Fresh Faves: Batch 19

The people have spoken, we’ve done the artithmetic and the result has been a dead heat in this week’s crowded field of excellent submissions. Accordingly, Team Freshnet’s Nico Franks has increased capacity this week to a dozen so as to accommodate two extra bangers for your ears, and with good cause. In alphabetical order:


BALLERINA BLACK are an LA-based four-piece that deal in brooding post-punk and, to these ears, nod back to dark electro-pop luminaries such as Depeche Mode and Gary Numan. Tom played their track “Something Skipping” back in May 2010 when Fresh On the Net was a radio show. And frankly any band that boasts a member rejoicing in the name of Esli Sugich has to be just fine in our book.

BENTCOUSIN – I Think I Like Your Girlfriend More Than You

London/Brighton group Bentcousin clearly know that the first step to writing a great song is writing a great song title. Minimal fussing from guitar and drums puts the vocals at the forefront of the song, about a friend’s femme fatale, sung in a casual Cockney twang. Plus there’s a knowing cameo from The Velvet Underground, which is never a bad thing.

DOUBLETHUMB – Oonzeeluhzubazoomzum

There’ll always be a space on FOTN for the weird and wonderful, and Doublethumb, a singer/songwriter/producer from London, is exactly that. Sharing parts of the same DNA with some of Tune-Yards’ boundary-pushing output, it may be hard to say  ‘Oonzeeluhzubazoomzum’, but listening to it is a constant joy.


Atmospheric piano that builds and builds to a huge crescendo accompanied by booming vocals from a singer with a mighty powerful set of lungs on her? Florence Welch has been running a monopoly on that sound of late, but I Am Harlequin, the alter ego of singer songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer Anne Freier, is destined to join her ranks.

LEIKA – Love, Love, Love (live)

A London-based band, Leika are stalwarts of the capital’s live scene, gigging incessantly since they formed in 2006. “Love, Love, Love” recalls the catchiest moments of The Jam and The Libertines in its snappy two and a half minutes, but with added sax appeal.

MARY CIGARETTES – Next Year’s Ghost

‘Next Year’s Ghost’ has a timeless feel that is world-weary and wise. You get the impression its creator is someone intensely dedicated to their craft, with their own vision untainted by trends or fads. The fact it’s about “accepting death and life” doesn’t make it a jolly listen, but often the tracks that stay with you the most aren’t.


The soothing but anthemic sound of Saturday Sun attracted a lot of attention from the FOTN faithful this week, with the four-piece’s track ‘Seagull’ transfixing listeners unable to resist its stirring charm. Apparently, the song will feature in upcoming US horror film House At the End Of the Street- which may or may not be about a murderous seagull, we’ll have to see.

SLYDIGS – Bang Bang {and the bullet was gone)

Slydigs were a hugely popular discovery for listeners this week, with one voter even giving three of his five votes to this good-time, frenzied UK rock ‘n’ roll band (before, ahem, realising that this would mean none of the votes would count and changing his post accordingly). Hear the explosive guitars in Bang Bang and it’s immediately clear why Slydigs garnered such enthusiasm from our voters, who are clearly suckers for a spanking solo.


Laurie Hulme’s dedication to his late grandfather, Songs For Walter, is a side-project to the much louder indie band Beat the Radar that Hulme fronts. ‘Purple Blue’, a sweet, beguiling track, is taken from the EP Meet Me at the Empire, described by For Folk’s Sake as “a sepia-tinged collection of love songs for a lost relative.”

THE FOLK – stay

A band with such a name were never going to be heavy metal, were they? And as you’d expect, ‘Stay‘ is highly easy on the ears, with the subtle production really allowing this trio’s harmonies to come to the fore during a memorable chorus.


Their footballers may have fallen at the last hurdle in the Euros, but the sprawling electro-pop of Germany’s Hypnotic Lights made its way into our final, and deservedly so.  A full-blown frenzy of synths and pounding drums, there’s not much to do but follow orders when the Krautpop three piece chants “dance, dance, dance,” over and over.

TOBY WATSON – Nightbus

A tale of public transport in the urban jungle late at night, ‘Nightbus’ will ring true for many who’ve found themselves amongst the worse for wear in the wee small hours. A strong mix of disparate genres, Toby Watson is one of many up and coming UK troubadours currently capturing the mood of the nation state.

Nico Franks
Posted by Nico
2nd July 2012

Nico Franks

Unfortunately not the famous femme fatal who collaborated with The Velvet Underground in the 1970s... I am instead a writer and journalist, recently relocated from the hills of Yorkshire to living in-between two chicken takeaways in London. I edit the New Bands Panel over at For Folk's Sake. Follow me @NicoFranks and read more at my blog.


  1. bentcousin

    don’t really know, what’s hapeening now, but we kinda like that. and look at you, you’re not Nico at all, but you’ve scoffed all of Lou’s Toffee Crisps all the same, we’ve heard he’s vivid, for a change! What’s the prize if we win, its a ferret isn’t it, we can tell, Pat is going to be delighted, but please, please don’t inform animal welfare Nico, it really is an innocent pleasure.
    Top of da Pops here we come……BC

  2. Oh dear, I am BLUSHING! Thanks so much to the Freshnet team for including my little tune among your faves!
    Absolutely chuffed.


    Double Thumb

  3. so chuffed that we made it onto this list amongst so many awesome tunes! Thanks to freshnet and everyone that, well, loved ‘love,love,love’ :-))))))

    Leika xx

  4. Thanks so much for voting for our track. When we listened to the others this week we thought there was no chance of getting through ! thrilled and excited 🙂 it did so much for us getting our debut ‘ When It Rains’ on here, and for all the artists who are here, it’s an excellent marketing tool for your band – use it 🙂

  5. congratulations on having such good taste in music.

  6. Sigu

    Am new to this place – congrats to the bands, some quality tunes – how the hell has love lovelove not been all over the radio? That is properly catchy and will not exit my head! lol

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