Fresh Faves: Batch 362

Sans Soucis

Artists at a glance

AJIMAL
FIFIRONG
HAZY SOFIA
MATTHEW FREDERICK
MR EKOW
POLYHYMNS
REGGAEROAST
SANS SOUCIS
THE 1957 TAIL-FIN FIASCO
WORLDWIDE WELSHMAN

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

Well, well! A lovely week to review after our Easter break. I have it on good authority the inbox closed in record time. You lot have been busy so I shall crack on…

AJIMAL – Above All Else, Be Kind

“This is fundamental and pivotal”. Newcastle-born, London-based artist Ajimal, aka Fran O’Hanlon is a dude after my own heart and hits the nail on the head. This track strikes such an important chord in more ways than one. I urge you all to take five minutes to sit back and immerse yourselves in this wonder.

When fellow mod Oldie Rob found out I was up for reviewing this week he gave me some information on Frans’s background. Fran is, in fact, a doctor as well as musician! Then my joy when I discovered the accompanying video for this track on YouTube features his amazing colleagues and buddies. Truly uplifting stuff that should hence be prescribed for us all. Please do go have a look.

Official | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Bandcamp

FIFIRONG – Distance

Fifi Rong is a London-based Chinese-British vocalist, songwriter and music producer. She blends Chinese influences with Western popular music. Fifi has some fine collaborations under her belt with Tricky, Phaeleh and Yello.

She has received support from a host of radio stations and blogs including Clash, Fader magazine, BBC Radio 1, 1Xtra and 6 Music.

Distance is a stripped-back tune with an undeniably distinctive vocal. It has an edgy and vintage like feel to it. Fifi sings with honesty and sincerity. I was immediately hooked in with her enchanting tones.

Official | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Bandcamp

HAZY SOFIA – Leaves

Hazy Sofia aka Aniya Sofia is a London-based artist who, according to her Soundcloud bio, played both the flute and piano from a young age. She now writes, produces and performs in her makeshift studio bedroom.

I love Aniya’s voice, there is a nice vulnerability to it which seems to flow naturally, and suits the tone of this track perfectly. Fellow mod Tobi worded it better than I ever could “leaves, belongs to, and reflects the most specific of moods and moments in time. Beautiful intuitive work.” Lovely words from our Tobi and I agree wholeheartedly. I suspect we shall hear much more from this charming artist in the future.

Instagram | Twitter | YouTube

MATTHEW FREDERICK – Fragments

Matthew Frederick is a South Welsh musician from the Rhondda Valley. He seems to have a wide influence from classic singer-songwriters to more recent pop, indie folk and blues. He’s appeared on TV (BBC, S4C) and radio (BBC Radio 1 and 6 Music). He was also shortlisted for the Welsh Music Prize. The lovely Adam Walton of BBC Radio Wales describes his work as “absolutely beautiful” and I must say I have to concur.

As I sit back listening to Fragments I am transported to another world. This is a real guitar-playing showcase, Matthew plays with such ease and fluency. It is a gentle building piece then we get a wee vocal taster in the most subtle way. A gorgeous song for a sunny afternoon, or indeed any time!

Official | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Bandcamp

MR EKOW – I Am Hip Hop

Mr Ekow takes his inspiration from faith, people watching and everything in between. A Croydon baby of the 90s, he says his influences are the tail-end of golden-era hip hop and the ascent of UK grime and rap. Already I’m sold!

I Am Hip Hop oozes the right amount of attitude and style. I love me a bit of rap and hip hop, and am always on the lookout for that sharp poetic sound together with a distinctive voice, and this definitely fits the bill. “My tactic as a maverick is to give you some hope”. This maverick certainly has our attention, and I for one will be having a delve to find more.

Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Bandcamp

POLYHYMNS – Down With The Kids

Sheffield trio Andrew Bolam, Gavin Harris and Sam Smith are Polyhymns, and I am no stranger to their work so it’s nice to review them. They describe themselves as experimental electric folk, but I find them hard to box into a genre. They have had airplay on fellow mod Neil’s Exile FM show, and also on Radio TFSC.

Down With The Kids is a must for our lockdown BBQ playlists. It has a tender and catchy summer vibe going on, reminiscent perhaps of the feeling I get when I listen to Lemonjelly — always a good thing. I love this track the more I listen, it totally deserves to be a hit. Watch this space…

Facebook | Twitter | Bandcamp

REGGAEROAST – Do It Again (Feat. Horseman & Natty Campbell)

Recently signed to Trojan records, ReggaeRoast certainly are masters of their craft. It’s not just trojan who are fans, David Rodigen (1Xtra), Ras Kwame (Capitol FM) and Don Letts (6 Music) have all given them radio support.

I love that ReggaeRoast custom built their own soundsystem in 2015 and it remains the cornerstone of their events, with which they have run stages at the likes of Glastonbury. Cool eh!

Do It Again is a gloriously uplifting track. Having this on a loop while I write is getting me geared up for summer, and goodness knows if we get no holiday, we need it delivered to us, and this is the perfect vibe to do just that. It’s had me and the kids dancing full-on this evening! Really putting us in the notion for a festival. Let’s hope those days will return soon, but in the meantime get this track on and make your own.

Official | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Bandcamp

SANS SOUCIS – Unfinished

Sans Soucis draws her inspiration from the likes of Laura Mvula, St Vincent and Lianne La Havas. She launched her solo career in 2018 and has lots of support from the likes of our very own Tom Robison on 6 Music, Chris Douridas (KCRW), and radio play from BBC Radio 1Xtra amongst many others.

I’m familiar with San Soucis’s work and I think she’s an incredibly gifted artist. The vocal on Unfinished is hypnotic. It’s delivered with effortless ease and the way that voice aligns with the strings is an absolute match made in heaven.

Official | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Bandcamp

THE 1957 TAIL-FIN FIASCO – Dream Pharma

I couldn’t find a huge amount about The 1957 Tail-Fin Fiasco, other that they hail from Essex, but I was delighted to find out how the bonkers name came about – 1957 being the year Harley Earl designed the dream car and apparently by 1960 the tail-fin was all but extinct. Band members David Myers and Malcolm Moore say the Harley Earl appeared to them in a dream and boom! There we have it. Now, I know nothing about cars, but this made me smile.

Dream Pharma is class! There’s a nostalgia to it that makes me yearn for my childhood home, it reminds me of music I was brought up on perhaps. Take that nostalgia and throw in a little light hearted modern twist with a snappy vibe and voila!

A really popular one on the LP this week and I can see why. More please!

Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Bandcamp

WORLDWIDE WELSHMAN – Goldfish (feat. Jilly Lukkesen)

Worldwide Welshman, aka Liam Rickard, is described on his website as a “modern day troubadour”. He looks like a proper dude in his photo too. Formed in East London, his band hail from all over the place, and describe themselves as a multi-national flexi-band of jazz, folk, and rock musicians.

This song featuring Jilly Lukkesen really made my ears smile when going through the inbox. It’s such a delightful tune. I floated and swam my own troubles away in its glorious eccentricity, gentle humour and merry vibe. So joyful, I can tell you it will be my earworm for the week ahead, and that is just fine with me.

Official | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Bandcamp

Worldwide Welshman

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.

Louise Toal

Louise was a cellist in a previous life before reality got in the way! Her unwavering passion for all things music means she listens constantly whether at home or work, attending as many gigs as babysitters allow. Read More. Find Louise on Twitter @louise_toal.

8 Comments

  1. Lovely review, Louise! Thank you (and Tobi!) for all the kind words said about ‘leaves’. Very happy it made it to the Faves alongside these amazing tracks! 🙂

  2. Wonderfully diverse set of tracks to review, well done Louise 🙂

  3. Great reviews Louise. Your love for the music is infectious and sincere. 🙂

  4. Lovely music and strong reviews – double prizes

  5. Mr Ekow

    Appreciate the write up! Thanks for taking the time to check out mine and all these other great songs 🙂

  6. Great reviews pal and well done to the band’s x

  7. Hey Louise,
    My friend Paul Lynch just texted to let me know that Goldfish made it onto Fresh On The Net! Very exciting. Thanks so much for the lovely review. I can’t wait to check out these other acts on the list. I literally just found out about this tonight. I will share it immediately tomorrow, and send it to Jilly and the whole team, they’ll very pleased as well.
    Many kind regards,
    Liam, Worldwide Welshman

  8. Louise Toal

    Aw thank you Liam. Worldwide Welshman or laid back Welshman. Probably both.
    I adored the track! I got a pretty damn great 10 to review so do check them all out please. X

Comments are now closed for this article.