Thursday, January 17, 2019

"Backseat Warriors" by Misty Coast

Linn Frøkedal and Richard Myklebust are Misty Coast, a dream pop/shoegaze band from Bergen, Norway.  Their 2017 debut album earned a Norwegian Grammy nomination, and they are set to release their second LP, Melodaze, later this month.  You can take it for a test drive with "Backseat Warriors", their third single from the new record.  Featuring robust, but hazy, instrumentation, a pop-oriented melody and Frøkedal’s superb vocals, the song just makes our day better.

"Backseat Warriors" is out now via Norwegian label Brilliance/Moorworks, which also will release the new album.


Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Vicious Petals - Main Street Lights

We recently were invited to attend a show in Seattle featuring Vicious Petals, but prior conflicts prevailed.  However, after checking out the band's 2016 album, Main Street Lights,  our regret became profound indeed.  The band has a completely wired soulful rock sound with great vocals, horns, passion and swagger.  The main focal points are songwriters Ayako Okano and Cooper Smith, but the ensemble numbers 8, and they hit like a freight train.

Bandcamp for Main Street Lights

"I've Got Too Many Friends" by Acrylic

Glasgow's Acrylic was formed in 2014, and has been gathering enthusiastic review for their live shows and critical acclaim for their spring 2018 EP All I Am.  This week the band started a new chapter with the taut but jangling "I've Got Too Many Friends".  A cautionary tale of souring relationships in a fine, rocking package, it shows the kind of talent that should keep this five-piece on your short list.

Acrylic are Andreas Christodoulidis, Ross Patrizio, Jack Lyall, Lewis Doig, and Ruairidh Smith.  "I've Got Too Many Friends" is out this week as a digital download.

Bandcamp for All I Am EP (March 2018)

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

"Religion" by Pink Chameleons

We have enthusiastically followed Finnish band Black Lizard for a number of years, so we were thrilled to check out Pink Chameleons, which not only follow the same naming format (color + reptile), and the same country of origin, but boasts BL's Paltsa-Kai Salama on vocals and guitar.  The trio is completed by Antti Sauli on bass and Iiro Tulkki on drums and keys.  And Iiro also supplied the stop action animation for the video for their introductory single, "Religion.  Suffice it to say that the single is a good reason for you to check out Pink Chameleons as well.

"Religion" is out January 1 via Soliti Music.

Soliti Music

Monday, January 14, 2019

"Keep The Blues Away" by Business of Dreams

We know Corey Cunningham via his other projects, Smokescreens (link to coverage of 2018 debut), Terry Malts and Magic Bullets.  But we now have another CC project.   This one, Business of Dreams, has is origins in the emotional catharsis and reflection after the death of Corey's father.  But the resulting music also is varied guitar pop of the highest quality.  The new album Ripe for Anarchy will be available February 1 via Slumberland Records (see Bandcamp link below to pre-order), but you can test drive album closer "Keep The Blues Away" below.

The band is touring beginning Wednesday, January 16.  Dates and locations are at the bottom of this post.

Bandcamp for Ripe for Anarchy

Jan 16 San Francisco, CA – Bottom Of The Hill (album release show w/The Love-Birds & Blues Lawyer)
Jan 17 Los Angeles, CA – Bootleg Theater (album release show w/Night Shop, AO Gerber & Nelson Hallonquist)
Jan 21 Toronto, ON – The Beguiling %
Jan 22 Ottawa, ON – Black Squirrel Books %
Jan 23 Montreal, QC – Brasserie Beaubien %
Jan 25 Brooklyn, NY – Alphaville *
Jan 26 Philadelphia, PA – Super Wimpy HQ *
Jan 27 Baltimore, MD – Joe 2 *
Jan 29 Indianapolis, IN – State Street Pub
Jan 30 Detroit, MI – Outer Limits
May 1 Paris, FR – Mains D’Oeuvres
May 5 Berlin, DE – Internet Explorer

% - with Tough Age
* - with Corduroy

Sunday, January 13, 2019

"Drive On" by Dreams of Empire

We'd be happy to tell you more about Dreams of Empire, but we know very little.  It is a two-person project from Brighton, UK.  One creates an enthralling crash of guitar, while the other provides dreamy, reverbed vocals.  And it is wonderful.

No website or Facebook that we could find -- just a Twitter account and "Drive On" on Soundcloud that you should be able to find at your preferred digital retailer.


Friday, January 11, 2019

"Bubble" by I Was A King

Today we received an email with the happy news that Norwegian power pop legends I Was A King would be presenting us a new album titled Slow Century in early March.  The album was produced by Norman Blake of Teenage Fanclub, and will be released by Coastal Town Recordings.  March seems like a long time away, but you can sample the goodies via album track "Bubble" below.

I Was A King are Frode Strømstad, Anne Lise Frøkedal, Ole Reidar Gudmestad, and Arne K. Mathisen.


Current Affairs - Breeding Feeling

We are at the end of another work week, and that doesn't make us the least bit sad.  But our Friday is even better with the discovery of Breeding Feeling, the two track single by Glasgow's Current Affairs.  Consisting of the title track and "Draw the Line", it mines a dark pop vein with guitars dishing out an icy jangle with plenty of reverb.  If you like The Cure, Magazine, Siouxsie and the Banshees and Josef K (and we certainly do), this will tickle your musical sweet spot.

Current Affairs are Joan, Seb, Josh, and Andrew, an all-star group with credits including The Royal We, Seconds, Rose McDowall's band, Anxiety, The Downs, Jacob Yates, Sopping, and Kaspar Hauser.  Breeding Feeling is out now via Not Unloved Records.

Not Unloved Records

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

"Dreaming" by Skytone

I don't think there is a rule requiring a jangle pop/dream pop band to write at least one song with a variation of "dream" in the title, but perhaps there should be.  In any case, if such a rule were to be adopted, Canadian duo (we don't count the drum machine in the headcount unless it also receives songwriting credit) Skytone has it covered.  Their new single "Dreaming" has the title, the jangle, and a delightful '60 British Invasion vibe.  Oh, and it is a name your price download.  Deal of the week, folks.

Skytone are Rodney and Darius Doddridge.  They release their music on Ottawa's This Is Beautiful Music label.

Bandcamp for "Dreaming"

Blue Jeans - Adult Hits

Ah, a new year, bringing new resolutions, new projects, new clothes, and new blue jeans.  No, that list isn't redundant -- the 'blue jeans' to which we refer is the Michigan quartet of Tim Sendra, Heather Phares, David Serra, and Fred Thomas, aka Blue Jeans.  The project is starting out our 2019 in fine fashion with their second album, the ten-track Adult Hits.  Mining the sweet-sounding melancholy pop vein we crave and colored with a palette of scrappy muscle, urgent jangle and sharp hooks, the album is a musical statement of a band that has found their stride.  The vocalists may smile bravely while their hearts are breaking, but as music fans, we can only smile.  Check out the goods below, and at the Bandcamp link.

Adult Hits is out now in digital and cassette formats via Life Like/Loch Alpine Records.



Monday, January 7, 2019

The Shifters - Have A Cunning Plan

Chicago's Trouble In Mind Records continues their enviable streak of finding good guitar pop bands regardless of origin, but have been particularly sharp-eared with southern hemisphere bands of late.  Among others, last year featured Melbourne's The Shifters, with Have A Cunning Plan.  Released in July, the band's debut album features wit, rhythmic, sometimes off-kilter arrangements and, overall, a very addictive set of songs.  Listeners may find some similarities with Boomgates, Twerps, Terry (whose Al Monfort recorded the album), The Fall, and some early Flying Nun bands.  But those are just touchstones, not models.  This lot is inventive and completely on their own wavelength.  Smart, taut, and not too serious.  Sounds like a perfect game plan to us.

The Shifters are Miles Jansen (vocals/guitar/melodica), Tristan Davies (bass/guitar/melodica), Louise Russell (keys/vocals), Ryan Coffey (drums/vocals), and Chris Gray (guitar/bass).

Bandcamp for album
Trouble in Mind Records


Friday, January 4, 2019

Earth to Zena - Transmundane

Transmudane offers listeners a six-track stew of shoegaze, psychedelia and alternative rock, and it is well worth your ears.  The work of Wellington, New Zealand four-piece Earth to Zena, the EP combines dense sound with pop sensibilities.  The songs are well-crafted, and the band displays a masterful feel for the material, allowing the songs to grow and reveal themselves in colorful layers.

Earth to Zena are Renee Cotton (vocals/synths), Barton McGuire (guitar), Alex Sipanhioglu (bass), and Nic Allan (drums).  Transmudane is out now in CD and digital formats; see the Bandcamp link below.


Thursday, January 3, 2019

Loose Tooth - Keep Up

If you are here, you love good guitar pop music.  So have a Loose Tooth.   Oh, did that suggestion trigger your fears of the dentist's chair?  We apologize, but assure you that this Loose Tooth won't require cutting or yanking and will cost much less than an implant.  A trio from Melbourne, this Loose Tooth creates hyper-catchy tunes with terrific harmonies and a vibe that reminds me of '80s pop in all of the good ways.  Their 2018 LP is Keep Up, offering 11 tracks that will allow you to keep moving to ward off the chill, or strut on the beach in sunshine, depending on your hemisphere of choice.

Loose Tooth are Etta Curry (vocals/drums), Nellie Jackson (vocals/guitar) and Luc Dawson (vocals/bass/guitar/keys).  Dale Packard assisted with some sweet sax.  Keep Up is available in digital and vinyl formats via Milk! Records.


Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Strawberry Generation - Losing Our Way

Our thanks to all of you who kept checking in for the past week and a half while we skied, drank beer, snowshoed, drank wine, and otherwise slacked off.  However, be are back and starting to brink you some bands to discover and tunes to enjoy.  Our first post of this new year brings you Losing Our Way, the four-song release by Strawberry Generation.  Energy, jangle, adept songcraft and interesting lyrics.  Happy 2019!

Strawberry Generation are Luk Yean, Valerie Zhu,  Max Lowndes, Michelle Bazile,  and Alejandro Subiotto MarquésThe band is based in Providence, Rhode Island.

Bandcamp for Losing Our Way