Artists at a glance
THE BOOKSHOP BAND
THE CRAYON SET
BURR ISLAND – Nunney Town
Burr Island are an Alternative Indie Folk duo, Tom England & Oskar Porter, from the West Country. Nunney Town was released 16th June 2023. Produced by Steve Cradock, mastered by Julian Lowe with Arthur Sawyer on banjo, drums Charlie Stanier, and folk legend John McCusker playing Harmonium and Violin.
I loved this immediately, in those first ‘vital’ few seconds of hearing a new track, it’s a folkalicious blend of stringed instruments, it’s a driving beat with luscious harmonies that will have all folk, not just folky folk, singing along at the top of their voices, tapping their toes, holding hands, dancing around and relishing a few moments of folky escapism. I suggest you play it on repeat, I did and not just because I’m writing this review.
You can see Burr Island live as they will be supporting Ocean Colour Scene on the following dates: 18th Aug Margate, 20th Aug Bexhill On Sea, 24th Aug Halifax. Visit their website for details.
CAROL JARVIS – In My Veins
Carol Jarvis is a multi-award-winning trombonist, keyboard player, arranger and orchestrator, having toured and recorded extensively with stars too numerous to mention here. Her orchestrations and arrangements have featured on albums at the top of the UK and US billboard charts, been recorded at the famous Capitol Studios in Hollywood and also played during the Academy Awards.
In 2023 Carol will be the first female President, in its 50-year history, of the International Trombone Association. You have to be pretty good to reach these heights so I’m sure you do not need me to tell you how decent this track is.
I’m being spoilt this week for tunes to dance bare foot around my living room to. Released June 2nd 2023, this is a trombone-led electronic, house track that gives you the motivation to dance yourself into a trombone trance. It’s evocative, captivating, accomplished and terrifically tromboney.
Carol tells us “This single is inspired by my decade-long fight with cancer, and now being over ten years in remission, it’s time to celebrate.”
DEKKER – Hero Myth
American Singer Songwriter Brookln Dekker is Dekker, who is based in Nottingham, described as a Folk and Singer/Songwriter on Soundcloud. I wish I could say more, what I do know is that Dekker likes a hat.
Hero Myth was released 16th June 2023 and this is 2mins 59secs of charismatic musicality, drawn in from the start you are compelled to listen as he tells you how we all feel most of the time.
What am I doing here reviewing Dekker, I really don’t know, playing make believe like everyone else? I’m sure he doesn’t need me to say how very good this is. With great lyrics and a beat that’s slightly dark and tingling with anticipation there’s no need to doubt Dekker, this is undeniably a dusky delight.
To see Dekker live head over to the website where you will find many gigs across Germany, Switzerland and Denmark.
JAMALAM – Take A Second
Hmm? There isn’t much out there about Jamalam which means there isn’t much to tell, this is what I know, well what I think I know. Jamalam is Jamie Lawson and Take A Second was released on 27th June 2023.
One of Fresh On The Net’s longest serving moderators, Johnno Casson said “Really like this, nice one” and I agree, it’s jangly, jaunty and jovial although, once in to it, you appreciate that maybe it’s not so “jovial”.
Lyrically it’s very clever, perceptive and observant, after a few listens you’ll be hooked and will almost certainly be taking a second or two to listen over and over again. So, stop reading this, take a second, have a listen.
MRL – Abscind Minded
Formed in 2023, MRL is a four-piece alternative rock band fronted by Monica Pascoe, with Asheq Akhtaron on guitar, Bryn Davies on bass and completing the lineup is Adam Stokoe on drums.
Abscind Mind is their debut single, and blimey, it’s bloomin’ brilliant. Their website tells us: “MRL commands attention, beckoning listeners into a world where darkness and light collide.” And this track does not disappoint, Abscind Minded is undoubtedly a, again from their website, “gritty fusion of new wave, punk, grunge, funk, and garage rock.”
So… what can I tell you that they haven’t already said because this track IS everything they have said. Okay I’ll try because that’s what I’m here for. It’s raw, powerful, dark, urging, angry, AND it’s an excellent start to what will undoubtedly be, in my opinion, an accolade-filled musical journey.
SOPHIE JANNA – Thistle
Sophie Janna has toured the world with her duo The Lasses before she dared to share her own songs on the stage. Sophie was born into a family of singers, but she truly found her own voice when she lived in Edinburgh, where traditional ballads are performed in pubs and living rooms, accompanied sparsely by a guitar, a violin or a softly hummed harmony.
Thistle was written, in Sophie’s own words: “When I just had become a mother, I stayed with my parents for a few days so they could help me with the baby at night. It was May or June then, as it is now, and I was admiring all the wild flowers around my parents’ house. I was really worried about climate change and the world that I had brought my baby into – would he know all the flowers that grew around me when I grew up? I felt helpless and that’s when I wrote this song. I’ve realised since that it makes me feel more hopeful if I come into action. But back then, I felt like my voice didn’t matter. And I’m still afraid. But hopefully if we all come into action, we can prevent the worst.”
This track is serenely stunning, heartfelt, a joy to listen to over and over as I write this review. Music will be our comfort in the darkest hours and Sophie, your calming lullaby quality is simply adorable.
Sophie has many live performance dates planned with her duo The Lasses, visit her website for details.
THE BOOKSHOP BAND – The Ghost Ship
Beth Porter and Ben Please are The Bookshop Band. The Ghost Ship was released June 23rd 2023 and was inspired by Kate Mosses’ book of the same name.
They write and perform songs inspired by hundreds of authors from Shakespeare to Philip Pullman, and have released 13 studio albums featuring many of the authors they have worked with. There have been many accolades, and The Bookshop Band are masters of their craft.
I am yet to read this book, although it is on my list of must reads, the track that now accompanies it, has only made me more eager, enthusiastic, excited to get a copy. I’m sure this is the intention of The Bookshop Band, they are a singing advert, a band of minstrels musically reciting tales to sell their wares, well it works, it works really well.
Want to see them play live? If you are lucky, then maybe they will be playing in a bookshop near you…
THE CRAYON SET – Sunlounger
The Crayon Set are Dublin-based and specialise in catchy, alternative pop. The band are Robert Baker, Kate Dineen, George Guilfoyle, Phil Casey, Finn O’Reilly. Sunlounger is set for release July 14th 2023.
Nothing else to do? Then why not get your iced coffee or other iced drink of your choice (get someone else to set up the sun lounger otherwise it all becomes a bit of a faff) then go outside, sit on said lounger and stream this exceptionally relaxing track straight into your brain It’s chilled, restful, sleepy and paints a sublime picture of complete indulgence.
“Lounging in the sun, the sunlounger, on a sunlounger, just lounging in the sun…”
Drift away and don’t come back to reality until someone shouts “where are you” or, you need to reapply that all important sun protection.
You can see them live on 27th Oct Dublin – Workmans Cellar, 5th Nov Cork – Crane Lane, 10th Nov Limerick – Record Room.
THEO BLEAK – To The Boys
Theo Bleak lives in Dundee on the east coast of Scotland, in a place that’s next to the beach, sounds glorious to me, although it seems, the home studio is always calling. To The Boys was released May 2023 and is, just simply put, outstanding.
I’ll let Theo describe the track… “To The Boys is about the other supposed ‘Bohemians’ from Dundee, and the unwanted tie we have to each other. It is about how addiction issues of varying kinds became an issue, in place of failed dreams. ‘What happened to the boys’ includes me.”
With this amount of talent, I can only hope that Theo’s dreams come true and the world tunes in and actually listens, let’s start with you, the reader, please take the time to listen because new music is screaming to be heard. For some online live performance take a look at Theo’s Instagram profile.
WYLDE THINGS – Every Little Thing
I thought I recognised the name; they were in an FOTN Christmas playlist in 2018. This track is from their new album Future Retro. Wylde Things are based in Southport. I think Lou Fashioni is the lead singer, sadly, I can’t find names for other band members, so can’t give them a shout out, although what I did find is this:
“The Wylde Things are a collective of old rabble rousers who get together to cause musical mayhem and revelry. Fusing hillbilly and blues with electronic trickery and the message that music can cross any genre and shake up your soul! A motley crew of itinerant musicians who come and go each bringing life to the idea that anything is possible if you dream big enough!”
The YouTube video informs us that the track is written by Gina Fashioni / Lou Fashioni for MoonWood Recordings.
This is the only track in this week’s Fresh Faves described as Pop and it certainly pops and purrs along like a well-oiled pop machine, it’s 80s smooth, it’s 80s velvety and the lead vocal has perfectly nostalgic mid-80s flavours.
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.