Artists at a glance
THE KING'S PARADE
THE WILD STATE
These Fresh Faves were picked by our readers over the weekend – and reviewed by The Metaphorical Boat and Fresh On The Net’s Christopher McBride this week. You can hear all these tracks in a single Soundcloud playlist here.
ANNE LOVETT – The Eleventh Hour
It was quite surprising that The Eleventh Hour was the favourite track of the readers of Fresh on The Net this week – not because the track in question isn’t enjoyable (quite the opposite, in fact), but because it is in a genre that I wouldn’t have expected to be as popular with the voters.
Yet we all fell in love with the sound of classically-trained French pianist and composer Anne Lovett’s wonderful piano-led instrumental. It’s a stirring piece, which is all but guaranteed to evoke all sorts of emotions within the soul. Whilst classical music is not usually my thing, The Eleventh Hour could be the song that helps to awaken my appreciation for it.
FOUNDLINGS – Caught Up On You
Of all the genres that float my metaphorical boat, the one that I always end up coming back to is finely crafted indie-pop. Which is why it is such a delight that this week, there is not one, but three fabulous examples of such music for me to enjoy.
The first such example comes from Brighton band Foundlings with Caught Up on You, which is taken from their self-titled debut E.P. It reminds me of Kirsty McColl, especially in the vocal department, and is a wonderfully wistful, enjoyable song from start to finish. I have it on good authority from my fellow mod that they are rather decent live, so will have to try to make a point of getting to see them if the opportunity were to arise.
KIDSMOKE – Passenger
Indie-pop treat #2 comes in the form of Wrexham based band Kidsmoke, who have picked up a bit of love over the past year, earning support slots with Gaz Coombes and The Joy Formidable along the way.
Passenger is released ahead of their debut album, which is planned for release during the summer. The song is underpinned by an infectious guitar riff and some sumptuous vocal harmonies that would even make Teenage Fanclub incredibly jealous. From start to finish, it is lush all the way.
LUCY BELL – Lost On The Line
Downpatrick singer-songwriter Lucy Bell has been building up a name for herself locally over the past few years. She’s been a popular draw at the annual BelNash Festival, winning the Panarts Young Songwriter Award in 2018 and supporting Una Healy at last year’s festival.
She’s been well known for her more folky style, with her latest single, Lost On The Line, seeing her adding more electronic elements into her music. It is a wonderful single, which showcases Bell’s fantastic voice and song-writing talent, calling to mind other local performers like Soak or Ciara O’Neill. She’s still in her teens, so she still has room to grow, although even now she’s got a real knack for a good tune.
MAMMOTH PENGUINS – I Wanna
The third indie-pop tune that tickled my fancy this week comes from Mammoth Penguins, who describe themselves as having the “noisiest rhythm section in indie-pop”. Based on their single I Wanna, taken from their upcoming 3rd album There’s No Fight We Can’t Win, they can surely back up that claim with solid evidence. Sweet vocals with a scuzzy production, and a vocal hook that you cannot help but sing along to, what’s not to love?
MIKE SILVER – Not For You
I had never heard of Mike Silver before this song was picked this week, although in his long and varied career he has supported Dory Previn and been covered by Justin Hayward among other achievements. Not For You is taken from an upcoming retrospective album to celebrate 50 years as a recording artist. The song is a lovely ode to his daughter, about letting her find her own way in the world. It’s such a simple yet gorgeous, emotional song that nearly caused me to shed a tear, and it’s a song that will encourage me to dig deeper into his archive.
NIC EVENNETT – Silently
When I first heard the song Silent by Kent based Nic Evennett, I assumed that it was a version of an old folk song, and I intended to say I thought that she has done a fine job of taking such a song and putting a modern, fresh spin on it. However, I have since learned that it is an original song, so instead I will say that Nic Evennett has done a fantastic job of writing a song so timeless sounding and impactful that I assumed that it has been around forever. It is a song that should find favour with fans of Clannad and similarly bewitching music. She is donating 50% of the sales of the track to Mind, which is a very worthy cause.
PLEASUREFIELDS – Hands of Time
Are you ready for some Beatles-esque psychedelia? Because that is exactly what you get with Leeds duo Pleasurefields on their single Hands of Time. With its gritty production style, complimented by a more electronic-orientated sound, it sits somewhere in between the 60s psychedelic sound and the more polished sound of their contemporaries like Jagwar Mar, giving them a sound that is very much their own.
THE KING’S PARADE – Mad
London based The King’s Parade are due to embark on a mainland European tour over the next few months, so it’s good to know that their sound has picked up admirers well beyond these shores.
This week, it is their single Mad, taken from an upcoming EP, that has won over the denizens of the Listening Post, and is a great example of their highly polished, soulful anthemic-rock style, which should find favour with fans of Alabama Shakes and Paolo Nutini’s earlier work. Plus, the guitar reminds me a little bit of Longpigs in places, which can only be a good thing in my books.
THE WILD STATE – Air Runs Out
Whilst it would be unfair on the other fantastic songs that made the Listening Post this week to say that it is my favourite, I can say that I really, really, really love Air Runs Out by Brighton band The Wild State. It’s a fantastic, driving rock song that feels like it is an anthem in the making, one that calls to mind bands like War on Drugs or Gang of Youths, and a song that’s guaranteed to blow your socks off, as well as any other item of clothing that you don’t have pinned down. It’s taken from their debut album Light Along The Waves, which I very much intend to pre-order at the earliest possible opportunity.
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.