Fresh Faves: Batch 171

Merry Ellen Kirk

Artists at a glance


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


This is a right soulful mess of goodness’n stuff, no mistake; electronic shenanigans with plenty of human vocal interplay.

Andre Tajchman is based in London and originally from Ville de Bruxelles. I’d imagine James Blake is an influence, James Blake has been a massive influence on so many up and coming musicians, hasn’t he? And Bon Iver, and Florence + Her Machine.

He’s got loads of videos on his YouTube if you fancy some visual Andre. With a single FOE out soon, following the release of Weird Kid. It’s a promising time to discover this talented fella.

Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

BIG TOOTH – Annie Girl

What a great vocal! Echoes of Josh Kumra rush to my mind, but it’s a unique offering indeed.

I confess an overlong acoustic guitar intro (IMO) had left me impatient to hang around for the joys to come earlier in the weekend, but I’m glad I returned, and I returned because you sweet Fresh On The Net listeners voted it into our Fresh Faves — thank you.

I will also confess that bands who title themselves Alternative Rock usually make me run a mile, as it’s just not to my personal taste. When listening to their songs I can tell within 2 seconds how things are going to play out, and I rarely like it — I know, what a moany git that Johnno is, but I’m just talking my truth that fell from my brain to fingers.


Here’s the thing: Big Tooth and Annie’s Girl are really good and I really like what this London 5-piece are doing!

No. Johnno no, don’t go to the other side, cry my Alternative Rock-hating friends, endless texts and emails about the state of Johnno’s mind are sent and the subject explored under a microscope, but I say this to you guys: Don’t judge a book by its choice of genre on Facebook.

  1. Facebook is shite with music categories.
  2. There is a massive Alternative Rock scene who are now considering taking me down and out of the game.
  3. Big Tooth are bloody good (as other songs on their Soundcloud page will testify, I recommend Kevin).
  4. Artists usually have an eclectic range of songs that cross genres anyway.
  5. Facebook is shite with music categories.

I’d go as far as to say this has a pop flavour about it. I love the West Coast harmonies and the mix of sounds, and can easily imagine this pumping out of many a radio. To my ears, it sounds well made, well played and a really fine tune indeed.

I don’t care what my friends think (Because he hasn’t got any friends anymore — Ed.)

Official | Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube


I much like this tune by Liverpool’s Emilio Pinchi, a lovely turn of phrase, engaging voice and deft pop sensibility are brought to the fore in Naps.

He sounds like an old soul in a young man’s body, and is no stranger to Fresh On The Net after making the Fresh Faves in December last year. Our own Tom Robinson described him thus: “You’d need a heart of stone to resist Emilio Pinchi’s fresh confessional lyrics and low-key throwaway delivery. It’s a beautiful, authentic performance that never sounds like it’s trying too hard, yet carries absolute conviction.” Couldn’t agree more, Tom.

The good thing about Emilio is he sounds ready to go and you can bet your bottom dollar that he will deliver live what he does on his recordings; he keeps it simple and relaxed too. He got my fave pick this week because of his confident delivery that has a tinge of melancholy and a dash of pop sparkle.

This is folk music for wet Wednesday evenings, this is pop music for bright Sunday mornings, this is world music for everyday people.

Isn’t Liverpool just the greatest of places? Pop music is installed at birth and you chose how you will use it. Emilio uses it with a relaxed flare that will serve him very well indeed. No need to wrap him in cotton wool, point him in the right direction and let him fly. Luck on the journey laa!

Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter

FOREST AND DOVE – Burning Blue

This starts off like it’s going to be Echo and the Bunnymen meets The Jam in their early days, and then goes somewhere else instead. Is this Alternative Rock? Oh feck.

Actually this Spanish 4-piece deliver something punchy and powerful and settle somewhere you might expect a band like The Stranglers to once have positioned themselves, with a 60s vocal undertone as a bonus.

Singer Richard sings about “going back to bed and giving head” (dirty boy) and “soaking the bed” (filthy boy). I’ve listened to it four times in a row, and I really want a leather jacket, a motorbike and a dirty mouth now.

Their debut EP, Pleasure To Burn, is out soon.

Forest and Dove are:

Bass: JJ Casteleiro
Drums: Oscar Caramés
Guitars & Voice: Richard J. Dowling
Percussion: Leap Hamilton

I bet they are really great guys and only a bit dirty-mouthed.

I really enjoyed listening to Burning Blue, and it certainly resonated with our readers / listeners, so many thanks, guys.

Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Bandcamp


Thanks, I Think I Broke Something, if I wasn’t fully awake, I am now.
Blistering dance, punk and electronics combine on a mind-bender of a song.

I don’t know why, but this took my mind back to dancing my face off to bands like The Woodentops at Shoom (a game-changing London nightclub).

These guys are from Finland, and release their music via Jet Set Trash Records. Looking at their profile pic, I can imagine them kicking off big style in the middle of a forest and scaring the granny out of the locals — wonderful.

This is music made by people with a lot of electric.

We are getting a broad church of styles on the Listening Post these days, and it’s all the better for it. You voting ITIBS into the Fresh Faves is proof that it’s reaching (in this case, from Helsinki with love).

These boys come to remind you that you are alive. Noisy and proud!

Official | Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

LEE GORDON – Beach House

Lee Gordon is from Norwich, just down the road from me, and man does he have a big voice.

By the looks of his Facebook page, he plays some lovely venues, and he’s got a plethora of videos filmed in nice wood rooms and churches. I like Beach House and like even more the live rendition in St Andrews Church, Hingham, Norfolk with a brill double bass player (Darren Woolner), who has a great understated delivery.

Though Lee is well travelled, I think his best work is in front of him. He has what some might call a great rock voice, but he does acoustic very well indeed.

Beach House is a lovely song and one that resonated with our listeners. Good luck on the journey, Lee.

Official | Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

MERRY ELLEN KIRK – Lovers & Liars

Damn you and your beautiful gently high lady voice, Merry Ellen Kirk. You made something beautiful and threw my Sunday afternoon into a dandy swirl of loveliness!

How wonderful to always be Merry! I try to be, but y’know, it’s tough out here on the streets of Colchester.

Merry is from Nashville, USA and makes what she calls malleable pop music with a dreamy sparkle.

I get that, this song is like a dream played out in a beautifully decorated sparkly grotto, whose walls slowly morph into a magnificent and slightly gothic cave, revealing goblins’n cauldrons’n mysteries’n flowing hair’n shit.

This is a bit a lot wonderful.

Official | Soundcloud | Facebook | YouTube | Bandcamp

NOVO AMOR – Anchor

Oh deep joy! Novo Amor had me as soon as their strings starting a buzzing in the intro and then Ali stepped up and sang — heartbreaking belly butterfly swoon!!!

  • Bon Iver and James Vincent McMorrow on their shoulder to guide, tick!
  • Epic soundscapes, tick!
  • Moving & emotional, tick!
  • Vocal tone a thing of beauty, tick!
  • Johnno going a bit soppy, tick! …and, er, tick!

And to rub salt in the wounds of the lonely lo-fi bedroom musician, this is the work of one man — Ali Lacey — and he just pissed all over your chips (in that case, hold the onion vinegar).

Ali was born in Wales in 1991, and is very talented. What is it about Wales and quality musicians?

Some might argue that an artist achieving many sync placements in TV shows and commercials, wide-scale press coverage and Soundcloud plays in the hundreds of thousands might not need exposure on Fresh On The Net?

I look at it like this: the song was submitted fairly, it was picked by our team of moderators for being a standout track, it’s brilliant independent music as well as being a fine song in its own right. I think Ali is a great example of how to be ‘getting on’ in the game. There is a real synergy to Ali’s work, the songs, the videos, the photography etc, so tip of the hat, I reckon.

Ali is the living proof that aligning talent with music that has a similar feel and sound to other artists on the market will always widen your appeal and get you many work offers. This is not to detract from what Novo Amor do, it’s an observation that they are canny operators and I’m a fan, they made me swoon all over my Sunday afternoon.

Official | Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter


This has a real nice flow and vibe about it. The Self Help Group are from Brighton, and they are quite a busy self help group with 6 practitioners in their practise, namely Ian Blisczak, Mark Bruce, Clara Wood, Sarah Wood, Paddy Keeley and Jamie Fewings.

They say of themselves we are a Brighton band making pretty music about mostly miserable stuff, fair do’s.

I think they are merely teasing us with Luigi’s Waltz, it’s a blooming tasty tune, but dig a little deeper with this band and you will find even more jewels than a Spanish Armada, all wrapped in melodic gold.

Bet they sound great live, in a huddle, taking on the world, all practitioners doing their thing as only true professional practitioners can.

They release music on the fine imprint, Union Music Store and give good video too.

I wonder if they take referrals?

Official | Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter


I thought this was another stateside artist, but no, Ali Ingle aka Tilt Shift Music is from Liverpool-you can find out more about him via his Facebook page. It’s got a wonky easygoing indie vibe about it, and comes over like The Kinks’ Lola reimagined as a cult indie classic from Nevada or maybe Idaho.

I can’t give you lots of info on this band, other than to say this song resonated with you, as it did me.

The best I can do is close my eyes, imagine I’m driving through a desert in a Cadillac. It’s hot, I see dust kicking up in my rear view mirror, and though I start my journey with a gentle tap of finger on the knee of my 501’s to the song’s beat, it’s soon apparent that I am tripping my face off on desert cactus, weird episodes of freak-out distorted voices enter my ears, my brain and eventually my blood stream; I can’t make out what they are saying, but I want to understand, I want to appreciate, I want to give myself to this voice — to this music. I’m daring my car to drive faster! Faster! Faster! As the refrain “feet on the ground, head in the sky” makes me shudder with ecstasy, I’m now smoking Marlboro tabs at a furious pace. I catch a flash of myself in the rearview mirror, and oh my lord, my sunglasses look so cool and that hat!! Damn boy, you are a stud of epic proportions! My stetson is baring the brunt of the wind (and winning big time), the sky is just so… so… so beautiful. I smoothly dodge a rock on the road, and at once realise that I rule the whole (Western) world. No one can touch me, no one can even get near. My name is Colton, and I rock!!!

Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

Emilio Pinchi

PS from Tom R: 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.

Johnno Casson

Johnno Casson is a London-born/Colchester-based singer, musician, songwriter and show-off. He also compiles and releases compilations and is a serial supporter of new music. Johnno releases his own music as Snippet ,Old Tramp and also under his own name Johnno Casson.. As far as we know he was the most-played artist ever on Tom's legendary late night Fresh On The Net radio shows on 6 Music - having been featured no less than 18 times and appearing as an interview guest. You can also find Johnno on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube...


  1. Excellent reviews! And I’m not just saying that. You really get your teeth into the songs and it was great reading through your take on all the tracks here.

    But people may be disappointed if they expect me to have a dirty mouth! I urge them to read the lyrics and make up their own mind!

    Anyway, all of us in the band are really honoured to be amongst such great songwriters and artists. And I am particularly pleased to have “Burning Blue” compared with the groups you mentioned. May I use your review for promotion? (Not in dirty mags, of course)

    Once again, thank you for a well-written and in-depth review. I know how much work it must be and please be assured that it is much appreciated.

    All the best,


  2. Thanks Richard for that,considering my casting aspersions on the state of your mouth that was a lovely comment.

    Feel free to quote the review and such like and massive luck with it all


  3. Johnno – great words to some top tunes!

  4. Great review Johnno!

    It prompted me to listen to these tracks with different ears and give them a new appreciation. Is there an end to your talents man?

    Best wishes,


  5. Thanks Big Jim and David

    Its always a joy to write up the faves


  6. Derval

    Well that’s the chocolate, flask of tea, packed lunch finished, just rolling up the sleeping bag til next time! (When you up again, I might take a mini break before the next batch!)

    Me oh my Snips, you got any ink left in the quill after that??
    You’re writing has a life of it’s own… beats to it’s own pulse.
    Love it. And always have such fun tweeting it – brightens my week in dullsville.
    XXX Derv

  7. Derval

    Did I just write you’re – that’s the 3rd time this week – argh

  8. My quill is always fully loaded Derv 🙂

    Big thanks


Trackbacks for this post

  1. Annie, You Are One Lucky Girl : Big Tooth – Single Review | dervswerve
  2. EP Review : There Is Nothing Trying About Emilio Pinchi | dervswerve

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