Thursday, December 17, 2020

Neil Brogan - Weird Year

 

Neil Brogan has an enviable record of noteworthy musical work. From Girls Names to Sea Pinks to his new solo album, Weird Year. His sweet spot is a combination of tautly constructed jangle pop and California guitar pop. His themes tend toward the bittersweet and introspective. What makes is so special for us, aside from an undeniable knack for crafting engaging melodies, is his writing. He is evocative by concise, sketching a picture while letting the listeners fill in the spaces while the sweet guitar tones fill their heads. Sea Pinks delivered ten albums in ten years. We would count ourselves as very fortunate if Neil delivers ten solo albums of this quality in the next decade.

Weird Year is out now in digital format. See the Bandcamp link below.




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Bandcamp for Album

Various Artists - Strum & Thrum: The American Jangle Underground 1983-1987

 

New York label Captured Tracks has launched a new series called Excavations, intended to result in compilations of forgotten music of the period from the '70s through the '90s that reflects -- and inspired -- the type of music on which the label focuses. We think the series is a terrific idea. And we think the label hit a home run with the first release: Strum & Thrum: The American Jangle Underground 1983-1987. Compiling 28 great tunes from the unsung and largely forgotten jangle/college rock bands of the mid-'80s, the record will thrill any jangle pop fan and likely any college rock fan regardless of whether they have actually heard any of these songs before. We consider it an absolute treasure. Without any meaningful production budget of fancy technology, these bands made memorable music by applying the simple basics of good writing, energy, and passion. And they proved that they didn't need anything else.

Strum & Thrum: The American Jangle Underground 1983-1987 is out now in digital and vinyl formats. The 2XCD version sold out, but it is being repressed and can be pre-ordered now.








Bandcamp for album

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Permits - Time Permits

 

As we are fans of Melbourne-area bands The Shifters, Pop Singles, Dag and Chook Race, we were eager to dive into an album by Permits -- a project boasting members of each of those bands. Not surprisingly, these gents have a lot of material that hasn't fit in their other bands' records, so they joined forces and gave the songs new life in Time Permits. The themes are observational, and the pace and vibe have a Velvet Underground feel. The band's instincts were correct, this material deserved to be recorded for us to enjoy and this record is a very nice end of the year surprise.

Permits is Tristan Davies, Tam Matlakowski, Dusty Anastssiou and Rob Remedios. Time Permits is out now in digital and cassette formats via Tenth Court.





Bandcamp for Time Permits

Various links to source Time Permits

Tenth Court

credits

"Rage On" by Tim Cohen

We have been alerted that Bobo Integral, one of the fine Spanish labels we follow, will release a solo album by Tim Cohen of The Fresh & Onlys and Magic Trick. The San Francisco artist has released the lead track, "Rage On", as the first single. Featuring a detailed but mellow arrangement and Cohen's warm weathered voice, it gives us a change to snatch some calm pleasure in a hectic holiday season.

You Are Still Here is Tim Cohen's sixth solo album, and will be released in vinyl and digital formats on March 26.

Bandcamp for album

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"Home" by Millar Jukes

Before we leave today we are sharing a fun, country blues single by a Scotsman who has emigrated to Australia. Enjoy "Home" on Soundcloud or watch the video, in which Millar Jukes shows his penchant for moving around and eating out of cans. We endorse the former, but are a bit wary of the latter (note, we think drinking beer out of cans is perfectly normal).

"Home" is out now -- check your preferred digital music source.



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Soundcloud for "Home"

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

The Cupholders - The Cupholders Christmas Shitshow Mixtape Vol​.​1

 

A great holiday offering - 40 tunes by Seattle area artists for 'name your price' with the proceeds going to Keep Music Live Washington to help save hometown community-based music venues. The album was put together by The Cupholders: Bart Cameron of The Foghorns, Casey Ruff of Casey Ruff & the Mayors of Ballard, and Sam Russell of Sam Russell & The Harborrats. The songs in the collection include songs by The Cupholders, its members other projects, and songs by friends, associates and acquaintances. There were no genre restrictions, so the listener will delight in a wide array of musical expression. 

We've given you a taste below, but consider doing good by buying good music. We thank you!







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Bandcamp for Album


Monday, December 14, 2020

"At Attention" by Northern Portrait

Our less-than-patient wait for new material from Northern Portrait, our favorite Danish indie pop band, is over. True, the new album The Swiss Army won't be out until 2021, but the first single is here already. "At Attention" struts the more muscular, wide-screen end of the jangle pop spectrum. It seems to fill our Monday with more confidence and energy, and we suggest it may do the same for you.

"At Attention" and The Swiss Army are available via Matinee Recordings.

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Matinee Recordings page for single


Sunday, December 13, 2020

"A Joke" by Mystery Guest

 

Melbourne's Mystery Guest enthralled us with their lovely album Octagon City earlier this year (our feature here). Fortunately for our ears, the Metro Tunnel Creative Program and Melbourne Music Week included Mystery Guest among the Melbourne artists invited to create and contribute original music during COVID-19 lockdown. The resulting Home Made Sound contains many and varied delights, with Mystery Guest's "A Joke" catching our attention. Allegedly, it is about love, death and gags, and it it lovely start to finish. Stream it below.

Mystery Guest is Caitlyn Lesiuk (guitar, organ, electric piano, vocals) and Patricke Telfer (drums). On this single bass was played by Daevid Gravalien, flute was provided by Sophie Weston, and Joel Carey supplied backing vocals. "A Joke" is out now in digital format via Tenth Court, which also released Octagon City.

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Various links to source "A Joke"

Tenth Court' website

The Yellow Melodies - Sunshine Pop EP2


 Rafa Skam and his band mates in The Yellow Melodies are not, to our knowledge, doctors of medicine. But on this rainy, early winter day the five songs on Sunshine Pop EP 2 are the mental vitamin D medicine that beats any other prescription. From "Follow the Sun" through the last note of "The Sunshine In Your Eyes" the record is packed with pop melodies and feel good vibes. Consider it essential for your mental health.

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Bandcamp for EP2