What? yue (Mark Peters Remix)
Where? Leeds, England
What they say? beech remixes is a companion piece to the beech EP (released in July by Tambourine Machine Records) and features re-imaginings of the songs by family and friends, including Miles. (brother Mikey), Mark Peters, S.T. Manville, Tim Wright and others. The remix EP offers a new insight into the beech songs through the eyes of others. The Mark Peters remix of ‘yue’ is the lead song from the EP.
Why we love it: elkyn is the supremely talented 22 year old song writer and multi-instrumentalist Joseph Donnelly and here he entrusts ’yue’, the second track from his debut EP beech, to Mark Peters who proceeds to push the song through a palpable My Bloody Valentine prism of sound.
Rather than opting for the more familiar MBV assault-level approach, Peters leans instead towards the sweeter, more melodic side of their canon and in so doing instils ‘yue’ with a gentle luxuriance without ever losing any of the emptiness and yearning of the original. (Simon Godley)
FFO: Cocteau Twins, Engineers, My Bloody Valentine
What? Take Me To A Place
What they say? I wrote it at a time I was confused and heartbroken at my country and my identity as White British. I had begun some long-overdue political learning into the state of inequality in the world, my country’s role in that, and particularly Britain’s current disgusting treatment of refugees. Like many others around me, the part of my identity entwined with place and nationality felt rotten. In Take Me To A Place I was expressing some of that identity crisis.
Why we love it? Socially poignant indie-pop with a raw and unique vocal that cuts through the noise with a positive outlook and a daringness to dream of a utopia where everyone can co-exist. It’s a much-needed point of view in today’s political landscape and it gets its point across with a beautiful accompaniment of melodies and synths. (Lloyd Best)
FFO: Bjork, St Vincent, Chairlift
What? Take It Off
What they say? It’s all about those stolen looks. The invisible undertones, the push-and-pull of passionate exchanges that all point to where you both want to end up. It’s kinda subtle but right in front of you at the same time – I wanted everything in the song to reflect that.
Why we love it? Smooth R’n’B vibes mixed in with cool experimental indie aesthetics, and detailed vocals that dance softly over the beat to create a seductive groove that doesn’t outstay its welcome. A short and sweet tribute to passion that leaves embers in its wake. (Lloyd Best)
FFO: Jamie Woon, James Blake
Who? Joe Hythe
What they say? I’ve always been obsessed with fantasy, with escaping reality, with books, and films, and theatre, and video games. On these flights of fancy I’ve crushed hard on more than one character over the years. Sometimes they’ve been in relatably uncomfortable situations as a consequence of their sexuality, sometimes they exist in a world where sexuality isn’t even an issue, and sometimes they aren’t even explicitly queer characters. This song is a love letter to all those video game scoundrels and fantasy novel heroes I’ve fallen for over the years: Dorian Pavus, Arthur Morgan, Robert Small, Gill Brody, Erik the Slayer, Seregil & Alec, that ginger barman in Fable 3. It’s an ode to the importance and power of queer representation in media, of the excitement and validation it can grant to young outsiders. Unusually for me, it’s a requited love song, an outpouring of camaraderie and optimism, an almost naive hope that this time we might make it out (of this video game level) alive.
Why we love it? A beautiful ode to a world of fantasy draped in wide sweeping cinematic organs with gorgeous raspy vocals, detailed with pepperings of haunting harmonies that pay tribute to positive queer characters in media and their effect on the real world. The chorus is bold and dramatic with large booming drums that only add to the cinematic vibe. A unique and progressive listening experience that marks an exciting beginning for Joe Hythe. (Lloyd Best)
FFO: Perfume Genius, Antony & The Johnsons
Who? Maths Time Joy / Kevin Garrett
What? Two Steps
Why we love it? This track opens with beautifully smooth vocals that bounce around the melody with ease and a production that is stripped back and allows the vocal to be front and center, the production stays understated even on the chorus with a repetitive drum loop that adds a funky aesthetic to this soft R’n’b sleeper hit. (Lloyd Best)
FFO: Miguel, Wrabel
Who? Micko and the Mellotronics
Where? North London
What they say? Over the last few years, ‘Imelda’ has become a live favourite for Micko and the Mellotronics, and is suitably one of their final numbers. It blisters with backwards-sounding Magazine-style guitar, and is boiling with intricate scattergun lyrics that offer us a deviant insight into the Filipino politician’s labyrinth of a wardrobe. This serves as an analogy for her excessive pandering and scheming – also shared by a certain late ‘80s ‘Grange Hill’ character of the same name.
Why we love it? The eponymous doomy refrain is more than enough to stop you in your tracks, and has the same uneasiness as early Bauhaus. As we all know, a certain quartet of cheery Liverpool lads who deserved a day off, inadvertently snubbed her during their arduous world tour that bittersweet year of 1966. Like now, nastiness was the air back then. Thank god for psychedelia and moustaches mere months later. (Humphrey Fordham. Photo credit: Keiko Yamazaki)
FFO: The Beatles circa ‘Rubber Soul’/‘Revolver’, XTC, Buzzcocks, Magazine
Who? Jessie Markin
What? Stars in your eyes
What they say? “the past year has been a struggle. At times it felt like fear, hate and prejudices are the only things surrounding us but at the same time we’ve been able to witness unprecedented strength and compassion as we’ve been tearing down our old monuments and building new.”
Why we love it? Rippling with glistening percussive rolls, as Markin tiptoes through with hip hop and soul dappled refrains, holding a radiating hope in his heart amidst struggle and injustices we have witnessed in 2020. A hymn for the BLM movement. (Bill Cummings)
FFO: Omar, Kendrick Lamar, Akala
What? Las Manos
Why we love it? Sea sawing between reflective verses and crushing fuzz box crescendo, this superlative slice of wistfulness details with vivid poetic clarity the crumbling of a relationship. “Did my honesty scare you?” sings Chuck Moore with a cutting rhetorical candor amidst a swirl of guitars. The first cut from their new album Pass Like Pollen produced by Sarah Tudzin (Illuminati hotties) this is an impressive preview. (Bill Cummings)
FFO: Big Thief, Elliot Smith