Thursday, March 3, 2016

"Walk In The Park" by Still Parade

Still Parade, the moniker of Berlin's Niklas Kramer, is about to have a big year.  His debut LP will be released in June, and is hotly anticipated in the wake of his Fields EP.  His profile will increase soon with an appearance at SXSW.  The nostalgic "Walk In The Park" gives you a taste of the talent and justifies the fuss.




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"Pride" by Froyo

Time for the end of the day pick-me-up.  Electropop/synth pop painted in bright, neon colors by Sydney trio Froyo, otherwise known as Michael, Tom and Allyson.  "Pride" has a big beating heart and begs you to get your feet moving.  I played it and the sun came out -- true story!



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Coastgaard - Devil On The Balcony

Brooklyn's Coastgaard has brews an appealing alchemy on Devil On The Balcony.  There is a bit of surf pop and plenty of the dreamy side of indie guitar pop.  There are some neighborly similarities with early shins melodies, but with more emphasis on harmonies on the vocals.  There are strands of Beach Boys homage without outright replication.  Shimmering guitars are punctuated with hooks and sincere vocals.  The songs are fully fleshed out, but a sense of space remains.  The overall vibe is bright and sunny, with just enough hints of melancholy to avoid a sweetness overdose.

Generally, the upbeat songs work best to my ears, but overall this album ticks a lot of boxes for indie pop lovers and is perfect for a sunny afternoon.






Devil On The Balcony is out now via eOne Music.  It is available in digital, CD and vinyl formats.

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Wednesday, March 2, 2016

"Wake Up (111th Dream)" by Magic Bronson

To close out the day, here is a very tasty earworm from Magic Bronson.  The LA duo is Michael Nicastro and Matthew Lieberman.  At one point they were signed to a label, but now they are just free wheeling indie pop stars.  "Wake Up (111th Dream)" is the lead track from their five-song EP, which is due on April 8.  Can you play it just once and walk away from it?  I certainly cannot.



Magic Bronson previously release "Run Run", which also is from the EP.



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Witching Waves - Crystal Cafe


For Crystal Cafe, the second outing from London's Witching Waves, the trio changes skins from noise pop fuzzy to rocker leather.  There still is plenty of melody, but with a more straightforward and aggressive sound.  If your ears get the impression that the Shop Assistants are channeling Sonic Youth, you have good ears.  You probably also have happy ears.

Every note sounds like it is played with intent and confidence, an 11 track exploration of timeless rock expressions.  Thus you have the in-your-face assault of "Twister", "Pitiless" and the magnificent "Red Light", the saucy garage rock "Make It Up", punk rock such as "The Threat", the fuzzy "Receiver", and the menacing mid-tempo closer "Flowers".  And for a change of pace there are the ambient instrumental interludes "Red Light Loop", "Anemone" and "Inoa".  Showcasing the group's power and breadth, Crystal Cafe should earn Witching Waves new fans on both sides of the Atlantic.

Witching Waves are Emma Wigham, Mark Jasper and Ed Shellard.  Crystal Cafe is released in the United States by HHBTM Records.  In the UK, Soft Power Records (Scotland) is offering limited edition vinyl with a digital download included.








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Monday, February 29, 2016

Kane Strang - Blue Cheese

Kane Strang's Blue Cheese is not a new album to us at WYMA.  We featured it last year when it was released in the artist's native New Zealand.  But despite the high cost of digital ink, and our dire financial straits due to the failure to get off our asses and engage in any activity -- such as advertising for dating sites (and some of you might benefit from that, if you know what I mean) -- that would result in the site making money, we are happy to showcase it again now that it is getting a proper release (with two additional songs) in the US via Ba Da Bing.

Strang is a Dunedin, New Zealand product, and the initial impression of his music matches expectations of the sort of guitar pop associated with Dunedin that has thrilled indie fans for decades.  But Strang's arrangements are more expansive, with increased dynamic range and adept use of synthesizers.  He layers the guitars and synths to create a full sound that encompasses the listener like a warm, melodic breeze.  In ticking the genre boxes dream pop and psychedelia have to be considered.  Vocally, Strang's baritone has an breezy, expressive, no-strain quality that makes the songs accessible and familiar.

The lasting impression is of consistent and high quality songs with bright melodies.  We think it is the sound of Spring, and we recommend it.





In addition to Kane, the credits list Ben, Pete, and Rass.  Strang will tour the US this year in support of the release of Blue Cheese.

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