Fresh Faves: Batch 296

Sick Joy

Artists at a glance


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

A MOTION FOR CONTROL – Plainview (ft Cholly)

A beautiful song from A Motion For Control built upon the wealth of oil and corruption that brings to both soul and planet. I loved reading through the lyrics (something I’d personally encourage all artists to do) so bonus points for that. It gave me another insight into the band which is this: they carefully consider what goes into each element and like any good chef no ingredient is surplus to the final dish of excellence. The rhythmical drumming is subtly building in the background led superbly by serene singing by Cholly, culminating in an edgy and tense final minute or so which is my favourite part of the track.


ALEX HIGHTON – I Don’t Have A Clue How To Fill Your Cup

I was a little confused as to the artists title but it turns out upon investigation the mega talented Alex Highton was snapped up long ago by very cool label BB*Island. This track is the signature dish from tasty album Welcome To Happiness. A tune of serious construction and composition from a self-confessed fan of artists like Can, Flaming Lips, Prince and Bowie to name a few. For me I caught a scent of I, Monster and their gorgeous number Daydream Blue. An excellent blending of delicate vocals layered over great lyrics and musicality. Again the final minute or so leaps off into a new spectrum where it breaks off completely from that decadent, sexy vibe into a breakbeat drum finale. Bang then it’s done!

Official | Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Bandcamp

BERRY BROWN – Russian Charlotte

Third on the podium of joy is Berry Brown whose lush vibrations manifest a hot from the oven number right here. Break off a slab for your aural pleasure and the let the crumbs of treasure nurture your ears. There are some finely tuned words at play with “There she blows in the sunset / making shapes that mirror swan flight / did you ever see a moon shark / Cut your finger in a dark stream?” She also has certain echoes of electro acts such as Dot Allison, Ladyhawke or even Gaga when synthesis and looped drums whisks us across “cold winter hearts”. Nom nom nom get some of this to warm your cockles asap.

Soundcloud | Twitter | Bandcamp

KUSH KATZ – Friends

Kush Katz are an independent indie art house inspired outfit hailing from somewhere or nowhere according to their illusive social media links. In the same vein this track of jangling guitars and bopping bassline and drums had me jiggling about whilst typing up the review! “Street night on a wet night, our love at a red light”. The chorus of “We can still be friends, remember the beginning when we were friends”. I first imagined Franz Ferdinand as an influence but the lyrics hit home and that sense of loss we all experience when break ups occur drove me into the arms of Gotye. Their fabulous song Now You’re Just Somebody holds the same talent rubbed and garnished with a unique sense of pathos. Kush Katz have something going on, so I’m sure more will occur very soon…

Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Bandcamp

ME FOR QUEEN – In This Skin

“And they asked me why I moved to the sea / the waters are cut sapphire set into the sand”. The benchmark is set pretty high immediately and the rolling, dipping piano playing mirror both the voice and the ocean. I really love this song, I mean love, love. I want it’s essence captured especially around the 2 minute mark when the drums and brass kick it up a notch. Me For Queen has stolen the very soul of the sea and with her musical pestle and mortar created a sauce so fine I want to dip my metaphorical deep-fried ears in it. She is signed to aptly named Seahorse Music label and her brand of vibe is called soul folk. Hailing from Scotland she get’s bonus points cos I’m from there too so there! Finally, I see she is on tour, if I was you I’d go see her.

Official | Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Bandcamp

PAUL F COOK – Blues Man

I can’t remember if I voted this as one of my tracks this week but I absolutely want to say I did because it’s fascinating. I’m informed on the grapevine that this uber talented soul has been urged to get to grips with his talent for composition and just do it after achieving further recognition with his previous track Mater Gloria. Well take a bow Paul F Cook because this is ace. Sampled from a drunk dude on a train in 2007 when Paul encountered a man so hopelessly smashed but adamant he was some lost talent like Finding Sugarman I suppose! This sad occurance gave birth to inspiration where in his own words he added squelchy drums, 4 bass guitars and 3 concurrent guitar solos. Pauls previous bands include The Rum Stuff and he is also part of an indie act called Fenco and am reliably told he has a featured number on an upcoming compilation Vanishing Point (Vol.1) on Demerara Records.

Soundcloud | Twitter


The intro to Project Blackbird’s Elevantion kicks off with a lonely lamenting trumpet and is then infused with kicking drums. There is a then a chunky wedge of synths (reminiscent of Elbow’s opening to Grounds for Divorce) allowing us to slip and slide into this modern protest song. “Rise we will, Rise, we will rise”, “You will never forget that moment, that morning when you mistook the buds of magnolias for hundreds of sleeping doves about to take flight”. Yet again I am pleased with some delightfully powerful and evocative imagery at play in this band’s songwriting. You can be sure with absolute clarity you can listen as I did with my eyes closed and you are transposed into the image completely.

Add a dash of funky guitar, a slice of acidic politics and an ambition to raise perception and awareness and you may be closing in on the band’s recipe for success. If the rest of their debut album is anywhere near as good it’ll be a banger, and I don’t mean any old butchers snag. Oh no, I mean a handcrafted beast, served on the best mash, with the richest jus and a side of mustard so strong your nostrils flare with pleasure as your ears pop and your mind twists with pleasure at a tune so lovingly crafted.

Official | Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Bandcamp

RUMOUR CUBES – ¡No Pasarán!

Labelled a “statement of hope in a world world dominated by division” by A Closer Listen. I really felt the tension leaping out the speakers at me from the guitar looping and building. From the sinister strings, the deadly drums the rattling bells for three minutes of what could be a score for a movie scene. The feeling of utter suspense and urgency bouncing around really set me on edge and so complete was my feelings of despair and the urge to withdraw that I was eventually drawn to laughter. Therein lies the rub of true art and craftsmanship. You recognize it when you finish a fine wine, smoke a good smoke or wipe a bowl clean with the last of your bread. True art involves your very being. I’d imagine Rumour Cubes’ live shows would be quite an immersive experience. Ticket? Who wants to join me?

Official | Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Bandcamp

SICK JOY – Dissolve Me

Released by Killing Moon on 19th this spangled punk, pop, rock, indie number wouldn’t seem out of place in Kurt Cobain’s early back catalogue. Hailing from sweet spot musically, Brighton, this hammerhead bass and guitar combo smash your ears with 2 mins 40 of jelly like wobbling, hair thrashing, boundless energy and enthusiasm. This kind of track wants to be the flagship number for high octane sports shows that feature parkour, snowboarding or skydiving. Sick Joy’s raw and primitive vibes flowing at me made me want to jump headfirst out a plane screaming “dissolve me!”

Official | Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Bandcamp

VOICE OF AIKO – Prescription Dream

This track’s trippy, electro inspired trip-hop vibes with a strongly political message about prescription drugs had me thinking of acts like Massive Attack, Goldfrapp or as my research department (AKA my girlfriend Claire Corry) told me, Fat Freddy’s Drop or even better a Tiki Taane’s track Our Favourite Target. Voice Of Aiko is collective formed in Berlin and with a strong social conscience regarding big-pharma and its shady influence on our societies, economies and culture. Particularly the lines “I wouldn’t call it an addiction, but I don’t feel right when am straight”. I enjoy this band’s stance and their finger pointing at benzo drug-induced addictions that are state inspired is truly sinister. In essence then, this is a band to be admired musically, as human beings, artistically and conscientiously. I can get with that and for sure send them my best top shelf vibes.

Soundcloud (Calista Kazuko) | Facebook | Twitter

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.

Chris Ingram

Chris is a poet and performer with new collective Vulpes Urbana who have been recently signed to Welsh Independent label CEG Records and is former lead of The Glendale Family. Read more about Chris here.


  1. Brilliant reviews Chris. Tom’s Twitter post always says ‘lovingly reviewed by …’ and this article lives up to that description. I always know I’ve really got a buzz from reading the Fresh Faves write-up when they make me want to go and listen to the tracks again. And they do. 🙂

  2. Cheers Neil! It’s been a while since I’ve been so involved and am as always so pleased to hear so much good music that as a writer myself could daunt me. Instead I find it massively inspiring and encouraging that there is SO much goodness. Have affine week my friend. C

  3. Thanks Chris. You have a fine week too 🙂

  4. Bing bang bong what a lovely 20 minutes that was, thanks Chris for the most enjoyable reviews and to the artists for making fine music indeed

  5. Really enjoyed reading this morning Chris (had a chuckle after reading about your research dept). Thank you 🙂

  6. Gayle Riddle

    a brand new experience for me and gosh how I enjoyed it…. brilliant talented people, am sending good luck to all.

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