Words by Benji Tranter.
Welcome to the second in our series A Year Of Faves where, you’ve guessed it, our mods have picked their favourite tracks from the last year of submissions. Some tracks received recognition at the time, and others may have slipped through the cracks, but they’re all great (in our humble opinions).
Check out last week’s post here if you missed it, and check back next week for the third and final instalment. Also watch out for a playlist of personal faves coming from a mystery moderator later this week…
On with the show…
FreshMod: LUDWIG JANSSEN
Fave #1: KATHERINE PHILIPPA – Hosanna (Faves 166)
[An exception to the rule here, Mr. Janssen has picked an all-time Fave from September 2015…]
Ludwig says: To me this track of the young Katharine Philippa is one of the most remarkable ones of my listening to FOTN-submissions.
A perfect match of message and sound, spare, but expressive instrumentation, with lyrics dense and authentic. Last but not least an excellent field-recording accompanying the vocals and the main instrument, a church organ, played by the artist herself. To me a second piece of art within the track. Why? The vocals and lyrics express an essential longing for a god who is personal, who listens, “lends/bends his ear” and at the same time they underline our quenchless doubts.
“Hosanna” as such is a call for help and a call of praise at the same time. And so is this remarkable track – piece of art. I hope the artist recognises that, even though it is not easy to believe in God and despite feeling closer to Judas, his doubts and despair, it is a matter of fact that the mere calling Hosanna and writing/performing this song expresses the belief in his omnipresence.
We’ve got a short life span to make our travel on this earth, accompanied by what stands for being alive: breathing. This is the point the excellent field recording and mastering of the track steps in. The wind running through the pipes, the noise of pedals and mechanics represent our struggle, and, brilliant!, at the end of this masterpiece of composing field recording, vocals and lyrics, we hear the organ’s final breath, like ours will mark our end one day. Chapeau!
Fave #2: LOUIS BARABBAS – The Stuff Of Archive
Ludwig says: The man, the artist: I love his voice as it percolates my senses like sunlight a tree’s umbrage, I admire his oeuvre, I like his modesty and I envy his genius, sometimes, somehow, some hum, parapa pa pum. 🙂
The Stuff Of Archive stands for his subtle, profound poetry. Modest words, well known, arranged anew to create something that appears like it has never been before but has always been there – like a silent old friend, like the sea – this is giving prominence to those words, empowerment, voice. Poetry is expression. Stuff Of Archive’s poetry, sung by the artist’s own voice I love so well, evokes melancholia. Not the black one, not the one of grey spectres – it is kind of the dark blue into which the light of the rising sun weaves hope, is some remembered may’s morn far below. But, still, it leaves you alone:
“Thought I was home / But I was wrong”
FreshMod: NICK WALKER
Fave #1: MODEL RAILWAY EXHIBITION – You’re a Stranger Now (Faves 238)
Nick says: This is a standout pick for me because it’s one that I love going back to hear. Confident delivery, emotional vocals and a band name that is hard to forget! Just perfect Shoegaze in 2017. Oh and they are British which I like…
Fave #2: CALLUM PITT – You’d Better Sell It While You Can (Faves 224)
Nick says: This is just really good. Callum Pitt is from Newcastle. He has a deal with Kaleidoscope Records in Liverpool and after hearing this song I am not surprised.
Callum has over 75,000 monthly listeners on Spotify already. For a new artist he has hit the ground running. With only two songs released to date I imagine an album is not far off.
Real talent here which I identified the minute I heard him in the Listening Post early this year.
FreshMod: ‘Oldie’ Rob Ball
Fave: YOKE LORE – World Wings (Track ‘Only You’ featured in Faves 237)
Rob says: Yoke Lore is the latest project of a multi instrumentalist called Adrian Galvin from Brooklyn. I first came across Yoke when preparing my wish list for The Great Escape (sadly I write up a spreadsheet with comments for every act). I was smitten at first listen. I always listen for the vocals first off when reviewing and his soaring voice stood out immediately.
Prior to music he has had a varied arts based career including painting, photography, and ballet. Live (when I saw him) he plays banjo and is accompanied by his backing tracks and a drummer.
A couple of weeks after originally hearing him, he randomly appeared in our dropbox and his track “Only You” was very well received and appeared in Fresh Faves 237.
“World Wings” never appeared on the Listening Post due to one of Tom’s few rules being “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…” so whilst it was uploaded, it was ruled out of selection.
I actually prefer it slightly to its predecessor. I love the fact that I am hooked within 10 seconds with a hint of electro-brass, that little break and then great vocals. I also love the way it builds up to the chorus. This is a go-to track on my list when I am looking for something to stir me up and get my feet tapping.
It looks like he has a busy ‘Fall’ with some heavy touring. Here is hoping for a return of Yoke to UK in 2018.
FreshMod: PAUL KERR
Fave #1: PURS – Girl In Love (Faves 224)
Paul says: Purs came out of nowhere, from somewhere out on the left field so far left they were almost invisible and then they disappeared as surreptitiously as they arrived. But they left the Listening Post with a languid, effortlessly cool track that sounds like Nirvana without the existential angst, Nirvana without the anguish, Nirvana without the anger, Nirvana on their holidays on a sun kissed beach with only the Dandy Warhols greatest hits and Jefferson Airplane demos to keep them company. There were so many brilliant songs to choose from; why did I choose Girl In Love? I guess I’m just a sucker for those laid back slacker vibes.
Fave #2: ANNABEL ALLUM – Rich Backgrounds (Faves 237)
Paul says: Rich Backgrounds, from Guildford-based singer-songwriter Annabel Allum sounds like the point at which PJ Harvey meets Courtney Barnett. It’s the slacker rock update on Pulp’s Common People with Annabel’s rich friend (lover?) not able to hack it when she introduces them to her life. It’s a radical departure from her folkie roots into prime slacker territory, a dramatic change of style which she pulls off with an effortless confidence. She shed her folky skin to reveal the angry wolf within and, as the other moderators will confirm, I am partial to a little anger in my musical preferences!
Thanks for dropping by, and keep an eye out for the final instalment next week… Team Freshnet x