WHAT DO WE LOOK FOR?
Our playlists are orientated to the alternative music fan. Lyrics are not essential, abstract ideas are embraced and the fusing of different genres is encouraged. If you used to write band names on your pencil case at school, you’ll probably like our playlists.
INTRODUCING MATT MEREPORT
Our special guest curator this week, is Matt Mereport. At the top it says lyrics are not essential, and Matt is testament to that – having established himself as a familiar name in the Eclectic Picks with several instrumental tracks, most recently with a really interesting composition – Time, Temperature, Agitation. This week Matt is in the driving seat, and he has many kind words to share about his picks this week….
A FEW WORDS FROM MATT MEREPORT
It was an honour and a lovely surprise to be asked by Signal Committee to come up with this week’s Eclectic Picks. It also made me appreciate the hard work required to do the list week in week out – the inbox is 200 cracking songs of all styles. Boiling them down to a small enough list was no easy task. It took many long lists that got progressively shorter until I reached a list of a manageable length. Don’t take not being on the list too personally; on another day it could quite easily have had 18 different songs on it. These were the ones that happen to make it through on this particular week. If I was in a different mood or the wind direction had changed, it could have quite easily been a completely different tracklist.
SBR bone and star – Earth Bound
An epic opener for the playlist. To me it sounds like a trip hop version of mid 80s Depeche Mode, though this may be me showing my age. Perhaps also dropping in the religious tones of Psalm 23:4 into the lyrics reminds me of Martin Gore’s own writing. The ethereal vocals and more atonal repeating synth line work wonders together.
Sour Sync – Mornings With You
A super original concoction – some trap, hip hop, indie and acoustic sounds put together playfully and rather brilliantly. It’s super catchy. It reminded me a little of Bibio at his most fun with a hint of DJ Yoda. The Spanish style guitar breakdown is unexpected yet a perfect change of pace. A great demonstration of musicianship and production skillz (I think use of the ‘z’ is essential under these circumstances).
Dakorra – Falling
A great mix of leftfield electronics, guitar, banging beats, soaring vocals and abstract elements yet somehow maintaining a pop-esque arrangement. A sort of indie Daniel Avery perhaps ? I hear hints of 90s Warp-records-wobbliness™ too.
NIA – mine
A soulful electronic ballad. Beautifully sparse, with something of a James Blake feel. The minimal production is brilliantly unobtrusive, leaving the perfect space for the soulful vocals. Original sounding, yet extremely accessible.
Paul Cook & The Chronicles – Hello Moon
This should probably come with some sort of government warning relating to its ‘ear worm’ levels. Once the chorus is lodged in there, it’s not leaving without some sort of medical intervention. Quite straight down the middle in some ways, but when you’ve got a hook like that, why not! It’s hard not to be lifted by it, which in the times we live in is no mean feat.
Charley Stone – Free Food
A dictionary definition of chirpy. Great playful lyrics and fun delivery, though perhaps with a deeper meaning than you think. Courtney Barnet would love to write a song like this. Made me reconsider spiders. And jam. And maybe metaphors.
Mae Karthauser – Ten Minutes Simple yet clever.
A great vocal performance with strong lyrics, along with the piano performance this reminds me of Regina Spektor. The intimate production is perfect and the subtle flute, percussion and cello additions add just the right amount of variation with taking anything away from the lovely core performance.
Silvano Pagliuca-Mena – La Tarabita
Some amazing musicianship across the board, but all without getting in the way of the song. Great interplay between all the instruments as the track evolves. Seems effortless yet I suspect is anything but. Some especially beautiful ‘jazzy intervals’ (technical term) are struck during the various solos. Definitely takes me somewhere far away from a drizzly cold North UK. If the world was anything like fair, Giles Peterson would be playing this record till his stylus blunts…
Eloi – Uproot
The sort of time signature than can cause your legs to get knotted if you try and dance to it (but I still recommend trying). Some lovely brass harmonies that can’t help but leave you feeling fuzzy. The rhythm section keeps this super slick and danceable (with the above warnings still in place). The piano solo is especially gorgeous. Top this with beautiful effortless vocals and you’ve got a hit. Well, if latter-day Stereolab had got their way you would have (and frankly they should have got their way). Once Giles Peterson has bought a new stylus after the previous track, he should blunt his new one playing this track, till the needle drops off. Sorry, could be an expensive week for you Giles…
Syrel – Rust & Bones – Fetchflix TV Series – The Murder
I’ve got a bad feeling about this one. And by that, I mean it’s intentionally given me a terribly bad feeling. I’m struggling to type as I feel inclined to keep checking over my shoulder for the inevitable masked axe murder. “Tense and unsettling” may win me the “understatement of the year” award for 2023. Should be the soundtrack to Midsommar II. I like it yet am terrified of it. I’ll probably douse the PC in holy water after listening to it, just to be on the safe side.
Blacq Forest Audio – Down Vampire Grove
I once again feel the ghost of the 80s rising. I’m getting Depeche Mode fronted by Gary Numan, produced by Modeselektor. Who could turn that down? An industrial gothic electro masterpiece. Unlike the 80s, the sampling can now run into a double figure number of bits.
The 40 Records – Cleo Simone – I Don’t Wanna Hurt You (But I’m Gonna)
A disco-electro-funk-pop banger. I would imagine an instant dancefloor filler. Super tight production and classy vocal delivery. The lyrics may also leave you a little hot under the collar if taken the wrong (or right?) way…
Cattle & Cane – Dancing Beautiful folk pop.
Subtle gentle strings encase glorious intertwined male and female vocals. The vocal harmonies make the world a better place. It’s a sort of gentle euphoria. Heartfelt, personal and intimate, yet still feels like it could be an instant accessible radio hit.
Tom Webber – I Am What I Am
Feels like a Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan is fingerpicking is way through a song when a passing Alex Turner provides some killer lyrics and singing. A humorous, understated and yet ultimately positive song. Some great fingerpicking riffage too (I’ve just had to check that ‘riffage’ is actually a word).
Wakey Wakey Rise & Shine – Bite Of Another Fruit
A hypnotic motoric feel in places, followed by moments of calm, followed by moments of psychedelic wig outs. What’s not to like! A track that feels like it’s taking you on an epic journey. Lovely combination of melodic and shouty vocals. The synth parts that come in for the long instrumental jamming are brilliant and unexpected. Sounds like a sort of battle between Richard Dawson and the more out-there moments of the Foals (preferably a sort of WWE battle where nobody is actually hurt).
James Heather – Hidden Angel (Hackney Road Studio Session) [feat. Roger Robinson, Penelope Trappes & Specimens]
Brilliant piano progression that reminds me of Phillip Glass, Nils Frahm, Thom Yorke and Ahmad Jamal. Sort of classical minimalism but played with jazz looseness. The subtly of the accompanying instruments are used more like a painter’s brush stroke (and far less clichéd than my turn of phrase…). The music complements the voice, which itself feels like a sort of mantra – reflective yet uplifting.
Faeland Demos – Give Up What You Know (Radio Edit)
There’s some confusion as to the artist’s name – I think they’re actually called Faeland. There’s no confusion about the quality though. This is superb songwriting and production. A sort of folky pop, once again with a brilliant central vocal performance and wonderous harmonies. Another track that needs to be reported to the authorities for its dangerous levels of ‘ear worm’. Lolita Terrorist Sounds – Red carpet Tom Waits seems to have been out drinking with Alabaster DePlume and wouldn’t you know it, the bar man is Nick Cave. Starting wondrously staggering, it’s a slow powerful build to a brilliantly pained crescendo, replete with dark strings and distorted vocals. The perfect way to end any evening.
ARTISTS SELECTED THIS WEEK
- SBR BONE AND STAR – Earth Bound
- SOUR SYNC – Mornings With You
- DAKORRA- Falling
- NIA – mine
- PAUL COOK & THE CHRONICLES – Hello Moon
- CHARLEY STONE – Free Food
- MAE KARTHAUSER – Ten Minutes
- SILVANO PAGLIUCA-MENA – La Tarabita
- ELOI – Uproot
- SYREL – Rust & Bones – Fetchflix TV Series – The Murder
- BLACQ FOREST AUDIO – Down Vampire Grove
- CLEO SIMONE – I Don’t Wanna Hurt You (But I’m Gonna)
- CATTLE & CANE – Dancing
- TOM WEBBER – I Am What I Am
- WAKEY WAKEY RISE & SHINE – Bite Of Another Fruit
- JAMES HEATHER- Hidden Angel (Hackney Road Studio Session) [feat. Roger Robinson, Penelope Trappes & Specimens]
- FAELAND DEMOS – Give Up What You Know (Radio Edit)
- LOLITA TERRORIST SOUNDS – Red carpet
STEP 1 – LISTEN
Listen to this weeks Eclectic Picks playlist on Soundcloud here.
After 7 days, the playlist will be updated with the next batch, and this week’s picks will be added to the 2023 playlists below.
STEP 2 – SPREAD THE WORD
Do you ever think, or hear people say, “there’s no good music any more”? Maybe they aren’t looking in the right places. Prove them wrong:
- Subscribe to the playlist
- Listen in each week
- Tell your friends
- Shout on social media
The more people listen to this playlist, the more exposure unsigned artists receive. So spread the word!
STEP 3 – MUSIC VIDEOS?
Music is great. Music videos are better. Keep the momentum going, send any music videos our way and, if we’re in a good mood, we’ll add the best ones to our music video playlist here.
The playlists above are updated weekly, then added to the playlists below:
We all have ambitions to get on national radio, but in the meantime there are loads of great, independent radio stations that are always looking for new music of the alternative variety. They offer no promises, but the following hosts tell me they that, if you made this list, they’d like you to get in touch to be considered for their show:
- Joe Figueira of North Manchester FM, apply with MP3, short bio & twitter handle by e-mail to email@example.com)
- Del Osei-Owusu, aka Platinum Mind and fellow FOTN moderator, is happy to consider submissions for the Songbird Sessions, a 1 hour show for The Songbird HQ on Islington Radio. Just email Del with a bio and MP3 to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Neil March, Trust The Doc Radio Show (5PM BST, Exile FM). Submissions to email@example.com.
If you are are radio presenter/DJ looking for someone to do all the hard work for you in filtering out the more alternative tunes hitting the FOTN inbox each, week, just give Signal Committee a shout!