Fresh Faves: Batch 451

Cheerbleederz

Artists at a glance

B OF BRIZ
CHEERBLEEDERZ
DISCO IN SOCHI
ELLIE BLEACH
GABRIEL MORENO
I SEE RIVERS
JACKSON MATHOD
NADEDJA
POETICAL NADZ
RAYOWA

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

Firstly thank you to everyone that submitted a track last week! Excellence all round.

Since it’s a rainy night as I write this, I have a hot chocolate. Can you imagine? Two days ago we were living like it was a heatwave, but now here we are.

Four engines lit and in the green.

Let’s go.

B OF BRIZ – What Would Buffy Do?

Straight out of the box, this is my track of the week.

Why?

Well for the non-nerds among us, this song is about Buffy Summers. Buffy is a vampire slayer from the fictional town of Sunnydale, and her role is to protect the town and the world from the Hellmouth which is located on the site of the high school Sunnydale High.

This was a TV series back in the 90s in the days of Nirvana, Grunge, Nickelodeon, bad fashion choices, and no internet, so you could just imagine what this show was like, it was based on a terrible film but the tv show fared better.

If you have no idea what I’m going on about here, do yourself a favour, go get Disney+ and watch Buffy, but watch out for the bad special effects and terrible stunt double placement. I always used to joke about this – they’ve got more budget this year, so they’ve hired better stunt doubles, or the costumes aren’t as shoddy or the sets aren’t as shaky.

Nerd head off: Music brain on.

Anyway, this is spoken word, almost rapping over a very simple beat, minimalist kick and drums, with an electric piano sound that sounds pretty sweet as it goes… I’m more thinking Wurlitzer, but I can be convinced otherwise.

According to B Of Briz’s bio: “What Would Buffy Do? is the debut single from Bristol’s weirdest woman rapper. It’s about how examples of bravery and grace help us be better people. And Buffy, of course.

Brilliant track thanks for allowing me to relive my misspent youth. Oh wait, I binge watched the series three years ago…

Official | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | Bandcamp

CHEERBLEEDERZ – Notes App Apologies

This is a great indie rock number. The powerful vocals are what caught me, hiding behind that though is the message in this. This is what I found on their Soundcloud about it:

“This song is about letting go of an abusive relationship. There’s a lot of fear and doubt that comes with separating yourself from somebody who manipulates you, and it leaves behind feelings of anger, as well as guilt and doubt. You end up questioning everything while simultaneously harbouring a lot of resentment for the person who treated you that way. We wanted this song to feel cathartic and unapologetic—it ultimately feels very healing. In a world where abusive relationships need to be highlighted I hope people find solace in this and courage in speaking up.”

Music-wise, there’s a compelling melody, the musicianship powers through, nice bassline and guitar riff that really got me going.

I love the lead vocals though, plus the really cool harmonies… to be honest anything I say about this will only overshadow the real message behind it.

According to their Spotify: Cheerbleederz are a three-piece-indie-rock-whatever from London with their debut album Even In Jest out 27th July. They’ve also got some live dates coming up. Go get ‘em!

Official | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Bandcamp

DISCO IN SOCHI – CherrySevenUp

For a duo, Disco In Sochi don’t half know how to bring the noise! This is rowdy, big and a full-on rock number, and it just doesn’t quit. I love the way the vocals kind of meld into each other, and for those of you know who my work as a reviewer you’ll know that I love drums that are go full strength.

This is a winner, and I can see why it was popular on the listening post and among the team!

Disco in Sochi is a collective based in Liverpool made up of writer, player and singer Alex Allen and producer Rory Ballantyne. A heavy, alternative pop outfit which meets to the likes of Chk Chk Chk and Jack White.

There’s something in the water in Liverpool I tell you. Annoyingly talented bunch of people.

Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Bandcamp

ELLIE BLEACH – Big Strong

When I posted the Listening Post on Twitter, a friend messaged me and said that this song had made him cry like a baby. He described this as being better than Carly Simon’s You’re So Vain. Listening back to it now, I can hear why, those vocals cut through everything, low register and with a classic quality too.

The piano on this beautifully played, and I love the simplicity of the arrangement too. This song could have been written in the 70s, it just has that feel. Is that brass I hear?

The guitar solo at 1:45 is heart stirring, and gutsy, very slow but I love it for that reason…

Great stuff.

Doing some research now, the actual single cover looks like a classic 70s 7” single, even down to the detail of the typography, and the way that a cover would age over time. I love that!

According to her Spotify, “London-based singer/songwriter Ellie Bleach has a penchant for nostalgia. Raised in the seaside commuter town of Southend, her songs draw from the rotating cast of bizarre, lonely characters that exist within suburbia — crafting an indie-meets-baroque-pop sound that melds witty lyricism with the strangeness of modern life.”

She’s performed with the likes of Kate Nash, Famous, The Orielles and Brad Stank, received airplay from BBC Radio 1’s Huw Stephens, 6 Music’s Steve Lamacq and Beats 1’s Matt Wilkinson, and appeared on ‘One To Watch’ lists from both Dork Magazine and Gigwise.

Her debut EP No Elegant Way to Sell Out, is due out 6th October 2022.

Official | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | Bandcamp

GABRIEL MORENO – We Can Write England All Over Again

This is such a simple acoustic number, I like the gravelly delivery of the vocals…

I’ll come back to that in a tick.

The guitar accompaniment is strummed, slightly muted. The chords are simple, and the star here is Gabriel Moreno’s voice, he’s very pleasant to listen to. I also love his lyrics.

“The night has turned your compass into dust
You are hanging like a tightrope in the rain
And now that London told you all its lies
You wonder if there’s future in this place.

But girl if you are tired please don’t go away
We can write England all over again
And when they parade with their nets and their blades
We can write England all over again.”

Is it a protest song?

Possibly.

Gabriel Moreno is a Gibraltarian poet and singer songwriter who has been performing for the past 20 years in Gibrlatar, Peru, Italy, Spain, USA and the United Kingdom. He plays with some of the most acclaimed musicians in the scene, Barbara Bartz, Adam Beattie and Maya McCourt. He also hosts the legendary folk institution The Lantern Society.

Official | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Bandcamp

I SEE RIVERS – Your Love

From a really strong Listening Post this song was a bit of a hit – which is an understatement. I like the tape start at the beginning causing the pitch to come up, plus the hint of operatic vocal – it makes for an interesting intro.

In a month where Kate Bush is back in the charts, strong female vocals are back in the news, and back in our ears, this song is no different. The harmonies are beautifully delivered, around a three chord progression, the potentially crowd pleaser of a hook at 1:16 when they sing ah’s is inspirational!

I love the drums on this, especially the toms, I can imagine a line of drummers at a festival playing concert toms down the front with the flags flying…

I hope to see that.

According to Spotify, I See Rivers are renowned for encapsulating audiences with their interweaving harmonies and distinctive Nordic sound which over time has evolved with heavier production and indie-electronic influences. Eline (vocals, keys, percussion), Gøril (vocals, guitar, drum pad) and Lill (vocals, drums, guitar, vocals) have toured extensively, selling out shows throughout Europe. Although they are all originally from Norway, the girls met in Liverpool while studying and have recently moved to Pembrokeshire in Wales after falling in love with the Welsh coastline during the recording of their first EP.

Official | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Bandcamp

JACKSON MATHOD – Come On Now

This is a piece of music that shows off some almighty skills! On trumpet we have Jackson Mathod, who confidently blows his horn and leads a seriously talented lineup of musicians, this to me could stand up easily with the likes of Snarky Puppy and Vulfpeck.

The chord progression around this is the stuff born out of legendary jam sessions, and I am willing to bet that if each of the musicians got to lay out on 16 bars they’d know exactly what to do.

Why?

Well the line up consists of musicians that are pros in their own right.

We have:

Joey Grant on bass (nice in-the-pocket bass line with a few teaser notes in there, according to his website he’s got a Fender, so I’m guessing that’s where this is what he’s flying on this one)

Joshua M – Oh lord. Joshua Mckenzie on drums (ah that explains the really sweet offbeat groove. Seriously, go check him out…)

Charlie Allen on guitar (delivers a tasty solo at 2:05 here as well as some nice strummed parts… Oh there’s clips of him on Instagram playing with some dude called Tom Misch in Buenos Aires…)

Luke Smith on keys. His Wikipedia page reads like a dream – Eric Clapton??? Phil Collins???? Chaka Khan??? ANDRAE CROUCH????? SHAGGY???? As a connoisseur of the Hammond organ and Rhodes this man earns my respect. Chef’s kiss to you sir.

Gabriele Pribetti on sax. He brings a spiritual element to this, a sonic quality that melds the trumpet and sax together. I actually reviewed Gabriele recently, and he’s amazing!

According to his Soundcloud bio: Jackson Mathod is a multi-instrumentalist and singer. Drawing on influences from the likes of Miles Davis, Submotion Orchestra and Christian Scott to name a few. Jackson studied Jazz at Guildhall School of Music and Drama back in 2009. However, never feeling fully embedded in the Jazz world, he quickly went onto the session musician circuit, playing for high profile artists such as Stormzy and Jordan Rakei.

Jackson’s released his debut album Travels in a Confined Space in April 2021 and has received backing from BBC Radio 6 music, Jazz FM, Worldwide FM and Soho Radio to name a few. With well over a million streams, his music has also been featured on top Spotify Editorial playlists such as State of Jazz, Jazz UK, Jazz Club and Jazz Funk.

Oh yeah. He’s my one to watch.

Official | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | Bandcamp

NADEDJA – Holographic Sickening Love

Nadedja has been on my radar for quite a while now, I interviewed her a while ago, and she’s a person with oodles of talent. Yes. Oodles. It’s a unit of measurement.

I love the catchiness of the ooh’s on this, it reminds me of the way that Kylie’s La La La’s from Can’t Get You Out Of Your Head is infectious…

You can’t get both out of your head now can you?

The beat is perfectly summery, nice guitar lines in there, top notch production. I just went on her site and saw that there was a video, but it premieres in three days! It was just a still as a placeholder!! Grrrr that’s teasing.

Anyway, Nadedja is from Brazil, lives in London, and has been featured on BBC Introducing, Amazing Radio, my show on Islington Radio, Neil March’s blog and FOTN once before. Check out our interview here.

Official | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Bandcamp

POETICAL NADZ – Lose

The strings at the beginning is a nice touch, the beat thrown down is nice and steady giving Poetical Nadz a good spot to come in….

And indeed she’s a poet. She’s telling her truth, and it comes through loud and clear on this, and it seems she uses her songs to really get her story told. She’s fast, but she’s also clear!

I like this.

Versatile and different, Poetical Nadz is riding a wave of her own and has no desires of fitting in, as it’s easier for her to stand out. She’s a storytelling musical artist based in West Midlands, UK, with a unique style and flow. As an artist, she makes music to inspire and motivate.

Official | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Bandcamp

RAYOWA – Good Life

The funk is strong with this one! Very disco, you could imagine the nod of approval from Nile Rodgers for this. All the good stuff that tells you that these guys jumped in the Tardis and took a trip to 1978, got their platforms on and got down…

This track has the trademark big drums, solid clapping, fat piano sound too… the vocals really ring out, this is a joy to listen to.

If we get another hot summer day you need to turn this up.

Great way to close out the Faves!

According to their Spotify: Rayowa are a band of three brothers, Dan, Reece and Luke Baker, who share a love of disco, soul and pop music. Their sound is classic and contemporary: mixing the crystal-clear falsetto and chiming guitars of disco with slick production and effortless charisma. Expanding their live line-up to a nine-strong collective, the group will be coming to a city near you soon.

Official | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Bandcamp

Rayowa

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.

Del Osei-Owusu

Del is a songwriter, producer, keyboard player arranger and musical nerd from South London, Del comes from a gospel music background but listens to anything, everything and nothing. Read More

5 Comments

  1. Great reviews Del. Entertaining and well researched. Incidentally some may recall this review I wrote of I SEE RIVERS at the Half Moon back [just] in pre-pandemic times for Fresh on the Net – https://freshonthenet.co.uk/2020/01/i-see-rivers-storme-the-half-moon-putney/ – and I love that, despite the success and status they have attained, they still consider FOTN as a place to test out their newest material. Great list this week. Congratulations to all the artists. 🙂

  2. A wonderful set of tunes! AND very well researched and reviewed. Well done Del and all the musicians.

  3. Louise Toal

    Brilliant work to Del and all the artists. Cracking list that!

  4. Nice one Del! Inspired me to revisit all the tracks.

    The Buffy one is a “BANGA!” 😂😎🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

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