Artists at a glance
BUNGALOW POP – Click Click
A fine slice of angular indie pop from ex-The Shrives member Matt Grocott, who says he went into hiding after the band split, rather unadventurously in a bungalow (hence the suburban geek chic name), to work on new material. Gang of Four would be proud of the jagged funk guitar work on this one.
DEVON – I Dont Want 2 B UR Friend
This bright haired 20-year producer singer/songwriter mildly confuses me with his band name, seeing as he comes from the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire and recorded the album on the Isle of Wight… So what connection has he to the scone eating capital of the UK? I haven’t got a Scooby doo… What I do know is that this breezy slice of indie pop/rock tackles that age old thorny subject of unrequited love. Devon recently went on tour with The Strypes, so with connections like that, and an ear for a catchy tune, he stands a decent chance of success.
JEPH – Lola (Clean Version)
Here we have another Isle of Wight connection, this time from island residents JEPH, who describe themselves as a “beige indie band with cracking personalities”. I actually wouldn’t describe them as beige at all; they are, however, reminiscent of the current crop of female fronted retro indie bands such as She Drew The Gun and This Is The Kit. Lola is a supremely catchy blast of guitar driven, youthful angst that clocks in at an impressive 1min 54secs.
KETO – Are We There Yet?
Keto is the creative outlet of talented musician Leah Sanderson, who hails from Nottingham. The Quietus recently described her music as “minimal yet utterly compelling… she makes sounds as outside of time as her voice…” I can’t really argue with that. She’s got a touch of Stina Nordenstam about her, both in terms of vocal delivery and a penchant for slightly eerie, otherworldly musical arrangements, especially on this haunting tune. I thoroughly approve. A personal favourite of this Listening Post batch.
KING ZEPHA – Let Your Hair Down
You can tell that summer is just around the corner when there’s a rocksteady Northern Soul tune in the Listening Post pile. Photos suggest that King Zepha are a fully-fledged band, but the blurb says that King Zepha writes and produces music in his 8-track studio in Leeds, and that his latest album King Zepha’s Northern Sound is out now on Happy People Records. Whatever the story you really can’t go far wrong with the old school musical influences and stylish execution of Are We There Yet?
LEMONCURD KIDS – Landslide
This Chelmsford 4-piece describe their music as “honest heartfelt anthem noise”. Yep, that pretty much sums them up if Landslide is anything to go by… Singer/bandleader Mark Burnside originally intended this to be a solo project, as he’d previously supported the likes of Snow Patrol and Nine Black Alps in his own right, but preferred the fuller sound of a fully formed rock band. You could definitely hear this tune on heavy rotation on Radio X.
RUTH OWENS – Make It Better
Birmingham born singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Ruth Owens is clearly a talented lass. Make It Better has a light and airy folk/alt country feel. It’s also very much a band affair; her heartfelt words about toxic love backed by guitar, bass, drums and keyboards. She says that the likes of Norah Jones and Rufus Wainwright are influences, and you can sense the style of the former. A very accomplished, radio friendly effort.
SANS SOUCIS – Unchain
Sans Soucis is a London based singer/songwriter with fascinating musical influences that range from a love of R’n’B, jazz, and folk, to her own Afro-European heritage. Unchain is a delicate sounding song, which does indeed remind me of Fatouma Diawara and Laura Mvula, as cited in her biog. But she sounds like she’s developing a unique sound of her own, and has created something rather lovely here.
SUNS UP – Just Because
Hailing from Chichester, and supported by BBC Introducing in the South, this Sussex 4-piece indie band have been compared to The 1975 and Blossoms, and it’s clear that they have a liking for big pop hooks and soaring choruses, which goes some way to explaining their popularity with many listeners this week.
THE ROOVES – Television
This week’s demographically diverse collection of acts finishes with a five-piece indie/alternative band who hail from Chesterfield. They draw comparisons to Arctic Monkeys, The Strokes, and Wolf Alice, but on Television I would suggest a closer equivalent is to the dreamy 90s indie pop of The Sundays, albeit with more layers of amped up guitar as the song matures. All in all, a well-formed and rather infectious indie guitar tune.
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.