Artists at a glance
PARIIS OPERA HOUSE
SNIPPET AKA JOHNNO CASSON
THE BURNING HELL
TOKYO TEA ROOM
BED. – Fine
Bed. is Sierra and Alex Haager from Portland, Oregon with a Pacific Northwest sound to match. This band has appeared on our Faves a few times now, and is one of the acts we hear whose sound is so distinctive I can usually identify them from the opening bar.
What Bed. actually do really well is get on with it and never outstay their welcome. That’s true of Fine, where the vocals kick in immediately and the track gets locked into an almost inescapable groove, with lyrics expressing concern and reassurance. I particularly liked the lines “I’m sorry I left the party too soon. I wasn’t having fun, were you?”
I’m often tempted to leave parties too soon, and it was great to see Fine has been featured on NPR’s All Songs Considered this week.
CAVALRY – Heresy
The first minute or so of Heresy is quite deceptive, all gentle guitars, tender lyrics and no warning of the sudden burst of sound that is to follow. From that point on Heresy never quite settles, writhing its way through a number of transitions, slow to fast and quiet to loud, including an extended reverb-laden bridge that builds towards another charge at that big-sounding chorus.
Cavalry is Alan, Austin, Steven, Paul and Gareth from Liverpool, they’ve received support from BBC Introducing in Merseyside, nice words from Clash magazine, plays by Huw Stephens, Steve Lamacq, Janice Long and Mr Tom Robinson.
DÉYYESS – Guns
Fellow FOTN moderator Andy Von Pip was keen to point out that Guns featured as Track Of The Day on The Von Pip Music Express back in September 2016, which puts The VPME a clear year ahead of everyone else.
Déyyess (which The VPME informs us is based on the phonetic pronunciation of the French for “goddess”) is 20-year old Hannah Butcher from Kent, and Guns is dark, brooding and powerful. It’s also very well put together, with some production by Neil Comber, who’s worked on tracks from the likes of MIA, Florence + The Machine, Crystal Fighters, BBC Intro favourite Declan McKenna, and more.
With support from BBC Introducing in Kent and plenty of buzz on the web, the whole world could well be hearing a lot more about Déyyess in future.
FIMBRIA – Auriga
In theory I love dreampop, with its shimmering synths, whispy vocals and unashamedly electronic drums, but you can have too much of a good thing. I remember listening to a whole Washed Out album once, and feeling completely wrung out as a result.
I’ve listened to Auriga quite a few times now and I think Fimbria has nailed it. The trick, I’m guessing, is that it never stays the same for too long, introducing new elements and steadily building, but without putting too many chocolate sprinkles on top of the musical ice cream. Every time it ends, you’re left wanting just a little bit more, which is how it should be.
Fimbria is Glasgow-based, American-born Brian Castriota, and Auriga is available now as part of the album Eternal Return on Cadent Records.
PARIIS OPERA HOUSE – I Wish
It’s been a few years since we last heard from Pariis Opera House here on Fresh On The Net, and BBC Radio 6 Music listeners will almost certainly recall the irresistible Dragndrop, which Lauren Laverne played about as often as she probably could.
Pariis Opera House have made plenty of other tracks besides, but to my ears I Wish could be the flipside of Dragndrop. Where the older track was about dancing with no cares at all, I Wish seems to itemise all of life’s worries and cares, sometimes raising a chuckle, other times a weary sigh, covering everything from people walking too slowly to wishing the terrorists would stop.
It’s too big a push to say that I Wish is social commentary, but it feels right for the present age, with its blend of seriousness and frivolity, longing for that which is surely attainable alongside the downright impossible, all set to a slightly mad electronic banger. I Wish can be pre-ordered now for release on October 11, and its B-side is gloriously entitled “Rasputin Disputin”.
SNIPPET AKA JOHNNO CASSON – Human Good
Speaking of social commentary (and nutters, in the best possible sense), fellow Fresh On The Net moderator Snippet aka Johnno Casson, returns to our Fresh Faves with Human Good, which tells us we can choose whether to “lick the dirt or wear the crown”, and implores us to step away from the internet and its haters, put some records on, and trust in our fellow humans to do the right thing (eventually).
Human Good has all the elements we’ve come to expect from Snippet — hooky pop sensibilities topped with thoughtful, uplifting lyrics — and is the title track from Johnno’s new album, which can be pre-ordered on Bandcamp now for release on October 27.
THE BURNING HELL – The River (Never Freezes Anymore)
I am a sucker for a rhyming couplet, so The Burning Hell had me at “We went careening down the ice, contravening advice”. I also reserve deep admiration for anyone who manages to squeeze a lot of words into a couple of lines just by saying them really, really quickly, and therefore…
“Let’s be honest, I look better in a parka than a bathing suit
And I was wearing a very nice parka that night on the river when you told me I wasn’t exactly good looking, but you thought I was cute”
… probably deserves some kind of award. This track’s sweet, funny, and slightly quirky lyrics complement the music perfectly, and maybe for that reason, and the references to the cold, I pretty much guessed the band were Canadian.
The Burning Hell is Darren Browne, Mathias Kom and Ariel Sharratt, who are based in Newfoundland, where you’d expect the rivers to be bloody freezing most of the time. The River (Never Freezes Anymore) suggests the region may be experiencing some hitherto undetected change of climate, and have chosen to highlight this discovery through the medium of song. Good luck explaining that to the Americans!
This track is available as part of the album Revival Beach, which is out now, and The Burning Hell are on a European tour that includes Italy, the Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark, and quite a number of dates in the UK, including Brighton, Bath, Kingston Upon Hull, Glasgow, Ramsgate, and that there London, before returning to Canada for a performance in Toronto.
THØSS – Two Laces
Thøss quickly burst my “guess the location” bubble, because despite both the Scandi-looking name, and what I think of as Scandinavian indie sonics on this particular track, Thøss, aka solo artist Tom, hails from Fleet in Hampshire, presumably miles from even the nearest IKEA, an issue that is hopefully rectified now he’s moved to South East London.
Two Laces is taken from his latest EP, Mayday, which launched at the Sebright Arms a week ago, and is available from all the usual places. Thøss will also be playing the Ace Hotel in Shoreditch with White Kite on October 25.
TOKYO TEA ROOM – Auto-Phobia
Rounding off our faves this week is Tokyo Tea Room, who are most definitely not from Japan, but Kent. Sonically, right now they’re somewhere near Shoegaze, and quite some distance from Indie Central. That said, I can’t quite put my finger on Tokyo Tea Room’s sound, but I like the fact that I can’t, and I like the sound very much indeed.
One of the cool things about writing for Fresh On The Net is seeing bands develop. We first came across Tokyo Tea Room almost two years ago. I wrote that week’s reviews, and while I remember enjoying the track and wishing them success, I’m not sure I was entirely convinced.
Auto-Phobia is so much better; there’s more energy, the playing is more nimble, and the whole thing feels far more confidently put together. Another track from the same EP as this, Sunshine Exit, featured in Faves 247, where reviewer Derv gushed effusively about the fine balance of soft, dreamy vocals set against “just the right amount of grit and grrr.” Auto-Phobia exhibits similar characteristics, and the more I’ve listened to it, the more it’s grown on me, which is always a good thing.
Auto-Phobia is available now as part of the Another Place, Another Time EP, and you can catch the band live in Canterbury on October 13, and Chatham on October 27.
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.Faves 247