Friday, August 26, 2016

Various Artists - Fuckin Ziggurat

I suppose people listen to music for many reasons, but fun and discovery of new sounds are high on my list.  And if those are good reasons for your listening habit, you can't go wrong with Fuckin' Ziggurat, a 17-song compilation of bands from the US, UK, France, Ireland, Australia and, I expect, other places as well.  We get pop, punk, country, electronic-experimental and several other styles of music, all from excellent artists.  Several bands, including No Monster Club (Ireland), Wanda Junes (Arizona), and Ginnels (also Ireland), have been on these pages before.  Others, such as The Orchestre Murphy and The Plain People of England are new to us.  But we welcome the old and the new, and the sheer diversity and quality of the music.

The digital version of the album is a steal at $5.  But for a mere $11 you can get a CD and a very cool booklet with information about the artists and a few comic strips.

Bandcamp for Fuckin Ziggurat
Emotional Response link for CD and booklet

Babaganouj - Hard To Be EP

Get your fresh, delicious Babaganouj right here.  No, we aren't talking about eggplant-based treats here (that is three blogs over to the right, next to the Hummus and Falafel).  We are talking about one of our favorite three-piece indie bands, Brisbane's Babganouj.  Chuck, Ruby and Harriette play great rock and roll.  They can dash off an acoustic number that will pluck your heartstrings with the best of them, but their sweet spot is up-tempo songs with rubbery bass and plenty of guitar noise.  They are on a fantastic run of EPs this year, and the latest -- Hard To Be -- is available now on their Bandcamp page.  Two quieter songs bookend three blasts of fun and energy, and they all are fantastic.  Check it out below.

Bandcamp for Hard To Be EP

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Various Artists - Continental Drift

Slumberland Records in Oakland and Fortuna POP! in the UK are two of the best indie labels in the world when it comes to guitar pop, and they have teamed up on releases a number of times.  But even by their historically high standards of performance, Continental Drift is a special one.  I'm supposed to be the wordsmith about music here, but I can't improve on the opening line from Mike at Slumberland: "Four great bands, two great labels and two continents meet on this stellar mini-LP".  There are eight songs here, with two from each band.  The US is represented by Philadelphia's Mercury Girls and Baltimore's Wildhoney, while the UK puts forward Edinburgh's The Spook School and London's Tigercats.  Is it a battle of the bands?  An intercontinental showdown?  Perhaps, but to me it just is a sampler of some of the best pop songwriting on today's indie landscape.  Fuzz, hooks, clever lyrics, dreamy shoegaze, pop-punk, pop and politics, and the palpable sheer joy of participating in music are in ample supply in these eight songs.  If you like guitar pop, this may be your best investment of the year.  Sample the goods below and then treat yourself.  You know that you deserve this one.

As an aside, sadly Fortuna POP! is closing its doors soon.  They will be sorely missed here at When You Motor Away.

Slumberland Records' pre-order page for Continental Drift
Fortuna POP!
Mercury Girls on Facebook
The Spook School on Facebook
Wildhoney on Facebook
Tigercats on Facebook

"I Don't Care" by Las Kellies

We love Argentina's Las Kellies.  We can assure you that their upcoming album Friends & Lovers is an impressive display of assured songwriting, shimmering guitars, sharp lyrics, beefy rhythms and confident energy.  There is a touch of New Wave under the fuzz, and a streak of Riot Grrrl.  I already have slated it among my top thirty albums of the year, and it hasn't even been released yet.  But enough taunting from me -- here is a taste of the goods.  By the way, the album will be released in October by Fire Records.

The Argentinian band consists of Silvina Kelly and Cecilia Kelly, and they will be joined by Manuela Ducatenzeiler for their upcoming tours.  And speaking of tours, European fans should review the dates and venues listed at the bottom of this post.

Las Kellies on Tumblr
Fire Records' Bandcamp for pre-order of Friends & Lovers
European Tour Dates
06 Nov: Moth Club, London, UK
07 Nov: The Hope, Brighton, UK
09 Nov: The Bassment, Chelmsford, UK (date change)
10 Nov: Night & Day, Manchester, UK
11 Nov: Arden Arms, Halifax, UK
14 Nov: Harley, Sheffield, UK
13 Nov: The Ferret, Preston, UK
15 Nov: Oporto, Leeds, UK
19 Nov: V11, Rotterdam, Netherlands
20 Nov: Oedipus Brewery, Amsterdam, Netherlands
24 Nov: ACU, Utrecht, Netherlands
26 Nov: 1000fryd, Aalborg, Denmark
01 Dec: Espace B, Paris, France
06 Dec: Rhiz, Vienna, Austria
13 Dec: Ubu, Perpignan, France
(More to be announced…)

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Lawrence of Arabia - Absolute Truth

New Zealand's James Milne, recording as Lawrence of Arabia, is a pop classicist of notable skill.  He builds his tracks of solid melodies, earworm hooks, grand bridges and inviting choruses.  His arsenal calls on his impressive vocal range, call and response vocals, strings and horns.  And it all comes together perfectly from start to finish on Absolute Truth, his fourth album overall and first for Flying Nun.  The album reflects a mature contentment adorned with wry observations and a sunny perspective.  The listener will be reminded of Harry Nilsson, Paul McCarthey, and even some Brill Building favorites, but that is a matter of style.  The songs on Absolute Truth feel current and relevant, and may well become a treasured part of your summer soundtrack.

Another Century from Lawrence Arabia on Vimeo.

Absolute Truth is out now on CD, vinyl and digital formats