Fresh Faves: Batch 87

Desperate Journalist

It’s Monday and once again it’s time for our weekly ‘Fresh Faves’ round up. As always we’d like to give massive thanks to all the artists who submitted their tracks and to all the Fresh On The Net listeners who dropped by to hear them.


Desperate Journalist formed less than a year ago, but are already making considerable waves. With hints of REM at their most visceral, Organ possesses that truly epic sound that bands can never really find if they go looking for it. This is a musical leviathan, with a chorus that is destined to send stage lights flooding over swollen seas of festival-punters, unleashing a squall of peeling guitars and soaring vocals as it breaches the uneasy calm of the verses. If you like your music straight from the gut, look no further.

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GEORGE BOOMSMA – How High The Mountain

How High The Mountain is a short and sweet acoustic love song, perfectly capturing that sense of a fleeting yet timeless moment of contentment that imprints itself on your consciousness for the rest of your days. George’s voice is pure and clear, gliding effortlessly over the gentle picking of the guitar and winding about the sonorous string lines with ease. Like that happy memory that warms the soul on a cold winter’s night, you’ll want to hit rewind and relive it again.

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There’s a kind of musical alchemy going on here as just the right quantities of sparse percussion, foreboding piano and sweeping horns are combined to create and irresistible slice of gloom-pop. There are hints of Anna Calvi and Kate Bush and by the time this expertly crafted and meticulously produced song reaches its final refrain you’ll find yourself quietly mesmerised by the beautifully intricate vocals and intertwining strains of melody and counterpoint. With just one track on their Soundcloud page and a bio which simply reads, “Brother & Sister. London & New York.” there’s an air of mystery here, which makes things all the more intriguing.

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Jonny & The Giants were hugely popular with our listeners this week and it’s easy to see how they fell in love with this track whose every note seems to drip with emotion. Guest vocalist Jenny Burdon’s serene, icy tones are arresting to say the least and when the two singers combine the result is a powerful, almost cinematic experience. Coupled with a heart wrenching sing along chorus, this makes for a potent mix that will doubtless continue to enchant the owner of any ear it touches.

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The Dress is a beautifully haunting, campfire tale of a song, which flickers like a flame, casting shadowy laments of the past. That it was recorded live in a puppet theatre is not only hugely impressive but also augments the dark and dreamy sensibility of the music. You can almost imagine apparitional marionettes acting out the vivid pictures painted by the lyrics; of the love, loss and woe all bound up in the memories of a cherished object. The Dress is taken from Marina’s ‘My own little piece of sky’ EP which is available via Marina’s Bandcamp page.

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Mutant Vinyl is the alter ego of Liverpool based songwriter and musician Edwin Pope, who draws on aspects of jazz, trip-hop and funk to create his own unique, intoxicating blend. Lavender is a gin-soaked haze of a tune, ruminating on the small hours of a night in the city, from the bright lights to the gritty underbelly. The hypnotic, head nodding groove at its heart allows the rest of the music to evolve fluidly as Edwin switches effortlessly between vocals and sax in the verses, before opening up into the sweeping, surreal layers of the chorus which seem to tease out the underlying paranoia and intrigue of the lyrics.

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SNIPPET – Celebration

Next up is Snippet, one of the several musical incarnations of our very own Johnno Casson, with an infectious ode the pure joy of creating music, the virtues of the DIY ethic and the fun side of life in general. Our listeners clearly caught the bug in their droves and were no doubt left dancing around the room with smiles as wide as Cheshire cats, much as I am whilst writing this. Uplifting and triumphant, this track has the power to brighten up even the gloomiest of days as it implores everybody and anybody to pick up a guitar, grab a tambourine, clap your hands – whatever, just get involved in the party!

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The Shallows’ Soundcloud bio reads like a grand manifesto where, amongst other things, they describe their music as, “reflecting the mindless world leering from the other side of the glass,” and “an expression of our survival, preserved in art”. They’re clearly not afraid to make big bombastic musical statements either, as evidenced by this stadium-sized epic that would be at home on the daytime playlist of any self-respecting indie station. Strutting and swaggering like some kind of twisted indie bond theme, this is the sound of a band that’s going all out and don’t give a damn who knows it.

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YNGCULT – Sides Of War

Yngcult are another act who favour an enigmatic approach. Clearly content to let their music do all the talking, all we know is that they’re from LA. However this matters not, as this is definitely a case of a tune speaking a thousand words. Lush vocals are underpinned by hazy dubstep beats and euphoric synths which will inspire pangs of nostalgia in old school jungle fans during the breakdowns. Chilled and blissful, this is the perfect soundtrack to that after, after, after party, as you cling to the remnants of a fading all-nighter and attempt to keep the realities of the day at bay for just a few more minutes.

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James Robins

Originally from Manchester, in 2011 I came down to London to intern on Tom’s BBC 6Music show and ended up sticking around. Music has been central to my life ever since I can remember, so I'm loving being a part of Team Freshnet. Otherwise I can be found digging through dusty vinyl in musky record shops or arriving unfashionably early at gigs.


  1. Nicely written James & some fine tracks

  2. Jenny

    Monsters by Jonny and the giants is one of the best thins I have heard in a long time!

  3. Thanks everyone for voting Snippet & for the lovely words James.
    It never stops being a thrill to be involved )

    Johnno aka Snippet

  4. Thanks guys, this really means a lot to us!


  5. Another fine selection, eloquently reviewed. Thank you James and the Freshnet team.


  6. Well happy with review of ‘The Dress’ thank you 🙂

  7. good girl and the bad times

    such kind words. thank you. we are totally stealing ‘gloom-pop’ x

  8. Thank you so much, James! Love your blurb about me – going to use it for my bio! (Hope you don’t mind!) x

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