Fresh Faves: Batch 427

Artists at a glance

AUXETTA
CABLE STREET COLLECTIVE
ECKHARDT AND THE HOUSE
NEEV
NEW WOLVES
ROB QUO
RONNIEE
SUNFLOWER THIEVES
SYD HARPER
WÏLDERMAN

These Fresh Faves were picked by our readers over the weekend – and reviewed by musician and Fresh On The Net veteran Johnno Casson, aka Snippet, this week. You can hear all these tracks in a single Soundcloud playlist here.

Before I begin I just wanted to give thanks to Steve Harris for all the work he does in keeping Fresh On The Net running, often behind the scenes and without fuss or fanfare, he is not only a technically gifted individual he is one of life’s good guys and a lovely chap – thank you Steve for all you do.

AUXETTA – Ono

Auxetta appear to be a new act, I looked them up on that bastion of youth Facebook but when I searched Auxetta all I got was a Lambretta parts for sale or wanted group that was advertising Ulma apron mats and Stators and Flywheels. Tbh the prices weren’t too bad and I’ve always wanted a Lambretta so I’m thinking of getting one just so I can buy some Stators and Flywheels or possibly a Vigano front bumper. Happy search mistakes make life decisions happen as the saying goes, read that on a bumper sticker once, not sure it was a Lambretta though.

Any road up, Auxetta is a DIY singer/songwriter based in Leeds and Ono was released recently on Malformation Records.

I like the space afforded to the track so it can breathe and do its thing in your ears in its own sweet damn time. A tidy acoustic guitar coda repeats around ba’s and mmm’s, dancing electronic percussion and lovely effects. The vocal doesn’t properly arrive until 1m 12s with the lyrics “don’t let the sunlight shine in, dance with the devil, amen”. Well that has cheered me right up!

Here I am sitting down, all set up to do the reviews on a crazy cold Sunday afternoon (I start the reviews early when I see how things are shaping up), I’ve got a honey sweetened cup of tea on the go, some really thick fluffy thermal socks on (probably made by some company called something like tootsie feet toe toes) , I am sporting a snood with faux fur lining and I have three layers (on top), two layers (on bottom), plus manly man briefs, which are also no doubt faux fur-lined like most clothes are nowadays. Anyway, I’m plenty warm and toasty and feeling well fluffy in my little man shell of desire (aka the backroom), and along comes Auxetta to get all devil worship on me!

They describe the track as “A journey into an unforeseeable curse” and all of a sudden I start thinking the track has eyes and can see the absolute state of my man shell of desire and is casting aspersions upon my personal self and my lack of cleaning abilities. So I tidy up and have another listen. Well, part of that was a lie (I never tidy up).

This track reminds me of great 80’s alternative noise, Toodar’s Toy and even a little of Gary Numan, and bonus! I like all of them.

The first half of the song dances around your grey matter in a subtle but rather delightful way before beckoning the noisier second half full of big synth notes, even bigger drums, and more insistent devil worship lyrics, as it builds and builds like a mechanical alien before a sudden 24 second breakdown of mad circuit bent desire to end on – what’s not to like?

Twitter

CABLE STREET COLLECTIVE – The Wolf

This is a massively uplifting tune that I believe is based on the nursery rhyme of old – The Three Little Pigs, I kid you not. Never before have I heard the lyrics of “I huff and puff as he’s tearing me to pieces” being sung so joyously and so free of spirit.

Bringing afro-beat, funk and dub flavours to the fore Cable Street Collective must be an absolute joy to watch live, they are pretty damn good on record too. They are very accomplished musicians and I’ve yet to hear a song from them that isn’t blissful.

They remind of a band I used to be the singer in years ago called Back to Base, an 11 piece jazz funk band with a full horn section famed for rocking places like the Bass Clef in Hoxton many moons ago (sorry to deflect it onto me, what you do just brought back good memories to my mind and I thank you for that).

Just watching the live videos of Cable Street Collective and I get the buzz, the fun and the excitement of being in a band again, being on stage playing with musicians you trust and believe in – Cable Street Collective are the ultimate festival party band.

Del interviewed them on his PlatinumMind blog and they have been featured on our Fresh Faves 385 this time last year and Fresh Faves 396 in March this year so they have had a great reaction from you guys out there. The lovely Mark Toal wrote in his review of their track Speaking in Tongues that “they have earned praise in the past from our very own Tom Robinson, 6 Music’s Amy Lamé, and John Kennedy of Radio X, and have made appearances at Glastonbury, Boomtown, Bestival, Shambala, Isle of Wight, and the Lake of Stars festival in Malawi”. Why am I not surprised? Good is good after all.

Wishing you a continued journey of good Cable Street Collective.

Official | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

ECKHARDT AND THE HOUSE – Come With Me

Eckhardt And The House described their music as vintage pop. I like it though I’d say that the tracks I have heard – including this one – have a bigger electro dance flavour aligned to the pop. It is a dangerous combination used in the wrong hands, luckily we have Rik Elstgeest in charge so we are in safe hands.

Eckhardt And The House are the brainchild of Rik who is not only the producer, but also the all-round do absolutely everything kinda guy. He is from The Netherlands and I love people from The Netherlands, so that’s a good start.

Come With Me gives me a flavour of Talking Heads meets Grace Jones produced by Thomas Dolby and Sly and Robbie on a community service scheme. It was released on Friday and is available from your usual musical outlets.

Imagine you in a nightclub (possibly in The Netherlands but other locations are completely suitable) and this song comes on.

Your choices are to:

  1. start dancing in a mildly robotic way whilst holding a cocktail with an olive in so you look really posh and sexy
  2. move each part of your body but only one part at a time as if each part is being pulled by a body magnet to give your parts a sliding motion as you are drawn to the dancefloor, you are wearing an eye patch because you think it adds to your look
  3. Scream “I love the wiggle wiggle song Sexy and I Know It” and rush onto the dancefloor, only to have to walk back off gingerly after 25 seconds
  4. Throw your hands in the air and let loose the moves you’ve been saving up since first lockdown, having honed them for 20 months in your upstairs boxroom/small bedroom. You are wearing velvet with sparkles on and ask to be called Gloria by anyone who dares make eye contact

This is a classic dance track with modern apparatus and architecture.
It’s dancey with a saucy sidestep, it’s fun and made to make you happy and make you move. My feet are doing a little shuffle in their slippers under the desk, and I didn’t even ask them to! Props ’n that.

Eckhardt And The House also featured in Fresh Faves: Batch 374 with the delightful We’re All Wood which Bobby Colcombe said “reminds me a bit of Gorillaz, if they were from the Holland.”

I bet there’s loads in the pipeline from Eckhardt And The House.

We await.

Official | Instagram | Facebook

NEEV – Darling, Home

Neev is a Glasgow-born, London-based singer/songwriter and guitarist. She is a solo performer and her songs are inspired by Scottish folk/rock and soul/jazz.

Darling, Home is a bit of, a lot of loveliness.

Sometimes – quite a lot of the time actually – we need to hit a reset button, this reaches me as a great song to be in charge of your reset button for a bit. I could easily slot this into a playlist alongside artists like the wonderful Emma Miller and the lovely Tragic Sasha.

There is a beautifully played range of instruments on this song, if you are tense this song can release you, if you are sad this can bring you solace and if you want to picture yourself laying in a field of wild flowers on a beautiful summers afternoon – this can take you there.

The ability to convey emotion and deliver your message in the lower register isn’t something that comes easy to every recording artist, likewise offering a believable tone in the age of singers copying their idols style verbatim without finding their own tone, their own sound is something that alludes many, not Neev!

Neev gets the balance right and offers delights for the ears and the heart for lovers of a more stripped back acoustic sound. Honestly, if you get to hear it two or three or four times you know this is a song that will stay in your heart for a long time.

Neev has recently supported fellow Fresh Favers Sunflower Thieves and has been busy performing live all around the place.

Exquisite goodness for your inner parts.

Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Bandcamp

NEW WOLVES – A Modern Debt (feat. Flo)

I’ve liked the work of New Wolves from the get go, they make videos that I enjoy and songs that I cherish. A Modern Debt is their new single and it’s released today (Nov 29th) and features the excellent Flo. This dashing 3 piece formed in 2019 and reside in Swansea and who doesn’t like dashing people from Swansea after all? (Quite right – Ed.)

A Modern Debt sounds like it belongs in a Nordic noir TV series about feral street children from Finland who are trained by a secret establishment to become stone cold killers of leftwing world leaders of industry, commerce and politics.

The song would surround moving images of smouldering looks and landscapes which are that cold that you can actually see your breath when you breathe out, a bit like Lyme Regis or Skegness in late-November or mid-May.

The feral street children killers have been trained up by the time this song arrives and they have already successfully nobbled about four bigwig lefties through episodes 1-4 and they are just getting to the bit where they start to question whether all this lefty leader nobbling is actually the right thing to do, they hear the voices in their heads from the past of their feral mother or father (either is fine) who taught them of the great work of their forefathers such as Noam Chomsky and Ed Balls, no sorry – not Ed Balls, he was that numpty who’s best work was doing the Gangnam style on Strictly Come Dancing, I mean Nye Bevan, someone like that, yeah that’s better, they remember their parents teaching them about these lefties and they can’t quite shake these thoughts (signified by them tipping their heads to the side and holding their ear like when you still have water in your ear after a bath).

Anyway you catch my drift, it’s THAT SCENE and as A Modern Debt kicks in and the reflection process begins – Steve and Flo’s voices start singing and actually guess what? This one song helps the feral street children killers see the errors of their ways and they start rebelling against the establishment and stop nobbling lefty type leaders possibly for ever more – and that good people out there, is the power of what a song can do writ large, thanks for stopping by and enjoy your evening.

Oh and back to the song, the band etc. Everything New Wolves make is great music for radio, stereos and iPod ear thingy type things.

I’ve missed moderating of Fresh On The Net recently and one of the things I miss the most is hearing new music for the very first time by artists such as New Wolves.

Thanks Fresh On The Net Moderators for bringing it to my ears and for all you, Tom and Steve do in listening to around 200 tracks a week. I did it for the best part of eight years and know how it needs a real dedication to new music, plus the volume of songs have gone up and up in recent times, it’s a herculean task to listen to every track every week and I salute you all and thank you and the public for bringing me these 10 songs to review, I’m honoured x

I’m not sure if New Wolves have plans to play live soon, they should, I’ve no doubt it will be special.

I love what you do and the public do too.

Official | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

ROB QUO – Now I See The Birds

Rob Quo is a prolific London-based singer/songwriter and Now I See The Birds is released today (29th November) as part of Rob’s new EP which is also called Now I See The Birds.

It’s Rob’s voice that drew me in with Now I See The Birds, fine of tone and coloured with hazy interest it beckoned me in and it’s once you are inside the song you realise that Rob has a big talent for composition and arrangement (the strings are blooming marvellous). Dare I mention Nick Drake? His echoes guide Rob but he has very clearly charted his own course and a very beautiful one it is too. I think I’m going to have this on my playlist for a very long time, possibly forever.

The song is a re-awakening to the good in nature that is around us all. The lyrics are a lit torch to guide our way through not only Rob’s brain and state of consciousness but a nations lockdown rediscovery of the important things all around us in the world that somehow got lost in busy lives, overflowing content and chasing our own shadows as we seemingly lost our ability to look up and pause.

This is folk music for the every person, acoustic loveliness for a better future and a flag bearer of inner joy for the jaded and the disillusioned.

I hadn’t realised that I had waited all song for the lift of Rob’s voice to arrive at 2 mins 10 to flip my melancholy heart, to feel cleansed, refreshed and frankly, to feel better, thank you Rob.

There is definitely a theme running through a number of these songs on the Fresh Faves of a real need for a reset following this awful pandemic we have all been dealing with. And I guess with having been busy myself throughout the last 20 months and not stopping for a break so as to ensure the people and the communities I support are OK I am only starting to feel and appreciate how massively important that reset is as I hang on for the upcoming festive break, with an ever glowing but a lower watt lightbulb called hope that wishes the new year will bring better luck and happiness for us all.

There is further joy and more trinkets to be discover on Rob’s Bandcamp page

Rob is performing at Lion Coffee + Records Christmas Special in Lower Clapton Rd, London on 11th December alongside Ella Clayton and Phil Maguire.

Instagram | Facebook | YouTube | Bandcamp

RONNIEE – Faye

I was intrigued by Faye on first listen, loving it by the third.

Faye is from Ronniee’s debut EP “So, What Happened?” due next year.

Faye is Ronniee’s debut single and it’s a corker.

Ronniee aka Rebecca Lauren has thought about the image she portrays and has a canny eye for the detail in her video for Faye, with her massive blue dress in the local corner shop a great juxtaposition.

Digging around on the old internet and it seems that Ronniee has been honing her craft over recent years at gigs and live videos, working hard and slowly getting ready to drop something special. And I have to say that she has really made a statement with Faye on intent and timed it perfectly, I hope all the stars continue align for her and she keeps up this sterling work with her debut EP next year and beyond.

Very British, very catchy, very post Eliza Doolittle/Lily Allen and with more beef and licky lickyness in the musical department in future releases and the building of even more lyrical prowess could see Ronniee follow in the footsteps of potential contemporaries like the amazing Ellie Dixon.

File under Pop, file under Good, file under lovely music to help lift your day.

Luck and a fair wind Ronniee.

Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

SUNFLOWER THIEVES – Sirens

Sunflower Thieves are a Leeds-based dream-folk sisterhood offering sumptuous songs to soothe our weary hearts.

Our own Del Osei-Owusu reviewed them when they made the Fresh Faves 368 with their song Hide and Seek. They were also mentioned by Matthew and Helen of Lines of Flight as artists that excite them when Del interviewed them in May this year.

This was our most popular track this week, Sunflower Thieves are very good at what they do, with a great image presented on the Sirens video too, plus they have that promise that suggests they are 3 minutes 30 away from a very special moment.

There’s not a ton of information about them online unless you dig deep and I like that, it feels organic and new and I wonder if that is also because they want the music to do the talking as they find their feet, and I don’t blame them because bloody fine music it is too, I’d go as far as say that its tremendously gorgeous. I don’t know them or their lives but it strikes me they represent something bigger than just the music they present here.

Bloody hell those group melodies of “How did you know that I needed someone to be there” are heart achingly beautiful and should be rationed to the nation for emergency purposes only!

Honey glazed swoon!

This is music for ear pods, special underground lairs built under fields of picturesque loveliness, and for speakers trapped outward in upstairs bedroom windows, like tannoys to share with each and human who passes your home.

They have points in this song to suggest they will can reach great moments like the wonderful Rozi Plain has (and possibly beyond).

Now is the time to work on their craft, do brilliant live performances, have good people around them and a life that has room for creativity (and much happiness).

This is another act whose music would work well in Nordic dramas on the televisual, SCRAP THAT, tbh this would make any TV series better.

Keep us updated on the journey please, may it treat you well.

Official | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Bandcamp

SYD HARPER – Connecting Dots

Who is Syd Harper?

This is A Syd Harper and he looks like a very nice chap but I don’t think it’s the right Syd:

Syd Harper… maybe

This is also Syd Harper and he looks really good playing sport but I don’t think It’s the right Syd either:

Syd Harper playing rugby

OR is this Syd Harper???

Syd Harper's LinkTree

I’m thinking the last one could be Syd, my detective agency has been wrong before so I’m not counting my chickens or cashing any cheques just yet.

I know Syd has something to do with Ellchiz aka Elliot Chisholm, but that’s as far as I got.

Does it really matter with a tune is as good Connecting Dots? Not really, I used to dance the night away in sweaty underground gyms or disused aircraft hangers to grooves half this good.

Gimme cow bell – Check Johnno, we are cowbelling for you!

Gimme an insistent and funky bass line? – Check Johnno, we can bass your life with full phat flavour!

Have you a delightfully random drum track perchance? – Sure Johnno, we can and indeed will deliver that to you ears (thanks for using our services BTW).

How about an array of deft vocal lines to pique my interest with some lyrics that start with lines something like “the metal in your broken body” and “the caffeine shop that keeps me growing (or glowing)” and then “the options in the local drug store” and lastly, how about “the products on the road side bill board” that general sort of thing? — Yes Johnno, will can deliver all of these aspects with aplomb!

Great, how about synth licks that lick better than most synthy licky things do? — We promise we will deliver all of the synthy licky things you ever need Johnno!

Bloody champion, that’s great – what do I need to do to receive all of these things? — Just press play Johnno, just press play.

I bloody love the internet!

And I bloody love Syd Harper!

More please!

Instagram | YouTube

WÏLDERMAN – NeverReady

Bristol-based Bobby Anderson is a really interesting artist
- the son of Young Disciples singer and composer Carleen Anderson and grandson to James Brown’s right-hand man Bobby Byrd and backing singer Vicki Anderson comes with a damn impressive pedigree.

Bobby has been a part of Bristol’s live music scene for a while now, including being the frontman in cult band Fortune Drive as well as touring with friends Idles in 2020, I can totally get that connection on listening to Wïlderman.

I can hear why NeverReady has already been described as sonic sex, it’s a filthy beast of a track and if you brush yourself against it for too long you will not be able to visit your Auntie Thelma for at least a couple of weeks or she will smell it on you and notify the neighbourhood watch, plus tell your Uncle Derek (and you really don’t need the grief of your Uncle Derek knowing about it as you will not hear the last of it for like, forever).

The video for NeverReady is chock full of gimp masks, thigh length boots and sperm… oh blessed father forgive me but I have sinned. NeverReady is a wake-up call for the pre-ejaculation Olympics to make sure you time your hop, skip and jump to perfection or you’ll be disqualified (or something).

If it wasn’t for my tinnitus and penchant for soft furnishings and home woven fairIsle jumpers I’d no doubt be dancing to this outside the front of my house with my knickers in the air enjoying the north wind up my undercarriage.

Every single time I write the Fresh Faves reviews there seems to be a fuzzy guitar’d sex infused track, or are there fuzzy sex tracks every week Tom, Steve and Moderators?

NeverReady is a rather glorious chunk of love and you took it to your hearts on the Listening Post this past weekend, Fresh On The Net’s own poster boy of taste Andy Page was taken by its “good dirty fuzzy guitars and asbo vocals” Damn straight Andy!

This is like a Bristol evangelical preacher stomping over a morsel of Beck.

I honestly feel there is so much to come from Bobby aka Wïlderman, please keep us updated and much luck on the journey.

Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Bandcamp

Rob Quo

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.

Rob Quo photo by Gian Marcelli

Johnno Casson

Johnno Casson is a London-born/Colchester-based singer, musician, songwriter and show-off. He also compiles and releases compilations and is a serial supporter of new music. Johnno releases his own music as Snippet ,Old Tramp and also under his own name Johnno Casson.. As far as we know he was the most-played artist ever on Tom's legendary late night Fresh On The Net radio shows on 6 Music - having been featured no less than 18 times and appearing as an interview guest. You can also find Johnno on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube...

17 Comments

  1. Louise Toal

    Ah brilliant job Johnno! ❤️ X

  2. Ah this is what we have missed from Johnno. Thoroughly researched, hilariously funny at times but also loving and informative about all the artists and their music. Fantastic reviews and a great set of tracks too. Well done Johnno and well done to all the artists. 🙂

  3. Derval McCloat

    Priceless Johnno. These wordy reviews are a heady mix of comedy sketch and sharp-nibbed, robust analysis. Devoured them!

  4. Nick Young

    If anyone wants to see the Sunflower Thieves and Neev play live, they are playing at the Waiting Room in London this Friday. 3.12.21

    https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/sunflower-thieves-neev-bekah-bossard-tickets-211589880027

    Great reviews and some great songs there.

  5. I’ve missed Johnno’s reviews, he takes me to a place with each and every track that I’m sure I would have missed without his insight.
    He has made me laugh with some imagery that I really did not need to or even want to imagine. A wonderful set of fresh faves, reviewed with passion.

  6. Thanks for all the kind words, I’m so pleased you liked the reviews and that they are going down well.

    The Mods and the public gave me a wonderful set of songs to write about, thanks to you guys too

    J
    x

  7. Rob Quo

    Thanks for the lovely, insightful words Johnno. Really glad that the music has reached your appreciative ears.

    I just wanted to point out that the strings mentioned in your write-up (of ‘Now I See the Birds’ ) were arranged by Daniel Springate. All credit goes to him on that front.

    Well done to all!
    Rob

  8. These have to be my favourite reviews ever. Thank you Johnno 🙂

  9. What a wonderful set of reviews! And thanks for shouting out my interviews!

  10. You are welcome Rob, Daniel Springate did a great job on the strings.

    Thanks Russ and Del

  11. Mark Toal

    Aaaahhhhh Johnno, I have missed you, brilliant reviews, bravo!

  12. Andy Page

    Sorry, late to these! Delightful to have you back reviewing, Johnno, you funny fXXker!! I need to know where I can obtain faux fur lined manly man briefs and tootsie feet toe toes now that my favourite local department store has closed for good…or is this a subtle introduction to what you’ve been away working on? Will your next batch of reviews have a direct link to Casson’s catalogue of Manly Man thermals? And if so will it be a subscription service? Time will tell… 😉

  13. Lovely to see your reviews Johnno —oh! how I’ve missed them —
    A new angle on today’s music which is both needed and much appreciated 🙂

  14. Thanks Andy, you have indeed stumbled upon my early psychological warfare
    around my forthcoming range of manly man products, including my own handcrafted line of faux fur lined manly man briefs and a Johnno variation of warmth for your feet via my range of tootsie feet toe toes, which are in development with a draft name of Johnno’s feety things for your feety feet (still working on the name of course).
    Hopefully links in my next reviews, pending if I find out #WhoisSyd which is taking quite a lot of time (as you can well imagine) x

  15. Thank you Steff
    x

  16. Late to this too. That’s probably the most entertaining set of reviews I’ve read in quite some time, Johnno. The Syd Harper digest was worth opening a PayPal.me account for on its own. Thank you!

  17. Many thanks Tony, glad you enjoyed the reviews, I had a fine set of artists to work with.

    #WhoisSyd does seem to have tickled quite a few

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