Jim’s Pick ‘n’ Mix #2

Forget fizzy cola bottles, flying saucers, and fruit salads, there’s nothing retro about this second Pick ‘n’ Mix, which again highlights a broad range of talented bands and artists, and includes a bit of beard growth in Norwich, some Scandinavian noir, and soggy leaves on the line in, well where else… England!

AkiraTheDonPhoto: Akira the Don

PORT ISLA – Steamroller
In their own words, “On a good day, Port Isla are a four piece band formed in Norwich. On a bad day, they cover 80’s power ballads, complain about beard growth and argue about the correct usage of knots.” In my words, there’s no need for them to worry about beards or knots, as they produce outstanding folk rock with strong melodies and addictive sing-along choruses. Last December they also released possibly the best Xmas song since I was in shorts, which was quite some time ago!
Website | Soundcloud

THE HOSTS – Give Your Love To Her
There’s a wonderfully euphoric 60s feel to this track from Sheffield band The Hosts, which originally surfaced last year, but is getting an official release on May 5th. Your mum will surely love this one too.

SERA – Fireworks
The delicate arrangements and lush vocals on this heart-warming folk pop song are surely guaranteed to put a smile on your face. A quite charming song.

Leeds band Invisible Hands hit the indie bullseye in this energetic track, with powerful drumming and impressive guitar work. It’s what The Stone Roses might have sounded like if their LP was played at 45rpm!

AKIRA THE DON – Rain In England
Better known for his rap and hip-hop tracks, this is an unexpected but hugely welcome pleasure from the artist known as Akira The Don. With essentially just a piano and his calming voice, he has created a delightful ballad with poetic lyrics that demand your attention. Wet leaves and trains eh?
Website | Soundcloud

MOURNING BIRDS – The Last Thing (I Need)
If you love an uncompromising racket, then look no further than this raucous garage track from Kent band The Mourning Birds, which follows up their previous excellent tracks Oh Yeh, and Eve of the Isle. If it were made into a ringtone and you used it as your morning alarm call, you’d never oversleep!

IAN ROBERTS – Come Outside And Play
London based Ian Roberts is a singer-songwriter who certainly knows how to create a catchy and lively pop tune. An ideal start to the summer.
Website | Soundcloud

GRACE SARAH – Every Now And Then
Despite having started her musical journey in 2012 at the tender age of just 14, Grace Sarah has already produced some impressive music. Her mature vocals and the great arrangement in this mellow pop track provide a great example, and she is definitely one to watch!
Website | Soundcloud

EMIL FRIIS – The Other Side
This dark and haunting track from Danish artist Emil Friis is a real grower, with impressive vocals reminiscent of Lou Reed. Surely a future track for the credits of a Scandinavian noir TV series or something equally magnificent?
Website | Soundcloud

FANS – All This Time
I can’t quite pin down this track, which is described by the band as “dark pop noise”. I’d also add grungy post punk, but it also has a bit of The Strokes or even Ian Curtis in the vocals, and a bit of The Arctic Monkeys in the guitar work and the melody too. Answers on a postcard please (or in the comments box below) when you’ve improved on my description of this excellent debut single!


Jim Craigen

I’m a St. Albans based music enthusiast and relatively tall person. I’ve a fairly eclectic taste, but exploring new music from independent and emerging artists is something I especially enjoy, which is how I came across Fresh on the Net in the first place. Additionally I'm a keen consumer of radio and vinyl, and am in charge of beards (& music) at Alternative Friday. I can also be found sharing more impressive new music on Twitter, Spotify, and Soundcloud.


  1. …some great tunes on that list 😉

    Thanks for your support man


  2. Go there Jim with the great music selection,good on ya mate

  3. Steve Harris

    Great selection, Jim. Mourning Birds definitely woke me up, and Emil Friis intrigued. I’m with you on Fans too, I think all those influences are there — psych, grunge, gaze, surf — and the result is this paradox of an impeccably well executed, heavy duty guitar track with a pop sensibility. WTF! Love it.

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