Fresh Faves: Batch 96

Bare John

Artists at a glance


BARE JOHN – All Love Makes

Stoke-on-Trent five-piece Bare John sound like Fleetwood Mac. And when I say that they sound like Fleetwood Mac, I mean that they absolutely, undisputedly sound like Fleetwood Mac, unlike some pretenders to their throne (I’m looking in your direction, Haim). All Love Makes has all the hallmarks of a track that should be found slap bang in the middle of Rumours, although they do add their own slant to it during the final 2 minutes by veering head first into heavy rock territory. It may be familiar, but by gosh, it sure does sound fantastic.

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Darkher is the latest musical project from Jayn Hanna, who hails from either Leeds or Middle Earth, depending on which source you rely upon. Hung is a dark, brooding track which treads the line between gothic and delicate to great effect.

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ELOISE KEATING – Be My Ghost (The Green Light)

Portsmouth based teen Eloise Keating wrote and played all the instruments on Be My Ghost (The Green Light), a song loosely inspired by The Great Gatsby. The minimalist sounding electronic track, coupled with Eloise’s lovely vocals, calls to mind a cross between Lana Del Rey and Lorde.

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HONEYFEET – Buried My Husband

Honeyfeet describe themselves as “Manchester’s finest ethio-trad, folk-hop band.” And who am I to argue with that? The sextet display a smorgasboard of influences on their tale of viricide, Buried My Husband, with elements of hip-hop, funk, soul, R&B & whisky soaked blues to create a song that sounds simultaneously like the sound of 1924, the sound of 1974, and the sound of 2014 – all at the same time.

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Native of Guelph, Canada Jessy Belle Smith has already impressed many people before she even reached The Listening Post, counting 6music’s Cerys Matthews amongst her many admirers. John Mouse shows just why she is held in such high esteem – it’s a song which highlights Jessy’s soulful voice over a tune that is as twee and jaunty as a song about rodenticide can possibly be. Her new album The Town is released on February 28th through Choose My Music Records.

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LUCAS O’CONNELL – Wandering Girl

Is New Zealander Lucas O’Connell playing one guitar or two on the dark, acoustic folk track Wandering Girls? If he’s only playing the one, then I can only assume that his fingers are powered by some sort of fuel unknown to us mere mortals, quite possibly unobtanium, given the plucking speeds he reaches throughout the track’s 7 minutes. It features on his debut album Songs To Sleep On, which is out now.

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POLKADODGE – Laughing In Spanish

Polkadodge are four guys from Sheffield who make finely crafted tunes with a pop-punk bent. Laughing In Spanish is their latest single, which whilst perhaps being a tad long for a song of this kind, does show off the band’s knack for crowd-pleasing chorus. And in a year where similar artists like You Me At Six can top the album charts, there’s definitely an audience for a band like Polkadodge.

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It seems as if everybody that is anybody has been lining up to remix Manchester duo Shield Patterns, with Alt-J and Dutch Uncles among the names who have rejigged their material. They really didn’t need to though – take one listen to Dust Hang Heavy and it’s clear that they’re pretty much perfect the way they are. The song is a sensual, hypnotic track, sort of how you imagine Kate Bush might sound like if she was starting out today.

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You’ve all heard of folktronica, that genre mixing folk music with electronic influences popularised by Tunng, Four Tet et al. But what do you call music that mixes folk with UK garage influences? Garagetronica? I’ll let the genre lexicographers decide on that one. Until then, we can sit back and enjoy The Last Song, a collaboration between 18 year old composer/violinist Tom Misch and singer-songstress Carmody, a track which juxtaposes delicate dual vocal folk with the freshest beats the early 21st century has to offer.

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WOODEN ARMS – December

What do you imagine a song called December sounds like? If the words “orchestral”, “folky”, “wintery” and “somber” entered your head, then you might just love the song in question from Norwich septet Wooden Arms. On the track, the band mix delicate piano with luscious strings and trip-hop inspired percussion to create something quite beautiful. December is part of a recently released double A-side single alongside Tide.

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Wooden Arms

PS from TR: If you’ve submitted a track that hasn’t made the Listening Post you’re welcome to re-submit it another week. If your music has appeared on the Listening Post but not in our Fresh Faves, feel free to send us an even stronger track another week. However, if we’ve recently featured you in our Fresh Faves – or on my BBC Introducing Mixtape – please hold back 2-3 months before sending us another track, so we can give other new artists a chance… For more info see Robinson Has A Good Old Moan.


Christopher McBride is the Belfast-based captain of The Metaphorical Boat, a music blog & podcast dedicated to new music, brilliant music, and the glorious intersection between the two. He has also written for Drowned In Sound & Chordblossom, and has been on the judging panel of the Northern Ireland Music Prize from 2013-2020. Has a known penchant for Battenberg cake.


  1. shay

    ‘Hung’ by Darkher is a track of exceptional beauty.

  2. Thank you so much for picking Jessy Bell Smith for this weeks Fresh Faves. She is such an amazing talent, and we feel very lucky to have her on Choose My Music Records.

  3. Sophie L.

    Well, can’t stop listening to the ‘Last Song’ and love it!!

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