Friday, August 3, 2018

Tony Molina - Kill The Lights

Summer is slipping away.  The sunlight arrives a bit later every morning, but the transition is even more notable in the evening when my time in the courtyard with an evening beverage is shaded in twilight.  The change isn't unwelcome, but it has prompted me to choose different music for that period, and right now the choice is Kill The Lights, the new album by the Bay Area's Tony Molina.  This is a slender set of ten songs, ranging in length from one minute to an epic just under two and a half minutes.  But rather than feel like afterthoughts or leftovers, each song has the sound and feel of a highly polished gem, with a coherent theme and a distinct sound.  And the mix of Byrdsian jangle, paisley underground and acoustic styles are perfect for evening reflections on the day.  We highly suggest visiting Bandcamp and giving the album a chance to speak for itself, but if you are undecided, stream a few songs below.

Kill The Lights is out now in vinyl, CD and digital formats via Slumberland Records.

Bandcamp for Kill The Lights
Slumberland Records page for album

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Michael Nau & The Mighty Thread - Michael Nau & The Mighty Thread

Having previously recorded under the names Page Francis and Cotton Jones, Michael Nau now wears his own name professionally, with '& The Mighty Thread' tacked on to recognize his collaborators.  His new album, Michael Nau & The Mighty Thread, collects a wealth of his poetic, psychedelic and soft rock tinged folk songs into a breezy package that just may be one of your better surprises of the last month of summer.  Nau is one of those rare songwriters whose creations appear to be simple and effortless.  These are songs that are substantial and affecting, but flow over the listener like a warm summer breeze.  Nau doesn't insist, he just offers, and what he offers fills you with contentment.  And then there is his voice -- warm and weathered, like lightly used treasures you discover in a high quality vintage clothing store.

In addition to Nau, The Mighty Thread are Benny Yurco, Will Brown, Graeme Gibson, John Rogone, Robinson Morse, Dan Davine, Ari Abedon, and Brett Lanier.  Michael Nau & The Mighty Thread is out Friday, August 3 in vinyl and digital formats via Full Time Hobby in the UK and Light In The Attic in the US.

Bandcamp for album
Light In The Attic page for album
Full Time Hobby page for album

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Dot Dash - Proto Retro

Hold on a second, we are receiving a transmission from Washington, D.C.  "Dot dash, dot dash, dot dash."  What excitement -- a transmission from Washington that is not in the form of a tweet, or even a news report about a tweet!  Instead, we have Proto Retro, the new album from Dot Dash just in time to save your summer.  And even if your summer didn't need saving, Proto Retro will improve it.

For this outing, the band's sixth album, the trio has shifted a bit from the pop punk approach of prior albums to full-on power pop and jangle, but full-on power pop and jangle with a decided punch.  And in doing so, we think they have crafted their best-written and and most consistent album to date.  Moreover, the quality of the supremely confident performance suggests that the band agrees with our assessment.  We have chosen our favorite representative tracks, and then changed them, several times since we put this album on endless loop replays at headquarters.  We try to limit such streams to three per album, but we can't here.  In fact, we'd like to share more, but we will hold the line at four.  And that should give you a reason to visit the Bandcamp site and stream the entire album.

Dot Dash are Terry Banks (guitar/vocals), Hunter Bennett (bass), and Danny Ingram (drums).  Proto Retro is available in CD and digital formats now via Ottawa's The Beautiful Music.

Bandcamp for Proto Retro
The Beautiful Music (label) page for Proto Retro


Tuesday, July 31, 2018

"Teflon" by Spesh

To be honest, we don't know much about Spesh, even though we can look out our office window and see their West Seattle stomping grounds across the bay.  But we do know that if Michael McKinney, Sergio Mirazo, Morgan Dixon, and Brian Yeager keep making tunes like "Teflon", we will make it a point to follow them.  And we will find out soon, as their debut LP, Famous World, will drop this fall via Seattle's Killroom Records.

Killroom Records

Monday, July 30, 2018

"You Can Hide Your Love Forever" by The Fortuna POP! All-Stars

Fortuna POP! is dead -- or maybe not quite.  Yes, the label decided to call it a day after several decades of issuing fantastic music.  But subscribers to its singles clubs were stilled owed a few releases, and the honorable folks at Fortuna POP! have been providing them.  And now it is time for the final single, and it is quite special.  Beginning with "You Can Hide Your Love Forever", the 2001 single for the label by Comet Gain, the final release took form as a cover with contributions from numerous artists that appeared on Fortuna POP! over the years.  Among the credited players, vocalists and other contributors are Emma Kupa (Mammoth Penguins), Amos Memon (Fanfarlo), Laura Kovic (Tigercats), Paul Rains (Allo Darlin'), Ben Phillipson (Comet Gain), Sam Ayres (Flowers), Mikey Collins (Allo Darlin'), Gary Olson (Ladybug Transistor), Kyle Forrester (Ladybug Transistor), Amelia Fletcher (Tender Trap), Daniel Ellis (Martha), Lan McArdle (Joanna Gruesome), Owen Williams (Joanna Gruesome), Adam Todd (The Spook School), Bill Botting, (Allo Darlin'), Elizabeth Morris (Allo Darlin'), Jeff Greene (The Butterflies of Love), Dan Greene (The Butterflies of Love), Lisa Horton (Bearsuit), Iain Ross (Bearsuit), Katherine Whitaker (Evans The Death), Silvi Wersing (Chorusgirl), Helen King (Shrag), Rachel Kenedy (Flowers,), Pete Dale (Milky Wimpshake), Darren Hayman, Peter Astor, Simon Love, and Giles Barrett.

There also is a B-side, and the entire release is available as a very limited vinyl run.  If you are interested get busy.  But first take the time to listen to the glorious final notes from Fortuna POP!