Alternative Friday

because great new music doesn’t always get the exposure it deserves

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Liverpool band The Cheap Thrills have made a large and enjoyable impression on me in the past couple of years, from their first appearance here in the Feb 17 mixtape, as well as to appear in my last two Fresh on the Net School’s Out (best of) lists. It has also led to me seeing them live more than once! Their indie, synth, rock, & pop affair has resulted in some infectious and singalong tunes, and they’ve now packaged them superbly in their new 6-track Vue Du Monde EP.

From the rock led opener Codependence to the dance-floor filling Smile When You Sleep, plus the more mellow closing track Keep Me In Check, you can’t fail to be drawn to the rousing guitars and floor filling partnership of percussion and synths. The mix of personal and observational lyrics, as well as top notch vocals, also means you’re singing as much as foot tapping or dancing, and all this is topped with polished production too. At twenty minutes, the six songs don’t hang around more than is needed, and all together it’s a wonderfully energetic and hook laden feast of tunes.

You can find out more about the band in a Q & A I did with them earlier this year.


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I could have posted this months ago, such has been the impact of this five-piece band from the Isle of Wight on my ears this year. I decided to wait until I’d seen them though, as I was intrigued to see if their live performance could match the stunning array of sounds on their debut album – Suddenly Everyone Explodes. I’ve now had that experience as I caught the final date of their recent UK tour in London, when five became fifteen, with brass, strings, & choral support. And wow, just WOW!!
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Getting this month’s mixtape down to just 10 tracks was an even bigger challenge than usual, which is always a great sign that new and under the radar artists are continuing to create some amazing music. So dive in and enjoy an impressive array of tracks, which take in not just alt rock & indie, but also tropical pop, soulful RnB, folk, blues, and more. Enjoy…


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If we generally assume that music releases go a little quiet in the summer holiday season, then we probably need to have a rethink as the past month or two hasn’t seen a let-up in impressive new tracks. So press play, and take in the regular blast of alt rock & indie, plus some dream pop, baggy surf, psychedelic synth, & more. Enjoy…


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The Fresh on the Net school year has come to an end again and we’re now on our summer break, however I’ve been through my little black book for the past 11 months and, as always, there’s been a huge array of excellent music submitted to us during that time.

So, from the 5,000 – 6,000 tracks I’ve personally heard, I’ve created a playlist with 10 of my favourites for you to browse. So press play, and take in some alt rock & indie, troubadour rap, electronica, drum ‘n’ bass, and more. Enjoy…


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As some of us look to head off into the sunshine & relax, others have remained hard at work creating some impressive new music for our enjoyment. So press play and enjoy the ten tracks in the latest mixtape, which take us through some indie pop, alt rock, tropical folk, experimental electronica, & more. Enjoy…


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Photo by Dan Bridge

Michael Jablonka is a London based singer, songwriter, and guitarist. I first saw him perform live a few years ago when he was with his previous band The Dark Tides, and went home raving about his mesmerising guitar skills. In recent years he’s released a few singles and EPs under his own name, the latest being the fuzzy lo-fi blues rock EP Go-Go, which came out in May. I’m obviously not the only person to have been hugely impressed by his guitar work, as in recent years he’s also been part of Michael Kiwanuka’s band, and so it was a real treat to meet Michael and see him perform again last weekend at Glastonbury. Before he headed for the festival however, he took part in this Q&A, so read on to find out more about the EP, drum machines, and banana cake!
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