Fresh Faves: Batch 450

Chris Brain

Artists at a glance

BROTHER ZULU
CABLE STREET COLLECTIVE
CHRIS BRAIN
GLADBOY
HAVVA
MICHAEL MORMECHA
NATIVE TONGUE
SUB CULTURES
TIDAL BLOOM

These Fresh Faves were picked by our readers over the weekend – and reviewed by Fresh On The Net’s Marina Florance this week. You can hear all these tracks in a single Soundcloud playlist here.

BROTHER ZULU – Lucid

Brother Zulu are based in London, their track Lucid certainly makes your ears prick up and listen as their smooth, soulful lead singer, Max Tuohy, carries us off on a champagne filled ride that will leave you feeling thirsty for more.

With guitar by Alex Hillman, drums by Youssef Abdelkhalek, bass by Noah Nelson and keys, flute and production by Lawrence Ajadi, I’m sure you’d agree, this is a talented group of musicians.

Lucid, released 3rd June 2022, is a spa of sound that could have you shopping online for a second hand jacuzzi (new ones are too expensive) where you can dangle your feet whilst sipping a glass of champagne, and, somewhere in the distance, the one you love calls your name, and not only to remind you to put the rubbish out.

This is Brother Zulu’s second visit to the Fresh Faves playlist, if they keep producing music as good as this, it won’t be their last.

Live dates include: Blues Kitchen, London 29th June and Readipop Festival 8th-10th July.

Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Bandcamp

CABLE STREET COLLECTIVE – Tant Pis, Mon Cher

Cable Street Collective have amassed a collection of FOTN reviewers: Tom, Johhno, Mark and Del, a gifted gaggle indeed. What, I wonder, would be the collective term for reviewers… a revelry of reviewers? This stands as testament to the excellence of this band, making the Fresh Faves once is hard, a fifth visit? A rarity indeed.

Released 3rd June 2022, CSS say “Tant Pis, Mon Cher is French for ‘too bad, my dear,’ the defiant lyric for this song was inspired in equal parts by the anti-war Dada movement, The Police’s De Do Do Do…, and the band’s despair at the way politicians in general – Putin in particular – twist words to mean their polar opposites. The insouciant tune, with its unusual, off-beat kick drum, borrows motifs from South African Mbaqanga of the 70s and 80s.”

This track will make you want to dance, there’s nothing better than a sunny sense of hope when singing about politics, in fact it’s the only way to survive today’s politicians with their sneaky ways.

When all about you seems lost, turn up the volume, move your body and drift away with the pulsating beat.

Cable Street Collective are currently on tour, check their website for dates.

Official | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Bandcamp

CHRIS BRAIN – Golden Eagle

Golden Eagle is from Chris Brain’s debut album Bound To Rise, which was released 22nd April 2022, recently reviewed by Tom Robinson who said “Recorded straight to tape like the good old days, it’s an acoustic gem.”

Chris tells us that he “renders songs embedded in folk tradition and the pastoral, with a contemporary resonance, exploring distinctive fingerpicking patterns and alternate tunings.”

Hailing from Leeds, Chris recorded Golden Eagle at The Nave in Leeds with producer Tom Orrell. The track draws us into a striking natural landscape, with its haunting, melancholy melody and compassionate production, we’re taken on a fascinating tale of flight. I can only hope that one day I’m witness to the flight of this breathtaking bird of prey, and of course to the live performance of Chris Brain.

Chris has tour dates from 16th July through to 30th September, check his website for details.

Official | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Bandcamp

GLADBOY – Karloff

Karloff was released May 20th 2022. The Leeds / Norwich-based band are George Orton, Adam Bentham, Sonny Mitchell, Janani Arudselvanathan, Lotte Davis and Alex Calder.

What Gladboy say: “I wanted this track to be a sort of reverie about life before the public smoking ban — something which I’m too young to have ever seen for myself. I enjoyed the idea that people would smoke anywhere […] It’s a totally unrealistic view of that world though – it’s a track propelled by its own naivety; cartoonish images about dogs smoking and people eating cigarettes for pudding. The actor, Boris Karloff, became the antagonist of this straight-edge anthem. He briefly haunted my childhood dreams, so I felt he’d be the perfect totem for this world.”

The hypnotic beat of Karloff lights you up, draws you in with a long smoky drag, and releases you in to a rhythmic, absorbing delight. For me their style is reminiscent of Fontaines DC, I hope they don’t mind the comparison.

Gladboy have a gig 25th June at The Hyde Park Book Club, Headingly, Leeds.

Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

HAVVA – For Nothing

For Nothing by Havva was released on all platforms 3rd June 2022. Written by Havva Ramadan and orchestrated by Aaron Levy. There isn’t much out there to share with you, what I’ve found is that Havva is a London based Singer/Songwriter, in her words “I am a fighter, born to inspire, inspired to be free.”

Not only a compelling singer, but also an exceptionally powerful speaker, which her TikTok profile lays testament to. For Nothing is emotional and passionate, Havva delivers with hot-blooded angst, you can almost feel the ache of love lost. I picked this from the inbox on hearing the first few notes. It isn’t just the power in a good singers’ voice, it’s also their ability to convey feelings, immersing you for a few moments into their storytelling, Havva has the ability to do this. I love it, and the monthly listeners to Havva on Spotify must too, she has accrued over 6000 of them.

I cannot find any gig dates, however I did find an a capella version of For Nothing on TikTok.

Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube

MICHAEL MORMECHA – Kraken

Michael Mormecha is based in Northern Ireland and tells us: “I’m a multi-Instrumental self-producing free range human!” Kraken, is a track from the album See Sea, which is due for release 24th June 2022.

I’m going to stick my neck out here and say that there’s a possibility that Kraken is a cry for help, although it carries you along on a quirky, jaunty, cheery wave of beats, in spite of this you’re still drowning, struggling to stay afloat in a world that is constantly pushing you back down. Then, just as you feel there’s no hope Michael pulls you back up again with the wonderful line about new strings. What I can say for sure is our voters loved it and Kraken soared to the crest of a wave.

The most up to date social media for Michael seems to be Instagram, where you can get a sneaky preview of the video for Kraken.

I cannot find any gig dates so take a look at some of the live performances on YouTube.

Official | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Bandcamp

NATIVE TONGUE – Too Late

I think there are possibly three members of the band Native Tongue, although they could also be a duo. The track was released around February 2022. They could have been on a mixtape in May 2013 but I have no way of knowing if this is the same Native Tongue, probably not. I wish I could tell you more.

Oooh! Wait a minute, I’ve found something: The track was recorded at Propaganda House, mixed and mastered by James Bragg 2022.

Too Late has sublime harmonies and background vocals, evocative guitar, driving drum beats and a foreboding, brooding quality. The opening line “it’s too late…” dials directly into your anxieties and unease. Let’s imagine it isn’t too late, there’s always hope right?

Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | Bandcamp

SUB CULTURES – Peeping Andrew

Sub Cultures an alt/indie four-piece rock band from the South Wales/England Border. I’ve been unable to find the band member names, but I don’t suppose that matters too much.

Peeping Andrew was released by Prank Monkey on 27th May 2022. The opening guitar invites you to listen and good job you do as when the drum and bass drive in, you’re hooked!

There’s lots to like about this band’s sound, and I would keep an eye on their media pages if you love live music, they’re sure to pick up bookings soon. I have a sneaky feeling that you will not be disappointed.

Tight, driving, engaging and lots of fun, if the images they’ve posted on social media are anything to go by.

Currently there are no gig dates for the band although you can see snippets of studio performances on TikTok where it says they’re the “Third best band in Chepstow”.

Official | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Bandcamp

TIDAL BLOOM – Carinho

Tidal Bloom’s members are: Eleest, a songwriter/singer from Malaga, Spain who’s studying music production at Huddersfield Uni. Fin Farmer, a multi-instrumentalist studying Music Production also at Huddersfield Uni, and Maria who is a songwriter, plays piano/cello, from Vinhais, Portugal and studying Popular Music at, you guessed it, Huddersfield Uni. I’m going with the assumption this is where they met, hope I’m right.

This skilled band of musicians bring us Carinho (translated: Kindness) a soft, silky-smooth track. It delivers on every level, leaves you feeling refreshed and clicking repeat to recreate that feeling over and over again.

I’m off to find my flip flops from the back of the wardrobe, go outside, feel the sun on my face, iced filled drink in hand, thanks Tidal Bloom for this sensation.

I wish I could translate the track for you but I can’t…

Reviewed on his blog, FOTN’s Neil March said “The whole thing is lovingly crafted and very classy indeed.”

Official | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

EDITOR’S NOTE: Stop by Gemma Rogers also appeared in Listening Post: Batch 450 and would have made these Faves, however we discovered it has previously appeared in Fresh Faves: Batch 290. You can hear the track and read Sarah Gosling’s review there.

Sub Cultures

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.

Marina Florance

Marina Florance is a singer/songwriter originally from London. Read more about Marina.

7 Comments

  1. Great reviews Marina. Well researched and brought to life by your descriptions. Well done also to all the artists who made the faves. 🙂

  2. Nice work Marina! Congratulations to all artists who made it to the Faves!

  3. Brother Zulu

    Hey, thanks for all the support!
    BZ

  4. Nice work Maria! Well done all the acts who made top ten and indeed top 25!

  5. Cable Street Collective

    Thanks so much. Stoked to be in such good company!

  6. Louise Toal

    Well done Marina and all the artists 😊

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