Thursday, February 28, 2019

Telekinesis - Effluxion

Sometimes the most enjoyable music is music with no tricks, no curve balls, and no head fakes.  A good example is Effluxion, the new album from TelekinesisTelekinesis is the project of Seattle's Michael Benjamin Learner, a man who knows that his sweet spot is indie pop and power pop, and he aims to deliver just that.  And deliver it he does, with an emphasis on melodies and hooks and guitar-based arrangements and positive vocals.  The songs are warm, fun, and will put a spring in your step and a roll in your shoulders.  Test them out below or on Bandcamp.

Effluxion is out now in vinyl, CD, and digital formats via Merge Records.

Bandcamp for Effluxion
Merge Records page for Effluxion

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Martin Frawley - Undone at 31

We have been aware of Martin Frawley's talents for about a decade via the Melbourne-based Twerps.  Founded by Frawley and then-partner Julia McFarlane, the band was one of our favorite jangle pop bands and, in our view, was one of the better bands in this decade's resurgence of Australian indie pop.  However, Martin and Julia are no longer partners in life, or music, and the Twerps are no more.  Unsurprisingly, such events produced a lot of thinking, and it seems a lot of drinking (familiar break-up ground for more than a few of us).  But out of it, the 31-year-old Frawley has fashioned the deeply affecting Undone at 31.  Consisting of eleven pop gems encompassing jazzy spoken word (the remarkable opener, "You Want Me?"), country )"Lo and Behold"),  indie rock (e.g. WYMA favorite "End Of The Bar"), jangle pop, and several other styles.  The arrangements are restrained, allowing for space and emphasizing the lyrical content, embellished by a piano here, or a bass line there, but rocking out from time to time.  Actually, there is a lot of piano, and it serves the material well.

And yes, Undone at 31 is a break-up album.  But it also is an album about finding yourself in loss, and shaping a life as maturing adult through the pain and confusion.  Sometimes redemption is not achieved by means of a big, recognizable event, but rather via the small steps of letting go, forgiving, and understanding that life doesn't require perfection or total understanding to go forward.  By the last note of "Where the Heart Is", we get the sense that Martin is getting there via the small steps, and will be fine.  As for us, the man's solo debut has left us quite impressed, and this album is one of our favorites of the first quarter of 2019.

On this album Martin sang and played guitar, bass, piano, percussion, and synths.  He was supported by Stewart Bronaugh (guitar/bass/piano/synths/percussion/melodica), Angus Lord (bass), Matthew Harkin (drums), and John Lee (bass/percussion/synths).  Undone at 31 is out now in digital, CD, and vinyl formats via Merge Records.

Bandcamp for Undone At 31
Merge Records

"Sweet" by Cat Princess

We are more 'dog people' than 'cat people' here.  It may be our insecurity, but we need to be loved.  However, we have nothing against cats, so today we begin with some feline royalty.  Specifically, we welcome to these pages Cat Princess.  Unlike some cats in our experience, this Swedish band is willing to put in the effort to make a good first impression.  Here is "Sweet", which lives up to its name, along with melody and a goodly amount of bounce.  The band's debut album, Forbidden Items, is due in May via Rama Lama Records.

Cat Princess are Nils Krång (vocals, synth), Robin Åberg (guitar), Robert Lanneborn (guitar), Isabelle Friberg (bass) and Victor Klint (drums). 

Bandcamp for pre-order of Forbidden Items
Rama Lama Records

Monday, February 25, 2019

Various Artists - Kitsune Parisien

Ahhh ... springtime in Paris.  Except it isn't quite springtime, and we aren't in Paris.  We are, however, very much enjoying Kitsune Parisien, the fifth installment of up and coming French stars compiled by French-Japanese label Kitsune Musique.  The album consists of 14 vibrant and varied tracks that will keep us smiling up until spring and beyond.

Kitsune Parisien is out now as a digital release.  Take it for a test drive at the Soundcloud link -- you won't be disappointed.

Kitsune Musique on Facebook
Digital sources for Kitsune Parisien
Soundcloud to stream album
Facebook for Kitsune Musique
Twitter for Kitsune Musique

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Jackson Politick - Psycho​-​mania b​/​w Well​-​adjusted Australians

Since this was a November 2018 vinyl release with a digital download included, and was limited to 300 copies, you may be too late to own your own copy of "Psycho-Mania"/"Well-Adjusted Australians".  But you sure as hell can listen to it as long as Bandcamp allows.  Jackson Politick is Andy Human (And Jordan) of Andy Human and the Reptoids.  The first song is a synth punk delight.  The second song,  "Well-Adjusted Australians" could be Guided by Voices or Television Personalities.