Artists at a glance
ACANTHA LANG – Carry The Weight
With its horns, sax, keys, guitar, backing vocals and Acantha Lang’s silky smooth vocals, Carry The Weight has all the elements of a very polished, classic sounding soul ballad. Indeed if you had to guess when it was recorded, you’d probably imagine a very different time. However, dig a little deeper, you’ll find it’s a song that is very much for today.
As Acantha says, “I wrote Carry The Weight after talking with a friend about how we both struggle to ask for help, especially when we need it the most. We realized that there’s a lot of us trying to stay strong for everyone else in our lives, even if we could really use some support ourselves. It’s a song about helping each other and also, learning that you can be strong and still accept help from the people you care about you.”
This being Acantha’s first appearance in our Fresh Faves, introductions are in order. According to her website, the London-based, New Orleans-born artist has built a name on the live circuit while also songwriting for the GRAMMY-nominated Robert Randolph & The Family Band. Her debut single, He Said/She Said gained praise from Craig Charles on his BBC Radio 6 Music Funk & Soul Show, and he included that track his Trunk of Funk Volume 2 compilation. More GRAMMY action followed when, she was accepted into the Recording Academy’s 2022 member class, and her single It’s Gonna Be Alright was on the first round ballots in three categories for the 65th GRAMMY Awards nominations.
Carry the Weight was released on November 2nd, and is available to buy on Bandcamp and stream pretty much everywhere now.
BLUE LUPIN – Surface Of The Sun
Topping our Faves this week is the shoegazy Surface Of The Sun by Blue Lupin. Fuzzy guitars and that driving rhythm make for an engaging listen, but despite its bright sounding title, the lyrics paint a much darker mood, as she asks “Do you love me when I’m not around?” and “should we call it a day?”. I particularly like that, after all this swirling doubt, the track just stops dead on a drum beat.
According to the bio, Blue Lupin is a collaborative creative project led by singer-songwriter Joanna Wolfe. Surface Of the Sun is her second single, and is available to stream now in all the usual places.
CHINWE – Paranoia
A popular artist with mods and regular LP voters alike, having made our Fresh Faves a number of times over the last couple of years, Chinwe returns with Paranoia, which according to an interview with Dummy, is about “looking back on situations and feeling let down by people – like no one really has your back”, but adding “we all make mistakes, but hopefully we grow from them and embrace the lessons”. Chinwe has a very distinctive voice and, among her many talents, is also a harpist, and while I can’t be completely sure, there may be a little of that here, nestling in the dense mix of percussion and sliding synths. Stream Paranoia in all the usual places now.
FRANKIE ARCHER – Lucy Wan
Here, Frankie Archer presents a captivating and fresh twist on the Child ballad, Lucy Wan (also known as Lizie or Rosie Wan), and given that I knew absolutely nothing about the original until five minutes ago (is that bad?), it’s best I let Frankie explain what’s behind her new version:
“As a female folk musician it is irritating and boring when, in song after song, women are murdered, raped, deceived, burned – you name it – by men. Lucy Wan is a perfect example of this. Man impregnates woman, man murders woman, lies about it to his mother, runs away and ultimately gets away with it.”
Did he have messy blonde hair, a public school accent, and a paunch?
Sorry, carry on.
“I wanted to give a voice to Lucy in my version of the song, because in most renditions all she can do is cry and tell her brother he has made her pregnant before he swiftly kills her. I gave Lucy Wan power and a voice in the song, just as she and endless other women in endless other folk songs deserve.”
Frankie Archer is from Northumberland, and has appeared in our Fresh Faves and Listening Post a few times now, ever since her debut single Over The Border, and has received praise from the likes of Mark Radcliffe on BBC Radio 2 Folk Show and our very own Tom Robinson on his BBC Introducing Mixtape, among others. Lucy Wan is available to stream and download from Bandcamp now.
KID APOLLO – Leave Her
Details are hard to find, but Kid Apollo (not to be confused with the Derry artist of the same name who has featured on Fresh On The Net in the past) is a Brixton-based trio consisting of producers and twin brothers Felix and Theo Ratigan, and singer / producer Jimmy HM. In a post on Enigma Online , Jimmy says “This song talks about how I feel when you’re being pulled in two different directions but don’t know which way will sit best with you. Everyone around you tries to have good intentions but ultimately, only you can figure it all out. The song needed lots of space to breathe sonically in order to contradict the message of the actual song.” Stream Leave Her in the usual places now.
LEG PUPPY – The Devine Johnny
Many of you will know Leg Puppy for their distinctly bonkers tracks that we’ve had in the Listening Post and Faves over the years. Often these feature keen observations and a dollop of righteous anger, and have a tendency to slap you about a bit.
The Devine Johnny, on the other hand, is a far more intense affair that just seems to build and keep on building. To make more sense of this, head over to YouTube and watch the animated video, where “Johnny journeys through the nine circles of Hell — limbo, lust, gluttony, greed, anger, heresy, violence, fraud and treachery — in search of his true love.” Leg Puppy also be performing this live on November 17th at Dublin Castle. The Devine Johnny is taken from the EP of the same name, which is available on Bandcamp now, along with all the usual streaming services.
MYIE – Fever Dream
Myie, aka Miriam Ingrid, is from Sweden, and Fever Dream is a hooky indie pop track that is, according to Myie “a song about gossip, and how one adds to it by responding. Words change from person to person, they’re twisted and suddenly no one knows what the truth is.” I like how concise it is, with the vocals starting immediately and the song, having done everything it needs to do in 2 minutes and 19 seconds, ending with “Let’s just be friends.” Fever Dream is available to steam and download now.
PETER WALSH – Dubhach
I had to look up what Dubhach meant, and found it’s an Irish Gaelic word meaning “sad, mournful, gloomy, melancholy”, and indeed this track’s piano and strings paint images of dark clouds and perhaps darker times, which really grabbed a number of FOTN mods and Listening Post voters this week. Alas, I really can’t tell you much about Peter Walsh himself, apart from that he is from Saddleworth in the North West of England, and as far as I can tell Soundcloud is the only place you can hear this track right now.
ROISIN QUINN – Taking It Back
I’m pleased that Roisin Quinn has made our Fresh Faves this week. We’ve heard a number of her songs over the last few months, and it often goes this way here at FOTN, where support for an artist builds until a track that encapsulates their sound and style arrives, and they shoot into that week’s top ten.
Taking It Back is succinct and sharp. Wry lines such as “I know I really shouldn’t be giving out bad energy, but I’d rather you have it than me” make you smile; that kind of straightforward honestly is something I’ve heard in every track of hers, which I find really endearing. It should be no surprise that Roisin has received oodles of admiration and support from BBC Introducing in Essex. This track is taken from Roisin’s album, Concrete and Trees, which is available from Bandcamp now.
SABIYHA – Afterparty
Afterparty is a pretty bold, experimental-sounding, track, and the refrain “the comedown takes hold” probably does a lot to sum it up, but it’s a rollercoaster ride of a track that charts a journey – a very literal journey home. There is confusion, loneliness, and angst, snatched clips of people chatting and the lights going out, but at times the vocals soar too. I like how it ends, but don’t want to spoil it.
Sabiyha is from Croydon, and it turns out this is her second appearance on our Fresh Faves, having last appeared in Faves 53 in 2013. She’ll be playing a free gig at The Shacklewell Arms on the 6th December, and you can stream Afterparty in all the usual places 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.