Friday, May 17, 2019

Cat Princess - Forbidden Items

On their debut LP, Forbidden Items, Sweden's Cat Princess crafts a set of 11 impressive songs craft in equal parts of glam, art pop, and indie pop/rock (think Orange Juice, Talking Heads, David Bowie and Franz Ferdinand).  This is music that is smart, danceable, and performed with skill and confidence.  We suspect that this band delivers an incredible live show, but listening to them is pretty special as well.

Cat Princess are Nils Krang, Robin Aberg, Robert Lanneborn, Isabelle Friberg, and Victor Klint.  Forbidden Items is out today via Stockholm's Rama Lama Records.







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Various links to stream/purchase Forbidden Items

"Holy Moly" by Chris Staples

Chris Staples is one of the Pacific Northwest's cherished musical secrets.  We feel a bit bad about that (the secret part, not the cherishing part), so we here at WYMA have resolved to introduce you via his June album Holy Moly.  However, our editorial standards preclude talking about a June 28 release on May 17, so we will settle for a pre-introduction via the video for the title track.  A solid rocker with a danceable groove, we endorse "Holy Moly" for beginning your Friday with a wiggle in you hips.

Holy Moly will be released via Barsuk Records.




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Bandcamp for Holy Moly
Links to pre-order Holy Moly
Barsuk Records

Thursday, May 16, 2019

The Perfect English Weather - Call Me When The Rain Comes EP


We never get enough of The Perfect English Weather. No, not "that" perfect English weather with the rain and fog - we have enough of that is Seattle.  We mean the project of Wendy and Simon Pickles, who have chosen that name for their musical creations separate from their larger, long-running guitar pop band The Popguns. Astute readers (we always assume that some of you qualify), may ask why, when last fall the duo released an album titled Don't You Want To Feel The Rain (link to our feature), they are now following six months later with Call Me When The Rain Comes EP.  The answer is that there were three songs that weren't quite 'baked' sufficiently for inclusion on the Fall 2018 album (and the album already had 13 tracks).  However, Wendy and Simon deemed the three songs to be ready for our ears, and have released them with a new mix of the title track from the aforementioned album.  To our ears, The Perfect English Weather have gotten it exactly right on this EP.  The lead track pops with new drumming from Spiritualized's Jonny Aitken and the three new tracks are terrific.  Of the four songs, we are particularly taken with the delicate beauty of  "She Isn't Counting On A Miracle", and the more robust pop delights of the emotional "How Could I Ever?".  Truly worth your time.

Call Me When The Rain Comes EP is out this weekend in digital and CD formats via Matinee Recordings.



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Matinee Records page for EP

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

"The Enemy" by Carl Lewis

We start our music day with our ears turned to Norway -- all the better to hear "The Enemy" by Carl Louis.  Carl has made a name for himself in the production/electronic/DJ genre as one half of  CLMD, but has launched his solo project under his own name.  With two previous EPs out in the world, he is preparing to release his debut LP this summer, and this single gives us our first taste.  We are advised to expect the synths to be supplemented with guitars, drums and Carl's own vocals to bridge between his past work and the Scandinavian indie pop of Miike Snow and The Radio Dept.  We expect good things.

"The Enemy" is out now via Norwegian label Toothfairy, and should be available at your preferred digital source.




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Toothfairy

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

The Catherines - Please Don't Freak Out While You Drive My Car / Jingle Jangle

Our indie pop friends from Hamburg, Germany, -- The Catherines --have dropped another single.  This time it consists of three songs.  The first is a new composition, the second is a cover of "Jingle Jangle" by The Archies, and the third is a new version of their first single.

The Catherines are Heiko Schneider and Sandra Ost.  The duo is prolific, so take the time to check out their other recent releases at the Bandcamp link.



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Monday, May 13, 2019

"Regrets" by Jorgen Sandvik


We begin the week with "Regrets", a wonderful blues/folk track from Norwegian artist Jorgen Sandvik.  Jorgen released a well-received album titled Permanent Vacation last year, winning the Norwegian recording industry's prize for best blues album.  He previously recorded with award-winning folk/pop band Real Ones.

"Regrets" is available as a digital download via Lekrofon, check your preferred digital retailer.


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Sunday, May 12, 2019

Emma Russack - "Winter Blues"

We count ourselves among the fans of Australian singer songwriter Emma Russack.  Admittedly, we have plenty of company in the fanclub, but this is one of those occasions where going along with the flow is indisputably the correct decision.  Emma will be releasing Winter Blues, her new album, on July 5, and we expect a genuine treat.   Of course, it isn't July anywhere yet, but here, for your listening pleasure, here is the title track, which is now available as a single.  The song is an excellent example of the songwriting art -- concise, melodic and unfussy.  And as to Emma's point that it is too easy to blame our failings on external influences such as seasonal blues, we have known people who do just that, although we certainly never would do so.

The album will be release via Osborne Again and Spunk Records in Australia and New Zealand, and Melodic Records in the UK.







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Friday, May 10, 2019

Monnone Alone - Do It Twice


One of the best, upbeat and straightforward rock and roll songs we've heard lately is "Do It Twice".  We wouldn't have been surprised to find it on a long lost album by a criminally overlooked California band, but in fact it is the title track of a two song single by Australian band Monnone Alone.  The other track is the lower key but delightful "The Sea and the City".  In case you are wondering, the "Monnone" of Monnone Alone is Mark Monnone, of Aussie legends The Lucksmiths.  Mark has been carving out a deservedly well-regarded solo career, of which this is an excellent example.  The songcraft and performances are excellent and we commend it to any fan of guitar pop.

Sadly, we must report that Mark has engaged in false advertising.  In addition to Mark providing vocals and guitar, Monnone Alone includes Gus Franklin (drums/backing vocals), Joe Foley (bass/backing vocals), and Louis Richter (12-string guitar).  So, Monnone is not really alone after all.

Note that the links below allow you to obtain the single from the source local to you, with choices in the US, Australia, Spain, and Finland.



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Bandcamp (Emotional Response Records)
Bandcamp (Lost and Lonesome Recording Co.)
Bandcamp (Meritorio Records/Spain)
Royal Mint Records (Finland)

Carlton Jumel Smith - 1634 Lexington Avenue

We decided at a very young age that weekends are made for R&B and soul, so we will suggest to you that your weekend will not be complete without 1634 Lexington Avenue.  The creation of New York City's Carlton Jumel Smith, and named for his childhood address, the album is nothing less than a note-perfect celebration of classic R&B sounds, one of the most beloved and enduring genres of pop music.  Working with backing band Cold Diamond & Mink, the house band and production crew at Timmion Records, the Helsinki soul label releasing this album, Smith transports us to neon-lit urban streets and romantic encounters.  It is a world of swagger, promise and romance, accented with deep, satisfying grooves, horns, and backing vocals.  Of course, the star is Smith, whose tone, phrasing and passion bring to mind favorable comparisons with past greats Al Green, James Brown, Otis Redding, and Curtis Mayfield.  This album may have a permanent spot on the WYMA playlist.

1634 Lexington Avenue is out today in digital, vinyl and CD formats.  And a backing band this good deserves specific mention: Seppo Salmi (band leader/guitar/organ) Sami Kantelinen (bass), Jukka Sarapaa (drums), Jukka Eskola (arranger/trumpet), Pope Puolitaival (baritone sax), Jimi Tenor (sax), Janne Auvinen (congas), and Tuomo Prattala (organ/piano/backing vocals).








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"Fetch You Roses" by Sail By Summer

One of our favorite new bands is Scandinavia's Sail By Summer, and not only because we are fans of sailing and summer.  Earlier this year we brought you their shimmering "Facing Dullness".  As we inch towards the August release of the project's debut album, we are presented with "Fetch You Roses", the band's new single.  Melancholy but beautiful, and thoughtfully detailed, it is a highly recommended listen.

Sail By Summer are Norway's William Hut (vocals/guitar) and Denmark's Jens Kristian (keys)."Fetch You Roses" is out today as a digital release via Apollon Records.



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Various links to stream and purchase "Fetch You Roses"