Fresh Faves: Batch 366

Bruch

Artists at a glance

AM
BRUCH
CAFÉ SPICE
COURTING
ELERI ANGHARAD
FAUNN
GYPSY CHICKEN
NINA CHUBA
OUT OF THE SWIM
THE GOOD MANNERS

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

AM – We’re Bad For Us

The biography of AM informs us that he has already performed at major festivals and venues through his career. There’s not much other information about the artist that we can find, although we know that he’s from the UK, and has provided vocals for producers such as RQntz & Hotway. Whomever he may be, one thing’s for sure is that he does know his way around a finely tuned pop song. We’re Bad For Us is a song with a well-polished production style that builds itself up slowly before ending with an anthemic wall of noise, fitting itself strongly in the same general area of The Script or Kodaline. It wouldn’t surprise me if it AM gets picked up by commercial radio at some point in the future, with songs like this that sound tailor made for it.

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BRUCH – Reasoning

There can’t be many artists that can claim to be played on Radio 3, 4 & 6 Music, but such is the music of Hampshire artist Bruch that her “cinematic electronica” can straddle so many different audiences. The song Reasoning is an atmospheric, sultry track that calls to mind the sound of Portishead or Massive Attack, which at first sounds quite minimalist, but the more you listen to it you discover little nuggets of aural richness buried in the mix.

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CAFÉ SPICE – She Loves and Leaves

Originally hailing from various parts of the British Isles, trio Café Spice first formed during a night in an Indian takeaway in Manchester (which is presumably where they got their name from). She Loves and Leaves, which received the most votes from our listeners this week, is a beautiful introduction to their sound, which mixes a folk sound with indie-pop sensibilities, accentuated by the wonderful three-part harmonies that comes together in a joyous unison. If you’re a fan of Lucy Rose, The Staves, and even a little bit of Haim, then you’ll be won over by the sumptuousness of this song.

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COURTING – David Byrne’s Badside

If you’re someone who wishes that mid 00s indie still had a cultural caché, then you’ll warm to Liverpool band Courting. David Byrne’s Badside is a spikey little rock number whose social commentary lyrics tackles the issue of small-minded ignorance with equal doses of humour and righteous anger. It’s a song that will win the hearts of fans of The Libertines, as well as more contemporary bands like Parquet Courts & Sports Team.

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ELERI ANGHARAD – Blank Walls

In recent years, we’ve seen several artists take the rather US-centric genre of country music and tailor it for UK audiences, with acts like The Shires & Ward Thomas enjoying massive success in recent times. Another artist that has added a spin on the genre from this side of the Atlantic is Swansea singer/songwriter Eleri Angharad, who having released the well-received album Earthbound in 2019, has released Blank Walls, a touching, emotional song of a chaotic relationship, a song that takes the tender country sound of artists like Kacey Musgraves and gives it a contemporary production style that would appeal to fans of London Grammar. To use the modern parlance, Blank Walls is a song that will hit you in the feels.

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FAUNN – Run

Faunn is the solo project of Carl Hodgetts, formerly of Draw Me Stories, who seeks to make music that is “expansive, emotive, but also fun”, whilst drawing on film music, nu-disco and video game music in his production. You can definitely hear those influences in the song Run, which builds itself a rather simple synth riff that remains constant whilst the rest of the track veers off into many different territories, the kind of track that you’d love to hear over the loudspeakers of a giant factory rave. The proceeds from the release of the single will go to the UK charity Help Musicians to support artists in these uncertain times.

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GYPSY CHICKEN – Spinn

One of the oddest sounding tracks to make the Faves this week is Spinn from antifolk duo Gypsy Chicken, who are based in Tromso but originally hail from Poland and the USA. The song takes the Norwegian for “spin”, and riffs off various puns and homophones of that word to weave a tale of not knowing whether the source of our pain is internal or external. It’s a credit to the band that the dark, paranoid imagery of the song still shines through in the lyrics in spite of the language barrier, even if like me your only real exposure to the Norwegian language is through the names of football teams that qualified for the UEFA Cup.  

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NINA CHUBA – Power

Power by German based artist Nina Chuba is a song that is very difficult to pin down to any one genre. A song about how being underestimated can be a power in itself, the song combines elements of electronic music, alongside Billie Eilish-esque pop, opera, classical & hip-hop to create something hypnotic and unique.

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OUT OF THE SWIM – The Garden (feat. Annie Booth)

Scottish indietronica quartet Out of The Swim describe themselves as makings “songs for folk that feel like they’re swimming against the current”. The Garden is a collaboration between the band and singer Annie Booth which is taken from their upcoming EP The University of Skinflats, and is a fine slice of moody, jazzy electronica in the style of Bjork or Lamb, the sort of song you could imagine pulling you deep into the water and never letting you go.

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THE GOOD MANNERS – Mi Amor

We finish this week’s Fresh Faves with another cosmopolitan artist. The Good Manners originally hail from Spain & Guatamala, and base themselves in London. Whilst they nominally describe themselves as a funk duo, the song that got our attention is a little bit more laid back. Mi Amor is a bossa-nova style song that calls to mind the laid-back energy of Beck in his Mutations era, or more contemporary artists like Parekh & Singh. It’s a song that would be the perfect accompaniment to a warm, continental Sunday morning complete with a refreshing cold drink in one hand, and in times like these, a song that takes you to a different place is a thing to treasure.

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The Good Manners

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.

Christopher

Christopher McBride is the Belfast-based captain of The Metaphorical Boat, a music blog & podcast dedicated to new music, brilliant music, and the glorious intersection between the two. He has also written for Drowned In Sound & Chordblossom, and has been on the judging panel of the Northern Ireland Music Prize from 2013-2019. Has a known penchant for Battenberg cake.

5 Comments

  1. Great reviews Christopher. I love how you have taken time to consider relevant comparisons with every track making it easy straight away to make those connections when reading and listening. When moderation calms down later on I will now go back and listen to all these tracks again. :)

  2. Andy Page

    Wonderful set of informative reviews Christopher. I shall listen again with refreshed ears and a far better appreciation of where the artists are coming from thanks to you!

  3. Mark Toal

    Boom, great reviews Christopher, punchy and to the point, the way I like my whiskey lol.

  4. Thank you so much for including me in this week’s Fresh Faves, and for the beautiful review, Christopher!! So many great tunes this week – I’ve found lots of new music to follow! Stay safe, everyone.

  5. AM

    Thank you Chris & Tom and all the FOTN team for the lovely words! An honour to be in included on this list, along with some amazing company! X

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