Artists at a glance
Greetings from a muggy and wet Belfast, It’s nice to be back in the driving seat for reviews, it feels like it’s been a while.
Before I get to it, I have a quick naggy note for artists. Please, please, please update your bios. It can be a nightmare for us to try and put you out there if we have limited info. Tell us who you are, don’t be shy!
ALEX LIPINSKI – Coyote
Bristol/London-based singer songwriter Alex Lipinski seems to have quite the reputation with the stars. His last album was produced by Anton Newcombe who describes him as “a young man worth my time and efforts, make no mistake these songs have all the qualities of timeless music.” High praise indeed. Alex also counts Liam Gallagher and Evan Dando amongst his biggest fans. If it’s good enough for Evan, I’m in!
Coyote starts out as a gentle, bluesy number that showcases some wonderful guitar work and vocals then halfway through BOOM! The drums kick in it becomes a big foot-tapping joy. A great track to start with this morning for some Monday motivation. Alex is quite rightly all over that internet, go seek him out.
ALICE OFFLEY – Funk On The Dancefloor
Alice Offley is a Swindon-born singer/songwriter who comes from an English/Irish musical background, and is apparently a distant relative of none other than Dusty Springfield. Her muso parents met in a band, so music obviously runs through her veins. Alice is influenced by old skool soul, R&B and disco. It’s little wonder then that her sound is right up my street.
Funk On The Dancefloor caught my ears straight away when I heard it in the main inbox, so much so that I had to seek it out on Spotify and add to my own playlist. It’s hard to find tracks like this nowadays. It’s fresh, funky and fun. I flipping love it. More please Alice!
CAT RYAN – Rex Mundi
Newcastle-based outfit Cat Ryan are a 5-piece consisting of Evie, Lucas, Mary-Anne, Simon and Charlie. They describe their sound as “shoe-gaze, jangly indie pop, art rock.” Rex Mundi is a track inspired by a greyhound of the same name, and is Latin for “King Of The World”.
Mary-Anne wrote the song whilst she was back in rural Ireland with no wifi to distract her. She built the song from a fun bassline she created with a midi keyboard. With the greyhound theme it evolved into a nice, fast-paced sound that symbolises the underdog who at first tries to run from social injustice but decides to turn and fight. You don’t make changes by running away after all!
A clever and catchy little number coming in at just over two minutes long and proving that good things can come out of having no wi-fi.
CHOLLY – Are You Real
Cholly is a London based artist and producer. She’s no stranger to FOTN — fellow mod Neil is a great supporter of her work and it’s plain to see why. She makes music from a wide variety of instruments as well as using sounds from everyday surroundings. This is evident in Are You Real. As I sit listening to the track on a loop I discover new sounds with every play. It’s a confident, multi-layered piece of electronica with a dreamlike vocal. Cholly is a real talent with both a unique and accomplished style. A big hit with our readers this weekend!
FRANCES MISTRY – Empty Towns
Frances Mistry is a 20 year old singer/songwriter and producer from Brighton. I think this is her second visit to a Fresh Faves spot.
First of all I am struck by how mature her style and vocal is for one so young. Her voice has a hint of Harriet Wheeler going on, which is nice, and transports me back to my teenage bedroom. Frances says Empty Towns is about escaping and rediscovering a sense of self, focusing on disappearing from social media and the activeness of it, whilst simultaneously using it as an escape. I’m sure most of us can relate.
You can catch her live on May 27th in The Brunswick, Brighton.
JAMES ARMSTRONG – Mayo
I would love to tell you all a bit about James Armstrong’s background, but alas I cannot because I could find nothing, unfortunately. Mayo is an eccentric little number that has a delightful and infectious swagger to it. It doesn’t seem to be about mayonnaise, but more a pop at the egotistical amongst us. There is no mayo but egos aplenty, at least that’s my interpretation. The composition is lovely, and the message on point. I just wish I knew more about the artist. Get a bio up James, you deserve one.
KYANOS – Seabass
Kyanos are a Brighton-based band, and have been sported by NME emerging, who describe them as a blend of soothing psychedelia that is perfect for fans of Tame Impala and Unknown Mortal Orchestra. Personally I prefer their sound to Tame Impala.
They say they have emerged from the salty blue with a nautical new experience for your heart, mind and belly. Seabass is another track that caught my attention on first listen, There’s something original about it that’s refreshing to the ear, plus the horns are fab! Kyanos appear to be getting a lot of support from BBC Introducing as well as being added to Spotify’s Listening Post playlist. The’ve left me with an appetite to go and check out some more!
STRUAN SMITH – When We Dance
“When we dance, the journey itself is the point.” I adore this track, it had me kitchen dancing on first listen. It’s a blend of electronica and spoken word building up to a proper dancey little number that doesn’t outstay its welcome.
I know that Struan Smith is a Glasgow-based musician but alas that is all. I want to know more as I’m very taken with the track and it’ll certainly be getting lots more plays in my ears.
THE ISLAS – Keep Me In Mind
The Islas are a Norwich based Indie band consisting of Nathan Baverstock, Ross Allen, Granger Wittering and Ed Chalu. They found their sound through a mutual desire to put on high energy shows with tight two minute tracks that showcase their musical abilities and captivating, storytelling songwriting. Their main influences are The Smiths, The Beautiful South and Paul Weller.
If you love your Indie music, you’ll enjoy Keep Me In Mind. It has a sharp and catchy melody that’ll have you hooked. I like Nathan’s vocal range too!
VALESKA RAUTENBERG – Restless Heart
Valeska Rautenberg is a singer/songwriter born in Berlin to actor Klaus-Peter Thiele and painter Rosemarie Rautenberg, so grew up living and breathing creativity, and has followed that path through her own life. She has dabbled in dance and acting but has settled for expressing herself through music as this world feels most natural to her.
Restless Heart is a lovely piece of music for me to finish up on this afternoon, before the day becomes hectic again. Whilst I can hear the lament in the keys, it’s also meditative and soothing. I might just have a few more listens before I stumble back to reality.
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.