Fresh Faves: Batch 368

Sunflower Thieves

Artists at a glance

ANIMAL NOISE
ANNIE DRESSNER
FOUND INSTRUMENTS
GIBBON
KELLER MACHINE
KID APOLLO
SCARLETT RANDLE
SUNFLOWER THIEVES
SUNS UP
THE CHOCO LA'S

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

This is my first ever review for Fresh On The Net. So, grab yourself some snacks, press play, follow along and here we go!

ANIMAL NOISE – Mind Off You

Mind Off You by Animal Noise is very jaunty, with a vocal that goes through the range, and a harmonised chorus. I think my favourite part is that it’s very catchy; you could imagine this being performed on Top Of The Pops (for those of you who remember that show!), and the chorus will be stuck in your head for days – that’s a good thing in my book. Great production value, well done to them.

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ANNIE DRESSNER – Pretend

This is such a lovely summery song. Acoustic-led, and easy to get into from the start. I can imagine this being in a Netflix or Amazon Original show either in the background, or as a montage scene of a soppy love story. There are some lovely instruments here, I’m guessing that Annie Dressner went with minimal in terms of the rhythm section, but the song is guitar-led, which I reckon would make a great unplugged version if she’s accompanied by guitar.

I’ve listened to it a couple of times now, and I hope Annie’s proud of what she’s achieved with this song. Oh! Just thought of something, instead of an acoustic guitar, a ukulele accompaniment! Oh that would be so cute!

Official | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Bandcamp

FOUND INSTRUMENTS – Cause And Effect

When I hear a song like Cause And Effect by Found Instruments, I like to imagine the potential for how it would be performed live. I like that hypnotic bassline and hidden underneath it is the pulsating synth. The guitar solo to bring in the vocals is such a great idea, and it is reintroduced at several points in the song. Almost as a replacement for a sung chorus. It’s a simple idea, but will be good for live performances, The outro with just the guitar line and pulsing synth is a nice touch.

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GIBBON – ZIGG

Dear Gibbon. A word of advice NEVER EVER EVEREVEREVEREVEREVEREVEREVER! EVEREVEREVEREVER!!! EVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVER!

Where was I? Oh yeah.

NEVER EVER EVER EVER! Send a track like this without a health warning!!! WHAT’S THE MATTER WITH YOU?????? Oh my Lord.

Okay. Let me break this down. Hammond organ intro. You get teased with some percussion, just in the background… Then the beat gets dropped on your head. Oh Lord…the beat. Funky, off beat, syncopated. The drum solo. It had me raising my hands like I was in church!!!!

Then the horns are hitting you like a cross between being going ten rounds with Hulk and the final fight scene between Thanos and Captain America before everything goes nuts…

There’s some really lovely moments in there, quiet passages, and then it comes back up again, the trumpet, the Rhodes, the percussion, the bassline, it all fits perfectly. I’m listening to an audio car chase, and it takes you all over the place… I love it. Probably my favourite of this batch. More!!!

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KELLER MACHINE – High Wire

I like this song for many reasons, especially the drums. I’m not a drummer, but my affinity is with the drumming community. This would be fun for a drummer to reproduce live, you have a great mix of synths, bass, catchy vocal refrain that you can imagine a crowd singing along to in call and response. I hope that Keller Machine gets the recognition that they need, as this song sets out the prologue for bigger things.

Facebook | YouTube

KID APOLLO – Likes

This one valiantly fought for my affections as my favourite in the list. As a piano player, this song got me. KidApollo’s deadpan vocals come in and they really work well, the beat gently bounces all over this, and I love the simplicity of it, I love the little instrumental solos, first synth bells then a pitch-bent synth lead later, such a beautiful piece. I think I will name this artist as my one to watch.

Instagram | Facebook | YouTube

SCARLETT RANDLE – Blue

This song is… stunning. I was on a walk taking pictures when I heard this, a sunny day in the park, and it soundtracked my trip perfectly. I love the vocals, especially the chorus with “Here I go again” really gorgeous harmonies. I can’t listen to it enough. Scarlett Randle’s got plenty of singles available, and I look forward to her being the soundtrack to another photo walk in the park for me.

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SUNFLOWER THIEVES – Hide And Seek

If you give me a song with complex vocal arrangements that has a gospel choir background done well, then you had me at hello. There are so many things that can be written about this song, but I love the way it starts with the oohs, and synths and then comes in with the main vocals backed by guitar. I like the reversed clap on the drums that comes in later that has a slight delay. Sunflower Thieves, thank you for submitting this one. Gorgeous!

Official | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

SUNS UP – Grows

Grows by Suns Up takes you up and down in terms of emotions because it’s got so many elements; it’s like an album opener, and the kind of tune you’d use to open your playlist and kickstart your commute in the morning. It’s so easy to listen to, and you can visualise it being played live. Great piece of indie rock.

Official | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Soundcloud

THE CHOCO LA’S – Firebreather

“I’m a hot mess you’re a fire breather”. I love the harmonies over this line. I just wanted to remember what attracted me to this song first.

Anyway, a combination of nice harmonies, acoustic guitar, brushes on the drums…. This again is a song I’d pick for a TV show. I like its pure simplicity. Oh and The Choco La’s? Great name. Now you’ve put chocolate in my head, I’m now going back to my lockdown bliss to consume lots more!

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The Choco La's

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.

Sunflower Thieves photo by Tsara Arklay
The Choco La’s photo by Willow Senior

Del Osei-Owusu

Del is a songwriter, producer, keyboard player arranger and musical nerd from South London, Del comes from a gospel music background but listens to anything, everything and nothing. Read More

10 Comments

  1. Great reviews Del. Concise and descriptive. :)

  2. Lovely set of fresh faves and good read, debut reviews by Del 👍

  3. Andy Page

    Congrats -First set of reviews ticked off Del, and you’d never know! Reads brilliantly, looking forward to giving these another listen!

  4. JFlames

    Nice read Del

  5. Nice one – great write-ups and cracking tunes!

  6. Thanks everyone for your kind words!

  7. Kid Apollo

    Such an amazing feeling to see my song be listed by complete strangers as a favourite, very thankful to be placed on this great list and to be heard! Thanks so much Del!

  8. Louise Toal

    Way hey!! Great work Del ❤ You got a good bunch here. C
    X

  9. Adam Keller

    Thank you Del.

    Good reviews and kind words.

    Our virtual drummer Salvador ‘Stumpy’ Keller sends his love.

    A

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