Friday, December 4, 2020
Thursday, December 3, 2020
Tuesday, December 1, 2020
We Said We Didn't Know But We Knew is an exotic but eminently accessible tapestry of Nordic indie folk, electro pop and alternative pop. The creators are Finnish band KO:MI, comprised of Sanna Komi (vocals, violin, songs and lyrics), with Mikko Joensuu (vocals), Suvi Linnovaara (clarinet and flute), Saara Viika (cello), Markus Perttula (double bass and vocals), and Teemu Tanner (backing vocals). Sanna is also known and respected for her work with Pintandwefall, Kynnet, and Cats of Transnistria, and we have followed her career with interest and pleasure. As KO:MI, she seems especially free to pursue her thematic and musical vision, and has crafted an intellectually intriguing exploration of relationships with the background of a challenging social environment. And the music, well, that is classic Komi, combining traditional and experimental in ways that please the ear and challenge expectations. One moment she is a pop star cooing in your ear, the next moment she is an ambient producer, and the next a choir on Sunday morning. Dazzling and satisfying in equal measure.
We Said We Didn't Know But We Knew is out now via Helsinki's Soliti Music.
Monday, November 30, 2020
No Harm Done is out now in digital, vinyl and CD formats via Fire Records.
What better day to feature a record titled Personal Computing than Cyber Monday? True, people given to overly technical analysis might point out that the release day if four days in the future, but we counter with the arguments that the two songs comprising the single are already available to stream and order on Bandcamp, and the special color of vinyl is already sold out at the pre-order stage (black vinyl remains available). So on balance, Cyber Monday is perfect in our eyes.
This little gem is the creation of Neutrals, a DIY Oakland punk/post punk trio with Glasgow DNA. The two upbeat song that comprise the single, "Personal Computing" and "In The Future" are at the punk end of the spectrum. But they feature plenty of melody to go with the passion, and the ringing, buzzing guitars are a delight. Perhaps it is audacious to say so, but this single reminds us of The Clash, and that is direct pipeline to our hearts.
The record will be release via Slumberland Records and is, in fact, the final installment of that label's singles series.
Sunday, November 29, 2020
The short version of the background is that Candy Opera were a promising Liverpool band formed in the early '80s, drawing favorable comparisons to Scotland's Aztec Camera and fellow Liverpudians Echo & the Bunnymen and Pale Fountains. The band went through various lineup changes until they pulled the plug in the early '90s. The story may well have ended there, but Firestation Records found the band's old demos and released them in 2018 via an LP titled 45 Revolutions Per Minute. Candy Opera reformed to support the release, and found their creative juices jump-started. The result is The Patron Saint of Heartache, their first new songs in thirty years. The music is spacious, detailed and big-hearted. It is no surprise that the band's '80s guitar pop sensibilities are evident, but it also isn't a weakness. In our view these songs demonstrate both why Candy Opera was well-regarded in the '80s and why they deserve a play in current day guitar pop.
The members of Candy Opera are Brian Chin Smithers (guitar/vocals), Alan Currie (drums), Frank Mahon (bass), Paul Malone (vocals/guitar), and Ken Moss (guitar). The Patron Saint of Heartache is out now via A Turntable Friend Records.