Friday, July 17, 2020

"This Side of Luv" by Keys

Well, well well, this is a glorious opener to the final work from home day of the week. The song is "This Side of Luv", the new single by Welsh band Keys. A soaring melody painted in bright tones with a full and sparkling arrangement, it has put a likely day-long smile on our faces. Irrepressible, irresistible retro charm to the max. We could wake up to it every morning -- perhaps we will wake up to it every morning.

"This Side of Luv" is out now via Libertino Records.


Wednesday, July 15, 2020

The Beths - Jump Rope Gazers

Jump Rope Gazers is a different animal from The Beths' debut Future Me Hates Me. Where the 2018 LP was all energy and melody, this album is more subdued. The band's unerring ear for melody remains, but is packaged in reflective thoughts of yearning, physical and emotional distance, and coming to grips with their growing stature in the indie music world. True, the writing has always been self-conscious -- charmingly so, in our opinion -- but that attribute is more to the fore in this outing. That said, this band can fuse an apt hook in any song of any tempo, and their arrangements reflect an appreciation for the perfectly stacked hits of 60s-70s American soul music. There is no doubt that Jump Rope Gazers is another triumph for this band, and will be marked as one of our cherished albums of this summer.

The Beths are Elizabeth Stokes (vocals/guitar), Jonathan Pearce (guitar/vocals), Benjamin Sinclair (bass/vocals), Tristan Deck (drums/vocals). Jump Rope Gazers in digital, vinyl and CD format via Carpark Records.

Bandcamp for album

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

The Opium Cartel - Valor

The Opium Cartel is the project Norway's Jacob Holm-Lupo uses for his synth pop creations. Their latest LP, the nine-track Valor, is a delightful collage of melodic, electronic delights, and appealing guest vocalists and musicians. The collaborative nature of the album, in addition to Holm-Lupo's own creativity, results in an album that is varied and consistently exciting. While good any time of day, we find it particularly invigorating in our summer mornings.

For this album Holm-Lupo called upon Silje Huleboer, Ole Ovstedal, Bjorn Riis, Lars Fredrik Froislie, Jacob's 13-year old daughter, Ina A, Leah Marcu, Maria Grigoryeva, Ilia Skibinsky, and Alexander Stenerud. Valor is out now in vinyl, digital, and CD formats via Apollon Records

Bandcamp for Valor
Apollon Records

Monday, July 13, 2020

Peel Dream Magazine - Moral Panics EP

Joe Stevens (aka Peel Dream Magazine) dropped a new album earlier this year (our feature here),  so we didn't expect to hear more from him this soon. But apparently the muse that guides him to push the edge of dreampop with his static and drone-draped melodic creations is on its own schedule. The result is the surprise arrival of the six-track Moral Panics EP. The record consists of five new songs and a demo. The EP is a welcome addition to our growing collection of Peel Dream Magazine recordings and has enriched our summer lock-down days. We suggest it will do the same for you.

Bandcamp for Moral Panics EP