Artists at a glance
HAPPY DUST GANG
THE KITE SOCIETY
APOSTOL – Old
Kent singer/songwriter Apostol opens our Fresh Faves with Old, a soulful song that, according to the artist, is about “accepting adult responsibilities that are inevitable, especially during the pandemic and inflation climate that we are facing”. Powerful vocals and that hint of a Hammond organ gives it an almost gospel music feel. Supported by Abbie McCarthy of BBC Introducing in Kent, Apostol won over many of our listeners this week. Old is available to stream and buy now.
BAELY – Teleport
Biographical details about Baely are a little on the scant side beyond “London”, but what we can glean from social media is that Baely was long-listed for this year’s Glastonbury Emerging Talent competition following a nomination by Rinse FM, has appeared on Robert Elms’s BBC Radio London show, and has some well done videos on YouTube, all of which suggests someone on the verge of wider recognition.
And listening to Teleport, it’s easy to see why. It’s about finding your “missing piece” and wanting to teleport to the farthest corner of the Earth to get away from it all and live in that beautiful moment. It’s not a track that stands still, with intricate and expansive instrumentation, sparkling production, and Baely’s smooth, confident vocals carrying the whole thing. Teleport is available to stream and buy now.
DANCE LESSONS – Wet Batteries
Another act going places this week is Dance Lessons, having been featured on Radio 1’s Future Artists with Jack Saunders, Spotify’s Fresh Finds, Clash, Line Of Best Fit, etc etc etc, along with support from BBC Introducing in London.
Dance Lessons is the London trio of Ann, Tom, and Nat, with Ann producing, and they describe their sound as “serrated pop”. It certainly has an edge, fusing all kinds of elements together — the frantic bass and drums, snappy percussion, occasional sax, and vocal harmonies that range from wispy and ethereal to powerful and soaring — to form something that I think sounds adventurous and properly exciting, but with broad appeal that could easily find them popping up all over the place before too long.
Wet Batteries is released as a double-single along with the track I Like Lies and is available to stream on Spotify now.
GLENN MALTMAN – See The Boats Come In
Former Fresh On The Net moderator Glenn Maltman is from County Durham, and specialises in creating original piano, organ and keyboard compositions that are typically instrumental, although sometimes feature his voice. As well as appearing in TV shows, indie films, and radio productions, Glenn’s work should be familiar to Fresh On The Net regulars, having appeared many, many times in our Fresh Faves, and on Tom’s BBC Introducing Mixtape.
See The Boats Come is inspired by the sights on the Northumberland coastline, and as that suggests is beautifully contemplative, with gentle piano and strings that captured the hearts of our listeners this week, topping the Listening Post by a wide margin. Get this track and find more of Glenn’s work on his Bandcamp page.
HAPPY DUST GANG – Radio
“Once upon a time, long ago, I wrote a song called Radio, so it would be played on the radio, make some real dough, move to Oslo” go the lyrics that lend this track its title. Radio is a very enjoyable, quirky track that says little, and makes even less sense the more you examine it, but also seems very relaxed about that.
Happy Dust Gang (whose name seems to be borrowed from a novel about Glaswegian cocaine smugglers), is Laura, Paul and Eleanor from London who say they’re “only in it for the Monet”, which is fair enough. This track doesn’t appear to be on the band’s Bandcamp page yet, however, so you may have to wait until you can give them all yours.
LUNAR BIRD – Venilia
With support from the BBC Radio Wales trinity of Huw Stephens, Bethan Elfyn and Adam Walton, Venilla made its way onto the station’s A-List a few weeks ago and appears to have remained there ever since, so it’s no surprise that Lunar Bird should glide into our Fresh Faves this week.
And glide it does. The Cardiff band say they make “Dream Pop from Outer Space”, and Venilla (named after the Roman goddess of sea winds) certainly has that Dream Pop haze about it, all glossy synths and as smooth as ice cream — you probably need to don shades just to listen to it properly. You can get the track on Bandcamp now, and stream it on Spotify.
MIMA MERROW – Secret Codes
Mima Merrow is an Irish singer-songwriter based in Glasgow, and Secret Codes mixes spoken word and sung lines over piano, harmonic backing vocals and occasional distant sounds. Top line aside, it’s almost more soundscape than song, and transports you to another place within a few bars.
According to the Mima, “Secret Codes explores the idea of home; where it is, who is allowed there, the rituals and rites of passage that bring it together”, and this is the third single taken from her debut album, Almost Home, which was released last Friday, and is available on Bandcamp now.
TAPESTRI – Sweet Memories
Tapestri formed by a chance meeting in France between Welsh singer-songwriters Lowri Evans, from Pembrokeshire, and Sarah Zyborska from Anglesey, at Festival Interceltique de Lorient in 2019 where they were both performing as solo artists at the Welsh Pavilion. Their songs take inspiration from Americana, Roots, Folk and Country.
Sweet Memories, with its steel guitars and gentle harmonies, clearly has that Americana element, but at the same time sounds very much rooted in Wales. This track is taken from their bilingual Festival EP, which is available now, and you can catch them at Cwtch Festival in Saint Davids next month. Their debut album will be released in March 2023, and we will doubtless see their names popping up on many a festival bill again next year.
THE KITE SOCIETY – Can’t Skate Won’t Surf
The Kite Society is a “seasonal solo project from the scraggly mind of the Oxford-based Easter Island Statues singer”. I’m not even going to try to tell you what it’s about, the lyrics are nuts, but it’s got loads of energy, oodles of attitude, and it’s just great fun.
While we’ve had Easter Island Statutes on our Fresh Faves a few times, this is The Kite Society’s first time here, having already appeared on the BBC Introducing Mixtape, and with what looks like plenty of support from BBC Introducing in Oxfordshire, let’s hope this solo project keeps running. You can buy Can’t Skate Won’t Surf on Bandcamp now.
XANDER WILLIAM – Both Sides Up
A favourite with Listening Post voters and FOTN moderators alike this week (they don’t always align!), Xander William’s Both Sides Up is both very impressive and effortlessly cool. With that mix of sweet melodies and perfect flow over the minimal, but restless instrumentation, it never seems to stand still. From Norfolk, Xander William has only been releasing music for the last few year or so, and has support from BBC Introducing Norfolk and Suffolk. You can stream Both Sides Up on Spotify and Apple Music now.
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.