Fresh Faves: Batch 272

Ciaran Austin

Artists at a glance


These Fresh Faves were picked by our readers over the weekend – and reviewed by blogger, musician and BBC Radio’s Matt Tasker this week. You can hear all these tracks in a single Soundcloud playlist here.

BUTTNESS – Blizzard Dream

This week’s longest fresh fave is a six-minute piece of bluesy rock all the way from Shymkent City in Kazakhstan. Buttness are led by Yeldos Zarpullayev whose vocals leap into the Robert Plant range at about the two-and-a-half minute mark and don’t let up from there on in with crashing guitar, drums and bass.

The campaign to get them to the UK for a show starts here, but until that happens, head to their Bandcamp to hear White Balance, the band’s recently released second album.

Soundcloud | Twitter | Bandcamp

CIARAN AUSTIN – Full Circle (ft. Felicity Hamilton)

It’s 2am and the night out hits a moment of melancholic introspection. You’ve lost your friends amongst the haze of bright lights and busy crowds, but feel content to just be at one with the music. Put that feeling into a song and you have Full Circle.

Ciaran Austin is a bravely open songwriter, with lyrics about not knowing how to make his way through the world, whilst the band, Cantaloupe Island, provide the perfect page for his words to be written on.

If you would like to get lost with them head to the Cavern in Exeter on the 28th Feb or Ronnie Scott’s in the capital on the 13th March.

Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Bandcamp

CIRCE – Under My Skin

Best not to listen to this whilst on your own at night… It’s decidedly creepy and threatening, like the prickle on the back of your neck when you think you’re being followed. Circe uses her impressive vocal range to flit between innocent to spooky in a heartbeat with great effect whilst the bassy synths paint a picture as black as night.

This track was featured on the Brighton independent label Love Thy Neighbour’s limited edition EP, TRIIPTYCH: Two. You would have been lucky to get one of the twenty limited edition vinyls that are now sold out, but you can still console yourself with the digital edition, available via Bandcamp.

Soundcloud (Love Thy Neighbour) | Facebook | Twitter | Bandcamp (Love Thy Neighbour)

DBH – Med Sun

In a little over four minutes and without a single word being uttered, an epic story is woven in the air by Daniel Bridgewood-Hill’s guitar. I like to think it starts with the words “Once upon a time, under the bright light of a Mediterranean sun…” and from there flies down countryside roads, telling a tale of joy and love but also danger and sadness. Whatever story you hear, this song is undoubtedly stunning.

If you would like to hear more then dive into dbh’s most recent album of solo instrumentals, Mass, released on Thread Recordings.

NB I wonder what Led Zeppelin-esque magic could be cooked up by dbh and Buttness if the two ever met… An epic Fresh Faves collaboration perhaps?

Official | Soundcloud (Thread Recordings) | Facebook | Bandcamp


Taking the highly coveted crown of best Fresh Fave track named after a democratic electoral system this week is Fugitive Orchestra, aka James Tattington. He rips into the state of British politics with this well constructed indie toe-tapper that has an important message – whatever situation we’re in, we are all in it, even if the system feels rather broken, “Call it democracy, but it’s more like sleight of hand”.

James is playing plenty of gigs in his hometown of Southsea and in London over the next few months. Find the full list on his Facebook page.

Official | Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Bandcamp

GAZE IS GHOST – Selkie Skin

Laura McGarrigle, aka Gaze Is Ghost, has been a project in and out of the spotlight since her debut album Plume in 2013, followed by an EP in 2014. This is the first single taken from her new album, expected in April, and sees her voice soaring over solo piano before a cresendo of drums and harmonies washes over you. It’s really rather beautiful.

Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Bandcamp

HURST – Rattle Kids

Here’s a bit of bite from down under. Hurst hail from Sydney, Australia and have laced their guitar strings with venom for this pop-punk number. It makes you feel shackled to a wall of teenage frustration, desperately straining to get out and go wild. All in all this track is a mosh-pit maker and I hope Hurst come to the UK for a show someday.

Official | Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

MARSICANS – Wake up Freya

Not only do James, Oli, Rob and Cale earn a big tick in my book by being from Leeds (the best city in the world), but they also make beautiful tunes. Wake Up Freya by Marsicans is a stunning dawn sunrise, welcoming new life to the world and promising that you will be loved. It’s gorgeous.

Their nationwide March tour is starting to sell-out so be quick a snap up a ticket while you can. The final homecoming show at the Leeds Church on the 10th March promises to be a particularly great party.

Official | Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Bandcamp

PATAWAWA – Patagonia

Grab your nearest and dearest and head to the dancefloor for a little bit of funky disco. There’s a touch of the Jackson 5 to be found in this outrageously sunny tune by Patawawa that combines catchy beats with clever guitar hooks and playful poise.

A must-see at July’s Tramlines festival in Sheffield.

Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube


Tarantina says of her latest single; “I Am A Loner is about a girl who watches her ex-boyfriend through his window, scales the walls of his building and inhales from his chimney like a giant cigarette.”

It’s dark, brooding and a little bit frightening, with a creepy atmosphere, created by Tarantina’s fingernails tapping on a tin and the sound of her cat eating his dinner. If you want even more dimensions to this tale of a woman scorned then check out her Versione Italiana and Version En Espanol on Soundcloud.

It’s exciting that this project has recently come to life on stage, as Tarantina went out on the road with Nadina Shah last month. Watch out for her playing a stage near you soon.

Official | Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | 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.


I'm a blogger, musician and Assistant Producer with Radio 2, working on the Chris Evans Breakfast Show. I've previously worked with 6 Music and for various independent production companies on stations including Radio 1. I was listed by the Radio Academy in 2017's 30 Under 30, which highlights young people working in radio. Originally from Suffolk, I became obsessed with radio whilst studying in Leeds. I love music, having played piano, saxophone and guitar since I was a kid and been to gigs and festivals across the country. New music is particularly exciting because it's a delve into the unknown. Come and say hello to me on Twitter: @matttasker7


  1. Great reviews Matt. Great how you describe exactly what each track evokes and bring out their stories, imagined or real. A really enjoyable read.

  2. Hunter

    Matt, thanks for the article post.Really thank you! Great.

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