Artists at a glance
I SEE RIVERS
JOHN ALEXANDER SCOTT
THE GOLDEN DREGS X VOGUES
While I’m writing these reviews, it occurred to me that I could sit right down and write someone an actual letter, “lockdown letters of love” or, even easier, a postcard starting “wish you were here…” I might do it, if I get the time. Anyway, this is my second attempt reviewing for Fresh On The Net and probably during the strangest of times I’ll ever know. Here’s hoping that with 20/20 hindsight the world will be a different place next time I write them…
ALI HORN – The Waves
Ali Horn submits another excellent track to Fresh On The Net and what a cracker it is. Ali, who is based in Liverpool, describes his genre as Baggy/Surf. In the band are: Nathan Price, Barney Goodall and Chay Heney.
Are you missing trips to the sea and walking bare foot in the sand? Then Waves is the track for you to drift away on, go find your baggy shorts, tank top (or sleeveless shirt some might call it), maybe even an ice cream float, then dance around your kitchen daydreaming about having fun in the sun.
Waves has already been played on BBC Introducing Merseyside and by Janice Long on BBC Radio Wales.
Next live gig is on Sept 19th at The Shipping Forecast – Liverpool.
ALIGNERS – Sixties Hearse
The band are from Warrington in Cheshire, their description of playing “no nonsense indie music” is most certainly celebrated in this track. An exceptionally good debut from Aligners who are: lead singer/rhythm guitar Nathan Greenfield, lead guitar Elliot Joynson, bass Arthur Pennington, drums/backing vocals Kurtis Murphy.
The first seven seconds could have you thinking, what? But before you’ve completed the ‘t’ in ‘what’ you’re jolted, wide awake as the track takes you, unblinking, with driving pace, right up until the last seven seconds, Nathan delivers the lead vocal with complete commitment and get-up-and-go.
They don’t appear to have any upcoming gigs planned at the moment for obvious reasons but undoubtedly this will be a band you’ll need to see live just as soon as you can.
AZZ – I’m Not Ready
Azz is a London based singer originally from Nice, who mixes soulful music with layers of moody melodies, vivid harmonies and retro elements of pop and R&B. I’m Not Ready, released at the beginning of May, is all that and a little more.
From the opening notes your ears are eager, listening, hoping the rest is as good as the start, in a world where the first five seconds of a track could mean the difference between hit and miss this track will not have you hovering over skip, why? Because you’re immediately engaged with lingeringly lovely vocals and perfectly placed engaging instrumentation. Now, I’m not a mindreader but I’m ready to tell you that I believe you will enjoy this hugely, tell me if I’m wrong.
I SEE RIVERS – How
Eline, Gøril and Lill are I SEE RIVERS now based in Tenby, Wales and originally from Norway. They’ve certainly seen well-deserved rivers of radio support from BBC Radio 1, BBC 6 Music, BBC Wales, Radio X. They’re currently working on a debut album with backing from PRS Momentum Fund, PRS Women Make Music, BBC Launchpad and their dedicated fans through Kickstarter.
Unashamedly pinched from their Soundcloud profile, I SEE RIVERS is a “Scandi ‘float-pop’ trio renowned for encapsulating audiences with their interweaving harmonies and distinctive Nordic sound”.
How, released 24th April 2020, is a superb trio of vocal with interlacing instrumentation, weaving, embracing, until, encapsulated, you will not know how to let go, absolutely gorgeous.
They can be seen live, hopefully, at Hit the North 2020 18th October.
JOHN ALEXANDER SCOTT – No Other Gods
John Alexander Scott is a performance poet originally from Scotland, now living in Kendal, England. He’s performed at the Edinburgh Fringe and Bearded Theory Festival.
No Other Gods, the single, is from the album of the same name released 6th April 2020, and co- written with Martin Dewar.
In John’s own words the track was written after an anxiety dream (nightmare!) which seemed to merge post-Brexit Britain and climate change. He takes us spiralling through a smog laden, heavy breathing, high end state of unease, telling tales of never-ending dire consequences of the way we’re living today, that’s how it made me feel anyway. Maybe not written with ‘lockdown’ in mind, but in this current situation we find ourselves in, it serves to heighten feelings of fretfulness. Vividly delivered, superbly recorded, the backing music is a complete accompaniment to carry these thought-provoking words.
MEGAN WARDROPER – Give Me Time
Megan Wardroper is a singer-songwriter and composer from Kent who plays piano and guitar. In her words “I’ve always had a fascination with people and the way they react to each other and the world around them. This fascination inspires the characters and stories that I base my song writing around”.
Give Me Time was released 30th March 2020, from the album My Thoughts Are Thinking Me available on Bandcamp, it features Simon Exton on violin and Haydn Stevens on guitar.
This, as it happens, was my favourite track from the inbox this week, from the first note to the last I was charmed by the melody and Megan’s reminiscent vocal sound; I cannot say who or what she made me think of, the music just seemed so familiar that I settled comfortably and completely into its shape.
OPERATION LIGHTFOOT – Of The Earth
Operation Lightfoot is an ongoing series of collaborations. The project’s founder is Luke Moore who’s based in Liverpool.
Luke composed the music for this track, written 23rd April 2020 to mark Earth Day, featuring reading by Ewa Ladkowska and original text written by Meng Haoran, Wang Wei & Gustav Mahler.
In the words of Operation Lightfoot, “The piece incorporates text from Mahler’s six song symphonic work, Das Lied von Der Erde (The Song of the Earth), specifically the final movement, Der Abschied (The Farewell). Whilst the piece is a re-setting of the original text, this is spoken rather than sang”, “Several of the lines resonate more when placed in the context of the COVID-19 lockdown, during which time this piece was produced.”
In my opinion an exquisite piece of music, glorious spoken word and hugely popular at the Listening Post.
OYA PAYA – Kobi
Ashwin, Saam and Maxime come together to form Oya Paya, putting their own spin on homemade, alternative-indie-rock-and-hip-hop. They currently reside in Liverpool, UK with origins from around the globe.
Kobi, released mid-April 2020, is a fast-moving trip which only comes up for air momentarily. You don’t need to listen to the words to become riveted, its pace seizes your attention immediately, although it occurred to me that a fun lockdown activity would be to try and sing-a-long, now I can’t take credit for that idea, well only the lockdown activity part, as Oya Paya have already thought of it, providing us with the opportunity to Karaoke Kobi via YouTube.
Oya Paya will play live 27th Sept at Telford’s Warehouse, Tower Wharf, Chester. Go see them, it can only be all good!
ROBO DUKUN – Rum Chump
I can’t find much online about Robo Dukun, don’t know which part of the UK he’s from, although I do know, or think I know, he spends lots of time in his bedroom making “One Man Psychedelic Bedroom Funk.” His words, not mine.
What I have discovered is that he’s an exceptionally talented, versatile musician. Rum Chump has a viral feel, it floats along effortlessly, easing its way via your ears into your head. Take a tour of what Robo Dukun has to offer, dip into his YouTube channel for some entertaining loops and btw, that’s where I found a very good cover of David Bowie’s Life On Mars. Whatever you choose to check out I’m confident you will not be disappointed.
Apparently, he’s playing live 7th May but I’m not sure that will be happen.
THE GOLDEN DREGS X VOGUES – Hope Is For The Hopeless (VOGUED)
As far as I know The Golden Dregs currently reside in South East London. I struggled to find much band info TBH, either it isn’t out there or it’s buried too deep for me to access in the time I have to write this review, sorry. A couple of posts on their Twitter feed tell me the band members are: Michael Clark, Davy Roderick, Ted Mair, Dan Levy and Issie Armstrong (let me know in the comments below if I’m wrong).
This track is no doubt a winner, it sounds dark, lost, shadowy. The beat and lead vocal stand out, so deep, full, dense even, if they thought we may not listen all that long they are wrong. It’s, simply put, really good.
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.