Friday, January 8, 2016

"Alabaster" by Emma Pollock

With her fellow owners of Glasgow's Chemikal Underground Records, the talented Emma Pollack made wonderful music as the The Delgados.  In the ten years following that band's last note, Emma has released solo work as well as participation in other musical projects.  I recently learned that she will be releasing a new solo album titled In Search of Harperfield at the end of this month.  Album track "Alabaster" now is available, and if it is representative of the album, I expect that it will be very, very good.  Enjoy a stream below.  As the label is not fond of bloggers, we may not be able to review the album here.  But good music is good music, and the label puts out good music.  I have provided a link for pre-orders below.

Chemikal Underground website
Order page for In Search of Harperfield

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Sea Pinks - Soft Days

On their new album, Soft Days, Belfast's Sea Pinks reveals themselves to be adept musical chemists.  Over 11 tracks they weave '80s post punk indie rock, C86 dream pop, '70s power pop, and a bit of California coastal jangle and surf into a very satisfying set of songs that manage to convey energy and excitement without any jagged edges.  The guitars are varied and confident, bass insistent and intriguing, and drums satisfyingly high in the mix.  Frontman Neil Brogan's vocals are his best work so far for this project.  The production is clear and unfussy.

Opener "(I Don't Feel Like) Giving In" kicks off with a dose of post-punk drone, but sunshine and bounce take over with the following "Ordinary Daze" and "Cold Reading".  After a more post punk offering with "Trend When You're Dead", "Green With Envy" -- and standouts "Depth of Field" and "Everything In Sight" -- deliver hazy dream pop.  If you were only to own one song on this album, I'd nominate "Yr Horoscope" (stream below), which is custom built for the speakers on your convertible as you head down the Pacific Coast Highway.  "Down Dog" is dark-jangling post punk with dark shading and big drums.  The wistful and optimistic "I Won't Let Go" and "Soft Days" end the album with jangling pop perfection.

The album title refers to the kind of soaking mist that one encounters in Belfast.  The choice seems apt, as the songs envelope the listener and soak into the brain's pleasure centers.  One listen and it seems like an old and honored friend.  I couldn't have picked a better record for my first review of a 2016 album

Sea Pinks is frontman Neil Brogan (Cruising and ex-Girls Names) on guitar and vocals, Steven Henry on bass and Davey Agnew on drums.  Soft Days is out tomorrow, January 8, via CF Records.

Bandcamp for Soft Days
CF Records

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

"Who Owns The Moon?" by Free Time

Apparently NYC/Melbourne band Free Time has been using their free time productively.  We have this smashing new tune "Who Owns The Moon?", and the promise of an album later this year.  The frontman is Dion Nania, who has moved from Melbourne to NYC, and his colleagues are members of Twerps, Totally Mild and Terrible Truths (all of whom featured here in 2015).

The album will be titled In Search of Free Time, and will be released by Bedroom Suck Records in Australia, New Zealand and Japan.  US label Underwater Peoples will handle the release elsewhere.

Bedroom Suck Records
Underwater Peoples

"Riverbed" and "Comeback" by Blood of the Bull

Music to which the talented Hillary Van Scoy can arrive under various names, as the Glasgow-based musician seems to be involved in multiple projects at any time (some are Seconds, Holy Motors and the late Aggie Doom).  One of them is Blood Of The Bull, which released the very tasty Bend Over EP via Soft Power Records in the spring of 2014 (our feature here).   Van Scoy has released two songs under that band name in the past few months, so we're hoping that a Blood Of The Bull record is in the works.  Meanwhile, enjoy the teasers.


Tuesday, January 5, 2016

"Runaway" by Bad Wave

In February we featured "Look Out" by a young American synth pop band named Bad Wave (link).  Consisting of Tucker Tota and Patrick Hart, the LA-based band displays impressive skill with hooky anthems with a feel both modern and a bit of the '80s synth pop and '90s alt rock.  Bad Wave contacted us this week to advise that they have hooked up with 10K Islands for their latest project: A new song every Friday!  Bad Wave's contribution is "Runaway", which you can experience as a stream or video below.  This band is the real deal, keep an eye and ear out for them.  And as you can see from the video, the lads are a real, um, hit with the ladies.

10k Islands

"Sword and Shield" / "Perfumed Boy" by Palms On Fire (free download)

Here is your introduction to Palms On Fire, an indie pop band from Izhevsk, which is located in Udmurt Republic in Russia.  On January 26 Shelflife Records will release the band's debut LP, Where Are The Grey Clouds Going?, as a digital download.  The label is taking the chance that if you own a couple of the pristine, sunshine-infused pop songs you will want more.  Are they correct?  I think they are.  So here are album tracks "Sword and Shield" and "Perfumed Boy" available to download for free.  Look at it as a late Christmas present for your ears.

Shelflife Records page for download
Bandcamp for release