Friday, August 16, 2019

Introducing Tibetan Miracle Seeds

No, this is not an infomercial aimed at home gardeners. This is about a newly discovered band called Tibetan Miracle Seeds.  They are from Scotland, and the members are Kieran Smith (drums), Lefty (tanpura/flute), and Jack McAfee (vocals/guitar/bass/didge), we don't know anything about them.  You can grab "Ideas" from Bandcamp, but it also is rewarding to wander on their Soundcloud page, which is where we found "Alone".  We also include a stream of "Mirage" from early 2018.  We certainly can't say these guys are rushing too fast in delivering an album, can we?


"My Girl" by ST.MARTiiNS

Katie Lynch and Mark Johnston, the Dundee, Scotland duo that calls themselves ST.MARTiiNS, is back with a breezy pop song about friends.  We think "My Girl" has just the right vibe to launch the final workday of the week.  Give it a spin below.

Various links to source "My Girl"
LAB Records

Thursday, August 15, 2019

"O'n ni'n Ffrindia" and "When He's Gone" by Papur Wal

As long as our ears are tuned to Wales, we think you should know about the two songs by slacker pop aces Papur Wal.  Their two latest releases via the fine Welsh label Libertino Records are "O'n ni'n Ffrindia" and "When He's Gone".  Other factoids of possible interest are that the name of the band means wallpaper in Welsh, and the band is led by vocalist and guitarist Ianto Gruffydd.

Libertino Records
Various links for "O'n ni'n Ffrindia"
Various links for "When He's Gone"

"Throw It Up" by Seazoo

When our inbox recently displayed a message about a fresh new song by Seazoo, we thought the name of the band sounded familiar.  A search through our archives (a scary place, indeed) revealed a feature of previous track "Dig" (link). So we have concluded that (1) our memory banks still function, and (2) after playing "Throw It Up", we remain impressed by this band from Wales (or "Whales", as some reality TV characters would have it).  Seazoo's sweet spot is a noisy brand of guitar pop that falls between Gorky's Zygotic Mynci and Pavement, and we think you will like it.  And if you do like it, check out their 2018 album Trunks at the final link in this post.

Bandcamp. for "Throw It Up"
Various links for "Throw It Up"
Bandcamp for Trunks

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

"Polar Onion" by Allah Las

We still are a couple of months from the release of LAHS, the new album from Los Angeles band Allah Las.  But we have heard it, and it is one of our favorite albums of the year.  However, we aren't writing this post just to tease you, as we now can share album track "Polar Onion" with you.

Allah Las are Matt Correia, Spencer Dunham, Miles Michaud, and Pedrum Siadatian. LAHS will be available October 11 via Mexican Summer.  The band will be touring from now until mid-December in support of the album.  See the dates and venues at the bottom of the post.

Various links to pre-order LAHS

August 14th - The Pyramid Scheme, Grand Rapids, MI
August 16th - Empty Bottle, Chicago, IL
August 17th - Half Acre Beer Company, Chicago, IL
September 14th - Huichica Music Festival, Walla Walla, WA
November 4th - Valley Bar, Phoenix, AZ 
November 5th - Meow Wolf, Sante Fe, NM
November 7th - White Oak Music Hall, Houston, TX
November 8th - Trees, Dallas, TX
November 9th - Empire Control Room, Austin, TX
November 10th - One Eyed Jacks, New Orleans, LA
November 12th - The Basement East, Nashville, TN
November 13th - Terminal West, Atlanta, GA
November 14th - Grey Eagle Tavern, Asheville, NC
November 15th - Cat's Cradle, Carrboro, NC
November 16th - The Black Cat, Washington, DC
November 18th - Union Transfer, Philadelphia, PA
November 19th - Paradise Rock Club, Boston, MA
November 20th - Brooklyn Steel, Brooklyn, NY
November 22nd - Corona Theatre, Montreal, CA
November 24th - Lee's Palace, Toronto, CA
November 25th - Beachland Ballroom, Cleveland, OH
November 26th - Ace of Cups, Columbus, OH
November 27th - Thalia Hall, Chicago, IL
November 29th - Fine Line Music Cafe, Minneapolis, MN
November 30th - Blueberry Hill, St. Louis, MO
December 2nd - Slowdown, Omaha, NE
December 3rd - Gothic Theatre, Englewood, CA
December 4th - Metro Music Hall, Salt Lake City, UT 
December 6th - Neumos, Seattle, WA
December 7th - Wonder Ballroom, Portland, OR
December 8th - Commodore Ballroom, Vancouver, BC
December 10th - The Fillmore, San Francisco, CA
December 11th - The Observatory, Santa Ana, CA
December 12th - The Mayan, Los Angeles, CA
December 13th - The Observatory North Park, San Diego, CA
December 14th - Pappy & Harriets, Pioneertown, CA

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Sweet Whirl - Love Songs & Poetry

Sweet Whirl is the musical platform for Melbourne musician Esther Edquist.  After a couple of releases on the Bedroom Suck with her former band Superstar (which we featured in 2015: link), Esther has marked her signing with Chapter Music by releasing a six-song EP titled Love Songs & Poetry.  The songs are introspective and incisive, written with intelligence and played with confidence.  The arrangements are pleasingly melodic and leave ample space for Esther's vocals and bass to star.  Love Songs & Poetry is a perfect play for the evening of a summer day.  And it is just what we are playing every night this week.

In addition to Esther, Sweet Whirl includes James Vinciguerra and Liam Barton.  Love Songs & Poetry is out now in digital and cassette formats via Melbourne's Chapter Music.

Chapter Music page for Sweet Whirl

Purple Pilgrims - Perfumed Earth

As Purple Pilgrims, Valentine and Clementine Nixon have crafted Perfumed Earth -- a lush, enthralling dreamscape of electronic folk and dream pop adorned with their crystalline soprano vocals.  Recorded in a shed in the New Zealand woods, the tracks conjure thoughts of Gothic spells and twisted tales with a nearly spiritual tone, all while pleasuring your ears with melodies and vocals that are as addictive as they are sweet.  The magic here is in the instrumental and vocal textures layered through the arrangements.  This album may be different than any other music to which you ordinarily listen, but we don't think you will be able to stop listening to it.  We certainly can't.  The standout tracks are plentiful, and we have provided a few below.  That said, we must admit a nostalgic fondness for the sisters' achingly sweet cover of "I'm Not Saying", one of our favorite Gordon Lightfoot songs.

Perfumed Earth was recorded with contributions by Gary War, Jimmy Mac, Joshua Kennedy, Jeff Henderson, Roy Montgomery, and perhaps others. It is out now via Flying Nun Records.


Friday, August 9, 2019

"Timebomb" (feat. Lisa Mychols) by SUPER 8

Pop maven Paul Ryan, aka SUPER 8 is offering you a name-your-price slice of summer power pop to super8charge your weekend.  Unusual for a  SUPER 8 recording, Paul is handling the instruments and production, but has handed the mic to the talented Lisa Mychols.  You can grab "Timebomb" from Bandcamp, but don't miss watching the fun video -- those clay creatures worked very hard.

Bandcamp for "Timebomb"

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Mark Mulcahy - Gus

Here at WYMA we don't just feature music that we select from submissions, we do the hard gumshoe work of sifting through vast amounts of music that no one has chosen to send us, looking for gems worthy of your attention.  And while so engaged we discovered Gus.  No, we aren't talking about your cousin Gus, the one who always plays practical jokes on your mom and is offended when no one thinks he is funny.  We mean the new album by Mark Mulcahy.  Mark was, and we guess still is, the frontman for Miracle Legion.  But more recently he has focused his creative efforts on solo albums, one of which we featured in 2013 (link).  As demonstrated by the songs on Gus, Mulcahy combines a singer songwriter approach to crafting colorfully illustrated stories.  The arrangements vary from rolling rockers to an edgy Americana.  The melodies are entertaining and the performances enthusiastic and energetic.  This album is a triumph well deserving of your ears based on songwriting alone.  But it is so much more.

Gus is out now via Mezzotint.

Bandcamp for Gus

The Black Watch - Magic Johnson

The Black Watch is the long-running musical project of California English professor, painter, and author John Andrew Fredrick. This past June Fredrick released both a career retrospective and a new set of songs titled Magic Johnson. Consisting of a generous 16 songs reflecting Fredrick's appreciation for British psychedelic rock and Flying Nun guitar pop of from the '80s, and his love of guitars, Magic Johnson continues the band's run of engaging and satisfying albums.  In style, the album seems both nostalgic and fresh -- the latter quality perhaps attributable to the enthusiasm of Fredrick and his mates as well as their restraint in weaving elements from their influences. You really owe it to your ears to check out this album at the Bandcamp link below.

In addition to Fredrick, the players on Magic Johnson are Chris Rackard (bass), Andy Creighton (guitar), and Rick Woodard (drums). The album is out now via ATOM Records.

John Andrew Fredrick's website
Bandcamp for Magic Johnson
ATOM Records

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Hannah Barberas - Dial H For Hannah Barberas

London fourpiece The Hannah Barberas have given you a couple of months to digest their Spring release compiling their EPs to date (our feature here).  But knowing that you all have the attention of fruit flies, they have wisely decided to dangle another bright, shiny piece of music near your ears. So on September 6 we can all welcome Dial H For Hannah Barberas.  Take a couple of the six tracks for a test drive below -- you'll be glad you did.

And why are we telling you about the EP a month ahead of time? First, because you can stream and pre-order now, so there is no reason to wait.  Second, while the number of digital copies presumably is unlimited, the CD version is very limited and only a few remain available.

The Hannah Barberas are Damien, Lucy, Doug, and Matthew.  The EP is released via Subjangle Records.

Bandcamp for Dial H for Hannah Barberas

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

"Mystery Man" by The Echo Session

Tam Maher (vocals/guitar), Alistair Morrow (guitar/vocals) Stuart Morran (bass/vocals, and Ryan Rimkus (drums/vocals) are The Echo Session.  In the mid-'00s the Glasgow band recorded a number of songs that, save a few, were never released.  Their fans have been hoping for almost 15 years that this omission would be rectified.  Some of us joined in the hope in 2016 when the Flowers In The Dustbin label ("FITD") released a couple of the songs.  We are happy to report that the album, titled Wait And See (the "wait" in the title might seem ironic, but the album is named after the closing track), will be released October 25 in digital and CD formats.  The full release will be preceded by a single release of "Mystery Man", the album's second track.  A note-perfect '60s/British Invasion-style tune, the single draws you into the world of The Echo Session.  Garage pop, '80s British guitar pop and British Invasion are on offer, fresh, genuine and blessedly uncomplicated.  We will have more to say about the entire album closer to October, but for your Tuesday treat, here is "Mystery Man".

Wait And See will be released via FITD, which in our view is a superb label.  An indication of their quality is demonstrated by their 10-year retrospective, Under the Paving Stones (our feature here).

Bandcamp for Wait and See
Flowers in the Dustbin - Website
Flowers in the Dustbin - Facebook
Flowers in the Dustbin - Twitter

Monday, August 5, 2019

Lachlan Denton & Studio Magic - A Brother

So you need to ask yourself, do you cry or do you smile.  It is a hard but fair question -- we have asked the same question of ourselves when we play A Brother.  The reason for tears is obvious.  Lachlan Denton's brother Zach -- younger sibling, friend, bandmate, and talented musician involved in several bands -- suddenly died last year.  This wasn't one of these rock star flame out deaths, but rather, if we understand correctly, a medical condition involving a cranial cyst (it hits home, our main writer has a cranial cyst).  Zach died, his musical contributions ceased, and Lachlan lost a brother.

But the case for smiling is strong.  Lachlan Denton & Studio Magic, a collaborative effort between Lachlan and friends and other bandmates of the brothers, has produced an album of remarkable quality. Consisting of nine original compositions and a closing cover of "Spat Out" from Zach's Hobby Farm project, A Brother presents a poignant and at times heartbreaking  remembrance of Zach Denton, wrapped up in some of the most beautiful songs you will hear this year.  Nicely balanced between soft, reflective tunes and the sort of breezy up-tempo numbers we recall from The Ocean Party, it is a terrific listen every time through.  There is sadness and love, and we can't think of a finer tribute to Zach.

Life is complicated, and the best music reflects the complications and conflicts, the memories and losses.  So do we cry, or do we smile? Our choice thanks to A Brother: We smile through the tears

In addition to Lachlan, Studio Magic are Ambrin Hasnain, Dainis Lacey, Liam Halliwell, Roe Kean, Anila Hasnain. A Brother is out now via Osborne Again Music, Spunk Records and Bobo Intregal.

Bandcamp for A Brother
Label page for LP

Friday, August 2, 2019

The Vapour Trails - See You In The Next World

The Aberdeen, Scotland of 2019 is a long way, chronologically and geographically, from 1960s California.  But the debut album by Aberdeen's The Vapour Trails bridges that gap with remarkable agility.  Cue up See You In The Next World, close your eyes, and you are transported to the world of The Byrds, West Coast folk rock, and Laurel Canyon.  Chiming and jangling guitars and psychedelic washes combine with endearing melodies and sweet harmonies.  Perfectly timed for your last month of beach trips and backyard picnics, this is a summertime treat for your ears.

The Vapour Trails are Scott Robertson, Kevin Robertson, Nicholas Mackie, Andrew Crossan, and Kenny Munro.  See You In The Next World is out now in CD and digital formats via Futureman Records.

Bandcamp for See You In The Next World

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Young Guv - Guv I

We are such nice guys that we composed a shopping list for your Friday.  Here it is: Guv I.  Did you write that down? Good.

Now, for those of you that need a bit of an explanation, Guv I is the latest recording from Toronto-to-New York musician Ben Cook, aka Young Guv.  Consisting of eight tracks of  melodic, peppy power pop that are perfectly written and performed.  Some may expend effort trying to tell us that this album is a throwback to '70s Big Star or '90s Teenage Fanclub or The Posies, but we think that is missing the forest for the trees.  These songs are timeless pop music -- earworms that would have thrilled you a decade ago and a decade from now just as much as they will thrill you today.  And thrill you, they will.  That's their job, and they do they business like a pro.

Guv I is out via Run For Cover Records.

Run For Cover Records page for Guv I

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

"Visions At The Stars" by Spinning Coin

Finally, Glasgow's Spinning Coin are back with a release.  Well, almost back with a release.  The two-song 7" Visions At The Stars actually won't be released until August 30, which is nearly two years after their excellent album Permo (our feature here).  However, the A-side is available to tickle your music receptors right now with the breezy guitar pop that earns "favorite" status around WYMA headquarters.  Apparently, we will need to wait a month to hear B-side "Not A Dream".

Spinning Coin are Sean Armstrong (vocals/guitar), Jack Mellin (vocals/guitar), Rachel Taylor (bass/vocals), and Chris White (drums).  Visions At The Stars will be released in digital and vinyl formats via the Geographic Music imprint of Domino Record Company

Various sites to stream Visions At The Stars

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Possible Humans - Everybody Split (August repress)

We usually don't revisit our posts, but we are making an exception for Everybody Split, the 2019 album by Australian band Possible Humans. When we covered the album earlier in the year it was available in Australia and New Zealand via Hobbies Galore, but did not have the backing of a North American label. However, Trouble In Mind (which has made a major and appreciated effort to bring good Australian and New Zealand bands to North American ears) is releasing Everybody Split on August 2.  So none of you Northern Hemisphere possible humans miss your second chance at a very good album, here is a reprise of our feature:

The world is full of possibilities, and promise inherent in that fact seems to be the fuel for the creative impulses of Melbourne's Possible Humans.  On Everybody Split, their new album, the five piece digs deep into intriguing guitar jams that adroitly walk the tightrope between guitar pop and free form rock.  With riffs neatly balancing hooks, and the urgency of tracks like "Stinger" balanced by the psychedelic pop of "Born Stoned" (almost 12 minutes long, and worth every second of your time), the alleged homo sapiens seem about as far away from corporate rock as you can get, and they do it with joy, skill and a lack of pretense.

The five guys that are Possible Humans are Leon Cranswick, Samuel Tapper, Steve Hewitt, Adam Hewitt, and Mark Hewitt.

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Bandcamp for Everybody Split
Trouble In Mind Records page for Everybody Split

James Clarke Five - Parlour Sounds

Good music, good fun: Parlour Sounds by the James Clarke Five.  Calling to mind great British guitar pop of The Kinks and their contemporaries, perhaps the exuberant pop of Emmit Rhodes, and Mods such as The Jam, it is the project of James Hughes.  James also was a member of The Cherry Boys in the '80s -- a band that deserved a longer career.  Summer isn't over in the Northern Hemisphere, and Parlour Sounds clearly is a summer album. Dive in to the Kinksian opener, followed by the soulful '70s rock swing of "Rock and Roll (Took Me to the River)".  "Under Your Skin" lives up to its name, and as a bonus it invades your brain like the proper earworm that it is.  This is music played with a smile and plenty of pep, and it will be received the same way by the listener.

Parlour Sounds is out now in digital and CD formats via This Is Beautiful Music.

Bandcamp for Parlour Sounds
Label page for Parlour Sounds

Monday, July 29, 2019

Strange Ranger - Remembering the Rockets

Strange Ranger continue their journey.  Physically, the band was formed in Montana, relocated to Portland, Oregon and then, again, to Philadelphia.  Musically, for their third album Remembering The Rockets the band has transitioned from a more emo approach to a broader guitar pop/melodic alternative rock sound.  For our tastes, the music offered on the current album is quite appealing.  The rhythm section is robust and the guitars and keys swirl brightly.  And while the lyrical content can be melancholy, the overall vibe is warm, welcoming, and invariably melodic.  We are particularly taken with the opening track, "Leona", and "Sunday", which reminds us of The Cure.  Treat your ears some Strange Ranger, they likely will thank you.

Remembering The Rockets is out now via Tiny Engines.

Bandcamp for Remembering the Rockets
Tiny Engines

"Change of Heart" by Steve Buscemi's Dreamy Eyes

The only complaint we have regarding Swedish four-piece Steve Buscemi's Dreamy Eyes is that they are taking a long, long time to release a debut album.  However, we understand that this flaw will be rectified soon.  And based on the evidence provided by new single "Change of Heart", the care the band takes in crafting their music probably tells us why the first album has taken so long.  What a great way to begin a Monday!

Steve Buscemi's Dreamy Eyes are Siri Sjöberg, Tilde Hansen, Lias Mahfoud, and Edvin Arleskär.  "Change of Heart" is out as a digital release via Rama Lama Records.

Bandcamp for "Change of Heart"
Various links for "Change of Heart"

Friday, July 26, 2019

Mike Gale - Summer Deluxe

Summer Deluxe, the recent album by Mike Gale, the former frontman for UK band Co-pilgrim, proves that the textures of summer need not only be variations of bright sunshine.  On this eleven-track beauty Gale wields keys and guitars to combine sparkling sunshine with hazy melancholy producing a multifaceted set of pop songs that delight with the first listen, yet manage to reveal even more with each repeat.  Romance, joy, peace, and moody reflection swirl through the songs buoyed by perfectly crafted arrangements.  In fact, a clear highlight is the instrumental title track -- a perfect summer song suggestive of sitting in the park sipping lemonade.  When it fades out we want to scream "No! Come back!"  But then we find that there is no need to panic, because the following "Jump Start My Heart" amply delivers the promise of its title.  And that isn't really surprising, because this album is packed with great songs.  As we head into the languid days of August, this may become your chosen soundtrack.

Summer Deluxe is out now in digital and CD formats.  See the Bandcamp link below.

Bandcamp for Summer Deluxe
Bandcamp for various Mike Gale recordings

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Mick Trouble - It's The Mick Trouble LP

It's The Mick Trouble LP is an album that likely will put a smile on the face of guitar pop fans, especially the fans of '80s British guitar pop and some '60s British Invasion bands.  There is a back story about Mick Trouble being a UK musician from several decades ago whose recordings are finally getting the release they deserve.  It is a cute enough story, but we won't spend any more time with it because it isn't true (although we did fall for it hook, line and sinker when the EP was released last year).  In fact, Mick Trouble is Jed Smith of My Teenage Stride and Jeanines.  The important fact is that Jed has crafted a set of songs that could well have been written and performed by a decades-ago talent who was influenced by Nick Lowe, Television Personalities, The Jazz Butcher and Wreckless Eric. And that is more than enough for us.  Expect jangle, rubbery bass, pop hooks, a punk-influenced performance style and some tongue in cheek humor aimed at British culture.

Jed did all the work himself -- you should reward him.

Bandcamp for the album

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

"More to Enjoy" by Cool Sounds

When searching for cool sounds to soothe your ears a good place to look is, well, Cool Sounds.  The perfectly named Melbourne band delights us with every recording, and new single "More to Enjoy" is as aptly named as its creators.  The release of the single also coincides with the announcement of the band's next album, which also is titled More to Enjoy.  The album will be out on September 20 via Osborne Again Music, Hotel Motel Records, and Meritorio Records, but you can pre-order it now.  And if you are in Europe, you may be able to here the new, cool sounds while the band is on tour.  Here is the link for European tour dates for Cool Sounds, Lachlan Denton, and Nathan Roche.

Bandcamp or "More To Enjoy"
Various links for "More To Enjoy" or album pre-orders
Osborne Again Music
Hotel Motel Records
Meritorio Records

"I Won't Be Found" by Galileo's Fan

A midweek gift for your ears: Please unwrap the sweet single "I Won't Be Found" by Galileo's Fan.  The band is comprised of siblings Fi and Martin Vass, who are from the Scottish Highlands.  The song is the title track for their debut album, which will be released September 16 via GF Records.  Today's treat features perfect vocals by Fi and an anthemic arrangement that evokes the wide open spaces of the northern coast of the Highlands.  Enjoy!

Spotify for single

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

"Patterns Prevail" by Young Guv

Yes, there is a lot of good new music out right now, but that won't keep us from thrilling you with "Patterns Prevail", another gem from the upcoming GUV I by Toronto's Young Guv.  Every song we have heard is top drawer, and you should be eager to add the album to your library.

Bandcamp for GUV I
Run For Cover Records page for pre-order of GUV I

"In The Air" by Allah Las (video)

The wait for the next Allah Las album has been far too long, but it ends in October.  And while that still leaves us with a long wait, we have the video form of album track "In The Air" to help us bridge the gap.  The visuals should please fans of the cult movie Weekend At Bernie's, and the music should please fans of the band's heavenly brand of Southern California psychedelic pop.  For our part, we are very, very pleased.

Allah Las are Matt Correia, Spencer Dunham, Miles Michaud, and Pedrum Siadatian.  LAHS will be out on October 11 via Mexican Summer.

Various links to pre-order LAHS

Monday, July 22, 2019

Sail By Summer - Casual Heaven

William Hut (vocals/guitar) and Jens Kristian (keys/programming) have a magical artistic connection which manifests itself in grand-scale pop tunes inspired by the grandeur of Western Norway and shaded by Nordic melancholy.  The project is Sail By Summer, and the fruits of their collaboration are embodied in new album Casual Heaven.  The songs melodic and the arrangements are thoughtfully detailed without being fussy.  The emotional content is touching and genuine, but doesn't detract from the sonic celebration of the sea, the mountains, the fjords, and the whole of the natural beauty surrounding Bergen.  For us, a plane ticket to Norway is out of the question at the moment, but Casual Heaven will tide us over.  Quite simply, this music makes our hearts feel good.

Casual Heaven is released via Apollon Records.

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Apollon Records

Shake Some Action - Thirty Nine

James Hall's Shake Some Action is a too-well-kept Seattle secret.  With echoes of The Feelies and R.E.M., the band flies the local flag for power pop and psychedelic rock.  Their extensive catalog can be accessed via their webpage, but we are writing today to focus your attention on their brand spanking new album, Thirty Nine.  The twelve tracks display plenty of muscle while not ignoring the pop end of the spectrum, resulting in a supercharged set of jangle, hooks, and rumbling bass and drums.  We assure you that Thirty Nine is a good way to start the week.

Bandcamp for album

Saturday, July 20, 2019

The Proctors - Letters to the Girl / Footsteps

Sure, the Letters to the Girl 7" by The Proctors isn't released until next Friday.  But with the vinyl edition limited to 250 copies, we are obliged to advise you that you might want to consider purchasing sooner rather than later.  Of course, it will be available in digital format as well, and you should be proud to own it in either case.  The single begins with the title track, with the rush of sound and jangle that we expect and love from The Proctors.  B-side "Footsteps" has a wonderfully atmospheric dream pop vibe that suggests that this record really is a double A-side.  Your favorite will depend on your mood at the moment, but there is no wrong choice.

The Proctors are Gavin Priest, Margaret Calleja, Phil Guest, Lisa Bouvier, and Thomas Aherne.  Letters to the Girl 7" is available via Shelflife Records.

Shelflife Records
Bandcamp for Letters to the Girl 7"

Friday, July 19, 2019

Theatre Royal - Singles 2010-18

We like being hip and knowing a lot about the world of indie rock. We even like pretending that we are hip and know a lot about the world of indie rock, even when our knowledge lags behind our ambition.  But we aren't going to pretend here -- until a couple of days ago we were unfamiliar with Theatre Royal.  However, a chance viewing of some commentary on our Twitter feed (including a recommendation by Wally of The Beautiful Music label link), let us to one of our more delightful discoveries lately.  So we would like to share with you the most excellent Singles 2010-18, a collection of 22 songs released by the band between ... well, you just read the title, so you know.

Wielding two guitars and boasting an aggressive rhythm section, this four-piece dishes out classic up-tempo west coast rock adorned with sweet harmonies.  We have been playing it repeatedly since we found the Bandcamp link, and we highly recommend that you do the same. The only aspect of this record that makes us sad is that we have gone almost an entire decade no listening to a band that would have been one of our favorites had we known.  We will make amends.

The good lads of Theatre Royal are Oliver, Robert, Jon, and Bendan.  Singles 2010-18 is out now in digital and CD formats.

Bandcamp for Singles 2010-18

Thursday, July 18, 2019

"Smoke You Right Out Of Here" by David Kilgour and the Heavy Eights

Whether you want good news or not, we are delivering good news: David Kilgour and the Heavy Eights will release a new album titled Bobbie's A Girl in September.  Of course, David is well-known as guitarist and co-founder of seminal Dunedin, New Zealand band The Clean.  But he also has had a notable musical career outside of The Clean, with solo albums as well as recording with others as David Kilgour and the Heavy Eights.  The new album will consist of ten tracks, and you need wait no more to hear number two - "Smoke You Right Out Of Here".

In addition to David Kilgour, the members of the band are Thomas Bell, Tony de Raad, and Taane Tokona.  Bobbie's A Girl will be out in digital, CD and vinyl formats on September 20 via Merge Records.

Bandcamp for Bobbie's A Girl
Merge Records page for Bobbie's A Girl
Various links to pre-order Bobbie's A Girl

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Subshine - Easy Window

Ole Gunnar Gundersen writes and performs as Subshine after a stint as singer and songwriter of Lorraine.  A series of singles now leads to his debut album, Easy Window.  If you are experiencing summer (or just wishing you were experiencing summer) and are in love, this is a very good album for you right now.  In fact, if you aren't in love right now these songs may help you feel as if you were in love, and it is hard to buy that feeling any other way that is legal.

The songs are melodic, hopeful, romantic and superbly crafted.  There is a nice balance between the slower paced ballads and the upbeat tunes that likely will prompt a dance step or two.  But even in the latter arrangements, Gundersen eschews the au currant 'big drop' and sticks with the classic electro pop approach we all loved in past decades.  If some of these songs remind you of New Order, you won't be alone, and certainly won't be disappointed.  It is an enjoyable, 'feel-good' listen, and we like pulling it out frequently to recharge the positive vibes.

Easy Window is out in vinyl, digital and CD formats via Norwegian label Apollon Records.

Apollon Records
Twitter (Apollon Records)

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Kool Aid - Family Portrait EP

In the past we have featured several compilations and individual records released by Christchurch collective Melted Ice Cream, so we didn't have any hesitation in diving in when we discovered the new Family Portrait EP by Melted Ice Cream super band Kool Aid.  The members are Jamie Stratton, Violet French, Luke Towart, Ben Dodd, Brian Feary, and Spencer Hall, many or all of whom have played on other recordings featured here.  The six tracks here range from free-wheeling indie rock to breezy summer psychedelia.  Short? Perhaps, but it makes a big impression.

Bandcamp Family Portrait EP
Melted Ice Cream

Trash Kit - Horizon

Trash Kit are not one of those bands that produce an album or two a year, but the pace of their output is due to he application of creative energy to the multiple other projects in which its members are engaged rather than a lack of creative energy.  We think all those varied musical experiences combine to great effect, and the proof is right before us in Horizon, their third album and their first since 2014.  The music here is surging, adventuresome, and brightly colored.  Rachel Aggs' intricate, African-influenced guitar certainly is a notable element, but is only one of the many highlights.  The instrumentation is varied and detailed (with assistance from several contributors) and the melodies sparkle.  The vocals are interesting both for the lyrical content and the presentation, with call and response, speak-sing and interrogatives providing immediacy and impact.  The template is simple -- find a groove, work it well and decorate it with flair.  The results are stunning and oh so pleasurable.

The members of Trash Kit are Rachel Aggs (guitar/vocals), Rachel Horwood (drums/vocals), and Gil Partington (bass).  Horizon is out now via London label Upset the Rhythm.

Trash Kit's blog
Upset the Rhythm page for vinyl and CD formats

Monday, July 15, 2019

"Club DZ" by Acid Arab

As fans of Acid Arab, the dudes that bring middle eastern and Parisian club music together in intoxicating fashion, we are thrilled that they have announce a new album.  Jdid will be available in October via label Crammed Discs.  Our first hint of the upcoming album is the thumping "Club DZ".  Start your week out with a great tune!

Acid Arab originally consisted of Guido Minisky and Herve Carvalho.  Their roster now includes Pierrot Casanova, Nicholas Borne, and Kenzi Bourras, as well.

Various links to buy/stream "Club DZ"
Bandcamp for pre-order of Jdid

Friday, July 12, 2019

"Roll With Me" by Young Guv

What may be the top power pop album of the summer will arrive on August 2.  The title is Guv I, and it is the latest full length by Toronto's Ben Cook, aka Young Guv.  Known for his work in F'cked Up and No Warning, Cook has issued albums, EPs and singles as Young Guv for a decade and that project remains our favorite version of the musician.  Take the album for a test drive with the new digital single "Roll With Me". 

Guv I will be released via Run For Cover Records

Various links to buy/stream "Roll With Me"
Bandcamp for Guv I
Pre-Order page for Guv I in vinyl at Run for Cover Records

Thursday, July 11, 2019

"I'll Go Home" by Campfires

Our inbox has been crowded lately with excellent albums that deserve our attention, but we frequently are distracted by terrific singles that demand repeated listens.  One jewel that hit our ears this week is "I'll Go Home" by Campfires.  The song has a '60s folk rock/British Invasion vibe with jangling, twanging guitars and sweet vocals.  It is so good that it made us sad that Campfires' latest album was in 2013, but we brightened up again when our research department advised us that "I'll Go Home" is taken from new album, Fare Trax, which will be released August 30 via Fire Talk.

Campfires is the project of Jeff Walls, who resides in Portland, Oregon.  Fare Trax will be available in digital and vinyl formats.

Bandcamp Fare Trax
Label page to order Fare Trax

Various Artists - The Moon and Back

UK record label wiaiwya ("where it's at is where you are") is a treasure.  All the labels we follow choose good artists and release quality music -- if they didn't, we wouldn't follow them.  But wiaiwya is one of the labels that does some additional things we love, such as their single series that features the work of both established artists/bands and, sometimes, interesting one-off collaborations of artist/bands. Also worthy of praise are their compilations.  As a matter of fact, we are writing this feature today to alert you to one of those compilations: The Moon And Back - One Small Step For Global Pop.  Inspired by and celebrating the Apollo 11 adventure to the moon, the album consists of 38 tracks from some of the most loved indie pop artists in the solar system.  We won't give you a run down, because there are too many to cover in a fair manner, but also because one of the joys of this album is wandering through the tracks and thrilling to new music by your favorite artists and new music by new favorite artists.  As music writers, we are familiar with many pop musicians, but we still discovered new people and bands to follow.  So without further preamble, we will prime the pump with a few tracks, and then send you to Bandcamp to embark on your own adventure.

Bandcamp for album

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

"Distance" by Matveï

Time for some travelling music for our evening commute, and the spot of honor goes to "Distance" by Montreal-based Frenchman Matveï.  The euphoric house track features delightful and unexpected accents and features vocals by UK singer Alyss.  The producer's debut EP will be available later this year via French label Kitsune.