Artists at a glance
SWALLOW & THE WOLF
THE HONEY ANTS
Top tunes from FORTHAVEN, CAJITA, THE HONEY ANTS, POLAR RAYS, TEMPLE SONGS, SWALLOW & THE WOLF, RIVER FURY, SHAMBLES MILLER, TOMIKA, JORDAN ALLEN, DEBS MCCOY, DRUNK MULE, ROBOTALIEN, SCULPTURE MUSIC, PAUL MCKEEVER, ABI WADE and MOUSE DEER
Every Sunday night/Monday morning on BBC Radio 6 Music from 2-3am you can hear a selection of my favourite new tunes from the BBC Introducing Uploader in an hour-long music mixtape. Some of the tunes are recommended by BBC friends and colleagues, others are handpicked by me from our inbox here at Fresh On The Net.
Each of these mixtapes is available free when the radio show ends at 3am via the 6 Music Downloads Page. You’ll also find archived episodes there from the previous 4 weeks. As of this week, the full tracklists and start times are now published here at Fresh On The Net with a link to each artist’s website. These are the listings for Monday, 22nd July 2013 – recent mixtape tracklistings can be found via the MIXTAPE tab above – earlier listings are on the BBC website.
FORTHAVEN – Uberunkle [Starts 00:13]
The dark and mysterious Uberunkle (or possibly Überonkel?) comes from Forthaven – the new project of a professional Liverpool bass player known only as J who has turning to producing a blend of live instruments and electronica inspired by the likes of Massive Attack, Laika and Curve. Special credit goes to featured vocalist Anne Marie Howard not only sang on the track but also provided inspiration on the musical side. The debut Forthaven EP The Otherside was released earlier this month and a full album called Histironic is due later in the year.
CAJITA – Broken Glass [Starts 03:01]
I first fell in love with the subtle, hypnotic compositions of Jay Chakravorty aka Cajita (pictured above) at least five years ago. Since then he has moved from Bristol to London and it’s been a joy to see his career progress via collaborations with such indie luminaries as SheMakesWar and Mishkin Fitzgerald. Jay is a multi-instrumentalist musician and producer who makes orchestrally-tinged ambient folk music using acoustic instruments, voices, analogue synths and computers. This track is taken from his debut Cajita album Tiny Ghosts released via Folkwit Records on July 1st. He plays London shows at The Macbeth in Hoxton on July 28th and The Islington on August 9th before heading off to play festivals in Holland and Iceland. This Autumn he’ll be on tour in Europe with fellow artists and longtime collaborator A Seated Craft. “It’s going to be busy” he says.
THE HONEY ANTS – She Don’t Mind [Starts 07:06]
The Honey Ants is a project name for the songwriting team of Scott Mathieson and John Grimsey working in the oldschool tradition of such backroom duos as King & Goffin, Lieber & Stoller, Holland Dozier Holland etc. Around the time of their 2011 debut EP they assembled a seven piece band to showcase the material – but their arresting new live incarnation (as featured on this track) features just John Grimsey on acoustic guitar sharing vocals with Rebecca Hamer. She Don’t Mind is the B-side to their recent single Give Me Arms and a sprinkling of London shows finds them playing The Buffalo Bar on 1st August, Notting Hill Arts Club on the 3rd September and the Slaughtered Lamb on October 17th. Seven piece bands – who needs ’em ?
POLAR RAYS – I Hate Myself For Loving You [Starts 10:16]
Who needs seven piece bands? Luke O’Brien and Luke Paul Sanders of Coventry’s Polar Rays – that’s who! The duo formed in 2008 and name their influences as Bowie, Talking Heads, New Order, The Beatles and Pixies among others. Their selftitled debut album, released this month, was engineered by James Plester and took three years to complete. As wholly independent artists Polar Rays have had no external funding – just the support of friends, the change from their rent, and sheer determination. The album is available via their website as well as the usual major online stores and their next gig is in Lichfield at George IV on August 3rd, where you can see them performing with that specially assembled seven piece band.
TEMPLE SONGS – Passed Caring [Starts 12:16]
Manchester’s Temple Songs are a 4 piece outfit who are, we’re told “smashing out brilliantly crafted psychedelic pop tunes. Their official debut release Passed Caring – written by prolific songwriter and front man Jolan Lewis – is the kind of track that you might stumble across on a carefully selected LA Nuggets compilation and wonder how they are of the now. Blending sounds of The Beatles and The Stooges with the likes of Pavement and Deerhunter; Temple Songs carve songs that have a unique way of getting into your head and brightening up your life. Currently writing and recording their debut album Temple Songs look all set to take 2013 by the horns and are at the start of something exciting.”
SWALLOW & THE WOLF – Charge of The Light Brigade [Starts 15:17]
A word or two about Russell Swallow before we consider his latest – and arguably greatest – musical offering to date with SATW. We first came across him as the acoustic evangelist responsible for Beatnik Events when it was merely(?) a monthly London clubnight – and the man who first brought the genius of Kal Lavelle to our attention. Beatnik Events has since grown organically from promoter into booking agency into PR service – as Russell declared himself “tired of playing for promoters that didn’t turn up to their own events, threw a pick’n’mix of random genre bands onto the stage and took money from my fans without ever putting time or thought into creating an enjoyable and inclusive audience experience.” As a fine artist in his own right, Suffolk boy Russell now works with Australian-born fellow songwriter Jess Kennedy and this is one of the bonus tracks on their current single as Swallow & The Wolf, Every Time She Comes. They’re currently recording their follow up EP at Guy Chamber’s Sleeper Studios – due for release later this year.
RIVER FURY – 21st Century Man [Starts 18:52]
It’s two years since London quartet River Fury first began playing together: guitarists Patric Nutton and Dan Howe write and sing the songs. Ted Miller plays bass and Stef Brachi plays drums. “Our sound” they say “is pop/indie/rock with lots of colourful influences. Playing eclectic guitar-based indie pop, we have been described as a mix between The Flaming Lips, Arcade Fire, early-New Order, The Strokes, Sonic Youth and Tame Impala with raw and exquisitely beautiful harmonies intermingling over driving post-punk pandemonium. We have played a few great gigs around London and are recording our first release for Summer 2013.”
SHAMBLES MILLER – Deadpool [Starts 23:02]
For me, the wry, laconic lofi-fi acoustic pop of Glasgow-based songwriter Shambles Miller – in fact his whole musical persona – is completely irresistible. Be clear, this is not music made with an eye either on the Top 40 or fame in the blogosphere. But it 100% fulfils Steve Lamacq’s criterion that any artist worth their salt sounds like they need to make this particular music or they would explode. Shambles embodies the wonderfully dry Scots truthfulness to be found in the work of Aidan Moffat, King Creosote and even our friends on this same mixtape Drunk Mule. Deadpool is certainly a fine track, but frankly I’d recommend downloading everything you can get your hands on and immersing yourself in the unique – sometimes funny, sometimes angry, always unfailingly honest – world of Shambles Miller.
TOMIKA – Fall in Springtime [Starts 25:36]
Tomika – aka Leipzig-bsed producer, DJ, videographer and graphic artist Tom Streller blends real instruments with samples to create his own style of music somewhere between electronica and indie music. This is track two on his forthcoming first full EP GOOD PEOPLE AND GOOD NIGHT EP – due out on July 28th via No-Source Music. Its four tracks tell a story of life and death that will be continued in subsequent releases. Tom’s German-language singer-songwriter project – named TomKlein (Tom Thumb?) – can also be found at http://tomstreller.bandcamp.com
JORDAN ALLEN – Rich & Famous [Starts 29:20]
Bolton songwriter Jordan Allen has been simultaneously blessed and cursed by the label “Manchester’s Answer to Jake Bugg” – but he’s so much better than that. This fierce, feisty debut single has a tough energy that owes far more to The Hives or Arctic Monkeys – and carries off the kind of swagger and attitude that young Jake can only dream of. Jord began writing seriously in 2011 after some mates listened to a track recorded on his iPhone on a Leeds college bus – and told him they loved it. “Since then” he says “I’ve played almost everywhere you could possibly imagine – from the Live at Leeds Festival to an Italian restaurant, Manchester Academy, Cockpit Leeds and even the Reebok Stadium.” Sharp lyrics, great attitude and a seemingly unstoppable momentum behind him – what’s not to like?
DEBS MCCOY – Propagate [Starts 32:45]
Debs McCoy was a virtual recluse for almost 3 years due to crippling anxiety, panic & agoraphobia brought on by an employment tribunal against the NHS where she used to work as an Art Psychotherapist. These struggles propelled her back into making music and she’s written & recorded over 150 songs during the past year alone. When she first made our Fresh Faves in July 2012 – a good while before she joined Team Freshnet herself – Simon Poole wrote: “Singer songwriters have it quite hard… the possibilities aren’t really endless, are they? Thankfully from time to time someone like Debs McCoy will come along, make your ears prick up”. Another pundit described her work as “Warm and engaging music from an exceptional musician and visual artist: both fascinating and painfully honest…”. Oh hold on, that was me. But in case you suspect either of us of favouritism toward a friend and subsequent colleague, here’s what Simon Raymonde of Cocteau Twins and Bella Union fame has to say about this music: “very beautiful, haunting and other worldly….I am a fan of what she is doing…and that’s unusual!’
DRUNK MULE – Mon The Weekend [Starts 36:14]
Any regular denizen of our Listening Post here at Fresh On The Net will know how Rich Morris and Steve Simpson weekly contributions – under their collective name of Drunk Mule – embody sharp musical judgement with their own brand of anarchic humour. As for the origins of this new anthem… “A coupla Friday’s ago”, they say “after a long drive home fae Aberdeen in the sunshine a cold Guinness was opened an this tune came out. We just wanted a wee tune tae herald the start o the weekend and hopefully give folk a wee bit o the Friday feelin’ Probably gonnae tweak this a bit fir the album big ma, add a couple mair geetars but just wanted tae get it out there while the sun was still shining!” The album in question is their third – following Crash Test Y’self and I Built A Death Ray – and will be called Shenanigans On The Last Train Home. As opposed to their original workin’ title: Self Harmin’ Voodoo Doll. No wonder this scampish pair have earned themselves a place deep in the heart of the FOTN musical family.
ROBOTALIEN – Friday 13th June, 1985 [Starts 40:00]
RoBoT//aLiEn is a noise pop urchin from Manchester who makes music “like Pavement being caressed by Kurt Cobain and Robert Smith – whilst buying a pair of John Lennon’s underwear from a vending machine run by Pixies.” His 17-track debut album You’re The Problem That Will Not Go Away came out last month through Dead London Records. Only 100 physical copies are being released, and the first 50 buyers will also get a poster and handwritten thank you letter! The startling story described in Friday 13th June 1985 is, he tells us, “actually true! “I broke my elbow badly after being pushed off a climbing frame and instead of calling an ambulance the head teacher picked me up (bone through skin, nearly severing main artery!) and drove me to the hospital instead (endangering my life somewhat!!). Ouch.” RoBoT//aLiEn played a session at the beginning of July for BBC Introducing In Manchester and upcoming gigs include Band On The Wall on September 8th with The Birdman Rallies, London on October 1st at The Tipsy Bar in Dalston, and Manchester’s Carefully Planned Festival on October 20th.
SCULPTURE MUSIC – One Of These Days [Starts 41:24]
Matt Calder and John Shaw began working together in Exeter under the name Sculpture Music last year, inspired by Matt’s work with the Hang Drum, and more recently the Halo: an instrument similar to the Hang but with a deeper richer resonance. The trance-like sonics of these instruments draw comparisons to African music and modern Jazz, with ambient and dance elements coming from the electronica side, all firmly underpinned with a lyrical bass foundation. Drawing inspiration from the likes of Massive Attack, Steve Reich and Portishead, their debut album Minor Songs In Major Keys was released in February 2013.
PAUL MCKEEVER – Sideways [Starts 45:52]
“I am a singer-songwriter from somewhere between Glasgow and Edinburgh who, through the help of two sisters (Jane & Annie), fell back in love with music again” says Paul McKeever. “We sing and play together with the mighty Heart of Scotland Choir and have had a number of amazing experiences ranging from playing in front of tens of thousands of people to performing at the local village hall. This has given me the necessary kick up the backside to write songs of my own, gaining regular recognition from the Scottish New Music Chart. Influenced by a range of different artists – from Gene to Admiral Fallow to Teenage Fanclub – I’m currently working on recording and releasing my first EP Waiting for the Day.” Why can’t more artist biogs be as well-written and interesting as this?
ABI WADE – Boxer [Starts 49:56]
Since releasing her sold out debut EP And Blood And Air in November 2011, Abi Wade has toured the UK & Europe with Patrick Wolf and released a double A 7’’ single (Heavy Heart / Faker) produced by Daniel Copeman of Esben & The Witch. Daniel has also produced this latest single Boxer which was released digitally on July 15th on his own Love Thy Neighbour label. Abi has been supporting this release with festival dates over recent weeks and plays a daytime show at London’s Union Chapel this Saturday (July 27th) followed by the Wilderness festival on August 10th.
MOUSE DEER – Rest Easy [Starts 53:26]
Mouse Deer is the alter-ego of Holly McIntosh, a multi-instrumentalist living in Bristol whose early work was characterised by “lo-fi power pop songs about coming of age in a run-down seaside town fuelled by heartache, hope, escapism, old LPs and cups of tea.” With one EP already complete (The Mouse Deer EP, released in December 2011) and a 6 Music interview under her belt, Holly is currently working on a second release whilst performing a number of shows around the South West of England.