Fresh Faves: Batch 399

Luna Keller at sunset

Artists at a glance

BLOOM'S TAXONOMY
CARRIE BAXTER
EMILIA TARRANT
FLORENCE GLEN
JOSH GEFFIN
LOW ISLAND
LUNA KELLER
MIDDLE ENGLAND
PULSE
SORBET

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.

BLOOM’S TAXONOMY – Imaginary Angles

Bloom’s Taxonomy is the musical alter-ego of William Frazer, a multi-instrumentalist based in London who cites Aphex Twin, Boards Of Canada, Brian Eno and Four Tet as influences, and in Imaginary Angles you can hear these giants of soundscape and melody shining through. Generally speaking I’m not really a fan of long intros, but in this instance the 55 second build up is absolutely imperative, Frazer carefully layers the synths onto each other, progressively shifting and driving the beat until the wood block joins in with the piano like a happy, dancing woodpecker high on life. Imaginary Angles is a beautifully structured, stunning piece of composition, the pulsating outro leaving me begging for more. As the resident technohead I loved this track from the moment I first heard it, and it just gets better on each listen. If there’s an extended mix, William, I’d love to hear it!

Without label support Frazer has received support globally for the singles, Hollywood Digest suggesting “He should be marked as one of the more important artists to watch…”. Foley Age is the first full length album by William in the guise of Bloom’s Taxonomy, released last month, I’ve had a sneaky listen to it and needless to say I’m eagerly anticipating the next Bandcamp Friday.

Official | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Bandcamp

CARRIE BAXTER – Without You (ft. Nealo)

The first of our Irish Fresh Faves this week (yyyyeeeeeoooooo full of pride!) Without You is a joyful lament, that familiar tale of ‘I love you but you’re no good for me’ that a lot of us have experienced at some point in our lives. A jazzy hip-hop beat providing the underlay to Carrie Baxter’s soulful vocals, with FOTN regular Nealo guesting to provide the toast to her honey sweet voice.

An Irish native, Carrie Baxter moved to that London in 2009 to study at the city’s School of Musical Theatre, and it appears to have done her no harm at all, releasing her first single in 2019, and garnering praise from both sides of the Irish Sea including The Sunday Times, Hot Press, Sunday Life, Nialler9, Mahogany, and Earmilk who hailed her as “an artist on the precipice of greatness”.

Official | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Bandcamp

EMILIA TARRANT – Honeymoon Phase

Honeymoon Phase is an polished song by an accomplished artist, it has all the ingredients of a hit, gentle vocal and piano intro, leading into the moody synths and gentle drums, pause, then it soars, with Emilia Tarrant’s voice unafraid to climb to the heady heights that the arrangement takes us. Alongside my heavy metal and techno first loves, power ballads have always been a guilty pleasure of mine, and Honeymoon Phase, highlighting the highs and lows of new relationships, takes us to another level, under her wing, confident and self-assured.

Emilia Tarrant is a singer songwriter who started piano at age 12, now 19, yes I know, she has carved out quite a career already, writing with the likes of James Walsh from Starsailor, Joshua “Joe” Keogh from Amber Run and Jonathan Quarmby. Her debut single If You Want Love featured at the end of an episode of ITV’s Love Island resulting in over 400k streams, not too shabby indeed.

Official | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

FLORENCE GLEN – Winter’s Long

Who isn’t moved by the story of love unreciprocated? Florence Glen ably captures that anguish and yearning in Winter’s Long, in her own words “a wistful ode to unrequited love and what we do to keep busy and move on”, a simply beautiful vocal performance with gentle guitar accompaniment, evoking sadness but hope “When will you notice me..?”, well this week, Florence, our Listening Post has certainly noticed you.

Based in Folkestone, Florence Glen, a self professed wooly jumper loving singer songwriter, draws on her French, English and Portuguese roots, fusing folk and electronic to provide an alternative to traditional folk. Citing her influences from Christine and The Queens, Jeff Buckley, Eva Cassidy, and Bon Iver amongst others, Florence’s debut album also entitled Winter’s Long is available now, and it’s very good!

Official | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Bandcamp

JOSH GEFFIN – Falter

Falter is our second folk success on the Fresh Faves this week, but it’s much more than a simple folk song, Josh Geffin melds his past experience of folk, country and electro-folk, yes I said electro, to create this stirring composition that is as much Bon Iver as it is Nick Drake, and it proved popular among both the mods here at HQ and with the LP voters. Alongside the complex guitar, tight shuffling drumbeat, sweeping strings, and dreamy backing vocals, with Falter Josh’s mournful voice has created a masterful little number.

London born, Dorset raised singer songwriter Josh Geffin was a regular on the South West festival scene where he honed his craft. His latest EP, Islands is his first release on Culture Recordings, featuring Victoria Hume, Francesca Ter-Berg, Alice Zadwadski, Gareth Farmer and Robin Peters, is available now.

Official | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Bandcamp

LOW ISLAND – I Do It For You

I Do It For You is a dark and atmospheric number from the Oxford 4-piece, it’s a laid back but edgy composition, synth driven with a choppy drumbeat and big bass, but the vocal harmonies being the real star of the show here. Not sure if I’m picking it up correctly but the dark and moody feel of the song is somewhat at odds with the title, but maybe that’s their intention, it works for me.

Formed in 2016, Low Island are Jamie on vocals, guitars, keys and electronics, Carlos on vocals, guitars and keys, Jacob on bass and Felix on drums and percussion. Specialising in electronic moody soundscapes, they have featured on BBC Introducing and were lauded by both Lauren Laverne as highlights of 2019, as well as being featured in the NME, The Times, The Independent and DIY. I Do It For You features on their 2018 album If You Could Have It All Again.

Official | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Bandcamp

LUNA KELLER – Prophecy

Prophecy is an honest and pure tale, regaling a prediction of Luna Keller’s own life in her own words, although unapparent at that time, indeed writing the song unaware of her own future, hence the title. I suppose at some point we all undergo change in our lives, some more painful than others, but with the emotion and vulnerability in her vocals, Luna has captured that metamorphosis perfectly, describing the fear of change we undoubtedly all experience, but it’s the hope and courage in the lyrics that have left me quite emotional “You will see me flying”, and that’s quite clearly her intention, nailed it.

Luna Keller grew up in Spain apart from her family in Germany, the 19 year old is a well travelled singer songwriter who has gained acclaim in the USA, a finalist in the Hollywood Singer Songwriter and a semifinalist in the Music City Songstar Award. Luna is currently working on her second album Prophecies And Silver Linings, to be released this year.

Official | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Bandcamp

MIDDLE ENGLAND – Submarine

In the last few years, there has been a wave of music that has emerged in the UK that has been difficult to define genre-wise, they’re all different musically but socially and politically they all have something similar to say about the status quo, and I’m looking directly at Sleaford Mods, Benefits and Billy Nomates. Middle England is unique in that same sense, to quote them directly “…what you get when a group of misfits are thrown together on a small island that can’t stand itself”. Submarine, from the The Lucky EP, is a stomping electro, dub, synth-pop mash up, describing the murky waters of modern life, it’s cheery feel contrasting with the caustic lyrics, das reboot.

Middle England are Lucky Jones on vocals, Betty Ugly on bass, Yung Tupperware on guitar, and The Brain on wires etc, no seriously check out them out on middle-england.co.uk, their own insane site is an absolute joy to behold, and nothing I could write could even hold a candle to their own bios, do it already!

Official | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Bandcamp

PULSE – First Light

If ever proof was needed the Acid is not dead, I hold aloft First Light by Pulse, firstly the unmistakable house hi-hat and bass combo kicks off, followed by the dreamy synth, then that squelchy 303 gently introduces itself, increasingly twisting and distorting, then lets fly like an anime dragon from Studio Ghibli, aaaahhhhhh just bliss! Damn, I miss those hot, dank, sweaty techno club nights, sad face emoji.

Pulse are Leon and Andrew, an acid beats duo from the West Country who have been making acid driven tech-house for the last couple of years. They’ve only recently published their music on Soundcloud two weeks ago, and only created a Twitter account yesterday, but I think these lads have really got something.

Twitter

SORBET – I Heard His Scythe Feat. Maija Sofia

Now, I Heard His Scythe is a little different, a lazy electro-jazz composition overlaid with spoken word verses and a Kate Bush-style sung chorus by both Sorbet and a haunting backing performance from Maija Sofia. Sorbet’s own description is too good to pass up “…a song which slices through the despair with an optimistic nihilism…” It’s not a cheery subject at all, depicting the passage through life with the sound of the Reaper’s scythe amplified with each passing year, but it’s all done, I suspect, a little bit of tongue-in cheek. With all that the past year has thrown at us all, I’d safely say a lot of listeners can relate to the message.

Sorbet is of course the solo project of Irish Producer and Belfast based Chris W Ryan, known for his previous work with Just Mustard, NewDad and his own Robocobra Quartet, unafraid to cross boundaries and genres he collects his inspiration from the aforementioned Kate Bush, David Byrne, Arthur Russell, Laurie Anderson and Brian Eno. His debut album This Was Paradise is due for release this June.

Official | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | Bandcamp

Sorbet / Chris Ryan

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

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.

8 Comments

  1. Andy Page

    Brilliant write ups, Mark, and Power Ballads eh? Who knew.. 😉

  2. Great reviews Mark. Proper love for the music and well done for persevering with the research even when artists don’t always make it easy for us reviewers! 🙂

  3. Enjoyed that! Well done Mark.

  4. Excellent reviews Mark…& some mighty fine music – congrats all! & I would also highly recommend checking out the rest of Josh Geffin’s Islands EP – a sublime collection of songs.

  5. Mark Toal

    Thanks guys, appreciate the praise, I’ll take it lol. @Leo yes indeed I did take the opportunity to listen to Josh’s other stuff, although I’m only reviewing one track from each artist I always take a quick listen to other songs by them, it helps me get a better feel and wider picture of the musician, and Josh’s EP is very good, but I was blessed in that all the artists had other great tracks to back up their submission.

    Mark

  6. Ah yeah, sorry!!!! Mark! I can see that the last part of my comment might not have been as clear as it should have been!

    It was intended to be directed at anyone reading your reviews, and then reading the comments; & expressing my own personal great enthusiasm for Islands. You’ve already given brilliant details of the EP in your review. & yes! most certainly great music by the other artists on this list & in their other tracks!

    Ace work, everyone! Ace reviews, Mark!

  7. oldierob

    Well Researched and well written. Really informative you clever man. Thanks for really good read and some great tracks.

  8. Mark Toal

    Ah thanks Rob, means a lot!

Write a Comment

*By clicking Submit Comment you agree to allow Fresh On The Net to store your dataPrivacy Policy