Artists at a glance
SOOTHSAYERS MEETS VICTOR RICE & FRIENDS
TENCE FEAT. WINDOW KID
I do not think the tracks in this playlist could be any more diverse, and I’m pretty sure the opening and closing tracks will never appear in the same playlist again. Get your “ready for anything” music head on, plug in your headphones, and immerse yourself in some pretty amazing music!
By the way, if I’ve misinterpreted anyone’s lyrics, please feel free to put me right in the comments below.
ALEXYS – 259 Million Songs
Alexys is from Bristol, and his Soundcloud profile says “”The shorter the better’ here. So I’ll take that literally.” Other than that, there’s nothing else out there. I know it might seem interesting to be elusive, but it doesn’t make it easy for the volunteer reviewer.
Fresh On The Net moderator and interviewer Del Osei-Owusu described this track as Dylanesque, which is praise indeed. It’s a depressing song that most certainly states the truth in that there are many, many songwriters, bands and creative people lost in the fog that is the music industry, but validation and success can come when you least expect it, so don’t give up.
Of the 259 million plus one songs Alexys speaks of, there are 10 here in this Fresh Faves playlist, and I dunno, you can make your own minds up, none of them sound the same to me…
BINA. – Blackjack
BINA is Sabrina Obiago, an R&B artist from South London. Her latest release Blackjack was produced by Mont Jake and BINA, superbly mixed and mastered by Jay Lewin, and released on October 6, 2022. BINA has over 48,000 monthly listeners on Spotify, which is hardly surprising as her voice is engaging, soothing, gentle, and welcoming.
I love the lyric (if you can love such a painful lyric) “Open your wounds in the quiet of your room…”, who hasn’t done that I wonder?
BINA says: “I’m of Nigerian heritage, but pretty much all of the foster families I’ve lived with have been Jamaican, so I was exposed to different musical cultures…” There is no doubt we can hear those influences right here in this track, it’s emotional, affecting and expressive, encompassing everything a good songwriter should; its narrative touches your soul and I am, indeed, ready for more from BINA.
BROKEN BEAR – Endless Sleep
Broken Bear are a two piece from Epsom: Laura on vocals, guitars and drums, and Paul on bass, synth and drums. Endless Sleep is from their 3 EP LP, released September 14, 2022. Not only is this track written and performed by Broken Bear, it is also recorded and mixed by them. They are multitalented to say the least.
Info about the track from Bandcamp: “A melancholy waltzy track underpinned with acoustic guitar. Inspired by an article on Resignation Syndrome which detailed a psychiatric disorder of children and teens (often in war zones) in which they fall into a deep sleep from which none of them have woken.”
It takes great songwriters to seize challenging issues and turn them into a song that not only compel you to listen, but also prompt you to find out more. A stirring track, one in which you will find yourself absorbed.
There will be a point where we realise we can no longer stand idly by, very well done Broken Bear for highlighting this painfully sad condition.
CALEY ROSE – Who’s That Girl?
Boom boom BOOM! I’m all in as this track beats relentlessly through me whilst writing this review.
So, who is THAT girl? Well, someone who hits us with much attitude that’s who, as she says in the track “Never been afraid of being bold, callin’ every shot, I’m in control…”
Caley Rose is from Buffalo and her bio tells us “It took one spontaneous jump off a 360-foot cliff in New Zealand to discover that she was a songwriter” Wow! That must have been an amazing experience that maybe, just maybe (I’m not doing it) all songwriters should consider trying.
There’s lots out there about Caley, undoubtedly talented and definitely deserving of a much wider audience. This track lifts me up, twirls me around, makes me jump up and down wanting to embrace just a little of that Caley Rose attitude!
Who’s That Girl was released in October 2021.
COUPDEKAT – My Complete Reinvention
Katherine Reilly is Coupdekat, bringing us effervescent music that’s bubbly and bouncy.
Katherine is a singer/songwriter, born just outside of London — each time I read that “born just outside London” I keep asking myself but where, what part of London… Peckham, Shoreditch maybe? (Mind you these places are not outside London)
Now, I’m not completely sure as I cannot find the lyrics anywhere, so I think, after listening on repeat, which I have been more than happy to do, this is a song is about love lost and Coupdekat’s reinvention to find love again. It’s sparkly, poppy, energetic and certainly one you should consider adding to your playlists. My Complete Reinvention was released in June 2022.
ELLIE BLEACH – Precious Feelings
Ellie Bleach was born and raised in Leigh-on-Sea but now resides in North London. Her Spotify profile tells us that Ellie: “has a penchant for nostalgia, 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.”
Oh my! I love the lyrics of this song, if Ellie is anything she’s certainly not “elegantly selling out” — listen and immerse yourself in her description of a working musician’s life.
There is nothing “light and breezy” about the music industry, putting on a face, bringing joy to others when you’re not feeling it, looking out on an audience that doesn’t hang on your every word, who are understandably immersed in their own lives whilst using you for their entertainment.
Really good song writing Ellie, we at Fresh On The Net most certainly care, our readers took a fancy to this track, and who knows maybe some will go on a tropical cruise just to hear you.
Precious Feelings is released on Sad Club Records, an independent record label based in London.
FRANCES MISTRY – I Don’t Know My Place
Frances Mistry is a singer/songwriter and producer from Brighton. This track I Don’t Know My Place was released in October 2022, and if Frances is unsure of her place in all of this, then Frances, look no further, you most certainly have a place here at Fresh On The Net, this being your third visit to the Fresh Faves playlist in a year, quite an achievement considering how hard it is to make it past the inbox in the first place!
Immediately grabbing your attention with its strong drum beat and guitar rhythm that could so easily overwhelm the lead vocal but doesn’t, it feels angsty and edgy. I’m am sure that Frances has lots more to give us as she develops her music sound further. Keep it up Frances, you’re definitely doing it right.
PHIL MADELEY – Nothing Is Sacred (Anymore)
Ooh here we go, a driving beat with a message, that little riff is certainly going to keep me awake tonight. Nothing Is Sacred (Anymore) is the title track to Phil Madeley’s new EP, There Will Be Blood, which is due for release in January 2023.
A delicious guitar solo towards the end leaves you wanting more. Alternative Rock at its very best — I’m not sticking my neck out when I say you are going to feel the need to put this on repeat! Turn it up, blast it out, get yourself down to The George Tavern, London for the single release gig on 25th October.
Wait up, just before I move on to the next review, I’ll have another listen…
SOOTHSAYERS MEETS VICTOR RICE & FRIENDS – Glass Fish
What a bloomin’ joy this track is! Take me away Soothsayers, with your oh so glorious sound. Hold up, I find myself in such a relaxed state I’m having difficulty concentrating!
Soothsayers are a London-based band who perform and record original afrobeat and reggae-influenced music. Founded in 1998 by sax player Idris Rahman and trumpeter Robin Hopcraft, they have released five studio albums and a series of vinyl singles on their own label Red Earth Records.
Glass Fish credits go to: Producers/Composers/Musicians: Robin Hopcraft, Idris Rahman and Musicians: Victor Rice, Bruno Barque, Joao Erbertta, Satin Singh, Andrew Gibson and Kishon Khan
In their own words: “Soothsayers create a deep and spiritual musical experience…”, I didn’t really need to read that to know it, I felt it, I put it on repeat and immersed myself in to it and what! Blow me down you can even meet Glass Fish in person on 4th Nov – Nell’s Jazz Club, London. Their latest album, Soothsayers Meets Victor Rice & Friends, is due for release 28th October 2022.
TENCE FEAT. WINDOW KID – Two Faced
Tence is Ryan Ashton, a UK Hip Hop rapper from Nottingham, in his own words “armed with a laptop and Logic Pro he started making beats at 15”. He studied at Nottingham’s Confetti Music College, and tells us he writes music to capture the emotion of a moment — he certainly has done that, having already caught the attention of BBC Introducing.
Two Faced was released at the end of September 2022. On this track he teams up with Window Kid. The track is infectious, smacks you right between the ears, the lyrics coming fast and precise, hitting each beat, and stays consistent even through the slight change of pace, and the introduction of Window Kid — I love the phone call in the middle where that transition happens.
We look forward to hearing more from Tence who is currently working on an album to be released sometime in 2023.
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.