Artists at a glance
CABINET OF MILLIONAIRES
THIS HUMAN CONDITION
ÚNA QUINN WITH NEIL CAMPBELL
AGOUTI – Dragons
Dragons is a track that develops beautifully, keeping you hooked with your head bobbing the whole way through. One of two new tracks from the San Francisco band Agouti – bringing funky, psychedelic vibes from sunny California. Their sound is reflective of a classic 70s psychedelic sound but is in no danger of sounding stale with their fresh, poppy energy, bringing Unknown Mortal Orchestra to mind. Agouti’s chief songwriter and producer, Carmen Caruso, has a DIY approach to her music, having built her basement studio and much of the equipment herself. Clearly a talented producer, this has surely helped the band find a sound of their own. The finished result is a brilliantly put together piece of red-hot psych rock.
Though they currently aren’t touring, you can hear more Agouti on their Spotify page.
CABINET OF MILLIONAIRES – Theresa
Cabinet of Millionaires‘ latest output Theresa is certainly no love song to the prime minister – but undoubtedly a formidable piece of protest dance-rock. The band has built a substantial online presence, with a message clearly tapping into the minds of many people across the country, backed up with a strong catalogue of music. With a passionate vocal performance, rich fuzzy synths and pounding drums, Cabinet of Millionaires have produced a banging protest song that’s sure to get everyone moshing at their next gig.
That will be happening when they play a Love Music Hate Racism benefit at The Parish in Huddersfield this Thursday Jan 24th. Tickets are available from the Facebook event page.
GEMMA ROGERS – My Idea Of Fun
Proving incredibly popular with our listeners over the weekend, Gemma Rogers has a flair for writing songs and musical arrangements that perfectly match her lyrical style. It says a lot in favour of Gemma that a track this strong is actually the B-side to her current single Stop. Brilliant brass arrangements perfectly underline her great sense of humour, while the simple-but-effective guitar part gives the song its pop appeal. It sounds like a track that will go down well live at a good pub gig.
Speaking of which, Londoners can catch Gemma playing The Gladstone Arms on Lant Street on March 9th – tickets available from her website.
JESSIE REID – Time Goes By
Shropshire’s Jessie Reid weaves brilliant fingerstyle guitar playing together with soulful, emotive vocal melodies in a fantastic, balanced way. Here she impresses with her talent for creating rich, full-sounding folk music, using very few components. For me, that’s what gives her songs such an effortless feeling; all the parts have a purpose and are perfectly in harmony with each other. Nothing is out of place.
Time Goes By is the first of a handful of singles she recently put out, all of which achieve the same high level of songwriting and technical guitar skills. She has a forthcoming single called Heavy Heart to look forward to, due out on February 8th.
I highly recommend checking out the rest of her work on either Soundcloud or Spotify. Or even on both. She’s playing live in London this Saturday (January 26th) at Biddle Bros.
THE CLEAR – Abydos
The ancient Egyptian city of Abydos provides inspiration and a title for this opening track on The Clear‘s current album Fates. The influence of Egypt is apparent in the music video for the track, which depicts scenes of pyramids, strange figures and a connection to outer space. The song is dreamy and flowing, somehow conveying a sense of quiet drama. The arrangements and vocal fit together so well, having been mixed really tastefully. Everything is in balance with nothing dominating or overpowering anything else. With three albums under their belt, they’ve proved they can consistently write great songs and their recent work has seen support from BBC Radio 6 Music: a sign of good things to come for the band.
THIS HUMAN CONDITION – Normal
(Time In Antarctica remix)
This Human Condition are the Bristol electronica duo of Jamie Jamal and Misterminchie. They create electronica that takes you through all sorts of places – both dark and positive – through their lyrics and instrumentation. The original version of their track Normal has a funky, world-y vibe, but this remix by Time In Antarctica turns it into something ethereal and trippy. They’ve done a good job of re-imagining the original while still keeping the track recognisable. This track is taken from a collection of mixes This Human Condition released towards the end of last year.
They play Bristol on February 2nd at Crofters Rights, and Salford the following month at The Eagle Inn on March 16th.
ÚNA QUINN WITH NEIL CAMPBELL – Steal Away
Úna Quinn and Neil Campbell – aided by Mark Quinn – create their surreal blend of folk and art-pop with thick layers of guitar melodies, hard dynamics and jittering drum breaks. On Steal Away, Ùna throws creative ideas into her “bedroom production” across the entire four minutes . Her experimenting with instrumentation, vocal effects, and varied use of drums brings to mind Beck’s album The Information. Ùna and Neil are a really interesting duo – the whole of their musical output mixes folk with electronic instruments in different ways to produce a range of creative sounds. It’s completely their own thing – and brilliant at that.
Though their online presence is fairly elusive, you can enjoy more of their music on their Soundcloud page.
VALERAS – Ricochet (Nunca Morirá)
Also highly popular at Fresh On The Net over the weekend, Valeras have been making waves in the last year. In 2018 their busy festival season included Reading & Leeds, in addition to touring extensively and picking up support from BBC Introducing and BBC Radio 1. All that is hardly surprising, since this Reading five piece have everything needed to make a great rock band.
This track Ricochet is brilliantly arranged. It gives you everything you could possibly want in just 2:45, yet still leaves you wanting more. This is the case across the board in their impressively consistent catalogue. Though the songs can go really hard, they also often slip into smoother, truly classy sections, which really tickles me. It’s delicious stuff. Given that the members are all still aged between 17-20, this band is going places for sure.
I’m definitely planning to catch them live next month. If you’d like to do so as well – and you will, after checking out their music – there’s no shortage of opportunities. Check out their incredibly busy February tour dates via their socials.
VALERIO LYSANDER – Fools
Valerio Lysander is an Italian musician based in London who creates beautifully uplifting folk-pop. Fools is a prime example, with his sensitive vocal softly rasping across a well put-together arrangement. Valerio’s influences range from classical arranging and operatic vocals, to the instrumentation of artists like Sigur Rós and Ben Howard. This track comes from his second album, We Are Like Coloured Moths Towards the Sunlight. It’s a lovely listen: my personal highlight is Comme Une Rivière – with Valerio’s ear for melody very much in evidence.
His song Little People appeared our Fresh Faves a year ago and a new music video for that track is about to be released – see his socials below for details.
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 12 weeks before sending us another track, to give us time to help other deserving artists… For more info see Robinson Has A Good Old Moan.
Finally, let me urge you to check out the inbox of over 170 tracks from which these songs were chosen. Our Fresh Faves are a cross-section of the songs our moderators and readers happened to like – but there are many more excellent tracks to be found there.