Artists at a glance
NO DEAL DISCO
THE YOUNG LOVE SCENE
AISLINN LOGAN – Certain Days
Belfast-born, London-based Aislinn Logan returns to our Fresh Faves with Certain Days, which according to her “was born out of missing it all”. Listening closely, it’s clear those days also precede some of the more deliberate upheaval we’ve seen these last few years (“are we led by these fools with cut-glass nonsense riding high?”), with the pandemic doubtless the cherry on top, but it’s the personal that shines through. Isn’t it funny how what’s going on out there can affect us on all kinds of levels.
Certain Days effortlessly conveys that, shifting from the wearily plodding verses complaining about the state of world, to the brighter, dreamy-eyed chorus, desperately wishing for simpler, more carefree times. “Just the thought of it!”
Certain Times is out now to buy on Bandcamp and stream on Spotify, and fingers crossed certain days can return for Aislinn and the rest of us in the not-too-distant future.
BLOOM’S TAXONOMY – Locked In
What makes Locked In really fly is the freewheeling keyboard solo that dances above it all, but the whole track is so limber, it’s like the perfect melding of human and machine. Too often anything that describes itself as “atmospheric electronic” falls into the trap of predictable loops and random swirly stuff, but you need far more to bring a track to life. This is how you do it, it’s superb.
Bloom’s Taxonomy is William Fraser, a multi-instrumentalist based in London, and Locked In is taken from Foley Age, which is available to buy now on Bandcamp.
FREYR – Neighbour Boy
For all its Nick Drake-esque prettiness, Neighbour Boy seems to be about how some of us grow up and move on, while others that perhaps we once admired become frozen in time, or stuck in their ways. Freyr Flodgren is a Swedish/Icelandic singer-songwriter now living in Stockholm, and Neighbour Boy is taken from his debut EP I’m Sorry, which was released last year. Freyr’s latest album, Nicotine Bunker, is available to buy and stream just about everywhere now.
GABRIELLE SEY – Patterns
Gabrielle Sey provides what both Tom and I think must be this week’s absolute standout track, Patterns. When did you last hear something like this? The South London-born artist, who’s recently turned 27, describes her music as “like a round trip from London to Accra with a stop-off at a Cali Sunday Service”, which is quite a description, but even that falls short of just how original, fascinating, and well put-together this particular track is. When you’re into new music, what you want to hear is NEW music, and here it is.
Patterns is out to stream now, and taken from Gabrielle’s forthcoming EP, which I don’t think has a name yet, but is surely something to look out for.
LEWIS MCLAUGHLIN – Summer
Lewis McLaughlin is 20 years old and lives in Glasgow, and Summer is about “the simple joys of being young, having few cares in the world, whatever the weather”, which is probably just as well. It starts with syncopated a cappella, builds with some gentle percussion and harmonies, until it eventually swells to something worthy of a full-blown festival singalong. Summer is due to be released on 30 July 2021, and who knows, Lewis may actually get that singalong before the year is out.
MINIMUMS – Hiatus
It struck me, listening to this, that Hiatus is more of a journey than a tune; there are chimes, strings, and some ascending piano worthy of a dramatic moment in a film, but it keeps shifting, so there are always elements that are the same, but the mood is ever-changing. That’s echoed by the video, which is all jump-cut and sped-up shots of underground stations, trains and tunnels. As an “electronic secret project”, Minimums real identity is not disclosed, but has apparently been featured on BBC Introducing’s Hot List, and Neil March’s Trust The Doc show on ExileFM. Hiatus is available on Bandcamp now.
MULVEY’S MEDICINE – Steely Beets
Steely Beets is ridiculously good fun, and runs the gamut from funky to disco to slinky to sleazy to soul, then back again, then does it upside down, finishes off with a lap of the building for good measure, and ends with a knee-slide on the most perfect reverberated riff.
Describing themselves as “jazz funk brothers from South-East London” (I counted six in one photo, but then it lists eight performers — the music probably opens some kind of psychedelic funk portal out of which more musicians appear as required) Mulvey’s Medicine claim this is their “most outrageous, daring tune yet”, and it’s hard to see how anyone could argue with that. Steely Beets is out now to buy and stream on all platforms.
NO DEAL DISCO – Class Tourist
Class Tourist is a wry take on a desperate situation. There is a quote on No Deal Disco’s Soundcloud page by Andrew from Sleaford Mods that reads “’Far from original, sounds like Interpol and Brainiac”. I don’t know about Braniac, but there is the sonic whiff of Interpol here, even if that is blown away by the lyrics, which catalogue the job-seeking attempts with equal parts humour and despair (“can’t even get a job I don’t like”).
Formed during lockdown in 2020, No Deal Disco is Sam Robinson and Lloyd Davies from Oxford, and Class Tourist will be released on Friday 23rd July. The duo are currently working on their debut LP.
SKI LIFT – Teenager
Ski Lift return to our Fresh Faves with their third single Teenager. This is a real grower of a track, it sounds as sweet as an 80s movie’s high school prom, and at first I wondered whether it may be a little too light and breezy, but over the last few days it’s really got under my skin, and I’m deeply impressed at how effortlessly it conveys that whole idea of wanting to go back to living one’s life in a more wide-eyed, hopeful and innocent way.
The band is the project of Benji Tranter (formerly of this parish), with Ailsa Tully on bass and Jovis Lan on drums. Now based in London, both Benji and Ailsa were born in Wales, and Adam Walton has been rinsing Ski Lift’s tracks on his BBC Radio Wales show for months. I think this would sound great on any radio station, it’s perfect pop for the masses.
THE YOUNG LOVE SCENE – Sunnycide
I was completely smitten by Sunnycide by The Young Love Scene (Gordon Goldsmith of Burlington, Vermont) this week — it takes that grunge-tinged American alt-rock sound right back to being as fresh and lively as the first time I heard it, a very long time ago, and possibly better, because my musical memories are often sun-tinted. I don’t know, but suspect TYLS may not have been born then, and yet this perfectly captures those Gen X contradictions of deadpan cynicism (“ha ha”) and sunny escapism. I love the urgent pace, how it’s so tight, never stands still, and gets all that done in a little over three minutes. It’s completely brilliant, and makes me smile every time I hear it. Thank you!
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.
Gabrielle Sey photo by by Tayo Lee Nelson