Tuesday, April 30, 2019

"Passing Ships" by Swimming Tapes

A recent, and happy, discovery for us at WYMA is London's Swimming Tapes.  We will have a better chance to explore their music in late May when they release debut album Morningside.  However, you can take a taste now via the video for album track "Passing Ships".  Dreamy and jangling, it is the perfect song to end a warm, sunny spring day.

Swimming Tapes are Robbie Reid, Jason Hawthorne, Louis Price, Paddy Conn, and Andrew Evans.  Morningside will be release on May 24 via Hand In Hive.




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The Hannah Barberas - Get Physical


We aren't going to embarrass our fine readers by naming names, but we know that some of you have been too lazy to acquire each of the three EPs released by London's The Hannah Barberas when they first became available.  We know what it is like, life is busy and it takes time from watching GoT or paying attention to your fantasy sports teams, but now you feel bad that you have failed to support a very fine band, a band whose scrappy, jangling and hyper upbeat guitar pop is just what you need.  Not that you necessarily deserve it, but the fine foursome has bailed you out.  Combining with Subjangle Records, The Hannah Barberas  have released Get Physical, 11 tracks comprised of the best of their three EPs plus three new songs.  Now you can easily acquire the songs you want with one easy internet shopping trip -- no jacket or umbrella needed.  And you can even get Get Physical in physical format, if so so desire.  Sample the goods (including two of the great new songs) below, and then do what you know you should do.

The Hannah Barberas are Damien, Lucy, Doug, and Matthew.  Get Physical is out in digital and CD formats on May 3 via Subjangle Records.








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Monday, April 29, 2019

Bubblegum Lemonade - Desperately Seeking Sunshine


Every release by Bubblegum Lemonade is a cause for celebration at WYMA, and I suspect among jangle pop fans everywhere.  One of the musical projects of Glasgow's Lawrence "Laz" McCluskey, it is born of an unwavering conviction that sounds of The Monkees, The Jesus and Mary Chain, The Byrds, Velvet Underground and the Rickenbacker guitar are the perfect inspiration for vital music.  And it is a thesis that we find to be correct in every respect on the latest album, Desperately Seeking Sunshine.

While that jangle is omnipresent here, and very satisfying, it isn't even the star of the show.  You see (or, more precisely, hear), Laz is a wiz in crafting melodies and infusing pop dynamics with the dedication and speed of a man bailing out his leaking lifeboat while sharks circle.  If Laz's life depends and a good song, he may live forever, and the result of his efforts is the best and most consistent set of songs yet.  Whether offering sugary '60s inflected pop such as "Warm Heart Cold Feet" and "Just An Album Track", or Byrdsian instant classics such as "First Dance for the Last Time" (terrific song title, by the way) and "Girls In The Song" or, well, any other song on this album, Desperately Seeking Sunshine delivers a perfect rush of songs that look forward to summer, and sunshine.  Promise made in the title, promise delivered on tape.  What more could we want?

Desperately Seeking Sunshine is out now in digital and CD formats via Matinee Recordings.







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Friday, April 26, 2019

The Tallest Man On Earth - I Love You. It's A Fever Dream


Kristian Matsson is The Tallest Man On Earth.  We know that because is says so on the album cover and the press releases.  And that is all well and good, but this is a music blog, so the real issue is whether his new album, I Love You. Its A Fever Dream, is worth your ears.  The answer for us is a definitive "yes".   The ten songs transcribe the artist's musing about the world and his travels as a performer while he comes to grips with the rhythms of his post-divorce life.  The arrangements are economical, but the songs resonate with depth and sincerity, voiced by Matsson in his characteristic expressive and well-worn style.  The songs include themes of loneliness, weariness, and sorrow, and ultimately a ray of hope.  The language is poetic, and the presentation is sublime.  I Love You. Its A Fever Dream is a chronicle of Matsson's interior space, but for all of us who have lived, loved, and lost, the connection with the listener is easily made.

The album is out now in digital, CD and vinyl formats via Rivers / Birds Records.







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Wednesday, April 24, 2019

SUPER 8 - Backers & Maracas

SUPER 8, known to his friends and creditors as Paul Ryan, has crafted another set of infectious guitar pop.  The new album is titled Backers & Maracas, and contains 11 original songs and two covers, including a swinging version of Neil Diamond's "Cherry Cherry".  Ryan is one of the most prolific songwriters that we follow, and he never fails to entertain.  For us, the second half of the album is particularly strong, but you should browse through it and choose your own favorites.

Backers & Maracas is out now in digital and CD formats via Subjangle Records.









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Elva - Winter Sun

Elva may not be a name known to most indie pop fans, but interest blossoms when it is known that one half of the duo is Elizabeth Morris of the late, beloved Allo Darlin'.  The other member is Elizabeth's husband, Norwegian musician Ola Innset (of Making Marks and Sunturns).  Both Morris and Innset have impeccable pop chops as songwriters and performers, and Elva allows them to combine their strengths and share the workload of creating music.  Their debut album is Winter Sun, ten songs inspired by nature, specifically hot summers and cold winters (Morris is from Australia, famed for its hot summer months) and the birth of their child.  The arrangements are varied, including delicate acoustic tunes as well as noisier, up-tempo romps.  It is a rewarding listen, leaving feelings of sweet moments and warm memories.  And of course, unless you are a determined to be unhappy, you will want to replay it over and over.

For Winter Sun, Morris and Innset were assisted by Dan Mayfield, Ofelia Ostrem Ossum, Michael Collins, Diego Ivars, and Jorgen Nordby.  The album is out now in digital, CD and vinyl formats via Tapete Records.






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Monday, April 22, 2019

The Cupholders - The Conor Byrne EP

Our friends in The Cupholders, Seattle's contribution to bands named after useful items, now have unleashed their latest tribute to a Ballard watering hole -- the four track The Conor Byrne EP.  It is part of their continuing series about the Seattle neighborhood bars that have played a role in their musical lives over the years.  This is joyful, exuberant, and impeccably soulful rock and roll, and you owe it to yourself to let it spark up your life.  We guarantee that it will put a spring in your step that your significant other will notice (they may run and hide, but they will notice).

And while I don't want to embarrass anyone, and the guys are too proud to mention it, they are only short about 3,567,190 download purchases in order to realize their hope of renting a limo to travel to the pub that will host the final EP in the series.  Help them achieve their dream.

The Cupholders are Bart Cameron, Casey Ruff, and Doug Hood (the sometimes employed alter ego of Sam Russell), with help from friends Kubby Casual, Dave Forrester, Joy Mills, Colin J. Nelson (who also recorded and mixed the album), Kate Noson, Ken Nottingham, and Shadrack Scott.  The Conor Byrne EP is a digital release available at the Bandcamp link below.



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Bayonne - Drastic Measures


We get a large number of submissions, and it is an unavoidable fact that we will miss posting about very worthy music.  Sometimes we have the chance to go back and sample a few submissions that flew under our sometimes faulty radar.  Fortunately, one such recent foray brought to out ears Drastic Measures, the February release by Austin, Texas' Bayonne.  The ten songs on the album are drawn in vivid colors, with delightful melodies layered with orchestral detail and snatches of field recordings.  The final result is an album of incredible depth and complexity, and a thoroughly magical listen from start to finish.  We have played it daily since our belated discovery, and we don't intend to stop soon.

Bayonne is Roger Sellers, with some help from additional instrumentalists.  Drastic Measures is out now as a digital release via Mom + Pop Records.







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"Wasting Time" by Talkboy


As of a couple of days ago, we had never heard of Talkboy.  Thanks to an email from some nice people, we now know that Talkboy is a Leeds-based pop band.  We also know that the six-piece makes good pop music.  Last Friday marked the digital release of "Wasting Time".  If you are able to waste some time today, take a listen.  But it really won't be a waste of your time.  Is that false advertising?  Maybe, but it is a very nice song.




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Friday, April 19, 2019

Zebra Hunt - Trade Desire

We don't have a house band at WYMA, mostly because we don't have a group house.  Well, because we don't have a group house and because of a (probably well-founded) fear of being rejected by our desired candidates.  So we settle for virtual house bands.  The process is so simple: We name the band a house band, post some of their music, and play their albums at home.  The band need do nothing, and if they don't read the blog, they aren't even aware of the honor bestowed upon them.

With that out of the way, we'd like to celebrate the latest album release by When You Motor Away's virtual house band, Seattle's Zebra Hunt.  Titled Trade Desire, the album features eight tracks of the sort of guitar pop that we love.  There is plenty of jangle and no shortage of hooks, lending comparisons to bands from New Zealand and Melbourne (something these guys read quite a bit when reading about themselves, we suspect), as well as Bay Area bands such as the Fresh and Onlys and The Mantles.  But to our ears Trade Desire represents more than simply continuing a good thing.  For one thing, while their songwriting has always been good, this set appears to us to be the most consistent to date.  For another, this album seems lean toward a beefier rock sound -- on some tracks the rhythm section rumbles with satisfying authority.  Perhaps it is partially due to Robert Comitz's production, but whatever the reason, we applaud the increased sonic depth.  Finally, after a few years as a foursome, Zebra Hunt's performances are uniformly tight and confident, and that is fully evident on Trade Desire.

Zebra Hunt are Robert, Mitch, Aaron, and Erik.  Trade Desire is out now in digital and vinyl formats via Spanish label Tenorio Cotobade.






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Bandcamp for Trade Desire (vinyl in Europe)
Jigsaw Records page for vinyl in the US

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The Leisure Society - Arrivals & Departures


Generous in spirit (and its nearly one hour run time), emotionally resonant, and superbly crafted, Arrivals & Departures is an album that you could spend your weekend playing over and over and not regret a moment.  The creation of UK chamber pop band The Leisure Society, it is delightfully detailed and and varied.  The album has 16 tracks, each consisting of six songs, and the vinyl version is recorded on two discs - Arrivals, and Departures.  Both sets are packed with excellent songs and intriguing musical moments, although to our ears the second disc is more expansive (although not happier) and has earned a few more listens around headquarters.  Oh, we should also mention that the album also chronicles the breakup of the romantic partnership of two members of the band, which is relevant to the listener as it explains the emotional heft of several tracks.  Four years in the making by a talented band, this is a highly recommended release.

Arrivals and Departures is out now in digital, vinyl and CD formats via Ego Drain








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Various links to purchase/stream Arrivals & Departures

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Possible Humans - Everybody Split


The world is full of possibilities, and promise inherent in that fact seems to be the fuel for the creative impulses of Melbourne's Possible Humans.  On Everybody Split, their new album, the five piece digs deep into intriguing guitar jams that adroitly walk the tightrope between guitar pop and free form rock.  With riffs neatly balancing hooks, and the urgency of tracks like "Stinger" balanced by the psychedelic pop of "Born Stoned" (almost 12 minutes long, and worth every second of your time), the alleged homo sapiens seem about as far away from corporate rock as you can get, and they do it with joy, skill and a lack of pretense.

The five guys that are Possible Humans are Leon Cranswick, Samuel Tapper, Steve Hewitt, Adam Hewitt, and Mark Hewitt.  Everybody Split is out now as a digital download (the limited run of vinyl is sold out) via Melbourne label Hobbies Galore.










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Tuesday, April 16, 2019

L I P S - L I P S EP

The five tracks on the debut, self-titled EP by LIPS may well convince you that you have a new addition to your list of favorite dream pop bands.  The melodies bear a trace of the '80s, and the arrangements are fuzzy and jangling, all in fine support of the pristine, floating vocals of Rachel Anstis.  Cue up the EP and let them ease you into a good evening.

LIPS EP is out now in digital and CD formats via Sunday Records.




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Red Sleeping Beauty - Stockholm

In our opinion April is turning out to be a good music month, and one only need to consider Stockholm to know that we are correct.  No, not the city, although a friend that visited last year raved about its charms.  We are referring to the new album by Sweden's Red Sleeping Beauty.  Continuing their return from a long hiatus, the band proves themselves synth pop creators of the highest level, perfectly balancing pop euphoria, swirling moodiness, and club hits.  For some of us, the right kind of music floods the brain with pleasure, perhaps the best natural drug on can achieve standing up.  This is an album that delivers that feeling in large, glorious doses.

Red Sleeping Beauty are Niklas AngergĂ„rd, Kristina Borg, and Mikael Matsson.  Stockholm is out now in digital and CD formats via Matinee Recordings.




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Friday, April 12, 2019

Melby - None of This Makes Me Worry

In their approximately three-year existence Sweden-based Melby has emerged as an undeniable guitar pop talent.  On their debut full length album, the just released None of This Makes Me Worry, the band eschews choosing a narrow channel for their art, instead offering indie pop, psychedelia, jangle pop, and various other sub-genres.  And when you do everything as well as they do, there is no need to choose.  While admitting that we are most taken but the uptempo songs, every track on the album has charm, and none of them are skipped when we listen.  Matilda's vocals are near magical and the arrangements and performances are smart and dynamic.  A pleasure awaits you ...

Melby are Matilda Wiezell, Are Engen Steinsholm, David Jehrlander, and Teo Jernkvist.  None of This Makes Me Worry is out today in vinyl and digital formats via Rama Lama Records.








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Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Nah - Apple Blossoms

Dutch-German project Nah as gifted us with the breath of spring on their new single. Apple Blossoms.  The title track is especially gorgeous, with dual vocals by Estella Rosa and Sebastian Voss, but the b-side charms as well.







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"I Could Really Use Your Love" by Vic Park


Young Jack Poulson makes good music.  In fact, he's a bit of a genius to our cultured ears.  Jack formerly made music as JP Klipspringer, but that didn't quite do enough honor for his other passion -- Collingwood, a team that plays Aussie Rules football.  So Jack has renamed his musical self Vic Park, in tribute to the grounds where Collingwood plays.  But fans need not worry, the Jack that is Vic Park makes stunningly engaging guitar pop that would make any musician proud, even the late, great JP Klipspringer.

Vic Park's new single is "I Could Really Use Your Love".  Romantic and upbeat in all the right ways, with none of those cloying elements that crop up in corporately manufactured pop tunes, this song has made our Seattle day seem sunny, despite the real weather forecast.  Check it out below.



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Various sites to purchase/stream "I Could Really Use Your Love"

"Turtleneck" by Elenin

We begin our musical Wednesday with Elenin, a five-piece shoegaze band from Jakarta, Indonesia.  Their chiming guitars and superb melodic sense are on fine display in "Turtleneck", a single released in February via Indonesian label Don't Fade Away Records.

Elenin are Ramadhina Dewi (vocals/synth), Aga Rasyidi (guitar/vocals), Yudistira Abjani (guitar/vocals), Adrian Rinaldi (bass/vocals), and Niko Bimantara (drums).



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Tuesday, April 9, 2019

The Memory Fades - She Loves the Birds EP

When we learn that Stephen Maughan is involved in a project, our assumption is that quality music will result.  And we have never been disappointed, having thrilled to Bulldozer Crash and Kosmonaut records.  Stephen's new project is The Memory Fades, and it does nothing to change our minds.  Our introduction to the new project is four-track EP She Loves the Birds.  Kicking off with the standout title track, and then sliding into the breezy and poppier "Picture of You", the listener baths in a marriage of '60s garage/psych and '80 New Zealand guitar pop.  Things shift more to the rock and fuzz end of the spectrum with "Am I Losing You?".   The terrific closer is the jangling "Mining For Diamonds", which brings to mind The Jesus and Mary Chain and Bulldozer Crash with a dash of Velvet Underground.  This is a little record with a big punch -- don't miss it.

For this EP Stephen worked with Marc Elston (who was Stephen's partner in Bulldozer Crash), Graeme Elston, Joyoti Mishra, and Chris Morgan.  She Loves the Birds is out now via Sunday Records.




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"Bees" by ALASKALASKA


One of the exciting acts from the UK we are listening to this year is ALASKALASKA.  They will release album The Dots on May 3 via Marathon Artists.  But you don't have to wait until May to here the slightly left-field art pop, because they have unleashed "Bees".  The second single from the upcoming album, it is a critique of consumerism and can be enjoyed below in video form.




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Various links to purchase/stream "Bees"

Monday, April 8, 2019

The Artisans - The Artisans

Bands need names -- we all understand that.  The choices may be random, reference a place or person, silly, rude, or a compromise (the Close Lobsters is a case in point).  But however derived, rarely is a name so fitting, indeed so well-earned, as it is for Northeast England's champions of jubilant guitar pop: The Artisans.  Hailing from Newcastle and Teeside, the foursome creates impossibly uplifting music with memorable melodies, jangling guitars, sturdy rhythms and plenty of trumpets for accent.  The arrangements are full and detailed, but never fussy, and the vocals are delivered in warm, sincere tones by frontman (and cheese maker - yes, really) Kevin McGrother.  There is a good bit of C86 in this band's DNA, but this isn't imitating anyone.  And with their vision and talent, that is just fine.  Mark it down, this is one of the top guitar pop albums of the year.

The Artisans are Kevin (vocals/guitar), Nick (lead guitar), Mark (drums), and Karen (bass).  The album is self-released today in digital and (limited) CD formats -- see the Bandcamp link below or your preferred digital retailer.








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Sunday, April 7, 2019

"Over You" by Francois

It is a good feeling when we find the perfect music to end the weekend, and we did it today.  Here is "Over You", by Liverpool's Francois.  A song about setting yourself free from what is holding you back, holding you down, or trapping your spirit.  The young man's message is vital, and his song is terrific.

"Over You" is out now via Silent Kid Records.




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Friday, April 5, 2019

Flying Fish Cove - At Moonset

Fridays are album release day, and as is the case most Fridays, there are a number of worthies to consider.  But this week we didn't need to look far and wide for our favorite album release of the day.  May we present you with At Moonset, the debut album by Seattle's own Flying Fish Cove.  The band combines nostalgia, cultural references and an appreciation for fantasy into intriguing stories presented in a youthful, DIY style reminiscent of The Pastels and Heavenly.  Add in some psychedelic washes and unusual instrumentation, and we have an album that delights, excites and surprises.  While music typically is not described in physical terms (other than tempo and volume), At Moonset is manifestly warm and richly colorful.  Seattle is just starting its spring season, and is doing so with gray skies and drizzle.  But this album makes us believe that summer is just around the corner.  So we welcome Flying Fish Cove, and our first favorite album of summer.  In April.

Flying Fish Cove are Dena Zilber, Jake Jones, Sean Canfield, and Jacob Jaffe.  At Moonset is out now in vinyl and digital formats via Help Yourself Records.









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Thursday, April 4, 2019

Honey 2 Honey - A Taste Of

This is a perfect way to slide into the weekend.  Canberra/Sydney four-piece Honey 2 Honey is priming our interest in their eventual full length with the tasty EP A Taste Of.  Consisting of one of our favorite songs so far this year, "Tone Of Voice", and three terrific supporting tracks.  The special sauce here is a hypnotic, dubby brand of electronic R&B.  This is a change of pace that all of us indie kids truly needed, and it has pasted a smile on all of our faces around here.

Honey 2 Honey are Rory Stenning, Luke Keanan-Brown, Del Lumanta, and Daryl Prondoso.  A Taste Of is out now in digital and vinyl formats via one of the finest indie labels in the business, Melbourne's Chapter Music.




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Bandcamp for A Taste Of
Chapter Music page for A Taste Of

Nah - Road Trip

Everyone has their own idea of fun, but for us at WYMA fun is discovering a new indie pop band.  Today's discovery is Nah.  The Dutch duo of Sebastian Voss and Estella Rosa make uplifting twee pop with plenty of jangle. About a year ago they released their Summer's Failing EP, and they are back today with a fine two-song single titled Road Trip.

If your week is wearing you out a day early -- and our week certainly has taken on the form of a gorilla on our shoulders -- Road Trip is just the ticket to transport you safely to your weekend.  Trust us, we are experts on musical trips and hellish work weeks.



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Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Supercrush - Never Let You Drift Away

As music fans, we moan from time to time about how difficult, and sometimes impossible, it is to collect the singles or EPs of a favorite, but not well known, band.  This is especially true when the band's releases are spread out over a number of years and have a limited release.  Chris at Jigsaw records feels our pain.  But Chris doesn't just offer empathy, he offers fans of Seattle band Supercrush Never Let You Drift Away -- a single album of the four singles (plus bonus tracks) that represents their recorded output.  And even if you don't know Supercrush, this is a much needed introduction for any fan of power pop.  You can even close your eyes and pretend that the songs are from a newly discovered batch of Teenage Fanclub recordings.  It really won't take much imagination at all, and that is a very good thing.

Supercrush is the project of Mark Palm and Aaron O'Neil.  Never Let You Drift Away is out now in digital, vinyl, cassette, and CD formats.








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Monday, April 1, 2019

KiDD - Chance Weekend

Stu Kidd has been a part of many projects in his music career, but it is as KiDD that he is making his most distinctive mark.  Where his previous KiDD creations represented the best of the delicate end of indie pop, his new album Chance Weekend reveals an expanding vision.  Here the artist paints with more vivid colors and a broader palette and the rhythms are more robust, although with enough loose threads to remind us that his ethos is the indie world.  Stu hasn't lost his appealingly slightly off-kilter perspective, or his fondness for a music hall singalong or a gentle folk tune, but he is hitting his stride as a solo artist that can deliver the goods to a broad audience.

Chance Weekend is out now as a digital release and a limited edition CD via Zenzerino Records.  Check the Bandcamp link.








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