Artists at a glance
LATE NIGHT PICTURE
MARTIN & BELL
SNIPPET AKA JOHNNO CASSON
THE WOOD BURNING SAVAGES
BILK – Give Up
This tight, tidy three-piece go full beam and steam straight ahead with this track! There’s an instant bump as your swept along with the basslines and then we’re assaulted by some fine lyrics on the state of affairs from a youthful perspective. “Just another day in the life of a loser” instantly had me hooked and after a few listens had me joining in on the chorus “I Can’t give up”. I imagine Bilk are influenced by the ilk of Ratboy and Loyle Carner both of whom knock it out the park sonically and lyrically. I’d like to hear more please lads. Until next submissions I hope to see them on the road soon.
COLOUR – Black
Liverpool-based Colour style themselves as micro-prog and with their layered keys and jangly guitar riffs I’d say they sit well with this assessment. It’s a really cool tune which would make an excellent soundtrack to a scene from a sci-fi flick based on a novel by Philip K. Dick. The point being there are some very well thought out ideas at play here and they are well executed and with a precision of thought by folk who know their craft. Their new art pop EP is set for release this spring with help of Dan Swift (Kasabian/Snow Patrol) and I gather they will be playing a show in my neck of the woods on 17th February at Telford’s Warehouse in Chester. I can’t wait.
DIDI – Fast And Furious
Grrrrl power, punk pop meets Arctic Monkeys with plenty catchy hooks and svelte wordplay. I thoroughly enjoyed this tune and gave it multiple plays and was enthused enough to go into her back catalogue. It isn’t too extensive yet — and I say yet because she has only been working solo for less than a year. That’s very impressive considering DIDI has garnered airplay on BBC 6 Music and Amazing Radio in that time. What else can I say except DIDI is a going places fast and I will keep an ear out for her own brand of power pop in future.
JITTERZ – Unicorns & Glitter
Jitterz are a Leicester duo packing heat with some thick rock and roll guitar, rolling drums and pumping bass lines. An attitude reflected in the main refrain “Don’t do what they tell you to” and ending with the “Am drowning”. Succinct, slick, strong and deserving of a place on this list they describe themselves as a weird hybrid of punk, rock & roll, awkwardness, gay feelings and not enough sleep which really endeared me to them further. Unicorns and Glitter wouldn’t look out of place compared to a White Stripes number in its style and execution.
K-LANTA — Sunlight
This tune starts out as a homage to an Ibiza club anthem with its bending keys, female-led vocals, slapping basslines and synthy slickness. I’d imagine given the right treatment and passed through the right channels this track by K-Lanta will be a song to accompany many’s a grinning, gurning sunrise on many’s a holiday this summer. There’s a great breakdown piece mid song where it gets chunky, in an uptown funky fashion, which is certainly no bad thing. So turn it up and get the sun roof down friends, the sunlight is coming. Catch their own brand of disco, house beats on their various social media sites…
KIDSMOKE – Sister Sadness
Wrexham-based Kidsmoke have been making waves for a while now on the scene in the north. From playing smashing sets at Focus Wales and Green Man, to killing it on the air with Adam Walton on BBC Wales and Steve Lamacq on BBC 6 Music, they even have a tune featured on an episode of Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror. This tune was one of my initial votes and I am pleased the public gave it a vote of confidence too. A truly talented act who play a very tight set of cleverly constructed indie inspired hits. I’ve no doubt this hard working four piece will be on your radio and on a bill at many festivals this summer so go have a gander at this tune whilst it’s hot out the oven.
LATE NIGHT PICTURE – Massif
Another feather in the cap for the Welsh music scene here as Late Night Picture, a South Walian four piece from Barry, make it onto our list here. Downtempo, spaced out and cinematic in scope cut through with the crispy excellence of Chloe’s ethereal vocals. Hailing influence from London Grammar, Little Dragon and Massive Attack I certainly felt the last in particular as a poignant comparison. The track I had in mind was Teardrop and Massif bears fruit in its similar excellence of execution and deliberate style. If you’d like to hear more then go to their Soundcloud where you can find further aceness.
MARTIN & BELL – Roman Totale’s Death Song
I adore this track. Of course I am a massive fan of spoken word performance and good word play. Essentially a poem by Gavin Martin set over some great grooves and fat ketty beats by Martin Bell “he was our guide to getting pie-eyed, totally fried, to break on through to the other side”. A great story and homage to a great character who seems like a cross between Shane McGowan and Hunter S. Thompson. The relentless spitting vocals are well suited to the poets Irish accent and the story is done justice by the bubbling beats and electricity of the guitar it’s set upon. More of this please.
SNIPPET AKA JOHNNO CASSON – Hurt For You
This is a wonderful melancholy track penned by Colchester-based artist Johnno Casson. Written in part as a song in homage to the great folk traditions he imagined being sung by greats such as Willie Nelson. As all great pieces of art are formed, so it is here that the idea simmered away and was drafted, redrafted and finally set down as part therapy and part contemplation over a close friend’s hard times. Hurt For You is a lovingly tender dedication which, Johnno’s voice sets the brevity of pain and soul of love to.
SYKOYA – Rising Up
Rising Up by Sykoya is a delicate blend of soundscapes, melodious vibes and luscious vocal play. Listening to this well constructed piece I’d love to get a handle on the album and give it a blast in the car on a drive through the cool crisp highlands where I feel landscape and soundscape would be in perfect harmony. Citing influences such as London Grammar this capital city based collective have put this track out from their debut album Strange Night due out later this month. The launch is at the Sebright Arms on the 24th of February.
THE WOOD BURNING SAVAGES – Purple Heart
Finishing this week’s very grand top picks is The Wood Burning Savages from Derry in Ireland. This track is fast-paced and furious, driven by front man Paul Connolly, whose lyrics here tackle the thorny issue of PTSD. The passion bleeding through from wrestling such an issue adds impetus to the vibrancy brought to the table by the fast paced guitars and crackling drums. Their debut album is scheduled for April this year and our very own Tom Robinson rates them so highly he has acclaimed their lead as “One of the next generations great frontmen”. I’d say alongside that and the fact they have been compared with Manic Street Preachers and Queens of The Stone Age is a clear signpost to success.
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.