Friday, June 22, 2018
Sweden's Red Sleeping Beauty took a long hiatus between the '90s and their 2016 release Kristina, but they are back to address unfinished business. And to our ears, that business appears to be proving that they are one of the world's top synth pop acts. The proof will come with the band's fourth album, which still is in production, but we get a tease of what is to come with today's Always On Your Side EP. The title track, which will be on the upcoming album, already is one of my favorite songs of the year. The following "Falling Out Of Love" is from a demo by Niklas Angergard's other project, Acid House Kings. "Just For Fun" is a cover of a top Alpaca Sports' song. The closer is "Tonight, Tonight, Tonight", an unabashed love song. This is synth pop the way it should be -- playful (dig the intro to "Falling Out Of Love" and the low tones punctuating the chorus on "Just For Fun"), sunny, uplifting and pristine in tone. Yes, Always On Your Side is a Nordic gem of the highest order.
Red Sleeping Beauty are Niklas Angergard, Mikael Matsson, and Kristina Borg. The EP is out today on all digital platforms, and a CD is available via Sunday Records.
Soundcloud for EP
Order page for CD (Sunday Records)
Spotify for EP
Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Thematically, Flasher doesn't believe in shading the truth or sugar-coating disappointment. The songs feature dispassionate and clear-eyed observations of personal and public life, and in picking their scabs, you may feel your own pain. But for all that, we found listening to this album to be a welcome visceral experience. Yeah, politics sucks, life is full of disappointments and settling for less, and we've never felt so alive for listening to it.
Flasher are Taylor Mulitz (guitar), Daniel Saperstein (bass), and Emma Baker (drums), all of whom sing on the album. Constant Image is out now via Domino.
Bandcamp for Constant Image
Tuesday, June 19, 2018
New Silver Girl are Olli Happonen (vocals/guitar), Samuli Sulku (guitar), Ilmo Cantell (bass), and Niilo Suihko (drums).
Bandcamp for "Phantom Ride"
Other links for download and streaming
Hope Downs is out now via Sub Pop Records.
Bandcamp for Hope Downs
Sub Pop Records
Monday, June 18, 2018
Sunday, June 17, 2018
Saturday, June 16, 2018
D.A. Stern (whose mom probably knows him as Daniel Aaron Stern of New Jersey) has DNA that matches pretty well with pop genius Harry Nilsson, and probably has plenty of similarity with Lennon/McCartney, Brian Wilson, and the ghosts of the Brill Building. Now living in Los Angeles, the man is churning out music that simply demands listening. He released full album Aloha Hola in 2017, but it only got limited traction in an increasingly crowded music world. Fortunately for Daniel, and us, Slumberland has re-released Aloha Hola and Daniel's 2018 four track single Isn't It Obvious? So you now can have your very own D.A. Stern collection.
You man have gotten out of bed this morning unaware of the delights of Stern's music, but now you need it in your life. "Isn't It Obvious?"
Three from Aloha Hola:
Title track for Isn't It Obvious?:
Bandcamp for Aloha Hola
Bandcamp for Isn't It Obvious?
Slumberland page for Aloha Hola
Friday, June 15, 2018
Friday has arrived at WYMA headquarters, so it is time to test candidates for weekend beverage consumption (this is scientific research, people, don't scoff) and pick some weekend music. A trending candidate is Turn Around Or by Super 8. Not only is the name of the band evocative of road trips, conjuring motels, gas stations, or motels with an adjacent gas station, but the songs on Turn Around Or suggest parties, good times, and weekend beverages. The man behind the Super 8 mask is Trip, who also is known as Paul Ryan. But if we had a name that risked us being mistaken for the emasculated Speaker of the US House of Representatives, we would choose a stage name as well, and Trip works just fine.
Turn Around Or is packed with scrappy indie nuggets that should have you bouncing all weekend long. The songwriting is tight, the arrangements are bold, and there are enough hooks to prompt envy in Big Star. Trip's performance has the grit and panache that we want in a frontman. And it should be noted that while Trip did most of the work himself, he had help from the likes of Nick Bertling, Bill Philips, Owen Hodgson, and Sunnie Larson. Picking representative songs from among this consistent menu could have been done with darts, but we manned up and made four selections. Trip composed all except "Serious Drugs", the BMX Bandits standout penned by Scots heroes Duglas Stewart, Norman Blake and Joe McAlinden. This man is prolific as well as talented, as it is his second release in 2018.
Turn Around Or is out now in CD and digital formats via Futureman Records.
Bandcamp for album
Super 8/Trip on Twitter