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Fresher Sounds - The best new music - 06/05/19


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Kero Kero Bonito once sang about the dangers of overindulging in shellfish on the meme sensation ‘Flamingo’. Though lead singer Sarah probably wasn’t referring to the risk of developing a narcotics addiction when she penned the immortal lines, “How many shrimps do you have to eat/ before you make your skin turn pink? Eat too much and you’ll get sick/ shrimps are pretty rich”.

I would guess you’d have to consume an inordinate amount of the crustaceans living in Suffolk rivers in order to get even the slightest buzz, but it wouldn’t be an entirely futile endeavour as research published this week showed almost all aquatic molluscs in the county contained traces of cocaine.

Brian Nasty by Rizloski via Super Cat PR

When a population seems to have an unusual concentration of talent, creative or otherwise, people tend to claim there’s ‘something in the water’ and if all the artists in this playlist were from a single village, you’d probably say the same thing. So, without further ado, here’s this week’s Fresher Sounds.


Arliston – Loud

Arliston is an experimental pop trio from London. Their new single ‘Loud’ features James Blake-esque vocals and an instrumental the swells and fades underneath these. The band sounds like it had a lot of fun in the studio in this one and there are a lot of stereo effects to relish if you listen with headphones. Fans of Alt-J and Mura Masa will probably enjoy this track.



BABii’s ‘CARNiiVORE’ begins with moody electronic sub bass, her icy vocal then cuts through this sparse and menacing atmosphere. The performance feels listless but nonetheless expressive and is driven by reverb-heavy synth drums. In terms of lyrics the song seems to be rehashing an all-too-familiar narrative of not knowing what you sign up for in a relationship as BABii sings, “I fell in love with a carnivore/ Between his eyes and past his jaw”.


black midi – talking heads

black midi is a mysterious band. Their Spotify bio is blank. They played one show in Iceland via KEXP’s radio station, which has an outpost in Reykjavik, and now they’re one of the most hyped groups out there at the moment. Signed to Rough Trade, they have since released a couple of singles and ‘talking heads’ is the latest of these. It’s post-punk math rock with a personality; calculated yet volatile, chaotic yet assured – give it a listen.


Culture Abuse – Goo

Culture Abuse is a five-piece from California whose heartfelt acoustic-driven indie is reminiscent of early Noah and the Whale. ‘Goo’ is full of slightly corny, yet charming lyrics and features percussive strumming, shakers and dampened drums. Just shy of two minutes, the track begins with the lines, “Wish I could ride a bike/ I’d ride it home to you/ ‘Cause lately all my insides feel like goo”.


Brian Nasty – Cereal Killer

Brian Nasty is a London-based DIY rapper and producer. His beats will resonate with fans of Tyler the Creator and he has a laidback flow despite the dark themes of his songs which focus especially on intrusive, violent thoughts. ‘Cereal Killer’ is, as the title may suggest, about such murderous intentions and learning to face up to such inescapable anger. It’s a track that oozes personality and is surprisingly fun given the topic, with quirky snippets of conversation in between the verses.


Frankie Lee – In the Blue

Frankie Lee’s subject matter is a theme that’s been reworked over and over again – the founding myth of the United States, the American Dream. It’s a theme that never seems to lose its potency, no matter how fantastical and this is true of his latest single ‘In the Blue’, which is a beautiful piano ballad.


Gnoomes – Glasgow Coma State

Gnoomes are from Russia and have played various UK shows, including an appearance at Liverpool Psych Fest. Their latest single ‘Glasgow Coma State’ draws significant influence from the titular city and particularly the band Mogwai. The track begins with a bassline that’s almost crushed into submission, rumbling away under deranged whistling. This opens up to the all-stops-removed drone of the distortion-drenched guitar in the final leg.


Hannah Grace – Almost

Originating from South Wales, Hannah Grace has supported Hozier on tour and her voice has caught the attention of Lady Gaga among others. ‘Almost’ is a perfectly understated piano ballad that seems to express the paranoia after a breakup knowing that someone could be badmouthing you from afar. It’s an impeccably well-produced track that also laments what might have been and provides an ideal complement to Frankie Lee in its “so much for my American Dream” sentiment.


Julia Shapiro – A Couple Highs

Julia Shapiro of Washington-based band Chastity Belt has released the second single from her forthcoming solo album entitled Perfect Vision on which she plays all the instruments. ‘A Couple Highs’ is a truly devastating song that seems to come from the perspective of a depressed optimist where the narrator faces the prospect of “a long summer with no plans” in which she sees “so much potential”. Relatable, right?


Micah Erenberg – Do It for Love

This song is cute but clever. It’s lyrically rich and tells the story of an unlikely friendship. A highlight is a line in the first verse - “he got to the age where he filled up with rage/ like an hourglass fills up with sand”. Micah Erenberg will be playing a string of tour dates across the UK in May beginning at The Slaughtered Lamb in London on 8th and ending at The Victoria on 5th June.

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