Artists at a glance
So, here we are at the end of the final Faves for 2022! Wow that’s gone quick. Thank you first of all to everyone who submitted to the full inbox over the last 12 months, we really appreciate you, may you have more creativity in 2023, and bless us with more great stuff! You’re all more than welcome to send me a track for my show on Islington Radio.
I have my hot chocolate.
My earphones are charged.
Four lit and in the green.
AUTOMAN – Conscious In Denial
The enthusiastic count off on the sticks tells me I’m in for a ride so I buckle in…
Great bit of indie rock this, I like the synth lead that kicks off proceedings, it reminds me a bit of Depeche Mode, but that’s as far as it goes in comparison. It’s very analogue in sound, and I won’t go with the generic guess of a Moog, because this has been modified a little bit…
The mood drops down at around 1:59 where it becomes a different part of the song – this tends to be difficult to achieve in a song that is 3:38 long but Automan seem to have nailed it, I like the build up of this, and as a result they’ve come up with an epic treat.
Automan are people of few words it seems. They are a four piece psych alt rock band from London according to their Spotify.
DAVE SUTHERLAND – Nineteen Twenty-Four
I’m not sure whether Dave Sutherland is going for a Yorkshire colliery band kind of sound at the beginning, or Salvation Army. Either way, it’s a great arrangement – one of our readers actually pointed this out, it sounds very seasonal, the acoustic feel of this and the 6/8 time just makes me feel nice and fuzzy.
Maybe it’s the hot chocolate talking.
This is the kind of song you want to be snuggled up with your family to, add some sleigh bells and you have a Christmas number 1!
Dave is a London based singer songwriter in the Americana vein, he’s been very busy! He released his fifth album in March this year, which was produced by Stacy Parrish who’s worked with T-Bone Burnett, Alison Krauss and Robert Plant, and some great guest musicians that I think I need to seek out.
ELENA FLURY – Know Me
There are so many things I like about this song, and while on first listen you’d think it was a love song over soulful tones, it’s more than just that. The lyrics are inspired by her grandfather who had dementia and wouldn’t be able to recognise his family at a certain point, and this song is about losing a loved one while they’re physically there.
I have friends who have been affected by dementia in their family, and this song touches deep.
The music is smooth and soulful like I stated earlier, and I love the chord changes, it’s kept simple and Elena has written a beautiful tribute here:
“You’ve done enough to be loved for many years to come,
I wanna make you laugh, keep you warm,
Wish I could make you feel at home.”
Why does this line hit so hard?
“I wish you’d remember the day I took
My first steps,
Cause now even my name just doesn’t ring a
Another beautiful couplet…
Kwame Kwaten sent me this for my show – when this man sends you music you LISTEN.
If you have no idea of who he is please look him up. He’s a very special guy, and just knows where to pick up talent. In fact the quote that he put on the end of the email with this track was “Never Give Anyone the Power to Ruin Your Day or Change Your Character” – that’s solid advice.
Elena Flury is from London, watching her TikToks tells me that she’s handy with the piano too, and not afraid to be singing in the middle of Oxford Street for a TikTok video.
Frankly I can’t wait to see what else she’s got coming out!
Elena Flury is my one to watch.
EMERGER – Ghost In The Machine
This starts off with beeps and bleeps, the thud of the kick is phased in and out, and the guitar lines that come and go, make it sound so dreamy. This is a banger for sure, the spatial audio mix has inspired me to release a track next year in this way, it makes it sound as if you’re surrounded by the instrumentation no matter where you turn your head, it’s definitely worth it.
I like the lyrics:
“When the world leaves you in the dark,
Just keep dancing while it’s falling apart.”
I think this last Listening Post was trying to tell me something…
Emerger are Emma Goode and Gerry Matthee, they met in high school and studied music degrees at the University of Cape Town, Emma obtaining formal training in classical and Gerry in jazz, I’d love to hear what they do in these respective styles because that is a true removal from what they do here, a dance pop banger with a hell of a catchy hook!
INVISIBLE SQUIRREL – Back To 95
Back to 1995? Possibly. Oasis and Blur were fighting that battle for the soul of the music lover whether they knew it or not, and the war was fierce…
Underground beats were bubbling, and this kind of calls back to that, with the beat being swung. It’s a great groove, I love the piano part being played on this, this uses some chromatic notes in there too, and it’s a banger.
That elusive squirrel can cook up a beat can’t it?
Definitely a treat for the ears!
Invisible Squirrel‘s bio does what it says on the tin. Short and straight to the point: “I am the squirrel your dog cannot see. I release my own tracks and do remixes for awesome bands. Keep the beats BIG!”
OBEY ROBOTS – Super Connected
On the way back to 2022 from ’95 in the DeLorean I stopped off to get some more fuel – aka more hot chocolate, and on the way home popped this cassette tape in – this is an interesting collaboration! Ned’s Atomic Dustbin’s Rat joins forces with Laura Kidd aka Penfriend to create a really dreamy track – Ned’s Atomic Dustbin is a name I remember well, and it made me smile seeing it when I was doing my research.
Laura’s vocals come in hot and strong, she’s got great harmony offerings, and why not? The instrumental over which she’s singing is fab, and is makes you want to forget this cold winter’s evening, and want to be at a sweaty festival.
Laura’s a very capable musician – all instruments here are played by her, except for guitars led by Rat.
I could see there being a deep house remix of this just to make it really trippy…
Obey Robots is a collaboration project between producer / arranger / solo artist Laura Kidd (Penfriend / She Makes War) and guitarist Rat (Ned’s Atomic Dustbin). Their album One In A Thousand is out on 24th February 2023.
ORANJ SON – Dream + Lie
To Liverpool we go for this next one! I like the guitar tones on this, and it’s got an 80s feel to it, I like that deep snare that they have going on this track, and… maybe it’s something in the Mersey but they have that really annoying knack of creating finely crafted songs.
Definitely something in the Mersey.
I like the way the vocals are recorded too, nice bit of reverb on there giving it that big sound – typical of the 80s sound.
This has intrigued me enough to find out more about Oranj Son — four lads from Ellesmere Port. Funniest story I’ve read about a band they helped launch a music blog when the blogger ate the lead singer’s baguette – not a euphemism.
They’ve got gigs.
I reckon they could rock this tune live.
SABLE – Madonna
This stuff off all dreamy, I like the guitar on this, the vocals kind of remind me of Kate Bush, and just as I’m lulled off into a lush area in my mind, the beat drops in at 1:06.
The beat is electronic, great sense of groove, and really steady. I love the synth bass sound too, and the simple guitar solo at around 2.23 – this song gives you everything in its separate parts and is well performed. It deserves to be part of these faves coming from a very strong inbox in the beginning.
Sable is a mix of German / Oxford / Manchester, a singer/songwriter and producer who according to her instagram is a big fan of a boogie.
Me too Sable.
THAT GUYY – When You’re Alone
This song is quirky. I love the way it begins with the percussive clicks and clacks, and That Guyy seizes the opportunity to squeeze in a pun: “I don’t wanna be that guy, pun intended…”
The chorus is what attracted me to this song, the way it’s sung and also the lyrics –
“No one wants to be there when you’re alone when you’re alone,
No one wants to help you when you’re alone
When you’re alone..”
It’s my favourite part of the song as well as the noisy rocky transition. at 1:54, it just builds up and of last week’s inbox and this week’s listening post this is my track of the week.
Stunning vocal arrangement, fab performance.
Extra points for the pun in the lyrics.
That Guyy is a fan of pizza and The Borrowers it seems – I’ve never seen it, I feel I will be judged heavily for not having done so but I will rectify this at the earliest opportunity.
Other than that I can’t find any information on him!
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.