Artists at a glance
COCO AND THE LOST
JOSE MCGILL & THE VAGABAND
ME FOR QUEEN
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Hot chocolate? Check.
Keys in the ignition? Check.
Four lit and in the green.
ALICE OFFLEY – Play
What Alice Offley does really well is write fab dance tracks. Not only that, she’s an accomplished artist in more ways than one. This is showing off her skills here, a mix of 90s pop, with a bit of funky synth goodness. I love the intro with the delay on the synth stabs, over claps and hi hats, what really caught my ear though was that lovely clean sounding guitar riff, it cuts through everything and as with Alice’s previous productions it serves a purpose in the grand scheme of things.
Having done a little bit of snooping this song was perfectly timed with its release, in time for the World Cup. According to the release details: “Do you like Boxing? Do you believe in pushing yourself to be ur best? This NEW song is about courage, fighting and endurance.”
All in all, this is an ultra funky pop song, Alice matches lyrics to action here this is full of energy and I love it!
I have played Alice a couple of times on my show and I have interviewed her for the blog, she’s related to Dusty Springfield, she’s a bass player who’s accomplished a lot, recording with The Thompson Twins, Cyndi Lauper and Tricky to name a few. She’s also a trained actress having a masters in acting and also plays the role of Christine Mcvey in a Fleetwood Mac tribute band. She’s also been in Emmerdale, Coronation Street, Doctors and Sex Education. Check out our interview here.
AMELIA DARE – Don’t Listen
This song starts off with a no doubt hip hop influenced groove, and Amelia’s vocal sits comfortably over the top of it. It’s a sparse track just bass, drums and guitars and Amelia pads it out with her backing vocals, it is very well produced!
It’s a short song, but that’s what’s needed it makes you go back to listen to it even more.
“I see your lips are moving
But I can’t hear a word you say
’cause all it’s really proving
Is that it’s best to stay away
Even if you lived a day you wouldn’t know how it feels
Still you’re saying something.”
I like the lyrics and melody around the verse especially!
Amelia Dare is a London based artist and recently hit 10k streams with her single “Teaser”. There isn’t much about on her online but it looks like she’s been gigging, and going down a storm, especially with an audience singing along to the aforementioned single.
Good on her!
COCO AND THE LOST – I’ve Got Nothing John
I think this is the perfect breakup song! A take on the classic dear John letter maybe?
“Thinking of a reason we should stay together 12 months on, I’ve got nothing John.”
This is a brutal lyric, wrapped up in a really up tempo indie pop song, the chorus is infectious..
Favourite part of this song is the key change for the middle 8, to speak for John’s side of the story referring to what he’s said. The analogue synth build up is cool, but the “Say hi to your mum…” at the end it made me laugh!
Coco And The Lost was created by Ella Flannery from Brighton, to highlight the extremes in her music. Make sure you check out the video too! Very theatrical.
EVIE ASIO – Imperfect People
This is an acoustic led number, and it’s stunning… while listening to it again, I saw that FOTN regular and friend to the team Nick Woodgate had commented on the Soundcloud link that it had made him cry. I can see why, it’s just got a melody and lyric that really stirs you up.
So let’s break it down.
Evie’s voice’s is calming, deep, and husky in her lower range – she kind of reminds me of Des’ree, and that’s not a bad thing! Des’ree is a contralto if memory serves, I’d love to know what Evie’s is. Her voice is interesting!
The strings coming in at 1:40 lifts the song emotionally and physically, wow. Really well orchestrated!
“For I was made
To love imperfect people
So I can learn to love people like you I was made to love imperfect people
So I can to love people like me.”
Oh wow. That’s the lyric right there…
Evie Asio is a singer/songwriter/producer, and a Youth Music Officer for London College of Creative Media (LCCM). She’s also from South London like myself! Yes! This is from her album “Contending And Contention”.
J.FLOWERS.MP3 FEAT. AKS, LEAH CLEAVER & YELFRIS VALDÉS – Rome, With Love
This song caught my ear in the inbox, nice slice of hip hop and soul, it just bounces along nicely I love the piano on it, it sounds slightly detuned – either that’s a really cool sampled piano patch or it’s a dusty piano that’s not been shown some love in a while. It works though, that battered piano sound – also, it could be a tack piano!
The trumpet solo in there is lovely too giving it a jazzy feel… hey I wonder if Lazy Habits know this crew?
This has such a great vibe to it, and was definitely one of my favourites in the inbox.
This is my track of the week.
J.Flowers.MP3 has already been featured on BBC Introducing Kent, and has assembled a formidable crew here in hip hop producer AKS, from London, Leah Cleaver providing that really nice neo soul vocal I assume (there isn’t anything I could really find about her but what I did find was that she was a singer in her own right) and that lovely trumpet solo was by Cuban musician Yelfris Valdes.
JOE HICKS – Pieces
Another strong acoustic number on the Faves, Joe employs strings here too, there’s something about strings that lift a song emotionally, and I love the way that the cello accompanies his vocals in the chorus as well as the guitar, expertly played by the way, not just strummed but plucked as well, giving it the rhythm here too.
The chorus is sung in his falsetto range, and it hits the spot for me….
“I don’t wanna love you,
If loving you means tearing off the pieces of my soul,
And setting fire
You will never break me,
Cause finally I’ve realised I’m better off alone.”
Honest lyrics this week!
Joe Hicks is from Newbury – a rural market town in Berkshire for those not in the know, according to his Spotify he released his first single at the start of 2017, following a soul-searching writing trip to a secluded Cornish Air’n’b garage with no internet or phone signal. He’s built up a sizeable following on Spotify with over 3 million streams, made BBC Introducing Artist Of The Week and got airplay on BBC Radio 2, as well as playing over 30 Solar Sounds…
He’s done a fair bit besides too!
JOSE MCGILL & THE VAGABAND – Into To The Blue
What I like about this song is the intro especially, the church organ sound which you don’t get in music nowadays at least not since the release of Faith by George Michael. BRING BACK THE church ORGAN!
I love the little voice note at the beginning as well about the rainbow, that’s really sweet it’s heart melting!
The other thing is the harmony in the chorus, it’s gorgeous, it takes the song into a different dimension as it overlaps, also the use of electric piano there too, it’s a blinder of a song, and well deserved to be in the final ten.
I also like Jose McGill’s husky voice on this as well, this song could have come from the early 70s with its vibe coming out of the summer of love but with more to it and a cleaner sound.
The outro is gorgeous!
From what I can see, The Vagaband has a rotating cast, but from one of the videos I’ve seen it looks like there could be up to nine of them, Jose is from Ireland by way of Leeds, and already getting love live too. The video on YouTube is stunning by the way… very simple but effective.
ME FOR QUEEN – Drip By Drip
The opening to this is gorgeous – “Are you okay?” sung acapella coming from different directions, it’s like when people ask you if you’re okay but it’s almost like a constant barrage and the reality of “no I’m not” hits.
The strings are featured a lot in this week’s faves and this is beautiful what an arrangement…
The beat is steady but the unpredictability of dripping liquid is illustrated well here in the way it’s sung, this just has such a calming effect on me from the intro on, I’m sat on the train to work and it’s… peaceful.
What a lovely voice!
According to her Spotify: Me For Queen aka Mary Erskine is inspired by people and their stories. Growing up feral in rural Fife, Scotland in a big old house near the sea, she started writing songs when she was 13, around the same time that she started dressing herself.
She’s got an album coming out in 2023, Microclimate, a collaboration with Jim Wallis, it was tracked entirely in her living room. I’m looking forward to this.
She’s my one to watch.
PECQ – It’s A Lie
This is a great slice of electro dance, I like the bleeps and blops that compliment it – this is such a strong track I actually played it on my radio show recently and it went down a blast – definitely one to groove to – I could imagine them playing this in a field at 1am…
There is a reference to nosebleeds and nightmares in the lyrics I wonder if this is a nod to “Stranger Things”?
Something to ponder.
What I really love is the drums on this it’s a combination of drum n bass and reggae dub, especially in the chorus, what a vibe!
Pecq are my one to watch.
According to their Spotify:
Formed in 2020 after isolating in their small East-Oxford studio, pecq is the artistic moniker of multi-instrumentalist duo Niko O’Brien and Hannah Jacobs. Having spent years as engineers, producers and songwriters for other people, the pandemic left the pair with an empty studio and time to focus on their own music. Combining a love of analogue synths, home-made instruments and a meticulous, detailed approach to production, pecq have spent the past two years honing their craft and building a unique sonic world.
THE AMUSEMENTS – Filament
Over 5 minutes of epic dance beats. Subby bass, four on the floor kick, with some analogue drum machine goodness, I like the fact that the bass line is higher up on the keyboard and that the kick is doing all the work in the lower frequency. This is space age stuff. You can imagine it being part of a game (maybe that’s not by accident because of the artist’s name?), it just carries you off… this is a great way to end the faves very chilled and not frantic. Another good one to listen to for the bleeps and blops!
According to his Spotify: The Amusements is Martin Patrick, an independent Scottish musician, producer and town planner. Uses synths and kicks to think about where we’ve come from, what is around us now and what’s around the corner.
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.
Joe Hicks photo by Lauren Squire
Pecq photo by Warren Dupuy