Fresh Faves: Batch 108


Artists at a glance


These Fresh Faves were picked by our readers over the weekend – and Team Freshnet stalwart Christopher McBride from The Metaphorical Boat reviews them for us this week. You can hear all these tracks in a single Soundcloud playlist here.

CROOK – Captain

Crook is a musician from Ireland, and there doesn’t seem to be much information about him beyond that on his various web pages (although he appears to hail from lovely Limerick, and his first name may or may not be Steven). Captain is taken from an E.P produced by Van Morrison guitarist Dave Keary, and is a nice little acoustic folk number, although I must say I do like his own self-description of his music – blue suede shoegaze.

Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | Bandcamp

FAUNA FLORA – As The Story Goes

Hailing from Lancaster in Pennsylvania, Fauna Flora is a band fronted by Steve Ward, who in a previous life was a member of 90s power-pop outfit Cherry Twister. Their song As The Story Goes is an atmospheric indie-rock tune that is both soulful and beautiful, and not a million miles away from the sound of The Neighbourhood either.

Official | Soundcloud | Facebook | YouTube | Bandcamp


LA based Jay Woodward wrote, performed and mixed Letters We Told by himself, and it is from this album that Howl is taken from. It was the overwhelming favourite track from The Listening Post this week, and it isn’t hard to see why so many of you fell for it – it’s a fine song that manages to sound expansively produced whilst still managing to sound emotional and personable, calling to mind artists like Harper Simon.

Official | Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | Bandcamp

JOE KEMP – Twilight

There is a real timeless quality to the music of Leeds artist Joe Kemp, in that you can’t be sure whether Twilight was recorded in 2014 or at some other point in the last 50 years. It’s a classy little nugget of soulful-jazz, the kind you’d expect to hear at respectable upmarket restaurants.

Official | Soundcloud | Facebook | YouTube | Bandcamp

LOOM – Yosoko

Midlands four-piece Loom certainly seem to have things going rather swimmingly for themselves at the moment – they’ve won praise from NME and Time Out, been played on Radio 1 and XFM, and supported The Rolling Stones at their Hyde Park excursion. Yosoko is their latest single, which is a stellar example of punky rock that gets straight to the point.

Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube


Circles by LA based quintet Machineheart has been picking up a lot of love on blogs recently, and it’s not hard to hear exactly why. The song is bouncy indie-pop number that’s instantaneously catchy and fun. It reminds me a little bit of Chvrches in terms of vocal style and song structure, albeit a version of them that decided not to neglect their guitars.

Official | Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube |

PETE BEAT – Even Though I Just Imagined It

Pete Beat would appear to be Newcastle’s answer to Beck, if his song Even Though I Just Imagined It is anything to go by. The song mixes classical sounding piano with elements lo-fi electronica and acoustic guitar, a;; topped off by the idiosyncratic vocals of Pete, which when listened to from a certain angle might be mistaken for those from Mr Hansen himself. Lovely, breezy stuff.

Official | Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | Bandcamp

ROO PANES – Tiger Striped Sky

Dorset’s Roo Panes is by no means a stranger to Fresh Faves, having made the cut on more than one occasion. Tiger Striped Sky will be released as a single on June 23rd, and is a gorgeous, spacious acoustic folk song, calling to mind little bits of Nick Drake and Bon Iver. He’s currently touring the UK in advance of the release of the single and his upcoming debut album, so if you want to catch him before he inevitably explodes in a massive way, now is the time to do so.

Official | Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

ROUGH ISLAND BAND – On Periglis Sands

Rough Island Band hail from St Agnes in the Isles of Scilly, where the population stands at approximately 80 people, with many of their songs inspired by the culture and community of the island. On Periglis Sands is inspired by the beaches of St Agnes, and a wonderfully, evocative traditional sounding folk tune, one that makes me want to get on the first ferry straight to the isles.

Official | Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Bandcamp

SWORDS – Buildings

Swords are a three-piece band based in Dublin, and presumably take their name from the town situated a few miles away from the Republic’s capital. Buildings is an industrial sounding electronic-rock track with quasi-gothic hints to it, courtesy of the vocals of Diane Anglim.

Official | Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube |

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.

But if we’ve recently featured you in our Fresh Faves – or on my BBC Introducing Mixtape – please wait three months before sending us another track, so we have space to help other deserving artists… 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. Jim

    Great reviews Chris & congratulations to the artists too!

  2. Nice reviews Chris – And congratulations from me to the bands too

  3. Joe

    Thanks for the kind words and for featuring Rough Island Band as one of the Fresh Faves this week. We are very happy to be put forward alongside some truly stunning music.

  4. Steve Harris

    Many excellent tracks on there. Great write-up Chris!

  5. Tip top reviews of tippety top drawer new music

  6. Great reviews Chris and some top class music
    Debs x

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