Jim’s Pick ‘n’ Mix #6

This latest Pick ‘n’ Mix features eight impressive artists who I’ve come across either here at Fresh on the Net, seen performing live, or discovered during my travels across the World Wide Web. All are new or independent musicians though, and the tracks cover numerous intriguing genres from ‘alternapop’, to something that could possibly be called ‘alternafunk’?! Enjoy…

Photo: MATTHEW KERR (by Perry @ The Horn, St. Albans)

Charlie Belle – Metaphorically Speaking
Charlie Belle are an Austin, Texas based trio with an average age of just 15! They are comprised of siblings Jendayi and Gyasi Bonds, along with Zoe Czarnecki, whose debut 5-track EP Get To Know is stuffed full of melodic indie pop gems, which they describe as delivering a “welcomed update of the 90s English ‘alternapop’ sound”. As bright as summer, and with vocals to warm your ears, Metaphorically Speaking certainly hits the back of the net, and suggests that for Charlie Belle, the world is their stage [enough! Ed].
Website | Soundcloud

The Inkhearts – Temper Temper
If you love your indie pop full of energy, melody, and lively vocals, then Temper Temper should be on your radar. It’s a hugely impressive song by this young Skelmersdale 4-piece band, fronted by singer and guitarist Lauren Shaw, who have previously appeared in Fresh Faves 89, 102, and 128. A terrific track.
Website | Soundcloud

The Wealden – My Sign
The track Boyband from The Wealden, aka Tim Dickinson and Justin Quinn from Kent, made our Fresh Faves late last year, and My Sign comes from the same EP, Rushes. Aside from saying it’s excellent, trying to describe the song isn’t straight forward. The distinctive vocals have a bit of a Bowie feel to them, while following on from the Charlie Belle genre, I’d possibly call this ‘alternafunk’. My ‘get out of jail free’ card is that the band themselves say that “if it was easy to describe, it wouldn’t be worth making!” which lets me off I think?
Website | Soundcloud

Matthew Kerr – Sailing Off Before I Go
I first came across Matthew Kerr by chance at an open mic night at The Horn in St. Albans (see main pic), where he performed his experimental mix of folk and funk, and he blew me away with his skills as a guitarist and songwriter, as well as his engaging personality at the mic.
Despite his age (just turned 22) he already has quite a musical CV to his name, which ranges from being a full time street artist to hosting his own band night in Chester for 8 months, while at university there. According to his own site he “travels the world singing and playing his strat, getting involved in all the music scenes”, and is currently in Brazil in order to widen his musical experience, so I hope he returns with more great music very soon.
Website | Soundcloud

Polar States – Concrete
Coming from “The North”, more specifically Toxteth in Liverpool, Polar States only formed last year, and their debut track Concrete definitely highlights their potential. It’s catchy indie pop of the highest order, and they’ve not sat around to congratulate themselves either, as they swiftly followed it up with a double A-sided release at the end of last year.
Website | Soundcloud

Chris King & Hotel Radio – Light Nights
This is the stunning title track from the recent album by this Americana influenced singer-songwriter from south Wales. It’s a mellow song, possibly best heard late at night, but you’d probably fall in love with it over breakfast too. Turn the lights off and play on repeat.
You Tube | Twitter

Jamie Hamilton – Emily, settling
The multi-talented Jamie Hamilton, who hails from Darwen in Lancashire, does pretty much everything on his songs (vocals, guitar, bass, drums, & programming) which possibly sets him apart from some singer-songwriters. He was recently on the Listening Post with the tender and excellent Past Midnight, as well as in Fresh Faves 102 last year, but Emily, settling adds a moody electronic vibe to the acoustic mix. A definite earworm.

Damien J Brennan – Hold Me
Appearing recently in Fresh Faves 137 with his powerful track Blood & Roses, the Listening Post voters certainly fell for the beautiful soft folk rock of Damien J Brennan, who comes from County Down in Northern Ireland. Hold Me certainly maintains that quality, with his bruised vocals and intricate guitar work creating another gem.


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. Nice one Jim lad

  2. I just happened to come across this post online today and I wanted to thank you so much for featuring our music and for saying great things about the band. Never in a million years would we have guessed that people in the UK would enjoy our music.

    Hoping we get to see everyone over there really soon.

    Jendayi Bonds
    (Charlie Belle)

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