Friday, June 1, 2018

Beach Skulls - Las Dunas

Beach Skulls dish up a tasty musical stew on debut album Las Dunas.  The featured ingredients are psychedelia, garage pop and surf.  And the result is sunny and a bit spicy, with plenty of variety.  Consider it an album with a sense of adventure, which make it the perfect soundtrack for what you should be planning for the summer (note that we wrote "what you should be planning", now what you couch surfers actually will accomplish).  Listen to "That's Not Me" below, and you might be tempted to think that this trio is from California, rather than the UK midlands.  We take our beach music wherever we can find it (which over the years has included Scotland, Finland, Japan, and Indonesia).  This year, it is Liverpool and Manchester with Beach Skulls.

The band are Ry Vieira, Jordan Finney, and Dan West, and they reside (variously, we assume, in Manchester and Liverpool).  And for those keeping score, this is another week with a winning release from PNK SLM Recordings.

Bandcamp for ordering Las Dunas
Punk Slime Recordings

Thursday, May 31, 2018

"This Is The Final Song" by Charlie Big Time

We have long loved the warm indie pop of Charlie Big Time - and we have long been without new music from them.  We were quite happy to learn that they finally have a new song, although we were alarmed that the title might indicate an impending retirement and relocation to the south of France to live off of their considerable wealth gained from selling tunes for money.  We can't determine whether that fear is to be realized or not, although we take some hope from a recent post that mentioned new songs, not just a final song.  In any case, enjoy the melodic "This Is The Final Song".


Wednesday, May 30, 2018

"Everything Will Be Fine" by Milkpunch

In our view, "Everything Will Be Fine" is appropriately named because every time I listen to it -- and we have listened to it quite frequently since we discovered it last weekend -- everything seems so much better.  We tend to develop obsessions about certain songs, and we think we have a thing going on about this one.  The good news for you, for us, and for everyone, is that the song is available as a free download.  See, we told you -- everything will be fine!

The song is by Milkpunch, a band named for a cocktail.  It started life as a bedroom project for young Brazilian Raf Lima.  Raf has moved to Sydney, Australia and added Liam, Jo, and Sam to the band.  Last year they released debut EP Junk Pop (Bandcamp link below), which featured "Iced Tea", a crunchy rocker you can watch in video below.

Bandcamp for "Everything Will Be Fine"
Bandcamp for Junk Pop EP

Cozy Slippers - Postcards EP

Here at WYMA we are adamant that we cannot be bribed or cajoled into saying nice things about the music we cover.  However, we can be intimidated.  So when we read that a record we are evaluating is made by a band "using music to work out some issues and settle old scores", we find it in our hearts to regard that record very highly (especially as we live in the same community).  With that introduction out of the way, we would like to tell you about the excellent five song Postcards EP, by the stellar musicians and wonderful people that comprise Cozy Slippers.  The guitars jangle and the keys and dual female vocals provide an '80s sheen to the music, while the rhythm section provides a sturdy backbone.  Some listeners may detect hints of the haunting arrangements of Heavenly and Veronica Falls, but we suspect everyone will groove to the music -- even while the vocalists sing about betrayal.  The band does Seattle proud on this record.

Cozy Slippers are Sarah Engel (bass/vocals), Steven Skelton (guitar), and Barbara Barrilleaux (drums/keys/vocals).  Postcards is out now in digital and CD formats via Jigsaw Records.  It is the band's second EP.  We are hoping the third EP doesn't say bad things about us.

Bandcamp for Postcards EP
Jigsaw Records

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

KiDD - You and I

Artists that ignore conventional approaches and triumph are rare, which makes the occasional successful effort an event to celebrate.  However, if we were to handicap which guy could pull it off, our money would have been on Stu Kidd.  Stu has been involved in a number of projects, including BMX Bandits, The Wellgreen, Dr Cosmo's Tape Lab, The Store Keys, Snowgoose, Jonny, Linden, and St Deluxe, but lately has been recording as KiDD.  The latest KiDD release is You and I, which combines Stu's songs accompanying a book by Michael Stephen Clark.  Without giving too much away, the album/book is about a boy (Joe), his dog (Alfie), and a walk to the park.  The simple tale comes alive with the engaging songs, evincing the Beach Boys' way with a melody and The Kink's flair for storytelling.  Give in to your inner child, and enjoy the most classic of tales, well told and well sung.

You and I is out now as a digital download which includes the underlying book as an e-book with KiDD's songs embedded so you can read and listen.

Bandcamp for You and I
Website for story You and I

Tracyanne & Danny - Tracyanne & Danny

Offering a masterclass in the singer songwriter arts, Traceyanne & Danny delivers ten excellent pop tunes to decorate  your summer.  Lyrically, the songs are reflective, bittersweet, and sincerely emotional, while the arrangements tend toward the breezy style of '60s rock and girl group pop.  Some artists' collaborations never gel, while others become dominated by one of the collaborators.  But Traceyanne Campbell of Scottish band Camera Obscura and Danny Coughlan of English project Crybaby seem to find the perfect balance, meshing their talents to create songs worthy of a long-time songwriting partnership.  Edwyn Collins (Orange Juice and solo work) and Sean Read (Dexys Midnight Runners) were chosen as the production team, and they delivered in inspired fashion, with keys, horns, strings, and other instruments accenting the sublime vocals from Campbell and Coughlan.  And Collins chipped in with vocals an "Alabama", as well.  On first listen, this album is truly impressive.  On subsequent listens, it is even better -- pop perfection, dear readers, pop perfection.

Traceyanne & Danny is out now in digital, CD and vinyl formats via Merge Records.

Bandcamp for album

Monday, May 28, 2018

Loose Wing - "Heather Army" / "Blanket Skin"

Seattle's Loose Wing doesn't have much of an online presence.  Whether that is by design, reflects a recent  formation, or both, we can't say.  But we do know this -- when you make a song as good as "Heather Army" you deserve to have people help get the word out.  So dive into the aural bliss of this stellar two track single.  And by the way, it is a free download!

Loose Wing is Claire Tucker (guitar/vocals/keys), Jack Peters (bass), and Rusty Willoughby (drums).

Bandcamp for record

Sunday, May 27, 2018

"Close" by Lachlan Denton

Lachlan Denton appears to be a lavishly generous man.  In Lach's case, his generosity manifests itself in brilliant songwriting spread over multiple projects.  Regular readers are aware of our admiration for The Ocean Party, of which Lach is one of six members, all of whom are songwriters (our feature for Beauty Point LP here).  More recently, Lach joined forces with the talented Emma Russack to create a lovely EP (our feature here).  But Lach has more to say -- more to tell us -- so at the end of this week he will release Two Months in Ben Woolley's Room via Osborne Again Music.  In advance of the album's release, Denton has made album track "Close" available as a free download (Soundcloud or Bandcamp).  As expected, the song is effortlessly melodic and well voiced.  But beyond that, it demonstrates the artists particular talent for heartfelt, relateable stories, unashamedly intimate yet universal.

This is going to be a special album.

Bandcamp for "Close"
Bandcamp to order Two Months in Ben Woolley's Room

The Love-Birds - In The Lover's Corner

Dealing with love isn't easy, but most musicians will admit that love is a reliable springboard for songwriting.  Sometimes the result are as messy as the relationships, but when the song and the performance click, the result is classic pop excellence.  And such is the case with In The Lover's Corner, the debut album by San Francisco's The Love-Birds.   The quartet evince a solid appreciation and understanding of their influences, and combine jangle pop, power pop and garage into a fluid and entertaining set of songs.  Sweet hooks and Byrdsian jangle alternate with crunch and fuzz as the lads tell us what went right, what went wrong, and why they are often at fault.  But while past lovers may assign blame in their direction, the listener will find no fault with this album.  This is your power pop charmer of the week.

The Love-Birds are Charlie Ertola (bass), Eli Groshelle (drums/percussion), Thomas Rubenstein (vocals/guitar), and Eli Wald (guitars).  In The Lover's Corner is out now via Trouble In Mind Records.

Bandcamp for In The Lover's Corner
Trouble In Mind Records