Fresh Faves: Batch 391

Aaron Taylor

Artists at a glance

AARON TAYLOR
FM TOWNS
GECKO
HUI HUE
IRINA
JEALOUS TINA
JESSIE REID
MACHINA X
ROSEHIP TEAHOUSE
STEPHEN G. CLAYTON

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

AARON TAYLOR – Don’t Leave Me Alone (feat. Lalah Hathaway)

Aaron Taylor is a London-based artist. There wasn’t much I could find in the way of a bio but I find myself on a lovely journey through his Instagram feed. Maybe the gaffer Tom is right and I should spend more time on Insta! Aaron certainly fills it with delights. Don’t Leave Me Alone is a soulful, catchy pop number. A firm favourite with both mods and readers alike. The robust vocal is hypnotic and alluring, and has us all wanting more. There is lots more to see on that Instagram page so please do check it out.

Official | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Bandcamp

FM TOWNS – Sweet William

Suffolk-born musician FM Towns takes his name from the little portable FM radio walkman he had as a teenager. Growing up in a small village, this was his escapism and Sweet William tells the tale of a boy trapped and unable to shake off the constraints of small town rural life, as told from the local gossips’ perspective.

It’s an endearing track and I can definitely hear a Beach Boys influence. He says himself “Sweet William suggests an unlikely partnership between The Smiths and The Beach Boys”, and by jove he is right!! I’ve not only enjoyed listening to this track, but exploring its history too. We all need little musical voyages like this one, now more than ever.

Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | Bandcamp

GECKO – Climbing Frame

North London-based artist Gecko is no stranger to FOTN — he writes about various quirks in life, and Climbing Frame is basically about a fallen tree that is now used as a climbing frame. On Gecko’s Twitter feed there is a lovely story about what inspired him to write the song. It immediately transports me to my childhood and fills me with optimism and hope. We always dismiss the simpler things in life, when sometimes those are where the magic is! There is also a charming video for the track on YouTube.

It’s little wonder Gecko has had support from the likes of Huw Stephens on BBC Introducing. He has also played Glastonbury and Bestival to name a few. I really hope he gets back to playing live again soon because I can see his passion for it.

Official | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Bandcamp

HUI HUE – Your Silence

Hui Hue is a self-taught musician and street performer who takes influence from folk artists and storytellers from around the world.

What struck me most about Your Silence was the sublime guitar playing. I can hear every single detail, and the vulnerability of it is quite hypnotic. The vocal speaks for itself. Hui Hue is bearing her soul in this track and it’s really rather beautiful. My guitar-obsessed 12 year old listened to it a few times and was blown away. No easy task pleasing the kids of today.

Instagram | Facebook | YouTube

IRINA – My Heart Is Online

Irina is a London-based artist who has been championed by BBC Introducing and is a 2017 UKSC winner.

I can hear her appreciation of jazz in her vocal and sound. The high notes are pitch perfect with a tantalising shyness. My Heart Is Online is certainly a song for our times, so many of us will relate to these lyrics. A beautiful and graceful composition that I think might just be the medicine we all need right now.

Twitter | YouTube | Bandcamp

JEALOUS TINA – Sweet Eyes

We travel to Bath now to the mesmeric sound of Jealous Tina. A five-piece neo soul band who again are no strangers to the FOTN team. Sweet Eyes is a highly sophisticated track and I instantly feel more intelligent and all the better for listening to it. With its smoky vocals and poetic lyricism it’s easy to see why Jealous Tina are a hit with our mods and readers alike; there is an infectious swagger about them.

I know they have had to hit the pause button on gigs around Bristol and Bath but as soon as is safe I’m sure they will fill the venues!

Official | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Bandcamp

JESSIE REID – Whole Heart

Jessie Reid has been championed by BBC introducing in Shropshire as well as having previous play on Tom’s BBC Introducing Mixtape. Jessie comes from a musical family and it shines through in her work. I see her favourite instrument is the cello, so she is a girl after my own heart!

Whole Heart opens with a soft, haunting vocal to allow that beautiful cello to come in and have its moment. There’s a lovely, gentle build to the track. It’s a real stunner of a modern folk song, and like other artists I hope Jessie gets back to live shows really soon.

Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

MACHINA X – Closure

It’s no secret that I am a fan of Annie and Cyrus but I only found out recently they actually met via an online songwriting course, and so with Annie in Yorkshire and Cyrus in Myanmar they have collaborated virtually since 2018. The partnership brings us a unique and refreshing brand of genre defying electronica in which you can identify influences such as Kate Bush, Portishead, St Etienne to Ladytron and Bat For Lashes.

Last year, MACHINA X were selected as best new and emerging artist on our very own Neils Trust The Doc radio show on Exile FM, as well as scooping bronze on Radio Wigwam’s best electro act.

Closure maintains the MACHINA X sound, but treads the territory of EDM with a punchy 90s club vibe. It centres around regaining the ‘Power of self’ and restoring balance from the influence of a negative relationship or situation. Its positivity is both motivating and inspiring. It comes with one rule though… Play it LOUD!

Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Bandcamp

ROSEHIP TEAHOUSE – No Gloom

Rosehip Teahouse are a Cardiff-based act. They are passionate mental health activists that describe their sound as ‘sparkly bedroom pop’, which I think is perfect.

I first heard Gloom on Adam Walton’s show on BBC Radio Wales. I was delighted to see they submitted to FOTN. I hear shades of The Sundays in their work, but less gloomy, which is quite apt saying as when I was a teenager I spent hours on end in my bedroom listening to The Sundays, so I come away feeling I need to do more of that, and I have found the very band to indulge in. We’re never too old for sparkly bedroom pop right?!

Official | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Bandcamp

STEPHEN G. CLAYTON – At War With Sylvanus

Last but by no means least we move to Devon to hear the rustic tones of Stephen Clayton. Originally from Cornwall, Singer songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Stephen now lives in Exeter is our virtual hug for today.

I love the pace of this track, there’s an eccentricity to it that I’m captivated by; I feel like I’m out for my daily walk, but I’m collecting things as I dander along. More elements get added to the song as it moves. I fully intend to investigate more of Stephen’s work and pop him on my headphones for future strolls in the woods. Excellent stuff!

Instagram | Twitter | YouTube | Bandcamp

Rosehip Teahouse

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.

Louise Toal

Louise was a cellist in a previous life before reality got in the way! Her unwavering passion for all things music means she listens constantly whether at home or work, attending as many gigs as babysitters allow. Read More. Find Louise on Twitter @louise_toal.

13 Comments

  1. What wonderful reviews Louise. Your love for the music and the artists who make it is so clear to see and is infectious. I’m also honoured that my show and award to Machina X got a mention. And wow, what a top-notch ten tracks too. 🙂

  2. Thank you for all the love this week team! <3
    Been so great listening to a whole bunch of new music as well, hope everyone is staying well! Rosie P 🙂

  3. A lovely set of tracks for this weeks Fresh Faves and well reviewed Louise 🙂

  4. oldierob

    What a great playlist and lovely reviews. A really good start to the week.

  5. Beautiful reviews – compelling simple use of language that flows effortlessly from sentence to sentence. And a cracking set of tracks too! Win Win!

  6. Have loved listening to all the tracks on here. Will definitely be returning to make more discoveries. Thanks for all the support and the lovely review.

  7. Lovely words and thoughts about some very good bands. Nice one Louise! Xx

  8. Your love of music is so positively reflected in these reviews. Us independents are so fortunate to have a place like FOTN to ‘test the waters’. Lovely variety of tracks. Thank you, Louise and all the FOTN team – you all rock! x

  9. Wonderful reviews, thrilled to be included! Thank you so much, Louise and the team!

  10. Lovely reviews Louise, really enjoyable and props to the artists too for the fine music.

  11. Hui Hue

    So wonderful listening to all these tracks, so honoured to part of them. Thank you so much Louise and the FOTN team. Like Annie (Machina X) quite rightly said, us Independents are so lucky to have a place like this to come to with our songs for feedback and inspiration.

  12. Louise Toal

    Thanks all for the lovely comments. It’s a pleasure to hear so much talent coming through. X

  13. Hugh Gillan

    Wonderful enthusiastic journey through a great playlist. Great work Louise.

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