Thursday, July 28, 2016

"Stop Your Tears" by Aldous Harding


About two years ago I featured "Hunter" by Aldous Harding, the performing name taken by Hanna Claynails Harding  (link).  Harding, from Lyttelton, New Zealand, possesses a disarmingly pure voice, but writes gritty and stark folk songs that pack a devastating emotional punch.  Her debut album was released by a small, home town label, but is getting a well-deserved US release via Flying Nun Records on September.  Here is album track "Stop Your Tears.



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Flying Nun

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

"Dianne" by Teeth & Tongue


Melbourne's Jess Cornelius performs as Teeth & Tongue, delivering poptastic arrangements and clever songwriting.  Check out "Dianne" below.  It is from her upcoming album Give Up On Your Health, which will be out September 2 via Dot Dash/Remote Control in Australia and New Zealand, and Captured Tracks in the US.




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Various Artists - Typical Girls

We all know that there is no one type of girl in this world, but that doesn't stop people from using the phrase "typical girl" to demean or disempower women.  And that is sad and offensive.  Jen and Stew at Emotional Rescue Records are doing their part to point out the stupidity of the phrase by releasing Typical Girls, a 16-track compilation of high quality punk, indie rock, fuzz pop and power pop from bands fronted by women.  Play it loud, and rejoice in the quality.  Then note that it is available at the Bandcamp link.  Then do what you should do.




Bandcamp for Typical Girls

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Trust Punks - Double Bind

On their new album, Double Bind, Auckland, New Zealand's Trust Punks are a multi-legged beast, with a foot in punk, a foot in jangle pop, a foot in the politi-rock and a foot in experimental post-punk.  They are adventurous, searching, even unsettled.  And while a song like "Resevoir" may bring to mind past bands from New Zealand (as well as Trust Punk's previous EP), this record shares more kinship with The Fall, This Heat, The Birthday Party or Wire, and a second cousin relationship with Australia's Total Control.  And while the album covers a lot of territory stylistically, the lyrical fury is similarly wide scope.  The targets are political, social, local and international.  And cold-eyed self-assessment is on the menu as well.

Almost astonishingly, the result is an excellent album.  It is fresh, vital, and challenging, and my appreciation grows with every listen.  And perhaps most important from my perspective, Double Bind is exciting.  Each new track brings anticipation of what the band will say and how they will arrange it.  It is a new beginning for Trust Punks, and the future looks very bright indeed.

Trust Punks are Paul Brown, Alexander Grant, Lliam Powell, Joseph Thomas, and Maté Vella.  Double Bind is out now via Wharf Cat Records in North America, Faux Discx in the UK and Europe, and Spunk in Australia and New Zealand.







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Wharf Cat Records
Faux Discx
Spunk Records

Abjects/Fruit Tones/Hafrican - Summer Slummin'

Well, this a Margarita pitcher full of fun, I must say.  One of our favorite little labels, Glasgow's Fuzzkill, has released Summer Slummin', a six track record with two songs each from Manchester's Fruit Tones, London's Abjects, and Glasgow's Halfrican.  Fruit Tones open and close the set with their hooky garage rock.  Abjects hit it hard with two punk smeared rock tunes.  Halfrican's two songs are energetic, and slightly off center, indie pop.  Despite some stylistic differences, the songs fit together well, and I expect that they are a delight on the same bill.  Stream and enjoy the entire set below.

Summer Slummin' is a cassette, but the cassette comes with use of the Bandcamp stream and a digital download so it is about as flexible of a release as you could desire.  It is out now -- check out the Bandcamp link below.  I wouldn't be surprised if this one sold out, so delay at your own risk.




Bandcamp for Summer Slummin'
Facebook for Fruit Tones
Fruit Tones on Soundcloud
Facebook for Abjects
Facebook for Halfrican



Monday, July 25, 2016

"Sweet Company" by Inspired and the Sleep

Here is the perfect song to end a summer day.  Tomorrow morning I'm going to experiment and determine whether it is the perfect way to start a new summer day.  I strongly suspect that it will be.

The song is "Sweet Company", an ode to emphasizing good times and fond memories, and not dwelling on the negative debris.  Seems like a fine aspiration to us, and it is a great tune.  You know what else is great?  It is available as a "Name your price' download at this Bandcamp link.

"Sweet Company" is the work of San Diego outfit Inspired and the Sleep.  The band is Max Greenhalgh (bass/vocals/keys/arrangements/mixing), Bryce Outcault (guitar), and Andrew Satterlee (drums).  It isn't their first time here, and I suspect it won't be the last.



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"Strange Tides" by The Shakes


Shakes are an indie rock band from New Zealand, playing gritty indie rock with a bit of pop polish and a lot of swagger.  The hard-working quartet will release their second EP of 2016 in a few months, but has given us a taste with single "Strange Tides".



And if you like that song, and I expect that you will, here is their first EP of the year, Tambourine Girls, which is available for 'name your price' at this Bandcamp link.



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Friday, July 22, 2016

Martha - Blisters In The Pit Of My Heart

Martha manages to be many things at once, or one after the other. They are pop punk, indie rock, power pop, post punk, and noise pop.  They are political, socially conscious, reflective, romantic, mischievous, and cynical.  They are literate and rough-edged.  They usually are loud and fast, but can be soft.  But in any mode the UK four-piece is an excellent band, and Blisters In The Pit Of My Heart is an incredibly good album.  Spiky riffs trade the limelight with pop hooks, while the energy is at fitness video levels.  Billy Bragg spoke of the fusion of pop and politics, but for the set that wants to dance with their principles, Martha should be their go-to act.

I love songwriting that works both as a superb soundtrack and, for those that want to dig deeper, wonderfully twisted entertainment.  "St Paul's (Westerberg Comprehensive)" focuses on gay students in a Catholic school, but adds references to Paul Westerberg of The Replacements, whose "Androgynous" was the inspiration for this song.  Famous revolutionary makes an appearance, but she is re-imagined as a gumshoe in "Goldman's Detective Agency".  Another song discusses fining romance in the supermarket.  There is plenty more there, but I shouldn't deny you the fun of discovering it for yourself.  And for those inclined to look, the Bandcamp link below includes the lyrics (which I think all bands should do).  Suffice it to say that the album is about life and how to deal with it, roll with it, and persevere.  An album this good deserves your ears, and your ears and heart deserve it.

Formed four years ago, Martha are Nathan Stephens-Griffin (drums), Naomi Griffin (bass), JC Cairns (guitar), and Daniel Ellis (guitar), all of whom write and sing.  Blisters In The Pit Of My Heart is out now in digital, CD and vinyl formats via Fortuna POP! in the UK/Europe and Dirtnap Records in North America.










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Dirtnap Records

Ette- Homemade Lemonade

Summertime is the right time for lemonade.  No, not the chemically flavored stuff from the store.  We're talking about homemade lemonade, made just before drinking with fresh lemons, good water and cane sugar (I suspect my neighbor, Ned, also pours some other colorless liquid in his homemade lemonade, but who am I to judge a man afflicted with such poor balance and bouts of random mumbling).  So we are here to tell you of a marvelous new invention, a homemade lemonade for your ears -- after all, why should your taste buds have all the fun?  Yes, today we announce the introduction of Homemade Lemonade, by Scottish pop band Ette.  A delicious brew concocted by Carla Easton (also of TeenCanteen) and Joe Kane (of Dr. Cosmo's Tape Lab), it's major physical ingredients are Carla's '60s bubblegum vocal style (the band's name comes from the common suffix on the name of many '60s girl groups) and Joe's synth-psychedelic production.  The result was recorded in a couple of days with two additional musicians, and takes the Brill Building/Wall of Sound aesthetic and twists it delightfully while transporting it to the modern age.  If you want sweet sound with a deep grove to make you happy, this is your musical beverage for the summer.

Homemade Lemonade is out now via Glasgow's Olive Grove Records.  See the Bandcamp link below.







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Bandcamp for Homemade Lemonade
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Olive Grove Records
Olive Grove Records on Facebook

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Treehouse - Centre of Their World

Treehouse is a rumbling, jangling pop punk band from Hobart, that first appeared on these pages a few years ago when we featured their Interzone album.  The trio is Cal, Jon and Will, and they raise a righteous noise.  The band's latest album is Centre of Their World, released by the excellent Vacant Valley label.  The seven tracks confirm that rock isn't dead, hasn't totally been taken over by corporations and hired computer drones, and isn't even stale or trite.  Of course, in order for there to be a silver lining, the rules say there has to be a cloud.  And the cloud here is that Centre of Their World is a cassette release, and the Bandcamp page says it is sold out.  I can't do anything about that, but I suggest you listen to the clips here, and then stream the album on Bandcamp (my favorites are "Slave" and "Stop the Ocean").  Then follow Vacant Valley on social media so when their next nugget is released you don't miss out.  And maybe if you beg label boss Peter sweetly enough he can find a way to sell digital versions of the album.








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"Could Be You" by Allah-Las

We have very few rules around WYMA headquarters, but one is that the release of new music from Los Angeles' Allah-Las is a holiday.  That "Could Be You", the new song from the upcoming LP Calico Review happens to drop during a week when Seattle is sunny and warm is just a lucky coincidence.  The track is a warm slice of garage rock focused on the band's home city.  Here it is in video format.




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Webpage for album and tour
Mexican Summer

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Community Radio - Look Now You Are Cursed

Look Now You Are Cursed sends a sweet arrow to my musical bullseye.  The product of Sydney four-piece Community Radio, it features 11 tracks of sunny, literate, jangling guitar pop with distinct echoes of New Zealand's The Bats.  The harmonies are sweet, and the hooks and melodies bury themselves pleasantly in your brain.  This is a perfect album for a summer afternoon in the back yard.

Community Radio are Cameron Emerson-Elliott, Malcolm McKernan, Jen Kevin, Patrick Mathews.  Look Now You're Cursed is available now on CD, vinyl and digital formats from two separate Bandcamp links, the band's (for CD and digital) and Madrid's Tenorio Cotobade (for vinyl), which I've provided at the bottom of the post.







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Bandcamp for digital and CD
Bandcamp for vinyl

"Buzq Blues" by Acid Arab

Sex Schön, Guido Minisky, Hervé Carvalho, and Kenzy Bourras are Acid Arab, four musicians that combine western electronic music with North African and Middle Eastern influences.  Minsky and Carvalho founded the band in 2012, and are based in France.  They are signed to Belgian label Crammed Discs, which will release their LP, Musique de France, on October 7.  Here is "Buzq Blues", the first single.  We think this album is going to be very good.




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Crammed Discs page for Acid Arab