Sunday, September 20, 2020

Fort Not - The Club Is Open


We cover a lot of artists from many different countries and working in a number of styles. But you probably wouldn't be a regular reader is you aren't a fan of guitar pop in its many forms. And if you are a fan of guitar pop, we have good news for you: One of the better guitar pop albums to hit our ears this year is The Club Is Open by Gothenburg, Sweden's Fort Not. The album displays the band's range, featuring songs that could be considered indie pop, dream pop, country rock, and jangle pop, and their skill in crafting impossibly catchy melodies. We were convinced of the album's quality early in the album opener, "Spending Time", but then were blown away by the following "Amsterdam". This tune is so infectious that one of us woke up humming it Saturday morning. It gets stuck in the brain, but there will be no complaints.

The next two songs have a friendly, slacker pop/county vibe, and since we can't choose which is better, we won't even try. One of our album highlights, "Hanging On", again display's the band's power pop proficiency with a chorus that demands to be sung out loud, call-and-response style with your friends. And speaking of compelling singalongs, the following song has such a charming, loosely-knit bouncing rhythm that it is almost impossible to resist joining in. Just know that doing so results in singing a chorus that exclaims "some day you will find me dead". You are warned, so pick your audience with care.

"Swirling" introduces dream pop to the mix, and to great effect. The sweetly wistful "Mary Ann" brings a slower pace and offers a change to catch our breath. But the album is back with sturdy, energetic rhythms with two tracks that have previously been released as singles: "Jenny Brown" and "Love Me Do". The latter is particularly noteworthy, one of those timelessly addictive tunes for which the "replay" button is particularly suited (our feature for "Love Me Do" here). The album closes with the pure pop of "Truckload of Bubbles" and the dreamy "Boy". You won't skip any of them.

Fort Not are Fredrik Soderstrom, Robert Carlsson, and Emanuel Hallongreen. The Club Is Open is out now via Meritorio Records.







Bandcamp for album
Meritorio Records' shop

Thursday, September 17, 2020

"Another Door" by The Bats



Our New Zealand heroes The Bats are back with another cut from their upcoming LP Foothills. This time it is the album's fifth song, "Another Door". The tune is satisfyingly wistful and and dreamy until the intensity delightfully increases for the guitar-driven outro.

Foothills will be released on November 3 via Flying Nun Records. See the Bandcamp link below for pre-orders.






Website
Facebook
Twitter
Bandcamp for "Single"
Bandcamp for Foothills

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

"My Candidacy" by Pom Poko

Energetic Norwegian pop punk band Pom Poko has announced new album Cheater, due November 6 via Bella Union. The announcement was accompanied by an offering of the single "My Candidacy". Despite the election season, the song actually is about the desire for unconditional love, and we are quite happy that it isn't about politics. The sound is classic Pom Poko: Like a firecracker loaded with sugar. Perfect stuff to cure your mid-week blahs.




Website
Facebook
Twitter
Various links to pre-order Cheater

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Studio Kind of Green featuring Locked Hands - Making Light


Studio Kind of Green is the recording name adopted by Carey Walton, the producer behind the label Kind of Green Records. The label had been based in Auckland, New Zealand, but Carey has relocated himself and the label to Linlithgow, Scotland. The move has provided the opportunity to work with Sean Ormsby, a favorite of ours who records as Locked Hands (among others) and helms Edinburgh's Errant Media label. For the recently released three-song EP Making Light, Carey created rhythms and tracks and sent them to Sean to add lyrics and vocals. Of course, further work and refinements transpired with the well-honed final product available for our listening pleasure. So dive in below, and note that if you act quickly the EP is available for a limited time as a free download.








Bandcamp for EP
Kind of Green Records
Twitter for Locked Hands

Friday, September 11, 2020

"Nightflight" by Kluster B


We didn't expect to have new music from Swedish experimental pop rock group Kluster B so soon after their recent album b (our feature here), but we are thrilled that they have surprised us with "Nightflight". The song encapsulates what we find so compelling about this band: A intrinsic sense of melody and an uncompromising dynamism.

Kluster B are Sebastian Hegedus (guitar), Adam Jonsson (guitar), Pontus Ornstrand (keys/synth/bass), Andreas Pollak (drums), and Linnea Hall (vocals). Their music is released via Rama Lama Records.



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Bandcamp for "Nightflight"
Various links for "Nightflight"

Monday, September 7, 2020

David Newton & Thee Mighty Angels - A Gateway to a Lifetime of Disappointment


We are asked what filled our stay-at-home airwaves this holiday weekend. If you must know, it was the sound of angels. Specifically David Newton & Thee Mighty Angels. Astute and well-informed readers (and I expect that includes most of you) might say "hey -- wasn't he guitarist and co-principal songwriter for The Mighty Lemon Drops"? And of course your memory is correct. We understand that David, a native of Britain, has been living in Southern California and, among other things, engineering and producing other people's album. In fact, he produced a favorite of ours from a decade ago, Somewhere On The Golden Ghost by The Henry Clay People.

But the subject here is his new album, A Gateway to a Lifetime of Disappointment. Despite the title, this is in no way a sad affair. David is a master of the happy, forward-pushing melody, and he lavishes his talents throughout the ten tracks of this album. It has pop, it has bounce, it has nostalgia. It also has humor, as evidenced by the title of the album -- a lyric taken from one of our favorite songs, "My First Band". Technically, this is a solo album, but David enjoyed the assistance of his angels, who are duly listed in the credits. A Gateway to a Lifetime of Disappointment truly is one of the late summer triumphs to hit our ears. Don't miss out.

The album is out now. Check it out on Bandcamp.








Website
Facebook
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Bandcamp for album
Soundcloud

Sunday, September 6, 2020

"I Love Only You" by Smokescreens

The subject of our previous post was the Fort Not single "Love Me Do". Staying with the romantic theme but with a bit more personal commitment, we present "I Love Only You" by Los Angeles band Smokescreens. Excellent guitar pop and, in our opinion, an excellent advertisement for the trio's upcoming album A Strange Dream. Another hint at the quality is that it was produced by David Kilgour (The Clean/David Kilgour and the Heavy Eights).

A Strange Dream will be released October 30 via Slumberland Records.






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Bandcamp for A Strange Dream
Various links to pre-order A Strange Dream