Last week we received just over 130 tracks via our inbox here at Fresh On The Net. As usual in December, there were a number of seasonal-flavoured tunes, which we moved to their own Christmas Submissions playlist for the benefit of everyone who enjoys listening to that sort of thing.
For the benefit of everyone who doesn’t, our moderators chose a shortlist of 25 from the remaining tracks. Those 25 tracks went on our Listening Post last Friday and our readers then collectively picked these Fresh Faves over the weekend. They’re reviewed by moderator Jim Craigen from AlternativeFriday.com and you can hear all these tracks in a single Soundcloud playlist here.
.IMP – Sex & Power
It’s a little difficult to pin down this tremendous track by the obscurely named .IMP (or is it Dot Imp – I’m not sure?) The mixture of energetic drumming, 60s organ, and slightly distorted vocals definitely produces a catchy number that you’ll have no trouble dancing to… I’ve only just started this write-up and I can’t keep still. This relatively new band are keeping other details quiet for now, but are from Bromley in London, and “their E.P. is being recorded, and rehearsals starting up”. We look forward to hearing more.
BED. – Girl
Are we looking at a dot themed Fresh Faves this week? We now move onto Portland, Oregan trio Bed. Their “slow-fi” alternative indie track ‘Girl’ has some brilliantly fuzzy scuzzy moments of shoegaze as well as grunge, due to the varied guitar sounds, and the track certainly caught the attention of the voters this week. They are currently in the closing stages of their US ‘Pregnant Pause Tour’, but let’s hope they pop over to this side of the pond in 2017.
BLAME CLUB – The Floor
Blame Club are a quartet from the South West of the UK, and don’t have a dot in their name, while The Floor is a track that just sucks you in, and is a sublime four minutes of understated rock and experimental electronica, which comes from their eponymous album, released earlier this year. As for their musical philosophy, well, it’s seemingly straightforward and honest… “it’s all about the music, stupid, everything else is just weather”.
DISSA – Out Of My Mouth
Out Of My Mouth is a wonderful indie track that appeals from the first listen, with jangly guitars, rich harmonies, and fun lyrics. Dissa is the work of Mike Pynton from Liverpool, but sadly I can’t tell you more, as the information on his Soundcloud page is sparse, and there aren’t any links to online activities elsewhere. There’s plenty of time for him to resolve that though, while I hope he has a cheeky smile this week, given that the voters certainly loved his track.
I SAID YES – Run This Town
Haunting folk may not be a genre we come across often, but we may well do so in 2017, based on this track by the five-piece Oxfordshire and Wiltshire band I Said Yes. I’m not sure if a piano can be moody, but when combined with the delicate guitar work and the engaging mix of vocals it makes for a dark but captivating song. If you are of nervous disposition then don’t listen to this track with the lights off.
MEURSAULT – Simple Is Good
Edinburgh band Meursault have created an hallucinogenic gem of a track in ‘Simple Is Good’, with lush piano work and mesmerising vocals drawing you in and not letting go. They were quite active between 2006 and 2014, releasing four albums, but now return after a two-year hiatus, ahead of their fifth album, due in 2017. Simple is definitely greater than good.
ROE – Fake Ur Death
Roe is the moniker of Irish artist Roisin Donald, who we previously met on Fresh Faves 189 back in March – and who rather uncharitably describes herself as ‘a 17 year old grump’. There’s nothing to be irritable about with her music though, as Fake Ur Death is a wonderful mix of pop with a sprinkling of post punk, involving a deep electro and bass vibe mixed with a delightful pop melody. An impressive song, which was released as a single on December 2nd.
SWANLIKE – June
Scandinavian hypnotica? If that wasn’t a genre it may well be now. This track from Swanlike – who are from Notodden near Oslo – has a cinematic and ambient electronica sound, rich with synthesized layers and lush vocals. If their music has yet to be featured in a Scandi Noir film or TV series then it’s surely just around the corner. Yes, Scandinavian hypnotica works for me. [It also works for fellow FOTN moderator DervSwerve who blogged about Swanlike last month.]
THE CORNER LAUGHERS – Don’t Hush, Darling
California isn’t the first place you’d expect The Corner Laughers to hail from, as their brand of interesting chamber pop, mixed with both clever lyrics and delightful harmonies, feels like it would be just at home in the Yorkshire Dales. The folks of California have struck gold though… as unlike the UK’s grey skies, they have sunshine, and The Corner Laughers.
PS from TR: If you’ve submitted a track that hasn’t been picked for the Listening Post, our team has 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.