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.



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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.



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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.




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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.







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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).








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