Thursday, October 31, 2019

Dreams of Empire - Nothing's Ever Finished

We have covered music by Brighton's Dreams of Empire on few times, having been impressed by their artful dream pop meets shoegaze recordings. Today's feature celebrates the duo's first full length, Nothing's Ever Finished. The soaring compositions feature reverbed vocals and multiple textures. Fans of Ride and Slowdive will find this album particularly pleasing, but we think anyone will find it an inspiring soundtrack for their day.

Dreams of Empire are Jane Craig (vocals) and Andrew Craig (words/music). Nothing's Ever Finished is out now in digital, vinyl and CD formats.

Dreams Of Empire - Website
Bandcamp for album

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Stars On Fire - Songs For The Summer

One of the fine debut EPs we have heard this year is Blue Skies Above by Stars On Fire (link to our feature). The man behind the flaming night ski is Seoul-based Christopher Mark, a transplanted Californian. We were thinking of him this week because we noted that he mentioned us in a tweet. When we woke up this morning the first thing on our mind is that his tweet referenced a new record. OK, we may be slow, but we aren't complete idiots. Having finally pieced together that Christopher was letting us know about a new release, we hunted Songs For The Summer down this morning, and now present it to our readers.

Beginning with the shoegazey "I Need Nobody (that's you)", followed by the bright dream pop of standout track "Salty Kiss", this EP delivers on its title -- reminding us of the summer now gone. We have fond memories, melancholy, and a few regrets. The EP is completed by the instrumental shoegaze of "Summertime" and the delicious, jangling fuzz pop song "Late" (which has a nice Pains Of Being Pure At Heart vibe). Here is the audio for your summer scrapbook.

Bandcamp for Songs For The Summer

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

"When It Breaks" by Quivers

Like us, you probably woke up this morning wondering what the wonderful people of Quivers are up to. Fortunately, there was an email in our inbox that answered the question. And being of kind disposition, we will share with you that there is a shiny new single, with an album coming next year. The single is "When It Breaks", and it is a terrific slice of life-affirming-in-the-face-of-mortality jangle pop that we look for to fuel our days. We trust that you will like it as well.

Quivers are Sam J. Nicholson, Michael Panton, Bella Quinlan, and Holly Thomas. "When It Breaks" is released via Melbourne's Hotel Motel Records

Various links for "When It Breaks"

Monday, October 28, 2019

Giant Sand - Recounting the Ballads of Thin Line Men

After a weekend that feature too many events, too many tasks, and insufficient sleep, Monday demands music that features energy, swagger and a rebel spirit. Monday demands rock and roll. And a top rock album for us over the past five weeks has been Recounting the Ballads of Thin Line Men, by Giant Sand. The project of Howe Gelb and various other contributors, Giant Sand bakes a thrilling concoction of desert rock, Americana, and roadhouse blues. It must be said that this album is unusual, as it takes the material from 1986's Ballad Of A Thin Line Man, reworks it with a new perspective, adds an opening track from another compilation. All of that just proves the quality of the original version of the songs, and the rocking spirit of the current version of the band. And it makes our Mondays perfect (and goes down well every other day of the week).

The players are Howe Gelb (guitars/piano/vocals), Tommy Larkins (drums), and Thoger Lund (bass). Recounting the Ballads of Thin Line Men is out now via Fire Records.

Bandcamp for album

Friday, October 25, 2019

Young Guv - GUV II

Recently Ben Cook -- aka Young Guv -- observed that he had "accidentally" recorded a double album. We cannot verify that the size of the end product was accidental, but we will advise you that Guv I (our August 1 feature here) and today's subject, Guv II, are each possibly the most hook-filled, hyper-melodic songs you are going to have the delight to experience this year. Guv II unspools like a hit machine -- from the jangling, crunchy power pop of "She's A Fantasy", "Try Not To Hang So Hard", and "Can I Just Call You", to the mirror-ball dance pop of "Caught Lookin'" and "Trying To Decide", to the Britpop of "Song About Feeling Insane", to the glistening synth pop of "Can't Say Goodbye" the material leaves us breathless and awestruck. Young Guv is a one-man prime time radio show. You can tune in any time you like, but you will never want to leave.

Guv II is out today via Run For Cover Records. Note that you can purchase both albums together (plus two bonus tracks) as Guv I  & II (link)

Run For Cover Records page for Guv releases

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Neilson Family - Double Life

We are very busy doing things other than music blogging today (yes, that happens sometimes), but we didn't want our dear readers to think we have forgotten them. So we will share with you exactly what we are listening to while researching arcane legal points and writing memos. Here is Double Life, an energetic, full-speed dose of jangling indie pop from Portland, Oregon quartet Neilson Family. With two guitars, a rhythm section clearly having fun, and male/female vocals, this is the kind of music that never goes out of style around here.

Neilson Family are Jamie Neilson, Annie Fifer, Amit Gordon and Max Miller. Double Life is out now in digital and CD formats via Jigsaw Records.

Bandcamp for Double Life

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

"Wonder" by The Springfields

A couple of weeks ago we shared the good news that Slumberland Records will be releasing Singles 1986-1991 -- a compilation of singles by beloved guitar pop band The Springfields. Although the release date still is about three weeks away, we have another track to pleasure our ears. Here is "Wonder":

Various links for album
Bandcamp for Album
Slumberland Records

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

"3's & 4's" by Sprinters

We suppose one could look at the title of this post and wonder whether it is a training plan for track athletes. That would be wrong -- understandable, but very wrong. But it isn't our fault, as we don't name the songs.  However, whether or not you are a runner, you should pay attention to "3's & 4's" because it is one of the many excellent songs to be found on Struck Gold, which we are confident will be one of the best November releases this year. Sprinters is the project of Neil Jarvis, although for this album we understand that the effort included three others, as well. We will discuss the full length closer to its release date next month, so we will leave you with "3's & 4's", a sad tale with a beautiful, melodic wrapper.

Struck Gold will be released via Meritorio Records.

Bandcamp for Struck Gold
Meritorio Records

Monday, October 21, 2019

GospelbeacH - Let It Burn

The alchemy wielded by Brent Rademaker should thrill any fan of American rock. On Let It Burn, the new album for his GospelbeacH project, Brent and his mates blend a California strain of classic rock with Americana, and country, suggesting Tom Petty and the Grateful Dead recording in Laurel Canyon. But that won't surprise fans of his previous projects, such as Beachwood Sparks and The Tyde. With adept, and at times scorching, guitar work by former Beachwood Sparks compatriot Neal Casal (who sadly passed away this summer) and keys by Jonny Niemann, the album serves up ballads, mid-tempo slow burners, power pop, and classic rock, all with sincerity and a heaping dose of California sunshine.

Check this one out -- it may help you hang on to that summer feeling for a few more weeks.

Let It Burn is out now via Alive Naturalsound.

Bandcamp for Let It Burn
Label page for Gospelbeach/

"Come On Down Jupiter" by The Orielles

Halifax, UK's fourpiece The Orielles has announced their second LP for Heavenly Recordings/PIAS. It will be titled Disco Volador, and is scheduled for release on February 28, 2020. Accompanying the announcement is a video for album track "Come On Down Jupiter". Building on their dance oriented pop rock, the song features propulsive beats and rich textures. And the video provides a fun drama built on the daily mundane.

The Orielles are Esme Dee Hand-Halford, Sidonie B. Hand-Halford, Henry Carlyle Wade, and Al Morgan Stephens.

Heavenly Recordings' site for pre-orders of Disco Volador

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Emma Russack and Lachlan Denton - Take The Reigns

When we write that we like everything about Take The Reigns, we mean everything. And that starts with the cover art. There is no stylish 'we could be models' shot, no arty arrangement of the two artists staring in different directions, no defiant 'rebels with a cause' pose. Instead, we have a shot of two real people: Emma with her mouth full and pointing at Lach; and Lach with a can of beer sitting in front of him. They could be in your back yard (and we wish they were in our back yard). The artists are Emma Russack and Lachlan Denton, both well known in Australia (and in knowledgeable circles in the wide world) for their solo work, their two prior records together (Keep On Trying and When It Ends, both in 2018), and for Lach, as a member of Ocean Party.

For this record, the duo have collaborated on ten sparkling songs that, for the most part, walk the sunny side of the lane. We have already shared "Catch" (link), "Help" and "Love For Myself" (link), three bouncing pop songs that any songwriter with a heart and a brain would be thrilled to claim. Of course, the easy tactic here would be to stream them again because their memorable melodies, hooks, and smart lyrics would make us look clever for choosing them. But that approach wouldn't expose you to other gems, so we have offered a few more below. The right choice for any reader would be to stream the choices below, then hit the Bandcamp link and stream the entire album while choosing your desired version. Be assured that it goes well with breakfast, when the sun goes down and anytime in between. We consider it a warm hug of an album -- but not the kissy kissy pink unicorns kind of hug. This is the kind of genuine hug between adults that still leaves room for saying "you could use a haircut", "you forgot to pick up the stuff at the cleaners", or "you weren't as charming as you thought you were after that third glass of wine". It is friendly and accessible, yet manages to be totally terrific (just like us after three glasses of wine, we think).

Take The Reigns is out today via Osborne Again, Bobo Integral, and Spunk Records. You not only want it, you need it.

Bandcamp for Take The Reigns

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Bluey - Bluey EP

Lachie Gilmour is known as a songwriter and guitarist for Melbourne's terrific IV League. But he has expanded his repertoire by fronting his own project, Bluey.  Closely following the single release of lead track "No Plans", Lachie has now revealed the Bluey EP. The record consists of five immaculately constructed songs spanning psych pop, guitar pop, and soaring New Order-ish synth pop. From the upbeat "No Plans" and "That's Life" to hazy "Morning Sun" to the more downbeat "Broken Heart" to the bright indie pop of "Best Friend", the common thread is a superb sense of melody and thoughtful arrangements. This EP is a stunning and triumphant debut release. While we hope that IV League continues, we wholeheartedly endorse the Bluey venture as well, and hope to hear more soon.

Bluey EP is out now.

Bandcamp for Bluey EP
Various links for Bluey EP

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

SUPER 8 - Head Sounds The EP

Head Sounds The EP is both a stand alone EP and a trailer for the upcoming SUPER 8 full length titled -- you're never going to guess -- Head Sounds. You may or may not find that confusing, but I wouldn't dwell on it too much. The only important thing is that we have more good guitar pop from the UK's Paul Ryan, aka SUPER 8. Specifically, the EP consists of a spoken word into, four original songs, and a cover of the Beatles "Across The Universe". This band's music is invariably entertaining so give your ears a treat.

Bandcamp for Super Head Sounds EP

"Cubs" by Lunir

Our favorite Scottish-German duo Lunir have returned with new single "Cubs". Think smart electro-pop with a wash of playful soul. It puts a bounce in our step for the morning, and we look sooooo good when we prance, if we can be honest.

Lunir are Becky Sikasa and David Scobie. Additional vocals by Hanna Sikasa.

Bandcamp for "Cubs"
Various links for "Cubs"

Monday, October 14, 2019

"Whats In A Name" by AA Matheson

AA Matheson (also known as Aaron Matheson and A. Wallace) has recorded an EP dealing with weighty topics such as grief, spirituality and friendship. Titled Trying, the record will be released this week via Marfa Lights Records. The first single, "Whats In A name", is already out and you can stream it below. As revealed in the lyrics (to be found at the Bandcamp link below), the song explores feelings of shame and regret in a simple and affecting manner. The man is a good songwriter, and we suggest checking it out. If you like it, consider pre-ordering Trying.

Bandcamp for Trying

Friday, October 11, 2019

Allah-Las - LAHS

If you had a magic lantern marked "L.A." you could rub it any time you needed or wanted and be bathed in sunshine, massaged by ocean breezes, and surrounded by sand and palm trees. Toss in some outdoor cafes, pan-pacific fusion taco trucks and some music clubs, and you have the perfect getaway from wherever you live that isn't Los Angeles. But if you are like us, you either don't have such a magic lantern, or you have accessed the genie too many times and he won't respond any more. Sad as that may be, we have a hack for you. Buy yourself a copy of LAHS, the new album by Los Angeles four-piece Allah-Lahs, and you can have Los Angeles any time you want, and as many times as you need.

Admittedly, we have little editorial detachment with respect to Allah-Las. For us, they are the shamans of SoCal psychedelic pop, the high priests of the LA vibe. But even with that disclaimer, we feel confident in writing that LAHS captures the magic, the glitter and the grit of Los Angeles in a way that no other band has, and them looks at the rest of the wide world through the same lens. It is their best work to date, and a thoroughly delightful album..

Allah Las are Matt Correia, Spencer Dunham, Miles Michaud, and Pedrum Siadatian. LAHS is available today, October 11, via Mexican Summer.  The band will be touring in support of the album beginning in November.  See the dates and venues at the bottom of the post.

Bandcamp for LAHS
Various links for LAHS

November 4th - Valley Bar, Phoenix, AZ 
November 5th - Meow Wolf, Sante Fe, NM
November 7th - White Oak Music Hall, Houston, TX
November 8th - Trees, Dallas, TX
November 9th - Empire Control Room, Austin, TX
November 10th - One Eyed Jacks, New Orleans, LA
November 12th - The Basement East, Nashville, TN
November 13th - Terminal West, Atlanta, GA
November 14th - Grey Eagle Tavern, Asheville, NC
November 15th - Cat's Cradle, Carrboro, NC
November 16th - The Black Cat, Washington, DC
November 18th - Union Transfer, Philadelphia, PA
November 19th - Paradise Rock Club, Boston, MA
November 20th - Brooklyn Steel, Brooklyn, NY
November 22nd - Corona Theatre, Montreal, CA
November 24th - Lee's Palace, Toronto, CA
November 25th - Beachland Ballroom, Cleveland, OH
November 26th - Ace of Cups, Columbus, OH
November 27th - Thalia Hall, Chicago, IL
November 29th - Fine Line Music Cafe, Minneapolis, MN
November 30th - Blueberry Hill, St. Louis, MO
December 2nd - Slowdown, Omaha, NE
December 3rd - Gothic Theatre, Englewood, CA
December 4th - Metro Music Hall, Salt Lake City, UT 
December 6th - Neumos, Seattle, WA
December 7th - Wonder Ballroom, Portland, OR
December 8th - Commodore Ballroom, Vancouver, BC
December 10th - The Fillmore, San Francisco, CA
December 11th - The Observatory, Santa Ana, CA
December 12th - The Mayan, Los Angeles, CA
December 13th - The Observatory North Park, San Diego, CA
December 14th - Pappy & Harriets, Pioneertown, CA

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Persian Leaps - Electrical Living

If you like power pop, you like The Persian Leaps. The project of one Drew Forsberg and friends, they delighted us with several EPs of masterful, crunchy guitar pop, and then a superb, fully packed full length that served as a greatest hits album, as well as a swan song for that version of the band. But Drew has continued to write and record, and has just released a smashing set of songs titled Electrical Living that will power your weekend -- this weekend and probably many to follow.

For Electrical Living, Drew is joined by Jon Hunt, who also provided the album's cover art.

Bandcamp for Electrical Living

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

The Echo Session - Wait And See

It seems like a long wait to hear these songs, as the good people of the Flowers in the Dustbin label have been teasing this album for over a year. But even if the wait was longer than we desired, consider the lads of The Echo Session. The Glasgow band, led by songwriter/vocalist Tam Maher, recorded these songs in the middle of the previous decade but were unable to gain label support for the release of an album. Fortunately, FitD stepped up a couple of years ago to release a single consisting of this album's showcase opening and closing tracks, and now has graced us with the ten-song Wait And See. The promise was an album that sounds like a long-lost doppelganger of the one and only album by The La's, with reminders of The Kinks as well. And in our view the finished product delivers with a strike to the bulls-eye. In particular, songs like "Down By The River", "Dear Old Sam" and "Sunshine in the Morning" sound like The La's and The Kinks got together in a back room after a Glasgow gig and hammered out a couple of future hits. For their part, the aforementioned bookend songs "But I'm Scared" (our favorite of the set) and "Wait and See", along with "Mystery Man" and "Barapba", have the charming earworm quality of '60s AM radio folk rock hits.

One run through this album and your heart will tell you that these are old, favorite song from your youth that you are thrilled to have rediscovered, even though your brain and the liner notes tell you that this is the first time (and maybe liner notes are the new fake news ...). But it really doesn't matter, as you have them now and they will be yours forever. Well, assuming that you hit the Bandcamp link below, they will be yours forever.

Bandcamp for Wait And See
Flowers In The Dustbin

"Sundown" by Pink Chameleons

We have been waiting patiently for Songs, the upcoming LP by Finland's Pink Chameleons. OK, semi-patiently. Having featured the first single from the album in August (link), we now can share the slow-burning garage brilliance of "Sundown". Think Lou Reed and The Jesus and Mary Chain finding themselves in a haunted house at when the sun goes down. The single is out via October 11 via Helsinki label Soliti Music.

Pink Chameleons are Paltsa-Kai Salama, Antti Sauli, and Ville Hopponen. Songs will be released on December 13 via Soliti.

Soliti Music

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

"Catch" by Emma Russack and Lachlan Denton

This new single from the upcoming Take the Reigns by Emma Russack and Lachlan Denton is quite the catch. In fact, it is titled "Catch". Coincidence? We don't think so. It is the product of two highly adept songwriters at the top of their game. The vocal interplay and positive message makes us feel like we are bathed in summer sunshine with our loved one at our sides, even though we are shut in our individual offices, alone and watching the cold fall rain.

The album will be out in ten days via Bobo Integral and Osborne Again, but there is no good reason to deny yourself this joyful tune another minute.

Bandcamp for Take the Reigns

Sunday, October 6, 2019

A Certain Smile - Bae EP

Portland, Oregon's A Certain Smile has given us three songs that amply demonstrate why they are a top class fuzz pop band. Bae EP begins with "Cherry Bomb", an aptly-named explosion of sound. The following "Honey Do" continues the hooky, fast-paced melodic rampage, and if the band stopped there, we would still be breathless and love this 7". But A Certain Smile provides a delicious, dialed-down change up with closer "Original Replacement".

Bae EP is out now in digital and vinyl formats via the Portland (formerly Seattle) Jigsaw Records.

Bandcamp for Bae EP

Thursday, October 3, 2019

The Rallies - Upside Down

The Seattle area is a wonderland for good indie music, and The Rallies are yet another prime example. The Seattle/Tacoma four piece delivers the kind of jangling, hyper-melodic power pop that fuels our days and keeps a smile on our face. At the end of the summer they released a new LP titled Upside Down that seems to have flown a bit under the radar. And given the dwindling number of blogs and the plethora of new music, it isn't surprising that good music fails to get the recognition it deserves.  However, it shouldn't happen to these guys because this album is too good to ignore. This is a simple formula, no bells, whistles or production gimmicks -- just hooks and good delivery of well-crafted power pop. It deserves our ears.

The Rallies are Steve Davis (acoustic guitar/lead vocals), Lee Brown (drums/backing vocals), Karl van der Velden (guitar/backing vocals), and Ben Heege (bass/backing vocals). Upside Down is available in CD and digital formats -- check out the Bandcamp link below.

Bandcamp for Upside Down
Reverbnation page for The Rallies

Los Blancos - Sbwriel Gwyn

One of our goals here at WYMA, in addition to communal beer drinking and pretending to have a productive hobby while drinking beer, is to encourage music lovers to experience music from outside of their borders. Today's first feature, Sbwriel Gwyn, is an excellent example of why that goal is worthwhile. The product of Welsh quartet Los Blancos, it not only is one of the better albums released in September, but is, in our not-at-all humble opinion, one of the best rocking albums we have heard this year. An exciting and fresh concoction of alt rock, slacker pop, grunge, and punk, it reveals a band disinterested in following whatever is the flavor of the season in London, Manchester, or New York. It's distinctive feel is further enhanced by the lyrical content, which is exclusively sung in Welsh. But this isn't an affectation chosen to try to stand out, it is what Los Blancos are: They are proudly and comfortably Welsh, and they express themselves in Welsh on social media as well.

And although Sbwriel Gwyn is, without a doubt, a rock album, the songs are varied in tempo, intensity and perspective, and make for an enthralling listen even if you don't avail yourself of the translated lyrics. Always visceral and never anything but captivating, you don't want to miss this album.

Los Blancos are Osian (guitar/vocals), Emyr (drums), Dewi (bass/vocals), and Gwyn (guitar/vocals). Sbwriel Gwyn is out now via Libertino Records.

Various links for album
Libertino Records page for Sbwriel Gwyn

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

"Gaslights" by Lilla Parasit

We are big fans of Rama Lama Records, and not just because the Stockholm label has a terrific little roster (e.g. Melby, Cat Princess, Steve Buscemi's Dreamy Eyes), but because it is one of our favorite names for a label. Yes, a joyful life sometimes is comprised of many little joys ...

The label's latest signing is Lilla Parasit, who are celebrating today's release of their single, "Gaslights". We think it marks the emergence of a delightful new talent, and look forward to the coming mini album.

Lilla Parasit are Amanda Lindren, Jessica Klingsell, David Svedmyr, and Are Engen Steinsholm.

Various links for "Gaslights"
Bandcamp for "Gaslights"