Tuesday, November 20, 2018

The Astounds - Get Alright With

Time to be astounded by The Astounds?  We suggest you give them a chance.  For our part, we only became aware of them via twitter, but after spinning their recently released album, Get Alright With, we think that this St. Louis five-piece has the power pop formula  wired.  The record is packed with concise, melodic blasts of energy with no shortage of fist pumping anthems.  It has a visceral live-to-tape vibe that makes it perfect to kick off the long American holiday weekend.  And we would be remiss if we didn't point out that it is available via Bandcamp for 'name your price'.

The Astounds are Dean, Julian, Mike, Zach, and Tyler.







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The Perfect English Weather - Don't You Wanna Feel The Rain?

We suppose that the term "English weather" may mean different things to different people, depending on where they live, what weather they have experienced or heard about in England, and their climate preferences.  But for those of us safely ensconced in the warm confines of WYMA Tower, English weather means only one thing - the welcome arrival of another record by The Perfect English Weather.  The personal project of Wendy and Simon Pickles, husband and wife and mainstays of long-running and beloved band The Popguns, The Perfect English Weather creates well crafted indie pop with a melancholy shading.  While perfectly capable of bringing the noise, the output is overall quieter and more contemplative than their work with their other band.  Yes, different, but certainly no less satisfying.

The new record is the 12-track Don't You Wanna Feel The Rain?, their second full length.  Styled as a concept album, the album addresses adult life, and the unique perspectives on romance, separation, parenting, careers, travel, and other matters occupy one's life as one grows older.  We can relate, but more importantly, we appreciate the melodic and incisive treatment that this set of songs provides.  We feel the longing, the joy, the uncertainties, the self-depreciation, and the acceptance.  And we celebrate the great tunes that deliver the observations.  If loving this album marks us as having reached 'a certain age', then so be it.  We even will consider feeling the rain.

Don't You Wanna Feel The Rain? is out now in digital and CD formats via Matinee Recordings.








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Monday, November 19, 2018

Virgin of the Birds - Numberless Needs


One of our favorite albums of a couple of years ago was Secret Kids by Jon Rooney's Virgin of the Birds project.  So we didn't need much prompting to cue up Numberless Needs, their new five-track EP.  In fact, knowledge that VotB was covering "Wisconsin Polka", by fellow Seattle band the Foghorns might have been enough, as our ranks contain Wisconsin expats as well.  Jon changed a few things about the song (in fact, it is no longer a polka), but that doesn't prevent it from being a great piece of music.  Overall, the EP display's Rooney's wide-ranging interests and versatile songwriting.  Opener "I Fought A Turk", featuring guest US/Scottish artist Faith Eliott is a gentle folk pop melody with a dark lyricism.  "In 1970, Across Philadelphia, Frank Rizzo Broke the Black Panther Party" and "Peter Stone Brown" are both inspired by Jon's home town of Philadelphia.  The former uses a police action against the Black Panthers as a springboard for broader social commentary about oppression of minorities, while launches from memories of a local singer-songwriter and music writer.  After the non-polka "Wisconsin Polka", we arrive at the sharp-edged closer, "Every Rival", in which Jon settles some scores with a song about settling scores.  Numberless Needs is a highly recommended listen, and to prompt you to do that, you'll have to hit the Bandcamp link for "Wisconsin Polka".  We suggest beer as a pairing with the tune.

Virgin of the Birds is Jon Rooney, Colin J Nelson, Ken Nottingham and Paul Baudry.  Numberless Needs is out now as a digital release via Abandoned Love Records.





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Thursday, November 15, 2018

Lightfoils - Chambers EP

Chicago five-piece Lightfoils have crafted a winning formula of dreampop meets shoegaze, beautifully decorated by the angelic vocal performance of Jane Zabeth Nicholson.  Chambers EP, their new record, is due this Friday, and consists of five sonic feasts in time for the Thanksgiving Holidays.  We know you will feed your stomach, but don't ignore your ears.  Favorite tracks: "The Bitter Over" and "Honeydew".

Lightfoils are Jane Zabeth Nicholson (vocals), Jon Rungger (drums), Neil Yodnane (guitar), Zeeshan Abbasi (guitar), and Cory Osborne (bass).  Chambers EP will be released in digital and vinyl formats.





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Sam Fender - Dead Boys


We are in the business of being impressed by new talent and then sharing our discoveries with you.  One of our latest finds is Newcastle's Sam Fender.  His new EP is Dead Boys, and will be a digital release via Polydor Records on November 20.  The six tracks showcase his superb vocals, but even more impressive is his socially conscious lyricism.  Check out the videos below for "That Sound" and his live performance of the title track, which addresses male suicide.






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Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Chez Ali - Buenas Noches Club EP


Elias Mahfoud certainly is known to us here at WYMA.  But we know him as a member of guitar pop band Steve Buscemi's Dreamy Eyes, which featured here twice in the fall of 2017.  However, today we get to know him as Chez Ali, a romantic crooner with a dance-positive, R&B set of songs in his arsenal.  You can get to know Elias as Chez Ali too, via his new EP Buenas Noches Club.  For this outing, Elias paints his indie inclinations with an appealing coat of pop enamel, and the results are an absolute joy.

Buenas Noches Club is out now in vinyl and digital formats via Stockholm's Rama Lama Records.



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Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Value Void - Sentimental

The roots of Value Void are in Argentina, where two of its members began writing songs. Jump break to London and some other projects, recruiting a third member to play bass, and the band which became Value Void came to life.  We read about them before we heard and songs, and tags such as alt rock and proto punk were applied.  But after spinning their new full length Sentimental, we are of the opinion that the general vibe is '90s alt rock (although "Cupid's Bow" in particular drives in the punk lane).  However, we are inclined to offer the big caveat that this band displays enough pop smarts, and enough new century sensibilities that we are reluctant to put them in any box.

What we are willing to do is champion the album.  It is assured, muscular, and stuffed with smart, satisfying songs.  Sometimes upbeat, sometimes moody, but always carefully detailed and performed with conviction.  Check out the streams below and then explore at the Bandcamp link.

Value Void are Paz Maddio, Marta Zabala, Luke Tristram.  Sentimental is out now via Tough Love Records.








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Monday, November 12, 2018

New Silver Girl - New Silver Girl


This week's opening feature record is the self-titled album by New Silver Girl.  For their debut long player, the Finnish four-piece proves equally adept with heavy rock riffs and the more poppy, glammy side of indie rock.  This versitility is well-demonstrated by the first two songs we have streamed below, the riffy album opener "Love Is Like A Goldmine" and the glossier "Starlight City".  The album unspools like a romp through the '70s up to today, and it is vibrant, fun, and superbly crafted.  If you need some rock energy to start your week (and who doesn't?), New Silver Girl should be first on your menu.

New Silver Girl are Olli Happonen (vocals/guitar), Samuli Sulku (guitar), Ilmo Cantell (bass), and Niilo Suihko (drums).  The album is out now via Helsinki's Soliti Music.






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Friday, November 9, 2018

"When I Was Younger" by Tyler Boone

For those readers who asked whether our several day absence was because we had hopped a freight train with a hot partner and a bottle of bourbon, well, we appreciate the vote of confidence.  In fact, we were busy working to pay the bills.  However, speaking of bourbon, if we had been engaged in the activity mentioned in the opening sentence (other than in a daydream, aspirational sense, which describes most of our romantic encounters), we would have been drinking Boone's Bourbon.  And we are thinking about Boone's Bourbon because Tyler Boone, the founder of Boone's Bourbon, is releasing a terrific slice of bluesy rock and roll today.  In searching for song to feature in welcoming ourselves back to blogging, "When I Was Younger" shouldered its way to the head of the pack.  Slashing guitar, bluesy vocals, heavy bass and, in fact, a heavy vibe overall.  This is rock and roll, and we are back.  We will now cut the cake, ignore the cake, and commence sampling some bourbon.

"When I Was Younger" is out now as a digital download, so visit your favorite platform and enjoy what we are enjoying (well, minus this bourbon -- it is ours).



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