Artists at a glance
Our reviewer for this week’s Fresh Faves – chosen by our readers – comes from journalist, compiler, DJ, producer and all round Good Egg, Phil Meadley (ex-Independent, Observer Music Monthly, DJ mag, etc) who last reviewed our Fresh Faves back in 2015. You can hear all these tracks in a single Soundcloud playlist here.
ANDREAS S JENSEN – Trust Is My Anchor
Andreas S Jensen is a London based singer/songwriter who’s already established himself as a writer/producer for a number of artists including Armand Van Helden and The King Blues. He cites the likes of Bowie, Johnny Cash, and Soundgarden as influences, and although not displaying the sheer inventiveness of the first, this track’s mix of acoustic and power ballad is very effective. He has a strong, quite distinctive voice of the classic indie rock variety, and Trust Is My Anchor displays it nicely.
CHRIS KEYS – Fix It
Like Andreas Jensen, Northern Irish singer-songwriter Chris Keys has one of those classic indie songwriter voices, husky and emotionally charged enough to keep it interesting. Fix It is undeniably catchy; he describes his style a mixture of classic Irish storytelling and musicality “blended with a typical Ulsterman’s rugged self-sufficiency”. There is a slight hint of country and David Gray tunesmithery about this track, so if that mix is your bag then check it out.
FETHERSTONE – All You Need To Be
Fetherstone, aka Briana Cowlishaw is an Aussie singer/songwriter who now lives in London. She’s already released three albums, and this new track is rather sweet. All You Need To Be is piano driven, with her pure vocal tones driving what feels like quite personal prose. Full production too; definitely not a front room job (although there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that); she knows her studio craft.
THE GLENDALE FAMILY – 90’s Times
This is probably the briefest and least musical track I’ve ever reviewed on Fresh On The Net. It’s basically a short, hard-hitting poem that wouldn’t sound out of place on the latest Trainspotting movie, spoken by Spud. No musical accompaniment at all, but it’s still a great diatribe about life in the ’90s, from Edinburgh collective The Glendale Family. I say collective, but 90’s Times is the work of one man (I believe Chris Ingram), which makes me wonder what the other six members were doing at the time? I’d have preferred to review a proper band track (and they are good by the way) but it’s still garnered enough interest to be featured here.
HVMAN – Same Mistakes
Same Mistakes is a gritty neo blues-rock track by UK based rock band HVMAN fronted by singer D Ari and Louise Piper. In the band’s description they say that they have Steampunk leanings. Being possibly one of the very few reviewers to have heard enough Steampunk music to be able to give an educated critique, I’d have to agree. It’s D Ari’s deep baroque delivery, reminiscent of Tom Waits and Mark Lanegan combined with the bar room piano swagger and heavy, foreboding blues guitar licks that place it in that category. Very effective and a definite grower.
IVOR GAME – Water and Wine
And now for something completely different…
This gentle, vulnerable sounding ditty by Ivor Game will certainly appeal to any folky singer songwriters out there. In his bio it says he found his feet, after playing in various bands, in his twenties playing acoustic clubs across London. I think his well-honed craftsmanship [just over 20 years since his first album! Ed.] is showcased nicely on Water And Wine.
LF – Bees
I can detect a definite Blur and Elastica influence in the music of Telford indie rock band LF. Singer and guitarist Nick Robinson met drummer Lyndon Henry Thompson at a Morrissey concert in Birmingham where they were both ejected for fighting over the formers sweat drenched shirt. Great story. They call their musical style Sleaze Pop… yeah, why not? Bees is catchy and cool in a ’90s Britpop style. I’m engaged enough to want to check out more from them.
LOW CHIMES – Sleepwalking
Sleepwalking is the first track that made me prick up my ears whilst listening through to the latest batch of Listening Post offerings. Hardly surprising then that my enthusiasm is shared by the likes of Guy Garvey and Marc Riley… This track is the first taken from Low Chimes’ forthcoming album (released this autumn) and has already earned them a BBC 6 Music live session. Musically speaking what first struck me as a lover of African blues music was that the guitar drum intro had a distinct Malian feel to it. Then comes singer Marianne’s Liz Fraser-style vocal delivery with clever band harmonies added to the mix. It ticks all the right boxes, and I’ll add my name to a growing list of people who predict bright things for this band.
PAINT – Strange Effect
I can’t find out too much information about this Bristol-based band, even by looking at their website, but there’s a decent looking video that accompanies this track. Strange Effect has a light breezy indie guitar band feel to it. The singer has a quite a pure, seemingly pitch perfect tone (wish I knew which band member it was – apologies) which fits well with the poppy Smiths-style drive of this particular tune. Not sure if Paint is a great name for a band, but I could easily be eating my words in a few years time.
THE WILD THINGS – FIA
This West London three-piece consists of brother and sister Cam and Syd plus Rob, who we’re helpfully informed, is from Rotherham. The latter two are also actors who have appeared in various theatre and TV shows including New Tricks (sadly they didn’t sing the theme tune). Brother Cam is the producer who also plays guitar, bass, piano and drums. I think we’ve established that they’re a talented bunch. The Wild Things say they have now upped sticks and moved to L.A. It’s a bold move and I hope it works out for them. F.I.A. is an uplifting, punky guitar and horn fuelled tune driven by Syd’s strong vocal performance, which reminds me of Brian Molko’s sonorous tones, oddly enough. The title is rather endearingly rude, well only in terms of radio broadcasting, but it’s pretty catchy and well produced.
[Who’s the fourth one in these pics then, Wild Things??]
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.