Artists at a glance
THE 1957 TAIL-FIN FIASCO
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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…
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.