Fresh Faves : Batch 160

Ballerina Black

Artists at a glance


These Fresh Faves were picked by our readers over the weekend – and reviewed by Fresh On The Net’s Raphael Doyle this week. You can hear all these tracks in a single Soundcloud playlist here.


Intriguing hints of Joy Division, The Cure and OMD ripple around in Blue-Ish Grey. Love when the lush soundscape stops dead for a long, teetering moment before sweeping you away again. They call it ‘a collage of Mope Rock and Grave Wave’. Dunno about that, but Ballerina Black triumph here on this track from their EP Whails.

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This reminds me of wine tasting. Hints of this and that swirl intriguingly by your taste buds and disappear before you can name them. One of our voters enthused about the ‘yacht rock vibes’ of Cartoon Shadows. In Gem I hear rock-pop a la Steve Miller, light funk doffing the cap to Jamiroquai and an organ sequence that owes everything to Manfred Mann. This band, based in London and Oslo, are distinctive and convincing.

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Belief by Delaire was the people’s favourite this week: atmospheric, poised and soulful. London based Jenny Burdon aka Delaire is on an interesting trajectory: from last years pop-ish Sold Our Love, through her recent (disconcertingly chilled and slinky) cover of Katrina And The Waves’ Walking On Sunshine – and now to this mature, rich track Belief produced and mixed by Julian Simmons.

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A lovely driving bass line hoiks you into this accomplished rock track. Francisca Valenzuela is a Chilean-American musician and poet from LA and seems to have this genre in her DNA, though her earlier stuff has a more subtle Latino feel. But this track Almost Superstars has subversive, reflective lyrics. Her first two albums went gold in Chile – this one may carve her a niche in the world of English language rock.

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PAUL TAYLOR – Phos Hilaron

Paul Taylor has entranced our ears here at Fresh On The Net before with his piano improvisation As Granada. (I know cos his page quotes us!) Phos Hilaron was recorded this January at the Sage, Gateshead and is a short, tantalising excerpt from a nearly-ready album (called Remain In The Light… or is that just a benediction, Paul?). He also appeared on another of my favourite offerings on this week’s Listening Post, Mono No Aware by the improvising trio The Long Lonesome Go.

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RAVING WILD – Where Quiet Blooms

Raving Wild describe their Where Quiet Blooms as an acoustic indie blues track. It has a looping, trance like quality and the harmonies of Kitty Roisin put space and depth behind the main voice of singer songwriter Graham Iddon from Aylesbury Graham carries the torch high for new and live music and hosts The Ultimate Mixtape on Radio Blackfrog every Tuesday at 8pm!

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T. BURROWS – Be as They Know

This infectious and powerful piece of ‘Biodegradable Pop’ is the debut solo single from T.Burrows, the lead singer and guitarist of Welsh band Memory Clinic. Be As They Know blows your head off for 15 seconds before taking you skipping down the road to a brighter day. Great!

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THE KINGS PARADE – Bunched Up Letters

The Kings Parade have devloped and honed their soulful, bluesy American Rock the old way – gigging and gigging. From Hawiian cruise liners to Ronnie Scotts and the European Festival trek. And listening to Bunched Up Letters you can see how that makes everything that’s in there belong in there. It may not be new but, Damn, they sound good.

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Tweeted by Paul McCartney, endorsed by Hofner guitars and hailing from Liverpool, I wasnt sure whether I should put Thomas McConnell on a pedestal or sit on him. This lad is happening. But there’s a reason. Balloons is a beautiful, brilliant wander through the Elysian Fields of psychedelic pop. Mr McConnell writes, arranges and plays it all and he’s got a sure touch and a great musical imagination. Loved it.

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YOUEL – Pour

From an intro of ice on heartbeats, Pour is a gorgeous, assured soundscape of electronica with a great voice. It comes from Youel – described by Supajam as ‘a London unisex duo’. I didn’t pick up on this one at first but listening to it again I genuinely didn’t want it to end. It’s available as a free download – like their previous single Paper Bones. I think I’ll just play this again….

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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.


Raphael Doyle lives in Saltburn-by-the-Sea and joined our Fresh On The Net moderation team in 2015.


  1. Thomas McConnell

    Thanks very much for featuring my track guys… Really appreciate it!

  2. Great reviews, your enthusiasm for all the tracks really comes through.


  3. Thank you for featuring our song “Blueish Grey”

  4. Fresh on the Net you are heroes! Thank you for the loveliest words Mr Doyle!
    Signed, Viv from YOUEL

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