Artists at a glance
DIRTY FREUD FT. ECKOES
Well, I’m celebrating my two year anniversary with Fresh On The Net, thanks Tom and the team!
I have my customary cuppa, the keys are in the ignition…
BAINBRIDGE & CO. – Struggling To Sleep
I’m liking the synth lead playing the melody, nice thing for the ears! This has a ska feel not as obvious as Madness, but the melody played by Ben Bainbridge recalls ghosts of “One Step Beyond”. This track switches between indie rock, to ska then reggae and does it effortlessly, the band is tight and I can hear why this song was a bit of a hit on the Listening Post this weekend. This is festival material to get people bouncing!
Bainbridge & Co. are teenagers from South London, and they’ve been dubbed as the new Streets, up and coming Brixton rockers, and a very exciting live band who are making waves and have some big sets coming up. They have received kudos from AM, Hootenanny Brixton, and Resonance FM.
I could totally see them on Jools Holland for sure.
BODY WATER – Boy In A Box
BODY WATER pose the question on their Spotify bio:
“Why write about love when you can write about serial killers?”
Well, why indeed?
This is their debut single and it was on my shortlist as well as being in my Faves, it showed that in two years of being part of the Fresh On The Net team I’ve been exposed to some very eclectic things, I can now add Horror Rock to my list.
This song has great harmonies, and I love the way the chorus has this catchy part played by bass and guitar nice riffing along going on there.
The lyrics are spiky straight out of the box:
“Papa do you hear me?
You only wanna see me cry
And mama’s never here ‘cos
she only ever takes your side.”
Dark, and theatrical. Just like a good horror film, I suppose.
I say I suppose because I don’t watch horrors, I’m a big wuss!
“Pre-save THROW IT ALL IN THE FIRE or we’ll come murder your pet fish.”
Cerys and Eli are BODY WATER, they specialise in writing songs about serial killers, murderers and unsolved mysteries. They have caught the ear of BBC Introducing, Radio 6 and recorded live sessions for Independent Venue Week.
They have also declared that if you don’t save their next single, they’ll kill your pet fish.
Good thing I don’t have fish.
I will save the single though.
BODY WATER terrify me (they really don’t, they’re probably lovely humans but I will hide all fish), however they are my track of the week.
DARCIE – Utterance Swirls
The thing about this track is the sweet harmonies set against the processed beat, it’s quite a difference between the two, because it’s like the drums are being wrung out…
But somehow it works. Darcie’s vocals are clear, and ring out clearly over this electronic beat, and then it drops into an 8-bit drum’n’bass section which surprises you…
That’s what it is. It’s not just processed, it’s an 8-bit sample that’s been processed to make it bigger…
I’d love to know how that was done.
Something to ponder.
You beguile me Presenting in your pain Scored and fringed in violets You’re pulsating in your fate There is no pinned caring Gentle skinned and listening Mimicking you pause Forgetting your raw Eyes were followed Bottled and pretend Frolicked in sunken pores Slick in spit You slithered in it Looking to kill Whimsical thrills Rose petalled with frosted weapons I am to take Cornered in clay Utterance swirls in pomegranate skin You’re fickle-minded and mixing Clipping in pity memorised me Scattering lemonade in your heat
It conjures quite an image, very poetic.
Darcie is a Bristol based artist, who specialises in experimental pop. That’s her description on instagram, however NME describe this as lilting BBQ pop with lashings of soul.
Hey it’s supposed to be a hot summer, I sticking this on my BBQ playlist.
DIRTY FREUD FT. ECKOES – Shame On Me
Dirty Freud is back with a new one, and with a nice synth bass to kick off the proceedings, it gives me the Timbaland vibe, which isn’t a bad thing, as I’m a big fan, you’d expect this to be bumping on big speakers.
The drums are hard-hitting, and I can almost hear tablas tucked away in there, nice Eastern influence…
Eckoes sings confidently and strongly on this, and does the job, I’m really enjoying the way that this just struts along with her voice. Her vocals are layered, one an octave higher than the main vocal occasionally, and it’s done well. Overall this track makes me want to hit play again a couple of times…
I have interviewed Dirty Freud for my blog in the past, he’s an electronic live and recording act from London, has played Glastonbury, and this shows me that COVID has only motivated him to carry on.
Keep it dirty.
GRANDBABY – Congo Solar
Listening to this, I’m not sure if I’m watching a dodgy 70s film with an OTT car chase, or in the middle of a big field where there’s a drum line up… Either way, this messes with your head musically, there’s so much going on, you want to dance or air drum…
I’m doing both.
There’s a cowbell on this keeping time, among all the other mishmash of percussion, it’s full of flavour!
The whole track is centred around a bass playing two sections, and then letting the drums have all the fun. Every so often you’ll hear the punctation of “GO!” and it just makes you want to… well… GO!
Oh and that drum solo? TASTY!
So, who’s Grandbaby? Well this is what I found on his Soundcloud:
Written, played, recorded, mixed & mastered by one man polymath Mr Jason, in his recording studio The Crunch in Norwich, UK. You may know him from Rope Store, Lake Combover, The Secret Hairdresser, Madames Et Monsieur, Freeboy, or tons of other bands from the last 25+ years.
INVISIBLE SQUIRREL – Sonder
Living in an area where squirrels are pretty much ten a dozen, this is an alien concept. Are the squirrels watching me?
That said, this is a great track, I like the deadpan vocals on this, and the arpeggiated synths. The bassline that comes in a little later sounds pretty cool too, really groovy. The squirrel indeed does have talent!
If the Squirrel had a time machine and took this back to 1991 to a field at about 3am I reckon the crowd there would find it quite amusing that an invisible squirrel could drop a beat like this. It probably wouldn’t surprise them but I reckon it would go down a treat!
Invisible Squirrel is quite elusive because… well he’s invisible. But what I do know is that he’s from London, semi-anonymous producer/remixer of big beat, funk, and cyberpunk.
I loved his track Nicholas Bloody Parsons, so it’s good to see him here.
MUNA ILEIWAT – Stuck
I like the chilled-out vibe of this track, it’s going down with me and my cuppa this morning as the day begins, it’s downtempo, and the sparse instrumentation makes it very easy to just concentrate on the message in the song.
I like the guitar work on this, as well as the drum machine sound choices, Muna Ileiwat’s voice is very pleasant to listen to as well.
She sings about wanting to break free from her situation, breaking free from a concrete city, but acknowledges that she’s stuck, and wants to move on.
The way the track moves along shows how the arrangement is well thought out, and it made it a very enjoyable listening experience for me.
I just watched the live version of this song, you should definitely check it out, nice work…
I think I need to pay a visit to Zig Zag studios though because they have a keyboard there from my past, a Yamaha PSS-780.
Took me back a fair few years!
SISTER WIVES – Wandering Along / Rwy’n Crwydro (Ani Glass Remix)
Very 80s! The bass line stutters along, nice synth bass sound there, and the drums are punchy as hell! I love the snare, and the rim shot sound, it whisks you back to watching MTV on the rare occasion that they’d play something not in the box… *sniffs the air* 808 kick, hi hat, and rim shot I believe.
The production is sweet, and so are the way the vocals are recorded, staying with the era, sampled and with a touch of delay too — not too much but it does sound fab! This makes this Fresh Faves very eclectic in the way that it’s been put together, and makes me want to go track down their other stuff.
Found on their Spotify bio:
“From the highest valleys and smoothest seas they rise! Sheffield four-piece Sister Wives unified as one in 2018 to conceive wild tales that flit between Welsh and English language, sung over cavernous melodies and hypnotic beats. Their post-punk, prog-flecked psychedelia rumbles deep inside your soul and shames all those who deserve it.”
THEO POWELL – I’m With You
This is a an acoustic guitar-led ballad from Theo Powell that gives way to atmospheric pads, and just a kick drum from the percussion end of things, it’s such a simple song with some octave’d notes on the piano that wander in and out, and the harmonies on the chorus really lift it up.
“I can appreciate you’re angry, I can appreciate you’re sad…” this is how the lyrics draw me in. It’s a good opening line, and it talks about solidarity with the person he’s written it about.
Overall, it’s a great song, and you could just imagine a string orchestra doing it justice in live performance.
Really well done thanks for sending this through Theo.
I can’t find many details on Theo, but it says that he’s just another music lad.
“Most of my songs are inspired by my life experiences, so I’m just gonna do life and enjoy the songs.”
TYNE – Run Little Rabbit Run
The thing I like about this song is that the beat is quantised so it’s not straight 4/4 it’s triplets, you don’t get that much in music nowadays.
The way it opens up makes it really interesting, it gives it a club feel, this is the kind of song you’d like to hear get the speakers pumping as it works on all levels for a soundcheck. I may have to try that out at some point.
I like the vocals playful!
The video is interesting, I can tell you, just go and check out the makeup on it…
The chorus is stuck in my head.
This makes Tyne my one to watch.
Tyne is Grace Shelley, and comes from Cambridge she’s a singer songwriter. Originally going by the name Grace Sarah, she began her recording career as a teenager and released piano based singles in late 2015, and 2016.
After rewiring her sound with slicker, more synthetic production, she debuted as Tyne with Somebodies Something in mid-2016. Singles like Girly and Crawl followed in 2017, and she toured the U.K. and Ireland with Coin and Pvris.
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.
Sister Wives photo by Laura Merrill