Artists at a glance
PLUME OF FEATHERS
These Fresh Faves were picked by our readers over the weekend – and reviewed by Fresh On The Net’s Steff Lane of Jupiter Falls fame this week. You can hear all these tracks in a single Soundcloud playlist here.
BARON & BYRNE – Cinnamon Sticks
Not being a connoisseur of this type of music, I was intrigued to find out more about Baron & Byrne. This tune is certainly interesting and I was hoping to gain knowledge as to how they formed and what they’re up to now. Alas, no obvious information is available, apart from the fact that they are based in London (see How To Write A Band Bio). Lasting for the best part of 8 mins, this tune could easily be a contender for one of the longest ever tracks featured on the Fresh Faves. The musicianship is of excellent quality and once you get into the swing of things, it’s very hard to escape its clutches. C’mon guys, more info please – you deserve it!
BUCK – Underneath The Glow Of My Skin
Bring on the synths – especially in this way. Retro maybe, fresh definitely. Old School can be New School if done in a certain way. Deep, yet accessible if you tune into the right channel, the vibes got my adrenaline going, which is all that music is about. Psychedelic — yes. Psychotic — no, unless my psychosis differs from yours. Buck is the solo project of Ed Jones who happens to be a member of Masters Of France who, incidentally have recorded not far from me – lovely little studio in Penrhyndeudraeth. Maybe I’ll meet them one day!
JAZZ MORLEY – Set Her Free
Jazz Morley has been touring the UK for the last 6 years. The 26 year old Dorset girl certainly has a great voice and has gained support from the likes of BBC Introducing, Time Out, Music Week and The Huffington Post alongside a growing number of fans. Set Her Free (released August 2015) reminds me a bit of London Grammar in both style and instrumentation, which is a good thing! A gentle, delicate approach building up to a strong crescendo – nicely done! Produced by David Trotter and mixed by Grammy Award winner Cameron Craig. You can view the video for the song here.
JONAS CARPING – The Last Approval
Sometimes you hear songs that sound familiar, but you just cannot pinpoint the source. This is one of those songs. That rolling bassline with those slide guitars — magic — is it Mark Knopfler or am I putting myself into Dire Straits? I’ll pull myself out of the Menai Straits and confirm that this is actually a gentleman called Jonas Carping from Stockholm, Sweden. International music is booming and it’s lovely to hear non-English first language artists succeeding. Welsh is my first language, so I fully appreciate what Jonas has achieved. Talking about achievement, anybody remember ABBA? I rest my case.
LEWIS BOOTLE – Do What I Need
How do you define Rap / Hip-hop? Maybe there is a structure but the rules were redefined when Eminem came along, right? I am suggesting to you that this genre is yet again being redefined thanks to a certain Lewis Bootle. Thank you Lewis for giving me afresh and new approach on this style. Much appreciated! Lewis, who resides in Hertfordshire, oozes talent that goes way beyond his subtle reference as being “with guitar, bag full of lyrics and a medley of beats to offer my connectivity between rhyme and music.” Lewis, you have connected with a lot of people this week, me being one of them. Your message has been delivered.
NISHE – Lose Control
Now, here’s one that I’m awkward about, for good reason may I add. When you hear a song (which sounds familiar), but you just cannot place it. Lose Control has accomplished this task. That chord sequence, done with a lovely deep synth, progressing with guitar and percussion makes me think that I’ve heard it before. Maybe I have, but in another format – remember that I ain’t no spring chicken no more (Does that mean you are??!! – Ed). Sometimes, but not always, a minimal approach is all that is needed. Lose Control highlights this approach, it’s tight — believe me. It takes something special to construct this kind of track — congrats! Nishe are an alternative indie rock band from London consisting of 3 members: Giovanni Zappa, Harold Wilson and Thomas Romer-Smith. When you think that you’ve heard it all, I’ve lost control again. Top tune guys!
PLUME OF FEATHERS – First Date
First Date by Plume Of Feathers is one of the shortest tracks on this week’s Fresh Faves, but oh boy, does it pack a punch! I just love the quirkiness of the guitars – an instant feel-good factor that makes me happy to be alive appreciating good tunes. Sometimes I wish all songs could be like this: grab me by the throat, stretch my ear and like it or not, force me to listen. Then it’s over and you’re inclined to press the replay button, which I did more than my usual. First Date will be released as a single on October 30. If available on vinyl, be careful not to wear it out. Big up Glasgow/Bristol.
SHOWSTAR – Smile. No
On first hearing this track, I was hearing New Order’s Blue Monday, but by now my ears are burned so take no notice of my subjective hearing. We all interpret songs in our own way. Having said that I could have been listening to Radiohead minus Thom Yorke or The Police without Sting. But the truth of the matter is I’ve just been listening to a lovely composition by Showstar, whose music I find hard to define. This is one of the objectives of Fresh On The Net, to discover new talent and music that does not fit into the norm. The ability of any given song to conjure more than one manifestation makes that song special in my book and leaves behind the realms of the one trick pony brigade. Welcome Showstar, you fit the bill perfectly!
TESSERA SKIES – Such Great Heights (Raindrops)
Newcastle band Tessera Skies have previously been featured on Fresh On The Net and the BBC Introducing Mixtape. Described by Q Magazine as “Gorgeous art-mospheric pop brimful with the landscapes of their region.” Their latest offering, Such Great Heights (Raindrops), is showing a natural progression in this talented band. One of my faves of the week!
VANESSA FORERO – Heaven Knows Master
Composer, performer, author? The multitalented Vanessa Forero is all of them. Vanessa has been composing since the age of 9 and has mainly written film/TV scores and songs for other artists. After being selected by Brit award singer/songwriter Beth Orton to write and perform with on her UK shows, Vanessa decided to record, perform and produce her own material. Her debut EP From The Uproar is due for release in December 2015. Vanessa has also co-written a book about her mother’s extraordinary life, The Girl With No Name. This girl is certainly making a name for herself!
WENNINK – Dissolve
Is it a good thing when a new artist sounds so similar to an already accomplished artist? Well, in my honest opinion, yes it is, and judging by the number of votes that Oliver Wennink, who is the man behind Wennink, received in this week’s Listening Post, most of you listeners agree. Oliver, who hails from Brixton, openly admits being influenced by Thom Yorke, and this peach of a song demonstrates this to great effect. Dissolve could have easily sat alongside the tracks of Radiohead’s OK Computer — it is truly a well-crafted song. Produced by DJ Matt Allaby and mixed by John Monkman (Get Physical), Dissolve fades one’s consciousness backward and forward and inwards and outwards in a surreal way for its 6:13 duration. Likey very much!
Closing on a Radiohead theme “I’m on a roll, I’m on a roll this time, I feel my luck could change” — it’s been a glorious day! Wishing all that have been featured on this week’s Fresh Faves the very best!
PS from TR: If you’ve submitted a track that hasn’t been picked for the Listening Post, our team has still definitely listened to it and there’s no need to send it again: feel free to send us an even stronger track another week. The same goes if you were picked for the Listening Post but didn’t feature in our Fresh Faves.
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.