Artists at a glance
I AM THE COLD MAN
ABBIE OZARD – Average Disguise
We always enjoy seeing the tracks we picked out at the Mods HQ make it onto the top ten. This was mine this week and it’s a perfect sub 3-minute radio edit of musical goodness. Abbie Ozard has a rich textured voice whom I’d compare to the delicate umber tones of a Thea Gilmore whilst I imagine she also has the vibes to rock it like Polly Jean Harvey. Already picked up by BBC Introducing Manchester and receiving plaudits and play from 6 Music’s Chris Hawkins, this newcomer is set for a sterling career in the game. I wish her nothing but the best and so should you.
Æ MAK – Glow
The inflection in Æ Mak gave me the impression I was listening to an artist hailing from Denmark or Sweden, and then whilst typing up I realized the lead singer reminded me of Royksopp or the polished crystal of Sophie Barker and Sia on Destiny — the stand out Zero 7 track from seminal album Simple Things. It seems that this Dublin-based Irish outfit are already on the road and getting battle hardened with national tours and support slots with Warpaint and Django Django. Their tribal feel and female driven electro power trips had me thinking they would do well to tour with Liverpool act Stealing Sheep. Promoters, get that bill together ASAP!
HODGES – Kodama
The rich fabric of music that stretches across the planet leads me to Japan and the lovely tones of Hodges. Kodama was reminiscent of Magic Numbers and whilst not exactly hot to trot on the Japanese scene myself I’d add psychedelic folk of Kikagaku Moyo as a sound comparison. So much so that they also have an absolute banger of a track called Kodama. Not too much of a stretch to imagine them as an influence, I hope. I would like to see them rock out over on a European tour very soon possibly as support to aforementioned artists or someone like Damo Suzuki.
I AM THE COLD MAN – The Lawns
Our very own Mr Robinson has already lauded I Am The Cold Man’s resonant and delicate vocals as “beautiful and close harmonies” and when the man speaks folk listen. This is just such a lovely song, drifting along in lamentation across a river of trumpet with a flotsam and jetsam of percussion that turns the ear and makes me press listen again without hesitation. This hard working alternative folk duo from London look to be gigging constantly and will be a good addition to any festival bills this coming summer.
KATE STAPLEY – Potted History Of Mum
Labelled as intergalactic folk and based in that bastion of boom times Bristol, Kate Stapley has crafted a lovely track here. “I’ve seen these pursed lips down all three generations” leads the listener to reflect on the duty of woman and the trials of childbearing to then see yourself reflected through history in your relations. Set to a groovy guitar and skiffle beat, she’s a further great example of female lead and driven acts that are punching through the patriarchy to recognition.
MAEBH – The Moon & I
“I used to be a storyteller, for company I had the sky, but the moon and I get on even better”. Instrumentalist and composer Maebh (pronounced Maeve) is a solo artist and another very strong musician in a week where the women are powering into the top ten. I loved this song. I loved the music, I loved her lyrics and I wanted more so went on and had a gander at her Soundcloud where you can hear much more of this quality and beauty. I particularly enjoyed the mid-section breakdown of steel drums and beats which I’d imagine would sit perfect with a moonlit dance by the flames on a summer’s night.
ODINA – Nothing Makes Sense
“I don’t love you anymore, I love myself”. Sometimes these micro-reviews write themselves and this entry deserves the votes it was given purely based on the title of the track. The inner nihilist in me wonders what the point in anything is from time to time and Odina captures this 21st Century malaise perfectly. I imagine being based across London and Barcelona with two mega-cities on your mind paves the way for art to write itself. The simplicity of the tick tocking, sexy guitar riffs leave plenty of room for us to glory in her lovely writing and her Bjork-like voice and then she brings in some saxophone and this wonderful lament is complete. I would love you all to follow her online and see her live.
PRESENT PARADOX – A Cave In The Inside
This is the title track from the 5th Album by Dortmund based German artist David Kleinekottman who is clearly as prolific as he is talented. Ambient, experimental, art house and electronica in scope and influenced by Brian Eno, Elbow and Radiohead. I’d say those signposts mark Present Paradox out for closer inspection. I couldn’t find any tour dates over here so again, nudge, nudge, wink wink to all the promoters out there fishing for a proven act of substance for their future gigs.
ROSE BETTS – Six
This instantly had me up and paying attention like a hungry mongoose sniffing for its lunch. Swept ashore with the sea to the powerful harmonies awaiting us as we find “Six dead pieces on the sea shore, that the waves brought into sea, when the night came in there was only four”. Reminiscent of power ballad, sea shanties of old where the vocals and the story driven songs were shared across the seven seas and sung by bards and sailors at sea and on land. Vivid, evocative and filled with passion Rose Betts is a favourite here, and I’m hoping I get to see her on tour up north or at a costal venue with a band as she sings in harmony with the sea.
TV ME – Stitches
Opening with a haunting fairground jingle that bursts into a live performance I was instantaneously filled with enthusiasm. Reminding me in sound and scope to the Doobie Brothers or current Manchester darlings The Travelling Band. Psyche-folk, cinematic instrumentals and dance pop influence their tapestry of taste. Hailing from Liverpool and having already had airplay across Amazing Radio, Radio X, BBC 6 Music and BBC Introducing Merseyside, TV ME are set for a breakthrough summer this 2018. Sure to be snapped up by a label and thrust into the spotlight I await their presence on many a festive poster this year! Cracking track folks, can’t wait to hear more.
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.