media presence seems wilfully obscure. Music like this is perfect for the twilight hours but possibly not so great when trying to write a steady stream of reviews on a Monday afternoon. However it’s well done and nails that dream state vibe perfectly. Sigur Ros also spring to mind, but this is mellower and not loaded up on distorted squealing guitars.

Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter

THE JACKOBINS – Outside

Liverpudlian 4-piece indie rock band The Jackobins make anthemic rock tracks with the kind of bombast that would make Muse proud. A name that’s been bandied around since their inception in 2014, and championed by the likes of BBC Introducing Merseyside and CLASH, you’d have expected them to have a massive hit by now. However I’m told that the buzz is growing and they’ve certainly gone for it on Outside. It’s catchy Catfish-style rock of the ilk that normally gets played to death by Radio X, so expect to hear more from this band.

Official | Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

VOS – Wait

London alt-pop duo VÕS have already had airplay from Tom, and it’s easy to see why. Delicate, piano driven, silky female vocals, nice glitch effects on the instruments, interesting beat patterns, and great production quality overall means that Wait ticks a lot of boxes. Yes, this sort of indie electronica sound has been done many times before, but I’d say that VÕS do it particularly well. I wish I could tell you who the two lovely people involved are, but I can’t find any more information about them.

Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

WILL KILLEN – In My Arms

Classic acoustic driven singer/songwriter material here from Leeds based musician Will Killen. Like a lot of the tracks chosen this week it’s very mellow, introspective music and probably hardly surprising that Will is also a budding film composer. I suppose you could say that it has a hint of Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy about not only the music but also Will’s voice. In My Arms is a nice alt-folk tune for those more contemplative moments.

Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter

VOS

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.

Phil Meadley

During his journalistic career writing for the likes of The Independent, Observer Music Monthly, and The New Statesman, Phil covered rock, pop, electronic, folk, world and classical. He’s also compiled over sixty compilations, played numerous festivals, and also claims to have a connection to mysterious collective The Gaslight Troubadours. Read more about Phil here

4 Comments

  1. Top job Phil, good music on show here

  2. Phil Meadley

    Thanks!

  3. Gersprungled

    Detailed yet concise. Now that’s good reviewing Mr Meadley.
    Four that I love in these Faves. Nice.

  4. Phil Meadley

    Most kind

Write a Comment