Fresh Faves: Batch 346

Trills

Artists at a glance

BEN HOLLAND
FAIR MOTHERS
FEVA
GIANT BOYS
HANNAH ASHCROFT
MACHINA X
NIC EVENNETT & CLASSICAL GLASS
ROSIE TEE
TRILLS
YOWL

These Fresh Faves were picked by our readers over the weekend – and reviewed by Fresh On The Net’s Kerry JK this week. You can hear all these tracks in a single Soundcloud playlist here.

BEN HOLLAND – Love And Tears Go By

Hailing from Carlisle but now based in London, Ben Holland’s old school acoustica in the vein of the great American folk tradition has taken him around the world, including support experience with Joan Armatrading, no less.

Love and Tears Go By sits firmly in the Dylan-inspired tradition with warm fingerpicked guitar, harmonica and gravelly lead vocal backed by a sole harmony backup in the chorus. The song is unpretentious, evocative and a proud continuation of a fine tradition.

Official | Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Bandcamp

FAIR MOTHERS – Rainfall, Canada

Fair Mothers is the project of Aberdeen songwriter Kevin Allan, a self-professed “old nervous wreck who nevertheless convinces real artists to collaborate on his songs”. This time it’s the turn of Serbian Canadian Dana Gavanski to add her vocals to Allan’s plaintive vocal and guitar, with gritty counterpoint from cellist Peter Harvey completing a deeply characterful outing.

The track is taken from Separate Lives, the first in a two-album series being released by Song, by Toad Records.

Soundcloud (Song, by Toad Records) | Facebook | Twitter | Bandcamp

FEVA – We’re Not Defective

“You’re a liar just to sit on the fence!” bellows Feva’s Sam Reynolds like a post-apocalyptic preacher. “You’re a liar just to satisfy your [ent?]”. I couldn’t quite catch that last word, but with a roll of drums and snarling guitars we’re off to the races.

Since forming in 2017, Feva have earned a workhorse reputation on the Northern live circuit, with a prolific touring schedule incorporating bills with The Vaccines and Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds. They have brought the energy and experience earned from their live dues to make We’re Not Defective a rollicking slice of fuzzy rock n’ roll, with a tasty Wolfmother-style arrangement complementing a deliciously manic performance from their extrovert frontman.

Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter

GIANT BOYS – Don’t Laugh At My Astro Turf Diane (featuring Oliver James Lomax)

“Loud, obnoxious, strut, swagger, ..tasty”, summarised FOTN’s Tobi in the Listening Post comments. Yes, yes, yes, yes and very yes.

Giant Boys – Salford post-punk duo Scottie McKnight and Guy Connor – chose to promote Don’t Laugh At My Astro Turf Diane with one of the most strangely disturbing lyric videos I have encountered, a Scarfolk-esque piece of work feeding the lyrics in block text over the still graphic of an apparently haunted Atari 2600, complete with VHS scan lines. The duo’s style is reminiscent of the low-fi wonder of Sleaford Mods – acerbic social commentary backed up with Bauhaus worthy guitar textures and a no-prisoners runtime of just 2:17.

Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter

HANNAH ASHCROFT – Landfire

Featured on Fresh Faves 290 with a song that BBC Introducing’s Sarah Gosling found “near perfect”, Manchester’s Hannah Ashcroft is back with a smouldering piece setting her assured, searing vocals against a rootsy telecaster rock jam with spot on dynamics and pacing.

A classics graduate who cut her teeth busking across the globe, this is a voice of travelled experience honed on the front line of live performance.

Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Bandcamp

MACHINA X – Like Clockwork

Transcontinental duo Machina X (the two members hailing respectively from Yangon, Burma and Sheffield, England) met on an online songwriting course in 2016, since when they’ve been steadily collaborating on lush and twisted electronica “across time-zones and continents”. Like Clockwork combines sweet dream-pop vocals, clockwork and glockenspiels with drum n bass attack and a sampled appearance from the Speaking Clock.

Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Bandcamp

NIC EVENNETT & CLASSICAL GLASS – Flights (Small Version)

Kentish Nic Evennett’s style of dark emotive neoclassicism has been a fixture of our site for some time, with many welcome appearances on the Fresh Faves and Tom’s Mixtape. Here she collaborates with Canada’s Classical Glass to create an airborne nocturnal sonic painting, setting her delicate, poetic vocal in a symphonic soundscape of warm piano, soaring sweeps and passing radio activity.

Beautiful stuff. Turn out the lights, lay back and feel yourself fly.

Soundcloud | Twitter | YouTube | Bandcamp

ROSIE TEE – Wither

Rosie Tee comes to us from Birmingham and heads a quartet delivering lush electronic vocal jazz and contemporary classicism influenced by the likes of Bjork and Anna Meredith. She has performed in festivals across the UK and was a featured composer for Radio 3’s celebration of International Women’s Day 2017.

Wither emerges from a swirling Rhodes and vocal hook with a tasty bass and drum counterpoint, blossoming into an atmospheric groove reminiscent of 90s acid jazz and M-base.

Official | Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Bandcamp

TRILLS – Super Blue Moon

All-female London quartet Trills originally came together as an a cappella folk and gospel group, before moving on from standards repertoire to a growing and acclaimed catalogue of original material that has been featured on numerous TV and film soundtracks, earning awards and festival appearances along the way.

Super Blue Moon is produced by Swedish producer Johan Hugo, giving prominent space to the group’s poetic lyrics and rich harmonies among a tastefully compiled landscape of ethnic strings, guitars and pianos.

Official | Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

YOWL – John The Collector

Finally, straight out of Peckham comes a cheery tale of coping mechanisms and gory mutilation, alliteratively described by our own Andy Page as “feral Ferdinand feistiness”.

Yowl have been a fierce presence in the South London garage rock scene for a few years now, bringing a macabre sense of humour to their social commentary that understands the value in going way over the top in order to make a statement. Male emotional repression in the face of peer pressure is a recurring theme – past outings have included a faux TV commercial asking viewers “do you want disgusting teeth like this idiot?”, in John the Collector the titular hobbyist finds it easier to communicate his feelings face to face if the other face is first removed from its judgemental owner. All over a catchy guitar hook and some very tasty bass work.

The band released the Atrophy EP on the 29th November.

Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | Bandcamp

Yowl

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.

Yowl photo by Holly Whitaker

Kerry JK

Kerry JK is a musician and educator who lives to make strange music for interesting and interested people and to help others do likewise. He writes the MABNO music blog, his own musical projects are documented at https://kjkmusic.co.uk. Read More about Kerry.

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