Fresh Faves: Batch 383

Lux Lyall

Artists at a glance

BEKA
BOBSLED TEAM
BONE YARD
JAMWS
JOSH BARRY
LUX LYALL
MINT EASTWOOD
SULKA
TOM HOUSTON
WOLFGANG VON VANDERGHAST

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

BEKA – I’ll Be There

Having previously been a backing vocalist with London electronic duo HONNE, BEKA brings us her debut single I’ll Be There in collaboration with the duo.

It’s a delightful slice of uplifting soul-pop with a message of reassurance and a heartfelt message: “I will be there when you’ve faded, when the world has left you naked.”

The message of empathy throughout feels like an apt letter of hope in these times of struggle, delivered with such grace and beauty of BEKA’s vocals it sends shivers down your spine and you cannot help but smile.

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BOBSLED TEAM – Drive

There’s a certain peculiar edge to Bobsled Team, who “play songs and sing”, according to their SoundCloud bio. Good to know.

They sound like they’re aching to be signed by Sub-Pop and would stand-up next to any of their roster, including Beach House, who they remind me of.

The dreamy flow and jangling guitar set up a mellow haze, and the “you know where to find me” line, when sung in unison, gives a definite sense of youth; fresh and unafraid.

Looking forward to the upcoming album, still in the works.

Instagram | Bandcamp

BONE YARD – Thieves And Lovers

Bringing the swagger are Brighton-based duo, Bone Yard, with a dark slice of I-don’t-know-what, Thieves And Lovers.

Their name suggests they could be Hard Rock anthems band… far from it. There’s influences coming out the ears from Hip-Hop, Americana and Reggae inspired vocals, all with a bedroom produced feel… ‘Bedroom-Hop’?

Having only a small presence online only adds to the appeal of this duo. Head to their SoundCloud and check out their only other available track, Said And Done.

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JAMWS – Toronto

We don’t often get songs on the Fresh Faves that have clocked over 250k streams on Spotify, and a respectable 11k on SoundCloud. Evidently, Jamws (pronounced Jam-wus) is already going places and has struck up a friendship with the algorithms.

Not slack enough for Slacker-Pop, too warm for melancholy. I particularly like the vocal work on this cut, with anxiety inducing ‘Ahs’ building the tension to release a climatic final chorus.

For context, Toronto is the penultimate tune from a five-track EP that documents a 10-year relationship, which ends with Jamws’ partner moving to Toronto to pursue an acting career. What became of all this? Head over to his Bandcamp (link below) to find out.

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JOSH BARRY – All Add Up

Pfffft. It hits you like a ton of soulful bricks; what a voice.

Winner of the Glastonbury Emerging Talent 2017, Josh Barry arrives three years later with debut single All Add Up. Feels like a long time after winning a prestigious competition to eventually release a debut.

Over those few years, Barry has been touring across the world (Coachella), collaborating (Gorgon City) and recording. Honing his sound, forming a beautiful energy from soul and funk influences with that voice front and centre.

Now, he sounds ready to present to the world; a man who has found his place, his voice.

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LUX LYALL – Dirt

One often wonders with covers: “was it worth it?” Listening to Lux Lyall’s version of Iggy and The Stooges’ Dirt, I get the same feeling as that of when I listen to Iggy Pop. It’s quite simply dirty. The underlying sex appeal and sinister slither is evident. The bassline is giving a fuzzy treatment, the guitars give grandeur. It’s in Lyall’s voice, however, where the true power and lure of the song lies, sounding like she’s in some sort of erotic trance, is unsurprisingly intriguing.

On The Stooges’ album Funhouse, Dirt sat as a kind of slow dance, that served a purpose on an album track list. Lyall’s standalone effort holds its own, and clocking in at just under six minutes it’s never boring.

Lux Lyall has her own catalogue of original songs as well – head over to her pages and listen to her debut album Vamp released earlier this year.

Official | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Bandcamp

MINT EASTWOOD – Screwed Up

Described as ‘Slackertronic’ on his SoundCloud, Mint Eastwood is everything this analogy suggests; woozy and introverted.

As he mumbles through the line “tell all your friends I’m drunk again”, this feels like a lonely man’s melancholic admission from his bedroom. With the fuzzy, slightly off-kilter guitar solo and humming synths, I find Screwed Up to be completely quaint and charming.
Show some support and buy one of his sick tees.

Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Bandcamp

SULKA – Fear It

Glasgow’s Sulka (not to be confused with Danish artist of the same name), hits us with a genuinely enjoyable cut of 90s nostalgia with Fear It. Citing influences such as Cloud Nothings and Elliott Smith, these influences really shine through from Sulka. I’m also reminded of Pacific North West band Chastity Belt, with reverb laden guitar jangles and appealing chord progressions.

At 2m 45s long, it feels like it’s over before it really began, but we’re treated to enough hook and catch to leave us wanting more.

Fear It is the opening track from Sulka’s brand-new album Take Care which will be released in January 2021. This track w released as part of Lost Map Records’ subscription service the PostMap Club.

Instagram | Facebook | Bandcamp

TOM HOUSTON – Not Enough Tuna

A man of many talents is probably the best way to describe Tom Houston. Take a quick look at his backstory and you’ll realise he’s had quite the creative journey from the 80s to the present day.

Not Enough Tuna is a spoken word song fuelled by rich words, delivery and atmosphere. Oh! Such atmosphere. Though it teeters on a track you might find on a meditation and sleep app, the poem within is completely absorbing and intriguing.

Taken from his latest album Gap In The Fence, Not Enough Tuna serves as a break between traditional songwriting tracks, so put into that context, the song’s purpose does feel as though it’s meant to calm you, slow you down and perhaps take a moment to reflect. Looking at a complete work, though, the album tells a broader story that I would recommend you listen to.

Reading his bio on SoundCloud, feels like reading a new genre of Ironica and could easily have been written by Father John Misty. For someone who seems determined to remind us of what we should be reading about him, and what he should be telling us, he succeeds in still coming across humble and appreciative. I’m so pleased to have discovered him today.

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WOLFGANG VON VANDERGHAST – Oh What A Carry On (feat Farma G)

Didn’t think we’d be featuring some Welsh Hip-Hop this week? Guess again.

Dale Lewis aka Wolfgang Von Vanderghast is a Hip-Hop produced based in Cardiff. Oh What A Carry On features MC Farma G of London’s Task Force applying the gloss and varnish. Getting a presence like Farma G on your debut single is somewhat of a coup. His flexibility and control of flow just seems effortless and genius lines like “Like a pot of tea, I pour them the compliments.”

As for the production, it’s clever and organised with little drops and fills in all the right places. WVV seems to be on his way to being a true scholar of the craft, paving his way to greatness. We eagerly await more releases from this talent, and what exciting collaborations he forms.

Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | Bandcamp

Josh Barry

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.

Lux Lyall photo by Jody Whittle-Wyeth
Josh Barry photo by Isy Townsend

Bobby

Bobby Colcombe is a West Yorkshire-based blogger, a fledgling writer and self-described ex-musician. He completed his Music Composition & Professional Practice degree in 2006. When performing; Bobby specialises in Guitar, Piano/Synths and more recently vocals. He reached the National Youth Brass Band competition with Lions Youth Brass band in his youth, but has since retired from playing the Cornet. Bobby has played in several bands across the years including a Ska band originating in Coventry and collaborating with Neville Staple (The Specials). Bobby is currently an editor, social media coordinator and staff writer for Manchester-based music website Silent Radio. You can find Bobby on Twitter at @BColcombe on Instagram @colcobobs and at colcobobs.wordpress.com. Check out his music blog, the approachable playlist at @approachableplaylist Bobby also does Social Media and Marketing for Todmorden Folk Festival Tod Folk Fest Bobby has recently started working as Social Media Manager for Street Performance act Mr Wilson's Second Liners Mr Wilson's Second Liners

3 Comments

  1. Great batch of tracks here. Really appreciate being included in Batch 383. And thankyou Bobby for taking the time to write those reviews and for all the ears, eyes and souls that keep FOTN ticking along. Tom

  2. Means a lot to be included in this list! Massive thanks to Bobby and the whole team who put in the time and effort in to help out the struggling independent artists who probably, like me, work all day then try to make music in any spare moments they have before they really should sleep. Then self release to pretty much no one because PR and publicity is beyond us and even gigging is out now. You guys are making the difference! Such a great eclectic list of tracks and I’m blown away to be included! Thanks from Mint! “a lonely man’s melancholic admission from his bedroom”!

  3. Great reviews Bobby. Eloquent as ever. 🙂

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