Fresh Faves: Batch 118

Artists at a glance


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

BLOOM – Animal Spirit

I very much doubt you’ll hear anything else this week quite like Animal Spirit by Bloem de Wilde de Ligny, aka Bloom. The self-described dreamstep artist mixes brass arrangements with the wobbliest of wobble basses on the song, topped off by the vocals of Ms de Ligny, which are as sensual as they are off-the-wall (the chorus, if you could call it that, consists solely of meowing). The nearest comparison to her would be Bjork, but I doubt that even she would create something as downright bonkers as Animal Spirit. Or downright brilliant for that matter.

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CHIMPSHED A. D. – Mother Goose

If progressive garage isn’t a genre yet, then it’s fair to say that Dorset duo Chimpshed AD may have just invented it on Mother Goose. The song has a real homemade, ramshackle feel to it, yet is filled to the brim with interesting electronic ideas. It’s taken from their self-titled debut album, which was released in June.

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It’s fair to say that Wigan based guitarist James G Wilson has a sense of humour, for of all the words that one could use to describe his instrumental composition, Dirge is not one of them. It’s an impressive solo guitar piece, with Wilson showing off a dexterity and skill on the fret boards that would make other classical guitarists a little bit green with envy.

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JOEL PETER – Chase You Down

Brighton based singer-songwriter Joel Peter sure does have a knack for a great pop tune. His song Chase You Down is an infectious afro-pop inspired tune that has a little bit of The 1975 about it. You can’t beat the lovely harmonies in the chorus.

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JUSTIN DEAN THOMAS – Standing In The Door

Standing In The Door by NYC based Justin Dean Thomas is an interesting nugget of lo-fi Americana, with Thomas playing all the instruments and producing by himself. Obviously all those years spent hitchhiking across the USA have had a great effect on his sound.

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Alongside bands like And So I Watch You From Afar and 65daysofstatic, Leicester four-piece Maybeshewill are among the biggest and most respected bands post-rock bands plying their trade today, and have done so on as self-sustaining a basis as possible , being both self-managed and self-producing. Their fourth studio album, Fair Youth, is out in August, and taken from it is In Amber, a song that although heavy, contains within it a delightful melodic core.

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OWEN DUFF – The Magic Mountain

Northern Ireland born, London based singer-songwriter-videomaker Owen Duff has given us a great cinematic gem in The Magic Mountain. Taking its inspiration from the Thomas Mann novel of the same name, the string-laden song floats along so effortlessly that you don’t realise until its finished that it’s nearly 8 minutes long, and not a second too short or too long.

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It was quite surprising to learn that Salford Crime Wave are from Philadelphia, given that the sound of their single Get Well sounds takes a great deal of influence from some of the best electronic bands from the UK of the 80s and 90s. You can hear elements of New Order, The Beloved, Depeche Mode and Pop Will Eat Itself in this darkly tinged yet highly enjoyable electronica number. The song’s taken from their Punters E.P, which came out last month.

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SYKES – Gold Dust

London trio Sykes are a band who are destined for great things. To date they’ve supported The Wombats and American Hi-Fi, played both Glastonbury and Bestival, and their video for their latest single has already notched up 35k plays on YouTube. It’s not too hard to see why they’re doing so well, their latest single, Gold Dust, is a finely produced alternative pop track, one as rare and special as, well, gold dust. If Ellie Goulding released this song as her new single, it would go straight to number 1 for weeks on end.

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Riot Song by Yorkshire’s The Little Unsaid is an intriguing little gem indeed. When the song starts with a dark American folk guitar, you might expect the song to be sung by some whiskey-dunked vocalist. Instead, the vocals of John Elliott are almost heavenly, and act as a great juxtaposition to the gloomy vocals. And those heavy rock orchestral swells? Just exquisite.

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London band The Shallows are no strangers to us here at Fresh On The Net, having made our Fresh Faves back in December. Ghost is taken from their recently released E.P Fear and Hope Vol.3, and is a bombastic, anthemic, stratosphere-scratching indie-rock number. With their highly polished, rather catchy sound, it’s anybody’s guess as to why they’re not bigger than they currently are.

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Closing us out this week is Brighton resident Matt Carrington, who records under the moniker White Peaks. If Only is an expansive synth-led track, albeit one with a wonderful pop chorus hidden beneath its layers of electronic goodness.

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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.

Our next Listening Post will open on September 5th and artists will be able to submit tracks to our Dropbox from September 1st. Until then, we wish you a very enjoyable August.


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. Happy to be included with such accomplished tracks – thanks for the votes and the nice write-up. I promise I have shorter songs on the way!

  2. Thanks so much for including ‘Riot Song’, and for the kind words, Christopher. Hugely appreciated and always great to be alongside so many fantastic independent musicians.
    Have a good Summer break, Fresh Faves folk!
    John x

  3. Nice work Mr McBride!

    Keep them long, if long they need to be Owen 🙂
    Fabulous to see Owen, James Wilson, Sykesband & the rest of the batch too to be honest!

    A great week for a great institution. It would be fantastic to attract upwards of 100 voters. Maybe we can make a concerted effort to raise awareness of the marvel that is ‘the Listening Post’ after summer recess?

    Bon Vacation to all those travelling over the holiday period

    Respect as always to Mr fresh and the fresh mods.

    Honesty with Ape Love

    Dan xo B-)

  4. Marilu Cancel

    So happy for Justin Dean Thomas!! He is awesome! Great artist!! Love you amigo!! ????

  5. SYKES

    Thanks for the support Christopher!! SYKES xx

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