Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Cats of Transnistria - Opium

Cats of Transnistria have created their own brand of pop music, built from layers of understated synths, guitars and ethereal vocals.  For Opium, their second album, they have added a violin and increased both the melodic and dynamic aspects for their sound.  The result is deep, swirling and cinematic songs that unfurl at a stately pace, capturing the listener's attention with beauty, exquisite detail, and the promise of continuing sonic discovery.  The eight tracks are simultaneously haunting and soothing.  We can't stop playing it, and we don't think you will be able to stop either.

Cats of Transnistria are Tuomas Alatalo and Henna Emilia Hietamaki, joined by violinist Sanna Komi.  Opium is out on Friday, February 2 via Helsinki's Soliti Music.

Soliti Music page for Cats of Transnistria

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Roaming Herds of Buffalo - The Bugbears

Today we welcome a new, old friend, Roaming Herds of Buffalo.  They are an old friends because we featured their most recent previous albums Japanese Cars and Apocalypse Beach.  They are new, because they have changed their sound for their just-released The Bugbears.  Some of the jangle and indie pop of the past is gone, and they now dish out chunky rock licks, post-punk rhythms and lyrics delivered with menace and a bit of danger.  Oh, and the volume often is a few levels higher as well.  In case you are wondering whether they are allowed to change like that, the answer is "yes, they are".  They have cleverly avoided being trapped into a big label contract under which they would be expected to deliver a given sound (solid planning, men, solid).  Moreover, not only do they execute the new sound like they have been doing it forever, but it fits the album's theme of a boy, lost in the woods and chased by the evil bugbears.  So dive in to the spooky rock riffs of The Bugbears, and turn on your nightlight tonight.

Roaming Herds of Buffalo are William Cremin, Jared Fiechtner, Neal Flaherty, Scott Roots, and Joe Shultz.  The Bugbears is out now as a digital release.  See the Bandcamp link below.

Bandcamp for The Bugbears

Monday, January 29, 2018

The Shifting Sands - Zoe/Run

One of our favorite purveyors of psychedelic pop is Michael McLeod.  The Dunedin, New Zealand musician, who records and performs as The Shifting Sands, spent part of 2017 touring North America in support of David Kilgour and the Heavy Eights.  Before heading home, Michael (vocals/guitar) and fellow band members Tom Bell (bass) and Jake Langley (drums) went into studio in Los Angeles to record a seven inch single consisting of "Zoe" and "Run".  For the sessions the band was joined by additional guitarist Steven Schayer.

Featuring the band's traditional harmonic complexity and keen melodic sensibility, the single is a standout work of psychedelic pop, with a deep, layered rhythm track and punchy, intertwined guitars.  Below you can enjoy the video for "Run" created by Phoebe Mackenzie, or the Bandcamp stream for the song.  The single is available on limited edition vinyl plus a digital download via Fishrider Records.

Bandcamp for Single

The Spook School - Could It Be Different?

We first became aware of The Spook School when we stumbled on to a few of their early demos and featured them on the blog.  We've followed them since, and have been impressed with their growth as a band.  We have been even more impressed by their steadfast devotion to their beliefs, including gender positivity and trans rights.  This is a good band comprised of good people.  The Spook School can be defiant, political and angry, but they express themselves in stories to which their listener can relate. And the humanity is at the surface, addressing identity questions, stereotyping, romantic issues and just the general confusion in trying to become and adult in your own skin.  At the end of the day, it is triumphant music, because these guys are survivors.

The Spook School are Nye Todd, Adam Todd, Anna Cory, and Niall McCamley.  Could It Be Different? is out now via Alcopop! Records in UK and Slumberland Records in North America.  The band is beginning a North American tour this week, that extends into early March.  See below for dates and venues.

Bandcamp for Could It Be Different? (Slumberland)
Slumberland Records
Bandcamp for Could It Be Different? (Alcopop)
Alcopop! Records


01/29 Buffalo, NY @ Mohawk Place # ^
01/30 Toronto, ON @ The Garrison # ^
01/31 Detroit, MI @ Marble Bar # ^
02/01 Chicago, IL @ Bottom Lounge # &
02/02 Madison, WI @ University of Wisconsin # &
02/03 Minneapolis, MN @ University of Minnesota # &
02/05 Lawrence, KS @ White Schoolhouse #
02/06 Omaha, NE @ Reverb Lounge & #
02/07 Denver, CO @ Lost Lake Lounge #
02/08 Salt Lake City, UT @ Kilby Court #
02/09 Boise, ID @ Neurolux # &
02/10 Vancouver, BC @ The Cobalt # &
02/11 Seattle, WA @ Chop Suey #
02/12 Portland, OR @ Aladdin Theater #
02/14 San Francisco, CA @ Rickshaw Stop #
02/15 Santa Cruz, CA @ The Catalyst # &
02/16 Los Angeles, CA @ Lodge Room #
02/17 San Diego, CA @ You Are Going To Hate This Fest 3 #
02/19 Tucson, AZ @ Club Congress # &
02/21 Austin, TX @ Sidewinder # &
02/22 Dallas, TX @ Three Links # &
02/23 New Orleans, LA @ Hi Ho Lounge # &
02/24 Atlanta, GA @ The Masquerade # &
02/25 Asheville, NC @ The Mothlight # &
02/26 Charlotte, NC @ Neighborhood Theatre # &
02/27 Carrboro, NC @ Cat’s Cradle # &
02/28 Washington, DC @ Rock & Roll Hotel # &
03/01 Brooklyn, NY @ Elsewhere # &
03/02 Boston, MA @ Brighton Music Hall # &
03/03 Philadelphia, PA @ First Unitarian Church # &

# = w/ Diet Cig
^ = w/ Lala Lala

& = w/ Great Grandpa

Sunday, January 28, 2018

"Hope" by Love Sick

Julie and Shaun are Love Sick.  No, you don't need to send a get well card, I think their health is robust.  Love Sick is the stage name chosen by the Glasgow duo.  Their latest single is "Hope", and we think it provides a great reason to keep track of Love Sick.  Check out "Hope", below.

Link to digital outlets for "Hope"

Friday, January 26, 2018

"The Chain" by Mattis

In the not too distant past Denmark's Mattis Jakobsen was a 6'8" punk rocker.  He still it 6'8", but he now employs his booming tenor voice in a genre he calls "Viking soul".  We first became aware of Mattis via "Loverboy" which we featured a while back.  Now Mattis returns with "The Chain", an intense and defiant complaint of an unappreciated lover.  We think it is a good way to start out your day in music.

Tigerspring Records

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Math and Physics Club - Lived Here Before

In 2005 I was listening to the radio (we all remember radio, don't we?) and I heard a sweet, captivating and thoroughly twee gem titled "Weekends Away" by a Seattle area band named Math and Physics Club.  I was sufficiently impressed, despite my skinflint proclivities, that I went out and bought the four-track single.  Not only did I play the hell out of the songs, but -- and this is confession time -- I ripped off the band by including the closing song, "When We Get Famous" as the final track on the soundtrack I was asked to make for the memories video and slideshow for the graduating class of the local high school (and a great soundtrack it was, opening with shots of the seniors at double-time speed coming in to the high school as freshmen over Ballboy's "You Can't Spend Your Whole Life Hanging Around With Arseholes" and closing with sentimental photos of the seniors over "When We Get Famous".  So yes, Charles, James, Kevin and Ethan, I used your song without asking.  But there was no money involved and maybe it helped sell a few copies of Weekends Away.

At the time, I didn't know whether I'd ever hear of the band again, but looking at my music library last night I realize that I have every album the band has released since then and, not surprising given those circumstances, I celebrate every time I learn of a new M&PC LP coming our way.  The latest is Lived Here Before which is released tomorrow via Fika Recordings in UK/Europe and Matinee Recordings in North America.  The new album finds the four childhood friends true to their jangling, indie pop hearts, but with flourishes that take them outside the lines of their past work in very satisfying ways.  So here there is a bit more rock muscle, a bit of drone, a touch of country (the affecting "Dear Madeline"), delightful percussive forays and an overall sense of dynamism that blows out the walls of any "twee" box one might be tempted to put them in.  And credit to Chris Hanzsek, famed producer of grunge bands Soundgarden and Green River for capturing it all wonderfully.

But the core of this band's genius are songs that meld endearing melodies with lyrics that hit home, and the eleven songs of Lived Here Before are the strongest overall statement the band has made to date.  They have always had the knack for concise and interesting expressions, whether sweet or bittersweet, and are not shy about interjecting self-deprecatory humor.  However, the added years have provided a well-earned depth of experiences to layer into the sweet-sounding confections.  The result is an album that is richly rewarding for any indie pop fan.

Math and Physics Club are Charles Bert (vocals/guitar), Ethan Jones (bass/keys), James Werle (lead guitar), and Kevin Emerson (drums).  Lived Here Before is out on Friday, January 26.

Fika Recordings page for album
Matinee Recordings page for album

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Ghost Music - I Was Hoping You'd Pass By Here

Well, well, well, this is one of the more pleasant surprises of the year so far.  A surprise, because we previously were unfamiliar with Southend-On-Sea (UK) band Ghost Music.  And pleasant because the thirteen unassuming little gems packed into I Was Hoping You'd Pass By Here are delectable guitar pop gems of the highest order.  The tunes are warm and inviting.  They don't spring out and grab you by the throat, but they are waiting to give you a sincere hug when you give in to them.  There is a bit of Galaxie 500, Pavement, Silver Jews, Yo La Tengo, and The Bats in the DNA, and for us those are very good references.  While the set is all pop songs, there is a good bit of variety in the songwriting so the listener's interest is maintained throughout.  If you like guitar pop, you will want to explore this one.

Ghost Music are long-time collaborators Matt Randall and Lee Hall (of Beatglider), joined by Roy Thirlwall and Leighton Jennings.  I Was Hoping You'd Pass By Here is out now via Arlen.


Tuesday, January 23, 2018

"Mainland" by Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever

One of our favorite live shows last year featured Melbourne's Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever.  And we have another excuse to sing their praises, because the boys are kicking off a busy 2018 tour schedule with new song "Mainland".  Guitars and melody, just the way we like it.  You have two formats to stream the track below, and we've set out the entire tour schedule.  Yes, we will see them again, because we are lucky guys.


Sat. Jan. 27 - Singapore @ St Jerome’s Laneway Festival
Jan 29 - Auckland, NZ @ St Jerome’s Laneway Festival
Feb 2 - Adelaide, AUS @ St Jerome’s Laneway Festival
Feb 3 - Melbourne, AUS @ St Jerome’s Laneway Festival
Feb 4 - Sydney, AUS @ St Jerome’s Laneway Festival
Feb 10 - Brisbane, AUS @ St Jerome’s Laneway Festival
Feb 11 - Fremantle, AUS @ St Jerome’s Laneway Festival

Fri. Apr. 13 - Sun. Apr. 15 - Indio, CA @ Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival
Fri. Apr. 20 - Sun. Apr. 22 - Indio, CA @ Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival
Tue. Apr. 24 - Portland, OR @ Doug Fir Lounge
Wed. Apr. 25 - Seattle, WA @ The Crocodile
Fri. Apr. 27 - Salt Lake City, UT @ Kilby Court
Sat. Apr. 28 - Denver, CO @ Larimer Lounge
Mon. Apr. 30 - Minneapolis, MN @ 7th Street Entry
Wed. May 2 - Chicago, IL @ Schubas Tavern
Thu. May 3 - Nashville, TN @ The Basement
Fri. May 4 - Atlanta, GA @ Shaky Knees Festival
Sat. May 5 - Chapel Hill, NC @ Local 506
Sun. May 6 - Washington, DC @ DC9
Tue. May 8 - Toronto, ON @ The Garrison
Thu. May 10 - Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s
Fri. May 11 - Allston, MA @ Great Scott
Sat. May 12 - Brooklyn, NY @ Rough Trade

Fri. May 18 - Nottingham, UK @ Rescue Rooms
Sun. May 20 - Glasgow, UK @ CCA: Centre for Contemporary Arts
Mon. May 21 - Manchester, UK @ Gorilla
Tue. May 22 - London, UK @ Electric Ballroom
Thu. May 24 - Paris, FR @ Point Ephemere
Sat. May 26 - Amsterdam, NL @ London Calling
Mon. May 28 - Hamburg, DE @ Molotow
Tue. May 29 - Berlin, DE @ Lido

Thu. May. 31 - Brussels, BE @ AB Club

Bandcamp for "Mainland"
Sub Pop

Monday, January 22, 2018

Club 8 - Golden Island

Karolina Komstedt and Johan AngergĂ„rd are a joint wellspring of creativity.  Although separately engaged in other projects from time (Acid House Kings, The Legends, Poprace), they have comprised Club 8 since they formed the band as teenagers in 1995 in their native Sweden.  With nine previous albums under that name, this week sees the release of Golden Island, and marks yet another shift in the band's vision.  They previously have expressed themselves in genres as diverse as Bossa Nova, guitar pop, club music, and indie soul.  But on Golden Island, they shift to another dimension, an atmospheric soundscape with whispers, samples, field recordings, odd instruments and restrained melodicism, all the while making good use of space and subtle shifts in tone.  To our ears in sounds like the music of inspired faeries.  Having spent a few weeks with it, we think it may be one of the more addictive sets of songs we have heard in a long time.  It is music for your late night hours, that will deliver inspiration and pleasure for a long time.

Golden Island is out in all formats on Friday, January 26 via Labrador Records.

Labrador Records' page for Golden Island

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Salad Boys - This Is Glue

And our album of the week? This Is Glue by a mile.  Admittedly, long-time readers of the blog won't be shocked to discover that we have enthusiastically embraced the latest album by New Zealand's Salad Boys, but we stand by every one of the many words of praise we have devoted to them over the past several years.  And on this edition, the guitars ring and jangle while the rhythm section provides a buoyant platform for Joe Sampson's creations.  While the themes are serious, and at times anxious or bitter, and the tone melancholy, the soundtrack splices Flying Nun history with a college rock and a supercharged splinter of Teenage Fanclub, creating guitar pop anthems for the modern age.  And not content to only rock out, the band displays a deft touch with more wistful tracks such as "In Heaven" and "Going Down Slow" as well.  While the hooks are plentiful and the arrangements well-conceived, the songs are just shy of a full coat of polish.  Far from a flaw, the slightly rough surface strikes us as a deliberate production choice -- a decision to allow the aural aesthetic mirror the gritty reality of the compositions. 

This Is Glue is available on CD, vinyl and digital formats via Trouble In Mind Records.

Bandcamp for This Is Glue
Trouble In Mind Records page for Salad Boys
Trouble In Mind Records

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

"In My View" and "Lord" by Young Fathers

We have been fans of Edinburgh's Young Fathers since we first heard their early EPs, Tape One and Tape Two.  In our view they are one of the most consistently innovative and provocative pop groups on our radar, and they never fail to impress.  On March 9 the trio will release their new LP, Cocoa Sugar, via Ninja Tune and you can listen to album tracks "In My View" and "Lord" right here, right now.  Since the bands visual sense also is remarkable, we have added the videos for both tracks.  We think you will want this album.

Young Fathers are Alloysious Massaquoi, Graham 'G' Hastings, and Kayus Bankole.

Bandcamp for Cocoa Sugar
Other links for Cocoa Sugar

Monday, January 15, 2018

Shame - Songs of Praise

There are bands that try to mark their spot on the pop music landscape with arty pretense and deep thoughts.  And then there are bands such as Shame.  The five-piece is comprised of long-time friends who decided to become a rock band rather than accountants, shopkeepers or Tory politicians.  And based on the evidence of their new devotional set of music, Songs of Praise, we think they made the right choice.  The landscape this lot has chosen is the wilds of young London, where one finds gritty reality, self-depreciating assessments and real-life tales of life for the lucky and the not-so-fortunate.  And the musical score is a muscular, angular, and buzzing post-punk that sounds about as vital as anything else you can find on the scene these days.  Shame understands that the best rock is a physical experience, and they provide the energy and performance to ensure the listeners get their money's worth.  And yeah, it is a bit raw in words and sound, but the only way to deliver this kind of music is raw and breathless.

Our favorites songs are "One Rizla", "The Lick", "Tasteless", "Gold Hole", and "Friction", but the whole album is excellent, and deserves your ears.

Shame are Charlie Steen (vocals), Sean Coyle-Smith (guitar), Eddie Green (guitar), Josh Finerty (bass), and Charlie Forbes (drums).  Songs of Praise is out now via Dead Oceans.  See the links below.

Bandcamp for Songs of Praise
Links to various sources for Songs of Praise

Friday, January 12, 2018

KiDD - Where Are The Strange People?

Stuart Kidd brings a wealth of pop experience to every project.  His past credits included BMX Bandits, The Wellgreen, Dr. Cosmo's Tape Club, Jonny, Linden, St Deluxe, and Snowgoose, as well as his own creations as KiDD.  His latest solo work is Where Are The Strange People?, and it showcases Kidd's knack for creating winsome pop songs.  The hooks are tight and plentiful and the melodies pleasing.  Moreover, there is a playfulness and joy of expression that may remind you of the Super Furry Animals that makes the album seem more like a talented friend playing in your living room than electrons over your speakers.  In other words, this is the kind of warm, accessible indie pop that makes the winter days much more tolerable.

Where Are the Strange People? is out now.  See the Bandcamp link for details.


Thursday, January 11, 2018

Dinner Party - Too Live To Die

How about a dinner party in Manchester, UK?  Can't make it?  No problem, Too Live To Die, the latest menu from Manchester's Dinner Party is available via Icecapades Records.  And what fare can you expect?  Garage, punk, psychedelic, fuzz rock, and even a bit of some loose-limbed Americana, among other things.  And while the meal doesn't come with hot sauce, it is delivered with plenty of "don't give a damn" attitude.

Dinner Party has not been among the most prolific of groups, and Too Live To Die is their first album in three years.  But unlike some of us who produce at a slow rate (such as the writers of this blog over the past three weeks), the members of this band have an excuse.  Edwin Stephens is a member of Irma Vep, Sex Hands and Klaus Kinski.  Nick Ainsworth and Tom Settle are members of Former Bullies, among other projects.  But the wait was worth it, because when this trio gets in the kitchen, the results are magic.

Order link at Icecapades Records

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Unlikely Friends - Crooked Numbers

One of our local favorites, Unlikely Friends, is helping us all start out the year right with a collection of new songs titled Crooked Numbers.  Consisting of 14 songs of crunchy guitar pop that will give you a bit over a half hour of bliss, and then repeated 31-minute reprises because you will be hooked long before the first run is completed, this is the work of pop masters.  The principal pop masters, or the most unlikely of the unlikely friends if you will, are Charles Bert (of Math and Physics Club) and D. Crane (of BOAT), with Chris Mac drumming.  For this album Unlikely Friends have added Mark McKenzie and Ethan Jones from their other projects, presumably for musical chops as well as the key characteristic of not being likely to be friends, and the additions beef up the sound -- and those delectable harmonies -- to great effect.  And this album is more than hooks, harmonies and crunch, as there is plenty of wit and offbeat touches as well.  In our view, it all adds up to a great record and a fitting continuation of the strain of Seattle guitar pop typified by The Young Fresh Fellows.

Crooked Numbers is out this Friday, January 12, via Swoon Records.   You have your choice of digital, CD or cassette versions.

Bandcamp for Crooked Numbers
Swoon Records

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

The Academic - Tales From The Backseat

The Academic is growing up quite nicely, in our opinion.  The Band consists of four young men from just outside of the metropolis that is Mullingar, Ireland.  Their sweet spot is upbeat guitar pop, and their secret sauce is comprised of innate charm and infectious enthusiasm.  You don't need to be told that these four young men love being in a band and creating music, because it as clear as a billboard in each song.  Tales From The Back Seat is their sophomore effort, and it is delicious.  In fact, I think "effort" is a poor word choice because the melodies and harmonies sound as effortless as the hooks are plentiful.  The band evinces much of the playfulness and pop smarts of the late Scottish band Dogs Die in Hot Cars, but with a bit more youthful vigor and rock groove.  We chose this album to be our first album of 2018 music to be featured this year, because it evinces the optimism and confidence we still have that 2018 will be a better year than 2017.  Want to start the year right?  Try some Tales From The Backseat.

The Academic are Craig Fitgerald (vocals/guitar), Matthew Murtagh (guitar), Stephen Murtagh (bass), and Dean Gavin (drums).  Tales From The Backseat is out Friday, January 12.


Monday, January 8, 2018

The Granite Shore - Suspended Second

The Granite Shore is one of those musical assemblies that in a former day were often referred to as supergroups.  Helmed by Nick Halliwell, head of Occultation Records and member of The Distractions, joined by Phil Wilson (The June Brides), Steve Perrin (The Distractions), Ian Henderson (The Puddle, and head of New Zealand label Fishrider Records), Arash Torabi, and John Howard, their considerable talents mesh together perfectly with no hint of ego, no agenda other than making the music as good as it possibly can be.  The result is the eight tracks of Suspended Second -- and what music it is!  It is a terrific example of ornate pop, voice in Halliwell's worn but warm vocals.  But the real genius of the project is that thematically it focuses on the messy political and social landscape in which we found ourselves in 2016 and 2017, and succeeds in eloquently addressing those themes without sacrificing the goal of elegant pop music.

Suspended Second is serious, intelligent art, but it also is a great listen.  It is an anguished cry on all of our behalf, expressed via accessible and memorable songs.  The album is available in digital, vinyl (including a deluxe version), and CD via Occultation Records (and Fishrider Records in NZ and Australia).

Bandcamp for Suspended Second

Friday, January 5, 2018

RVG - A Quality Of Mercy

We work hard to bring you news of recent and upcoming indie music releases all year, and then, if we really have our act together, we will assemble a "favorites" list early in the following year (yes, we are working on it).  But we don't catch anywhere near all worthy music in a year, and we freely admit that.  So like many of you, we peruse select "best of" lists to see what I missed.  Of course there are many such lists, so we need to be selective.  This week I took a look at list by Toby at The Finest Kiss (link), because he has reliably great taste.  His number one album is A Quality Of Mercy by Melbourne band RVG (also known as the Romy Vager Group).  I had heard of the band, and even discovered an unfinished post about them I had started a post about them a few years ago.  However, I had missed the 2017 release of their debut album.

Well, folks.  There are misses, and there are misses.  And this is a big miss.  A Quality Of Mercy consists of eight forthright and blunt slices of life, with pain, heartache, hope, resilience and grit.  Yeah, it is nothing short of fantastic for our tastes.  Great performances with no studio frills -- just two soaring guitars, bass and drums.  The focus is on incisive songwriting by a writer who knows what she is writing about and a matching sincere delivery.  Fans of the Go-Getweens and The Triffids will love it (and am I alone in finding a bit of Blank Realm in there?), and those unfamiliar would do to check those bands out after securing their own copy of A Quality Of Mercy.

The album is out now via Our Golden Friend.  Check the Bandcamp link for details and to stream the entire album.

Romy Vager's Twitter
Our Golden Friend

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Three Wishes: Part Time Punks Sessions

Long-time indie pop fans certainly are familiar with The June Brides, Aberdeen, and 14 Iced Bears.  Albums from all three bands are among our treasured artifacts around WYMA headquarters, and we are always on the lookout for more.  So imagine our delight in finding our about Three Wishes: Part Time Punks Sessions.  The album features previously unreleased live recordings of four songs by each of the three bands.  The recordings took place in 2011 when the bands gathered in Los Angeles to play a a club called Part Time Punks.  The bands also had been invited to play for a local radio station, but when the radio session couldn't be scheduled for airplay the bands decamped to The Committee To Keep Music Evil in Hollywood, where Rob Campeanella and John Girgus recorded four songs picked from each band's considerable catalog.  For reasons unknown to us, the compilation wasn't released until January 2017, and if it weren't for John Girgus alerting us to its existence, we might have missed it.  But now we have it, and want to share it with all of you.  Since it was released in 2017, we expect it to be on our best albums list.  Dig in, music fans.

The June Brides -

The June Brides -

Aberdeen -

Aberdeen -

14 Iced Bears -

14 Iced Bears -


The Perfect English Weather - English Winter

Yet another holiday offering to extend your celebrations and be prepared for next year.  This lovely EP, titled English Winter, is from the duo Simon and Wendy Pickles.  They have thrilled us for years as core members of The Popguns, but this record is from their side project The Perfect English Weather.  English Winter consists of four tracks of subtle, perfectly crafted beauty, three originals and a cover of the Go-Between's "Dusty In Here".  Take a test drive with the first two tracks below, and stream the entire EP at the Bandcamp link.

English Winter is out now in limited CD and digital formats via Matinee Recordings.

Matinee Recordings page for English Winter
Bandcamp for English Winter EP

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Bubblegum Lemonade - Laz Christmas

Everyone still in the Christmas spirit?  I know we are, and not the least because we have a backlog of holiday offerings we neglected while we were sliding down mountains and entertaining young ones.  Why holiday music in January (other than the obvious guilt about our own negligence)?  Well, firstly because it is good music, and secondly, despite Trump's best/worst efforts, Christmas will come again next year and you'll be ahead of the game.  You are welcome!

Laz McCluskey is a man with a love for retro guitar pop, and an undeniable knack for creating his own gems in that genre.  He has several projects, one of which is Bubblegum Lemonade, and that is his chosen vehicle for a wonderfully upbeat (except for the lovely, subdued "Sunflower In The Snow") six-song EP of holiday music.  The cheeky title is Laz Christmas, which does indeed sound like your inebriated uncle launching into a story about the most recent past Christmas, but with tunes this good we can forgive the pun for a title.  Humor, charm and jangle in abundance, and a dashing cover of "Silent Night" all for the taking.

The EP is available in all formats via Matinee Recordings.

Matinee Recordings' page for Laz Christmas
Bandcamp for Laz Christmas

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

"Harvest Song" by Those Unfortunates

Our second free song of the day is from the lovely guys of Those Unfortunates.  "Harvest Song" jangles while providing a dose of old-soul emotion that seems quite appropriate at holiday time.

Bandcamp for "Harvest Song"

"Charms Around Your Wrist" by Jetstream Pony

Looking at the site today, I realize that my last post was twelve days ago.  No, I didn't abandon the blog, there remains quality music to show you, and I really haven't been lazy.  But holiday time for me meant time with the family and skiing, and didn't allow for blog posts.  However, I'm back in the saddle and intend to make up for lost time.

The first post back is a lovely cover of The Softies' "Charms Around Your Wrist" by ace newcomers Jetstream Pony.  And since it is a free download, it is a perfect way to start out the new year.

Jetstream Pony are Beth Arzy, Shaun Charman, Kerry Boettcher, and Sara Boyle

Bandcamp for "Charms Around Your Wrist"