Fresh Faves: Batch 257

Janileigh Cohen

Artists at a glance


These Fresh Faves were picked by our readers over the weekend – and reviewed by Fresh On The Net moderator and The Metaphorical Boat’s Christopher McBride this week. You can hear all these tracks in a single Soundcloud playlist here.

DOUGIE HARLEY – With Leaving Birds

When With Leaving Birds was submitted to Fresh on The Net, we had no idea that the track in question was in fact the brainchild of one of our fellow mods, Russell Jeanes, until the song made our top 10. It’s always great to know that I’m in the company of such talented people (not that I can count myself in that group mind – my closest attempt to musicality is a 50 second song played on the ukulele extoling the virtues of Battenberg).

With Leaving Birds is inspired by the legend that birds used to migrate to the moon, and features Aberdeen based artist Dougie Harley on guest vocals. It’s a lovely, song filled with sweeping strings and emotionally raw vocals, which strangely enough reminds me of Louis Armstrong of all people.

Dougie: Official | Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter
Jeanes: Official | Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Bandcamp


Easter Island Statues describe themselves as an “alternative trumpet rock band”, hailing from lovely Oxford. Their parping is kept quite subtle on their single Bow & Arrow, taken from their upcoming Why Don’t You Live in The Garden? EP, but the song doesn’t lose anything as a result – it’s a fine slice of whip smart indie-rock, the sort that fans of Franz Ferdinand would clamber to get their hands on.

Soundcloud | Facebook

FELIN – 21st Century

Ooh, some rowdy Scandi-pop, this is a welcome surprise, courtesy of Stockholm based Felin. 21st Century is a great piece of in-your-face pop with a punky attitude to it, something that fans of Madonna or Charli XCX would find hard to dislike.

Official | Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

HONEYMILK – Havslaten

We’ve got two Swedish acts back-to-back. What are the chances, eh? Honeymilk were the most picked artist this week, and are no strangers to the Fresh Faves, having made the cut back in June, and make your favourites again with Havslaten, which I am reliably informed by Google Translate is Swedish for “Sea Song”. The song is a hazy indie rock track, and is another irresistible gem in the duo’s impressive back catalogue.

Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter


If there was an award for the song in this week’s Fresh Faves that is most likely to be a Top 40 hit, then I would be bestowing said award on North West artist Jack Woodward for his song Higher. It’s a finely polished piano-led single with one of those euphoric choruses that has a quasi-spiritual feel to it. If you’re a fan of the ivory-botherings of Tom Odell, or are looking for a less gravelly version of Rag N Bone Man, then you’ll find something to like in Higher.

Official | Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube


Bolton singer/songwriter Janileigh Cohen comes highly recommended by Beth Orton, and listening to her marvellous song Sister, it is not hard to hear why. The song is a gorgeous, plaintive, piano ode to familial bonds, and is just lovely, like an enormous hug around the ears. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to compose myself before the next track, Sister’s getting me a little bit weepy…

Official | Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

KING CATCHER – 15 Miles From Nowhere

Now this a sound that I haven’t heard in quite a while – those buzzy sawtooth synths on 15 Miles From Nowhere by London group King Catcher are of the kind I haven’t heard this side of a late 90s one-hit wonder-achieving dance outfit. There’s lots of disparate ideas thrown into the track, which meander and ebb throughout the song, and quite hard to categorize – the closest I could come to would be “sounding like the Pet Shop Boys playing circuit-bent instruments piffled from Oxfam shops”.

Official | Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

LORNE – Oil And Water

It’s funny how it can be the little incidental parts of a song that you can find yourself falling in love with. Take Oil and Water by Lorne for example. It’s a great, soulful modern pop song for sure, but the one element that really gets me are the drums during the first verse of the song, which mimic the sound of a ticking clock. Perhaps the sound is symbolic of the theme of the song, remembering times gone by, and a relationship with someone that you just couldn’t make that time-honoured connection with? Or maybe I’m just reading too much into what is essentially just a cool little sound.

Still, it’s a great song, with a really great music video that captures the essence of the song beautifully.

Official | Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Bandcamp

STERGIN – The Storm

You’ve got to love a hefty hunk of synth-brass every now and again. London based Vinzenz Stergin, who performs alongside Adam Betts under his surname, gets his electronic noodling hat on for The Storm, a well crafted slice of modern electro-pop. It’s always nice to hear some pop sung in German, a language that doesn’t really get much of a look-in in music on this side of the Channel (99 Luftballons was famously only released in English in the UK, fact fans).

Official | Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Bandcamp

YOUNG CUB – Fragile

And finishing us off is some cloud bothering dreamy pop. There’s not much information about Young Cub on the internet, although we do know that they’re a duo, they are based in Keighley, West Yorkshire, and if their song Fragile is anything to go by, they are big fans of Owl City. It has that relaxing, naïve, twee electronica feel to it so beloved by Adam Young, a big piece of comforting loveliness.

Soundcloud | Bandcamp


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.


  1. great! 🙂

    … and Russ involved with leaving birds? :)!

  2. A fanstastic read. Very proud to have ‘With Leaving Birds’ sat alongside such wonderful songs. Thank you for the lovely review Christopher – much appreciated by me and Dougie! 🙂

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