Thursday, July 2, 2020

"Unknown" by Even As We Speak

We are finally in the month in which Even As We Speak will release new LP Adelphi, although the target date is yet three weeks away. However, we can whet our already keep appetites with the video for the latest single taken from the album -- the glorious "Unknown". The song contemplates death and the question of how one will be remembered after life ends. The ultimate question remains unresolved, but the dark subject matter is adorned by a performance and arrangement so beautiful that someone paying no attention to the lyrics might assume they were listening to a wistful love song. But, of course, we expect such heights from this band, and they never let us down.

Adelphi will be released July 24 via Shelflife Records (US) and Discos de Kirlian (Spain).




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Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Sweam - Lounge Music For Cat People

So we are asked what music is getting us through our mid-week morning. The answer is 'lounge music'. Specifically, Lounge Music For Cat People. Before you say "ick" - either because of the designation lounge music or, perhaps, because of the reference to cat people - you should understand that this is an album of superbly crafted tunes which would never find their way into the repertoire of any card-carrying lounge singer. They span the spectrum from fulsome shoegaze to a jazzy indie pop, all sharing the capacity to delight. There is a palpable sense of fun and adventure, and a good dose of energy. We also would like to point out that while we are dog people, we know some very fine cat people.

Lounge Music For Cat People is the creation of Norway's Sweam, whose members are Jonas Gabriel Berg, Frida Marie Berg, Jorgen Stokke, Gulliver Bradshaw, and Jan Olav Andersen.








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Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Gum Country - Somewhere


It is a bit embarrassing to be a week or so late on featuring Somewhere, because the album is packed with the sort of punchy, muscular, guitar-driven indie pop/rock that we live for. But more than a bit embarrassing is the reason for our tardiness. We actually didn't pay attention to the original emails about the album because, well, we don't like gum. We don't like chewing it, smelling it, or seeing other people chew it. So when we say announcements for a band named Gum Country our reaction was 'oh well, we have a lot of music to try and cover and gum turns us off'. So we didn't listen to the music and didn't realize that the band was comprised of Courtney Garvin of the stellar Canadian band The Courtneys and Connor Mayer.

However, about a week ago we stumbled our way into realizing that we were missing something special, and since that time we have been listening to Somewhere at least twice a day. This is the sort of guitar rock that you feel in your chest when the ban strikes up live and your brain says 'this is why I go to live shows'. Of course, we don't have live shows these days, but we do have Somewhere. If you are the kind of person that listens to an album and checks off styles your list would include shoegaze, jangle, indie rock, C86 and a few others. But you don't need to be that person. You just need ears and a rocking heart, and this album will then make you very happy indeed.

Gum Country are Courtney Garvin (guitar/vocals) and Connor Mayer (drums/keys/bass). Somewhere is self-released digitally. The vinyl version is available via Kingfisher Bluez. US cassette is out via Burger Records and Australian cassette is out via Dinosaur City Records. A CD is available in Japan via Waterslide Records.







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Monday, June 29, 2020

The Crystal Furs - Beautiful and True

Sniff, sniff. No, it isn't a summer cold, just a few tears because Subjangle Records didn't give us any advance notice of Beautiful and True. And we certainly like things that are beautiful and true, especially when they have lots of jangle. But we aren't going to let bruised feelings keep us from our professional duty to tell all of our readers that on this album, the third by The Crystal Furs and their first since becoming resident in Portland, Oregon, the band is really hitting their stride. The album reveals the band's range from the noisier side of the C86 spectrum to the twee side of guitar pop. From these folks it all sounds natural, unforced and fun. Check out four gems below, and then hustle your fingers over to Bandcamp.

The Crystal Furs are Kara Buchanan, Steph Buchanan, and Rowan Church. Beautiful and True is out now as a digital release.










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Sunday, June 28, 2020

"Smile Now, Cry Later" b/w "Runaway" by The Shacks/Brainstory

This little single is positively swoon-worthy. The two songs are by Mr. Brown Eyed Soul, Sunny Ozuna, aka Sunny and The Sunliners. But the two track here are covers. "Smile Now, Cry Later is by New York City's The Shacks. "Runaway" is the work of Rialto, California's Brainstory. Both songs are taken from full LP of covers of Sunny's songs, to be released later this year.

The record is available now in digital and vinyl formats. See the Bandcamp link below.




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Saturday, June 27, 2020

"Escalator" and "Double Vanity" by Double Vanity

A couple of days ago we featured two terrific songs by Melbourne outfit Double Vanity. However, it appears that one of us pressed the wrong button a day later and wiped out the post. We don't like doing work over, but the musicians don't deserve to have their feature suffer such a short shelf life. And to be honest, these songs are so good that they deserve a second post anyway.

Double Vanity are Zec Zechner, Sarah Blaby and Amy Chapman. They also use a Rhythm Ace Drum machine that probably is not cut in on royalties, merch sales, or ticket sales. Their music is released via Psychic Hysteria. The band plans an album for later this year.






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Bandcamp for "Escalator"
Bandcamp for "Double Vanity"
Psychic Hysteria

Thursday, June 25, 2020

"Sleepers" by Cool Sounds

The sleeper EP of the summer just may come in late July, and you will know it because the title of the record is Sleepers. We all know it will be good because it is by the laid back Melbourne pop stars Cool Sounds. But we know something you may not know yet, which is just how nice the title track is. But we aren't selfish, so we bring it to you now along with the cutest video you likely have seen in a long time.

Sleepers will be available via Hotel Motel Records.







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"Babylon" by Dead Method

"Babylon" is a defiant cry for freedom to be what you are meant to be, and to seek your tribe so you can be comfortable in your own skin. It is about finding yourself, gathering your courage, assuming responsibility and taking risks. It also is a smashing dance tune.

The artist is rising talent and LGBTQ+ champions Dead Method, of Cardiff, Wales. "Babylon" will be available as a digital release on all the usual platforms tomorrow, June 26. That's your first weekend dance tune all sorted for you.




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Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Mong Tong - Mystery 秘神


Mystery, the debut album by Taiwan's Mong Tong provides us with one of the more creative sets of music we have heard in a long time. Constructed of synths, bass, guitar, programming and a boatload of samples, it is playful, adventuresome, and inspiring. And its bass heavy segments decorated with psychedelic shards would earn the approval of even King Tubby and Scratch Perry..

The band consists of brothers Hom Yu and Jun Chi. Apparently the music was inspired by Taiwanese folklore and occult. Sadly, we don't have the background knowledge to further describe how the music illustrates the brothers' take on those subjects, but we assure you that no such knowledge is necessary to appreciate the product. Mystery is out now in vinyl and digital formats.







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Thursday, June 18, 2020

Medicine Men - A Different Port

Medicine Men have a knack for catchy, often anthemic, guitar pop with electronic elements expanding the sound. A Different Port, the Scottish band's second album, contains ten songs that display their ability to create music that seem instantly familiar and relatable. The tones are warm, the melodies pleasant and the tempo is upbeat. There isn't a weak track on the album, but several push their way forward as special musical moments, including "Back On Board" and "Getaway Driver" (both of which are superb tunes to accompany a drive to the beach or the mountains).

Several years have elapsed since Medicine Men's well-received debut. It is clear to us that they have used the time well, as this album is unusually substantial and consistent for a sophomore effort.  Sitting on the patio in the morning sunlight with a mug of coffee and A Different Port playing, this day seems full of promise.

The album is out now in digital, vinyl and CD formats via Last Night From Glasgow.








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Tuesday, June 16, 2020

ManaRays - ManaRays

When we discovered that there was a label in Brisbane named Swashbuckling Hobo Records we knew that we needed to feature one of their releases. You see, for all of us at WYMA our second choice at school Career Day was to be a Swashbuckling Hobo. Unfortunately, we all were accepted to law school, resulting in the world losing much needed Swashbuckling Hobos and burdening mankind with more lawyers. What can we say -- we are so sorry.

But the great news is that we didn't have to lower our standards to bring you a record from this label. In fact, the self-titled album by Brisbane's ManaRays is just what will get all of is through this week to the next weekend. Packed with gritty blues rock with indie rock hooks and a punk attitude, this is deeply satisfying indie rock to rattle your windows and gladden your souls. You don't need to go to the pub to party under stay at home orders. Have some beverages delivered, cue up ManaRays, and the pub has come home.

The band are Adrian Carroll (vocals/guitar), Micky Scott (drums/percussion), Phil Dunlea (bass/backing vocals/percussion), Chris Fletcher (vocals), and Sly Faulkner (backing vocals). ManaRays is out now on Swashbuckling Hobo Records.








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"Terry" by RULES

We are happy to bring you an absolutely lovely synth pop tune by Helsinki's RULES. "Terry" is officially released on June 18, but the video is available now and provides us with a great excuse to not wait to fill our ears with the gorgeous melody and soaring vocals. The song is based on rhe Raymond Carver short story What We Talk About When We Talk About Love.

RULES are Iiti Yli-Harja (lead vocals/synth), Sarra Keppola (synth/guitar/backing vocals), and Oskari Halsti (drums/backing vocals/guitar). Their music is released via Soliti Music.



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"Out Of Sight" by The Beths (video)

We think everyone can use a Beth (or two or three) in their lives. Regardless of whether you are at optimum Beth level or in a deficit, we suggest you pay attention to the most excellent New Zealand band The Beths. They have wowed us with everything they have released so far, and we are eagerly anticipating the July 10th drop of new album Jump Rope Gazers. To help you understand why, we share with you the video for the latest single from the LP, "Out Of Sight". It strikes us as having the perfect mix of dreamy wistfulness and freewheeling crunch.

Jump Rope Gazers will be released via Carpark Records.



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Sunday, June 14, 2020

Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever - Sideways to New Italy

Building on the momentum of their first LP, Hope Downs, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever sprint down their chosen path carrying the banner for upbeat, crunchy, jangling guitar pop on their new Sideways to New Italy. But in doing so, they display the ability to explore the edges of their craft and create intriguing derivations such as in the '80s dance pop of "The Only One" (which gives us some welcome Prince vibes". The themes are reflective, encompassing search for personal worth, belonging and context in a complex world. But searching and incisive lyrics never weigh down the proceeding, and the listener is rewarded with an album full of meaning and good sounds, and especially a well-hone three-guitar attack..

We know some who believe that these guys are the best guitar pop band around right now. For ourselves, we aren't anointing anyone a king at this point, but Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever is certainly worthy of consideration. And from personal experience, they provide a great live show.

Sideways to New Italy is out now in all formats via Sub Pop.








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Thursday, June 11, 2020

Night Heron - I Heard You Dreaming


One of the more stunning listening experiences we have had lately is listening to I Heard You Dreaming. The songs are the creation of Michael Telles, aka Night Heron, who is a teacher in Massachusettes. Michael has an extensive catalog of music, but this special release includes 13 of his favorites plus five songs recorded for this album. The sound is an artful concoction of folk, dream pop and jangle pop, washed in reverb and accented by acoustic guitar and wistful vocals. Some songs may bring to mind Elliott Smith, others Nick Drake or the Pernice Brothers. The music is absolutely gorgeous, and while it is a fine album for any time of day in any season of the year, it is perfect for your quiet summer nights.

The album is out now in digital and CD formats via Subjangle Records.










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"Get :Lost" by Carla J. Easton

We are going to celebrate the upcoming weekend a bit early with "Get Lost", the new record from Glasgow's Carla J. Easton. The single consists of the "Get Lost", the lead track from Easton's upcoming new album Weirdo, and non-album track "Touching The Sky". The former is euphoric, dreamy pop anthem perfection. The latter a bottom-heavy, swirling late-night club banger.

Carla believes in the power of collaboration, and the songs on this single amply display the value of her approach. The songwriting was a team effort with Scott Paterson, whose work with the late Sons & Daughters impressed us greatly. Apparently, "Get Lost" was one of their first songwriting efforts, and it stands as proof of a productive partnership. We have a feeling that Weirdo is going to be an album to treasure.

The single is out now, and Weirdo will be out on August 28 via Glasgow's Olive Grove Records.







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Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Time Stalkers - Time Stalkers


Maybe you have never heard of Will Moloney. We are inclined to forgive you, as we hadn't heard of him until a month ago. But if you can write a set of songs like those on the self-titled album from the Time Stalkers, and pull together a nine-member band to execute them this well, then every indie fan should learn your name. We have discovered that Will has a following due to his Old Table project, and sometimes uses the name Will Table for his music work. His fellow Time Stalkers are vets of various Brooklyn bands and the abundance of talent is obvious.

The listener dives into Time Stalkers with "Maxine", a rambling brush-by introduction to eccentrics one might meet on the streets in Brooklyn. To be sure, eccentricity infuses the album, but in a warm and delightful way. Typical indie jangle and drums are augmented with sax, strings, xylophone, and bongos (reminding us of how much we enjoy hearing bongos). The songs are an appealing mix of upbeat and more restrained tempos, and the lyrics are imaginative and evocative. When the band ventures into the political, they are in a lane to which we can subscribe, and a bit of research shows that they aren't posing -- they live their convictions.

The band is Will Moloney/Table (vocals/snare/floor tom/ride cymbal/songwriting), Carolyn Hietter (sax/vocals), Charlie Dore-Young (bass/vocals), Paco Cathcart (electric guitar/vocals), Al Nardo (xylophone/vocals), Eli Kleinsmith (violin/vocals), Van Do (acoustic guitar/vocals), Kurt Pope (bongo drums/vocals). Time Stalkers is out now via Intellectual Birds Records, with cassette via Gentle Reminder and, eventually, vinyl via Feeding Tube. Cover art by comics artist Robert Calzone










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Monday, June 8, 2020

The Stroppies - Look Alive!

Look Alive! represents yet another facet of the talented Australian four piece The Stroppies. Earlier recordings had a raw edge to them. Last year's wonderful debut LP Woosh! upped the melodic element and added some polish to superb effect. This album was recorded soon after the band finished their second European tour in in a fairly short span. While taking nothing away from the previously-mentioned elements, Look Alive! has a live-to-tape spontaneity and a bit of a jaded vibe. We must say, they wear it well.

At the end of the year, you should expect knowledgeable guitar pop folks to point out that Look Alive! is one of the guitar pop 'must haves' of the year. They will be right. And if you are on the ball, you will nod and say "I know", WYMA told me so and I bought it.

The Stroppies are Angus Lord, Caudia Serfaty, Rory Heane, and Adam Hewitt. Look Alive! is out now via Tough Love Records.










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Saturday, June 6, 2020

"Lucky Rolling Stone" by Ian McKelvie

Good writers have the ability to see a story to tell based on a viewpoint, an observed encounter, or a journey. The best of them tell the story evocatively and succinctly, sketching the bones and allowing the reader's imagination to fill the picture in his or her mind. Scottish veterinarian and musician Ian McKelvie has such an ability, but he possesses the further talent to put his stories to music. We have featured his music under the name The Colourful Band a number of times, but today's feature is a song he is releasing under his own name (despite what it says on the Bandcamp stream below). "Lucky Rolling Stone" was inspired by Ian's drive down the Pacific Coast Highway in a camper van from San Francisco to Los Angeles. Inspired by the drive, we find it perfect driving music for our adventures.

Ian played acoustic, electric and slide guitars, and sang lead and backing vocals. Drumming was supplied by Derek O'Neill. The track is available as a digital download via Bandcamp.




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Friday, June 5, 2020

Scott the Hoople - Anything Is Better Than You EP

When we featured an album by Scott McCaughey, aka Scott the Hoople (link) we didn't expect him to be back here this soon. But America is in crisis, and Scott has penned three timely songs for an EP titled Anything Is Better Than You. I think most of us can guess to whom the "you" in the title refers, but we aren't featuring this album just because of the target. We are featuring it because all of the proceeds will be donated to a racial justice organization Color of Change ( Color of Change). The first and second tracks are aggressive, slashing indie rock. "Things Are Going To Get Better", the third track, is our favorite -- perhaps because we are optimistic types and perhaps because it has a Mott the Hoople vibe that just sits well with us as we end a horrific week.




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Thursday, June 4, 2020

"Don't Demystify" by Terje Torkellsen

We don't know much about Terje Torkellsen other than he is a student in Olso, Norway, he has released a few previous singles and been involved in various projects (Mats Wawa, Geetar, Palmface), and his new single "Don't Demystify" is an absolute delight. What more would we need to know? The song features sincere vocals and a light and sparkling arrangement that feels like sunshine on our faces after a week of dreary rain. Hey, we live in Seattle so we are aware of these things.

The single is out now as a digital release via Oslo's Sellout! Records. Check it out -- it may just get you through your Friday.




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"Godless" (video) by Close Lobsters

One of the best guitar pop albums of this year, and a number of recent years, for that matter, is Post Neo Anti: Arte Povera In The Forest Of Symbols by Scotland's Close Lobsters. Of course, we already featured the album (link), but we welcome any chance to mention it again. That chance comes with the release of a video for "Godless", which happens to be one of our favorite tracks from the record. Enjoy the video below, and go get yourself a copy of the album if you somehow haven't done so yet.



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Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Nat Vazer - Is This Offensive and Loud?



Ok, we admit that we have a fondness for lawyers turned musicians. For one thing, the majority of us who have written for the blog are lawyers. For another, if not for a talent deficit, we could be where they are. And what is life without dreams?

So one could assume that our decision to feature Nat Vazer, who formerly spent her days as civil litigator, is due to her professional license. However, we actually locked on to her formidable talent before we became aware of her past. Her new full length album, Is This Offensive and Loud? is neither of the things suggested in its title. But it is a superbly written set of songs showcasing Vazer's sweet and nuanced vocals, intimate storytelling, and some cool guitar work. Thematically, she dives into self reflection, love, broken relationships, parents and various insecurities. She makes it personal yet relateable, and wraps it in music that sticks with you like a welcome summer breeze.

Is This Offensive and Loud? is out now in digital, vinyl and CD formats via Hotel Motel Records.







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Monday, June 1, 2020

"Vice" by Cool Sounds


We have been silent for a few days, digesting life and the crazy world, but to make it up to you we have "Vice" -- a glossy, '80s style pop gem with a stuttering rhythm that just makes us want to dance around the room. And with stay at home orders combined with riot curfews, we really needed this. The song is courtesy of those wonderful folks of Melbourne's Cool Sounds, via Hotel Motel Records. Dig that sax solo!





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Friday, May 29, 2020

"Laughing Falling" by Pop Filter

We were more than a little sad when one of our all-time favorite bands, Melbourne's The Ocean Party, called time on the project when member Zac Denton died all too soon. We had glimpses of their artistry with further recordings by band members Lachlan Denton, Liam "Snowy" Halliwell, and Nick Kearton (via Cool Sounds), but now we are happy to report that the gang is back as Pop Filter. Their debut album Banksia will be out on August 21 via Spunk Records, Osborne Again and Bobo Integral. We expect that with multiple songwriters, a long history of collaboration, and a tight four-day recording schedule, the album will be full of spontaneous musical genius. The first single is Laughing Falling", and you can hear it below.





Bandcamp for Banksia

Thursday, May 28, 2020

The New Fools - Mershmellow


We could lie to you and tell you that we have long followed The New Fools, but that would be a lie. In fact, when we saw the name we thought it was referring to us, and we wanted to defend ourselves by pointing out that we are not 'new fools', we have been around for over a decade.

The truth is that we only recently checked out this band, possibly after noting a reference on some social media platform. But however we got that, we were impressed with The New Fools' recent album, Mershmellow. It is a bit of indie pop, and a bit of folk rock. The storytelling is good, the vocals are warm, the tempo is upbeat and there are some delightful additions of violin, brass and sax.

For this album, The New Fools are Tony Jenkins, The Druid, Dave Seabright, Pete Carter, Say Jenkins, Martin Seabrook, James Stygall, and Matt Steady. Mershmellow is out now in digital and CD formats.








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Wednesday, May 27, 2020

H. Moon - Trustblood


Philip Ekstrom is a name known to us for his former project The Mary Onettes. However, he is here today with Trustblood, the album for his solo venture H. Moon. Ekstrom is a musician, songwriter and composer, and for this venture he calls on all three. In fact, the songs on the album began when the Swede was composing the score for a feature film. Leftover tracks were reworked and embellished with lyrics. The stunning result is a musical tapestry that is part ambient, part cinematic, and part pop. The proceedings have a melancholy cast and the emotions can be raw. But the ultimate vibe is one of warmth. Well, perhaps bittersweet warm -- the emotion of survivors.

Trustblood is out now via Welfare Sounds.








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The No Ones - The Great Lost No Ones Album

It seems appropriate to us to follow up a nearly two day period with no new posts by featuring a band named The No Ones. It would tweak our sense of humor to say we picked the band solely because of the name, but that would not be true. You see, this band is comprised of Peter Buck (R.E.M., the Minus 5, and others), Scott McCaughey (Young Fresh Fellows, the Minus 5, and others), Frode Stromstad (I Was A King), and Arne Kjelsrud Mathisen (I Was A King). Without searching the archives, we are confident that this is our first featured band with two members in Portland, Oregon and two members in Norway. As I'm sure you will expect, their recently-released The Great Lost No Ones Album is packed with satisfying guitar pop that should ease the pain of having no live shows to attend. The album was recorded in 2017, but took some time getting to the light of day. No matter, it has arrived and it sounds wonderful!

The album is out is vinyl, CD and digital formats via Yep Roc Records









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Sunday, May 24, 2020

"Goodbye Friend" by Mauv



Mauv is a band new to us, but we think it is the start of a long relationship. We write an indie music blog, and this Swedish band creates pop inflected indie rock. More importantly, we love beer, and Mauv's Facebook profile announces their fondness for the suds. There are other elements of relationships, we are told, but we think the basics are in place here.

And now, for the music. Mauv has just released a terrific single titled "Goodbye Friend". It starts out as a gentle tease, and then breaks out into a welcome-to-life banger. We recommend listening to start out your new week.

Mauv are Hanna Ahren, Albin Brandt, Samuel Krantz, Oskar Albersson, and Wael Mahrous. "Goodbye Friend" is out now via Swedish indie label Varo Records.






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Saturday, May 23, 2020

Jetstream Pony - Jetstream Pony


It has seemed like a long wait for the debut album from the UK's Jetstream Pony, but we think that this self-titled beauty is worth every second of the wait. The members of the band bring experience from other projects, including The Wedding Present, Aberdeen, and Luxembourg Signal. They have honed Shaun Charman's guitar-based sound over the last couple of years to create a formidable wall of fuzz and jangle, steadied by a rock solid bass line from Kerry Boettcher. The complete the recipe, they add big drums - satisfyingly massive drums from Hannes Mueller. Top it all with Beth Arzy's sweet vocals, and we have guitar pop perfection.

Jetstream Pony was released Friday in digital, vinyl and CD formats via Shelflife Records and Kleine Untergrund Schallplatten.







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Thursday, May 21, 2020

Love Sport - And Justice For All

Sometimes the most straightforward delights are the best delights. As a case in point, we present And Justice for All, the new album by Helsinki quartet Love Sport. It consists of seven tracks of substantial, hook-filled, crunchy, noisy alternative rock. Each song has good pop bones, but the band does not rest until each song is fleshed out as a white hot, live performance crowd-pleaser. Teemu Tanner has the classic rock frontman vocals honed to perfection, and his mates give their all for the choruses. The rhythm section provides a deliciously dirty strut (e.g. check out "Keying Cars") while Mikko Sulonen's guitar snakes around the rhythm and slashes and stabs through the breaks in the lyrics. Yes, indeed, straightforward rock done to perfection. Yeah, it is only seven songs, but that's why you buy it and use the replay button.

Love Sport are Teemu Tanner (lead vocals, guitar), Mikko Sulonen (guitar), Max Mäkinen (dums) and Aki Pohjankyrö (bass). And Justice for All is out this Friday, May 22 via Soliti Music.







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Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Guds Pengar - Granar som flyr staden

Guds Pengar is one of the few bands we follow who do not sing in English. That may prevent us from singing along as our Swedish facility in nonexistent, but that doesn't prevent us from appreciating the music these young Swedes play. In fact, the inability to follow the lyrics sharpens our appreciation for the confident playing, the nuanced lyrical delivery, and the sheer euphoric vibe that characterizes this band. Our introduction to their music was "Borttappad", the lead single from their new album Granar som flyr staden. We don't consider ourselves easily impressed, but we were hooked. And when the album reached our ears, it only confirmed our first impressions. This is rock music with a restless, youthful heart, a pop sensibility and a rockers delight in filling a room with sound. Grab yourself a copy, you will be very glad you did.

Guds Pengar are Evelina Nerstrand (Eveliina Pink), Olof Strid, Liam Amner (Hey Elbow) and Anton Jansson (Brigaden), but Bussen, Kväv mig, Gröt and Horisontens Land was recorded with Pontus Örnstrand and Patrik Schlegel instead of Jansson and Amner. Granar som flyr staden is out now via Stockholm's Rama Lama Records.








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Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Mo Troper - Natural Beauty

Portland native Mo Troper has returned home after living in California and New York, and released his third album, Natural Beauty. To our ears, third time is the charm for Mo as this set of songs is his most accessible yet. He has a knack for writing quirky but pleasing pop songs. And he gets the pacing just right--the album plays like a drive to the beach or a sun dabbled bike ride on a trail.

Mo gives you a choice of vinyl, CD, cassette, and digital download, so you can't complain that your favored music delivery system has been ignored.






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Monday, May 18, 2020

Modern Studies - The Weight Of The Sun


On The Weight of the Sun, chamber folk meets indie pop for a 12-song album of warm arrangements and intelligent songwriting, with class honors going to Modern Studies. The band's principal songwriting team of Emily Scott and Rob St John artfully depict a range of human emotions with beguiling melodies, sparkling instrumentation and compellingly understated vocals. The rhythm section delights, never quite stealing the scene but embellishing every track with nuance and pulse (the bass playing is the best we've heard in recent memory, to be honest). This album reminds us of the delights a bibliophile would experience on being presented with a an ornately illustrated book of top quality short stories. But in this case, we close our eyes and listen to the stories while the colors dance in our minds.

Great stuff - please go to Bandcamp and experience it for yourself.

Modern Studies are Emily Scott, Rob St John, Pete Harvey, and Joe Smillie. The Weight of the Sun is out now via Fire Records.








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Saturday, May 16, 2020

The Memory Fades - 14 Cheerleader Coldfront (GBV cover)

We are always thrilled to receive new music by The Memory Fades, the current project of Stephen Maughan (ex Bulldozer Crash, Kosmonaut and others). And today's recording is extra special for a band named after a Guided by Voices song, as it consists of an electric and an acoustic cover of GBV's "14 Cheerleader Coldfront". It is a digital download for "name your price", so dig in and recall all the cheerleaders that shot you down in high school.



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Bandcamp for "14 Cheerleader Coldfront"

"Aros Am Byth" by Ynys

Ynys, the musical alias of Cardiff singer-songwriter Dylan Hughes, delivers a stirring soundtrack for our evening. Combining psychedelic swirl, big beats and soaring vocals, "Aros Am Bryth" (Welsh for "waiting forever") magically washes away fatigue and prompts me to pour a second brew. I think I'll listen to this one for a while this evening.

The song is available now as a digital single via Libertino Records.




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Libertino Records

Friday, May 15, 2020

"Liquid Walls" by KO:MI

We have had the privilege of experiencing the work of Sanna Komi in bands Pintandwefall and Cats of Transnistra, and today she returns with the single "Liquid Walls" and accompanying video for her project KO:MIKO:MI released a debut album in 2017, and now have signed to Soliti Music.

"Liquid Walls" is a lovely song with a cinematic quality ably illustrated by the video, and Sanna's vocals are pure magic. We suggest that it is a perfect mental break for your work-from-home Friday.




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Soliti Music

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Scott the Hoople - Sad Box and Other Hits

Truth be told, Scott McCaughey is a Pacific Northwest treasure. Formerly, he was a Seattle treasure, but he headed south to spread the wealth to Portland, so we enhanced his title. His many projects include Young Fresh Fellows, the Minus 5, the Baseball Project, Filthy Friends, Tired Pony, and the No Ones. But with touring for any band currently suspended, Scott displays his disdain for household projects, self-improvement courses and other stay-at-home trends by recording a new album for his solo musical identity, Scott the Hoople. He gave himself the month of April to do it, and by the deadline he had recorded 11 songs, put a virtual bow on the album and released Sad Box and Other Hits on Bandcamp.

So if hook-filled guitar pop-rock is your thing, and it certainly is our thing, you can spend seven bucks on Bandcamp and make Scott feel much better about not fixing the leaking faucet and trimming the hedge in April. And as a point of clarification, Scott the Hoople is not the same Scott that writes for this blog. Scott the Hoople can, and did, write 11 songs in April, while the Scott that writes for this blog would need 11 Aprils to write one song.








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Tuesday, May 12, 2020

"Goodbye Oceana" by The Arctic Flow

The Arctic Flow is the project of US musician Brian Hancheck. A number of his past recordings are to be found at the Bandcamp link at the bottom of the page, and we suggest that it is among the finest electro-dreampop you are going to find. However, the reason for today's post is his song "Goodbye Oceana", which Sunday Records is offering at 'name your price'. Even those of you out of work can handle that, and the song will help your spirits. Those of us who still have jobs can be a bit more generous, right?



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Bandcamp for "Goodbye Oceana"
Bandcamp for other recordings by The Arctic Flow

Monday, May 11, 2020

"Getting By" by Locked Hands

The always compelling Locked Hands is helping us get by in lock down with "The Getting By". The song is a swirling electropop tune that changes moods between late night cabaret and jazzy breakdowns. Perfect for our late night musings.

The release date technically is a few days away, but you can download the song now at the Soundcloud link. It is released via Errant Media.




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Saturday, May 9, 2020

Vulture Party - Vulture Party


Today's first feature reminds us not to jump into assumptions about a band based on the name. When reading the name Vulture Party, it is tempting to expect death metal, Gothy emo, or maybe a bro bar band with a sense of humor. However, such thinking would amount to our first (or at least early) error of the day, because this Vulture Party is quite different than all that. They describe themselves as "disquieting alt pop for the socially conscious", which seems to hit the mark quite well, even if we didn't think of those words ourselves. On their self-titled album, the band thrills us with music that is melodic, carefully constructed, and at times haunting and disquieting. In fact, for our ears, it is the juxtaposition of the melodic tones and the disquieting atmosphere that makes this music so compelling. If we can make a serving suggestion, this album goes quite well late in the evening with the lights low and the adult beverage malty and Scottish.

Vulture Party are Louise Ward, David King, and Dickson Telfer. For the album, drums were played by Lee Burgoyne, and violin by Rebecca Culllen. Organ, acoustic guitar and programming was provided by James Anderson Taylor. Additional vocals were supplied by Macy McLeod, Elsa Hendry, Anna King and Lucy King. The album is released via The Hive imprint of Last Night From Glasgow.






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Bandcamp for Vulture Party
Last Night From Glasgow page for album

Friday, May 8, 2020

Various Artists - Shelter (round two)

We are pleased to bring you another Shelter compilation from the good people at Sunday Records. The lovely songs will give you joy as you stay at home, and they are free. We strongly suggest that after you grab the goodies, you visit the other material from the featured bands via the links on the Bandcamp page. These are terrific indie bands and you may discover some music that will enrich your life.



Bandcamp for Shelter
Sunday Records

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Girlatones - Horn If You're Honky


Having featured a Melbourne guitar pop band's record released by Meritorio Records earlier in the week, we were concerned that the rules would prohibit another feature of another Melbourne guitar pop band's record released by Meritorio so soon. However, after creating a study committee and spending hours analyzing the matter, and drinking plenty of beer, we remembered that we make the rules. Or, more precisely, we haven't bothered to make any rules but if we did, they would be the rules we want. So, Horn If You're Honky, this is your time.

As even the dazed and confused can discern from the opening paragraph, Girlatones, the proud parents of Horn If You're Honky, are from Melbourne. The album is their second, and it is packed with appealing tunes that span woozy pop, bubblegum, powerpop, ballads, and upbeat and slightly left field garage pop. The band is inventive and confident, and their pop craftsmanship is impeccable. This is an album you will enjoy today and forever.

Girlatones are Jesse Wiliams (vocals/guitar), Leah Senior (guitar/vocals), Tam Matlakowski (bass), and Fabian Hunter Shaw (drums), previous members of The Stevens, T.V., and Pop Singles. The album is out now via Meritorio Records and Lost and Lonesome Recording Company (Aus).








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Bandcamp for record (Meritorio Records)
Bandcamp for record (Lost and Lonesome Recording Company)