Artists at a glance
SHE MAKES WAR
These Fresh Faves were picked by our readers over the weekend – and reviewed by Fresh On The Net Editor Benji Tranter this week. You can hear all these tracks in a single Soundcloud playlist here.
APEX JOE MUSIC – I’m Ready To Die
Apex Joe describes himself as an entertainer from London. He is a rapper/producer, and also creates & directs his own video productions. The man’s been busy, recently releasing a seven track compilation with this awesome artwork:
I’m Ready To Die is an emotionally charged call to arms in the face of hatred and bigotry summarised in these lines:
“I don’t care less about races or colours of faces
it’s the intent inside your spritual making that makes it”
He’s out to take down the haters, and believes that freedom should be “wild like my imagination”. The simple swelling guitar chords and drums make a perfect backdrop to these potent ponderings.
Since releasing this, he’s also put a new track, Lost Connection, available to hear through his fb page below.
ELOISE – California
Eloise is an eighteen year old singer-songwriter based in London. She released her first track, Studio 54, late last year. I don’t know much more, but I do know she’s gone for a po-faced, unimpressed vibe, comme ça:
California is her third offering, an atmospheric, glitchy piece scattered with incisive lyrics and snippets of melodic brilliance. Instrumental highlights include well orchestrated strings and the subtle, high line harmony. The artist’s characterful delivery also plays to her strength. In all honesty (honesty is they key right, we all move forward that way!) I feel that this track is a display of Eloise’s raw talents – of the tools at her disposal: they’re strong. Her next task is to arrange them into something greater than their sum. Easier said than done, but on this evidence, (and that of previous track Like The Way) it’s simply a matter of more of the same: hard work.
Focus for Team Eloise right now seems to be on the single release, but keep an eye out on the ‘socials’ below for any news of upcoming shows.
GREEZYONTHETRACK – Good Vibes
From a song (loosely) about California, to a man who lives and breathes it. Greezy on the Track aka Miles Quincy Martin (what a name!) is a rapper, producer, writer, publisher and also founder of Do Your Dance Ent. Born in Monrovia, he is now based in Pasadena. He ain’t short of confidence, stating on his website “If it has to do with music, Miles can do it!” which I dig (bigly). Sing your own praises! He’s also prolific, smashing out 23 tracks over the last two years, including three EPs and loads of collabs, feats ‘n’ Xs.
Good Vibes is a drab affair, featuring a reading of Edgar Allen Poe’s The Raven over the funeral march.
Just ‘Rowling’ with you (JK, anybody? hoping that will catch on.)
Good Vibes is drenched in smoothe West Coast charm, with a tinge of Jazz in there, courtesy of a big ol walkin’ bassline. It’s all about those days where you’re onto a good thing, gettin out on the right side of bed, and people are trying to bring you down:
“everybody trippin acting the fool, I’m just trying to be on good vibes”
No stranger to humour, Greezy’s track of course features a vibraphone solo.
Mr. Martin’s focus right now seems to be on the release of his most recent EP, Law of the Jungle (5/5/17) which features Good Vibes among seven others. Check out his socials below for more details and future plans.
JIMBODENI – Pushing Me Down
Jim Bodeni is a Lincoln based electro singer, songwriter and producer. He is a favourite of BBC Introducing Lincoln, recieving succesive plays there, plus a mixtape spin at the turn of the year from our own Tom Robinson on BBC 6.
Pushing Me Down is a brooding, ethereal composition. Pounding drums and low rumbling bass are contrasted with the lazer trails of saw-tooth synthesisers and Jim’s own soaring vocals. It’s begging for a film OST feature: the closing credits of an action-thriller with an ambiguous ending. Is our hero really dead in the water? Oh wait that’s Bourne. No spoilers tho init. #notcool (it is like a decade old though).
JB seems to live safely in the internet world, musically speaking – no sign of any past or future shows coming up. Give him a poke in the socials, down below, if you want to see him live though – power to the people!
KID TRENCH – The Big Hop
Kid Trench, from Newry, Northern Ireland, makes what he describes as “Pop Hop Music”.
Prior to its validation by our listeners over the weekend, new track The Big Hop has also been noticed by Elton John, who played it on his Beats 1 show last week. The track features a hard edged, purposeful sound – a sleek lineup of drums, synth and guitar, fronted by ‘our kid’s knowing vocal delivery:
“But Julia knows what I am planning”
On a side note, it’s no surprise that this track has already received some much sought after radio play – at only 2m44s it’s a programmer/presenter’s dream – punchy, catchy, concise.
The mysterious Kid Trench will be gracing the stage this Tuesday at Voodoo, Belfast, supporting Clean Cut Kid. Whether bands without ‘kid’ in the name will be permitted is yet to be confirmed.
THE LOVEPOOLS – Animal Instinct
Anthony Shea, from Los Angeles, USA, describes his band The Lovepools as his “lovechild with the musical output of the UK”. It’s audible for all, in its harking back to ’60s Rock ‘n’ Roll, but also in the similarity to the British indie music of the 2000s, particularly at the goofy end of the spectrum (I say that with admiration). Shea cites Feeder, but I hear the likes of The Young Knives and Art Brut.
Animal Instinct is all bells and whistles, with vamping, honky tonk piano, brass section and some kind of whacky organ (what is this Shea!? I wish to know). It’s got all the weirdness and freakiness – and yet somehow I feel that The Lovepools sound like they might secretly be the cool kids playing dress-up. Still, it’s an affectionate homage to Britain’s musical output, and somewhat adorable. I have to say I find it slightly less adorable when one realises it’s actually a ham-fisted ‘thumbs up’ to the ladies, en masse, of this, the United Kingdom.
Saying that, I did vote for this track in the LP this week – which I think means that I like the aesthetic, perhaps not so much the content. I look forward to whatever comes next though!
If you have a spare £600 (return!) then pop over to see Shea and The Lovepools at Amplyfi this Friday 2nd June.
SHE MAKES WAR – I Want My Country Back
According to her website “She Makes War is the gloom-pop solo project of multi-instrumentalist and visual artist Laura Kidd.” The Bristol based artist is in prolific form, with this track being a mere free-download between albums, the last of which came out at the turn of the year. The next one is coming this Autumn.
Between all that Kidd has found the time to make an awesome, astute, subversive, catchy, political PROTEST song. That dreaded word – our generation (Y? Z!? Millenials?!?) isn’t exactly blessed with the knack for explicit, front facing, direct lyrics, when it comes to politics. Or so the received wisdom goes. So this song, with its chugging guitars and massive melodies (hello Greenday, Weezer et al), is so very, very welcome here.
She really does put it best herself: “The song’s title and chorus twist the phrases we’ve heard so much in recent times away from the right wing, send-them-all-home mentality, towards encouraging people to have compassion for those from other backgrounds, and to consider sharing the great privileges we enjoy just by accidentally being born in this country.”
She Makes War is playing with Justin Sullivan at The Boar’s Head, Kidderminster, this Wednesday 31st May.
TAMU MASSIF – Animals
Welcome to this week’s ZEITGEIST ZONE here we have Tamu Massif. I really don’t know much about him; he’s gone for the classic elusive artist guise, listing his location as “west”. Although his last Instagram post (yeah I had to go stalker-mode) was in Weston-Super-Mare, so maybe he fell asleep while typing his fb about section? Anyway, he appears to be collaborating with FOTN alumna Fenne Lily currently, so that’s something to know…
So, this track, Animals, from latest EP Bala, begins sounding like a Manu Chao/Floating Points collab. But when it opens up, there is a surprisingly delicate, vulnerable melodic streak running through the composition, accompanied by the self-deprecating (and also me-deprecating) lyric “a generation of entitled animals”. I say this without meaning to upset anybody, but I find there to be a Beiberesque quality to the track, particularly the Sheeran/Beiber collab Love Yourself. (Yeah you won’t deprecate me again, Tamu, I’m entitled to my… oh dang).
TM has just finished a UK tour, but you can next catch him performing at Citadel 2017, in Victoria Park, London, on Sunday 16th July.
TOM LUMLEY – Running From Our Lives
Tom Lumley is a singer/songwriter from Cambridgeshire. He’s been plugging away for the last three years, and has played Dot To Dot festival in Nottingham just this weekend. The guitar-toting gent has also seen substantial support from his BBC Introducing plus Fred Bambridge on BBC Radio 1.
Running From Our Lives is a track from Mr. Lumley’s recent EP Dream City. It’s an upbeat, driving pop song about facing up to sh*t and getting it done, and um, also running from that. Amen! We all do it…
I get a massive John Frusciante era Red Hot Chili Peppers vibe from this track – specifically By The Way/Stadium Arcadium. It’s in the intricate, considered playing, alongside some awesome alternative vocal harmonies, plus a sweet, soaring guitar solo. I have no doubt at all that this would make for a must-see live show.
Lumley finished a UK tour earlier this month, and is not appearing live again until 22nd July at Splendour Festival, also Nottingham. (Do you live in Nottingham Tom?)
YGHD – Ghosts On VHS
This way please. Take a seat. Oh that? It’s a flux capacitor, it’s what makes time travel possible. Okay, 2007 here we come…
Panic! At The Disco, Paramore and My Chemical Romance are at their height, as is NME. But where are YGHD? Uh oh! They’ve stolen the Delorean and travelled BACK – to the FUTURE!
So anyway, YGHD (AKA Younghood), are actually a recently formed fourpiece based in Kingston upon Thames, consisting of local lads Joe, Jack, Charlie and Sean. They play what they refer to as “Xplosiv’ Indie Rock”. And their track Ghosts On VHS certainly delivers on that remit – pulsating drums and thrashing guitars are the battering ram which make way for the track’s strong, catchy vocal melodies. The track has rightly caught the attention of those at BBC Introducing Surrey, where it has received airtime.
The track is taken from recent EP Beatiful Mess. The band promise a string of shows soon, according to their fb, but details elude at present – keep an eye out below.
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.