This week’s Fresh Faves are reveiwed by one of our newest team members here at Fresh On the Net, Ola Szmidt. She’s an astonishing artist whose music we’ve all admired on this blog long before she became one of our moderators. This is her first ever Fresh Faves review for us, her words bursting – like her music – with life-affirming passion and energy. Those words are all the more remarkable for the fact that English isn’t even her first language. You can hear all these songs in a single Soundcloud playlist here. Tom Robinson
BEGGARMAN THIEF – Family
For a start the song sounds beautifully crafted. As soon as the kick drum hits the floor my feet are tapping to the rhythm and I forget about everything around. Even though the vocalist sings about feeling alone, a sad subject, it does make me love spring more and gives me my dancing shoes. The vocals are stunning and powerful all the way through. Good build ups and drop downs of dynamics and lovely guitars (à la Phoenix) are introduced in verse two adding a really cool vibe to the production. I wish to hear more rough demos like this one! “Family” is going to make you feel better on a bad day. After a couple of listens the lyrics and melody are stuck in my head. I don’t want to compare them to other bands. They do have their own sound.
BELLA SPINKS – Regenerate
I’m virtually clapping to this impressive Brighton based songwriter. Are you ready to follow the white rabbit into the hole? Bella’s music is a Wonderland. “Regenerate” is raw and minimal. Her voice and lyrics need no extra sonic elaboration. Additional production would veil their purity and mute the evocative world she has created. Close your eyes and listen to her poetry. You’ll recognise great influences like Regina Spektor, Joni Mitchell and Kate Bush. Bella has supported an impressive list of artists such as Rae Morris, The Staves and Ellie Goulding. It will be interesting to see what the future brings for Bella. The rest of the tunes on her soundcloud come highly recommended.
COLD, COLD HEART – Megan
If this ear warming post rock lullaby doesn’t touch you deeply or bring you to tears, then I don’t know what will! It was created by Robert Manning, Chris Daniel and Andrian Jones in their bedroom studio. I can sense a good chemistry between the members as the track sounds like they deeply understand each other’s musical space. It is reminiscent of the profound “Spiegel und Spiegel” by Arvo Pärt. One could also make comparisons to early compositions by The Album Leaf, Mogwai and Pillowdiver. A soundtrack for soothing nerves and repeated headphone listens. Their music would suit a live performance in the grand, reverberant setting of a church or cathedral.
DAH RHYL GAH MOOR – Prawn
My personal favourite from the mysterious duo producers. Love and goosebumps from the first listen. I’m a massive fan of Cafe Del Mar, K7 and Ninja Tune jazzy and downtempo productions. I can say with confidence, that “Prawn” would fit on their shelves The song is the ideal companion to nocturnal melancholy. What caught my attention at first was the addictive bass line and a vocal so smokey, that you can taste tobacco in the air. Lyrics are blended perfectly with the atmosphere reminiscent of Portishead, Fat Freddy’s Drop and Alice Russell.
KINGCAPISCE – St Jude
Another headphone mode diamond! I’m not Nostradamus but I predict a bright future for this Sheffield based jazz fusion collective. Imagine Portico Quartet, Jaga Jazzist, Mogwai and Explosions In The Sky thrown into one musical well, this is how King Kapisce sounds to me: complex, imaginative, unpredictable and satisfying jazz ear. To appreciate this piece of music I listened to them while on the train. It was unforgettable.
LOS AND THE DEADLINES – Feel at Ease
Raw and joyful! Loved this crazy sonic ride with these boys from London! Hold onto your head as it might come off from the hinges. If Sofia Coppola or Quentin Tarantino knew about them, these rebels from London, they would certainly end up on a soundtrack or two. They are touching uncomfortable and proving thoughts. Their sound scratched my walls : blissful and kind of love sick. I’m reminded of Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Incubus, Rage Against The Machine and Queens Of The Stone Age. Need I go on ? Go and listen to their music. Mind blowing arrangements.
MOONBABIES – Pink Heart Mother
Quoting their soundcloud :”The Swedish duo Moonbabies serves up a delightful blend of pop rich in electronic textural soundscapes and entrancing melodies synonymous with their Scandinavian homeland. Influences ranging from Fleetwood Mac to Air, the husband/wife duo comprised of Ola Frick and Carina Johansson Frick give their songs a modern twist that would find them fitting snugly on a mixtape alongside bands like Blonde Redhead, Beach House and Hot Chip”. If you are getting ready for the party or throwing a pillow party well here is your background music, incredibly fresh and juicy production. I watched my arm filling with goosebumps while dancing to this tune with my daughter earlier today. I’ve got a feeling that this tune will take over many dance floors in Europe and beyond. Let’s see where their hard work and passion will take them. I’m sold. I love the track and adding to spring favourites.
RIVER CARS – Bye Bye
I love the lyrics and the sweet and sleepy yet uniquely beautiful vocal. The song itself is as light as a dandelion with Ariel Pink style dreamy arrangements. In fact, I ended up listening to the all River Cars’ songs and was reminded of Tahiti 88. If you ever feel down – seek out River Cars. They will drive you out of doom.
TIN FOIL ASTRONAUT – Without a Sound
This was my ear worm over the whole of last week. Truly a “wake up & go” song. Retro and springy. I took it with me for a bicycle ride .Maybe I’m a little fussy, but I wish it could be little shorter and could have less compression on the drums. That’s me audiophil, sorry. Either way 8/10 in Ola’s personal favourites and I will listen to it in clouds while drinking tea!
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.