Wednesday, October 17, 2018

"Hold On Kid"/"Pissing Blood" by Shogun And The Sheets

Yes, life has disappointments, and one of ours is the demise of Sydney's Royal Headache, a band whose brand of garage and soul never failed to pull us in.  However, there is no need to dwell on what can't be fixed, because today brings us the debut single from Shogun And The Sheets, the new project from Royal Headache's frontman.  Consisting of two songs, the rocking "Hold On Kid" and the slow-burning garage soul "Pissing Blood", it provides the Shogun fix we have been aching for.

Shogun And The Sheets are Shogun (vocals), Gabby (keys), Seb (guitar), Abe (bass), and Derro (drums).  The debut single is released in vinyl and digital formats via What's Your Rupture -- see the Bandcamp link below or your favorite digital outlet.



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Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Bitumen - Discipline Reaction

A good life requires balance, so after beginning the day with some dreamy jangle pop, we bring you some excellent music in a different vein.  Discipline Reaction is a substantial work of post punk industrial rock -- loud, confident, aggressive, and very, very sharply written and performed.  The album is the work of Melbourne four-piece Bitumen, who last graced these pages about 18-months ago for their cassette split single with No Sister (link).  While that earlier work gave us a taste of the band's talent, we are nevertheless blown away by the nine tracks here.  The songs are the complete package, not only superbly performed metal-tinged post punk, but sharply written nuggets of dark, sinister rock.  This is completely captivating stuff, and we recommend you give it a listen.

Bitumen are Kate, Sam, Bryce, and Simon.  Discipline Reaction is out now in digital and vinyl formats via Melbourne label Vacant Valley.






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Bandcamp for Discipline Reaction (digital)

Kaveh Kanes - Loanwords

Even understanding that most of you have not reviewed the Articles of Incorporation for this blog, regular readers will not be surprised to know that one of our stated purposes is to celebrate jangle pop.  Quite simply, it is one of our things, and we are willing to go far and wide to find it.  So here we are with Loanwords, the new album from Indonesia's Kaveh Kanes.  This is the band's second album, but happily brings no stylistic changes to their seemingly effortless guitar pop.  The atmosphere is dreamy, and the melodies shimmer and soar while the guitars jangle and chime.  These songs fit well in the sunshine on the beach, or a late night drive with the windows open and the stars shining.  If you are facing a tough week at work, this album could be your medicine.  And even if your week will be easy, don't you deserve a treat?

Kaveh Kanes are Asad, Mumu, Zaim, and Hafid.  Loanwords is out now in digital and CD formats via Jigsaw Records.





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Monday, October 15, 2018

"You Want Me?" by Martin Frawley

We loved every recording we received from Melbourne's Twerps, but to our knowledge the band hasn't been active for a while.  But a songwriter and performer as talented as main Twerp Martin Frawley can't remain inactive for long.  Today brought the welcome news that Martin has signed with Merge Records, and he and Merge have celebrated by releasing new single "You Want Me?"

Eschewing the jangle of past recordings for a bass driven tune with piano accents, the song is a heart on the sleeve statement of lost love that strikes us as the perfect introduction to the next stage of Frawley's career.  Enjoy the single below, and expect a new album from Frawley and Stewart Bronaugh in the coming months.






Bandcamp for single

Friday, October 12, 2018

Rex Wonderful & The Silk Sheets - Ego Death

We remain head over heels in love with Lightning Ears, the Wireheads album released by Brisbane's Tenth Court a year ago (our review here).  So we were happy to listen to an new Tenth Court release by another Adelaide band, Rex Wonderful & The Silk Sheets.  We cued up the music for Ego Death and, to our delight, noticed a lot of similarities with Wireheads.  A bit of research before we lost or senses to happy hour revealed a strong DNA connection between RW&TSS and Wireheads.  Specifically, both projects feature Dom Trimboli, Liam Kenny and Alex Gordon-Smith of Wireheads, as well as Elena Nees and Dana Ashford.  Legend has it that the band was formed at a drunken brunch, giving Wireheads and Dom & the Wizards and baby sister to play with.  I don't know if the legend is true, but the smashing opening track is titled "Mimosas", so we wouldn't dismiss it.  The music features stellar and varied guitars, the most delectable dirty grooves you could ask for and a rhythmic talk sing vocals.  It all makes you want to get up and start walking, very possible to your favorite purveyor of mimosas.

The weekend is here, and it brings Ego Death and mimosas!  We are very happy.







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Tenth Court website

Thursday, October 11, 2018

The Persian Leaps - Pop That Goes Crunch

Drew Frosberg, frontman of St. Paul power pop masters The Persian Leaps and label czar of Land Ski Records, couldn't have chosen a better name for the band's compilation than Pop That Goes Crunch.  To be fair, he borrowed the name (with permission) from a radio show, but it really is the perfect title for a compilation of songs that reveals The Persian Leaps to be one of the best underrated power pop band in the United States.  The guitars do everything you would expect -- jangle, ring, buzz, chime, and of course, crunch -- and do it very well.  But what comes through even more clearly is just how good the songs are.  This is pop craftsmanship to celebrate.  In our view, many retrospective collections are enjoyable because they remind you of the good albums, and you accept a few songs that you suspect are makeweight.  However, with Pop That Goes Crunch something very different happens for us.  This album points out to us that a band who thrilled us with each EP was actually, when its production is viewed in its entirety, was an even better band than we thought.  Ten dollars for 18 songs -- it would be a bargain at twice the price.

In addition to Drew Frosberg, the band members for various songs on the album are B.J. Bonin, Adam Brunner, Brad Hendrickson, Michael McCloskey, and Neil McCloskey.










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Wednesday, October 10, 2018

"Victoria Park" by Red Telephone

Here is a tip for you -- excellent little Welsh label Libertino offers a Ghost Disco singles club, and through it you can get the wonderful "Victoria Park" by Cardiff trio Red Telephone.  It is a delicious dose of '60s-flavored psychedelic pop.



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Tuesday, October 9, 2018

"Cassandra" by Cool Sounds

We are eagerly anticipating the October 26 release of Cactus Country by Cool Sounds.  Following on the band's previous release of the title track, we now have "Cassandra" to fuel our dreams while awaiting the full album.  This is finely crafted and immensely satisfying pop, my friends.  Enjoy!


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Osborne Again Music page to order Cactus Country

"Painted Horses" by Ichabod Wolf

We are beginning our day on a softer note, with an affecting song about grief, and a few other things, by UK singer songwriter Ichabod Wolf.  The song is taken from his upcoming album, Carry On, Crow, which will be released at the end of the month.  "Painted Horses" is out today on digital platforms via The Adult Teeth Recording Company.


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Monday, October 8, 2018

Bad Sav - bad sav

In our defense, we know a lot about a lot of things.  But we freely admit that we have no idea what "bad sav" means, or even what "sav" means.  However, if this band and their self titled album is Bad Sav, we don't want good sav.  We'll just stay with the Bad Sav, thank you very much.

All the players as known to us and our regular readers -- Death and The Maiden's Hope Robertson (vocals/guitar) and Lucinda King (vocals/bass) with Shifting Sands' guitarist and frontman Mike McLeod on drums.  Moreover, we have learned that this project proceeded Death and The Maiden and Shifting Sands, so maybe Bad Sav is the big bad daddy of the trio, or the mommy, we don't want to be patriarchal.  But you can ignore what you know about their other projects because Bad Sav is guitar rock, and guitar rock of great quality.  The ten tracks of bad sav bring noise, majestic noise, while still providing haunting vocals and dynamic arrangements.  This is music that is dense and melancholy, but also varied and richly detailed.  The pace can be stately, but the atmosphere is anything other than laid back.  In physical form, these songs would be too hot to touch.  Cue up the first track and get lost in the aural storm.  At the end of the final track, press play to start again.  Look at it as a new lifestyle.

bad sav is out now in digital, vinyl and CD formats via Fishrider Records in New Zealand and Australia and Occultation in UK and Europe.




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Bandcamp for album (Occultation)


Hater - Siesta

Malmö, Sweden's Hater conjures a unique brand of indie pop, with the scrappy energy of C86, the charm of twee, and the crystalline shimmer of Scandinavian dream pop.  The band is unafraid of showing vulnerability and focusing on bittersweet moments, but they wrap it up in some of the best-sounding guitar pop on the scene today.  The spot-on pop sensibilities on display in their new album, Siesta, may remind the listener of Canada's Alvvays, but we find a bit more depth and nuance with Hater.  And we must admit the the tone and delivery of ace vocalist Caroline Landahl reminds us of one of our long-time Swedish favorites, The Concretes.  The arrangements here are layered and varied, and allow the band to coo or rock-out as they wish.  Several of the songs will impress and indie pop fan from the first listen, but the real treat comes with letting the whole album seep into your consciousness and time-release pleasure over a long period.  Siesta is a "keeper" album, and Hater is here to stay.

In addition to Caroline Landahl, Hater are Måns Leonartsson, Adam Agace and Lukas Thomasson.  Siesta is out now in vinyl, CD and digital formats via Fire Records.







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Saturday, October 6, 2018

Peel Dream Magazine - Modern Meta Physic

Modern Meta Physic is the work of New York City multi-instrumentalist Joe Stevens recording as Peel Dream Magazine.  In a world of formalistic pop genres, this album is a breath of fresh air.  Its thirteen tracks deliberately reach back to times when being an underground band, unrestrained by convention, the demands of labels, or the search for online streams meant something.  The music is lo-fi, fuzz drenched and experimental.  But the songs are good, and celebrate influences as varied as the Velvet Underground, French pop, Stereolab, The Clientele, and twee pop.  Thematically is is a bit tongue in cheek and a bit nostalgic, with ample doses of whimsy and humor.  It may seem audacious for Stevens to use the name of the great indie tastemaker John Peel in the title of his project, but the sensibility is directly on-target, and I suspect that if Peel were still around, he'd set up a few sessions to promote the band.  Of course, that cannot happen.  But you can stream some delights below, and then go to the Bandcamp link and have your own, personal session to keep.

Modern Meta Physic is out now via Slumberland Records.






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Thursday, October 4, 2018

The Pollies - Transmissions

A search will inform you that The Pollies reside in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, and Nashville, Tennessee.  At one point their sound was more evocative of the latter location, but The Pollies of 2018 will strike more listeners as a Muscle Shoals band.  In fact, if you are willing to consider our humble opinion, The Pollies may be the Muscle Shoals band of today -- layers of chiming guitars, super-charged melodies, and deep organic soul infusing every performance.  That isn't to say that there isn't a strain of power pop in Transmissions, their newly-released album, as well, but it seems to us that Muscle Shoals has always been an amalgamation of many of the best elements of American rock music.  This one simply resides more on the rock side of the spectrum.

Following the release of Not Here three years ago, Transmissions finds songwriter Jay Burgess revealing his thoughts about the love and the associated highs and lows that love brings.  He paints on a broad rock tapestry that packs more juicy earworms than your favorite Britpop stars, driven by an melodic and rhythmic platform bristling with energy.  The band then embellishes its creations with experimental sonic details, adding a distinctive flavor to the proceedings.  The album is a succession of highlight tracks from start to finish, so to avoid making ourselves crazy choosing favorite tracks, we simply provide the first three songs of the album below.  It is a rare album that can be showcased in that fashion, but Transmissions is such a rare album.  For our part, this album will be on replay for a long time, and we expect you will read about it again on our year-end list of favorite albums.

The Pollies are Jay Burgess (guitars/vocals), Spencer Duncan (bass/vocals), Jon Davis (drums/percussion), and Clint Chandler (keys).  Additional contributions were by Cody Gasser, Anson Hohne, Miles Jordan, Toby Hartleroad, Max Hartleroad, John Paul White, Amber Murray, Jon Davis, and Rob Aldridge.  Transmissions is out now via This Is American Music.








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Saturday, September 29, 2018

Yumi Zouma - EP III


EP III is such an unassuming title for a four track release that music fans unfamiliar with New Zealand band Yumi Zouma might be tempted to pass it up for gaudier material.  May we suggest that such a choice is ill-advised?  No, we insist that it would be a very bad idea.  Yumi Zouma is one of the finest synth pop bands working today, and EP III is the concluding record, and perhaps the finest, in their EP trilogy.  For us, Yumi Zouma's songs, crafted long distance by band members now residing on three continents, evoke dreamy Saturday afternoons and speeding through neon-lit streets late on Saturday night.  And they fit into our lives like they were always meant to be here.

EP III is out now as a digital release via Cascine.  A 10" vinyl version is to be available in November. Yumi Zouma will be playing dates in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles this fall.





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Sunday, September 23, 2018

"Rockin' to the Beat" by The Perfect English Weather

Today's word is "perfect", because we have the perfect single for that time of year between summer and fall.  You know, the time when there is a perfect summery sheen to an early fall day, or a perfect fallish crispness to a sunny fall day.  The single is "Rockin' to the Beat" by the aptly-named The Perfect English Weather.  The duo of Simon and Wendy Pickles (also of The Popguns) have a new album coming out soon, but they, and Matinee Recordings, decided to provide an advance single to help your seasonal transition.  The record consists of "Rockin' to the Beat" and a fine mix of that song by Equinox.  Available now on digital platforms.




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Friday, September 21, 2018

Action Painting! - Trial Cuts (1989-95)


Emotional Response Records is doing heroic work giving new exposure to artists from the catalog of the defunct, much-loved Sarah Records.  Among the most welcome is the work of Action Painting!.  Welcome not just because of the quality, although the quality is undeniable, but because over the course of six years prior to disbanding, the band did not record a full length.  However, they did release four singles with Sarah and one single with Damaged Goods.  That previously released material, plus unreleased material carefully curated by the band, now comprises Trial Cuts.

The listener doesn't need to dive too deeply into this collection to discover that Action Painting! wasn't a prototypical Sarah Records band.  Yes, they jangled, strummed and crafted hooks.  But their sound also could be loud, fuzzy and aggressive.  Just compare "These Things Happen", below, with the following "Collapsing Cloud" and the demo for "Sailor Beware".  This was, indeed, a versatile band that could produce sighs from the twee crowd but stand shoulder to shoulder with The Wolfhounds and 14 Iced Bears.  So lend Trial Cuts your ears, and it will pleasure them from several directions.  And note that Action Painting! has reformed and is writing new material.  Let this compilation be your prologue to their next chapter.

Trial Cuts is available now in vinyl, CD and digital formats (See the Bandcamp link).









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~

Thursday, September 20, 2018

The Chills - Snow Bound


Martin Phillipps, the mainstay of long-running guitar pop band The Chills, has few peers when it comes to decorating his musical compositions.  These are songs adorned with sharp hooks, incisive and concise lyrics, and inviting choruses.  Imagine the most beautiful Christmas tree you have ever seen -- bright, shiny and promising continuing joy -- Martin's songs are like that.  The latest set of gems arrived late last week in the form of Snow Bound, and it reveals Martin and his bandmates to be at the top of their game.  The themes reflect the age and life experiences of the songwriter, as well as current events, and as always, observations, whether sentimental, hopeful or trenchant, are wrapped in solid melodies.  Phillipps seems comfortable in his own skin, but not so comfortable that he can't take hard looks at politics ("In Harmony") and love ("Time to Atone").  "Scarred" and "Complex" demonstrate that this band can rock out like champs when the material demands, but songs like "Deep Belief" and "In Harmony" show their mastery on the more nuanced side of the coin.  We highly recommend this album for fans of The Chills, guitar pop, or just good music.

Our favorite songs at this point: "Bad Sugar", "The Greatest Guide", "Scarred", "Deep Belief", and "Snow Bound".

Snow Bound is out now in vinyl, digital and CD formats via Fire Records.








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Wednesday, September 19, 2018

"Sing to Me Candy" and "Laughing Man" by Papercuts


On October 19 Papercuts will be releasing a new album titled Parallel Universe Blues via Slumberland Records.  While you have to wait a month to get your hands on it, we can give you two songs to whet your appetite.  Papercuts is Californian Jason Quever and whomever he add to the mix for a specific recording.  Expect melody melody, hooks, jangle, and a bit of 'Galaxie 500 plays Jesus and Mary Chain'.  Oh, and expect it to be good.





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Tuesday, September 18, 2018

"Pharmacy Girl" by Drew Beskin

Late last month we shared two songs from the upcoming album by Athens singer-songwriter Drew Beskin (link).  Today, we bring you a third track, the stunning "Pharmacy Girl".  Featuring retro chord progressions and an inspired dose of sleigh bells (yes, sleigh bells), it should provide the third leg of your conclusion that this will be one of our favorite albums this year.

Nostalgia Porn will be out October 19 via Laser Brains Records.


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"Bubble Sword" by Hairband

It has been our impression for quite a while that the musical talent in Glasgow in inexhaustible, but just in case our conviction on the subject wavered, we have yet another data point in support.  Here, for your listening pleasure, is "Bubble Sword" by Hairband.  A five-piece consisting of Rowan Wright, Sephi Lock, Emma Smith, Rachel Taylor, and Simone Wilson, the project brings together five songwriters with experience in other top bands such as Spinning Coin, Breakfast Muff, Lush Purr, and Kaputt.  They features three guitars, as well as bass and drums, producing a sound that is full and confident, but loose-jointed and carefree.  We think this group will go as far as they want to.

Hairband's self-titled debut will be out October 19 via Monorail Music.



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Sunday, September 16, 2018

The Hannah Barberas - Go Go Hannah Barberas

This week the lovely quartet known as The Hannah Barberas are releasing their new three track record Go Go Hannah Barberas.  If you act now, you may be able to get it free, which is something even our readers can afford.  The record is the second from the band since the middle of the summer, and showcases their ability to create infectious tunes.

The Hannah Barberas are Damien, Lucy, Doug and Matthew.



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Friday, September 14, 2018

The Sunbathers - A Weekend Away With ...

Paul and Julie live in the English midlands, not particularly close to the sea.  But from the name of their band to the themes, sun-kissed vibes, and field sounds (or beach sounds?) in their songs, they seem to be living in a hut at the edge of the dunes.  So we present to you, The Sunbathers, duo who will help you hold on to a bit more of summer as the leaves start to turn.  The band previously released shorter recordings with Dufflecoat and Cloudberry, but we now have their new full length album, A Weekend Away With ... .  Characterized by gentle acoustic strumming, soothing melodies and Julie's sweet voice, and boasting a generous 15 tracks, it is the perfect accompaniment for your weekend--this weekend or any other for that matter. 

A Weekend Away With ... is out now in digital and CD formats with Jigsaw Records.  See the Bandcamp link at the bottom of this post.





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"Seems" by Johnny Kills

Well, dammit, someone needs to save Friday and it might as well be Johnny Kills.  The trio is one of our favorite current purveyors of exuberant garage rock.  Their contribution to Friday's salvation is via "Seems", the new single for Killing Moon Records.  Addressing the conflict presented when you receive good and bad news simultaneously (like us being happy its Friday at the same time we review the things we need to accomplish before we leave the office today), it is sure to supercharge your day.

"Seems" is available at all the usual digital outlets.  And say thank you to Tim Lloyd-Kinnings, Cameron Gipp, and Lewis Lloyd-Kinnings, aka Johnny Kills.



And because it is Friday, you may need the band's previous 2018 single, "Who's Counting?" --



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Thursday, September 13, 2018

The Goon Sax - We're Not Talking

Now at the end of their teens, Louis Forster (vocals/guitar/bass/keys), James Harrison (guitar/bass/keys/vocals), and Riley Jones (vocals/percussion) have label deals in Australia and the UK, a second LP dropping this week, and another international tour.  If that seems like a bumper crop of good fortune for the Australian trio known as The Goon Sax, we would like to opine that they have earned every bit of it via their own talent and hard work.  Their first album displayed an innate feel for DIY guitar pop, but also revealed their talent for sharing the reality of the teenage moment with an awkward charm.  A few years later, their renditions of life have broadened to reflect additional experiences and more nuanced perspectives, while still retaining a touch of vulnerability and wonder.

In addition to broadened emotional range, the growth of The Goon Sax can be attributed to the fact that all three members have emerged as songwriters and vocalists, adding both depth of perspective and variety in delivery.  And, coupled with upbeat arrangements, their mix of bittersweet reflection, clear-eyed evaluation, warmth, self-depreciation, and sincerity make this band so special.  They manage to seem both older than their chronological ages and younger than their current and incipient reputations would suggest, but none of that is an act.  They are real, direct, and emerging as a very fine indie pop band.

In addition to the three members of The Goon Sax, players on the album were Lizzie Welsh (violin), Biddy Connor (viola), and Madison Foley (trumpet).  We're Not Talking is out September 14 in digital, CD and vinyl formats via Chapter Music in Australia and New Zealand and Wichita Recordings in the rest of the world.








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"In Her Kingdom" and "Poison" by David Nance Group

We began the day with a need to be moved by a piece of music, and found our inspiration in the epic seven plus minutes of "In Her Kingdom" by David Nance Group.  Taken from the upcoming Peaced and Slightly Pulverized LP, out October 5 via Trouble In Mind Records, the song is a slow-building exploration of self-delusion.



And here is the earlier-released album opener, "Poison" --



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Wednesday, September 12, 2018

"Helios Heliadae" by Tears Run Rings

"Helios Heliadae" is our first glimpse of the October 19 Somewhere EP by Tears Run Rings, a  multi-city band accomplishes much of their craftsmanship long-distance. The EP is the band's first recording since 2016's In Surges LP and will consist of four songs.  The release will be available in vinyl and digital formats via Deep Space Recordings and Shelflife Records.




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Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Stay Inside (a compilation from Osborne Again)

We are here to make your life better, and in fulfilling our mission, today we will have a special digital 'unboxing' of Stay Inside.  Of course, since the object of our attention is an indie pop album, and we only have it in digital form, there is no box to open.  That actually doesn't disappoint us because a real internet unboxing requires video, and we probably could handle that technological challenge.  So our unboxing of Stay Inside will be words and music streams only.  The cynics may observe that this approach is identical to our usual features.  They would be correct.

Stay Inside offers you 15 pop gems you probably have never heard, and many by artists with which you may be unfamiliar, as compiled by the astute tastemakers as Osborne Again.  Sure, readers here know of The Ocean Party, Cool Sounds, Emma Russack and Lachlan Denton.  But No Local, Skivvy, Tinks and many others may become new additions to your favorites list.  A few of these songs, such as "Cactus Country" by Cool Sounds and "Drinking" by Lachlan Denton have featured on these pages recently, so we won't stream them here again.  But you don't lose, because that means we can expose you to additional musical treats.  And if you didn't pick up those songs earlier, you can erase your shame by getting them with this compilation.  Who says life doesn't give you second chances?

The album is available now as a digital download.  See the Bandcamp link.

Emma Russack and Lachlan Denton:



By Studio Magic:



By Skivvy:



By Cotton:



Bandcamp for album

Woolen Men - Post


Tuesday was starting a bit slow for us, and we desperately needed a helping hand.  Our friends down the road in Portland, a trio known as Woolen Men, came to the rescue with Post -- nine tracks of well-crafted punk, taut post punk, and guitar pop that have given us the energy to do our jobs.  If that seems to be a broad canvass, be assured that this is a band that can fully cover the spectrum.  The rhythms section is sprightly and steady, and the band fully fleshes out every song as if it were the lead single.  This is the band's fifth album, and in our opinion it is their most accessible and satisfying yet.  So our thanks to Woolen Men for rescuing our Tuesday morning.

Woolen Men are Raf Spielman (drums), Alex Geddes (bass), and Lawton Browning (guitar).  Post is out now in digital and vinyl formats via Dogs Table (see the Bandcamp link below).








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Monday, September 10, 2018

"This Heat" by Gregor

Melbourne pop romantic Gregor has shared another single from his upcoming album, Silver Drop.  "This Heat" has a funky, rhythmic groove and is a good soundtrack for the start of the week.  Like all musical things Gregor, the single is available via Chapter Music.

Silver Drop will be released October 6.



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Chapter Music page for Silver Drop

"How Come You Think Everyone Likes You?" by the Catherines

We just realized that we missed alerting you to the August release from Hamburg, Germany's fuzz pop studio project The Catherines.  Support Heiko and Sandra, and they will keep thrilling us.  Sounds like a good deal to us.


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Friday, September 7, 2018

The Molochs - Flowers In The Spring

The easy part about featuring Flowers In The Spring, the new sophomore album by The Molochs, is the bottom line: Top quality guitar pop.  The harder part is describing why that is so.  The influences that revealed themselves to our ears include '60s British Invasion and California guitar pop, Britpop, and '80s New Zealand pop.  But that description alone doesn't do justice to the adept alchemy of Lucas Fitzsimmons and Ryan Foster.  All of the influences flow together in a seamless, truly inspired mix of jangle and chime, sturdy rhythms and flowing melodies.  Everything piece of the puzzle fits perfectly, and then is washed in California sunshine to contrast the often less than happy lyrics.  The band's arrangements celebrates simplicity, which only embellishes the things they do so well.  This is an impressive album that delivers both an immediate rush and long-lasting satisfaction, and it likely will be included in our end-of-the-year list.

Flowers In The Spring is out today in digital, vinyl, CD and cassette formats via Los Angeles label Innovative Leisure.








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Thursday, September 6, 2018

School Damage - A To X

A To X is one of the more refreshing albums we have had the pleasure of listening to in a while.  In a world of carefully processed music, creators School Damage are unafraid to show a few ragged edges, a few less coats of paint, and fewer nods to the conventions of construction.  The result is indie pop that is immediate, visceral, and oh so very charming.  For a variety of reasons, sophomore albums rarely better the band's debuts. but we are comfortable in asserting that it has happened in this case.  School Damage has kept what made them special, and sharpened up what could be sharpened without losing the plot.  For those of us who like the scrappy side of indie pop, this release is like getting springtime at the end of (our Northern Hemisphere) summer.

School Damage are Jake Robertson, Carolyn Hawkins, Dani Damage, and Jeff Raty.  A To X is out now via Chapter Music.








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Saturday Night - Saturday Night

Our intentions were good.  We had a new album to bring you by Washington, D.C. crew Saturday Night.  The album was titled Saturday Night, and we had it all planned to post about it last Saturday night.  So, you probably are wondering why, with everything aligned so neatly, there was no feature about this album on Saturday night.  What could have intervened to thwart the performance of our duties?  The answer, quite simply, is, well, our own Saturday night.  We won't go into detail so as to protect identities, jobs, and relationships, and because some of us are aware that the statute of limitations hasn't expired on anything yet.  So suffice it to saw that we were good and truly thwarted.  And from what we remember, it was glorious.

With that out of the way, on to Saturday Night.  Whether you knew it or not, this is the power pop and swaggering, crunchy indie pop you have been waiting for -- a band that doesn't make you choose among stomping rhythms, slashing riffs, happy hooks, and male/female vocals.  You get it all in ten tracks of joyful, energetic music.  And these guys understand that concision is the best delivery for a good hook, as only one song breaks the three minute mark and six of them don't even hit two minutes.  Our instincts are that this is a cracking good live band, but as their "national" tour ignores those of us on the lefty coast, we can't personally verify that until we make our long-delayed trip to D.C. to check out the band in their natural habitat.  However, we think you will find the digital version of the band to be an excellent version for now.  Welcome to your Saturday Night!

The members of the band are Luke Reddick, Nora Button, Cash Langdon, and Jesse Sattler.  Saturday Night is out now via Gentle Reminder Records.








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Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Frøkedal - How We Made It

After stints in Harry's Gym and I Was A King, Norwegian musician Anne Lise Frøkedal commenced her solo project under her surname in 2015.  Following her debut EP and album, she now has created the delightful How We Made It.  The album is a sparkling showcase for skillfully constructed songs, insightful and wide-ranging lyricism, and confident performances.  Frokedal's arrangements range from fold to indie pop, and she and her collaborators season the proceedings with less usual instruments.  As the young woman explores her world, we are treated to an exploration of her art.  We assure you that the twin journey is well worth your time.

How We Made It is out now via Propeller Recordings.








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Friday, August 31, 2018

Terry - I'm Terry

I'm Terry is the third album in three years from Melboune's Terry.  And given that other projects for the members of this talented quartet include Dick Diver, Total Control, Mick Harvey Band, School of Radiant Living, Eastlink, and Constant Mongrel, the production alone in impressive.  But spend some time with the ten tracks on this album, and you are likely to conclude that the volume of their work pales in comparison with the breathtaking quality.  The songwriting is terrific, adroitly balancing clever wordplay, socio-political commentary, and humor.  The vocal delivery is deadpan, and at times almost percussive, which has the effect of allowing the lyrics and arrangements to step into the spotlight.  The result is an album that is entertaining, emotionally affecting, and completely accessible.  Sometimes it seems like the good people of Terry are playing the game at a different level than many of their peers, and we are the lucky beneficiaries.

Terry are Al Monfort, Xanthe Waite, Amy Hill, Zephyr Pavey.  I'm Terry is out now via Upset The Rhythm.





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"Judy's Lament" by Yakima


Today's first feature is "Judy's Lament" by Glasgow shoegazers Yakima.  To be honest, I was attracted to their name even before I heard their music because I live a couple of hours' drive from a city named Yakima.  But that tenuous connection became irrelevant when I heard this song, a lovely, mid-tempo guitar pop tune with shades of melancholy.  The song is available today on digital platforms, and the band is working on their debut album.

Yakima are Neil McArthur (bass/vocals), John Houston (vocals/guitar), Kay McLaren (drums), and Paul Bradley (guitar).




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Thursday, August 30, 2018

Two new songs by Drew Beskin


Drew Beskin has had several guises since we first encountered him fronting The District Attorneys.  He also has been in Party Dolls and Purses, and we have covered them all.  You see, Drew is a top level songwriter, sincere performer, and has the southern-rock-meets-indie-pop connection in his DNA.  He first solo album, Cha-Ching Machine, was released in the first half of 2017.  Solo number two, Nostalgia Porn, arrives in mid-October.  Of course, we are expecting good things.  That doesn't mean we are geniuses, it means that we have heard two of the eleven tracks, and have concluded that they are wonderful.  Geniuses? No. But also neither stupid nor deaf.  "Suspicion From The Start" was released earlier this month, and the second single, "Midnight Avenue Edge", is available tomorrow.  The singles and the album are released via Laser Brains Records.

So, I suppose you want to hear them as well.  We have you covered below, plus a video for "Suspicion From The Start".









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Wednesday, August 29, 2018

DIET - Sundown EP


The public line is "let's all be body positive", but we'll be honest -- we all know lots of people who need to lose weight, and some of those people even try.  And everyone wants to be an expert on the best method, so why the hell should we be different?  So, we now want to tell you about a great new diet.  Moreover, it is a diet that is particularly enjoyable, because it doesn't involve giving up any food or beverage.  And what is this diet called? It is called DIET, and it is a five-piece band from Melbourne, Australia.  They have just released the Sundown EP, and it delivers six slices of Britpop-influenced guitar pop. Or maybe the better description is that it reminds us of The Cure, if The Cure were a happy bunch.  Yes, this band sounds happy, and their music is upbeat and tightly performed.  This could well be your find of the week.

DIET is Ben O'Loughlin (vocals/guitar/synths), Carlos Tinsey (bass/vocals), Ted Mitchell (guitar), Andy Taylor (guitar/vocals), and Will Clancy (drums).  Sundown is the band's second EP, and is available right now.  Check out the Bandcamp link below.

Disclaimer: Neither WYMA nor the band makes any claims regarding weight loss as a result of using this product.  In that respect, it is like any other diet, so you have nothing to lose.  But because it is good music, you have an upside no other diet can give you.






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"The Martyr" by SRSQ


We start today with "The Martyr", an emotional, grand-scale song that serves as your introduction to SRSQ, the solo project of  Kennedy Ashlyn of Them Are Us Too.  Ashlyn's colleague in that band, Cash Askew, perished in the  2016 Ghost Ship fire in Oakland, California.  The solo project's name is pronounced "seer-skew".

The production for "The Martyr" is full and lush, but the star is Kennedy's vocal performance, which may remind listeners of Kate Bush guesting with Cocteau Twins.  The song is taken from SRSQ's solo album, Unreality, which will be released on October 26 via Dais Records.  It is a rewarding listen and portends well for future material from this project. 



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