Monday, September 30, 2019

Thigh Master - Now For Example

We aren't like those other blogs that only care about music. We are dedicated to the whole you to ensure that you are still around to read us for decades to come. With that introduction, we would like to announce that today is leg day. Well, specifically thigh day, as we are celebrating the band named after that thigh-toning device advertised on cable TV. If you have one, you can exercise while listening to Now For Example, the just-released album by Thigh Master. Mining a groovy vein of jangling, fuzzy slacker garage pop that sounds to us like the band's own twist on lo fi New Zealand guitar pop of the '80s and '90s, the twelve tracks on the album are full of hooks, clang and rhythm. The performances are tight and the songs well constructed, but the album never looses its spontaneous sing-along vibe. At the end of the day, that may be Thigh Master's secret exercise trick.

Now For Example is out now via US label Goner Records, and the band is in the midst of a US tour.

Bandcamp for Now for Example
Goner Records

Friday, September 27, 2019

Tincho - Home Today

It is Friday, and we are happy. Of course, the proximity of the weekend has much to do with our positive attitude, but a major contributor is the jangle and bounce of Home Today. The product of Seattle band Tincho, the album features 11 tracks of sparkling, energetic guitar pop. Perhaps because of the Seattle connection, we detect a bit of the Young Fresh Fellows spirit in this album, but quite frankly Home Today has a bit more polish while retaining an adventurous spirit, and probably will wear better in the long run. And for now, it will get a lot of play throughout our weekend.

We wrote above that Tincho is a Seattle band, but in the spirit of full disclosure we note that some of the members at the time this album were recorded have left for other places. However, there are remaining and new members, and we look forward to more great music from them.

For this album Tincho were Tyler Willey (drums), Dan Voss (bass), Anton Conner Harle (lead guitar), Marty Kaleta (rhythm guitar/vocals), and Steven Laing (percussion). Home Today is out now as a digital release - see the Bandcamp link below.

Bandcamp Home Today

Thursday, September 26, 2019

The Grief Brothers - Thirty Five Years On Woodfield Street

We know we are going to hear good music when the guy who takes the time to send us an album, and tells us that it is wonderful, is the boss of a label other than the label that is releasing the album. Such was out introduction to Thirty Five Years On Woodfield Street by Swansea, Wales outfit The Grief Brothers. We could tell you that it is a the masterpiece. In fact, it is a masterpiece, but that is getting ahead of ourselves.

Where were we? Oh yes, we were sent the album by Wally at The Beautiful Music label.  We trust Wally, so we cued it up.  The first track, "A Lost Week In Bingoland",  began with the protagonist noticing a women in a bar, and described her thusly: "she was swaying on a bar stool, humming songs in the key of grim". In Yoda-speak, 'hooked we were'. And the hook stayed in. The album spans indie rock, folk, and a dash of country while spinning yarns of romance, failed romance, twisted families, old flames and weird scenes. In the main, the songs are nostalgic and warm, with more than a dash of humor. But they don't shy away from grittier themes and when they bite, they leave a mark.

It would break our rules to stream too many of the songs below, and even if it didn't have such rules we would want to leave you needing to head to Bandcamp for the full meal. So you get three of our favorites below, with our admonishment to not miss "The Loser's Hall of Fame", "A Confessional", "A Small Town Gone to Hell", "Scurvy Dogs of Llansawel", "Still Waiting For True Love's First Kiss" ... you get the point - don't miss any of them. For us, this is a top ten album of 2019.

The Grief Brothers are Steve, Ray, Norm, Mark, Jack and Pete, with some additional help from Jon Langford of The Mekons and Guto Dafis (Welsh melodeon player). Thirty Five Years On Woodfield Street is out now via Northport, UK's Country Mile Records.

Bandcamp for album
Country Mile Records

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

"Caught Lookin'" by Young Guv

It seems like less than two months ago that we were featuring GUV I, a very good album by Young Guv. In fact, it was less than two months ago: Link. But it seems that the man is a veritable fountain of music, and GUV II is headed to our ears on October 25 via Run For Cover Records. Reportedly, this album will have a bit more polish and a bit less garage than the last one. No matter, Young Guv appears quite capable of anything. Can we back up that opinion? Well, yes -- check out "Caught Lookin'" below.

And for those of you in the NYC, Philly, Boston, and Chicago areas, note the live dates with the Vivian Girls at the bottom of the post.

Run For Cover Records page for pre-order & mech

Young Guv Live Dates:
w/ Vivian Girls

10/17: Brooklyn, NY - Warsaw
10/18: Philadelphia, PA - First Unitarian Church 
10/20: Somerville, MA - ONCE Ballroom 
11/1: Chicago, IL - The Empty Bottle 
11/2: Chicago, IL - The Empty Bottle 

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Cool Sounds - More To Enjoy

Music is capable of hitting us anywhere on our emotional spectrum, so the wise aficionado carefully matches music to mood, or perhaps to a desired mood. Lately, we have wanted to be happy and have selected music accordingly. One album that never fails to make us smile, put a bounce in our step and persuade us that every cup is at least half full is the aptly titled More To Enjoy. The album is the third by Melbourne band Cool Sounds. The tunes are pop/soft rock gems from start to finish, with bountiful hooks, ace guitar fills and driving melodies. But this is an album that has even more going on than it would seem initially, because the scenes sketched out in the lyrics could be winning short stories or film shorts if they didn't happen to be recorded as music.  There is a superficial casualness to the proceedings here, but make no mistake -- we are listening to brilliance.

Cool Sounds are Dainis Lacey, Nick Kearton, Ambrin Hasnain, Lauren Huynth, Steve Foulkes, and Jack Nichols. In addition, on this album Lachlan Denton played drums and provided backing vocals, Liam 'Snowy" Halliwell played sax, and Matt Murphy worked the keys.  More To Enjoy is out now in digital, CD, and vinyl formats via Osborne Again Music, Hotel Motel Records, and Meritorio Records.

Bandcamp for album
Various links to the album
Hotel Motel Records (Facebook)
Osborne Again Music
Meritorio Records

"Sunflower" by The Springfields

This week brings happy news to indie pop fans: Slumberland Records intends to release a compilation of singles by The Springfields. The band was centered around Ric Menck and Paul Chastain, who also thrilled fans with projects such as Velvet Crush, Bag O' Shells and others.

The Springfields, whose members for these recordings also included Jeffrey Underhill, Eric Peterson, Wes Lachot, Buddy Judge and Michael Hausman, created jangling, melodic songs echoing the guitar pop of the '60s. The compilation, Singles 1986-1991, will include the band's five singles released via Sarah Records, Picture Book, Summershine, and Seminal Twang, as well as some additional, rare recordings. The album will be available in mid-November, but you can pre-order now and listen to track "Sunflower" below.

Monday, September 23, 2019

"Looking for Love (feat. Club 8)" by The Legends

Ohhhh, we like starting out our day in music with a smoldering duet (we don't mind ending our day the same way, truth be known). And we can do so with "Looking For Love". The artists are credited as The Legends with a featured performance by Karolina Komstedt from Club 8. Since The Legends is one of the artistic guises of Johan Angergard, and Club 8 consists of Johan and Karolina, one could well wonder why this isn't a Club 8 project. The answer may be that Johan may be considering the song for inclusion in a future album for his solo project, but for us - today - the answer doesn't matter. We just like the song and have it on repeat.

In addition to The Legends, Johan Angergard is a member of Acid House Kings, Djustin, Club 8, and Pallers, as well as running Labrador Records.

Various links to "Looking For Love"
Labrador Records

Friday, September 20, 2019

"Emma" by SHHE

SHHE, aka Sue Shaw, was signed to a label on the strength of her first single, "Eyes Shut". Now the Scottish-Portuguese singer/producer is poised to issue her debut album. We think this artist is a great talent, so we are taking the time to share album track "Emma". We find it to be excellent late night listening.

SHHE will be release October 11 via One Little Indian.

One Little Indian page for album

Galileo's Fan - I Won't Be Found

Siblings Fi and Martin Vass are Galileo's Fan.  The Scottish duo fashions textured, broad scale folk rock/alt pop featuring bold arrangements and soaring vocals. Their just-released LP, I Won't Be Found, is packed with well-crafted ballads and anthems that seem carved out of the mountains and mists of the Scottish Highlands. Their sound has, quite understandably, been compared to Iceland's Of Monsters and Men, but to our ears Galileo's Fan relies less on drama and more on the heart. It is a fine album at any time, but we particularly like listening to it outdoors on walks.

I Won't Be Found is released via GF Records.


Thursday, September 19, 2019

"Prazer Em Te Conhecer" by Allah Las

Allah Las continue their intriguing teases of delights that will be revealed on October 11 when their new LP hits the streets -- and our eager ears. The latest gold nugget is "Prazer Em Te Conhecer", with lyrics in Portuguese to stretch your mind. Check out the video below and note that LAHS will be released by Mexican Summer soon.

Various links for LAHS

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

"The Verlaines and Husker Du" by Charcoal Burners

Dunedin, New Zealand indie rock stalwarts Charcoal Burners have gifted the universe with a free song referencing two treasured rock bands.  Grab yourself and hit Bandcamp to view the lyrics.

Charcoal Burners are Andrew Spittle (guitar/vocals), Sally Lonie (bass/vocals), Finn (drums).

Bandcamp for "The Verlaines and Husker Du"

"Sbwriel Gwyn" by Los Blancos

We don't speak Welsh, but we do speak indie rock, so Los Blancos and WYMA blog are on the same wavelength.  Check out the video for "Sbwriel Gwyn", the title track for their upcoming album, below and mark September 27 as the day the album's rocking glory can be yours to treasure. This band has DNA from The Replacements and Velvet Underground in their veins, and we love them.

Sbwriel Gwyn will be out via Libertino Records.

Libertino Records page for Los Blancos

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

"Love For Myself" and "Help" by Emma Russack & Lachlan Denton

The old saying 'catching lightning in a bottle' references the lucky occurrence of something seeming impossible, and we are reminded of it while listening to "Love For Myself" and "Help" by Emma Russack & Lachlan Denton. Of course, there is no real impossibility in this equation because quality music from Emma or Lach is a given.  However, songs this good are so rare as to invoke the capture of lightning.  They are pop gems bursting with positivity and life, and suggest that the upcoming album from which they are taken - Take The Reigns - should be at the top of your 'must have' list.

Take The Reigns will be released on October 18 by Osborne Again and Bobo Integral.

Note: The original version of this post featured album track "Catch" rather than "Help". The label advised me that they had intended to make "Help" available and asked us to switch songs, and we are happy to comply. Those of you who streamed "Catch" earlier are fortunate, as you now have heard three songs from the album.

Bandcamp for Take The Reigns

Monday, September 16, 2019

"Mid 8Ts" by Comet Gain

Comet Gain has been a band for over 25 years, with main man David Feck front and center throughout. And if we have a vote, they should be around for another 25. They have a new album titled Fireraisers Forever! coming out in October via Tapete Records, and we are looking forward to it. Meanwhile, we can enjoy the lyric video album track "Mid 8Ts".

Various links for "Mid 8Ts"
Bandcamp for Fireraisers Forever

Friday, September 13, 2019

Mermaidens - Look Me In The Eye

For Look Me In The Eye, their third album, Wellington, NZ trio Mermaidens look to expand their reach beyond dream and fuzz pop, and in the effort craft an intriguing album of light and dark, pop hooks and arty textures.  Expanding use of synths combined with twin vocals, guitar, bass and drums result in a sound that is varied and dense, while remaining nimble. The songs are shaded with moody themes and emotional contrasts, expressed with confidence and clarity. Our take is that Mermaindens are a band that knows what they want to say, and says it very well, indeed.

Mermaidens are Gussie Larkin (vocals/guitar), Lily West (vocals/bass), and Gabe Hollingsworth (drums). Look Me In The Eye is out now in digital, vinyl and CD formats via Flying Nun Records.

The band is touring in the UK in the latter half of September.

Bandcamp for Look Me In The Eye
Various links for Look Me In The Eye

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Lost Ships - All Of The Pieces EP

We think that making it to Wednesday means we deserve a slice of heaven, and we get exactly what we want via All of the Pieces, the new EP from Portsmouth, UK's Lost Ships.  The band boasts a robust power pop sound, plenty of jangle, and big hooks and choruses. Unsurprisingly, they earn references to Teenage Fanclub. And while it is nice to be compared to the heroes of jangling power pop, this band carves out their own identity. This EP is a terrific addition to our library and will be an essential part of our Autumn soundtrack.

Lost Ships are Dave Sarney (bass), Simon Rapsey (drums), Dev Cross (guitars/vocals), and Ashley Chaplin (guitars/vocals). All of the Pieces is available now in digital and CD formats via Subjangle.

Bandcamp for All Of The Pieces

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Champion of Youth - Champion of Youth

Some days we are racked with indecision. For example, is Champion of Youth a new band for us, or an old band?  In support of the former proposition, we haven't previously featured any music by the band. For the latter position, we note that we have featured music by Amida, a band whose membership apparently overlaps with the players in Champion of Youth. Fortunately, like all well-run institutions we have a procedure for addressing such dilemmas.  We gather together, drink a few beers, and then cop out.  In this case, the cop out is deciding that Champion of Youth is a 'new old band'.

With that heavy lifting our of the way, please welcome the new old band's self-titled mini-album to your ears. Are you stuck in a rut on a Tuesday with a crying need for pep? Do you need some pop hooks, rumbling riffs, humor, jangle, and energetic performances? These guys have you covered.  It is just the sort of thing you would want, and expect, from a live show.  And while you won't get a live show unless you go to Manchester, you can grab the music from Bandcamp right now.

Spotify link for album

Sunday, September 8, 2019

The Memory Fades - Space Pilot

Every recording by The Memory Fades earns a special place in our music library, and we are thrilled that Space Pilot is the second EP by the project this year (the first was She Loves the Birds (link)). But this one may be extra special because it evokes WYMA favorites The Jesus and Mary Chain.  In fact, the second track even is titled "Listening to the Marychain", although the lead track bears the strongest resemblance.  The third and fourth tracks are lovely jangle pop gems that finish off the EP line a top chef's special dessert.

For this EP, The Memory Fades' Stephen Maughan is assisted by Pete Bowers, Estella Rosa, Joanne Galley, and Max Saidi.  Space Pilot is available in CD and digital formats - see the Bandcamp link below.

Bandcamp for EP

Friday, September 6, 2019

L.A. Mood - Breakfast At Sassy's

Someone has some explaining to do. Despite us writing about the wonderful Courtney Barnett from time to time, and despite writing about some of the fine releases from Melbourne's Hotel Motel Records, when Dave Mudie, who is Courtney's drummer, releases a record via Hotel Motel -- even under the assumed name L.A. Mood -- no one bothers to tell us (moreover, it is his second EP). Yes, some people decided to ignore our exclusive* readership of over 3,000,254 persons**, leaving us to find the album on our own.
   *Claim of exclusivity of our readership is based on the same methodology used by Donald Trump to claim the attendance at his inauguration. If it is good enough for The Donald ...
   **The 3,000,254 number of readers is not yet audited as our accountant is busy with his other job. After all, those pizzas won't deliver themselves.

However, despite our disappoint, hurt, and a few tears, we are professionals and will bring Breakfast At Sassy's to our readers' ears.  And we'd be fools not to, because this EP is really excellent stuff. The vibe is '90s/'00s rock that sounds like it was cooked in a garage with a touch of blues on the side, and we have it cycling through our sound system on permanent repeat today.  It is a digital release costing five Australian dollars, and if you get it right now you'll have if for the weekend. Trust us, you want it for the weekend. You probably even need it for the weekend.


Broken Chanter - Broken Chanter

We have been fans of David MacGregor since we first became aware of his performances and songwriting as a frontman for Kid Canaveral.  During some recent down-time for that project, David began work on his debut solo album as Broken Chanter.  The self-titled record arrives today, and we are pleased to report that it bears testimony to all of David's strengths.  The songs are superbly crafted, with strong melodies and sparkling production.  As readers familiar with David's style would expect, the songs are heartfelt -- and heart on the sleeve. But the added dimension, at least to our ears, is the broad scope of the arrangements.  This music doesn't want to be contained by four walls. Rather it invokes the Scottish Highlands and the coasts of Scotland and Ireland.  There really is no substitute for music that makes you feel better about being alive, and this music does just that.

We previously shared "Should We Be Dancing?" and "Wholesale", so we have chosen a few other dandies to give you a sense of the album.  But if you are a fan of MacGregor, you should already be purchasing Broken Chanter. If you are not yet a fan, we recommend trying a few of of these songs or, better yet, listen at your favorite streaming site.

Broken Chanter is out today via Olive Grove Records and Last Night From Glasgow.

Last Night From Glasgow page for album
Various links for album

Thursday, September 5, 2019

"Hula Hoop Group" by Cool Sounds

No, More To Enjoy, the debut LP by Melbourne's Cool Sounds is not out yet. You'll have to wait two more weeks.  However, album track "Hula Hoop Group" now is available as a single.  On this outing, the band updates their '70s pop/rock sound with a touch of funk and a dose of strut (yes, that is a 'thing' - you probably can ask Alexa about it).

And just know that there will be more to enjoy when More To Enjoy hits the streets via Osborne Again Music, Hotel Motel Music, and Meritorio Records

Bandcamp for single
Osborne Again Music
Hotel Motel Music
Meritorio Records

"Try Not To Hang So Hard" by Young Guv

At the beginning of August we featured the thrilling power pop of Young Guv's GUV I (link). Some alert readers may have wondered why the Roman numeral "I" was part of the album's title. The answer becomes clear today with the announcement that GUV II will be released on October 25. It seems that when Ben Cook was writing the first album, he just kept going.  And we think that is very good news for all of this with functional ears.

Our first hint of the second album also comes today, via the stream for album track "Try Not To Hang So Hard", a sentimental song with a rocking edge. Like its predecessor, GUV II will be released via Run For Cover Records.

Run For Cover Records page for GUV II

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

"No Plans" by Bluey

Lachie Gilmour is known as a guitarist and co-songwriter for ace Melbourne band IV League. But he also is striking out as a solo artist under the name Bluey.  His debut EP is on the horizon,and you can hear "No Plans, the first song shared from the record, below.  An upbeat tune with swaths of bright colors, it has supercharged our evening.

Bandcamp for "No Plans"
Various links for "No Plans"

Helene Barbier - Have You Met Elliott?

Indie pop with a French Canadian accent is on the menu today.  The artist is Helene Barbier, a French-born, Montreal-based performer who combines an affecting melodicism with the DIY spirit of The Raincoats, Slits and Lizzy Mercier Descloux.  Previously a member of bands Moss Lime and Phern, her solo debut is Have You Met Elliott? The songs are fresh, spontaneous and, at times, appealingly raw and almost adolescent.  The overall effect is fun and tres charming.  May we suggest that this is a fine listen to get you through the mid-week slump?

Contributing players include Christian Simmons, Emma Coldwell, Matt Robidoux, and Elise Paradis.
Have You Met Elliott is out now in digital and vinyl formats via Emotional Response Records.

Bandcamp for album


Tuesday, September 3, 2019

"Looks Like I'm Running Out" by David Kilgour and the Heavy Eights

David Kilgour and the Heavy Eights has shared another song from their September 20 album Bobbie's A Girl.  "Looks Like I'm Running Out" isn't a classic surf song, but as the video below demonstrates, its relaxed vibe fits perfectly with some winter longboard action.

Bobbies A Girl will be release via Merge Records.

Various links for Bobbie's A Girl

"Should We Be Dancing" by Broken Chanter

In May we featured "Wholesale", a single taken from the upcoming debut album by Broken Chanter, otherwise known as David MacGregor, the primary songwriter and vocalist for Kid Canaveral.  With the release date for the self-titled album arriving at the end of the week, we can't resist sharing another of the fine songs included therein: "Should We Be Dancing".

Broken Chanter is out September 6 via labels Olive Grove Records and Last Night From Glasgow.