Fresh Faves: Batch 275

Black Mirror

Artists at a glance

BLACK MIRROR
BRITISH IRAQI ARCHITECTURE
DOLLY MAVIES
JOEL SARAKULA
JUNODREAM
LYCIO
MUTANT VINYL
SUNBRUISE
THE MODERN STRANGERS
THE SHRIVES
WILDFIRES

These Fresh Faves were picked by our readers over the weekend – and reviewed by Shorts from First Tiger this week. You can hear all these tracks in a single Soundcloud playlist here.

BLACK MIRROR – You’ve Got It

This is a beautiful song. The whispered vocal is delivered so close to the mic that you can just about hear the singer’s lips as she sings. It’s very cinematic in tone and lyric and there’s a tremendous feeling of space and desolation between the guitars and behind that intimate vocal. The overall effect is a haunting ballad. Black Mirror have very little info on them other than their names and that they are from Tenerife. I would love to know more about them. Their album No Colours For Concern was released in April 2017, and they are well worth your time.

Soundcloud | Facebook | YouTube | Bandcamp (El Hombre Bala Records)

BRITISH IRAQI ARCHITECTURE – Piss Poor In Paradise

A modern punk track dripping with sneering cynicism – a rant against a hollowed-out London that’s losing the thing Londoners (any that I know at any rate) prize above all else – the diversity of its people and culture. The crisp, tidy chords help drive home the message and the vocal delivery of the chorus feels firmly tongue in cheek, while the verses are delivered in a conversational Phil Daniels singing Park Life style. It’s British Iraqi Architecture’s only song and on their sparse website there’s a paragraph about it being inspired by the gentrification of London pricing out all but the wealthiest — you can download the track for free.

Official | Soundcloud | YouTube

DOLLY MAVIES — My Buoy

What a lush, vibrant track this is. It makes wonderful use of layered vocals and some lovely string arrangements. The dual meaning of buoy/boy sets up some wonderful metaphor without ever feeling forced. It’s a terribly sad, poetic song beautifully delivered in a soft restrained and regretful vocal. This is a song to be savoured over a lonely kitchen table late at night with a slow drink in the company of a memory. Dolly Mavies currently has a lot of dates for shows around England over the next couple of months and on the basis of this track, the music will be well worth the ticket.

Official | Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

JOEL SARAKULA – In Trouble

This is utterly glorious trashy retro soul funk. As soon as it kicked in my ears pricked up and my feet were tapping along to its busy rhythm. I couldn’t help but think of Curtis Mayfield’s Move On Up and there’s definitely some of Gerry Rafferty’s Baker Street in there. Here is a fantastic ode to an era and style of music and you can feel the love in every note and arrangement, but it keeps its own identity while taking you for a nostalgia tinged ride. It’s a song you feel like you know as soon as you hear it – it makes me wish I had great hair and was wearing sunglasses. Joel Sarakula seems to be touring around Germany and The Netherlands at the moment, but I would pay good money to see him live – especially just to see how this track would work out!

Official | Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Bandcamp

JUNODREAM – Galactica

The piano intro starts Galactica by Junodream off in a deceptively straightforward fashion, but soon builds to a lush production. When the chorus comes in the song really opens out into an epic soundscape and as the song builds the chorus seems to become more and more enjoyably familiar. There’s a really lovely guitar and piano mix and a great relaxed vocal delivery. The music has echoes of 90s alt rock (Spiritualized, The Verve) and it wears its influences unashamedly on its sleeve (rightly so) while delivering a big guitar laden anthem.

Official | Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

LYCIO – Evil People

This is a banging tune! Up there with the best 90s dance tracks. I love the fat fuzzy synth guitar riffs (surely some Daft Punk love happening there?) and that big powerful vocal took me straight back to my late teens – I could practically smell the spiced rum and coke and sweat. I defy you not to get your hands in the air and dance to this! Lycio are a Birmingham 3-piece and unlike a lot of their peers they apparently play everything live with no pre-recorded tracks. I would love to hear this live and I reckon they would get any crowd jumping! A quick glance at their events page suggests they’re mainly playing in and around Birmingham, but fingers crossed they’ll go out on tour soon. In the meantime… lucky Brummies!

Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter

MUTANT VINYL – Can You Kick The Reel?

This song by Mutant Vinyl has an urgent, nasty feel. The programmed beats drag you through a seedy nightscape of austerity Britain as the lyrics ask you if you can be “less narcissistic”. The song doesn’t become any less uncomfortable or compelling and finishes with a burst of wig out sax. It’s a tight fit for everything in there, coming in at under three minutes, but it’s a song that demands repeated listens.

Official | Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

SUNBRUISE – Pretty Joshua

Lovely sun-drenched guitar sounds and rich trippy vocals took me to the beach — like dark surf rock. Sunbruise’s love of reverb is put to great use on the verses before it then segues into a dark discordant chorus – it’s familiar yet alien at the same time. I love the cut out and sparse drum fill into a fantastically wailing big coda just before the 3 minute mark. Then comes the surprising (almost creepy) vocal outro, which I was not at all expecting. In some ways it broke the spell for me, but then I don’t know how I expected it to finish… I felt sorry for Joshua until the outro… then I just felt afraid for him.

Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | Bandcamp

THE MODERN STRANGERS – She’s So Cold

A slice of honed guitar pop. It’s so polished and well delivered and produced – it leaves me wondering how the music industry can possibly work in an era when even lesser known acts are crafting work of such a standard! The sound is not unlike Maroon 5, if Maroon 5 had more heart and soul. I can’t see how something of this quality won’t make an impact and if the rest of The Modern Strangers’ forthcoming EP from which this is taken is even half as good then they will surely be on to a winner. This will definitely go down a storm at Sound City and The Great Escape where they are part of the line up this year.

Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

THE SHRIVES – Money Maker

I really enjoyed the driving, foot tapping energy of this – it’s pure catchy power pop. I love the big tremolo strums on the verses. My toddler came straight up to me as I was listening and grinned, doing a wee foot shuffle to the tune – irresistible. I can hear it on the radio and I can imagine a packed venue jumping along to this getting belted out. The Shrives are young, but already have an album under their belt – it seems that Billie from Green Day flew them out to California to record their debut album and played bass on some of the tracks! This is a stand-alone single, but if there’s another album’s worth of tracks like this on the cards, then the sky’s the limit.

Official | Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

WILDFIRES – Mr Solo

Wildfires are a pretty new outfit from Manchester. Their first gig was in only February last year! The 4-piece have a sound that seems to have a number of influences and Mr Solo has elements of soul and RnB as well as pop rock. They describe themselves as indie rock, but there’s even a feel of electronica in the singer’s delivery that belies the guitar driven music. The clean guitar tones compliment the singer’s slightly husky confident delivery. They only have two songs on their Soundcloud, but they both have an identifiable vibe and style all their own and I’ll be interested to see how this plays out as they release more tracks.

Official | Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

Wildfires

Shorts (Pete McGinty)Shorts (aka Pete McGinty) is the lead singer and rhythm guitarist for Glasgow band First Tiger. The Fresh On The Net Listening Post has become a weekly ritual for him and his weekend doesn’t feel right without it. First Tiger will be live in session with Tom Robsinson on BBC 6 Music this coming Saturday 17th March.

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.

Guest Post

One of a series of guest posts from bands, bloggers and other colleagues reviewing our Fresh Faves and writing about their current projects.

3 Comments

  1. Thanks a lot for featuring our song and the kind comments….

    Here is our studio ( Rayo road ) and the Theremin

    http://www.musictech.net/2017/10/studio-interviews-rayo-road/

    Cheers! B-M.

  2. Great and thoughtful reviews Shorts. Really enjoyed reading them.

  3. Well what a sweet bowl of loveliness!

    Great reviews Shorts

    Fine music people

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