It’s Monday and once again we have a fresh batch of tracks to ease those post weekend blues. As ever, we offer our massive thanks to all the artists who submitted their tunes and all the listeners who stopped by to hear them.
CALM AS THE COLOUR – Velvet Sunburst
This four piece from Fife cite 80’s indie pop and shoegaze as strong influences on their sound. There’s a certainly a nod to fellow compatriots The Jesus And Mary chain in their work, but Calm As The Colour take the expansive chiming guitars and big reverb laden drums and run with it, very much putting their own twist on proceedings. The songwriting is strong and here they’ve crafted a catchy little gem, which would have any self-respecting indie disco attendee stomping along. They’ve a keen eye for melody too and utilise harmonies beautifully on the choruses. This track is available as a free download from their Bandcamp and whilst you’re there you can also check out their latest offering, the ‘Tomorrow Belongs To A World Apart EP’.
DE’BORAH – A Thousand Tongues
This track was hugely popular with Freshnet listeners this week and it’s not hard to see why. There are no tricks here, just a gently picked guitar and some frankly stunning vocals. De’Borah has one of those voices that makes you stop everything and just listen, until you emerge trancelike from the other side wondering whether it felt like a second or a lifetime. It is perhaps a little lazy to draw comparisons to Joni Mitchell, but De’Borah’s voice certainly shares a purity and vulnerability that makes me think this song wouldn’t feel out of place nestled somewhere on ‘Song to a Seagull’. ‘A Thousand Tongues’ is the title track from the Croyden artist’s latest E.P. which is available via her facebook page.
ELIZA AND THE ORGANIX – Let Me Have This
Built around an infectious guitar lick, this track exudes jazz cool all the time tempered by a rock sensibility, which keeps it direct and to the point. Saxophones swirl and the rhythm section grooves whilst laidback vocals put you in mind of a city street at dusk, with headlights streaking though the smoky heat and steam rising from the sewer caps. Hailing from New York State and led by singer, guitarist and songwriter Eliza Waldman, this track is taken from debut album The Organix Experience which Eliza describes as “the fruition of years of songwriting and a great deal of collaboration with awesome musicians”. Having successfully funded the album via Kickstarter earlier this year, the excellent results are now available via their Bandcamp page.
IDOL IMAGES – Fallout
Idol Images make no-nonsense indie rock and do it well. Weighing in at just over three minutes, Fallout is an exercise in punchy pop brevity, with tightly wound Smiths-esque guitars and a rhythm section that sound like they don’t have an ounce of fat on them. Singer Roxi’s vocals mesh perfectly with the music, her angular lines sparing playfully whilst always threatening to switch into full-blown attack mode and when she lets fly at the song’s storming finale we’re not left disappointed. With members from various corners of the globe, this four-piece currently call London home and according to their Soundcloud page, with fresh material in the can, they’re ready to hit the road, so hopefully they’ll be gigging near you soon!
JOYCE THE LIBRARIAN – Follow Me, I’m Right Behind You
Although anyone going to Bestival might be able to suspend disbelief for another week, summer is undeniably nearing its end. However, fear not, the soothing folk of Joyce the Librarian is here to ease you into the twilight months, with lilting guitars and wistful vocals that are the perfect soundtrack for crunching through the autumn leaves in chunky knitwear. Joyce The Librarian is the musical nom de plume of Martin Callingham and whilst he doesn’t give too much away about himself, we can tell you that you can catch him live at the Green Note in Camden on the 20th September. Check out his Bandcamp for more upcoming gigs and his latest release, ‘The Weight Of The Line EP’.
MAZ TOTTERDELL – Smile On Sunshine
On the other hand, with ‘Smile On Sunshine’, Maz Totterdell isn’t ready to let the summer die just yet. Irrepressibly upbeat, the jaunty piano, carefree handclaps and breezy vocals will keep those storm clouds at bay, at least until the end of the track. Maz possesses a songwriting ability and musical assuredness that belie her tender years. This is no accident. Having started by playing open mic nights in her native Devon at the age of just 9, she’s been building her impressive musical CV ever since. Still a teenager, she’s already received airplay on BBC radio 2 and 6Music with her debut single ‘Counting My Fingers’ and this latest single gives every impression of following suit. The song is taken from her debut album ‘Sweep’, released earlier this year and you can pick up a copy and check for her upcoming gigs on her website.
RICHARD KAPP & THE GOWNS – Let It Go
Opening with a moody, tumbling piano riff, this track never dwells too long in one place, nimbly negotiating the transitions in a manner that fans of Franks Zappa and the Beatles’ later work will certainly appreciate. There’s definitely a knack to getting this kind of prog-pop right and here they’ve nailed it, with beautiful string lines and ringing glockenspiels all tied together by the winding vocal narrative. The result is a song that keeps you on your toes and reveals more with each repeat listen. Based in Vienna, songwriter and musician Richard Kapp has been performing and recording with what he calls his ‘chamber-pop ensemble’, The Gowns, for the past five years. This song is from their new album ‘AMOK’ which is released shortly and will be available though his website.
ROB MARR – Summer In The City
Rob Marr’s preferred mode of transport is clearly the bicycle and here he documents the trials, tribulations, dangers and joys of the London cyclist. As someone who frequently pedals those streets I can certainly relate to some of his more hairy experiences on the road, but ultimately what I love about this track is how he’s perfectly captured that feeling of freewheeling along without a care in the world, taking it all in. There’s a real jazzy hip hop vibe to this, indeed Rob cites the Pharcyde track ‘Yo Mama’ as the inspiration for the drums on the track, which provide the perfect swing for the laid back instrumentation, lush harmonies and lyrical vocal delivery. The track is taken from forthcoming album ‘Anatomy’. Check out Rob’s website for full details of all his releases and the string of gigs which he’s embarking upon over the coming months.
THE BLUE SCREEN OF DEATH – What Would Arnie Do?
This track is immensely fun and a cursory look at their website will tell you that despite their obvious talent, The Blue Screen Of Death don’t take themselves too seriously. A tongue in cheek homage to Arnie’s 80’s and 90’s movie exploits, lyrically it pokes amusing but ultimately loving fun at the ethical code of the action hero’s onscreen characters. This is all delivered via front man Steve George’s catchy vocal melodies, which ride atop some seriously blistering riffage that doesn’t let up from start to finish. This song is taken from the Southampton quintet’s latest album ‘Leave The Future Behind’, which is available from their Bandcamp page.
THELONIUS – Spanish Joint
Jazz certainly seems to be in the air on this week’s Fresh Faves and it continues here with this frenetic instrumental outing. Opening with an ominous call to arms delivered on what sounds like a beat-up dive bar piano, the track soon builds into raucous jazz rock fusion. There’s some impressive finger work as each of the musicians take their turn to flex their skills and generally throw your ears around like auditory rag dolls, before gently placing them back down, safe and sound in the outro. Based in Bristol, Thelonious are a five-piece who take their influences from across Jazz, Hip Hop and Classical music. Spanish Joint is featured on their debut EP ‘Reminisce’ and you can get your hands on it, plus find details of upcoming shows on their website.
VINCENT BURKE – Your Town
This is Vincent Burke’s second appearance on the Fresh Faves and again his compelling, dark folk has piqued the interest of Freshnet listeners. There’s something off kilter and almost unsettling about his songs, which means you just can’t turn away and you get the feeling there’s a lot going on under the surface here. Originally from Plymouth and now based in London, Vincent keeps his cards fairly close to his chest, so we don’t know too much about him. However, it’s well worth checking out the Soundcloud song page for this track, which offers some further insight into the lyrics and inspiration for the song.
FROM TOM: If you’ve submitted a track that hasn’t made the Fresh Faves you’re welcome to re-submit it again. But if you have been a Fresh Fave in recent weeks could you possibly hold back for at least six weeks before sending us another one. If you keep sending us great tracks they’re likely to get onto the Listening Post, but that means less room for new names who haven’t had a chance yet…