Fresh Faves: Batch 255

Chiedu Oraka

Artists at a glance

BLACK TAIL
CHIEDU ORAKA
DRESSED LIKE WOLVES
HAWK
JIMBODENI
MICHAEL BAKER MUSIC
MOON TOURISTS
SAN FELU
SHOR
THE HEMPOLICS

These Fresh Faves were picked by our readers over the weekend – and reviewed by Fresh On The Net’s Chris Ingram this week. You can hear all these tracks in a single Soundcloud playlist here.

BLACK TAIL – Sleepy Volcano

My immediate thoughts sprang to fine Manchester act I Am Kloot, a real classy band and personal fave of mine. Alt/Indie/Folk vibes are the foundation of this fine song by Black Tail. I had it on multiple plays driving through my blustery mission home and it felt like a perfectly autumnal tune to share with those you love. Hailing from Rome and Latina in Italy, their album is available on Bandcamp where this gem sits amongst a mine of treasure.

Official | Soundcloud | Facebook | YouTube | Bandcamp

CHIEDU ORAKA – NHE (North Hull Estate)

I already feel behind the curve when I say a genuine talent stands here. Tight beats and right lyrics. Channelling Roots Manuva with his solid street combination of British working class tastes. Chiedu Oraka has surely put a pin in the Hip-Hop map for Hull after his BBC 1 Xtra slot at the Poetry and Spoken Word Festival there this weekend. I have given this and his You Tube page a thorough listen. He is ace.

Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Bandcamp

DRESSED LIKE WOLVES – Tiny Ides

Cool name, cool opening lyrics “You’re frozen Falafel” this track kicks off very eerily. Perhaps it’s just me. This song centres upon a painful love and felt reminiscent of early Libertines and Can’t Stand Me Now. It builds and gathers in metaphor through which Dressed Like Wolves, aka Rick Dobbing, builds a very lovely song. It is complemented nicely by a most excellent You Tube video I’d highly recommend and according to my research team (!) an album on Bandcamp. Teeside’s Dobbing has a diamond cutter of a voice, so listen, share and love.

Official | Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Bandcamp

HAWK – Below

Big comparisons to heavy weight artists such as Warpaint, The Cranberries, Slow Dive and Radiohead give Berlin-based grunge act some serious kudos. Atmospheric, powerful and emotive I found myself drawing comparisons with BBC 2 Folk Award winners, 9 Bach. A strong female lead with a clever band swimming in the hidden depths beneath Hawk’s writing certainly help the compliment. They have a very prominent social media presence and their music is easily accessible. The only question left is why have you not shared it yet?

Official | Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

JIMBODENI – Hope Again

Jimbodeni, aka James Brining from Lincoln, England, has surely has some classical teachings in his DNA. Evocative and cerebral this track filled my heart with an ageless angst. It posed an ethereal question mark on my mind and crossed wires with choirs and 80s synth-driven dance. Wow. For sure he has plenty more on his Soundcloud page and it goes without saying you must get involved. A deserved top ten choice.

Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter

MICHAEL BAKER – Some Kind

There is a special place in my heart reserved for lush, delicate folk. The wonderful Michael Baker nails it. Comparisons with James Blake, Bon Iver or the late Johnny Cash are deserving and all the more pleasing for his troubadour attitude to life. Living and touring constantly in his van across the UK and fighting the good fight. A great songwriter of the great tradition such as this needs you to find his manager and book him gigs in your town, now. You won’t regret it.

Official | Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

MOON TOURISTS – Superfluous

Labelling themselves an electro outfit led by the charismatic (I think???) Bronte, the fine 3 piece pack a punch! Their Facebook page is very enigmatic but obviously has not halted their rise as witnessed by their YouTube views nor their recent airplay on BBC Introducing Kent. I would really like to see Moon Tourists on tour and catch them live because I am sure their music has folk twisting and bopping with joy every time.

Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | Bandcamp

SAN FELU – Neptune Bather Black Flamingo

BBC Radio Devon have already given this track by San Felu a spin, and after a few listens I fell in love too. This is a single from How To Build Windmills released on the label OUF Records on 29th September 2017. Artist P.J. Peterson cites a love of old sci-fi and folklore as his main inspirations for this solo project. This track felt like a great example of an artist taking flight and for the first time, truly feeling confident with the intricacies of invisible currents both inner and outer. I expect some fine further work in future but until then, enjoy.

Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter

SHOR – Calm Of The Sea

Pleased to admit this was on my original picks in the first wave of tracks. I do have to admit, upon choosing from the top 25, I didn’t tick this though. So, thank you folks for this moderator clearly has lots to learn! So I felt Shor and Alt-J were good bedmates. Upon many more listening’s I feel confident in saying I’d sit this artist on most UK festival bills and people to come away telling their friends about him. By all accounts he has already landed the golden ticket. If by Xmas he hasn’t been featured on BBC Radio 1 I will be shocked. Especially since Radio X and Communion Records have had a taste.

Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter

THE HEMPOLICS – Armed & Dangerous

Lastly and purely down to alphabetics, here is another artist am chuffed to say got my vote. At first I felt Neneh Cherry, then Steve Earle, then Nick Cave and finally Fun Lovin’ Criminals. I then felt a filthy Blues/Americana tilt with a Massive Attack and Trip-Hop slant on it. The vocals by Cojack and none other than Paolo Nutini simply slay this tune. Quite honestly, I fully expect to see this act killing it on every stage, in every season, all year round. The class and integrity of artists such as The Hempolics make me glad the universe gave me ears.

Official | Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

The Hempolics

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.

Chris Ingram

Chris is a poet and member of collective The Glendale Family based in North Wales and Chester, and has been involved in music management, festivals, events and broadcasting for over 10 years. Read more about Chris here.

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