Artists at a glance
MARIA CHIARA ARGIRÒ
Take it easy on me, this is my first review for FOTN, actually it’s my first review for anything ever, mind you we’ve all got to start somewhere, here goes…
CATTLE & CANE – I Wish I Knew Jesus (Like You Do)
Cattle & Cane are siblings Joe and Helen Hammill, who are based in Teesside, UK.
I Wish I Knew Jesus (Like You Do) hooked me in straightaway being both menacing and enticing. Joe pushes you away with one hand and pulls you straight back in with the other. Their voices sit together effortlessly and when Helen starts to sing, well, there’s no hope left, I’m captivated.
“We tried to capture a feeling of going beyond redemption with this song. It’s about a man who has lived his life, made mistakes, hurt people, including himself… “ says Joe.
This is the second single from their forthcoming album, Navigator, available 8th November. You can also see them live on 8th November at Tyne Theatre & Opera House, Newcastle and 12th November at Oslo, London.
DREYKICKIT – Orange Soda (Prod. Temper)
Dreykickit is D-Rey, he is inspired by his family, friends and hometown of Slough; his sounds resonate his experiences, bringing warmth and soulful vibes to your ears.
Orange Soda has a wonderfully laid-back feeling. Released on 26th July the track has already caught the attention of BBC Introducing Berkshire and no wonder… The soft top is down, I’ve got my shades on (mostly to hide the wrinkles) the stereo is up loud and I’m on a trip back to the 90s with some fizzy pop Hip Hop. Who likes Orange Soda? I like Orange Soda. Is it true? I do, I do, I do…
If you would like to see D-Rey performing an Underground Sound set hurry along to The Rocksteady in Dalston on 9th November.
FAGAN – Hip Kids
Fagan is a songwriter from Liverpool, playing lyrical sleazy punk funk.
Hip Kids was released early October 2019 on At Large Records who say, “We stand beside our artists throughout their musical journey, so that they are enabled to pursue the creation of amazing music.” And that’s exactly what Fagan has done here, created a remarkably good track, which gathers momentum with each and every listen. You don’t want to be one of the Hip Kids (I never have been anyway) described in this track, we would all do better to “get down” and “antisocial” with Fagan.
GDANSK81 – Toy
Gdansk81 are a band based in Manchester going by the first names of Martin, Steven, Dave, Macker and Claire, self-described as post punk underdogs from the rainy city and influenced by Joy Division, The Fall and The B-52s.
The speed of the drumming in this track is reminiscent of a number of old school punk tunes, one that springs to mind is West One by The Ruts.
Toy is taken from their EP, Veneration Complex, released 10th December and available on their Bandcamp page, it’s Limited Edition, so if you want one then you better get a shift on!
As for live performances, and if you fancy a little Christmas music, you can see them on Sat 21st December at Christmas (Who’s) Carole Concert, The Castle Hotel, Manchester.
GIZMO VARILLAS – Saving Grace (feat. Tony Allen)
Gizmo Varillas is a Spanish-Basque songwriter, musician and record producer who was raised in the UK and Spain and now based in London. The track was released on 25th Octover on Muisca Records.
Saving Grace, has been added to many playlists, the Apple Music Breaking Singer/Songwriter being just one. It’s been played by Janice Long on BBC Radio Wales and as the title informs us, features Tony Allen on drums (who has been described by Brian Eno as “perhaps the greatest drummer who has ever lived”). The track, in my opinion, really is all about the rhythm which carries you forward on a dynamic path, pulsating and throbbing its way to whoever is the saving grace for the singer. One of my faves this week, I have to declare.
If you would like to see Gizmo Varillas live, well you can, Tues 26th Nov at The Camden Assembly, Camden, UK.
LAUREL SMITH – Psycho
Laurel Smith was born and raised in North London, she has been singing since she could speak and recorded her first song aged 12. Now 17, and as her website describes, her sound is versatile, sometimes Lo-fi or Acoustic, sometimes Alt-Pop with a fat synth and baseline.
Psycho is the third of four songs from her EP Mortals, released September this year.
The start of the track opens with Laurel updating us that she hasn’t shaved her legs in days… a brilliant opening lyric which can only lead you to wanting to know more about the Laurel in this track. Psycho is dark, seductive and emotional, an inspiring track indeed.
I can’t find any live performances, so you must take the time to look at the video for Psycho on YouTube.
MARIA CHIARA ARGIRÒ – Sea Song
Maria Chiara Argirò is a pianist / keyboard player / composer based in London
Sea Song was released 27th September and is from the album Hidden Seas (Cavalo Records) available as a CD and Ltd Ed 12″ vinyl.
The track, simply put, is just beautiful. The vocalist implores you to believe in her when all she has is blue, who couldn’t believe in this exceptional composition.
Oh my, the sounds and almost intrusions, that you soon realise aren’t intrusions at all, eddy around with Maria reaching heights that most of us can only dream of.
Initially lured in with such simplicity, I’m not sure I was prepared for what was to come. I definitely recommend investing all of the time it takes to experience Sea Song to the very last note.
Maria can be seen live on 15th November at EFG London Jazz Festival, The Crypt, London and for her album launch on 8th December at Vortex Jazz Club, London.
MF TOMLINSON – Nietzsche’s Day Off
Based in London, MF Tomlinson will launch their single Nietzsche’s Day Off on 27th November at the Moth Club, Hackney, London.
The band is a full one indeed which includes a host of musicians and Michael F Tomlinson himself.
Michael wrote the song with Frederik Tyson-Brown, they found themselves writing a tune that made them want to dance like Grover from Sesame St, no doubt about it they achieved that in shed loads.
Michael said “it tells the absurd story about the importance of letting your hair down no matter how bad the daily news may seem…” well, we all need lots of that right now, letting your hair down I mean.
The wonderful instrumentation has you hoppin’ and boppin’ effortlessly along. Forget the news channel, put Nietzsche’s Day Off on repeat.
SALTWATER SUN – Mouthbreather
Saltwater Sun are from Reading, UK. Jennifer Stearnes is the Lead Vocalist, Dan Kingham and Joel Neale on guitar, bassist Rob Carter and drummer Benny Chandler.
They describe themselves as a ferocious Indie 5-piece, blistering pop, punctured by explosive guitars and fusing elements of shoegaze and indie with the edginess of garage rock.
Released last month, Mouthbreather is about, in the band’s own words “Poking fun at ourselves (because let’s face it – we’re all irritating to someone) …” Ain’t that the truth!
I have to admit I don’t usually find myself listening to this type of music, but none can deny the strength of the lead vocal, the driving rhythm, the lyrical content, all undoubtedly downright infectious, I ended up loving it! Hardly surprising that it’s already been played on BBC Radio 1, and receiving great reviews. Fingers crossed this review isn’t too irritating.
You can see Saltwater Sun live at HAND IN 5IVE, The Lexington, 21st November.
SANSHA – The Moon
Sansha (Francesca Lewis) is a producer / songwriter / vocalist and music graduate based in South-East London who self-produces tracks in her bedroom studio.
Sansha wrote The Moon after meeting music teacher Lamin Camara who lives in Madina Salam, Gambia. Excerpts of how important the Moon is to Lamin and his community are added to irresistible beats and instrumentation. Sansha was inspired by the singing and layers of drums she heard whilst in the Gambia and wanted to produce a track that people could dance to. The Moon undoubtedly realises her desire, it certainly had me dancing round the kitchen. Make sure you check out the YouTube video as that made me smile too.
The Moon was released October 30th and is supported by Wyce (Wonder Years Centre of Excellence), proceeds will go to them.
Sansha will be keeping it live on 28th November at New Cross Inn, South East London and on 11th December at Gecko’s Winter Wonderlizard, St Pancras Old Church, London.
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.