Artists at a glance
NOTHING ON TV
THE GASLIGHT TROUBADOURS
WOJTEK THE BEAR
So, this is the final set of reviews before the summer break! First of all, I’d like to thank everyone that’s submitted tracks over the last seven months and responded to the call at 9am to submit to the inbox! We will be back in September and I hope to hear more great tunes from you! These are my reviews of ten of the finest, grab yourself some snacks and feast your ears on this!
AGATA – Unusual Behaviour
This song is… moody. I like it. It’s dark, but don’t get too comfortable.
The bassline plays a simple riff as a counterline to the vocals and accompanies Agata’s vocals really well; the strings, guitar and drums do the job. Agata’s voice starts off in the low register but then really gives it some welly on the chorus, and when she hits the second verse this is where I realise there’s more to be gained here from the performance. What a voice!
The lyrics sting. “I don’t want to be your wake up call, but you didn’t need to hide it for so long”, it’s not a love song by any means but the message is clear, she’s moved on, and this is a perfect way to release her emotions on a bad relationship.
Agata is a singer songwriter from Bristol, she’s built a steady following on the UK festival circuit over recent years, performing at Lemer Tree, Dot To Dot and Bristol Harbour. Hopefully when things reopen fully festival wise we can catch her live performances.
AQUALINE – Alone For A While
What I really like about this song is that it starts off quietly before launching into a rock-ish four on the floor beat led by a guitar riff that is based around two chords. The synth lines sound really nice on this… I think I may need a word with these guys about this…
The song lyrics imply the song is about a break up and the regrets around it, and pondering whether the writer should have stayed instead of leaving. We’ve all been there dude.
I wonder what this would sound like with a bit of a remix?
I’m not volunteering, but I reckon that an EDM remix would make this into a club banger…
Something to think about.
All in all, it’s made me want to check out their other work.
Aqualine are a five-piece band based in London consisting of Benski, Patric, Mil, Wal and Jaim. They have a passion for art, which is evident in the striking image on their Spotify bio. They’ve played gigs in London and the south east of England including Dingwalls pre-lockdown, and they’re looking forward to showcasing their new material live.
BAXTR – In Pop We Trust
“IIIIIIN POOOOOOOOP WEEEEEEEE TRRRUUUUUUUUUUUST! Just admit it you love it!”
Oh. My. Dear God. This is how we are introduced to this song, a total rock out – it starts off with that line and then the response is shouted out, if BAXTR ever needed a track that would launch them on to the world stage this is it, it’s a track designed to be played live. Everyone – the musicians, the vocals will shine on it, and festival crowds will love it!
My MVP here is Keiko Jackson, fab backbeat on the drums!
On watching the video, my sneaking suspicion of the unmistakeable sound of a cassette player being used at the beginning is confirmed.
This song had me breaking out the air guitar and singing along. Probably one of my favourite tracks submitted in the last seven months.
So… with that in mind, BAXTR, I award you my badge for one to watch.
BAXTR are a DIY alt rock trio from London, currently residing on a morphing crystal ship in dreamspace.
Sounds good to me.
BROOKE SHARKEY – Mmm Ja
This starts off with “I don’t know you yet” as a loop spoken over and over, then Brooke Sharkey’s delicate and emotional voice comes in over a guitar, and when the song gets going it is joined by the classic unmistakable sounds of a TR 808. Very sparse. No kick – just rim shot shaker, hi hat and toms. It works really well. It’s a great combination of folk and electronica, I like the punctuation of a low pitched hit, in there.
The song was born out of Brooke’s move to Oslo during December 2020, she met a man who asked her if she spoke French, as he’d moved from the Ivory Coast and had been living there for years. They talked about getting integrated into the new culture they found themselves in. I like the story behind this and hope to find out more about Brooke’s move to Oslo, possibly in a future interview?
We will see.
So as noted, Brooke is from Oslo, originally raised between France and England. She has the distinction of being featured in the Future 50 article in the Guardian from November 2016 about independent artists doing it their own way. She produces and co-produces her own music, has collaborated with musicians based in and and around East London, and has now extended this overseas.
Oh and Brooke?
You’re my track of the week. Congratulations.
NOTHING ON TV – Stumbled
This song… It’s a journey. That’s the only way I can describe it.
What do I mean?
Well I’ll explain.
It’s got so many great elements in there, the guitar line that opens the song comes in and out, and is held together with a drum beat and bass line that’s played steadily — nothing complicated, no riffing, just serving the song what it needs. The thing I like the most is the way the voices blend together and the harmonies… I love a good harmony! There are synth noises floating in and out which makes me wonder if they’re influenced by Pink Floyd by any chance? It gives it an otherworldly feel.
Maybe they are.
So who are Nothing On TV? They describe themselves as an international conglomerate of like minded souls from UK, Sweden and Canada. After nearly sixteen years of mutual appreciation, a global lockdown has finally pushed them into a frenetic period of full-blown interstellar collaboration. They’re a four piece, and according to their Soundcloud their new project Remote will be released on 6th August.
ORMISTON – Time Fades
The intro is a combination of processed sounds, guitar, vocal stabs, and other bits to get the party started on this track, then it drops into a groovy number. I like the bassline on this and the drums – nice use of toms! Another track that could be a hit on dance playlists. The lyrics conjure up quite an image: “Dreams of your silhouette, laying on me like an open sky, we could play Russian roulette, drown ourselves till the morning rise…”
All in all a great tune with a great soundscape to play in, a song that talks about escaping, quite a combination.
This is from Ormiston’s 8-track project, Hammer Down, released last month. Having listened to some of it already, if you like this track I can confidently say you’ll like the rest too.
Ormiston is a Montreal-based singer-songwriter, musician and producer, born into a bilingual family he was raised around female musicians, and grew up with a strong sense of melody.
He’s mixed and produced tracks for Milk and Bone, Heartstreets, Misage and Freida Mari, and also had his track Typically Her (released under the name Beverlay) remixed by Kaytranada.
PROPS – What Are You Waiting For?
This is the new single from multi-instrumentalist Props, a mix of synths (is that a NORD I see in the video???), drums and processed vocals put through the ringer…
This is cool.
The way it stops and starts gives it a really good feel. I like the mix on this — I’ve said it before and I will say it again, the mix of a song counts just as much as the song itself. This is put together so well, it shows off how artists have had to develop their skills over the last year and a bit. I also want to point out the artwork of this made me feel a little nostalgic… Ahh Windows, those were the days…
So, who is Props? He’s a London artist who describes himself as a quiet guy who makes ecstatic indie about sad stuff. He’s had spins on BBC Introducing and has some fun graphics and vids on his Instagram. I’m off to hit that Follow button…
SARAH GOODSON – The Limes
This is Sarah Goodson’s first single, and really shows off the darkness of her voice. There’s a blues/country tinge to it, but not too country; her voice is low, but when she’s harmonising it sounds so sweet in the arrangement. It also gives you an idea of the versatility of it —this is apparent in the second chorus.
Let’s talk about the lyrics for a second…
The first verse makes me think that this is a song about the unscrupulousness of some people in the music industry
“Oh the last time I saw you, I pissed you off in L.A.
I wouldn’t play the show and you never get told no…”
It happens. Maybe it’s a different thing, but that’s my interpretation.
At any rate, Sarah, you now have a new fan in me.
So who is Sarah Goodson? She’s a multi-instrumentalist from the North East of England, she’s also known as Oh Sister, and has been reviewed in The Independent, mastered music at Abbey Road, and…. done tequila shots with Harry Styles?
Rock and Roll, baby.
Rock and Roll.
THE GASLIGHT TROUBADOURS – A New Place (feat. Dandelion & Youth)
This is a reggae tune that needs to be blasted loud on a heavy sound system. Piano rings out, with the vocals and shakers kicking off proceedings, and the bass and drums come in to lay down a sweet summer groove, Lots of dub elements in there too. I love the hypnotic rhythm of this, coming from the family I did with my uncle playing Gregory Isaacs, Bob Marley, and living above a neighbour who used to turn his speakers into the square to play 12” dub mixes in the summer, this speaks to me.
The Gaslight Troubadours quote our Tom, it’s evident he’s a fan! Having fallen down the rabbit hole of Soundcloud I have also just discovered their version of The Monsters Theme Tune, making me regress to my childhood.
The Gaslight Troubadours is the brainchild of Professor Singleton Purblind and Bon Lippincroft in 2013. They’ve played Latitude and Wychwood, and a headline slot at Exeter Steampunk Ball. The line up has been extended to include Scratch DJ Victor Vector, VJ Miki Shaw, and tribal fusion dancer Merrion Spreadbury.
WOJTEK THE BEAR – The Tide That Won’t Come Back
Watch out! Catchy chorus alert! You have the bah bah bah’s that are harmonised!
You have been warned.
This song kicks off with the bass and drums doing what sounds like a bit of a jam, lots of snare rolls and a bass player having lots of fun, before everyone else comes in to really get it going. The melody is haunting, and there’s a nice string sound kind of complimenting the vocals. The guitars are nice and jangly – always a good thing!
I like this. There’s a platform for a string quartet to do the job underneath. But for now, this is what we have, it’s gorgeous, and I can’t wait to dive into whatever else they have up their collective sleeves.
Wojtek The Bear are from Glasgow, formed in 2016 and have been featured by Lauren Laverne, Tom Robinson, Huw Stephens amongst others. They’ve been active on the festival circuit, having played at Belle And Sebastian’s Boaty Weekender in Barcelona. Tom describes them as a class act.
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.
Wojtek The Bear photo by Kris Boyle