Fresh Faves: Batch 372

Calum Jones

Artists at a glance

BENFRO
BLEDIG
CALUM JONES
CHEERBLEEDERZ
HANNAH SCOTT
LIBRALIBRA
NIA WYN
TAYO SOUND
THOMAS DAY
YAKIMA

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

BENFRO – Salad

Benfro’s Salad charmed Listening Post voters and Fresh On The Net moderators alike this week. Mostly instrumental, but with a brief description of a salad served in the shape of a clown’s face lending the track its title, it dances around, occasionally glitching out, like something out of a happy drug-induced dream sequence, but one that can form part of your five-a-day. Sadly I can’t tell you much about Benfro, except “from Wales”, but I’m also from Wales, so that makes us even. Salad is taken from the album Baby Brain, which is available on Bandcamp now.

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BLEDIG – Universe Arrangements

Brighton-band Bledig’s latest single is the captivatingly cinematic and somewhat foreboding Universe Arrangements. I love this track; admittedly I couldn’t have told you what it was about, and that would’ve been fine by me, but apparently it “serves as a statement of resolution and acceptance. Maintaining composure amidst the chaos, adventuring on despite the unknown, recognising that we may not be in control of everything; and so we might as well dance amongst the mystery, and take in the view while we’re there”— a song for our times, then!

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CALUM JONES – Happy Now

Happy Now by Calum Jones eschews the predictable ride of verse / chorus / rinse & repeat for something all the more muscular and limber, without killing the vibe. At 19 years old, Calum Jones makes music with the confidence and dexterity that many who’ve been writing and performing far longer than he’s been alive struggle to muster. Calum can count the most excellently coiffured Jim Gellatly on Amazing Radio amongst his fans, along with BBC Radio in Scotland. Remarkably this track is taken from Calum’s forthcoming third studio album MirrorGlass, due for release in September, and is available to download and stream now.

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CHEERBLEEDERZ – Say 2 U

The first half of Say 2 U seems uncharacteristically understated and tender for FOTN regulars, Cheerbleederz, who typically get right in and get on with it. Now, inevitably, this doesn’t last, there comes a point where everything slows down like the batteries have run out, before the track picks itself up, dusts itself down, and strides forward with the sort of purpose and determination we’ve come to expect, so even if this is the first time you hear this band, you’ll still have a good idea of what they’re all about by the end, which I think is a masterstroke. The London trio of pals released this track as part of their second EP, Lobotany, earlier this year, which is available to stream and buy on Bandcamp now.

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HANNAH SCOTT – 98

Hannah Scott, who makes music with her creative partner Stefano Della Casa, appears frequently here at Fresh On The Net. The track 98 recounts how, at the age of 98, her paternal Grandmother has made peace with her own mortality. This was one of the most popular tracks on our Listening Post this week, so clearly touched a lot of people, and is the second single (available to stream or download now) taken from Hannah’s forthcoming Help Musicians-funded album. During lockdown, Hannah has been playing regular live streaming shows on Instagram and Facebook, so make sure to check out her socials for any events in the future.

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LIBRALIBRA – Juicy Lucy

Fizzing with energy and some menace, the first, and indeed lasting impression you get of LibraLibra is that they pull no punches. Our dear German moderator Ludwig often asks artists for their lyrics; I imagine Google Translate would suffer some kind of malfunction in this case. Instead, I put the chorus through the reverse Jane Austen translator, and it came back as “The lady wishes to take tea in the drawing room.” Blimey.

Brighton band LibraLibra have worked with Idles producer SPACE to develop their debut EP, and I suspect share more than a little of the blend of earnest sentiment and twinkle-in-the-eye madness that makes Idles so compelling, but in a completely different package. Ones to keep an eye out for when live gigs eventually return, because you’ll definitely hear them coming.

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NIA WYN – Atlantis

Welsh soul singer Nia Wyn is another artist who makes regular appearances here on Fresh On The Net, for quite obvious reasons once you press play. Atlantis saunters along, with Nia’s powerful vocals fantasising about an escape to utopia to build a new life away from everything that’s getting her down (which is quite a list, it turns out). This track is part of a double-A side release with Ghosted, available to stream and download now, and you can find a brilliant lockdown-style live performance on her various social media pages where you can see a few versions of Nia singing lead vocals, backing vocals, and playing guitars along with her band.

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TAYO SOUND – Cold Feet

Tayo Sound’s Cold Feet is a perfectly-formed pop song about young love. I really like this, it holds your attention beautifully with engaging lyrics, simple guitars, and neat beats and breaks, and is one of those tracks that makes you feel a bit cooler for just hearing it. Tayo Sound is an 18-year singer-songwriter from Reading, and Cold Feet is unbelievably his debut single, available to stream and download now.

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THOMAS DAY – Breathe (feat. Jod.e & Ryan Ristic)

Songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer Thomas Day collaborates with singer Jod.e and guitarist Ryan Ristic on his latest release Breathe, and it’s quite an excellent combination. With Jod.e’s smooth, confident vocals, increasingly funky guitars, and that irresistible groove, Breathe manages to sound both contemporary and classic at the same time. Thomas Day is supported by BBC Introducing in Lincolnshire, and Breathe is available to stream now.

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YAKIMA – Real Time/Good Time

Alright, let’s talk about the elephant. That opening bassline, which recalls Sonic Youth’s Sugar Kane albeit in a lower key, certainly doesn’t do Yakima’s Real Time/Good Time any harm, as the track soon takes its own shape and form, and with those slacker vibes, that you worry may turn into a Portland pastiche soon starts to sound like something all the more, well, Scottish. Real Time/Good Time from Glasgow band Yakima topped our Listening Post poll on the weekend, and it’s easy to see why. This track is taken from the band’s Go Virtually EP, which is available to stream and buy on Bandcamp and all those other places now.

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Yakima

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.

Steve Harris

Steve Harris is an independent app developer living in Swansea, Wales. A passionate music lover, his hobbies include not working and pretending to understand science. Find him on Twitter: @steveharris. Read more about Steve.

5 Comments

  1. Great reviews Steve (even with the terrible joked erased!). Punchy and enjoyable to read. 🙂

  2. Louise Toal

    Lovely lunchtime read as I wolf my salad down at my desk. Thanks Steve! 🙃

  3. Great work to all the artists featured this week! Bledig’s my one to watch! Well done! Love that voice!

  4. Congratulations to the artists featured this week – some cracking songs indeed : )

    Stay groovy

  5. Top tunes by all the artists and top words from Steve as always .
    GM x

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