Artists at a glance
EASTER ISLAND STATUES
THE VELVET HANDS
TOTAL BIKE FOREVER
These Fresh Faves were picked by our readers over the weekend. You can hear all these tracks in a single Soundcloud playlist here.
BLOOM DE WILDE – Soul Siren
Starting our Fresh Faves is Bloom De Wilde with her song Soul Siren. A wonderful up-tempo song with an almost 2-step rhythm and catchy harmonies. De Wilde is supported by Yuval Juba Wetzler on drums, Sam Ritchie on flugelhorn and trumpets, Jally Kebba Susso on Kora and Nick Trepka (programming). Originally from the Netherlands, Bloom De Wilde is a London based singer-songwriter, producer and visual artist. She studied at Central St Martins and is currently working on her debut album Kaleidophone.
Soul Siren is the first song on that album which she explains as a “love letter to the universe”. The wide range of instruments gives Soul Siren a jazzy feel, while also having a dreamy and even lullaby-like vibe when De Wilde plays the high notes on the Rhodes. Her wonderful voice makes me think of a special combination of the voices by Amy Winehouse and Björk.
Besides the music, De Wilde is very creative in presenting herself in various ways. When you visit her social media accounts, especially her Instagram, you will find various pictures of different poses, objects and make up that also have that Björk-like feel. This way of presenting really adds to the artist image of De Wilde that distinguishes herself from others. All the images come together in this great and funny video of Soul Siren.
You will find Bloom De Wilde live on the 27th of July 2019 for Day Dream Salon at The Intimate Space in London.
DIZRAELI — My Mama
Dizraeli first caught my ear when I heard his original song Madness on the Fresh Faves in February this year. A very refreshing new hip-hop and pop music sound. My Mama is the new single from his forthcoming album The Unmaster. Dizraeli wrote the song for his mother when she fell off a ladder and broke her pelvis. With this new song, Dizraeli shows us how he can take hip-hop to new terrains, incorporating blues and influences from his recent travel experiences. Last year he went to a refugee camp in France to teach workshops, and travelled to Senegal to study West African music.
Dizraeli is a rapper, multi-instrumentalist, and sometimes singer who was born in Bristol and is currently living in Brighton. He writes, records and produces everything by himself and is supported on vocals by various singers. After six years playing with his band Dizraeli & The Small Gods, winning the Glastonbury Emerging Talent Competition, receiving regular radio play, such as on the BBC Introducing Mixtape, and festivals across Europe, last year Dizraeli left the band to explore new possibilities.
The result of his exploration is his new album Unmaster, which will be out in September 2019. You can see Dizraeli playing live from 18-21 July at the Larmer Tree Festival in Sixpenny Handley, on 6 August at Riverside, Newcastle, 10 August in BoomTown Fair 2019 in Whinchester, and from 22-25 August at the Shambala Festival 2019 in Market Harborough.
EASTER ISLAND STATUES – Teddy
Easter Island Statues were the Fresh Faves in October 2017 with their song, Bow & Arrow, taken from the debut EP Why Don’t You Live in the Garden? The band — singer/guitarist Donald Campbell, bassist James Askwith and drummer Tom Hitch — describe themselves as punch drunk beat pop, and was formed in 2015 in Oxford, UK and draw comparisons to the likes of The Strokes, Maximo Park and Husker Du due to fervent guitars, frenetic percussion and frantic vocals.
Their new single Teddy is taken from their latest EP I Wouldn’t Worry About It, and features tight, groovy drums, rhythmic guitars, an interesting arrangement and a catchy chorus with powerful vocals. Somehow the music by the Easter Island Statues invites me to step into a car, drive to an unknown destination and play all their music. Or, you can jump in a rocket and fly into space, as the new video of their song Teddy shows us.
Besides an interest in space, songs by the Easter Island Statues are mostly about feelings and the ocean, but also occasionally deal with other concerns such as funeral pyres. Influences include Beat Happening, The Beatles, The Lucksmiths, Neutral Milk Hotel, and Nirvana. Easter Island Statues are also very popular beyond the UK. You can see them live this summer at July 20 in Charlbury (UK), July 25 in The Shacklewell Arms in London, and in August they tour through Germany. You can find these tour details on their Twitter account.
FAULTRESS – Sanctuary
With only two songs titled Marilyn and Sanctuary released from her upcoming debut album 5 Myths, it’s impressive what Faultress has achieved so far. She performed at the Southbank Centre For Mental Health Awareness Week on May 18th with the London Contemporary Voices. Her song Marilyn was part of the roundup of the Fresh On The Net Moderators’ Favourite Tracks of 2018 by fellow moderator Ludwig Janssen, and her new single Sanctuary was played on the BBC Music Introducing in the West.
Faultress is the new moniker of Rosi Croom, who had success with her former project Autumnmusic on which she even collaborated with Madonna’s producers and won three Awards at The UK Songwriting Contest. Furthermore, she’s part of the Rattle collective, a collective of artists, producers, startups and people in music. They share music studios and multi-use workspaces at Tobacco Dock in East London and in Downtown Los Angeles. She also supports other artists on her social media, which is really lovely.
Her latest single Sanctuary starts with a beautiful a capella on which the rhythm is introduced by a short low bass pulse and moves into the vocal layers she’s known about. The break introduces some dragging synths and subtle percussion that accompany the bass line. It’s this a simple arrangement but that makes the song very strong and nice to listen to. Later some synth stabs are added to emphasise her great voice. Faultress is definitely an artist to watch, so follow her on social media to keep up to date with the release of 5 Myths.
JJ – Happy?
When I listened to Happy? by JJ from London for the first time, I immediately got goosebumps. What a beautiful raw and clear voice at the same time. Combined with an acoustic guitar it’s very pure, and a song I want to listen to over and over again. It’s a simple song, but that’s what makes it so good. The nice harmonies of JJ’s voice are sometimes layered with her background vocals, and halfway through she surprises us with some electric guitar.
It’s exactly like my fellow moderator Neil March wrote in his latest review about JJ. “She is that kind of artist you don’t forget simply because she is unique both in terms of being an innate song writing talent with a really distinct voice but also being such a raw talent.” It’s this talent in song writing combined with her great voice that makes JJ a very promising artist for the future.
Although there’s not much information about her online, she is very active on social media and it’s really worth to have a look. Her Twitter account is a collection of funny pictures and her own thoughts, which she almost uses as a dairy. On her YouTube Channel you will find some very nice acoustic covers and two original songs. On her Instagram profile it’s a combination of both, nice pictures of her life with short videos capturing her songs.
PLYA — Still In Love
PLYA are new to our Fresh Faves, but they deliver an instant quality song and are already quite popular. Their single Still In Love from their new EP got its first radio play on BBC Introducing London, and they have support from NME, Q and Clash Magazine. Last year the trio supported The Night Game and played live at Latitude festival. This year PLYA will support The Night Game on their Europe tour.
In 2017 London-based trio PLYA changed their name from Sykes to PLYA. The band consists of vocalist Julia Sykes, Kris Taylor (guitar) and William Brown (drums). They recorded their Still In Love EP in London and LA over the space of a year. It’s a fresh-sounding rock song with a flavour of current pop music. Heavy drums in the chorus are accompanied by nice guitar and synth lines, all glued together by the distinctive vocals of Julia. It’s a real pleasure to listen to, and makes you move.
Still In Love is the title track of their new EP with other songs Fever, Ocean and Dynamite. In a recent interview with QRTR they say about their new single: “Still In Love came about completely by chance whilst we were finishing up recording guitars for a completely different song.The song is about not being able to decide how and when love hits you. It plays with the idea that it must be some kind of trick but ultimately it’s something you can’t control.”
PLYA is supporting The Night Game on their Europe tour visiting cities like München, Frankfurt, Köln, Amsterdam and Berlin. Visit their website for all the tour dates.
SUPER INUIT – Flicker
Also new to our Fresh Faves is the Edinburgh atmospheric pop duo Super Inuit with band members Brian Pokora and and Fern Morris. On the 5th of July they released their debut EP Misgivings, from which their song Flicker is taken, and have already gained support from influential DJs like Steve Lamacq from BBC Radio 6 Music and Vic Galloway BBC Radio Scotland.
The duo makes dreamy electronic pop, and their singles have been crafted from mangled samples and synthetic melodies which wrap around vocalist Fern Morris’s voice. They have performed at various festivals and are named as one of Scotland’s top 25 acts to look out for. I don’t know why they choose a name that reminds me of the people who live in Greenland and Canada, but maybe it’s because of the wide vocals by Fern and the icy use of synths, which could resemble the wide and cold landscapes of both countries.
The song Flicker starts with a strong, groovy drumbeat which is the foundation of the track. In the background you hear some synth pads that fill the frequency spectrum combined with a subtle bass line. On top of that the wonderful vocal by Fern, which is supported by nice clean reverbs that make it sound very wide, like Ferns voice is coming close to you from a distance. It’s a song that makes me curious for more of their music and to listen to the whole EP. This Summer Super Inuit played on a number of festivals across the UK and you can see them live on the 7th of September at Outwith Festival.
THE VELVET HANDS – Don’t Be Nice To Me
The Velvet Hands are a well known contributor to Fresh On The Net with being Fresh Faves three times already. Their debut album Party’s Over was named album of the week by Huw Stephens on BBC Radio 1. And their latest single Don’t Be Nice To me was played by Chris Hawkins on 6 Music.
The Velvet Hands are Toby Mitchell, Dan Able, Sam Hilder and Louis Mitchell with fierce guitar hooks to create unstoppable energy that has drawn comparisons to The Strokes and Parquet Courts. The four piece band have been described by Gigslutz as “jaw droppingly good” and by NME as “full of bolshy spirit”. This year already was successful for the band with supporting Paul Weller last June and headlining the This Feeling stage at Isle of Wight festival. They even opened for Liam Gallagher at The Eden Sessions in Cornwall.
Although their debut album tells us that the party is over, when you listen to The Velvet Hands or see them live, you are in for a party for sure. Don’t Be Nice To Me is an energetic song from start to finish with both drums and guitar almost in sync, playing sharp and fast chords. Combined with their catchy vocals it’s a song you want to dance to and sing along until you drop.
Do see The Velvet Hands live in October. They are in London on the 1st of October at Roadtrip & The Workshop, Gullivers in Manchester on the 2nd of October, and Royal Park Cellars in Leeds on the 3rd of October.
TILLY DENT – Castle Of Sand
Although new to our Fresh Faves, Tilly Dent has been making music for some time now. He creates alt-folk and melodic pop music with an acoustic guitar as his partner. When I first heard his music, I immediately thought Tilly sounded like a full band, with the harmonies of The Beatles.
The beauty of Castle of Sand is Tilly’s soft voice and harmonics accompanied by guitar, a subtle harmonica and a shaker egg. It’s a song that makes you feel warm – of course it’s a song about the beach, but then again it’s a song you want to listen to again to surf on Tilly’s voice. I think he’s just moments away of being discovered and playing concerts and festivals.
Although there isn’t much information about this talented young songwriter, Tilly Dent is active on social media like Facebook, YouTube and Instagram. However, he doesn’t show much of himself — you can see pictures of lyrics written down, or behind-the-scenes shots of one of his music friends recording a shaker — but in this video portrait Tilly is more on display presenting himself to his fans.
TOTAL BIKE FOREVER – Kyushu
Total Bike Forever are two electronic musicians who cycled from London to Tokyo searching for the golden muse. Tim and Adam made an album along the way with local musicians, and are one half of the London indie synth band Bear Muda. Travelling on two wheels, they created an original album with those they meet along the way, from Turkey to Taiwan. Their journey has been filmed and will be turned into a feature-length documentary.
Kyushu is a proper deep house track filled with oriental sounds and flutes. The title of the track exposes the influences and place where it was created. Kyushu literally means “Nine Provinces” and is the third largest island of Japan, and most south-westerly of its four main islands. The flute sounds and layered, wordless voices remind me of pictures of Japanese gardens, which must be a very special experience to walk trough. I can’t wait to hear more songs of their journey.
With this project they are raising money for the Alzheimer’s Society. Adam’s grandmother is currently in the late stages of Alzheimer’s disease, while Tim’s grandmother sadly passed away from the condition. They have already reached their goal, but if you like to donate to this worthy cause, please see their Just Giving page. You can see the band live at Artlake Festival (GER) 8-11 August, Green Man Festival (UK) – 15-18 August, Future Yard Festival (UK) – 23-24 August and Folklore, London (UK) – 14th September.
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.