Thursday, April 30, 2020

Sachet - Nets

This week brings the delightful Nets. Featuring angular post-punk with surging rhythms and plenty of fuzz and melody, it seems created out of many of our beloved components. The proud parents are Sachet, a Sydney band comprised of Lani Crooks, Nick Webb, Kate Wilson, and Sam Wilkinson. The album is packed with interesting ideas and bursting with energy. Sachet is a band that can wow you with shimmering guitar pop, thrill you with power pop, or send you bouncing with garage riffs. And they do it all here. This is a complete and very accomplished set of songs.

Nets is out now in digital and limited vinyl formats via Tenth Court.

Bandcamp for Nets
Tenth Court

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Hazel English - Wake Up!

Wake Up! presents the feature writer with a delightful problem: With this much pop perfection in ten tracks, how does one even choose which songs to feature? Our solution is to relax and pick a few, because, really, we can't be wrong with any of them. The album is a confection of upbeat, relentlessly positive pop by Los Angeles based Aussie Hazel English.  For her full length debut, Hazel's theme is to live a fully realized life, with conscious and mindful choices. The theme is timely as it is too easy for those of use sheltering in place of working from home to pull into a shell. But as useful as we find the theme, the genius presented in Wake Up! is the breezy, '60s pop inflected tunes and ace vocals. This is an album that will make you feel good every time you play it.

Wake Up! is out now in digital, vinyl and CD formats via Polyvinyl Records.

Bandcamp for Wake Up!
Polyvinyl Records

Monday, April 27, 2020

Mike Gale- Sunshine for the Mountain God

Songwriter and performer Mike Gale has stepped up to help in the time of COVID-19. His dual contribution is ten concise lo-fi gems for your ears, and a redirect of all of your 'name your price' payments to The Trussell Trust food bank. So there you are, a chance to do some good for others while doing some good for yourselves. Get busy!

Bandcamp for Sunshine for the Mountain God

Saturday, April 25, 2020

RVG - Feral

In only their second full length album, Melbourne's RVG sounds like a mid-career band recording their career-defining triumph. Yes, that is an emphatic statement, but we stand by it. Feral is just that good. Of course, it helps that we like '80 indie guitar bands, jangle, garage pop, and college rock, all elements that feature in this album. But we aren't featuring this band because the represent some cherished sound, but because they use those elements to create a set of songs with depth, incisive observations, pain, understanding and defiance -- as well as sounding so good that we don't want to stop playing it. Instrumentally, Romy Vager's chiming, jangling guitar is a star, bringing to mind Johnny Marr and Peter Buck, but the rhythm section keeps pace and never distracts while providing a rock solid base for the songs. However, the songwriting stands out most of all, tugging our hearts in all directions and leaving us a bit bruised, a bit breathless, and  considerably happier for the experience.

RVG are Romy Vager, Reuben Bloxham, and Marc Nolte. Feral is out now in digital, vinyl and CD formats via London's Fire Records.

Bandcamp for Feral
Various links for Feral

Thursday, April 23, 2020

"Monsters" by Empathy Test

A new band for our ears is Empathy Test. Putting a fresh spin on the '80s synth pop sound, we expect they will make a big splash with their upcoming album Monsters. But you can form your own opinion with the album's title song, which also is the lead off single. Dealing with themes of isolation and anxiety, the song has a dark cast to accompany its big sound. Slightly unsettling, but undeniably compelling, we have it on repeat this evening. I hope the neighbors like it.

Empathy Test are Isaac Howlett (vocals), Adam Relf (production), Christina Lopez (drums), and Oliver Marson (synths).


Wednesday, April 22, 2020

"Keep A Tab (On All My Friends)" by Jarrow

Dan Oke's Jarrow project will be releasing a self-titled album next month, and we now have the third single to share. The song is a laid back ode to keeping track of friends during time of social distancing and staying at home. And Dan has created a clever video for the song using his socially distant musical friends. We aren't certain that Dan's protective gear in the video would make the pages of GQ, but we understand that when homebound, one must make do with the materials at hand

Jarrow will be release on May 22 via Spoilsport Records.

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Bandcamp for album

Nicol & Elliott - My Heart Will Wait EP

One of the labels we have been happy to champion is Last Night From Glasgow. Recently LNFG advised us that they had launched a subsidiary label, Hive. One of Hive's first releases is the special little gem My Heart Will Wait, by Nicol & Elliott. The project was born of a temporary pairing of Andrew Nicol and Rachel Elliott for a performance in early 2018. But preparations for that performance led to the formation of Nicol & Elliott. The songwriting duo's inspiration runs to Americana, indie pop, and country folk, with a shading of Gothic darkness. Their talents are on display in fine fashion on My Heart Will Wait EP. Take the first two tracks for a test drive below, then check your usual digital sources for the EP.

In addition to Rachel (violin/piano/vocals) and Andrew (guitar/vocals), Nicol & Elliott are John Houston (bass), Ryan Wilson (drums), Andy Lucas (piano), and Tim Davidson (pedal steel).


Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Kluster B - b

Malmo, Sweden's Kluster B have delivered one of the most satisfying albums we have had the pleasure of hearing this year. The intriguingly-named b spans broad emotional territory and equally expansive musical styles. Dynamic, colorful, and exploratory, it is the work of five friends whose jazz background and experimental bent allow them to combine melody and dissonance, loud and soft, aggression and restraint, joy and anger, while playing with ever changing rhythms. And yet, the band is so skillful that no note seems out of place, no movement disrupts the flow.

The backstory is that the album was conceived at a difficult time for the band, but they emerged with increased cohesion. They deserve to know that, at least in our humble opinion, the journey produced a remarkable music.

Kluster B are Sebastian Hegedus (guitar), Adam Jonsson (guitar), Pontus Ornstrand (keys/synth/bass), Andreas Pollak (drums), and Linnea Hall (vocals). Their music is released via Rama Lama Records.

Bandcamp for album

Monday, April 20, 2020

The Puddle - Live At The Glengarry Tavern Invercargill 1985

I think if we are honest with ourselves one of the painful non-health-related burdens of this time of staying at home is the inability to attend live music shows. True, music is very accessible in our abodes (and cars, walks, and back yards). But nothing compares with the visceral experience of a live band, particularly in an intimate venue. Well, we here at WYMA cannot solve that for you, or for ourselves. But we have discovered a way to get us all part way there.

A live album doesn't have the full experience of a life show, but it can offer the spontaneity and flights of inspiration that most producers won't allow in the studio. So here is a recording of a live show by Dunedin, New Zealand band The Puddle from one of their shows supporting The Chills in Invercargill in 1985. This recording exactly presents the experience we are trying to capture: The rumble and thump of the bass and drums, the jangle, clang and spike of the guitars, flights of inspiration by the players, a band whose music is by no means overexposed or generally available, and a recording from a venue unlikely to be experienced by most readers (i.e. far down the south island of New Zealand). Oh, I should mention that it is available for 'name your price'.

The Puddle was formed in 1983 and we believe that they have recorded in each ensuing decade. The lineup has varied, but the constant is George D. Henderson. Their recordings have been released on several imprints, including Flying Nun and Warner. Their current label is Fishrider Records, from which you can source a number of the band's albums.

For this recording, The Puddle was George D. Henderson (guitar/vocals), Lesley Paris (drums), Norma O'Malley (flute), Peter Gutteridge (keys), Ross Jackson (bass), and Lindsay Maitland (french horn/cornet).

Bandcamp for album
Fishrider Records

Sunday, April 19, 2020

"Without You" by Skytone

Ottawa, Canada's Skytone frequently feature here with delectable jangle pop. They are here again with new tune "Without You". In a change of pace, this song is more in the vein of '80s electropop. However, it is no less wonderful. Our ears are delighting to the sparkling music while our eyes watch the setting sun to the west. An excellent way to end the day -- thanks, Darius and Rodney.

Skytone's music is released via The Beautiful Music.

Bandcamp for "Without You"

Saturday, April 18, 2020

"Pink Clouds" by Verandan

Ville Hopponen has been a member of two of our favorite Finnish bands, Cats On Fire and the New Tigers, as well as Pollop and Le Futur Pompiste. More recently, he has created music under the name Verandan, which featured on these pages multiple times in 2017. The project's first new music since 2017 is the just released "Pink Clouds". A shimmering pop tune with a palpable atmosphere of regret, it reveals a band whose every release should be eagerly collected.

Verandan are Ville Hopponen, Kaarlo Stauffer, Sampo Seppanen, Aleksi Peltonen, and Aki Pohjankyro. Saxophone was contributed by Jussi Hurskainen. "Pink Clouds" is released via Helsinki's Soliti Music.

Bandcamp for "Pink Clouds"

Friday, April 17, 2020

"Sway" by Virginia Trance

There is no shame for the artist when the listener perceives the artist's influences when listening. This is especially true when the detected influences are as worthy as the Velvet Underground, David Kilgour, The Clean, The Bats, Galaxie 500, Felt, and Dream Syndicate. So we are happy to bring to our readers' ears "Sway", the new single by Virginia Trance. Taken from the band's May 8 release Vincent's Playlist, the song is an engaging psychedelic pop tune with a gently chugging beat and a warm jangle. If the rest of the album matches this single, it will be a keeper.

Virginia Trance is Scott Ryan Davis, with Chris Millstein, Jimy Seitang, RJ Gordon, Ran Weisheit, and Sam Maquieira. Vincent's Playlist will be released via BYM Records.

Bandcamp for Vincent's Playlist
BYM Records

Thursday, April 16, 2020

New singles by Even As We Speak

It most certainly past time for us to tell our readers the good news that Even As We Speak will unleash new album Adelphi on June 26. The Australian band, justifiably referred to as Sarah Records legends, have crafted ten new gems to tickle our brains and soothe our souls. Yes, I know that June 26 seems far in the distance these days, but Even As We Speak have made that wait a bit less forbidding by releasing the album's first two songs as singles. At one US dollar each, a fan can't afford not to own them. Besides, that "beautiful" stimulus check with Mr. Trump's name on it is intended to stimulate the economy. Do your duty, people!

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


Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Neutrals - Rent/Your House EP

We aren't the least bit neutral about Neutrals. No, we aren't talking about the Swiss or the Swedes. We are talking about the San Francisco band (with Glasgow roots) that knocked us on our collective asses last year with their debut album Kebab Disco (our feature here). The trio of Allan, Phil, and Phil are back again with a sharply written and socially pointed blast of jangling art punk titled Rent/Your House EP. The boys are concise -- the longest song is 3-1/2 minutes and three are under two minutes -- but their message is clear. These guys aren't the type to sit around and be quiet about problems.

Rent/Your House EP is available now in digital and vinyl formats. All profits from the sale of the EP will be donated to The Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES) and Border Angels.  Good music for a good cause. Spend a bit of that money you saved not being able to go sit in the coffee shop the past month.

Bandcamp for EP

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Stay Inside: Songs From The Great Indoors

So simple, and so very good. Collecting songs from many of Australia's brightest indie lights, Stay Inside: Songs From The Great Indoors gives us great tunes to entertain us while we, well, stay inside. The album grows over the course of the month, adding a new song each day. So buy in to some terrific music at an oh-so-reasonable price. You'll be the coolest kid on the block, and certainly one of the happiest.


Sunday, April 12, 2020

The Yellow Melodies - Sunshine Pop EP1

We need optimism and sunshine more than ever these days, and we are determined to find it. Today's dose is delivered by The Yellow Melodies. Headed by the talented Rafa Skam, the band routinely crafts memorable indie pop tunes that tickle our ears and warm our hearts. This month brought their new record, Sunshine Pop EP1. Consisting of five tunes spanning midtempo burners and upbeat pop, it is a great way to underscore that spring has arrived and most of us may make it out of the global health crisis. The lyrics for the opener and closer are in Spanish, and the other three are in English. Although we will observe that the first song, a tribute to C86 indie pop bands, namechecks so many familiar bands that you don't need to understand Spanish to follow the song. And the closer is such a terrific song that we chose it as one of our representative tracks below.

The Yellow Melodies are Rafa Skam (vocals/guitars/arrangements/lyrics), Antonio Clares (bass/backing vocals), Carlos Abrisqueta (keys/guitars), Jose Angel (drums/percussion). Additional contributors were Norma Hamilton and Pepe Moreno.

Bandcamp for EP

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Turks & Caicos - Bad Situation EP

Chris at mighty little label Jigsaw has impeccable taste in music, knows much more about obscure quality bands than we ever will, and finds incredible pop albums from all over the world. Today we bring you his latest discovery from Indonesia,  Bad Situation EP by Turks & Caicos. The record offers five fuzzy bedroom pop tunes that provide a very pleasant listening experience.

And don't fret if you aren't in Portland, Oregon. Chris lives to serve your mail orders if you want physical copies.

Bandcamp for Bad Situation EP
Jigsaw Records

Friday, April 10, 2020

"Life is a Joke" by Love Sport

We surely can use good news at times like these. And today brings the announcement that Finnish band Love Sport will release And Justice For All on May 22 via Soliti. With the album announcement, we also have the first single - "Life's A Joke". The single strikes us as an instant classic with a chugging rhythm, ringing guitar, soaring vocals and biting lyrics. Cue it up and rock your Friday.

Love Sport are Teemu Tanner (lead vocals, guitar), Mikko Sulonen (guitar), Max Mäkinen (dums) and Aki Pohjankyrö (bass).

Bandcamp for "Life's A Joke"

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Boyracer - All Day Long EP

Stewart Anderson's Boyracer brand has been running for years (from the law, from fame and fortune, and possible from bill collectors) with various members. But count on the fact that the band - currently Stew and Christina - will churn out good music. More importantly at this time of too much isolation and too much quiet, Boyracer songs beg, no, they insist, on being played loud. Think of it as a way of sharing your good taste in music with your neighbors. Through the walls. I'm sure they will thank you, even if you can't hear them. Their latest effort is the All Day Long EP.  This EP was entirely written and recorded in three days, but the quality remains high. It is available now for 'name your price' from Emotional Response Records.

Bandcamp for All Day Long EP
Twitter for Emotional Response Records

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

The Bell Streets - Monument

While trawling through the interwebs this week we encountered a recommendation for Monument by Australian band The Bell Streets. We must admit that our musical knowledge at the time didn't extend to that band. However, quick research led us to discover that we are quite familiar with their members. The duo are Josh Meadows and Nick Batterham. Josh's resume (with his brother) includes the incomparable Sugargliders, whose compilation of releases from the early '90s graced our pages in 2012 (here), as well as the 2013 EP they released as The Steinbecks (here) and that project's 2014 album Kick to Kick (here). As for Nick, whose credits include Blindside, The Earthmen, and Cordazine, we covered his solo album Lucky Cat in 2014 (here). With that background, we expected excellent music, and we were not disappointed. The album is packed with high quality jangle pop and indie tunes residing at the sophisticated end of the spectrum. Consider this album one of your better finds this month. And with most of us working from home, some new tunes to fill your earphones are just what the doctor ordered.

In playing the music for the album Nick and Josh enlisted the assistance of Kelly Day, Craig Mitchell, Joel Sprake, Phil McLeod, Jenny M. Thomas, and Adam Simmons. Monument is out now via Popboomerang.

Bandcamp for Monument

Peel Dream Magazine - Agitiprop Alterna

Good dreampop provides a soundtrack for visualizing someone else's well conceived version of a dream. It seems to us that Joe Stevens of Peel Dream Magazine takes a deeper dive and puts the listener in the dream. Our first taste of his approach was his album of a couple years ago, Modern Meta Physic. The new Agitprop Alterna further refines the in-dream approach. Just as our dreams give us scenes from our lives, or from our imagination, manipulated or skewed and  then only partially remembered, Peel Dream Magazine gives us songs reflecting music from the '90s, altered, spliced, and blurred as if the listener is hearing a playback of the remembered portions of last night's dream. Pleasant memories will be evoked, but not always distinctly. Best not to overthink it, just go with the flow. And make no mistake, the beating heart of this album is a dreamy flow embellished by sweetly-sung male/female vocals. For prospective fans desirous of a reference point, consider Stereolab with a good dose of Velvet Underground influence. A very  intriguing and pleasant listen that we keep going back to.

For this album Peel Dream Magazine are Joe Stevens, Jo-Anne Hyun, Brian Alvarez, and Kelly Winrich. Agitprop Alterna is out now via Slumberland Records.

Bandcamp for Agitprop Alterna
Slumberland Records page for Agitprop Alterna

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Snowy Band - Audio Commentary

Liam "Snowy" Halliwell's musical chops are beyond question. Writing and performing with The Ocean Party and other bands, producing, mixing and mastering -- he excels at it all. And now his own baby, Snowy Band, has its very own album. Titled Audio Commentary, the LP consists of 11 tracks of impeccably crafted pop, embracing folk and jazz elements. Unsurprisingly, the uptempo songs such as "Never Change", "The Rest of Your Life" and "More Than Enough" hit the sweet spot immediately. But equally impressive and very satisfying are the sparsely adorned, quieter songs like "East West", my new favorite "Coast Road", and the superb "Love You To Death". The emotions are raw and palpable, and the band delivers the materials with nuance and skill. Moreover, Snowy plays the sax on "Coast Road", which makes it one of our favorites. We have provided two of each below for your own evaluation, but be assured we could have chosen others.

Snowy could have played it safe and offered up 11 delectable pop tunes. He didn't, and that enriches the rest of us. The album is a triumph.

Snowy Band are Liam Halliwell (vocals/guitar/other), Emma Russack (vocals/guitar), Nathalie Pavlovic (vocals/bass), and Dylan Young (vocals/drums). Audio Commentary is out now via Osborne Again and Spunk Records.

Bandcamp for album

Saturday, April 4, 2020

"It's Fine" by Jetstream Pony

We love UK guitar pop, and we love dogs. So we think that Jetstream Pony is a perfect band for tonight's feature. This four piece is named after a retired racing greyhound. Fortunately for our ears, the members have not yet retired. They have featured here several times in the past, but are back for the special announcement that their debut LP is being pressed, and to share the first single therefrom -the terrific opener, "It's Fine".

Jetstream Pony are Beth Arzy, Shaun Charman, Kerry Boettcher, and Hannes Muller. The album will be released May 22 via Shelflife Records and Kleine Untergrund Schallplatten.

Bandcamp link for single "It's Fine"
Bandcamp for pre-order of album

Thursday, April 2, 2020

The Hannah Barberas - Into The Wild

The DIY label sticks to The Hannah Barberas with the ferocity that we pretend characterized all our old girlfriends devotion to us when we are bragging to each other instead of writing about music (keep that between us - our partners don't need to know). And I guess it is accurate, but don't assume that DIY means that this London band is anything other than a talented, purposeful guitar band. Following the footsteps of many beloved '80s guitar bands and wielding sharp lyrical pens, the band rides enthusiastic musicianship and excellent harmonies straight into our hearts. Whether railing about politics, or examining romantic entanglements, the songs are well paced and the sound robust. We've provided a few of our favorites below, but deliberately let off gems such as the angry anti-royalty "What Are You Celebrating?" and the '60s British Invasion style "No Mystery". Why? Because we want to entice you to go to Bandcamp, fall in love with the album, and buy it. We really are that transparent.

The Hannah Barberas are Damien (guitar/vocals), Lucy (vocals), Ian (bass/vocals), and Matthew (drums/vocals). Into The Wild is out today in digital, CD, cassette and vinyl formats via Subjangle, Sinout Nuggets, and Gazer Tapes.

Bandcamp for Into The Wild