Saturday, November 11, 2017

"The Day I Die" by Island

A slinky rhythmic intro to a gritty, soulful vocal.   Indeed, this is the way to end the day.  The song is "The Day I Die", and it is excellent.  While allegedly no man is an island, apparently Londoners Rollo Doherty, Jack Raeder, James Wolfe and Toby Richards are Island.  The song is from the band's debut album Feels Like Air, which will be released via Frenchkiss Records on April 6, 2018.  We're going to look forward to that one, and we suggest you do so as well.

Links to pre-order Feels Like Air

Friday, November 10, 2017

The Zephyr Bones - Secret Place

Secret Place is a special place, a place where melodic, upbeat psychedelia and warm, intimate lyricism meet.  According to the lyrics, those places could include various planets and the surface of the sun, but there is nothing wrong with some imaginary traveling supported by a killer soundtrack.  With elements of dreampop and psychedelia -- the band calls it "beach wave", the ten tracks on the album present a hazy celebration of the inner space of both the performers and the listeners.  It is sweet, sunny and playful, all qualities which pop music should have more of.

The Zephyr Bones are Brian Silva (guitar/vocals), Jossip Tkalcic (guitar/vocals/synth), Marc Lopez (drums), and Carlos Ramos.  The band is based in Barcelona, which is the hometown of Marc and Carlos (bass).  Brian and Jossip originally are from Chile.  Secret Place is out now in CD, vinyl and digital formats via La Castanya.

Bandcamp for Secret Place

Thursday, November 9, 2017

"Swim Deep" by Steve Buscemi's Dreamy Eyes

As casual fans of film and television, we spend very little time thinking about Steve Buscemi's admittedly dreamy eyes.  However, as indie music fans we are very excited about Steve Buscemi's Dreamy Eyes.  The Stockholm quartet will be releasing an EP titled Four Waters on November 24, but have provided a taste of the goods via closing track "Swim Deep".  Shimmering, propulsive and richly layered, it suggests very good things for this band.

The members of Steve Buscemi's Dreamy Eyes are Tilde Hansen, Siri Sjoberg, Elias Mahfoud, and Edvin Srleskar.  Four Waters will be available via the usual digital outlets, and as a limited vinyl release via Rama Lama Records.

Rama Lama Records

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Last Leaves - Other Towns Than Ours

One of the first impressions a listener may have upon listening to Other Towns Than Ours is how confident the band sounds on their first LP.  And of course, the listener is correct, although the amazement may be tempered a bit upon learning that Last Leaves includes three members of the long-running and beloved Lucksmiths.  The three are long-time songwriter and guitarist Marty Donald, who also is lead vocalist for this band, guitarist Louis Richter, and bassist Mark Monnone.  The non-Luckie is drummer Noah Symons of Great Earthquake.

Even with three members of the former group, Last Leaves isn't just a continuation project, but rather a new take on the members' guitar pop vision.  There is plenty of melody, but this band also embraces their guitars' fuzz and rumble as much as the jangle.  Take for example, the grit and swagger in "Love and the World Well Lost" and "The World We Had".  There is a bit of The Posies or Teenage Fanclub here, and you'll never hear us complain about that.  Donald's songs are superbly drawn, with a look back on relationships as well as some peeks forward to the future, resulting in a lyrical atmosphere that is both sentimental and hopeful.  This is great stuff for the folks down under anticipating summer, and for those of us up north trying to hang on to the last vestiges of ours.

Other Towns Than Ours is out now via Matinee Recordings in North America and Lost and Lonesome Recording Company in Australia.

Matinee Recordings page for album
The Lost and Lonesome Recording Company Bandcamp page for album

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

The Deportees - The Birth of Industry

Crafted with care and performed with passion, The Birth of Industry is the triumphant culmination of three years of inspiration and hard work by Aberdeen's The Deportees.  The album reflects intelligent songwriting and dynamic arrangements, combining elements of Celtic roots, folk, Americana, and indie rock.  The songs whisper then soar grandly into exploding soundscapes while the Scots-inflected vocals infuse the tracks with drama.  While the five-piece can give a song space when needed, allowing a solo piano riff to carry the line, their inclination is to layer instruments into the song until is resembles a well-appointed musical Christmas tree.  Of course, in the wrong hands that could be a hot mess, but The Deportees are a well-oiled machine and you can't find a note out of place.  And it must be said that the lads aren't shy about noise -- this album rocks more often than it whispers.  The Birth of Industry is a fine autumnal gem, and a welcome counterbalance to most of what one finds these days.

The Deportees are Duncan Dallas, Adam Keenan, Adam Morrice, Diarmaid O'Gallagher, and Ricky Osborne.

Bandcamp for The Birth of Industry

Monday, November 6, 2017

"Tell" by The Ocean Party

We are so much more than international music people here at WYMA.  We also are keenly interested in science.  And pursuing this interest, we recently asked our science department to run a saturation test to determine the saturation point for music for certain bands.  Our hypothesis was that the saturation point is a function not only of quantity of music and lapse of time, but also of the quality of music.  We are happy to report that our hypothesis was proved over the course of exhaustive testing.  To give you just a taste of the results, the Guns and Roses saturation point was 45.  No, not 45 songs, 45 seconds.  And we had left the room to get a beer for most of that time.  Early Rolling Stones doesn't hit saturation until two albums have run; later Stones saturate the listener more rapidly.

However, at the other end of the spectrum is Melbourne's The Ocean Party.  Considering the relatively short period of time (in terms of music production) of calendar year 2017, the prolific band has released a collection of B-side type material (our feature here), a tour tape (our feature here), the massively impressive LP Beauty Point (our feature here), and soon the Guilt EP.  This material was played to our test subjects in addition to other projects involving band members, such as Ciggie Witch, and attending The Ocean Party's show earlier in the year.  And despite all of that music, not one of our test subjects hit saturation point for The Ocean Party.  In fact, they all begged to hear the upcoming  EP.  Of course we didn't allow them to do that, because "upcoming" has to mean something, and even we have ethics (unless procurement of beer is involved).  But we can share with you one of the six EP tracks, "Tell".  The song underscores the band's ability to provide introspective lyrical content in a universally relatable manner and wrap it up in a glistening pop song.

Guilty will be out in early December via Spunk Records.

Spunk Records' shop

A Certain Smile - Fits & Starts

A Certain Smile distills their influences with perfection.  Presumably devouring the catalogs of Sarah, Creation, Heavenly, Slumberland and the various noise pop and dream pop bands that make us sigh and smile that certain smile, the Philadelphia-to-Portland band has released Fits & Starts, a nine-track dissertation of their genre that deserves a much, much wider audience than it appears to have garnered so far.  From start to finish, the album displays a knack for melody, driven by a twin guitar attack that soars, jangles and dances with authority, and super sweet hooks.  The sound is confident, and the arrangements robust, but detailed.  Fans of Aberdeen, Rocketship, and The Clientele will find this release especially welcome, but it should be a delight to all.

A Certain Smile consists of Thomas (vocals/guitar), Casey (bass), Zach (guitars/keys), and Ian (drums).  Additional performances provided by Ryan, Lisle, and Kitt.

Bandcamp for Fits & Starts

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Allah-Las - Covers #1

We have been dedicated fans of Los Angeles' Allah-Las for several years.  In fact, our first post about them appears to have been in 2011.  While we always are thrilled to be able to bring you new music from the band, their distinctive sound is welcome on treatments of other artists' work, as well as their own compositions.  While working on their next full length, Allah-Las have recorded Covers #1, a 10" consisting of songs by George Harrison ("Fish On Sand"), Television ("Hard On Love"), Further ("JO. Eleven"), and Kathy Heideman ("The Earth Won't Hold Me").  The record is available via Mexican Summer in a high quality vinyl package and as a digital download.  In choosing a format, note that the cover of Further's "J.O. Eleven" is only available on the vinyl version.

Allah-Las are Miles Michaud (vocals/rhythm guitar), Matthew Correia (drum/vocals), Pedrum Siadatian (lead guitar/vocals), and Spencer Dunham (bass/vocals).

Bandcamp for Covers #1
Spotify link for Covers #1
Mexican Summer order page