Spinning the big world pop wheel to see who we will discover this weekend, we have four sets for you. And don't retire early, because the best may be the last set.
Ah, shoegaze -- Tiny Tide from Italy helped by Johnny Lee Hart from Leeds, UK, is the first stop. The name of the song is "Come Along Pond":
Come Along Pond by tinytide
If you like it, it is available as a free download:
Free Tiny Tide song on Soundcloud
The next spin of the wheel takes us to Baffin Island. No, not the actual island, but a group named after Baffin Island because it is the geographically equidistant from Glasgow, Scotland, where Melanie Whittle of the group Hermit Crabs resides, and Boise, Idaho, where Jeremy Jensen and Jake Hite of the group The Very Most reside. It is well done indie pop ear-candy. The bad news is that I wasn't able to embed anything for you. But the good news is that your effort at clicking the link below not only takes you to a page where you can listen to their 3-song release, you also can download a mini album for free.
Baffin Island on EardrumsPop
The wheel is spinning, it stops, and I...push it to the slot I want. I can do that, because it is my post. And what do we get out of such indulgence? Low-Fi garage rock -- Sonny and the Sunsets from San Francisco. This group is signed to Fat Possum. They have released one album, and their second, Hit After Hit comes out in April. "I Wanna do It" will be on the April release:
Sonny and the Sunsets on Myspace
Sonny and the Sunsets
I wish I could write that I'd been following the career of Finley Quaye for years, but discovering this terrific song was a bit more haphazard. When the weather was its usual inhospitable self last winter I searched the library system for non-Hollywood movies to watch while riding my road bike on a turbo trainer. One of the movies was a UK indie release set in Scotland called "Late Night Shopping" (by the way, a female lead in the movie, Kate Ashfield, also was in "Shaun of the Dead", and one of the characters in Shopping is named Shaun, so she is required to repeatedly say "Shaun" in yet another movie, and I think she is more talented than that; but I digress). While the soundtrack to the movie was good, the standout was the closing song, and here it is:
The son of jazz musician Cab Kaye and brother to one and half brother to another jazz musician, Quaye was born in Edinburgh but raised in England. His mother died of a heroin overdose when he was 10, and he didn't meet his father until he was an adult and his band's tour hit the same town as his father's band.
I think Quaye has a great voice, but doesn't always choose or write the best material. But when he gets it right, it is real right. He has had successful songs and albums in the UK.
Finley Quaye on Myspace
"Sunday Shining" is, for me, a rare kind of song that I hear and immediately put it on the "great" shelf, but "Dice" just kind of kicks me where I feel (and speaking of feeling, feel free to ignore the silly graphics on the video). "Dice" was composed with William Obit and Beth Orton.