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.

Bandcamp for Modern Meta Physic
Slumberland Records page for record

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.

Bandcamp for Transmissions
This Is American Music