Fresh Faves: Batch 302

Adjoa

Artists at a glance

ADJOA
BENTCOUSIN
DOLLY MAVIES
GEORGE BOOMSMA
GOLD SPECTACLES
KITT PHILIPPA
OMYO
OWEN DUFF
THE DUKE OF NORFOLK
TV FACE

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

ADJOA – Damé Damé (Playing Your Game)

Tribal-Soul artist Adjoa is a highly accomplished artist, whose praises have been sung by Time Out Magazine, Sony Music and Jazz FM. Her superb songwriting blends her Ghanaian heritage with soulful vocals and chants, irresistible percussive rhythms, and a mix of lyrics in both English and the Ghanaian language Twi. The title Damé-Damé is the Adinkra symbol for the Ghanaian game of draughts, and is a symbol of strategy, intelligence and craftiness. The track flows beautifully and is packed with interesting textures and sounds, but still feels delicate and effortlessly put together.

No stranger to collaboration, she recently collaborated with guitarist Kari Bannerman of the sensational band Ibibio Sound Machine on several tracks of her latest project. Adjoa is tearing up on the live scene having played shows at The Royal Albert Hall, Somerset House, Ronnie Scott’s, The Jazz Café, and selling out a headline show at PizzaExpress Live to name but a few.

Official | Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | Bandcamp

BENTCOUSIN – Pantomime

Brighton / London based cutecore quintet, Bentcousin couldn’t be more distinctly British in their track, Pantomime. It’s instantly enjoyable with its bittersweet Brit-punk nostalgic vibe that could perfectly slip into any throwback film soundtrack. Charming lyrics are matched well by the clear and fresh vocal tone of lead-singer Amelia Murray, speaking of being low on cash, disappointing parties, and reminders of past relationships through a mysterious character at the pantomime.

With a handful of singles and a full-length album released, there is plenty of Bentcousin to explore, in which the band cover an eclectic range of sounds from indie punk, to synth-pop, to chilled out love songs with string arrangements.

Soundcloud | Facebook | Bandcamp

DOLLY MAVIES – Drown Me Out

The Alt-folk, Oxford singer-songwriter, Dolly Mavies, delivers a stunning, soulful vocal performance in Drown Me Out. Citing influences such as Joni Mitchell, Patti Smith and The National, she absolutely holds her own distinct style in a genre that is often crowded. Set on top of vibrant brass and string sections, chugging rhythm sections, and a brilliant display of dynamics – the powerful arrangement can’t drown out Dolly’s voice, with her Welsh roots shining through.

Gigging all across the country in 2017, tallying up an impressive 130 show including appearances at festivals such as Common People Festival, Jimmy’s Festival & Brecon Fringe Festival in Wales. Strong support from BBC Introducing in Oxford saw her play an introducing show at O2 Academy Oxford, and live sessions on BBC Radio Oxford and BBC Radio Coventry & Warwickshire.

Currently working on her forthcoming EP, Reflections, you can catch Dolly Mavies live at The Cellar in Oxford on the 29th November.

Official | Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

GEORGE BOOMSMA – As I Am Now

With two albums to his name, North-Yorkshire’s George Boomsma demonstrates a real honed knack for storytelling. Commemorating the 100th year since the end of World War I, George sings of a young man who died at age 25 and builds powerful empathy with the soldier as he draws up the similarities to himself throughout the track. The rhythmic, folk-inspired guitar work underlies the vocal superbly, providing a pretty, yet appropriately dissonant feeling beneath his clear falsetto. The song truly is a beautiful tribute.

George is donating all proceeds from the single to the Help Refugees charity. You catch him live in London this month – at Soho’s Spice of Life on the 11th of November, and on the 12th of November at The Water Rats in Kings Cross.

Official | Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Bandcamp

GOLD SPECTACLES – Edges

With a brilliant ear for melody, London baroque-pop duo Gold Spectacles bring serious head-bobbing vibes with their latest track Edges. Highlighting that everyone has their imperfections, and coming to terms with that, which is certainly reflected in the tracks colourful, feel-good sound. The track is the first edition of a concept, in which the band plan to release a song to coincide with every full moon for the next year, forming their self-titled debut album.

Receiving love from Spotify recently with Edges finding its way onto the New Indie & Alt playlist, Gold Spectacles have rallied up a strong fan base – with their track Steal You Away topping a million streams on Spotify. It’s clear as to why, if the duo continues to drop tracks as infectiously catchy and funky as Edges, which I have no doubt they will, they’re sure to go far.

Their next single is out on the 23rd November.

Official | Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter

KITT PHILIPPA – Grace

The beautifully emotional piece Grace comes from Belfast based composer and multi-instrumentalist Kitt Philippa. Their songwriting is influenced by nature and the environment comes across in a beautifully natural and pure sound. With a fair body of work out on Spotify, Kitt shows a real ability to create intimate, soulful and honest songs. With a background in classical music, there is an obvious dedication to attention to detail in every part and arrangement of Grace, and Kitt’s other tracks. An artist who has shown consistent quality, and there’s absolutely no doubt, will only continue to create more and more beautiful music.

Kitt is currently working on a full-length album – and has some exciting shows coming up that certainly not to be missed. A show at Oh Yeah Music Centre in Belfast on the 10th November, in which the bands are covering a few Frightened Rabbit tracks, in tribute to Scott Hutchison. The funds raised by this show will go towards tuning the delivery of Mental Health First by Aware NI. You can also catch Kitt at Flowerfield Arts in Portstewart on the 18th of November – supporting SOAK on the 26th of November at Oh Yeah Arts Centre & 27th of November at The Grand Social in Dublin. Or at The Empire in Belfast supporting Villagers on the 10th of December.

Official | Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Bandcamp

OMYO – Roam

Oxford pop duo OMYO (standing for ‘Our Music Your Opinion’), are made up of Tom McCorkell and William Edward. With support from BBC Radio 1 & 1 Xtra, CLASH, The Sun and Sunday Mirror the band have taken on the UK festival circuit including sets at Wireless Festival. Roam is an emotionally driven synth-pop track building into a catchy climax. Though starting off lighthearted and with a positive vibe, the chorus hits in to develop the song into perhaps something a little more bittersweet with the lyrics. OMYO prove they can put together a banging track.

OMYO will be playing O2 Academy2 Islington in London on the 7th December as their album release party.

Official | Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

OWEN DUFF – A Feather On The Scale

Colourful and brilliant – Northern Island born, Yorkshire raised and now East London residing Alt-Folk wizard, Owen Duff, has an enviable way with songwriting. As a musician I find myself unconsciously over-analyzing songs, which can be rather annoying – however A Feather On the Scale just allows you to appreciate purely how wonderful it is simply just to listen to. Of course, it did strike me how well structured the track is, how appropriately the arrangements come in, and how it’s so tastefully produced. However, there’s something about Owen’s voice that instantly makes you forget about all that and just listen to what he’s saying. I picture it being in a Disney Pixar film, over a montage of happy flashbacks or something (I mean that in the best possible way). Another of Owen’s talents is filmmaking, which explains his undeniably cinematic sound in his music – with his music appearing in the indie film, Thirteen Downs and BBC drama, The Falls.

Owen has an album coming out on the 14th of November. You can see him live on the 9th of November in London at the Gallery Café to raise money for the Kennedy Trust.

Official | Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Bandcamp

THE DUKE OF NORFOLK – Kharon

The Duke Of Norfolk is the project of Oklahoma born folk musician, Adam Howard. Exploring the traditional and modern electronic sides of folk, Howard has released two full-length albums, as well as a number of EPs. Kharon is a highly atmospheric track, perfect to listen as autumn falls upon us. Clearly the work of a confident musician who is sure of his sound, the Duke is worthy of his title. The track is taken from his recent full-length album that dropped on the 2nd of November and follows his infusion of traditional folk instrumentation and electronic drum machines, effects and sounds. It is a perfect matrimony all across the album, blending superbly, doing further credit to how well it has been produced.

The Duke Of Norfolk is currently on tour in the US in support of his album, playing The Lost Church in San Francisco on the 9th of November as his next stop.

Official | Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Bandcamp

TV FACE – Simian Nation

High octane, post-punk, three-piece TV FACE hail from Lancaster. Simian Nation is the title track from their recent EP, and is an excellent opener, with a strong vocal performance and its solid barrage of rhythm. Though this is their first release, the band certainly has no issue with writing punchy tracks that make you want to dance. The fourth track on the EP will be on a compilation called Save The LMC featuring Lancaster’s finest talent, which is raising money to support the Lancaster Music Co-op, where the band rehearses, and sadly, is currently facing eviction. However, hopefully with the help of TV FACE and the invaluable spirit of the local music scene will prevail.

TV FACE will be playing a Festive Punkathon at the Yorkshire House in Lancashire on the 22nd December

Official | Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | Bandcamp

TV FACE

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.

Sam Eagle

Sam Eagle, is a songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from the coast of Essex who's received strong support from BBC Radio 6 Music and BBC Introducing, appeared at festivals such as The Great Escape, Liverpool Sound City and the BBC Introducing Stage at LATITUDE, as well as live sessions on BBC Radio 6 Music for Tom Robinson, and Radio X for John Kennedy.

2 Comments

  1. Lovely reviews Sam, a really enjoyable read, thank you 🙂

  2. These are great reviews Sam and well-researched too. Thoroughly enjoyed reading them. 🙂

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