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Fresher Sounds - The best new music - 29/10/19


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Ticking all the boxes this week, we've got the best blend of indie rock, grime-cum-dancehall, drum & bass, and electronica.

It's cold and miserable out. And it's Monday. Nevertheless, we're determined to get you moving and smiling with this week's Fresher Sounds choices. Crossing the genre boundary from Sophie and the Giants' colossal alternative sound to newcomer Big Heath's slick cuts, here's a slice of the best from across the board.

Sam Fender - That Sound

‘That Sound’ has accompanied Sam Fender during his summer festival season and thankfully none of its raw passion has been lost via its studio recording. Taken from the budding Tyneside giant's forthcoming Dead Boys EP, ‘That Sound’ is all thriller no filler - with poignant vocals complimenting a roaring guitar riff.  It is classic indie-rock speckled with moments of sheer gold. 

Alicia Harley - Proper Paper

Irresistibly bubbly, Alicia Harley’s infectious new release ‘Proper Paper’ is chock-filled with pizzazz, making it a glorious offering of grime-meets-dancehall. The Kingston-born star has already made waves in 2018 with sounds ‘Killa’ and ‘Naah Done’ but, with the introduction of ‘Proper Paper’, it seems as if there is nowhere for Harley to go but up.  ‘Proper Paper’ is simply an instant mood booster. 

Billie Black - The Last Time

For fans of Mura Masa, Lion Babe, and Lana Del Rey, Billie Black is terrifying yet ever-so-pleasing on the ear. Causing raised hairs and gaped mouths, ‘The Last Time’ marks Black’s return to music after a short hiatus.  

The comeback track is minimalistic, with the crowning centerpiece being Black’s melodic voice. Used as a showcase of power, 'The Last Time' allows Black to promote herself to the high heavens as a serious songsmith. There is not a chance in hell that anything can dim her light. 'The Last Time' is pure exhilaration in its finest, subdued form. 

Love Sick - Medusa

“You cut my head off and ask if I’m okay” is 'Medusa'’s reverberating lead lyric.  The track the snippet is pulled from is the latest offering from hazy, synth-pop duo, Love Sick, as well as a definite taste of the future of Scottish music. 

Compromising of light and slick electronic beats which distort and batter a shadowed vocal, ‘Medusa’ blares messiness and presents itself as the perfect catastrophe. If Chvrches first record, The Bones Of What You Believe, was blended together with the present sounds of Tyne and Otherkin, the product would be Love Sick. 

Big Heath - Plan

Suited and booted with a manifesto to change the game, fresh-faced rapper and new-to-the-scene MC, Big Heath, has a serious ‘Plan’. The second single from Cambridge’s Big Heath was spawned out of frustration and a passion to ‘make it’.  With clear-cut verses and clever wordplay contrasting with a booming backing beat, ‘Plan’ is a battle cry.  

Big Heath is standing as bold as brass and is willing to tackle anybody who storms in his way. Prepare for an onslaught because this rapper means big business. 

The Pale White - The End Of Time

If ‘The End Of Time’ presents the listener with anything, it is the idea that Newcastle’s Pale White have found their mojo and perfected the potions used in their songwriting process.

Slotting in seamlessly with previous releases ‘That Dress’ and ‘Loveless’, ‘The End Of Time’ is brooding, tension-building and features a dark crescendo. The band is undoubtedly top of their game and, with yet another consistent release and a brand-spanking-new EP on the way, it will be no time before The Pale White-esque is being used to title an entire genre.  

Unglued - Deep, Dark & Dirty 

Minimalist, distorted, gnarled: ‘Deep, Dark & Dirty’ by Unglued is a proper sub-bass bruiser from the Hospital Records signee. A fresh, monotone vocal (rich in alarming freakiness) is layered over minimal drums and a fuzzy bassline. The result is a gloriously fractured output, one which explores rave culture as a means of escapism. Put down your Qwerty before getting ‘Deep, Dark & Dirty’.

Aadae - Carousel Horses

African acoustics with a contemporary, London twist; ‘Carousel Horses’ elegantly opens up an enigmatic, vulnerable side to revered afro-beat songstress, Aadae. Vividly describing the cyclical narrative of never-ending romantic relationships, ‘Carousel Horses’ is both light and uplifting, yet deafeningly sorrowful. Only Aadae could make such a poignantly heartbreaking song subject oh-so-sweet to taste.  

Sophie and the Giants - Waste My Air 

If Alice Merton, Tom Grennan, YONAKA and Anteros are your religion, then it is time to welcome Sophie and the Giants to your Mecca.  Plastered with haunting howls, the glistening ‘Waste My Air’ is a worthy contender for alternative breakthrough track of the year. She is colossal, she is voltaic and she is pure indie-pop - slap on your dancing shoes and get yourself to Sheffield to hear ‘Waste My Air’ live in action. This is a song best experienced in a sweaty, intimate, underground basement.

Yung Lean - 'Happy Feet'

‘Happy Feet’ is a lethargic funeral procession caked with melancholy. With its message so perfectly juxtaposed, ‘Happy Feet’ focuses on the Stockholm rappers emotionless voice, making it a seriously frosty output. And while it may be no sunny summers stroll in the park, it has a freezing cold bite which hooks, grabs, and forces you to devour the track over and over again. Who knew the musical equivalent of winter could be so painfully addictive?

Amethysts - How It Is

Sporting a heavenly vocal akin to Chvrches’ Lauren Mayberry or Pale Waves’ Heather Barron-Gracie, Amethysts’ ‘How It Is’ is a mesmerising affair. The sparkling duo have pilled shining melodies over haunting, repetitive lyrics to form the basis of ‘How It Is’. With the addition of ambient hooks and synths used to soothe and relax, Amethysts’ sound is simply sublime. We are in serious awe.  

Kashmere - Anaesthesia 

An irresistible indie-rock/electronica crossover, ‘Anaesthesia’ pronounces Kashmere as a slick and stylish modern-day New Order. Putting you in a dreamlike trance, ‘Anaesthesia’ elegantly loops, carefully dives and presents us with a neat and concise four-minute offering of glittering guitars and breathy vocals. This Scruff Of The Neck-signed band is the real deal. The legacy of Manchester seems to be safe with Kashmere.  

NANCY - Teenage Fantasy

Cloaked in mystery, this nettling, electronic display of a fascination for escapism is one of the brightest debut singles of the year.  ‘Teenage Fantasy’ by NANCY draws comparisons to East India Youth and Work Drugs, yet is more unsettling, more innovative, and less Made In Chelsea soundtrack.  

The painted face hiding behind the sonics, NANCY, is a North East England do-it-yourselfer who has a penchant for euphoric synths and howling, fuzzy vocals.

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