Friday, August 23, 2019

"Not A Dream" by Spinning Coin

About a month ago we shared "Visions At The Stars" (link), the title track for the upcoming two-song single by one of our favorite Scottish bands, Spinning Coin.  With the August 30 release date for the single on the near horizon, the Glasgow band is sharing "Not A Dream", the B-side.  A shaggy ode to trying to escape modern information overload, it further cements our love for Spinning Coin's brand of guitar pop.

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.

And for those of you with short memory or for some odd reason, unlike us, do not have an obsession with Spinning Coin, here is a reminder of the superb A-side:

Various links for Not A Dream
Domino page for vinyl version of single

Thursday, August 22, 2019

The Umbrella Puzzles - The Umbrella Puzzles EP

We noticed in the past 24 hours that several people who have what we consider to be very good taste in music have been chatting about The Umbrella Puzzles.  So naturally we decided to check them out for ourselves.  What we have discovered is (1) "them", is actually a "he", that is Ryan Marquez, (2) Ryan's other projects include Apple Orchards and Golden Teardrops, (3) Ryan has a knack for a knockout melody, a gentle hook and a plaintive vocal to ride the tune, and (4) his self-titled six-song EP is available for 'name your price'.  Obvious references (to our ears) include The Go-Betweens, Galaxie 500, and Peter Astor.  This is a great EP for sitting on the deck on a gentle summer night with the automatic replay button engaged and a chilled bottle within reach.

The Umbrella Puzzles EP is a digital release via Boring Spaghetti Records; see the Bandcamp link below.

Bandcamp for EP

"Melting Face" by Pink Chameleons

In January we featured new Finnish band Pink Chameleons via their single "Religion" (link).  We are happy to report that the band's debut EP will be released this fall via Soliti Music, and we have our first hint at the content with EP track "Melting Face".  An urgent psych/garage rocker of a tune, it reminds us of The Jesus and Mary Chain, as well as frontman Paltsa-Kai Salama's former outfit Black Lizard.  And that means we like it a lot.

In addition to Salama, Pink Chameleons are Antti Sauli and Ville Hopponen.  Backing vocals for "Melting Face" were provided by Tytti Roto of Plastic Tones.  By the way, the video features flowers from Salama's garden.

Bandcamp for single

The Irony Board - Unfinished Business

Like many who are obsessed with indie music, we can be a bit elitist about knowing of bands that most people haven't heard of. So we can walk down the street with our ear buds firmly in place, smugly listening to the demos by Big Nose Betty and Her Blonde Zulu Surf Dudes. But we have to remind ourselves that this blog exists to actually share that information with you (well, not about BNB&HBZSD, they are still looking for a permanent drummer). And we don't have to look hard for the subject of this post, because we have listened to Unfinished Business four times today, four times yesterday, and numerous other times over the past two weeks.  The band is The Irony Board, an unsigned British group that should have, and deserved to, make a splash in the '90s. Sadly, that didn't happen for them, and their music would have been lost if not for Wally at Canadian label The Beautiful Music. 

The ten songs on the album are an absolute treat, with a simple and melodic DIY guitar pop style, affecting themes, sincere lyrics and a performance style that spans Television Personalities, The Razorcuts, and even The Beat Happening. We don't even know the names of the players other than Johny Nocash.  And you probably won't be surprised to learn that even if the man has no cash, that isn't his real name.  But if John Hartley wants to be known as Johny Nocash that is ok with us and his secret is safe in our hands.

Take the three tracks below for a test drive. If you are like us, you will decide that you need this album. Remember, it had to be rescued once, you can't count on that happening again.

Unfinished Business is out now in CD format via The Beautiful Music. We understand that the label will have a digital version available soon.

Twitter for Johny Nocash
Label page

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Fashion Brigade - Fvck The Heartache

We have been told that self-care is important to mental health.  While we aren't experts on the subject, we have been called crazy often enough that taking a few precautions seems appropriate.  So today we are treating our ears very, very well. Of course, we always give our ears good music, but the current selection is especially melodic.  And being of kind disposition, we are going to share our medicine with you. Accordingly, please welcome Fvck The Heartache by Fashion Brigade.

Fashion Brigade is the project of Elia Einhorn, the driving force behind the late, lamented Scotland Yard Gospel Choir. For Fvck The Heartache Elia has fashioned 11 lush, melodic and exceptionally clever pop gems.  The magic, in addition to ace songwriting, is that each track has one or more stellar collaborators.  And what a roster - Frankie Cosmos, Exene Cervenka (of X), Thor Harris, and members of LCD Soundsystem, Dirty Projectors, Icy Demons, Prince Rama, Phosphorescent, and others.  When you file this album away, you probably will file it near Magnetic Fields, Belle and Sebastian and, of course, Scotland Yard Gospel Choir.  But you'll have time to think about it because we suspect that you won't want to file it anywhere any time soon

Fvck The Heartache is out now in vinyl and digital formats via Gentle Reminder Records.

Bandcamp for Fvck The Heartache
Gentle Reminder Records

Monday, August 19, 2019

Life Strike - Primitive Future

A couple weeks ago, we had never heard of Life Strike, but now their debut album Primitive Future is a staple of our daily listening.  Frankly, it is things like that that keep us going at WYMA.  Formed by Nick Pratt, ex-Deaf Wish bassist and songwriter, and Guitarist Patrick McCabe of Brisbane's Dollar Bar, Life Strike launches from the rich guitar pop history of Nick's native New Zealand with songs that variously bring to mind The Verlaines, The Bats, and The Clean, among others.  The songs reflect a knack for melody and simple but effective song structures, but manage to convey a sharp, dark edge as well.  Of the more pop oriented songs, "Pages" is a standout, but "Econo" and "Megabytes Are Dying" are strong contenders.  In the garage rock vein, the three opening tracks are excellent, with "Black Curtain" drawing favorable comparisons to The Black Lips.  "Contact, No Contact" reminds us of post-Genesis Peter Gabriel and The Jean-Paul Sartre Experience.  But there really isn't a weak song in the set.  Primitive Future is another triumph in the seemingly inexhaustible river of good music coming out of Melbourne

The band has been through several drummers.  Ollie Mackay served for the recording of Primitive Future, but the role now filled by Scotty Birque.  We don't want to start unfounded rumors, but when we read that Nick and Patrick both have suffered serious accidents requiring insertion of titanium in their bodies, and that the band is on their third drummer, one wonders if drummer auditions inadvisably involved trial by combat.

Primitive Future is out now in vinyl and digital formats.  See the Bandcamp link below.

Bandcamp for Primitive Future