Artists at a glance
BEFORE BREAKFAST – Words I’ve Never Heard
It’s not until the chorus of this cut that the full brunt of shaken anxiety is apparent. Sheffield trio Before Breakfast make a welcome return to the Fresh Faves.
Uncertainty is a running theme throughout Words I’ve Never Heard in the lyrics and the melody; “No I didn’t quite catch that”. The instrumentation even throws the listener into a false sense of security when the introduction of a lone cello in the pre-chorus soothes the transition but then leaps into a haunting chorus. Subtle but progressive drumming keeps the track alive when it needs to.
Before Breakfast are masters of setting a mood, but rarely let us settle before taking us on an emotional journey. Ending this track with triumphant acapella section displays not only their emotional range but also their vocal range – a divine tour de force.
They’ve recently finished a support tour with C Duncan.
DELUSH – It’s Alright Feat. Strange Boy
This cut is heavy on the groove, a modern soul insta-classic from Berlin-based Delush (featuring Limerick’s MC Strange Boy). Delush has a talent for layering his vocals with melodies that have a distinct sound that even Jungle would be proud of.
Strange Boy’s interjections throughout are just a teaser of his spit-fire musings and his verse is the standout moment of the cut.
It would be quite something to catch him live because there’s potential for it to be spectacular. Catch him in Berlin in June.
F.F. IVANOVSKI – The Amethyst
Manchester-based West Midlander, F.F. Ivanovski returns to the Fresh Faves with more sultry sounds of his ambient bedroom pop.
The Amethyst is a dreamy love song that finds (real name) Alfie Newman floating over the sound of the rain and birds sweetly chirping. Ride on the hazy cloud as Newman takes on his own wavy journey. I particularly like the innocent little bass line. The addition of the lovely organ towards the end is one of many little bricks that have built this tranquil ode to a lover, as Newman leaves us repeating the line “You’re too wonderful for me”. Like most of his work, we’re left feeling warm and fuzzy.
FALSE ADVERTISING – You Won’t Feel Love (Radio Edit)
Still being touted as one of Manchester’s finest rock outings, False Advertising return with yet another youthful, grunge-tinged pop banger. The output of this DIY band is truly impressive; they’ve been on a steady journey and have refined their sound each time they return.
You Won’t Feel Love feels like a frank statement that cries for one to be honest and that perhaps not everything is all rosy underneath. Production is tight, the chorus is hooky, the guitars raw, and the sublime vocal harmonies are the killer.
They have a host of live dates coming up for the summer, be sure to catch one of their legendary live shows. Their debut album is due out soon…
Aspiring artists take note and check out FA’s website for a perfect example of how to do it.
FLOWVERS – Nosebleed
Right from the first notes, we’re transported back to days of misspent youth, stealing cars and falling in love. It’s all temporary but it’s worth it at the time, all to “forget who we are”. This cut perfectly encapsulates those summers spent wasting time looking for some sort of defining escapism.
Portsmouth’s Flowvers have the confidence of youth and audacity to spout such things like “I’m not trying to be clever, I just think you deserve someone like me”.
Energetic dream pop with a slice of attitude that has some staying power. Plenty more to come from these boys, stay tuned.
GRICE – Saving Grace
‘Art Rock’ musician GRICE shows a gentle hand with Saving Grace; a tender piano ballad wonderfully backed with intricate strings and finger-picked guitar. A lot of care and attention has gone into the instrumentation to create a soundscape that is both sombre and loving.
There’s certain vulnerability in GRICE’s voice that is quite endearing and makes the two verses of lyrics more impactful. Just beautiful music.
LUME – Something Sweeter
Writer of ‘sad bops’ LUME follows a debut EP in 2018 with second single of 2019 Something Sweeter. The ‘sad’ part of this bop seems to be evident in the lyrics which appear to focus on self-doubt and daydreaming about dropping everything and leaving with someone to find a different life.
LUME opts for the contemplative and atmospheric. A layer that’s deeper than your average chart topper. There’s a hint of shadowy emotion and intrigue that you can’t help but indulge in.
Having found a home in Brighton, we hope to hear more from the strange little world of LUME with eager ears. No live dates in the pipe yet…
OCTOPUS – Happy Today
I love everything about this song.
Not for one reason either. It reminds me of the 90s, the lyrics are playful and, quite frankly, genius – “Simply take a splash into corduroy”. The guitar work is intricate and clever, and THAT GODAMN BASS THOUGH. Manchester’s Octopus have clanged all the right bells with an alternative rock-pop hit that I’ve not been excited about since I heard a certain hit about looking good on the dance floor.
They play Band on the Wall, Manchester on June 21st.
Dare I say it… the return of Britpop?
SUDS – Into May
Everything about SUDS’ setup seems to flow and meld. Maisie-May Cater’s soft vocals blend perfectly with the counter melody guitar lines on summer-laden feels song Into May. The lively drums of Isabella Holland-Wing have the right amount of energy and aggression to keep it light with smitten lyrics that tell the story of being taken by surprise by a kind soul.
The confidence to let the song play out instrumentally is a refreshing touch and it’s great to see a band just rock it out to the end, when temptation could be to just repeat the chorus over and over.
SUDS have just completed a busy May with several support slots up and down the country and have a few upcoming gigs in Norwich.
WALDO’S GIFT – Kaleidoscope
This short epic is the baby of Bristol-based Waldo’s Gift – an outfit so hard to define it’s best not to try. Just attempt to take everything in and let it simmer. Trying to interpret this thoroughly collaborative performance on Kaleidoscope would be futile as it washes over you like a tsunami of aggression and raw energy. You have to keep reminding yourself that this was recorded live, an outstanding achievement in improvisation and skill. Phew!
Waldo’s Gift have crafted something quite unique; a hybrid infusion of jazz, math and groove. Truly something that transcends any one genre.
Their ‘Improvisations Tour’ continues into June.
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.