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Freshers Sounds - The best new music - 17/12/18


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Christmas is just over a week away. It’s so easy to get caught up in the hustle and the bustle, but this week’s Freshers Sounds reminds us of some important things to remember this festive season. Primarily, to make time for and to celebrate love, romantic or familial, in its entirety and brilliance.

Pizzagirl via Super Cat PR

TS Graye – Honestly

TS Graye’s vocals are tinged with seductive softness, that reveal an angelic quality when they sore up to euphoric heights. Led by self-assured, quietly confident chords, the track builds into driving beats, co-produced by Louis Mattrs and Grades, showing the track's dynamic versatility. The serene vocals match the passionate sentiment in the lyrics about accepting that you can’t change your feelings for someone and standing in defiance of judgement, I don’t give a f*** if he’s bad for me/I know he’s bad for me/But he brings me peace/And he’s spectacular, honestly”.

Boy Harsher – Fate

‘Fate’ is characterised by stompy, persistent 90s-style club beats and discordant, ominous synth pangs that refuse to be ignored. This relentless instrumental helps emphasise the song's meaning though, playing off Boy Harsher’s lyrics – “you’re always running, always running away”. The overarching message of ‘Fate’ suggests that you can’t escape from your life and responsibilities: your ‘fate’. The pulsating heartbeat throbs in a way are a physical embodiment of life itself; you can’t escape them (well, certainly not in ‘Fate’, anyway).

Swazi Gold – Disco

Swazi Gold represents what the band’s move to Melbourne meant to them wrapped up in a head-bopping, drum-kit-led, disco-influenced beat. Subtle syncopated electric guitar twinges fortify a funky bassline that’s a tad quiet, but not to be lost within the track. ‘Disco’ represents change; not just in the band’s personal journey in moving to Melbourne, with the track waving goodbye to the members' former hometowns, but also how the genre of disco is now incorporated into Swazi Gold’s unconventional sound. 

Pizzagirl – Pizza for Christmas

Let’s face it – who wouldn’t enjoy having a pizza for Christmas? Pizzagirl channels Wham!’s ‘Last Christmas’ with its atmospheric 80s synth chords and even features subtle sleigh-bells. The small anecdote at the beginning of the song sets the scene – an inferred love interest says she can’t  “make it down tonight”, and Pizzagirl is adamant that he won’t be “lonely for Christmas”. Eating ‘pizza for Christmas’ abandons all – “the internet's down and after burning that turkey you slaved over it finally hits you, you're eating Pizza for Christmas” in pursuit of a love affair, because Christmas isn’t Christmas unless you’re surrounded by your loved ones.

Taliwhoah – Love Cycle

‘Love Cycle’ is a slow-groover that brilliantly immerses itself in old-school R&B beats. Having recently come out as bisexual, Taliwhoah opens up on her personal journey through her lyrics, “when you love someone, you don’t treat them wrong/ you don’t break their heart, you just play a part in this love cycle”. Taliwhoah affirms that ‘love is love’ and that we all go through a ‘love cycle’, regardless of sexual orientation. ‘Love Cycle’s celebration of this defies all of Taliwhoah’s struggles since coming out to her family and friends and aims to speak for everyone.

Every Kid Knows – Spinning Jenny

Every Kid Knows are giddy with the heights of freedom that they reach in ‘Spinning Jenny’ – a glossy, upbeat track with trippy vocals, showing how infatuation can thwart your ability to rationalise. There are so many layers to this song, with complex beats, intricate guitar passages, and subtle vocal harmonies that all melt into each other. The dreamlike distortion on the riffs has summer road-trip written all over it.

Sody – Let You Know

After a UK tour supporting Tom Walker, 18 year-old Sody continues to demonstrate maturity beyond her years both with her rich, soulful voice and her lyrical offering. ‘Let You Know’ is led by deep piano chords and shows the influence of her regular collaborator, Frances. However, the track allows Sody to come into her own, lyrically exploring what it is to be confident in your abilities. Releasing ‘Let You Know’ at the age of 18 is a huge achievement – we can expect big things from Sody in the near future.

Martha – Heart Is Healing

‘Heart Is Healing’ features riffs inspired by the worlds of both country music and rock ‘n’ roll. The upbeat track explores the transition from heart-break to heart-mending led by gutsy vocals that are reminiscent of Everything Everything. Martha simultaneously extend and ground themselves in their indie-punk identity, despite the detour in the genre, in this predominantly positive track.

Set It Off – For You Forever

Throbbing synths establish their dominance at the start of this track, which then reaches a crescendo of heavy guitar chords and emotionally raw vocals. Singer Carson commented on the lyrical composition of ‘For You Forever’, and the need to “call yourself out” having pushed people away because of not wanting a romantic relationship and denying unacknowledged feelings. The self-critical lyrics feel as though they come from the other person in the relationship “I won’t wait for you forever”, even exploring how their friends may have advised them. Set It Off has released this single in conjunction with another track, ‘Dancing With The Devil’ – they are going to let fans decide which single deserves a ‘proper’ music video.

Blossomer – A_Shallow_Sea

Blossomer evokes a distinctly nautical soundscape on their latest track. You can imagine waves gently crashing in the calmness of the hazy, intermingling synths, and soft, non-invasive falsetto vocals. The Sheffield band have always been a fan of “space music”, and ‘A_Shallow_Sea’ certainly feels otherworldly.

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