Artists at a glance
SHINY BRAIN CRAYONS
Welcome back everyone, I trust you’ve all had a restful summer break and have returned as fresh as our Faves, or maybe the summer has been as chaotic as mine and you’re glad to slip back into the domestic drudgery! For the moment I have the house to myself, an infinite supply of coffee and ten fine tracks to bring you, so that will do nicely.
BLÁNID – Tourists
We begin with rising Irish singer-songwriter BLÁNID, who started out singing in choirs, moving into traditional folk music and is now writing her own music. What strikes me most is her effortless delivery of a vocal that has a mature and jazz-like feel. There’s a lot more depth in the theatrical sound than straight forward folk and it’s really unique.
BLÁNID’s introspective folk-inspired songs and powerful vocals have earned much critical acclaim and she has had support from the likes of BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio 6 Music, RTE Radio 1 and she has also been the featured vocalist for Netflix’s anime film “The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf”.
BLÁNID looks set to have a very busy Autumn with a string of live gigs starting in London’s Barbican Centre on September 28th. You’ll find all her dates on Spotify, go get some if you can!
JUNEY – I Still Need You
I couldn’t find an awful lot in the way of a bio for JUNEY, but what I did find out is that JUNEY is an Austrian-born, but London-based musician who works mainly from his bedroom and makes music with his best mates.
I Still Need You is a dreamy pop-love song which shows us a wonderful vocal range from JUNEY. It’s both dulcet and catchy and sports some lovely guitar licks. Hopefully we will find out and hear some more from JUNEY in the future.
MARLEE – Cynical
Marlee is a self-professed real-life cartoon character. Hailing from The Isle Of Wight but based in London. She is an alt/pop singer-songwriter who writes and produces her own music.
I love the lyrics and message in Cynical. It’s a reflection of how being a woman in this world can be exhausting, and I’m fairly certain most of us have become master cynics over time, I know I certainly have! I especially like the rap tease in the middle.
Marlee has received support from the likes of our own Tom Robinson on 6 Music, Dermot O’Leary on BBC Radio 2 and Shaun Keaveny’s Community Garden Radio show.
MAYA LANE – 24F
Maya Lane is a singer-songwriter from London whose musical relationship began with a tennis racket which she used more as a pretend guitar when she was a child and has evolved to where she is today. Maya has been performing live since the age of 12, and her biggest influences include the likes of Fleetwood Mac, Haim and Joni Mitchell.
Maya is high in the sky for 24F on a window seat of an aeroplane; a natural storyteller with a really mature view on life, she obviously takes inspiration from the world around her and embraces her imagination. I love the sweetness and simplicity of this track. Buy your kids a tennis racket, people, you never know where it may lead! Maya is currently writing with a string of prolific songwriters so there shall be more treats to come.
You can find a brilliant interview with Maya on fellow mod Del’s website.
MIRA LORA – Waterfall
Mira Lora describes her work as being inspired by soundscapes of electronic music, sheltered by the softness of her piano, energised by driving rhythms, moved by what is happening in her inner world and the one that is around her.
Waterfall is a gorgeous piece, and it mirrors a lot of how I feel when I lose myself in the beauty and vastness of nature, which I do a lot for precisely the reason that it makes me feel incredibly small and unimportant in the grand scheme of things, grounding.
Mira is a Swiss singer-songwriter who has been working with a string of well-known musicians and producers from Switzerland, Germany and Great Britain and is set to release her debut EP in November.
SHINY BRAIN CRAYONS – Noodles For Life
Based in South London, producer/songwriter Stergin heralds from the Austrian mountains whilst vocalist/bassist Marianne emigrated to the city from the calm suburbs and they’ve been making music together for 5 years. As ShinyBrainCrayons their creative energy delivers some feelgood, infectious riffs, lacing fuzzy guitar and bass over driving synth loops. They take influence from the likes of Prince, Janelle Monae and Greentea Peng.
Noodles For Life has won the hearts of quite a few of my fellow mods who were especially taken with how feel-good and catchy it is. I have it on good authority that James will be singing it for the foreseeable future and I imagine I’ll be doing the same. It’s a refreshing piece of music and like Neil, I too love the kid’s vocals.
SPANGLED – Little Tom
Spangled are a Manchester four-piece who dance on the fringe between jangly guitars and yesterday’s promises. They take inspiration from the likes of Sly And The Family Stone, Pulp and The Beatles. I’m hearing a little of an early Arctic Monkeys vibe from Little Tom.
It’s a very polished and accomplished track that spits me out the right amount of energy I need for a Monday morning and may I also give special praise to the drummer and those speeded up vocals! Clever work.
Spangled have gained attention from our own Tom Robinson on 6 Music and I see they have a few upcoming gigs beginning in London’s The Social on September 26th, you’ll find the details on Spotify.
SPRINGFIELD – No Doubt
Hailing from West Cumbria, Springfield are an indie/rock/alternative act who say No Doubt is where the band have tapped into their 80s-inspired sound. Their work explores topics of love, life and loss. I must admit that this track would be wonderfully placed in a ‘coming of age’ film of yesteryear, and I’ve indulged in my fair share of those and they don’t make them like they used to. Maybe this is the beginning of a late 80s resurgence of all those things someone of my age once loved so much!
Springfield have had support from BBC Radio 1 and I’ve no doubt they will continue to go from strength to strength.
UNCLE KID – What A Wonderful World
Uncle Kid is an Edinburgh based artist whom I’ve come to know and admire over the past few years. It’s common knowledge that in order for a cover version to make it through to the FOTN Listening Post it has to be good, and I mean really good, so kudos to you Uncle Kid. There’s a beautiful darkness and stripped back honesty to this version of What A Wonderful World that still manages to maintain the element of hope that we love so much about it. The spoken word delivered in Uncle Kid’s mellifluous tones is hard not to win me over. It’s due for release on a specialised charity compilation on October 31st.
Uncle Kid combines trip-hop with spoken word to create genre-defying tracks that look at social themes of isolation, class and mental illness. I’ve also seen him tinker with children’s toys and anything that makes noise to create his unique sound.
Uncle Kid has had airplay from Tom Robinson on BBC 6 Music as well as Exile FM. You can catch him live at St Mary’s Burrough on the hill, Leicester (supporting Project Blackbird) on September 16th, Leith, Edinburgh, Sofar show (secret gig announced 36 hrs before) on September 19th and O2 Academy, Edinburgh, EAF live on November 18th. Unfortunately I can’t but hope to catch him for a jigsaw soon!
VIEON – Inter-City
Vieon is the project of lifelong synth aficionado and producer Matt Wild. Starting out in 2013 as a solo project he has since evolved into the current format and they now make up a live four piece, featuring Stephen Dorphin on samples/engineering, Ricardo Autobahn on keyboards and Adrian Brian Thopmson on live visuals. They take inspiration from 70’s and 80’s electronica film soundtracks.
There’s a definite Kraftwerk influence here, as is the case with most electronica and with it being my favourite genre it’s lovely to finish on this upbeat and creative piece of synthy genius! I imagine their live shows would be quite the treat and as it happens they have some dates coming up alongside an array of AnalogueTrash label mates starting in Salford on the 15th September and again, you’ll find those dates on their Spotify profile.
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.
Uncle Kid photo by Chris Scott