Artists at a glance
CLUSTERS OF EYES
THE CRAYON SET
THE HAPPY SOMETHINGS
TOBISONICS & COSTI
31HOURS – Drip-drop
Start as you mean to go on! Drip Drop by Oxford four-piece 31hours opens our first Fresh Faves of 2021 exactly as they should, with something fresh, fun, and just the right amount of quirk. You can imagine this would be great played live, and given the way things are, you can help your imagination along by checking out the brilliant video for this track, which blends animation with live action, where the cartoon-ish instruments are played by the actual musicians. Drip Drop is out now and available to download from 31hours’ Bandcamp page, along with a limited edition cassette.
BLISS REPORT – Pivotal Orbit
It’s quite unusual to find instrumental electronica in our Fresh Faves, so what makes Pivotal Orbit by Bliss Report different? Maybe because this is a track that never stands still; you’re sonically transported from one beautiful sonic landscape to the next, as though you were indeed in orbit. I also suspect that people need music like this at times like these: it’s bright and unchallenging, so for those three minutes you can close your eyes, float above the clouds, and breathe. I can’t tell you anything about Bliss Report, I’m afraid, but you can find their music on Soundcloud, YouTube, and Spotify.
CLUSTERS OF EYES – This Is Transformation (feat. Troy)
Clusters of Eyes describe themselves as “two brothers versus the machines” who, since the Smugglers Festival 2018 have “inhabited coastal Kent’s subterranean network of tunnels, honing their set of gritty electronica and robot-rock”. This Is Transformation describes a dystopian vision of a country whose systems and morals have collapsed, over a driving bassline and incessant beats, with vocals provided by Troy of punk / hardcore band The Long Knives. It’s a winning combination in my view, and the concept is all too easy to imagine at a time like now, when the world seemingly stands at a precipice. You can stream this track on most platforms now, and check out the video on YouTube.
COLUMN:INCHES – Comma
The instrumental ‘comma’ presents some expert guitar playing, including some very seductive slide-guitar, and is taken from column:inches‘ latest EP, ‘reread’. The video accompanying this track is another beauty, apparently created from some 30,000 images by Tokyo-based videographer / photographer Christopher Rudquist. Column:inches is an unnamed Australian songwriter, producer and musician living in London, and this track is available to buy now on Bandcamp and the artist’s MusicGlue page.
ROPE STORE – Isabella
With panic, fury, and generous dollops of madness and mayhem, Rope Store’s Isabella sounds like someone losing their mind, “You’re in love with her, aren’t you, admit it, ADMIIIIIIIT IIIIIIIT!” the singer yells above the crashing drums and cymbals, racing bass and shredded guitars. Rope Store is a duo, Jason and Gemma, who say they make “1960s inspired songs in a disused nuclear bunker”, and have appeared in our Fresh Faves before, but admit that this track is quite a departure for them, and I think it’s quite a brilliant one too.
SKINNYBOY TUNES – Sunk Foul Brother
You’ve got to love a track that does exactly what it says it will, and this sunky foul, I mean funky soul, gets right into the groove and stays there. Our third instrumental this week, this one’s got a bit of everything: horns, cool organs, jangly guitars, and a rhythm section in perfect lockstep. So, must be one hell of a band, right? Um no, apparently not, but one hell of a solo artist. SkinnyBoy Tunes is a “Norwich-based producer”, and Sunk Foul Brother is available now as one of a pair of tracks that can be downloaded either free or “name your price” on Bandcamp.
THE CRAYON SET – Moment
Topping our Fresh Faves this week is Dublin band, The Crayon Set with Moment, which is about depression and anxiety. However, that makes it sound like a grimmer listen than it is; this sweet sounding indie track definitely falls into the category of sad songs that sound happy. You can download this track as a single from the band’s Bandcamp page, and they are due to release their third album, Downer Disco, later this year.
THE HAPPY SOMETHINGS – One Time
Fresh Faves regulars, The Happy Somethings, return with One Time, which I can only describe as a sweet and uncomplicated ditty about love. A trio based around the Derbyshire/Nottinghamshire border, The Happy Somethings enjoy copious support from BBC Introducing in the East Midlands, our very own Tom Robinson on BBC Radio 6 Music, and ExileFM. This track is taken from the band’s new album, Thinking Is Free, and can be downloaded on Bandcamp now.
TOBISONICS & COSTI – Eye Of The Storm
Many of our moderators are either musicians or work in the business, and Fresh On The Net moderator Tobi is both a mastering engineer and artist in his own right working under the imaginative handle Tobisonics. Here he collaborates with another Fresh Faves regular, London-born MC/poet Costi, on the very muscular-sounding Eye Of The Storm. With its JFK clips and ominous lyrics, I’m not entirely sure what it’s about, but it sounds like a revolution, and one for the better, hopefully. Eye Of The Storm is available now on Tobi’s Bandcamp page.
WILDEST – Sugar (The Choice Is Yours)
It’s poppy, it’s a bit daft, and it’s irresistible, it’s Sugar (The Choice Is Yours) by Wildest, who are apparently a trio of producers from Leeds. It’s undeniable that, for all the silliness, Sugar really grabs you, and puts a smile on your face, and frankly, we all need a bit of that right now. With support from BBC Introducing in West Yorkshire, Shell Zenner (formerly of this parish) on Amazing Radio, and once again our very own Tom Robinson on 6 Music, Wildest are clearly winning everyone over this week. I hope there’s plenty more where this came from!
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.