Fresh Faves: Batch 423

Marketplace

Artists at a glance

ATTAWALPA
BOBSLED TEAM
CAITLYN SCARLETT
ELLEVATOR
JAMES NUMBERE
MARKETPLACE
SUZANNE LEDWITH X 6402 X HAKKA
SWINE TAX
WHERE WE SLEEP
YOUTH KILLED IT

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.

ATTAWALPA – Peter Gabriel’s Dream

And so we begin with a real cracker, Peter Gabriel’s Dream has got proper SWAGGER, starts off bass driven, with a confident drumbeat, swinging in with a kaleidoscope of guitar and synth, and Luis’ dreamy voice breathing “Give me more of the same”, yes please I nod enthusiastically, reaching for the follow buttons.

Luis Attawalpa Feiber is a multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriter who has previous form with the Fresh Faves, see Batch 340. Born in Winchester to a British father and Peruvian mother, Luis spent his earliest years in Peru and Chile before returning to Britain at the age 7. At the age of 17, he decided a music career was the life for him, and starting playing guitar with various bands. Luis has collaborated with a vast array of acts including Mick Jagger, Lauren Spitteri, Wolf Alice, Shame and Jamie T. In 2019 he decided to strike out on his own under his second name, Attawalpa, named after the last Incan emperor Atahualpa, releasing his first EP Spells in 2020, his second, Patterns was released in July.

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BOBSLED TEAM – Hey Kid

Bobsled Team are Oliver and Kimberly, a DIY band from Belfast, ‘Norn Iron’ yyeeeeeoooooooo (sorry not sorry), and their debut album The Colours Blur, released this year, has been deservedly picking up plaudits across the board, from BBC NI’s Gemma Bradley, For The Rabbits, Overblown, New Noise Magazine, AND our very own Bobby Colcombe who reviewed them this time last year in Batch 383. Bobsled Team eloquently describe themselves as “…dreamy guitar noise, Fender turned up loud, some bass, drums, lots of melody, a French horn, chimes, reverb, daydreaming, a pink moon, waves, hot chocolate and prayers to the goddess of song and dance.”

Hey Kid is most of that, a lazy, lethargic alt-country strum-along with a beautiful, dreamy melody which sounds like they’ve been sharing that hot chocolate with Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. Having listened to The Colours Blur, Hey Kid is definitely the more chilled song from the album, the rest sounding like a tranquillised Pixies/Sonic Youth mash up, and I LOVE it, so much so that I will be making my way down to Belfast’s Starr Records to see if it’s in stock.

Instagram | Bandcamp

CAITLYN SCARLETT – Marooned

You see, this is why there is a team of us here at FOTN HQ, and not just me otherwise we’d be doomed, because, I’m ashamed to admit, Marooned by Caitlyn Scarlett completely passed me by on the inbox, but I am here to make amends and apologise. This is a tremendous track, the simple piano intro gives way into a ridiculously funky bassline, with a hip-hop beat and jazz organ underlay, just magnificent and very clever. But, the most important instrument on this song is indeed the voice of Caitlyn Scarlett, a fascinating mix of pop and R&B with a hint of jazz that twists and turns through several octaves in a feat of vocal gymnastics that mere mortals like myself can only dream of.

Caitlyn Scarlett is a well-established independent singer-songwriter based in London, indeed this is her third outing on the Fresh Faves, see Batches 241 and 267. A prolific songwriter, she has a publishing deal with BMG, taking part in a writing workshop for Rihanna alongside other well-known songwriters, and has collaborated with Rudimental. Marooned is the fourth single she has released this year.

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ELLEVATOR – Charlie IO

Charlie IO begins beautifully with softly spoken piano, lazy drumbeat and swirly, almost disconnected guitar introducing us to vocalist Nabi Sue’s effortless dreamy vocal. We’re now a journey through the story telling power of the lyrics, the ethereal melody, and perfect vocal harmonies. You can hear the pleading to ‘Charlie’ to detach from seeking self discovery in harmful fashion, and return to those who care and love in reality. It’s quite a moving piece.

Ellevator hailing from Hamilton, Ontario, are a three-piece led by Nabi Sue Bersche, describe their sound as “raised on the cool precision of late-aughts guitar music and the melodrama of post-punk”. Their influences range from the mainstream of U2, Kate Bush and Peter Gabriel, to the indie sounds of Feist, Spoon and Deathcab For Cutie. Their eponymous debut EP was released in 2018, Charlie IO is their second single this year, with more to come.

Official | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Bandcamp

JAMES NUMBERE – Tamuno Bo Ft. Sensational Bamidele

James Numbere is an Afrocentric soul artist who draws from his love of R&B, reggae, world and African music to create his own sound. A human physiologist, James quit his job to pursue music, and backed by a six-piece band has carved out his own sound. He has featured heavily on BBC Introducing and is another previous Fresh Fave, Batch 389. In 2019, he released a single Smile with the London Community Gospel Choir to raise funds for the charity Operation Smile.

For Tamuno Bo, James has collaborated with Sensational Bambidele, and the result is pretty damn good. However, due to my limited knowledge of African or gospel music, I simply cannot describe it with the same love and passion that my fellow mod Derek Del Owusu did at the weekend, take it away Del!

“This song. I don’t even know where to start with it. It’s got me feeling all kinds of emotions. It made me think of the elders in my church dancing with their cloths and handkerchiefs, and the auditorium ringing with the vocals… it had me raising my hands in worship. It kicks off with harmonies that make you think of the motherland. Harmonised. You know. The kind of harmonies that bring the goosebumps. The whole church building reverberates with those vocals… At this point, I can close my eyes, and just hear people praying. Then the drums. Oh the drums. Oh, Uncle KB I miss you so much. You would have loved this. Wow. The main vocals come in and really go to town. EISH! This song speaks to my soul. It’s a true gospel song and it got me feeling the feels. Wow. Thanks James.”

Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Bandcamp

MARKETPLACE – Condensed Milk

Who doesn’t like condensed milk? When I was little Mark, I used to love running my finger around the can, after my mum had used it for whatever baking activity she was up to, and still remember that sticky sweet taste. And Marketplace have managed to recapture some of that sweetness with their own Condensed Milk, it’s indie dream-pop at its finest. But it’s not all sweetness, singer Evie wrote the song during first year at university, being homesick and miserable during the winter months.

Marketplace are Joel O’Beirne (vocals/bass), Evie Rhodes (vocals/guitar), Jack Purcell (guitar), Matthew Short (synth) and Ross Dixon (drums), they are from Hartlepool and achieved overnight acclaim by simply submitting a demo on Spotify where it quickly became popular among the likes of BBC Tees, Dork magazine and NARC magazine. Influenced by the likes of Mystery Jets, Hippo Campus and Talking Heads, they have supported SPINN, Far Caspian and Orchards, and according to their Twitter page “will play gigs in ur front room” Nice offer.

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SUZANNE LEDWITH X 6402 X HAKKA – On Your Skin (Hakka Remix)

I’ll start off firstly that On Your Skin is my favourite track of all that was submitted on the inbox last week. Already being a Six Four Zero Two fan, I was familiar with the original collaboration with Suzanne Ledwith, a sublime synthpop vocal treat, which interestingly came about when Suzanne heard 6402 were looking for a vocalist, on hearing the track she started dancing, reading the lyrics then naturally singing them. So what could HAKKA, bring to the party then? Quite a bit it appears, there’s no niceties anymore, it’s darker, more claustrophobic with a much deeper bite, the production, to my simple, ears is flawless.

A newcomer to the music production scene, this is HAKKA’s first full length track since he began experimenting with making beats in 2020. Devon-born, based in London, HAKKA cut his DJ teeth as part of BottomHeavy at their residency in Hoxton in 2002, an era that has heavily influenced this debut release. HAKKA is a fledgling music project that is open to collaborations with other artists.

Six Four Zero Two is a collaboration project set up by UK based Rob Howsam, creating instrumental tracks as a blank canvas for vocalists to freely interpret.

Official | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Bandcamp

SWINE TAX – Kestrel Of Sticking Dreams

And relax now… joke! Swine Tax are back with another of their charming brand of garage rock, following up from last year’s excellent Screensaver EP. All in this house are fans of the Geordie four-piece, and Kestrel Of Sticking Dreams, a wonderful riot of thrashy guitar, thumping bass and drums, warbling synth and of course shouty angry vocals, doesn’t disappoint. Fast, brash and loud, do we know what the song is about? Not at all! Do we care one bit? Absolutely not, Swine Tax, have it!

Swine Tax are Vince (lead vox and guitar), TK (bass), Charlie (drums),and Euan (synth and guitar), from Newcastle upon Tyne. Having toured with the likes of Black Midi, BODEGA and The Futureheads amongst others, the band have had airplay from BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio 6 Music, BBC Introducing, Amazing Radio and Radio X.

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WHERE WE SLEEP – Drive

Where We Sleep is the solo project of Beth Rettig, the former Blindness frontwoman who has just released her debut album The Scars They Leave, following on from 2019’s EP Experiments In The Dark, which was recorded with members of The Fall, Echobelly and Curve.

Drive is the opening track of the album, and it’s a cracking start, snappy drums, deep driving bassline, and swirling tortured guitars reminiscent of Nine Inch Nails. It’s dark and oppressive and I’m loving it, then Beth’s vocal kicks in and I’m transported to some gothic hellscape with Trent Reznor on one side and Toni Halliday on the other, and honestly, I’m very happy about that. I’ve had a wee listen to the rest of the album, and yes it looks like I’m busting the music budget again this month!

Official | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Bandcamp

YOUTH KILLED IT – In Wonderland

I love finishing off the Fresh Faves with a proper bang. Youth Killed It seem more than happy to oblige me with a thrashy, punchy, indie-rock ditty about a spy who’s walking about the town killing everyone, but it’s OK folks we are “In Wonderland”, nobody’s getting hurt here, it’s all just play, you got me lads. With the last line leaving plenty of room for some cheeky audience participation, In Wonderland has indie anthem written all over it, these guys are fun!

Youth Killed It were formed in Norwich in 2016 and they are Jack Murphy (vocals), Danny De-Ara Torres (lead guitar), Paul Gaul (rhythm guitar), Josh Thexton (bass), and Joel Mullin (drums). No strangers to BBC Introducing Norfolk, Radio 1’s Phil Taggart gave them the title “Indie-Rock Social Hand Genade”, and they describe themselves as a Mike Skinner-fronted Hard-Fi. Their debut album, the brilliantly titled What’s So Great Britain? was released in 2018, with their latest EP I’m A Believer, I Just Don’t Believe Ya, to be out early 2022. With airplay from Huw Stephens and BBC Radio 1’s Jack Saunders, Youth Killed It appear to have success beckoning.

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Youth Killed It

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.

10 Comments

  1. Great reviews Mark, brimming with passion and enthusiasm for the music and backed up with good quality research. A joy to read. 🙂

  2. Great work Mr. Toal! And thanks for the shout out!

  3. We’re humbled to be in such good company, thrilled to be included, and most all, really appreciate all the time and effort you guys put into this. It must take bloody ages!

  4. Thanks for the kind words Mark! 🙌
    Paul – Youth Killed It

  5. This was such an amazing read. Absolutely brilliant. Gives you hope in music. Peace ✌☮

  6. Andy Page

    Great reviews Toalso, engaging, well researched and definitely guaranteed to send a few others to the record shop along with you 👍

  7. Really enjoyed reading your reviews, Mark. Very well done, sir!

  8. Mark Toal

    Wow, thanks for all the really kind comments, blown away!

    Mark

  9. Fine reviews Mark

    Good music, music people

Comments are now closed for this article.