Monday, November 30, 2020

Josephine Foster - No Harm Done

 

No Harm Done is a bit outside of our usual lane. But this eight-track musical exploration of love and yearning is utterly enchanting. Written by Josephine Foster and performed by Foster and guitarist Matthew Schneider, this is a spellbinding and utterly captivating record, highlighted by effortlessly melodic, slow-burning compositions and Foster's pristine mezzo-soprano. The vibe recalls old vinyl recordings from many decades ago, like a soundtrack for a black and white movie from the archives. We heartily encourage you to test a few songs below and consider going to Bandcamp an losing yourself in Foster's spell.

No Harm Done is out now in digital, vinyl and CD formats via Fire Records.


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Neutrals - "Personal Computing" b/w "In The Future"


 What better day to feature a record titled Personal Computing than Cyber Monday? True, people given to overly technical analysis might point out that the release day if four days in the future, but we counter with the arguments that the two songs comprising the single are already available to stream and order on Bandcamp, and the special color of vinyl is already sold out at the pre-order stage (black vinyl remains available). So on balance, Cyber Monday is perfect in our eyes.

This little gem is the creation of  Neutrals, a DIY Oakland punk/post punk trio with Glasgow DNA. The two upbeat song that comprise the single, "Personal Computing" and "In The Future" are at the punk end of the spectrum. But they feature plenty of melody to go with the passion, and the ringing, buzzing guitars are a delight. Perhaps it is audacious to say so, but this single reminds us of The Clash, and that is direct pipeline to our hearts.

The record will be release via Slumberland Records and is, in fact, the final installment of that label's singles series.


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Slumberland Records page for Personal Computing

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Candy Opera - The Patron Saint of Heartache

We like the name of the band - Candy Opera, and we like the title of the album - The Patron Saint of Heartache. But that doesn't get a band digital ink. What does get a band digital ink is a fine set of song, and this album fully delivers on the quality scale. Add the fact that the album marks the new chapter of a feel-good resurrection story, and we find ourselves cheering for this lot. 

The short version of the background is that Candy Opera were a promising Liverpool band formed in the early '80s, drawing favorable comparisons to Scotland's Aztec Camera and fellow Liverpudians Echo & the Bunnymen and Pale Fountains. The band went through various lineup changes until they pulled the plug in the early '90s. The story may well have ended there, but Firestation Records found the band's old demos and released them in 2018 via an LP titled 45 Revolutions Per Minute. Candy Opera reformed to support the release, and found their creative juices jump-started. The result is The Patron Saint of Heartache, their first new songs in thirty years. The music is spacious, detailed and big-hearted. It is no surprise that the band's '80s guitar pop sensibilities are evident, but it also isn't a weakness. In our view these songs demonstrate both why Candy Opera was well-regarded in the '80s and why they deserve a play in current day guitar pop.

The members of Candy Opera are Brian Chin Smithers (guitar/vocals), Alan Currie (drums), Frank Mahon (bass), Paul Malone (vocals/guitar), and Ken Moss (guitar). The Patron Saint of Heartache is out now via A Turntable Friend Records.

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Wednesday, November 25, 2020

The Royal Landscaping Society - Frost 7"

 

A certain landscaping business has been in the news in the United States as a player in yet one more farcical episode in the reality TV presidency. However, our tastes landscaping run to The Royal Landscaping Society, a two-man band from Seville, Spain. Chris and David make swoon-worthy electro pop that uplifts our spirits and fires our romance synapses. Their latest creation to reach our ears is the just released Frost 7", consisting of the wonderful title track coupled with a cover of "This Gift", a song recorded by They Go BOOM!

The Frost 7" is out now as a digital single via Matinee Recordings, available at the Matinee online ship and other digital sources. In other good RLS news, the band will be releasing LP Means of Production in the coming months.

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Sunday, November 22, 2020

I Am A Rocketship - Orange EP

Perfect for the last evening of the weekend, Orange EP by I Am A Rocketship wraps the listener in a throbbing dance groove through three tracks, then the brooding rocker "The Light In Your Eyes" and the slow-burning "Back From The Shadows".

I Am A Rocketship is duo Eric Weissinger and L E Kippner. Weissinger has been a bass and guitar hired gun for various acts, and Kippner formerly was the vocalist for a Swedish pop band. Together they create an intriguing blend of dream pop and dance rock with some experimental touches, embellished with lyrics inspired by the state of the world. The duo is versatile enough that the five songs don't allow us to predict the direction an LP might take, but we can say we would be eager to hear it.

Orange EP is out now as a digital release via My Long Wknd.



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Thursday, November 19, 2020

Order of the Toad - Re-Order of the Toad

 

Since the subject of our last feature was a Scottish band, we thought we'd give a lift to another release from Scotland before focusing on other projects on our ever-increasing list of worthy releases. And so we present Re-Order of the Toad by Order of the Toad. The project consists of Gemma Fleet (bass/vocals), Robert Sotelo (guitar/vocals), and Christopher Tayor (drums/percussion/vocals), and began when Gemma and Robert moved from London to Glasgow. The trio previously released By Order of the Toad (link) and apparently had a good enough time that they signed up to do it again. Good thing for us, because they create a fulsome brand of guitar pop with a deep and satisfying groove.

Re-Order of the Toad is out now in digital, vinyl and CD formats via both Gringo and Reckless Yes.





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Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Slow Weather - Clean Living EP

We must admit that we aren't obsessive about clean living here and WYMA, but we make an exception for the Clean Living EP. In its five tracks we find full affirmation of the reason we focus on indie releases. The songs are beautiful -- inspired, slowly unspooling gems featuring delicate vocals, memorable melodies and infectious rhythms. The creators are Slow Weather, the Scottish duo comprised of Annie Booth and Chris McCrory. Chris was known to us as an ace and sought-after producer, as well as a member of Glasgow band Catholic Action (link). Edingburgh-based Annie released her fine Spectral EP about 18 months ago. Despite their separate achievements, working together has resulted in a product even greater than the sum of its worthy components. Their talents blend perfectly, and their generosity to each other's contributions is manifest. We have provided the singles below as a stream and in their entertaining visual form. But we don't even know how singles were chosen as each of the five songs would have been a justifiable selection.

Clean Living is out now via Last Night From Glasgow.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

"We Break Up On Friday" by My Darling YOU!

 We have learned that Matinee Recordings has released a single by Swedish duo My Darling YOU! Consisting of "We Break Up On Friday" and "I Adore You", it is a thrilling release that will please long-time fans of the band and bring some new ones into the fold. My Darling YOU! are Klas Hermansson and Christopher Johansson, and their sweet spot is a somewhat manic, punk infused indie pop -- an enthralling mix of energy, heart-on-the-sleeve emotion and melody.

The single is available now, and a collection of the band's songs, titled A Dream Come True, is due in December, also from Matinee Recordings. By the way, "I Adore You" is not on the upcoming collection so you can only have it by buying the single.

Matinee Recordings page for single