Friday, July 31, 2020

Cools Sounds - Sleepers EP


Sleepers is quite sneaky. It appears to be a modest six-track EP of easy listening, only asking for your ears and a bit of time. But by the time its final note it has captured your heart and soul and worked its way to the top of your current playlist. This gem war crafted by the soft rock masters of Melbourne's Cool Sounds. Fans of their past work will not be surprised by the silky melodies, appealing lyrics and sharp hooks, However, the combination of elements here strikes us as prime magic. The guitars are ace and the additional vocal contributions add an extra dash of lushness.  Although our current favorites are the opening and closing tracks, which we have embedded below, every song in the set is a clear winner. And by our calculus, that makes all of us with a copy of Sleepers a winner.

Cool Sounds are Dainis Lacey, Nick Kearton, Ambrin Hasnain, Lauren Huynth, Steve Foulkes, and Jack Nichols. Additional contributions were provided by Rose Kean, Anila Hasnain, Dylan Young,, Jo Syme, and Matt Murphy. Sleepers is out now via Hotel Motel Records.






Facebook
Twitter
Bandcamp for Sleepers EP
Hotel Motel Records

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

R.E. Seraphin Tiny Shapes LP // A Room Forever EP

Today we would like to introduce our readers to the talented Ray Serapnin, formerly the frontman for The Talkies. Having recently moved back to the Bay Area from Austin, Texas. Ray is experiencing a highly productive year, having released an LP titled Tiny Shapes at the end of March and A Room Forever EP in June. The records are 'solo' projects under the name R.E. Seraphin, although he calls on some of his old companions for able support.

And while we don't consider ourselves to me a marketing affiliate for the artists we feature, we can't help pointing out that each of Ray's 2020 records is available as a digital download for $3 via San Francisco's Paisley Shirt Records. Tiny Shapes also is available on cassette.


TINY SHAPES

Tiny Shapes is a power pop gem, with plenty of chiming, ringing and jangling guitars. There is a bit of Martin Phillipps in his songcraft (in fact, we were reminded of Ray's album while listening to the reissue of The Chills' Soft Bomb and Submarine Bells albums), but there is a bit of The Feelies, The Clean and a lot, a delicious lot, of Television Personalities. It strikes our ears as a terrific summer album, so grab it while you still have some summer left.

The players on Tiny Shapes are R.E. Seraphin (vocals/electric guitars), Owen Kelley (bass/acoustic and electric guitars/keys), Yea-Ming Chen (vocals), and Phil Lantz (drums). Additional contributions were made by Jasper Leach and Matt Bullimore,








Website
Facebook
Twitter
Bandcamp for Tiny Shapes
Bandcamp for Paisley Shirt Records


A ROOM FOREVER



A Room Forever is a different animal than its preceding longer sibling. The sharp songwriting remains, but the soundscape is less power pop/pop rock and more a blend of jangle and dream pop. Strong Television Personalities kinship, and more generally, '80s British and American guitar pop, is a mainstay on this record, and it has never sounded so fresh. We won't beat around the bush: This is one of our favorite EPs of the year.

The players on A Room Forever are R.E. Seraphin (vocals/guitar/bass), Owen Adair Kelley (guitar/bass/synth/arrangements/vocals), Matt Bullimore (guitar/vocals), and Yea-Ming Chen (vocals).





Website
Facebook
Twitter
Bandcamp for A Room Forever


Sunday, July 26, 2020

Even As We Speak - Adelphi


Australian band Even As We Speak attracted a well-deserved following in the '80s, including Mr. John Peel, and even found an apt platform in Sarah Records for their debut LP, Feral Pop Frenzy. They dissolved in the early '90s, looking destined to be one of those wonderful '80s fuzzy pop bands that burned bright and then left fans forever hunting for rare physical artifacts of their art. But Even As We Speak is the rare band that can not only mount a resurrection, but a resurrection that encompasses a broader sound and more nuanced and (understandably) experienced perspective. So after a reunion and the Black Forest EP in 2016, the five-piece has created Adelphi, the band's second LP.

The album, quite simply, is musical magic. Everything the band did well before, they still do as well or better, so the melodies are delectable and perfectly illustrated by the players. But they also deepen and expand the aural landscape with synths, and the emotional landscape with an appreciation of the loves, losses, and day to day challenges of life heading into middle age (nice to know we aren't alone, isn't it?). And Mary Wyer's vocals continue to be a treasure of the indie pop world. We couldn't pick our three favorite songs on the album if we tried, so we didn't try. Instead we picked three songs that illustrate some of the many facets of the songcraft on Adelphi. If you buy any music this year -- and of course you will -- this album should be on your list.

Even As We Speak are Matthew Love, Mary Wyer, Julian Knowles, Rob Irwin, and Anita Rayner. Adelphi is out now in vinyl, CD, and digital formats via Shelflife Records (US) and Discos de Kirlian (Spain).








Website
Facebook
Twitter
Bandcamp for album