Fresh Faves: Batch 373

Grace Gillespie

Artists at a glance


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

ALEX HALL – Won’t Bow Out

Won’t Bow Out starts out with “A consolation bacon sandwich…” which in my book isn’t a bad thing at all, and neither is the music or the lyrics, both combining beautifully to create a jangly, upbeat pop tale about being down but not out. I’ll confess that this passed me by on the first listen but so glad my fellow mods disagreed with me and quite rightly voted it through to the Listening Post. There’s also a quite entertaining vid to accompany the song on YouTube.
 Alex Hall produces “DIY Big Pop” from his room in New Forest, Hampshire, you can follow him on Facebook, Twitter and subscribe to his Soundcloud and YouTube channels.

Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

ANNA BEA – Bleeding Heart

Bleeding Heart is a wonderfully simple yet complex folky pop composition underlaid with that Spanish guitary thing going on, which I love. Anna Bea’s country soul vocals are the velvety smooth carpet atop of it all, guaranteed to heal any, well, bleeding heart. There’s a video to accompany the song on YouTube. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Women’s Aid, good work!

Anna Bea is a 20 yr old singer songwriter who has been singing from age 11, first picking up a guitar at 15, and cites her lyrical inspiration from Sara Bareilles and Billy Joel. Bleeding Heart is her first single from her upcoming EP, to be released in October 2020. Follow Anna on Instagram and Facebook, and subscribe to her Soundcloud, Spotify and YouTube channels.

Instagram | Facebook | YouTube

DENNEY – That’s A Start

I first described the vocals on That’s A Start as honest and pure, and I’m sticking by that. Hampshire-born Denney, since the age of 11 spent her life writing lyrics and notebooks, until 2019 and on “the wrong side of 30” that she plucked up the courage to put that voice into great effect. And, That’s A Start feels exactly like a diary entry, a piano framed window into Denney’s innermost thoughts and emotions, it’s a softly gorgeous song that I struggle not to be moved by. You can Follow Denney on Facebook and Instagram, and subscribe to her on Soundcloud, Spotify and YouTube.

Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

GRACE GILLESPIE – Empty In The Capital

Not blowing our own trumpet here, but the joy of being a part of the FOTN team is seeing and hearing the wide range of emotions our submissions portray, and it’s not all sweetness and light you know! Empty In The Capital is a prime example of an artist baring her soul for all to see, the frustration and confusion of burying our heads in the sand. The lyrics are superbly framed a simple upbeat composition, which in Grace’s own words adds to the confusion “representing the way we go around half pretending everything is fine… scratch the surface and it’s a whole different story.”

Devon-born singer songwriter Grace Gillespie is based in London, first championed by Newton Faulkner and described in NME as “As heartrending as anything made in Bon Iver’s infamous cabin – but as self-assured as early Laura Marling.” Follow Grace on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, subscribe to her music on Bandcamp, Soundcloud, Spotify and YouTube.

Official | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Bandcamp


Wow, just wow, what a voice! Cliched I know, but if I close my eyes, I’m sitting in the tropical sun sipping on a margarita carefully so the salt doesn’t spill all over my crumpled white linen shirt, this really is 3.35 minutes of pure sunshine. Again, take note folks, a nicely simple accompaniment to such a powerful, but restrained, gorgeously soulful vocal, serving us a refreshing cocktail of sound.

London-born bassist and singer songwriter Holly Holden is a long-term lover of Latin America and its sounds, she formed Holly Holden y Su Banda in 2015 and have performed at Glastonbury, Greenman and Boomtown festivals, as well as in Dominican Republic, Haiti and New York. Their debut album Green Guava is to be launched this month.

Follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, subscribe on Bandcamp, Soundcloud, Spotify and YouTube.

Official | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Bandcamp

LUCY FELIZ – Magic Hour

Like Lucy, I also went to Catholic school, and yes, found it cruel, and although I did skip school once, practising astral projection was definitely not on my agenda that day. Magic Hour is a wispy dreamscape enhanced with psychedelic guitars and a lazy drumbeat that shuffles effortlessly just under Lucy’s shoegazingly soft and ethereal voice, which I’d compare with a cheery Hope Sandoval.

Lucy Feliz is an artist and musician based in Brighton, her second album Last Of The Sun is due for release on 28th August on OK Pal Records. Follow Lucy on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, subscribe on Bandcamp, Soundcloud, Spotify and YouTube.

Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Bandcamp

NEIL CAMPBELL – Ode To A Penguin

Not only do I share my life with a cellist, but my darling wife has an obsession for penguins, so can you imagine the delight when this was submitted? On a serious note though this is a stunning piece of music, and I’m stealing fellow moderator Tobi’s description, “Six-string arpeggio ebbs & flows, hurrying & easing off: as strings sing mournful and graceful, gentle & odd. Just a really lovely composition done really very well.” I don’t think anyone can disagree with that.

Neil Campell is a composer and multi-instrumentalist from Liverpool, championed by Jon Neudorf, Bob Mulvey and our very own Tom Robison. You can follow Neil on Facebook, subscribe to his music on Bandcamp, Spotify and YouTube.

Official | Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Bandcamp

THE MIGHTY ORCHID KING – I Woke Early To Dial In To Some Sacred Frequency

Just when the previous six tracks on this week’s Fresh Faves had lulled you into a sense of cuddly comfortness along come crashing in The Mighty Orchid King with some proper psych-rock noise! And boy can this five-piece make noise, proper drums, thumping bass, trashy guitars, keyboards and I think there’s a sax in the mix as well, all well balanced out and kept in check by melodic and harmonious vocals.

The Mighty Orchid King are Jonny Bennett, Marcelo Cervone, Martin van Heerden, Matt Snowden, and William Stephen, check out their Bandcamp bio, it’s a lot more entertaining than anything I could ever say! Follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, subscribe on Bandcamp, Soundcloud, Spotify and YouTube.

Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Bandcamp

UNCLE KID – Lamplig

I was really pleased to see Uncle Kid make the Fresh Faves this week, he’s a bit of a hit in this house, and I’m glad our listeners agree. It’s dark, broody, understated trip hop, with a spoken word Scottish accent, and who doesn’t love that accent! I’d love to tell you more about Uncle Kid aka Craig Nicholson from Edinburgh, but he’s quite info shy, so hopefully this will encourage him to post a little more about himself. Follow Uncle Kid on Facebook and Twitter, subscribe on Bandcamp and Soundcloud.

Facebook | Twitter | Bandcamp

WILSONI THA’ FUNK MASTA – How To Build A Groove, Part 1

Every now and then on FOTN, I stumble across a track that after ten seconds just puts a massive smile on my face, and this is such an example, and after pressing the repeat button twice, I had to remind myself that I still had another 174 tracks to listen to. How To Build A Groove… is FUN, and although a big fan of funk I’m trying not to be biased, but it’s difficult, and this really has been my highlight of the week. Ultimately it’s just a funk jam, but it’s the hilarious voiceover style narrative with the Scottish accent (yeah, again, I know) which really sets the tune off. Stick it on, crank it up, and dance.

Wilsoni Tha’ Funk Masta is based in Edinburgh and has a mission “Reminding People that The Funk is relevant in the 21st Century”. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter or just go to his most excellent website Subscribe on Bandcamp, Soundclound, Spotify and YouTube.

Official | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Bandcamp

At’s me nai, enjoy!

Wilsoni Tha' Funk Masta

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.


Mark fell in love with music at age 10 when his uncle Peter handed him a box of rock cassettes, a love constantly nourished since. Find Mark on Twitter @lobsterbane.


  1. Great reviews Mark. Beautifully descriptive and well researched. 🙂

  2. Tasty reviews! I do love that Penguin tune!

  3. Mark Toal

    Thanks Neil. Thanks Tobi, I hope you didn’t mind me pinching your penguin review, but it was much better than I could have said.

  4. Andy Page

    Sorry Mark, late to these, but a brilliant set of reviews – I’m going to have to listen again now i have your write ups…once I’ve finished this weeks pile!!

  5. Great job on the reviews Mark

    Fine new music too all

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