Artists at a glance
MODEL RAILWAY EXHIBITION
These Fresh Faves were picked by our readers over the weekend, and reviewed by Fresh On The Net’s Christopher McBride – host of The Metaphorical Boat music blog. You can hear all these tracks in a single Soundcloud playlist here.
BLONDAGE – Stoned
Of all the songs that made this week’s Fresh Faves, I don’t think that there’s any that sound as commercially minded as Stoned by Danish duo Blondage.
It’s got the feeling of something that could reasonably be a hit in 2017, with its sleek, chilly electro production that Lorde would be more than happy to put her name to, as well as with its use of the so-called “dolphin noise” that the Bieberses of this world seem to be overly keen on for some reason. It definitely sounds like the sort of song that the “cool kids” will enjoy, but alas, my days of being a cool kid, if they ever existed, are very much behind me.
FJORKA – Sick Kids
The award for the most eclectic song this week most definitely goes to Dublin artist Fjorka with his song Sick Kids.
Like Beck before him, he’s thrown as many different genres against the wall, like freshly cooked spaghetti, to see what sticks before re-heating. There’s bits of industrial metal, hip-hop, easy-listening, Van Halen & Prince in the mix, and altogether it gives us a fantastic piece of music – hardcore with a poppy edge to it, the sort of song that you could imagine being the theme to a World Wrestling Entertainment Pay-Per-View event.
KIDSMOKE – And Mine Alone
Welsh 4-piece Kidsmoke make a welcome return to our Fresh Faves after last featuring in February of last year. And Mine Alone, released ahead of an EP due later this month, is a lovely little gem of an indie-pop tune, full of glistening guitars, gorgeous harmonies, and sunny, summery optimism. A must for fans of Best Coast, Camera Obscura and Real Estate.
KOLIBRÍ – Dream Theater
Making shoegaze music can be very much a double-edged sword – it seems quite easy to craft a song of that sub-genre, but it is quite tough to pull off an exceptional song within its confines.
Thankfully, Kolibrí, the solo project of Limerick born, Brighton based artist Ryan Og, has pulled a great one out of his metaphorical bag with Dream Theater. It’s a hazy, atmospheric belter of a song, one that calls to mind fellow Eire noise-makers Rollerskate Skinny.
MEADOWLARK – Postcards
Meadowlark is the project of a Plymouth born, Bristol based duo who came from very different backgrounds before working together – Kate McGill having gained a substantial following on YouTube through her covers of popular music, and Dan Broadley having made a name for himself by directing the music videos for popular rock artists.
Not that you would know all that from their song Postcards however, as its folksy, wistful sound is a million miles away from anything that either of them did in their previous incarnations. It’s a charming song, one that fans of Lucy Rose would find something to like within.
MODEL RAILWAY EXHIBITION – You’re a Stranger Now
If you were to ask me what a band who called themselves Model Railway Exhibition sound like, I would have imagined a group of distinguished English gentleman, perhaps all wearing top hats, with faces adorned with handlebar moustaches, singing songs about the countryside and National Trust properties in Received Pronunciation on several ukuleles.
Thankfully, names can be deceiving, for the London band of the same name Model Railway Exhibition are an indie-rock band from London, and their song You’re a Stranger Now is a delightfully scuzzy, noisy little earworm that I would absolutely love to hear in its natural habitat – whilst going wild in a crowded venue with hundreds of other people.
RICHARD MAULE – Fire & Rage
I think the word that could be best used to describe London based singer-songwriter Richard Maule is “heart-felt”. Fire and Rage is an atmospheric folk song that calls to mind the voice of Ray Lamontagne & the production of Hozier.
RUTH THEODORE – Kissing In Traffic
The trumpet is a very under-utilized instrument within the confines of popular music, compared to its other, brassier cousins. The only really big hits that feature a prominent trumpet hook that stick out in my mind are At The River by Groove Armada (i.e that song from the M&S ad), Would You? By Touch and Go, and Let Me Entertain You by Robbie Williams (and in the latter case, it took a lot of arm twisting by Robbie to make that happen).
So we should be thankful for Kissing in Traffic, the freewheeling single from Ruth Theodore, which prominently features the much-maligned instrument extensively throughout. It is a lovely little folksy ditty, with Ruth’s vocals reminding me heavily of Katie Melua in places.
SNAIL COLLECTORS – Take My Pills
It seems like we may have another admirer of Lorde in this week’s Fresh Faves.
Snail Collectors, which despite the name is the solo project of Glasgow musician Nick Scrogie, seem to have been quite influenced by the song Royals on the song Take My Pills, as the structure and instrumentation seem to match that song a bit. Although there are some divergences, with the heavier sound and more industrial sounding choruses showing a little bit of influence from Depeche Mode as well.
THE UNDERCOVER HIPPY – Rise & Fall
And we conclude this week’s Fresh Faves with The Undercover Hippy, the project of Bristol musician Billy Rowan.
Described as “music for the thinking man to shake his arse to”, Rise & Fall is a politically charged reggae song that sticks two fingers up to the powers that be, envisioning a time where those currently in charge go the way of the Roman Empire.
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.