Fresh Faves: Batch 349

Artists at a glance

AMY HOPWOOD
DAISY GODFREY
KATE STAPLEY
KYOTI
PASSPORT TO STOCKHOLM
PSYCHO COMEDY
RACHAEL TRAVERS
RED AS RUBY
SHE MAKES WAR
THE MEFFS

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

So the last Fresh Faves reviews of 2019, and who better to do it than two of the newest and least experienced of the Freshnet team? Yeah, we thought so too! And not only a joint effort, but a wife and husband team, boy are you guys getting spoilt this week.

We’ll be honest now and say, with our first reviews pending, we were simply horrified when Tom asked the artists to hold back on their best tracks until the new year, but both of us were delighted that quite a few fantastic and lovely folks chose to ignore him.

AMY HOPWOOD – The Snow It Melts The Soonest

Amy Hopwood is a singer/songwriter based in Weymouth, Devon, who has recently released her second album All At Sea. She also performs in a duo with Tobias Raven, calling themselves Amy And The Raven. Together they have had a successful summer performing at various folk and literary festivals in South West England, and have achieved airplay on regional BBC radio stations.

The Snow It Melts The Soonest is a dark and atmospheric folk song that transports you deep into winter. The music is minimalist and understated, but is simply just a background vehicle to Amy’s voice, which is pure and faultless, she could stand up in any country pub in Ireland, and silence it. Trust us, we’re Irish, we know.

Follow Amy on Facebook and Twitter. Stream on Bandcamp, Soundcloud, Spotify, and YouTube.

Official | Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

DAISY GODFREY – Many Shades

Nottingham based Daisy Godfrey is a soul singer who cites her influences from Etta James, Joan Armatrading, Corrine Bailey Rae, and Amy Winehouse, with the latter two evident in her vocals. She’s received praise from Gilles Peterson and Jazz FM’s Tony Minvielle.

Many Shades is a funky little number that will definitely get your feet moving. Daisy really is a talent with a great voice, backed up by a tight band. We guarantee this tune will put a smile on your face, as it did ours.

Follow Daisy on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Stream on Bandcamp, Soundcloud, and Spotify.

Official | Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Bandcamp

KATE STAPLEY – Hermit

Kate Stapley is a London-born, Bristol-based folk/acoustic artist. She’s been writing for eight years, tackling difficult subjects in her work, such as mental health issues and women’s rights. Kate has had support from BBC Introducing in the West, and Bristol In Stereo amongst others.

Hermit is a love song that immediately grabbed our attention with the opening line “I’ve been pissing like a racehorse”. The dreamy vocal and poetic lyrics make for the perfect cosy winter night by the fire, hot whiskey optional.

Follow Kate on Facebook and Twitter. Stream on Bandcamp, Soundcloud, Spotify and YouTube.

Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

KYOTI – The Light

We had a lot of fun researching Kyoti — I know, we’re easily pleased! Self-described as “Art pop electronic” the London trio are currently working on Project Twelve, releasing one song on the first Wednesday of every month for a year. Clash magazine nailed them by stating they are “Digital Pop done right”. Kyoti have received support from BBC Introducing in the North East.

The Light was a lovely song to review on this winter solstice weekend, the vocal is beautiful and we soon found ourselves melting in the sheer vulnerability of it. What’s special about this track is that all proceeds from the single are being donated to The Samaritans. As this year we’ve decided to contribute to charity ourselves, in lieu of Xmas cards, we immediately purchased The Light on Bandcamp. Go on you lovely people, do it.

Follow Kyoti on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Stream on Bandcamp, Soundcloud and Spotify.

Official | Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Bandcamp

PASSPORT TO STOCKHOLM – Carousel

Passport To Stockholm are Barny, Tom, Henri and Mariona, a London based outfit who’ve had past support from BBC Introducing, 6 Music and Amazing Radio. Indeed, they have also featured before here on Fresh On The Net.

What strikes you most about Carousel is the use of the cello, which can only be described as handsome, giving this indie band a classical edge which is always attractive. Carousel begins gently, building to a crescendo of lovely indie pop. It’s quite clear that Passport To Stockholm certainly have what it takes, watch this space!

Follow Passport To Stockholm on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Stream on Soundcloud and Spotify.

Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

PSYCHO COMEDY – Standin’

Hailing from Liverpool, Shaun, Connor, Lydia, Jack, and Jack make up Psycho Comedy, described by Louder Than War magazine as a “Garage-psyche punk band”. The band are heavily influenced by the New York punk scene, Television, New York Dolls, The Seeds and The Stooges. Performance Space Number One, their debut album, is due for release 14th February 2020.

Indeed, Standin’ has got NY punk stamped all over it, but rather than shouting, it struts with grace and purpose, to borrow a word from fellow mod Tobi. The band are all tight and professional, but for us it’s Connor Duff’s bassline which is the star; hard and punchy, giving the song proper swagger.

Follow Psycho Comedy on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Stream on Bandcamp, Soundcloud, and Spotify.

Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | Bandcamp

RACHAEL TRAVERS – I Love You Best

London based Rachael Travers is a folk singer songwriter who performs acoustically with her band across London, in Ronnie Scott’s, Hard Rock Cafe, and a regular at Sofar Sounds. Inspired by Laura Marling’s album Alas I Cannot Swim, she taught herself guitar and moved to London to study music. Rachael has featured on BBC Introducing in the West Midlands, receiving praise from Alex Noble.

I Love You Best is a heartfelt song with a charming vocal performance, think folk meets country with a modern twist. From our research we have no doubt that Rachael won’t be afraid to experiment and explore many avenues of music.

Follow Rachael Travers on Facebook and Twitter. Stream on Soundcloud, Spotify and YouTube.

Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

RED AS RUBY – Summer Is Coming

Red As Ruby is Alexandra Skevington, a classically trained musician in both piano and viola. When her lifelong ambition to sing with a jazz band lured her back to the musical world, she quit her job as a primary school to pursue her dream (and we are certainly glad she did). Red As Ruby has had airplay on Amazing Radio.

Summer Is Coming is an uplifting jazzy-pop track with a very distinctive bossa nova feel to it, stirring up images of Copacabana beach, football in the sand, and dashing to the bar to sip on a caipirinha. We’ll be honest here, this is our favourite track, and quite a relief and distraction to the dreary winter weather.

Follow Red As Ruby on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Stream on Bandcamp, Soundcloud, and Spotify.

Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter

SHE MAKES WAR – Delete

She Makes War is the brainchild of Bristol-based multi-instrumentalist, producer, and visual artist Laura Kidd. She has featured heavily on BBC Radio 6 Music by a variety of DJs, including Tom Robinson, and has had airplay on John Kennedy’s Radio X show. Her new album, And Peace, is available now on Bandcamp, an eight track retrospective of her fans’ favourite songs, and for the month of December only she’ll donate all proceeds to food bank charity the Trussell Trust. Again, you know what to do folks.

Delete is a wondrous little track, acapella style where Laura uses her voice as several percussive instruments, to great effect. Lyrically it’s full of frustration and angst about what’s going on in the world, and her fears for the future. It’s a winner in this house, with the 11-year-old resident music critic describing it as “refreshing”.

Follow She Makes War on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Stream on Bandcamp, Soundcloud, and Spotify.

Official | Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Bandcamp

THE MEFFS – No. 10 PM

The Meffs proved quite elusive in our search for info on them. We do know that they are Lewis on drums, and Lily on guitar, they play songs that are short, and are from Colchester, Essex. From watching their live recordings on YouTube, we both agree that they’d be great live, so if you’re heading to Coda in Colchester on 27th December, please let us know how they were.

Without listening to No 10. PM I think we all have a fair idea where the subject is going to take us. It’s a jangly punk tune with staccato guitar and rolling beat, lyrics dripping with sarcasm reviewing past prime ministers. It’s a fun track, and a quite obvious message to Mr Johnston, “I’m the PM, I think you’ve got me wrong”, we’re all watching you!

Follow The Meffs on Facebook and Twitter. Stream on Deezer, iTunes, and Spotify.

Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

The Meffs

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.

She Makes War photo by Ania Shrimpton

Mark

Mark fell in love with music at age 10 when his uncle Peter handed him a box of rock cassettes, a love constantly nourished since. Find Mark on Twitter @lobsterbane.

8 Comments

  1. have just loved listening to the fresh faves – love to the community and look forward to more sharings in the new year. Wishing everyone a good a Christmas as possible. Love Joe

  2. Oooohhh. Lovely reviews guys and am dead happy with the last top 10 of 2019 some right great toonage going on. Merry seasonals and all that folks x

  3. The Meffs

    CHEERS FOR THE REVIEW. YOU ARE GREAT. 🎉

  4. Great reviews Mark & Louise. Really enjoyable to read and a strong faves list to end the decade. Happy Xmas & New Year to all xxx

  5. A wonderful batch of tunes, loved your first reviews! Now looking forward to hearing and reading all that 2020 brings 😊.

  6. Fantastic reviews! Very nice way to end the year. Roll on 2020!

  7. Brendan Walsh

    Great reviews! Have a good Christmas x

  8. Excellent reviews – an enjoyable read. Thanks to you both :)

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