Friday, August 11, 2017

The Stammer - Face In Peril

In real estate "good bones" make some old homes good homes to purchase.  In pop music, the same is true when the old standard of relationships gone bad is coupled with good songwriting and sincere, adept performances.  And by that measure Face In Peril, the new album from The Stammer, is a keeper.  The Philadelphia band starts with the spirit of Lou Reed's chugging guitar-oriented approach and adds in dashes of the type of American rock we've loved from bands as diverse as early Springsteen, Pela, and the Henry Clay People.  The result is both familiar and fresh.

Face In Peril races through the excellent first four tracks while the band sinks a big hook in the listener's brain, and then takes a breath for the affecting midtempo ballad "Eleven".  The uptempo rock parade relaunches with the jangle pop "Run Across The Bridge" and continues through the country-rock shaded "What Else Did You Come Around Here For?" and the Reed-meets-Springsteen musical celebration that is "Young Hearts".  The epic, slow burning title track bridges to "Slender", the jangling bittersweet closer.  This album is a terrific musical statement from a band that deserves a much higher profile.  Check it out below and at the Bandcamp link.

The Stammer are Brian Brotman (vocals/guitar/songwriting), Gavin Landesberg (bass), Zachary Zimmerman (drums), and Ted Quann (guitar/backing vocals).  Face In Peril is out today.

Bandcamp for Face In Peril

Thursday, August 10, 2017

"Short Dream" by Verandan

About six weeks ago we introduced you to the lovely synth/guitar pop sounds of Finland's Verandan (link to previous post).  The band is back this week with the shimmering melody and propulsive rhythms of "Short Dream".  It is the musical equivalent of walking into a room and having sparkling confetti tossed on you while you are handed a glass of champagne.  Trust me, I know -- I am accustomed to being greeted this way.

Verandan is the project of Ville Hopponen of WYMA favorites Cats On Fire and The New Tigers.  "Short Dream" will be released as a single on August 14 via Soliti Music, which also will release the upcoming EP from the band.

Soliti Music

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

"Alibi" by Lowtide

On the dreamy edge of shoegaze, "Alibi" is the latest single from Melbourne's Lowtide.  The song is about a dissolving relationship, but the instruments and vocals sparkle.  It has been one of the highlights of our day, and I think the Soundcloud electrons should be exhausted by now.  Your turn.  And UK fans should note that Lowtide is touring the UK in September.

Lowtide are Giles Simon, Lucy Buckeridge, Gabriel Lewis, and Anton Jakovljevic.  Alibi" is released via Rice Is Nice and Opposite Number.


No Monster Club 2017 encyclopedia project

We write about No Monster Club with some regularity here.  Why?  Because they entertain us with well crafted indie pop that enters from the wacky side of the stage.  The brainchild of Bobby Aherne, the Dublin-based band is in the midst of an interesting year-long project.  Every month they are releasing a single that was written and recorded in its entirety in the previous month.  The aim is to have an encyclopedia-like collection of singles by the end of 2017.  The August and July offerings are below.  Previous months can be found at No Monster Club's Bandcamp site.

Aherne is a prolific and versatile songwriter, and that alone should draw listeners to his recordings.  But the emphasis on having fun is the cherry on the Sunday.  The dude may be sad from time to time -- we all are -- but he never makes music to make us sad.  How does he do it?  A good attitude, of course.  And cheesy instruments and tropical-tinged arrangements don't hurt in the least.

Despite the world's problems, here is your chance to be happy.  Don't blow it like you did with your in-laws last Christmas.

Bobby Aherne's homepage

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Life On Venus - Encounters

Given the current state of world affairs, it may be that a large number of people are thinking more seriously about interstellar travel.  In fact, Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos seem to be counting on it as they pour millions into developing the means.  But there should be an avenue for those of us who don't even like to fly to at least pretend to get off the earth for a while.  Leave it to the Russians to save us -- no, really!  We present Moscow's Life On Venus.  Their new album is Encounters, and it delivers a brand of shoegaze that is bristling with power, packed with soaring melody, and a wide scope sound as big as the universe.  The more up-tempo songs have an epic scale, and the slower songs are perfect for dreaming on a summer day.  And you can stream the entire album below.  Welcome to space travel!

Life On Venus are Dima (guitar/vocals), Sergey (guitar), Marat (bass), Aline (vocals) and Gula (drums).   Encounters is out now in digital and CD formats (although the CDs are limited in number) via Shelflife Rcords.  See the link below.

Shelflife Records page for release

Monday, August 7, 2017

Caroline Says - 50,000,000 Elvis Fans Can't Be Wrong

After Alabama native Caroline Sallee finished college she worked as a waitress in Yellowstone, and then traveled around the western United States via Greyhound, writing songs as she went.  Armed with fresh material, Sallee returned to Alabama and recorded 50,000,000 Elvis Fans Can't Be Wrong in her parent's basement.  The album was offered under the name Caroline Says as a cassette only release.  Fortunately for Sallee, now a resident of Austin, and indie pop fans, Western Vinyl has released the album in vinyl, digital and CD formats.

When we first played the album, no one in the office was familiar with Caroline Says, and we made some assumptions about what we would hear based on Sallee's age, her Alabama roots and her Austin residence. We listened, and were stunned. Stunned and very, very impressed.  Sallee's range as a songwriter is breathtaking.  Stylistically, she is equally adept at dreampop, retro pop, psychedelic, ballads, jangle pop and even a touch of Latin influences.  Thematically, she has crafted a growing up album with a mature perspective and confident voice.  And then there is her voice -- lovely, clear and versatile.

50,000,000 Elvis Fans Can't Be Wrong is out now.  And Caroline Says likely can't count on 50,000,000 fans just yet, but we assure that however many fans she has (including us) can't be wrong.  Note that an album of new material is expected to arrive in 2018.

Bandcamp for 50,000,000 Elvis Fans Can't Be Wrong
Western Vinyl

"Sterling Silver" by Faith Healer

Jessica Jalbert, recording and performing as Faith Healer, released Cosmic, her well received debut album a couple of years ago.  The Edmonton musician is now prepared to offer her sophomore release, Try ;-).  You can test out the goods with album track "Sterling Silver", a dreamy, synthy soundscape that contrast nicely with the tauter sounds of the previously "Light of Loving"

Try ;-) will be released on September 8.  Pre-orders are available at the Bandcamp link below.

Bandcamp for Try ;-)

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Mermaidens - Perfect Body

Mermaids of legend are an aquatic creature that is half human and half fish, and foretell and provoke disaster, cause shipwrecks, and formulate storms.  The Mermaidens of Wellington, New Zealand appear to be fully human, but their ability to conjure unease and threats of undefined future calamity, as well as the light that puts the darkness in sharp perspective, should not be underestimated.  Formed in 2013 by Lilly West, Gussie Larkin and Abe Hollingsworth, their productive first four years have led to this week's Perfect Body, an eight track statement of post punk and gothic pop that delivers substance with the entertainment.  Reverbed guitars, cavernous bass and dynamic drumming combine with evocative songwriting to provide a multifaceted gem. Brutality, abrasiveness intertwine with melodic, sparkling performances and dreamy soundscapes.  Density contrasts with space, joy with pain.

If you want the perfect music for a sunny day at the beach, this isn't it.  But the beach is overrated.  This music is wonderfully entertaining and fulfilling, and heralds a new stage of growth for a talented trio.

Perfect Body is out now via Flying Nun Records.

Bandcamp for Perfect Body
Flying Nun Records