Fresh Faves: Batch 248

The Desert

Artists at a glance


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 & podcast. You can hear all these tracks in a single Soundcloud playlist here.


Well, if you want to get my attention straight away from the get-go, just make sure that the intro to your song reminds me instantly of Killing of a Flashboy by Suede, one of the greatest songs of all time. Well played, The Breaks. Well played.

I’ve got much love for Honey, a song taken from the band’s debut E.P Misery. It’s like a microcosm of everything I love about scuzzy, shoegaze-y rock in one four minute song. From that powerful drum intro, through to that wall of sound that is like 1000 guitars geared up all at once, it is a gloriously luscious noise from the Burnley fellows.

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THE DESERT – Just Get High

Comprised of Gina Leonard & Tom Fryer, The Desert have taken acoustic folk melodies and sounds, and mixed it with an ethereally produced soundscape on their hauntingly beautiful song Let’s Get High. It’s like something Goldfrapp may have given us during their Seventh Tree phase.

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Although Melbourne singer-songwriter Hayden Calnin was not a name that I was familiar with before the Listening Post, it turns out that I have come across his music before, as his songs have appeared in two episodes of Suits, a TV show that I have much love for (as well as So You Think You Can Dance?, a TV show for which I don’t).

Collison is a rather interesting song, as it uses an ambient, brassy drone as its bedrock, over which we are treated to an emotionally fragile vocal performance from Mr Calnin. It’s not the easiest listen in the world, but a rather beautiful song nonetheless.

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PANOPLEA – Slow Dance

We’ve got quite a few electro-folk songs in this week’s Fresh Faves, don’t we? There’s very little information online as to whom Panoplea is, although after some digging it appears that they are Trips & K, a duo from Armagh & Dublin (the accent gives it away), and I have a sneaking suspicion that their vocalist is also a member of a band whom I’m rather fond of, although I won’t state who that is just now, for fear of being wrong.

As for Slow Dance, it is a rather low-key song, somewhat in the mold of Bon Iver, the kind of song that I imagine will ingrain itself deep within your psyche and never let go after a few listens.

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I have to admit, my knowledge of pre-1990s British sitcoms does not extend much beyond the fabulous Yes (Prime) Minister, but it seems that The Rise & Fall of Reginald Perrin had a great impact on Peter Bruntnell, as it inspired him to write Reggie Perrin, taken from his 2011 album Black Mountain UFO. There’s something playfully subversive about taking such an icon of British television and writing a song in an Americana style. A nice song about the dark side of life.

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QUINTA – Astragal (The Most Wonderful)

London based Quinta is a classically trained experimental composer, who has played alongside artists like Bat For Lashes & Patrick Wolf, has been a British Council Chine Musician-in-Residence, and is adept at more instruments than an equities trader. Her single Astragal (The Most Wonderful) sees Quinta raid her bag of tricks to create a sound that sounds so strikingly alien, yet brimming with such passion and humanity.

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Chicago singer-songwriter Sacha Mullin would appear to have much affection for music from the ’80s. The drums on his song Crow, taken from his album Duplex, remind me of Kate Bush, his vocals remind me of Rick Astley, and the production calls to mind the Pet Shop Boys. If you want a cogent concentration of music from that era, then Crow may just be the song for you.

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SUKH – Flight

Manchester based singer-songwriter Sukhdeep Krishan, aka Sukh is a doctor by profession, which is quite handy really. His tender piano-led mega-ballad Flight will make your heart skip a beat, but thankfully he will be on hand to make sure it’s rhythm is put back in place right away. It’s a sound that we haven’t heard in mainstream music for quite a while, but definitely one that should be heading back to the limelight in the not too distant future.

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VERBCOPS – Palm Lines

Although the phrase is used quite often, it is very rare to come across an artist whose music makes you feel like you’re “on a journey” listening to them. Mike Oldfield’s music evokes that feeling within me, as do some of Public Service Broadcasting’s songs.

Now it looks like I can add another artist to that mix – Verbcops, at least based on the track Palm Lines from their most recent release, Space Adventures. It’s a post-rock, blissed out behemoth of a song that meanders, ebbs, flows & roars over its six minute running time.

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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.


Christopher McBride is the Belfast-based captain of The Metaphorical Boat, a music blog & podcast dedicated to new music, brilliant music, and the glorious intersection between the two. He has also written for Drowned In Sound & Chordblossom, and has been on the judging panel of the Northern Ireland Music Prize from 2013-2020. Has a known penchant for Battenberg cake.

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