These Fresh Faves were picked by our readers over the weekend – and are reviewed this week by Team Freshnet’s Shell Zenner – AIF’s newly-crowned Festival Blogger Of The Year 2014 and much-loved presenter on Amazing Radio.
You can hear all these tracks in a single Soundcloud playlist here.
ART CLASS SINK – Someone To Try For
Oxford four piece Art Class Sink have previously been described as “psychedelic” or “shoegaze” in some reviews. While there is an edge of that in Someone To Try For, it’s the pop sensibility and incredibly catchy melody that hits your ears. Delving deeper I see that Kit from Trophy Wife (I still miss you TW) was one of the producers on their ILLA EP – which makes a lot of sense. According to the internets, their next EP will be recorded with Mark Gardener from Ride, so who knows where their sound will progress from here. But one thing’s for sure: it will be in my ears
AZTEC CORMORANT – In Serenades
Aztec Cormorant is the name of the latest album and musical project by London based composer and producer Matthew Gilbert Linley. This breathy, layered electronic beauty has Maud Waret on vocals and an impressively extensive range of instrumentation, even down to the bleeps and blips. Crossing from electronica into shoegaze and dream pop, Gilbert is clearly not afraid to push boundaries. It’s especially nice to hear the influence of Mark Peters from Engineers on production duties. Matthew plays drums in Engineers too!
FILTER DISTORTION – Neon Lights
A heady mix of 80s synth electronica from the Liverpool band Filter Distortion – who release their debut album Transition next month. This track Neon Lights showcases a great vocal range that’s almost Dave Gahan in places. With commercial appeal a-plenty, it’s as visual as it is aural and sits well alongside Liverpool contemporaries such as Outfit.
GANGS – Daisy
Dublin’s Reekus Records have a pretty awesome set of lugs on them in my view. Of late they’ve released both Death In The Sickroom and Buffalo Sunn who I’ve been spinning. Daisy – the debut single from Gangs – is their latest release: a bouncy retro-tinged guitar stomper that tells the tale of a love affair with Dublin through the eyes of a local teenager. You can never be in a bad mood listening to this. You’ve done it again, Reekus Records – high five!
LIFECYCLE – The Big Picture
With growling guitars, tribal rhythms and in your face vocals, London based Lifecycle demand your ears on The Big Picture. Our own Tom Robinson featured their previous single Dissolve on his BBC Introducing Mixtape back in March this year. Since then they’ve spent the summer months in the studio recording with a view to putting a new album out. Keep a keen eye and ear out for it !
LUNAR RESCUE – Matriarch
It could be an arcade game from the late seventies but if you delve a little deeper you’ll find that Lunar Rescue are visiting Planet Earth (where they dwell in Cardiff under the human aliases of Andrew Lawson and Benn Willis) to drop this new ditty Matriarch. Fond of a story or two, they say that their music was ‘formed in the bowels of a dying star in a distant galaxy far far away and has travelled light years to reach you’. I do wonder if that star was called ‘Studio’ 😉 In all seriousness, Matriarch combines atmospheric and folk in the most beautiful way. It sounds pretty intergalactic to me!
PAUL STEPHEN TAYLOR – As Granada
The Guardian described his music as “gorgeous” as well as “an ungodly mess”. One thing is for sure though, Paul Stephen Taylor is an accomplished pianist that creates an incredible intensity to his music, it’s emotional and yet unique. His piano improvisation As Granada has entranced ears on Fresh On the Net this weekend. It’s taken from the album Askance if you want to hear more
SOPHIE MORGAN – Wilderness
Back in Fresh Faves 79 Sophie Morgan put Team Freshnet’s Sam Lee in a trance like state with her hypnotic vocals. Now a year later, the Widnes based singer / songwriter is back in the faves again with this new track Wilderness. To these ears, the gentle tenderness of her vocal recalls Lucy Rose. Sophie’s sound certainly belies her years and I simply can’t wait to hear more!
TAN VAMPIRES – Paper Cranes
A cursory glance told me that Tan Vampires were from Portsmouth. But then I noted they are releasing Paper Cranes on Choose My Music Records – a label famed for their work with unsigned American bands – and did a double check. Yep, I was right to check: their hometown is Portsmouth, NEW HAMPSHIRE. Of course! Paper Cranes is a lovely indie-folk ditty with a wonderful melody and the most uplifting brass I think I’ve ever heard! (It was also Lauren Laverne’s MPFree choice on BBC 6 Music last Monday.) Their Facebook tells me that lead singer Jake is right on my page too – credited with “vocals, guitars, mental lapses”.
TOBY HAY – The Waterfall
Either my emotions are running riot or else this weeks Fresh Faves have heightened my senses. Either way, the gorgeous folk baroque guitar tones of Mid-Wales musician Toby Hay are certainly something to get intense about. His Marteg EP was released on Cambrian Records recently and he’s been championed by BBC Radio Wales too!
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.