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Fresher Sounds – This week's best new music - 31/10/2017

31st October 2017

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Dream NailsIt’s Halloween. The day we embrace all the things we are scared of and dance with ghouls and demons from the underworld.

Myself, I confronted something that makes me uncomfortable (not scared really?) and gave Ed Sheeran’s album another listen. It’s still soul-crushingly bland and must have some demonic powers to have so many people under its spell.

Needless to say I needed some other sounds to break the spell of the possible brain-washing. These are some of the best new ones to do that…

Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds – Fort Knox

It’s not often an artist as massive as Noel Gallagher is featured on Fresher Sounds, but ‘Fort Knox’ is the strongest indication yet that he is moving into new realms with his sound. Fully utilising the influence of producer David Holmes ‘Fort Knox’ is an epic, hypnotic blend of big beat and rock with vocals squashed into the mix. It’s Gallagher’s most interesting tune in a long while.

Onyx Collective - Fruit Stand

Jazz is also usually missing from these columns, but this week we have two jazz tunes. The first is from New York jazz ensemble Onyx Collective, with their measured and soulful first track to be taken from forthcoming EP ‘Lower East Suite Part One’. It’s a good introduction to their unique style of jazz perfected over years in DIY spaces and esteemed clubs.

Dream Nails – Tourist

Getting a reputation for their riotous live sets London lot Dream Nails combine classic post-punk sounds with riot grrl attitude. ‘Tourist’ takes a swipe at men who prey on women when they are vulnerable to a backdrop of infectious riffs and addictive melodies.

Bayonne - I Know

Ahead of his next UK tour Bayonne has dropped another slice of wonderful, euphoric electronic-pop in the form of ‘I Know’. It almost fits the cookie-cutter mould of EDM chart hits with its feel-good vibes but unfolds in a more downbeat and interesting manner. It’s a thinking-person’s piece of electro-pop, for the mind and the dancing feet.

Alex Rose - Elephant Eyes (feat. Anni Rossi)

Channelling the likes of Joanna Newsom, Regina Spektor and Fiona Apple Alex Rose brings a quirkiness to the confessional songs on her forthcoming debut album Arcadian Pages. ‘Elephant Eyes’ is a great entry point packed with breathy vocal harmonies and unexpected instrumentation.


Mammal Hands - Boreal Forest

The second jazz tune featured this week is from the wonderfully named Mammal Hands, with ‘Boreal Forest’ taken from the soon to be released album Shadow Work. The tune is a sweeping, beautiful jazz statement that evokes the wonders of nature with a laidback charm.

Zola Jesus – Siphon

With it being Halloween, it feels right to be sharing another dark, personal and introspective cut from Zola Jesus. The intense, close-up video adds more atmosphere to the bare and honest look into the attempted suicide of someone else.

Angel Olsen – Special

Angel Olsen is a rare talent, so a rarities collection is likely to offer up a few gems. ‘Special’ is one of those gems – a minimal, floating vehicle for Olsen’s introspective lyrics and echoed, breathy vocals. Whist a step back to the less rocking days of old, this tune still packs some punch.

Noya Rao – Golden Claw

Leeds group Noya Rao are forging their own experimental soul sound built on dark production, glacial RnB, jazz instrumentation and dub echoes. ‘Golden Claw’ is a hypnotic but accessible cut of electro-soul. Deep synths propel the soulful vocals into the stratosphere.

HALO MAUD - Baptism

‘Baptism’ is an introductory statement for new Heavenly records signing, French singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Halo Maud. It’s a hypnotic, psychedelic aural trip blending disparate stills into a seamless whole. Vocally the song is a journey through womanhood from childlike voices to a strong woman’s voice at the climax. Expect big things.

Fever Ray – To The Moon And Back

Karin Dreijer has never been an easy one to tie down, especially in the Knife. Now as Fever Ray she continues to confound expectations. ‘To The Moon and Back’ is another brilliant slice of electronic pop and the video is a confusing visual feast.

Krept & Konan feat. Stormzy – Ask Flipz

Combining Krept & Konan with Stormzy was always going to be a banger. So it’s hardly surprising that ‘Ask Flipz’ is, indeed, a banger!

Nabihah Iqbal – Something More

Formerly known as Throwing Shade, this new music is a bold move from Iqbal. Personally it is her using her real name and standing proud as female British Asian artist and musically it is a challenging and expansive new direction. ‘Something More’ has more than a few echoes of 80s dream pop with influences from the likes of Can and Bauhaus seeping through. 

Locust Toybox – Saptiro

Brainfeeder are a label known for dropping incredible sonic adventures, and Drownscapes the new album from Locust Toybox is another to add to the list. Take lead track ‘Saptiro’ as evidence. It’s a sprawling, engulfing ambient aural tapestry. Sink into it.

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