Monday, November 30, 2020

Josephine Foster - No Harm Done


No Harm Done is a bit outside of our usual lane. But this eight-track musical exploration of love and yearning is utterly enchanting. Written by Josephine Foster and performed by Foster and guitarist Matthew Schneider, this is a spellbinding and utterly captivating record, highlighted by effortlessly melodic, slow-burning compositions and Foster's pristine mezzo-soprano. The vibe recalls old vinyl recordings from many decades ago, like a soundtrack for a black and white movie from the archives. We heartily encourage you to test a few songs below and consider going to Bandcamp an losing yourself in Foster's spell.

No Harm Done is out now in digital, vinyl and CD formats via Fire Records.



Bandcamp for No Harm Done

Fire Records page for Josephine Foster/ 

Neutrals - "Personal Computing" b/w "In The Future"

 What better day to feature a record titled Personal Computing than Cyber Monday? True, people given to overly technical analysis might point out that the release day if four days in the future, but we counter with the arguments that the two songs comprising the single are already available to stream and order on Bandcamp, and the special color of vinyl is already sold out at the pre-order stage (black vinyl remains available). So on balance, Cyber Monday is perfect in our eyes.

This little gem is the creation of  Neutrals, a DIY Oakland punk/post punk trio with Glasgow DNA. The two upbeat song that comprise the single, "Personal Computing" and "In The Future" are at the punk end of the spectrum. But they feature plenty of melody to go with the passion, and the ringing, buzzing guitars are a delight. Perhaps it is audacious to say so, but this single reminds us of The Clash, and that is direct pipeline to our hearts.

The record will be release via Slumberland Records and is, in fact, the final installment of that label's singles series.


Bandcamp for Personal Computing

Slumberland Records page for Personal Computing

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Candy Opera - The Patron Saint of Heartache

We like the name of the band - Candy Opera, and we like the title of the album - The Patron Saint of Heartache. But that doesn't get a band digital ink. What does get a band digital ink is a fine set of songs, and this album fully delivers on the quality scale. Add the fact that the album marks the new chapter of a feel-good resurrection story, and we find ourselves cheering for this lot. 

The short version of the background is that Candy Opera were a promising Liverpool band formed in the early '80s, drawing favorable comparisons to Scotland's Aztec Camera and fellow Liverpudians Echo & the Bunnymen and Pale Fountains. The band went through various lineup changes until they pulled the plug in the early '90s. The story may well have ended there, but Firestation Records found the band's old demos and released them in 2018 via an LP titled 45 Revolutions Per Minute. Candy Opera reformed to support the release, and found their creative juices jump-started. The result is The Patron Saint of Heartache, their first new songs in thirty years. The music is spacious, detailed and big-hearted. It is no surprise that the band's '80s guitar pop sensibilities are evident, but it also isn't a weakness. In our view these songs demonstrate both why Candy Opera was well-regarded in the '80s and why they deserve a play in current day guitar pop.

The members of Candy Opera are Brian Chin Smithers (guitar/vocals), Alan Currie (drums), Frank Mahon (bass), Paul Malone (vocals/guitar), and Ken Moss (guitar). The Patron Saint of Heartache is out now via A Turntable Friend Records.




Bandcamp for The Patron Saint of Heartache


Wednesday, November 25, 2020

The Royal Landscaping Society - Frost 7"


A certain landscaping business has been in the news in the United States as a player in yet one more farcical episode in the reality TV presidency. However, our tastes landscaping run to The Royal Landscaping Society, a two-man band from Seville, Spain. Chris and David make swoon-worthy electro pop that uplifts our spirits and fires our romance synapses. Their latest creation to reach our ears is the just released Frost 7", consisting of the wonderful title track coupled with a cover of "This Gift", a song recorded by They Go BOOM!

The Frost 7" is out now as a digital single via Matinee Recordings, available at the Matinee online ship and other digital sources. In other good RLS news, the band will be releasing LP Means of Production in the coming months.

Facebook for The Royal Landscaping Society


Matinee Recordings page for Frost

Facebook for Matinee Recordings

Sunday, November 22, 2020

I Am A Rocketship - Orange EP

Perfect for the last evening of the weekend, Orange EP by I Am A Rocketship wraps the listener in a throbbing dance groove through three tracks, then the brooding rocker "The Light In Your Eyes" and the slow-burning "Back From The Shadows".

I Am A Rocketship is duo Eric Weissinger and L E Kippner. Weissinger has been a bass and guitar hired gun for various acts, and Kippner formerly was the vocalist for a Swedish pop band. Together they create an intriguing blend of dream pop and dance rock with some experimental touches, embellished with lyrics inspired by the state of the world. The duo is versatile enough that the five songs don't allow us to predict the direction an LP might take, but we can say we would be eager to hear it.

Orange EP is out now as a digital release via My Long Wknd.




Bandcamp for Orange


Thursday, November 19, 2020

Order of the Toad - Re-Order of the Toad


Since the subject of our last feature was a Scottish band, we thought we'd give a lift to another release from Scotland before focusing on other projects on our ever-increasing list of worthy releases. And so we present Re-Order of the Toad by Order of the Toad. The project consists of Gemma Fleet (bass/vocals), Robert Sotelo (guitar/vocals), and Christopher Tayor (drums/percussion/vocals), and began when Gemma and Robert moved from London to Glasgow. The trio previously released By Order of the Toad (link) and apparently had a good enough time that they signed up to do it again. Good thing for us, because they create a fulsome brand of guitar pop with a deep and satisfying groove.

Re-Order of the Toad is out now in digital, vinyl and CD formats via both Gringo and Reckless Yes.



Bandcamp for Album


Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Slow Weather - Clean Living EP

We must admit that we aren't obsessive about clean living here and WYMA, but we make an exception for the Clean Living EP. In its five tracks we find full affirmation of the reason we focus on indie releases. The songs are beautiful -- inspired, slowly unspooling gems featuring delicate vocals, memorable melodies and infectious rhythms. The creators are Slow Weather, the Scottish duo comprised of Annie Booth and Chris McCrory. Chris was known to us as an ace and sought-after producer, as well as a member of Glasgow band Catholic Action (link). Edingburgh-based Annie released her fine Spectral EP about 18 months ago. Despite their separate achievements, working together has resulted in a product even greater than the sum of its worthy components. Their talents blend perfectly, and their generosity to each other's contributions is manifest. We have provided the singles below as a stream and in their entertaining visual form. But we don't even know how singles were chosen as each of the five songs would have been a justifiable selection.

Clean Living is out now via Last Night From Glasgow.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

"We Break Up On Friday" by My Darling YOU!

 We have learned that Matinee Recordings has released a single by Swedish duo My Darling YOU! Consisting of "We Break Up On Friday" and "I Adore You", it is a thrilling release that will please long-time fans of the band and bring some new ones into the fold. My Darling YOU! are Klas Hermansson and Christopher Johansson, and their sweet spot is a somewhat manic, punk infused indie pop -- an enthralling mix of energy, heart-on-the-sleeve emotion and melody.

The single is available now, and a collection of the band's songs, titled A Dream Come True, is due in December, also from Matinee Recordings. By the way, "I Adore You" is not on the upcoming collection so you can only have it by buying the single.

Matinee Recordings page for single

Thursday, November 12, 2020

"Press 4 For Love"/"A Rainy Day In Glasgow" by Strawberry Whiplash

It has been a long five years without new music for our Glasgow friends Strawberry Whiplash, but they are back in fine style with Sandra's sweet vocals and  Laz McCluskey's Rickenbacker on the two-track single "Press 4 For Love" / "A Rainy Day In Glasgow". This duo has always offered the perfect blend of twee pop and Creation Records fuzz, all embellished by the aforementioned jangle machine.

The single is available now via Matinee Recordings. Welcome Laz and Sandra back.

Facebook for Strawberry Whiplash


Matinee Recordings page for single

"The Great Tequila Flood Of 2000-2018" by Fixtures

 If anyone is paying attention, we are focusing on singles this week. Today's offering is by Brooklyn, New York's Fixtures. The song is "The Great Tequila Flood Of 2000-2018". I know the wise guys in the crowd are saying "oh yeah, I remember that. It was awesome". Don't believe them! Anyone who says the recall and extended tequila flood is a poser who wasn't engaged in any meaningful way.

But, um, back to the music. Fixtures create the kind of raw pop that worms its way into your brain. And we don't mind because it is good stuff. "The Great Tequila Flood Of 2000-2018" is the second single from their upcoming album Weak Automatic, which will be released December 4 via Bobo Integral Records.

Various links for single

Bandcamp for Weak Automatic

Monday, November 9, 2020

"World In Numbers" by Permits


One album coming out this month that we are eagerly anticipating is Time Permits by Melbourne, Australia band Permits. The album will be released on November 26 via Brisbane label Tenth Court. But you can hear the latest single, "World In Numbers" right now. The track has a relaxed powerpop vocal over a driving VU-style rhythm. Very promising stuff indeed.

Permits are Tristan Davies, Tam Matlakowski, Dusty Anastossiou, and Rob Remedios. The members also belong variously to other bands, including The Shifters, Pop Singles, Day, and Chook Race.

Bandcamp for Time Permits

Various links to order Time Permits

Sunday, November 8, 2020

"Terminal Daze" by Kindsight


Depending on where you are when you read this you may be ending your weekend or beginning the new workweek. Regardless, we have just the tune for the moment. "Terminal Daze" by Copenhagen quartet Kindsight. "Terminal Daze" is a pristine slice of Nordic jangle pop with a retro coming of age soundtrack feel. It makes us nostalgic and peaceful, and we welcome those feelings wholeheartedly. We also note that the band has been signed by Stockholm's Rama Lama Records, which is a sign of quality in our book.

Kindsight is comprised of Nina, Sore, Anders, and Johannes. And if you like this, the Bandcamp link will also lead you to the dreamy melancholy of the band's August single "Who Are You".



Various links for "Terminal Daze"

Friday, November 6, 2020

The Working Men's Club - The Working Men's Club


One typically hears it said that techno/dance/house music belongs in the evening and early morning hours. While we can't argue that the music isn't at home in that time slot, sometimes we find an album that sounds equally at home in the daylight and out in the wide open spaces. The new self-titled album by The Working Men's Club is such an album. It has been our frequent companion on walks, runs, backgrounds, as well as right now in the late evening. Over an instrumental landscape of Sheffield hard techno and old Manchester synth rock, teenage frontman Syd Minsky-Sargeant vocalizes a compelling speak-sing with an invitation to move your feet that may seem more like a welcome command than a polite suggestion. While the elements are a bit old school, they are played expertly and infused with conviction and emotion that results in a fresh sound. Some albums just stay in our rotation long enough to allow us to decide we like it and write up a feature. This pretty beast has been hanging around for weeks and it isn't going to the self any time soon.

The Working Men's Club are Syd Minsky-Sargeant (vocals/guitar/drum machine/synth), Liam Ogburn (bass), Rob Graham (guitar/synth), Mairead O'Connor (guitar/keys/vocals). The album is out now via Heavenly Recordings with support from PIAS.

Thursday, November 5, 2020

"23, Never Me" by Dead Pony


Glasgow nurtures a large number of fine bands covering a wide spectrum of styles. Today's release of single "23, Never Me" by Dead Pony carries the flag for the punk/post punk brigade. With a confident bubblegum pop vocal from irrepressible frontwoman Anna Shields and a slashing, bashing performance by the lead guitarist, bassist and drummer, it is a three minute stunner that left us a bit breathless and wanting more. Fortunately, a EP is planned for later this year. For now you can find "23, Never Me" at your preferred digital outlet.

The members of Dead Pony are Anna Shields (lead vocals/guitar), Blair Crichton (lead guitar/backing vocals), Liam Adams (bass), and Aidan McAllister (drums). "23, Never Me" is out on this week via LAB Records.




Loaver - Fern

Loaver is the solo project of Malmo, Sweden's Linnea Hall, who also is a member of WYMA favorite Kluster B. While Kluster B creates an adventuresome and eclectic array of songs, Hall has created the Loaver project to make a more individualistic musical statement. She released an EP in 2019, and now has presented her first solo full length, Fern. While not as experimental as a Kluster B record, Fern is inventive and packed with delights. If this is bedroom pop, it is a deluxe version with all the trimmings. The arrangements are varied and well-fleshed out, venturing into dream pop, trip hop and dramatic indie pop. As always, Hall's vocals are clear and dynamic. Fern is the sort of album that rewards the repeat listener with new thrills. It is a remarkable solo debut and a keeper of an album.

Fern is out now via Stockholm label Rama Lama Records.

Bandcamp for Fern
Various links for Fern
Rama Lama Records

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

The Luxembourg Signal - The Long Now


With their third album, the recently released The Long Now, transatlantic project The Luxembourg Signal confirms their status as one of the better dream pop bands on today's scene. The soft vocals of Beth Arzy and Betsy Moyer certainly are part of the reason. But at least as impressive is the band's knack for getting the balance of elements just right. In particular they blend the background atmospherics, vocals, insistent rhythms, muscular guitars and intriguing melodies into a seamless, dynamic whole. The entire album has a bright vibrancy that lifts the listeners mood and makes today's journey more enjoyable. We can't ask for anything more right now.

The Luxembourg Signal are Johnny Joyner, Beth Arzy, Brian Espinosa, Ginny Pitchford, Daniel Kumiega, Betsy Moyer, and Kelly Davis. The Long Now is out now via Shelflife Records and Spinout Nuggets.



Bandcamp for The Long Now

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Claire Tucker - Same Old Hunters EP


The world is an exceedingly unsettling place right now, and all of our readers could be forgiven if they are feeling more than a little bit stressed and in need of a lift. We humbly suggest that we may have just what you need: The approximately 18 minutes of transcendent beauty that is Same Old Hunters EP. The 4-song record is the solo work of Claire Tucker, a Seattle musician possessed of exceptional talent and remarkable versatility. She is the guitarist, songwriter and vocalist of Loose Wing (whose 2019 album was one of our favorites of the year - our feature here), and on which she shows the triple threat of nimble and shimmering guitar, siren vocals and deft storytelling. Another current project is Seattle shoegazers Black Nite Crash, in which she displays a different aspect of her guitar prowess.

But for these tough times, the most welcome version of Claire Tucker may well be the singer songwriter of Same Old Hunters EP. The songs glisten with aural perfection and warm with sincerity. Claire's vocals are pristine and compelling with a natural folk/country ache that sells the emotional content. We have embedded the terrific single "Tigers Make Milk" below, but we strongly urge you to stream the entire EP at the Bandcamp link. We find it to be just the hug we need right now.

Other players on the album are Jack Peters and Jon Pontrello. The EP is out now in digital and CD formats via Drums and Wires Recordings.


Bandcamp for EP

Drums and Wires Recordings page for EP