This is not music criticism. On this blog, you will only read about music we like.
Thursday, June 28, 2018
Lachlan Denton - Two Months In Ben Woolley's Room
Lachlan Denton is a mainstay of Melbourne's ace The Ocean Party, but has released several solo records as well and collaborated with Emma Russack.
Two Months In Ben Woolley's Room is out now in digital and cassette formats.
Bandcamp for Album
Two new songs by Hater
link). Their sweet spot is dynamic but melodic guitar pop with bittersweet shadings. New album Siesta will be out in September via Fire Records, but you can stream and purchase two of its 14 tracks right now. On first listen, "Its So Easy" prompted us to say 'this is just the way we like our indie pop'. And then we heard the wistful "I Wish I Gave You More Time Because I Love You", which prompted a moment of silence, and then 'wow, that too'.
Bandcamp for Siesta and the single
Fire Records page for Hater
Bandcamp for Siesta and the single
Fire Records page for Hater
Wednesday, June 27, 2018
Blues Lawyer - Guess Work
Blues Lawyer is Rob I. Miller, Elyse Schrock, Nic Russo (Dick Stusso), and Alejandra Alcala.
Guess Work is out now via Emotional Response Records. Vacant Stare has a cassette version that might work for you if you have an '89 Eldorado.
Bandcamp for Guess Work
Tuesday, June 26, 2018
Azure Blue - Fast Falls the Eventide
Swedish pop savant Tobias Isaksson has been working as Azure Blue this decade, crafting warm, accessible synth pop that covers the spectrum from lush romanticism to New Order style pulse-racers. Two months ago we featured his Whatever '18 EP, but the prolific Swede is back already with a full album of new material titled Fast Falls the Eventide. With a generous 11 songs, the album delivers the brand of upbeat synth pop, with Tobias' creative flourishes and careful craftsmanship, that will brighten the beginning of anyone's summer. This is music that is vital and bristling with energy. In addition to "Whatever '18", standout tracks include "Crimson Red", "My Final Candle", and "Don't Turn On Me". Fast Falls the Eventide is an instant synth pop classic -- don't miss it.
Tobias Isaksson wrote all the songs and performed on all tracks. Additional contributions were from Julia Boman, Tim Johnsson, The Land Below, Peter Moren, Paola, Tangela, and Cesar Vidal. Fast Falls the Eventide is out now via Matinee Recordings.
Twitter for Tobias Isaksson
Matinee Recordings page for Fast Falls the Eventide
Monday, June 25, 2018
The Catenary Wires - Was That Love? / What About The Rings
A duo such as Amelia Fletcher and Rob Pursey need little or no help from us, or anyone else, to burnish their reputations. After all, their enviable resume includes Talulah Gosh, Heavenly, Marine Research and other worthy projects. Moreover, Amelia and Rob are not resting on their laurels, and continue to make wonderful music. Their current project is The Catenary Wires. In 2015, the band released their debut album, Red Red Skies. After a delay that we can only describe as 'longer than we would like', the duo returns with a lovely two-song single for the WIAIWYA singles club. Consisting of the sweet "Was that Love?", which is 2:28 of aural bliss, and "What About The Rings?" Both songs provide your daily dose of several essential vitamins, as well as a bumper crop of charm.
Bandcamp for single
Friday, June 22, 2018
Red Sleeping Beauty - Always On Your Side
Sweden's Red Sleeping Beauty took a long hiatus between the '90s and their 2016 release Kristina, but they are back to address unfinished business. And to our ears, that business appears to be proving that they are one of the world's top synth pop acts. The proof will come with the band's fourth album, which still is in production, but we get a tease of what is to come with today's Always On Your Side EP. The title track, which will be on the upcoming album, already is one of my favorite songs of the year. The following "Falling Out Of Love" is from a demo by Niklas Angergard's other project, Acid House Kings. "Just For Fun" is a cover of a top Alpaca Sports' song. The closer is "Tonight, Tonight, Tonight", an unabashed love song. This is synth pop the way it should be -- playful (dig the intro to "Falling Out Of Love" and the low tones punctuating the chorus on "Just For Fun"), sunny, uplifting and pristine in tone. Yes, Always On Your Side is a Nordic gem of the highest order.
Red Sleeping Beauty are Niklas Angergard, Mikael Matsson, and Kristina Borg. The EP is out today on all digital platforms, and a CD is available via Sunday Records.
Soundcloud for EP
Order page for CD (Sunday Records)
Spotify for EP
Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Flasher - Constant Image
Thematically, Flasher doesn't believe in shading the truth or sugar-coating disappointment. The songs feature dispassionate and clear-eyed observations of personal and public life, and in picking their scabs, you may feel your own pain. But for all that, we found listening to this album to be a welcome visceral experience. Yeah, politics sucks, life is full of disappointments and settling for less, and we've never felt so alive for listening to it.
Flasher are Taylor Mulitz (guitar), Daniel Saperstein (bass), and Emma Baker (drums), all of whom sing on the album. Constant Image is out now via Domino.
Bandcamp for Constant Image
Tuesday, June 19, 2018
"Phantom Ride" by New Silver Girl
New Silver Girl are Olli Happonen (vocals/guitar), Samuli Sulku (guitar), Ilmo Cantell (bass), and Niilo Suihko (drums).
Bandcamp for "Phantom Ride"
Other links for download and streaming
Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever - Hope Downs
Hope Downs is out now via Sub Pop Records.
Bandcamp for Hope Downs
Sub Pop Records
Monday, June 18, 2018
"The Falls" by Nic Pool
Sunday, June 17, 2018
Saturday, June 16, 2018
D.A. Stern - Aloha Hola / Isn't It Obvious?
D.A. Stern (whose mom probably knows him as Daniel Aaron Stern of New Jersey) has DNA that matches pretty well with pop genius Harry Nilsson, and probably has plenty of similarity with Lennon/McCartney, Brian Wilson, and the ghosts of the Brill Building. Now living in Los Angeles, the man is churning out music that simply demands listening. He released full album Aloha Hola in 2017, but it only got limited traction in an increasingly crowded music world. Fortunately for Daniel, and us, Slumberland has re-released Aloha Hola and Daniel's 2018 four track single Isn't It Obvious? So you now can have your very own D.A. Stern collection.
You man have gotten out of bed this morning unaware of the delights of Stern's music, but now you need it in your life. "Isn't It Obvious?"
Three from Aloha Hola:
Title track for Isn't It Obvious?:
Bandcamp for Aloha Hola
Bandcamp for Isn't It Obvious?
Slumberland page for Aloha Hola
Friday, June 15, 2018
Super 8 - Turn Around Or
Friday has arrived at WYMA headquarters, so it is time to test candidates for weekend beverage consumption (this is scientific research, people, don't scoff) and pick some weekend music. A trending candidate is Turn Around Or by Super 8. Not only is the name of the band evocative of road trips, conjuring motels, gas stations, or motels with an adjacent gas station, but the songs on Turn Around Or suggest parties, good times, and weekend beverages. The man behind the Super 8 mask is Trip, who also is known as Paul Ryan. But if we had a name that risked us being mistaken for the emasculated Speaker of the US House of Representatives, we would choose a stage name as well, and Trip works just fine.
Turn Around Or is packed with scrappy indie nuggets that should have you bouncing all weekend long. The songwriting is tight, the arrangements are bold, and there are enough hooks to prompt envy in Big Star. Trip's performance has the grit and panache that we want in a frontman. And it should be noted that while Trip did most of the work himself, he had help from the likes of Nick Bertling, Bill Philips, Owen Hodgson, and Sunnie Larson. Picking representative songs from among this consistent menu could have been done with darts, but we manned up and made four selections. Trip composed all except "Serious Drugs", the BMX Bandits standout penned by Scots heroes Duglas Stewart, Norman Blake and Joe McAlinden. This man is prolific as well as talented, as it is his second release in 2018.
Turn Around Or is out now in CD and digital formats via Futureman Records.
Bandcamp for album
Super 8/Trip on Twitter
Wednesday, June 13, 2018
Virginia Wing - Ecstatic Arrow
You may be one of the music lovers who is not familiar with Virginia Wing, and if you are such a person you may wonder why your go-to blogs and zines are spending precious pixels discussing the Manchester band's new album, Ecstatic Arrow. We could be snarky and suggest that you read one or more of those blogs or zines to fine out, but since you are here we will offer you a more constructive suggestion - stream the songs below, realize that the album will enrich your life, and go to Bandcamp and buy the album while streaming it in its full glory. In our opinion, Ecstatic Arrow is a synthpop triumph, echoing the genre's glory days of the '80s and burnishing them for modern days. Core members Alice Merida Richards and Samuel Pillay, with able collaborators (including XAM Duo's Christopher Duffin on sax), have created music that is incisive, inventive and entertaining. While the lyrics can be serious, the arrangements are light filled and uplifting. Virginia Wing's previous recordings were always interesting and worth exploring, but after listening to Ecstatic Arrow, those efforts seem like practice for the big game, and the new album is the first team showing their stuff, full game face in place.
Ecstatic Arrow is out now in digital, CD, LP, and deluxe LP (with zine and poster) via Fire Records.
Bandcamp for Ecstatic Arrow
Tuesday, June 12, 2018
Martes Niebla - Martes Niebla
Bandcamp for EP
Monday, June 11, 2018
Candybomber - Singular EP
It seems that Stewart Tudor-Jackman has been reincarnated! In the '90s, he helmed the Kensingtons, a fine indie pop band with twee leanings. But for his new project, Candybomber, the menu is power pop with buzzsaw guitars and a bit of punk. Our first taste is the new four-song Singular EP. And it is oh, so good!
In addition to Stewart (guitar), Candybomber includes Anthony (drums), Matt (vocals), Fasel (guitar), and Warren (bass). Singular EP is out now in digital and CD formats via Jigsaw Records.
Bandcamp for Singular EP
Sunday, June 10, 2018
"Et le blizzard s'estompe" by The Rebels of Tijauana
The Rebels of Tijuana are Alex (guitar/bass/vocals), Seb (keys/backing vocals), Romain (drums/backing vocals), and Julien (bass/backing vocals). Despite the band's name, they are a French, and living in Switzerland. Obviously, their tastes run to '60s and '70s French pop, and that is quite alright with us. They will be releasing Asile, a double vinyl LP in October 2018, which promises to encompass folk rock, pop, jazz, and psychedelia. Based on the evidence of this single, our bet is that they deliver on those promises.
And we wish you a relaxing end to your weekend.
Friday, June 8, 2018
Various Artists - The Official Matinee World Cup EP
It is just about time for World Cup 2018. Fans of the participating countries, and unaffiliated fans of the beautiful game, will be focused on cheering for their favorite team in every match. Of course, musicians are not immune to such passions, and have even been known to compose songs about their teams. Some of such songs are good, and some of such songs can even be played in polite company. Today we bring you The Official Matinee World Cup EP, a hot-off-the-press compilation from Matinee Recordings featuring songs by five bands whose fellow countrymen will compete for the ultimate prize. Last Leaves from Australia sings of "Golden Days To Come". Sweden's Red Sleeping Beauty is regarding the team "Dressed In Yellow And Blue". The Spanish contribution from The Royal Landscaping Society reminds us who won in "2010". "Red White And Blue" is the The Popguns ode to their English team. Brazil's Pale Sunday contributes "Dirt Pitch Superstars", reminding us of the impromptu pitches that nurture the seemingly endless youth talent supplying their national side.
The games begin next week, so now is the time to load up on modern anthems in digital or CD format. We already have our copy, and it will feature prominently at happy hour at least until this WC is over. And because it is good music, and national leagues start up again in August, we'll probably keep playing it.
Soundcloud for EP
Matinee Recordings page for EP
Carla J Easton - Wanting What I Can't Have
As all of us who love music know, you can't keep a good song out of your head. Carla J. Easton knows that too, but she does it one better on her new record Wanting What I Can't Have. She gives us the titular track -- then she gives us six remixes of the titular track. So we get a good song residing our heads, but we get variety as well. And the song? It is a bottom-heavy delight with big choruses and Carla's appealing lead vocals. All of the remixes are excellent, although we are particularly taken with the version by Sun Rose, subtitled 'The Optimist Point of View'. Fans of Easton's work as ETTE certainly will appreciate her return, but this is a record that should please new fans as well. And think of the work Carla has saved us. Usually one would have to collect remixes one at a time as various production teams took on the tax. Here we have everything wrapped up for us in a single package.
Wanting What I Can't Have is out now as a digital release via Glagow's Olive Grove Records.
Bandcamp for release
iTunes link for ablum
Thursday, June 7, 2018
"Heart Turned Blue" by Melbourne Cans
Bandcamp for Heat of the Night
Additional links for Heat Of The Night
The Lost and Lonesome Recording Co.
"Hot Mess" and "The Wire" by Saltwater Sun
In case your predilections for a summer soundtrack run towards alternative rock, we suggest that you introduce your music device, and ears, to Saltwater Sun. They adeptly mix crunch, grit and sunshine. It is June already, my people, get your summer going ....
Links to buy/stream "Hot Mess"
Wednesday, June 6, 2018
Karen Meat - You're An Ugly Person
The core of Karen Meat are Arin Eaton and Dana Telcrow, although they call on other like-minded crazies from time to time. You're An Ugly Person is available in digital and vinyl formats via Emotional Response Records.
Bandcamp for album
"Reject" by Melby
Stockholm's Melby will be touring Europe and the UK this summer, and have given fans yet another reason to turn out for their shows with the release of new song "Reject". The single follows their excellent 2017 self-titled release, and suggests that this quartet will continue to be a band we follow.
Melby are Matilda Wiezell, Are Engen Steinsholm, David Jehrlander, and Teo Jernkvist. "Reject" is out now via Sweden's Rama Lama Records, as is their Melby EP.
Rama Lama Records
Tuesday, June 5, 2018
Vital Idles - Left Hand
Our favorite songs as of this writing are "A Premise", "Chains", "Solid States", "Life Like", "Geraniums" and .... well, you get the idea, we pretty much like everything this album offers.
Vital Idles are Jessica Higgins, Nick Lynch, Ruari MacLean, and Matthew Walkerdine. Left Hand is out now via Upset The Rythm.
Upset the Rhythm page to order Left Hand
Friday, June 1, 2018
Beach Skulls - Las Dunas
Beach Skulls dish up a tasty musical stew on debut album Las Dunas. The featured ingredients are psychedelia, garage pop and surf. And the result is sunny and a bit spicy, with plenty of variety. Consider it an album with a sense of adventure, which make it the perfect soundtrack for what you should be planning for the summer (note that we wrote "what you should be planning", now what you couch surfers actually will accomplish). Listen to "That's Not Me" below, and you might be tempted to think that this trio is from California, rather than the UK midlands. We take our beach music wherever we can find it (which over the years has included Scotland, Finland, Japan, and Indonesia). This year, it is Liverpool and Manchester with Beach Skulls.
The band are Ry Vieira, Jordan Finney, and Dan West, and they reside (variously, we assume, in Manchester and Liverpool). And for those keeping score, this is another week with a winning release from PNK SLM Recordings.
Bandcamp for ordering Las Dunas
Punk Slime Recordings
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