BBC Mixtape 13 Jan 2014

Empty Pools

Artists at a glance


Download or subscribe to Tom's BBC Introducing Mixtape


The BBC Introducing Mixtape is a 60 minute radio show and podcast broadcast on BBC Radio 6 Music from 2-3am every Sunday night/Monday morning. Each show is available as a podcast for 30 days at the BBC 6 Music downloads page. The full tracklists and start times are published here at Fresh On The Net with biog information supplied by the artists. Previous tracklists can be found via the MIXTAPE tab above or on the BBC website.

All tracks on the mixtape come from the BBC Introducing Uploader: some are recommended by BBC friends and colleagues – the rest are tunes I’ve discovered here while listening to our Fresh On The Net inbox. For more about how the process works see this post. These are the listings for the episode broadcast at 2am on the night of Sunday 12th January (technically the morning of Monday, 13th January 2014:

EMPTY POOLS – Slack Tide [Starts 0:17]
Having made our readers’ Fresh Faves here no less than three times already, two weeks ago Empty Pools featured in our Mixtape roundup of favourite tracks from 2013. In the interests of fairness – given the sheer weight of deserving contenders – we normally try to leave a good 10-12 weeks clear before giving any one artist a repeat plug. However my BBC producer Adam Hudson loved this single from Empyty Pools so much that we made a rare exception and used it to open the show this week. Slack Tide comes from their debut album, Saturn Reruns which was released on November 4th on Battle (UK/AUS/NZ/EU) and Enclaves (worldwide). The band’s next confirmed live show is Tues February 18th 2014 supporting Speedy Ortiz for the NME Awards at Birthdays, Dalston, London.

THE DRINK – Wicklow [Starts 05:10]
The Drink have already been discovered and played by Lauren Laverne & Tom Ravenscroft on 6 Music and listeners to NowPlaying@6Music recommended them to me as one of their radio highlights of 2013. At the time I struggled – as one does all too often – to find the tiniest scrap of factual information about the group online. For the Introducing Mixtape however, David Stewart from the group springs to the rescue: “I realise The Drink have been quite mysterious and hard to track down – purely accidentally” he writes. “We have gone from the unpronounceable to the ungoogleable. To sate the curious: Dearbhla Minogue sings, plays guitar, and writes songs about junkyards, playgrounds, sleeping beasts and petit mals. I play bass, Daniel Fordham plays drums. Outside The Drink, Dearbhla is also one-third of The Wharves, sometimes one-third of Shield Your Eyes, and has featured on Dublin’s Any Other City and Popical Island labels. David and Daniel were the rhythm section of London pop-post-rockers Fighting Kites. Wicklow comes from The Drink’s second EP, called Two. Our third EP – the imaginatively titled Three – will be released early in 2014.” The band play a London show at Indo, Whitechapel, on 28 January.

ROYAL BLOOD – Out Of The Black [Starts 09:07]
“Earlier this year, Brighton duo Royal Blood made their first public musical statement – a 3 minute slice of thrilling, primal rock & roll called Figure It Out that appeared unannounced on the band’s Soundcloud page but was soon picking up serious plaudits. Now. Royal Blood are pleased to announce details of their debut single. Available on 7″ and download, the self-produced Out Of The Black was released on 11th November on Black Mammoth Records. It’s a single that wrings the maximum amount of noise, aggression and pure youthful exuberance out of the most minimal of ingredients, featuring nothing more than Mike Kerr’s vocals and bass and Ben Thatcher’s drums.”

Beaty HeartBEATY HEART – Seafood [Starts 13:07]
Beaty Heart first formed at Goldsmiths University in London in 2010, and we featured their debut single “Too Good” on 6 Music Introducing back in June 2011 – noting at the time that three of the band’s four members were drummers. Fast-forward two years and this track Seafood was the first single lifted from their upcoming debut album Mixed Blessings, due out early 2014, and it’s since been followed by a further single called Lekka Freakout. Recorded during the summer of 2013 with producer Dave Eringa at the helm the album, we’re told, “sees the band strip back their sound, whilst retaining their strong percussive backbone. Remaining as positive as it is progressive it offers up as the perfect introduction to Beaty Heart’s off kilter, left field alt-pop; intoxicated throughout with a playful naivety.” Their next two gigs are in London at Koko on January 17th followed by Huw Stephens Presents at The Social on February 11th.

LVLS – It’s Only Love [Starts 17:17]
Hailing from Manchester, LVLS (Loveless) is “an indie-rock band formed in Spring 2013 consisting of Jay Gibb, Emily-Jane Conlon, Paul James, Charlotte Hughes and G Knott”. We included the song Photographs from their debut EP 2 For Joy on this show – and that irplay was followed by an appearance on September’s National BBC Introducing Mixtape. When the band submitted a further track to us at Fresh On The Net last month they chose this song Its Only Love, which was one half of their debut double A single from February 2013. Our readers liked it enough to vote it into our Fresh Faves – and we also scheduled it for tonight’s mixtape. And then on Wednesday we got a promotional email saying they had just released a brand new EP called Teenager two days earlier – which was the first we’d heard of it. By then it was too late to change the mixtape, but you can hear all three of these new tracks at and catch them live in Manchester at the Ruby Lounge on January 30th.

Robjn - click to zoom image in new window SECRET PIANO ft ROBJN – Next To You [Starts 20:49]
Cambridge-based singer Robjn not only works in the fields of Graphic Design and Video Art alongside his musicmaking, but appears to be something of a serial collaborator. It was his work with Shaun Wallace under the project name of Laserlong that first caught my attention back in 2009 with their track Book Called Mistake. He also produces the music of Icelandic artist Sjorn Björnsson under the name of Cliff Child, and his website features a formidable body of adventurous music and video work from the past year, made both on his own and with other artists. However the only piece of music to be found on his profile at BBC Introducing Uploader is this vocal collaboration with the artist known as Secret Piano whose identity I’m obviously not at liberty to divulge. On the Secret Piano Facebook page, Next To You is embedded with the following cryptic lines: “Outside the hospital, I squinted in the harsh morning sunlight. I could hear birds chirping in the tree, but even though I searched for them, they remained hidden from me.” Robjn’s own Facebook page declares: “Our previous success is no guide to future performance”. Go figure.

BON-BON – She Don’t Want To Know [Starts 23:49]
BON-BON is the guise of singer-songwriter Sian King, who despite only having previously releasing a couple of demos online, has already shaken up the online new music community. Catching the ear of The Guardian’s Paul Lester, BBC 6 Music’s Tom Robinson, Amazing Radio’s Ruth Barnes and BBC Introducing’s Gary Crowley along the way – plus playing a set at Glastonbury last summer, 2013 was a busy year for the South Londoner. Her debut EP was released 25th November 2013 via AWAL. This stunning debut showcases Bon-Bon’s soulful indie-pop and powerful distinctive vocals. Her first single from the EP is the title track She Don’t Want To Know.”

ANDREW FOSTER – Personal Legend [Starts 27:21]
Andrew Foster is a songwriter and musician conjuring atmospheric indie-pop from his home built studio on the South Coast of England. Influenced by psychedelia, electronic synthesis and traditional songwriting sensibilities, his music spurs variety and individuality. The auspicious release of two EP’s within six months cemented Andrew Foster’s place supporting rock legend Terry Reid on his UK tour; other supports include Passenger, Hard Fi and Charlene Soraia. With an ongoing guitar sponsorship, 2014 will see Andrew Foster predominantly playing on the Arts Centres’ circuit, subverting the conventions of a solo artist. Later in the year will bring the anticipated release of his studio album Science & Magic which will explore themes of religion, rationality and our human condition.”

THE PORTRAITS – Malala [Starts 30:26]
The Portraits are husband and wife alternative folk duo Jeremy and Lorraine Millington, who have been played on BBC 6 Music and performed six times at 2013’s Glastonbury Festival. Their sound is a warm fusion of folk, music theatre, jazz and classical styles with beautiful harmonies and their material is strongly influenced by their own experiences of travelling the world and encountering its forgotten corners. In 2014, The Portraits embark on a tour of some of England’s most stunning buildings, from village halls to churches in hidden beauty spots, raising awareness of a cause close to their hearts following the death of pianist Jeremy’s dad from Leukaemia: the urgent need for more bone marrow donors. They are capturing the sounds of their audiences singing different parts of the song during the tour and using these on the final single, due out in the summer, to form a musical collage of English voices that will hopefully help to spread the message far and wide. They play Acoustic Routes, Cambridge on Jan 18th followed by St Peter And St Paul in Shoreham on Feb 8th, then shows throughout the spring and early summer in Tring, Bude, Padstow, Sawbridgeworth, Farncombe, Cirencester. Pangbourne and La Rochelle in France.

The Lottery WinnersTHE LOTTERY WINNERS – Heavy Heart [Starts 34:00]
Born in Salford and raised on romance, The Lottery Winners can be found pottering somewhere on the musical spctrum between the blithe Beach Boys and the suffering Smiths. “The songs are the most important thing in the world to me” says frontman Thomas Rylance. “I grew up listening to all the painfully miserable eighties bands like The Cure, Smiths and Joy Division, but in all honesty my desire be on stage was Freddie Mercury’s fault”. We’ve featured their previous singles Elizabeth and Learn To Sleep; Heavy Heart is released this Sunday January 19th on Hubris Records – the label of my old friend Steve Levine who also produced the record to the band’s obvious delight. “In 2013 we’ve supported Jamie Cullum, worked with Steve, been on telly twice, done loads of radio interviews, had our first XFM plays, got verified on twitter, our first ever tour, loads of festivals, released our first ever proper music video and then two more after it and loads, loads more. But we’ve also met lots of really lovely people, and we thank you all so much for the support you give to us.”

FANTASTIC FANTASTIC – Houses [Starts 37:29]
“After both producing music independently, London based Kris Small & Micke Lindebergh recently formed Fantastic Fantastic. A unique summer pop sounding duo. After djing together around London, it was always inevitable Kris & Micke would form Fantastic Fantastic, in which both produce write and sing. A Globally tinged Summer pop sound gives the duo the ability to glide seamlessly over decades and borders. Debut track Houses is gaining fast momentum after being played on BBC introducing and Amazing Radio, where it was a Favourite New Track Of The Week. The duo are currently playing shows around the UK and working on a Debut EP. The singles cover art is designed by Dutch Artist Jordy Van den Niewendijk.”

THE HORN THE HUNT – Black Fire [Starts 41:32]
Emerging from a winter spent in Greenland, The Horn The Hunt formed out of a burning desire to make challenging pop music. Currently based in Leeds, UK, the duo of Clare Carter and Joseph Osborne
are augmented by drummer Conor Lawrence on this track Black Fire which was recorded in Cragg Vale and Leeds, and released as a single last September. For 2014 Clare and Joseph are performing live with a full band featuring heavy synths, desert guitars, bass, drums and powerful vocals. This new lineup makes its debut appearance at the monthly Cat Lovers showcase at the Queen of Hoxton in London on Saturday, 25 January. “We are very excited about this gig” they tell us. Be there or be square! More details on Facebook.The Horn The Hunt - click to zoom image in new window

CASBIEN BARR – You Can Only Hope It’s True [Starts 45:52]
Casbien Barr is a musician and producer making, he proclaims “Grungy Glitch Pop Electronic RnBMadness in South East London. A one man army, Casbien Barr composed every decibel, played every part, penned every lyric, mixed and mastered every track of everything he has so far released.” You Can Only Hope It’s True comes from his 6-track EP Complicated Animals released in June last year, and a new single called Beg Your Pardon? is expected at the end of this month.

EMERGENCY DOOR RELEASE – Chester Zoo [Starts 49:58]
I’ve been following the progress of Newcastle’s Emergency Door Release ever since frontman James Rooney first contacted me on Twitter back in 2011, and it’s been interesting watching how drive, energy and sheer gritted determination has propelled this band forward over the past two years. When it comes to making their mark on the national psyche in 2014, the essential next step will be to develop a clearer vision of exactly what the band is about and what makes them unique: the sense of collective identity that will makes their T-shirt a must-wear item for future fans. Once a group achieves that focus then the music, lyrics and visuals all fall into place and the band becomes a rallying point – a gang that people want to join. The signs are good: EDR are heading into the studio this month to record a brand new single; it’ll be released in April supported by a UK tour. Watch this space.

WHITE ROYAL – Embassy [Starts 54:02]
We started this mixtape with Empty Pools and end it with empty profiles. You know how this goes. A band sends us a brilliant piece of music, we select it to close our mixtape – and we then do our best to whet your appetite with a bit of info and context…

BBC Uploader Profile

So much for the factual information White Royal supply to the BBC for radio presenters to read out on air. But – perhaps more importantly – what do they say to potential fans about themselves on Facebook?

White Royal Facebook biog

“We are a band”. Brilliant. Guaranteed to get people wearing your T-shirts by the hundred. Here’s what we say about  How To Write A Band Biog and why we think it matters.

ARTISTS: After appearing on The BBC Introducing Mixtape you may well receive unsolicited email from at least one plugger saying they heard your track on the show, thought it “sounded fantastic”, and are wondering if you’re looking for promotion for your releases. Please check out The Pros And Cons Of Pluggers before responding to any unsolicited emails from anyone suggesting that YOU should pay THEM for services of any kind.

Tom Robinson

London-based broadcaster & songwriter, born 1950. His best known songs are 2-4-6-8 Motorway, Glad To Be Gay and War Baby; he has also co-written songs with Peter Gabriel, Elton John, Dan Hartman and Manu Katché. Read More...


  1. You have taken a lot of time and effort to represent these lucky bands in the best possible light. I am sure they appreciate it. I am in awe of it 🙂

  2. massimo zeppetelli

    Love Royal Blood!

  3. adam

    loved the secret piano/robjn track, more please!

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