Friday, June 8, 2018

Various Artists - The Official Matinee World Cup EP

It is just about time for World Cup 2018.  Fans of the participating countries, and unaffiliated fans of the beautiful game, will be focused on cheering for their favorite team in every match.  Of course, musicians are not immune to such passions, and have even been known to compose songs about their teams.  Some of such songs are good, and some of such songs can even be played in polite company.  Today we bring you The Official Matinee World Cup EP, a hot-off-the-press compilation from Matinee Recordings featuring songs by five bands whose fellow countrymen will compete for the ultimate prize.  Last Leaves from Australia sings of "Golden Days To Come".  Sweden's Red Sleeping Beauty is regarding the team "Dressed In Yellow And Blue".  The Spanish contribution from The Royal Landscaping Society reminds us who won in "2010".  "Red White And Blue" is the The Popguns ode to their English team.  Brazil's Pale Sunday contributes "Dirt Pitch Superstars", reminding us of the impromptu pitches that nurture the seemingly endless youth talent supplying their national side.

The games begin next week, so now is the time to load up on modern anthems in digital or CD format.  We already have our copy, and it will feature prominently at happy hour at least until this WC is over.  And because it is good music, and national leagues start up again in August, we'll probably keep playing it.

Soundcloud for EP
Matinee Recordings page for EP

Carla J Easton - Wanting What I Can't Have

As all of us who love music know, you can't keep a good song out of your head.  Carla J. Easton knows that too, but she does it one better on her new record Wanting What I Can't Have.  She gives us the titular track -- then she gives us six remixes of the titular track.  So we get a good song residing our heads, but we get variety as well.  And the song?  It is a bottom-heavy delight with big choruses and Carla's appealing lead vocals.  All of the remixes are excellent, although we are particularly taken with the version by Sun Rose, subtitled 'The Optimist Point of View'.  Fans of Easton's work as ETTE certainly will appreciate her return, but this is a record that should please new fans as well.  And think of the work Carla has saved us.  Usually one would have to collect remixes one at a time as various production teams took on the tax.  Here we have everything wrapped up for us in a single package.

Wanting What I Can't Have is out now as a digital release via Glagow's Olive Grove Records.

Bandcamp for release
iTunes link for ablum

Thursday, June 7, 2018

"Heart Turned Blue" by Melbourne Cans

Your slice of retro pop heaven for the week is "Heart Turned Blue" an ode to fictional pop icon "Peggy Sue" by Australian four-piece Melbourne Cans.  The song is taken from Heat of the Night, which will be released soon by The Lost and Lonesome Recording Co.  We have this one on continued repeat.  We think you will understand why.

Bandcamp for Heat of the Night
Additional links for Heat Of The Night
The Lost and Lonesome Recording Co.

"Hot Mess" and "The Wire" by Saltwater Sun

In case your predilections for a summer soundtrack run towards alternative rock, we suggest that you introduce your music device, and ears, to Saltwater Sun.  They adeptly mix crunch, grit and sunshine.  It is June already, my people, get your summer going ....

Links to buy/stream "Hot Mess"

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Karen Meat - You're An Ugly Person

Karen Meat is from Iowa, which quite frankly isn't a hot spot for bands covered here.  Who knows, maybe we're missing something.  But any group that can package barbed wire lyrics with sweet vocals and upbeat arrangements deserves our time.  Their new album, You're An Ugly Person, covers the pop spectrum with dance, electro-pop, surf, girl group, and funk.  Imagine if a couple of suburban parents hired what they thought was a family-friendly dance band for their daughter's party, only to discover that the singer/songwriter is working through issues of rejection and disappointment and the backing funk/surf band spiked the punch and then guzzled it.  And we mean that as a sincere compliment.  This is an album that will put a smile on your face and a bounce in your step  -- the building blocks of a good life!

The core of Karen Meat are Arin Eaton and Dana Telcrow, although they call on other like-minded crazies from time to time.  You're An Ugly Person is available in digital and vinyl formats via Emotional Response Records.

Bandcamp for album

"Reject" by Melby

Stockholm's Melby will be touring Europe and the UK this summer, and have given fans yet another reason to turn out for their shows with the release of new song "Reject".  The single follows their excellent 2017 self-titled release, and suggests that this quartet will continue to be a band we follow.

Melby are Matilda Wiezell, Are Engen Steinsholm, David Jehrlander, and Teo Jernkvist.  "Reject" is out now via Sweden's Rama Lama Records, as is their Melby EP.

Rama Lama Records

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Vital Idles - Left Hand

We must confess to be in the throes of an "album obsession" period.  The current object of our focus is Left Hand, the debut LP by Vital Idles.  Combining a sparse, hard edged primitivism with a melodic jangle, the Glasgow quartet has crafted a generous 14-song set filled with anxious charm and meandering lyricism.  The band has drawn comparisons to Kleenex, Life Without Buildings, The Raincoats, and even The Smiths.  We get that, but we tend more to regarding them as the love child of The Clean, Beat Happening and Yes On Blood-era The Mallard (which was one of our favorite albums in 2012).  Yes, in our make-believe world three parents are possible.  But regardless of the influences you might detect, we think you will find Left Hand to be an album that will live in your rotation for a long time.

Our favorite songs as of this writing are "A Premise", "Chains", "Solid States", "Life Like", "Geraniums" and .... well, you get the idea, we pretty much like everything this album offers.

Vital Idles are Jessica Higgins, Nick Lynch, Ruari MacLean, and Matthew Walkerdine.  Left Hand is out now via Upset The Rythm.

Upset the Rhythm page to order Left Hand