Friday, September 13, 2019

Mermaidens - Look Me In The Eye

For Look Me In The Eye, their third album, Wellington, NZ trio Mermaidens look to expand their reach beyond dream and fuzz pop, and in the effort craft an intriguing album of light and dark, pop hooks and arty textures.  Expanding use of synths combined with twin vocals, guitar, bass and drums result in a sound that is varied and dense, while remaining nimble. The songs are shaded with moody themes and emotional contrasts, expressed with confidence and clarity. Our take is that Mermaindens are a band that knows what they want to say, and says it very well, indeed.

Mermaidens are Gussie Larkin (vocals/guitar), Lily West (vocals/bass), and Gabe Hollingsworth (drums). Look Me In The Eye is out now in digital, vinyl and CD formats via Flying Nun Records.

The band is touring in the UK in the latter half of September.

Bandcamp for Look Me In The Eye
Various links for Look Me In The Eye

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Lost Ships - All Of The Pieces EP

We think that making it to Wednesday means we deserve a slice of heaven, and we get exactly what we want via All of the Pieces, the new EP from Portsmouth, UK's Lost Ships.  The band boasts a robust power pop sound, plenty of jangle, and big hooks and choruses. Unsurprisingly, they earn references to Teenage Fanclub. And while it is nice to be compared to the heroes of jangling power pop, this band carves out their own identity. This EP is a terrific addition to our library and will be an essential part of our Autumn soundtrack.

Lost Ships are Dave Sarney (bass), Simon Rapsey (drums), Dev Cross (guitars/vocals), and Ashley Chaplin (guitars/vocals). All of the Pieces is available now in digital and CD formats via Subjangle.

Bandcamp for All Of The Pieces

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Champion of Youth - Champion of Youth

Some days we are racked with indecision. For example, is Champion of Youth a new band for us, or an old band?  In support of the former proposition, we haven't previously featured any music by the band. For the latter position, we note that we have featured music by Amida, a band whose membership apparently overlaps with the players in Champion of Youth. Fortunately, like all well-run institutions we have a procedure for addressing such dilemmas.  We gather together, drink a few beers, and then cop out.  In this case, the cop out is deciding that Champion of Youth is a 'new old band'.

With that heavy lifting our of the way, please welcome the new old band's self-titled mini-album to your ears. Are you stuck in a rut on a Tuesday with a crying need for pep? Do you need some pop hooks, rumbling riffs, humor, jangle, and energetic performances? These guys have you covered.  It is just the sort of thing you would want, and expect, from a live show.  And while you won't get a live show unless you go to Manchester, you can grab the music from Bandcamp right now.

Spotify link for album

Sunday, September 8, 2019

The Memory Fades - Space Pilot

Every recording by The Memory Fades earns a special place in our music library, and we are thrilled that Space Pilot is the second EP by the project this year (the first was She Loves the Birds (link)). But this one may be extra special because it evokes WYMA favorites The Jesus and Mary Chain.  In fact, the second track even is titled "Listening to the Marychain", although the lead track bears the strongest resemblance.  The third and fourth tracks are lovely jangle pop gems that finish off the EP line a top chef's special dessert.

For this EP, The Memory Fades' Stephen Maughan is assisted by Pete Bowers, Estella Rosa, Joanne Galley, and Max Saidi.  Space Pilot is available in CD and digital formats - see the Bandcamp link below.

Bandcamp for EP

Friday, September 6, 2019

L.A. Mood - Breakfast At Sassy's

Someone has some explaining to do. Despite us writing about the wonderful Courtney Barnett from time to time, and despite writing about some of the fine releases from Melbourne's Hotel Motel Records, when Dave Mudie, who is Courtney's drummer, releases a record via Hotel Motel -- even under the assumed name L.A. Mood -- no one bothers to tell us (moreover, it is his second EP). Yes, some people decided to ignore our exclusive* readership of over 3,000,254 persons**, leaving us to find the album on our own.
   *Claim of exclusivity of our readership is based on the same methodology used by Donald Trump to claim the attendance at his inauguration. If it is good enough for The Donald ...
   **The 3,000,254 number of readers is not yet audited as our accountant is busy with his other job. After all, those pizzas won't deliver themselves.

However, despite our disappoint, hurt, and a few tears, we are professionals and will bring Breakfast At Sassy's to our readers' ears.  And we'd be fools not to, because this EP is really excellent stuff. The vibe is '90s/'00s rock that sounds like it was cooked in a garage with a touch of blues on the side, and we have it cycling through our sound system on permanent repeat today.  It is a digital release costing five Australian dollars, and if you get it right now you'll have if for the weekend. Trust us, you want it for the weekend. You probably even need it for the weekend.


Broken Chanter - Broken Chanter

We have been fans of David MacGregor since we first became aware of his performances and songwriting as a frontman for Kid Canaveral.  During some recent down-time for that project, David began work on his debut solo album as Broken Chanter.  The self-titled record arrives today, and we are pleased to report that it bears testimony to all of David's strengths.  The songs are superbly crafted, with strong melodies and sparkling production.  As readers familiar with David's style would expect, the songs are heartfelt -- and heart on the sleeve. But the added dimension, at least to our ears, is the broad scope of the arrangements.  This music doesn't want to be contained by four walls. Rather it invokes the Scottish Highlands and the coasts of Scotland and Ireland.  There really is no substitute for music that makes you feel better about being alive, and this music does just that.

We previously shared "Should We Be Dancing?" and "Wholesale", so we have chosen a few other dandies to give you a sense of the album.  But if you are a fan of MacGregor, you should already be purchasing Broken Chanter. If you are not yet a fan, we recommend trying a few of of these songs or, better yet, listen at your favorite streaming site.

Broken Chanter is out today via Olive Grove Records and Last Night From Glasgow.

Last Night From Glasgow page for album
Various links for album

Thursday, September 5, 2019

"Hula Hoop Group" by Cool Sounds

No, More To Enjoy, the debut LP by Melbourne's Cool Sounds is not out yet. You'll have to wait two more weeks.  However, album track "Hula Hoop Group" now is available as a single.  On this outing, the band updates their '70s pop/rock sound with a touch of funk and a dose of strut (yes, that is a 'thing' - you probably can ask Alexa about it).

And just know that there will be more to enjoy when More To Enjoy hits the streets via Osborne Again Music, Hotel Motel Music, and Meritorio Records

Bandcamp for single
Osborne Again Music
Hotel Motel Music
Meritorio Records

"Try Not To Hang So Hard" by Young Guv

At the beginning of August we featured the thrilling power pop of Young Guv's GUV I (link). Some alert readers may have wondered why the Roman numeral "I" was part of the album's title. The answer becomes clear today with the announcement that GUV II will be released on October 25. It seems that when Ben Cook was writing the first album, he just kept going.  And we think that is very good news for all of this with functional ears.

Our first hint of the second album also comes today, via the stream for album track "Try Not To Hang So Hard", a sentimental song with a rocking edge. Like its predecessor, GUV II will be released via Run For Cover Records.

Run For Cover Records page for GUV II

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

"No Plans" by Bluey

Lachie Gilmour is known as a guitarist and co-songwriter for ace Melbourne band IV League. But he also is striking out as a solo artist under the name Bluey.  His debut EP is on the horizon,and you can hear "No Plans, the first song shared from the record, below.  An upbeat tune with swaths of bright colors, it has supercharged our evening.

Bandcamp for "No Plans"
Various links for "No Plans"

Helene Barbier - Have You Met Elliott?

Indie pop with a French Canadian accent is on the menu today.  The artist is Helene Barbier, a French-born, Montreal-based performer who combines an affecting melodicism with the DIY spirit of The Raincoats, Slits and Lizzy Mercier Descloux.  Previously a member of bands Moss Lime and Phern, her solo debut is Have You Met Elliott? The songs are fresh, spontaneous and, at times, appealingly raw and almost adolescent.  The overall effect is fun and tres charming.  May we suggest that this is a fine listen to get you through the mid-week slump?

Contributing players include Christian Simmons, Emma Coldwell, Matt Robidoux, and Elise Paradis.
Have You Met Elliott is out now in digital and vinyl formats via Emotional Response Records.

Bandcamp for album