Artists at a glance
ARIEL SHARRATT & MATHIAS KOM
COLONEL MUSTARD & THE DIJON 5
THE BLACK SPARROWS
These Fresh Faves were picked by our readers over the weekend – and reviewed by Fresh On The Net’s BENJI TRANTER this week. You can hear all these tracks in a single Soundcloud playlist here.
AMETHYSTS – Wreckers
Wreckers is dripping with cave-like reverb – shades of The XX and London Grammar here. Amethysts are led through said cave by the light of a delicate yet deliberate guitar line. As they trudge along, the pair sing their wistful tune. I love their bittersweet, languid delivery. The production, layered, textured and nuanced, gives this track yet another level. Personally I would love to hear a bridge/middle eight to offer some relief, but there is an argument for the unrelenting build of the song exactly as it is, of course…
ARIEL SHARRATT & MATHIAS KOM – Fuck The Government, I Love You
Both members of Canadian troupe The Burning Hell, Ariel Sharratt & Mathias Kom, deliver something even more deliciously quirky here than their (also excellent) band ever has before. Presented as a conversation, the pair reminisce about how they met at a New Year’s party, all in a classic ‘guy and girl’ duet format. The lyrics here are, as always, sharp and witty, and their confusing and stumbling delivery perfectly matches the chaotic — yet charming — night described throughout the song. Sharratt’s vocal and Kom’s signature baritone waltz along beautifully side by side, interspersed with swirling, lilting clarinet solos. It’s a wonder to behold – I dare you to listen and not to crack a smile.
COLONEL MUSTARD & THE DIJON 5 – These Are Not The Drugs (You Are Looking For)
What the Colonel Mustard & The Dijon 5 have here (besides the most fantastic name) is a perfect feel-good groove. The euphoric stomp is loaded with tongue-in-cheek guile. It appears to be advocating the legalisation of recreational drugs (there are many reasonable arguments both for and against this; I will not go into either here) but the hooks here will find their way into the ear of even the most straight laced individuals. The Glaswegians (voted Best UK Act at the Pure M Awards 2015) sound perfectly suited to the festival stage – and if they’re reading, I suggest they should endeavour to play at next year’s Nozstock: The Hidden Valley [a personal favourite of mine – the best small/’boutique’ festival in the UK IMHO] – you’re perfectly suited for each other!!
DELTA DAWN – We Are One
The next offering is from Delta Dawn, hailing from lovely ol’ Brighton. We Are One is anthemic, rousing, and uplifting. If the song’s title is a statement of intent, then it works, because by half way through I want to put my arm around the strange imaginary bloke stood next to me at the festival in my head. Startled, he spills his overpriced lager on my shoes — he would normally be a little annoyed, the lager cost enough as it is — and I would be a little peeved myself (had I not sort-of caused it), but my shoes are already ruined by the mud! However, none of any of this it matters one smidgeon because guess what? WE ARE ONE DAMN IT! That’s how it makes me feel. Have a listen for yourself.
Delta Dawn play upcoming dates at The Dublin Castle and The Bedford, London, UK.
FLIES+FLIES – Bury Your Young
Bury Our Young is a dark and brooding slow-burner, and yet its purposeful and direct introduction had me hooked in seconds. The somewhat knowing and perceptive delivery seems to give a real insight into the singer’s mind in the opening phrases, and while the song may feel a little unfocused towards the second half, the enticing, tangible textures more than make up for this.
Apparently Flies+Flies played a show from inside a plastic projection cube, and another in a disused dentist surgery! I imagine their live show is where it’s at and I know this track would be even better in the flesh.
NIHILS – Not A Man Of Violence
NIHILS are an alternative pop group from Austria. Their James Blake-inspired samples and breaks are all the rage right now, and the style is put to great effect here. The track opens strongly, and personally, this reviewer believes that the song is at its most powerful when developing lyrically near the beginning. I think perhaps that the song repeats itself a little unnecessarily from there in, but the hook is great so why not? These are merely the thoughts of one man and are probably outweighed by the opinions of NIHILS’s fanbase of almost 10,000… Good luck fellas!
SECULAR GHOST – The Bystander Effect
This track from Secular Ghost (Ryan A. James, based in South Wales) is an exquisite, atmospheric piece of social commentary through trip-hop. The lyrics sinisterly command “cut out eyeholes in your mask; they’re windows into your soul, painting pictures of your past.” The dense, claustrophobic arrangement drives these powerful visceral images home. If I had to give this song a naff high-school style award (and I really don’t) then it would be “Most likely to score the closing credits on an episode of Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror” (not the first time I have been reminded of the dark satire programme in the past week, but for very different reasons). Listen for yourself and you’ll see why.
THE BLACK SPARROWS – Dirty Lips
Be sure to wipe your mouth before getting up from the table after dinner, or else you might find you’ve got yourself a new best friend.
The Black Sparrows deliver a lustful, depraved mess of a song in Dirty Lips. This anarchic, chaotic tune is perfect for when you want to give in to your weird side. They recently recorded their upcoming LP Tiskie Tapes, (a reference to the Polish Lager? I hope so) at Cariad Music Room (“an exciting new studio next to Brockwell Park in South London”). If this cut is anything to go by, then this LP will be a must have for the slightly insane.
Also of note – their merch includes beer mats. Good call.
WARM BINARY – Two Machines
Following a mysterious and intriguing introduction, Two Machines blasts, thumps and stomps its way into view. This is powerful, electric synth-pop reminiscent of M83. As if Metronomy were much more angry, or New Order all took steroids. The track develops more intricacy as time goes on, revealing a full throttle affair, conjuring a huge matrix-style future-rave in my mind’s eye. Is that what your mind’s eye wants to see?? If so, LISTEN!!
The elusive Warm Binary are based in Los Angeles, CA. That is all we know…
WEDNESDAY’S WOLVES – Silver For The Boatman
Last, but certainly not least…
Wednesday’s Wolves are childhood friends who met in Sri Lanka of all places. Their folk inspired Silver for the Boatman is adorned with close harmony and delicate guitar picking. An ethereal wonder, the track is grounded through the assured vocal and instrumental performances of Ysabelle Durant and Chrissy Renker. The track builds and grows into a wall of sound, and really entices this listener as it does so. Their brand of folk has such polished, accomplished, commercial viability, and is not a little reminiscent of the Corrs in fact. I wish them all the best!
Though they have no upcoming gigs listed, they can usually be found frequenting folk festivals. If not they might be in Oxford…
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.