Sunday, January 31, 2021

"Monolith" by The Chills


The last decade brought the good news that New Zealand band The Chills were no longer just legends, but an active musical force. Riding the improved health of leader and premier songwriter Martin Phillipps, they released two albums of new material. Last year saw the vinyl release of two beloved earlier albums, Submarine Bells and Soft Bomb. And now we will have more. New album Scatterbrain will be released in May via Fire Records. Our first aural glimpse is provided by album track Monolith, presented below in video and streaming formats.

The Chills are Martin Phillipps (guitar/vocals), Callum Hampton (bass/backing vocals), Todd Knudson (drums/backing vocals), Erica Scally (guitar/keys/violin/backing vocals), and Oli Wilson (keys/backing vocals).




Bandcamp for Monolith

Pre-Order links for Scatterbrain

Fire Records

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Growl - Won't You (with a friendly boost for Austin Town Hall)


Many of us who follow music know the excellent music website Austin Town Hall (link). But are you aware that they also run a label? Well, we are, and in our opinion it reflects the same superb taste as they demonstrate daily in their music writing. So, please dive into one of ATH Records' releases, Won't You by Austin band Growl. It isn't the label's latest release, but we think it gives you an entry into their catalog. And the digital album is only $5. Listen, buy, and then check out some more of the label's fine releases.


Bandcamp for Won't You

"Hideaway" by Verandan


More joy from the Nordic region! Tomorrow Ville Hopponen's Verandan project will release their new single "Hideaway". The theme is wrestling with the tensions between being safe in dangerous times and the potential fruitlessness of doing so in an uncertain world. However, the melody is very upbeat and the arrangement a shimmering delight.

"Hideaway" is out as a digital single via Helsinki's Soliti Music. The song also will be released on a 7" by US label Cloudberry, paired with the previous Verandan digital release "Pink Clouds" (our feature here). Verandan are Ville Hopponen, Kaarlo Stauffer, Sampo Seppanen, Aleksi Peltonen, and Aki Pohjankyro. Saxophone was contributed by Jussi Hurskainen. 


Soliti Music

Cloudberry Records

"Old Life" by Melby


Our Stockholm friends Melby have a new single to brighten our day. "Old Life", presented below in video and Bandcamp stream formats, takes a dreamy and psychedelic look at our pre-pandemic lives. It is a dose of warm nostalgia and gentle resignation, wrapped in a shimmering, melodic package. Dive in and make your day brighter as well.

The single is released via Rama Lama Records.



Bandcamp for "Old Life"

Various links to buy/stream "Old Life"

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

"Don't Ever Pray In The Church On My Street" by The Reds, Pinks & Purples


Many of us who write about indie music raved about You Might Be Happy Someday, the mini album released in 2020 by The Reds, Pinks & Purples (our feature here). Of course, the quality is no surprise when you learn that The Reds, Pinks & Purples is the current recording guise of Glenn Donaldson of Skygreen Leopards and Art Museums. Happily, even though we have just digested (but not forgotten) the 2020 release, we are advised that the project's third album, Uncommon Weather, will be out on April 9. So much goodness in a short time may be more than any of us deserve, but we will accept it gratefully.

And with the announcement is the release of the first single, "Don't Ever Pray In The Church On My Street". A rousing slice of indie perfection, it both makes our day and saddens us that the full release is two and a half months away.

Uncommon Weather will be released via Slumberland Records (US) and Tough Love Records (UK).


Bandcamp for Uncommon Weather

Slumberland Records page for album

Various links for Uncommon Weather

Tough Love Records

Monday, January 25, 2021

Stephen's Shore - Brisbane Radio


Ah yes, this completes the wonderful start to our musical week! Brisbane Radio consists of four jangling gems by Stockholm's Stephen's Shore. We featured EP track "Skogen" about five weeks ago (here), so today we showcase the songs via lead track "Brisbane Radio" and the closer, "Up To No Good". The quality of the songs matches the excellent music that has been coming out of Melbourne the last decade, and the guitars are particularly well done. Give this EP a spin, we think you will like it.

Stephen's Shore are Viktor Sjodin, Erik J. Undehn, Jimmy Ottosson, P.A. Blomqvist, and Mattias Berqvist. "Skogen" and "Brisbane Radio" are available digitally via Meritorio Records. The EP is out now in digital and limited edition vinyl formats via Meritorio Records.


Bandcamp for Brisbane Radio

Meritorio Records

"I Sold My Soul On EBAY" and "Corporate Indie Band"/"Angry Girl" by Swansea Sound


We wanted to start our music week with something we think is very special, so here are the first two singles by Swansea Sound. "I Sold My Soul On EBAY" is fresh and new, and the two track "Corporate Indie Band"/"Angry Girl" was release last October. This is indie music at its finest: Exuberant with a dose of acerbic and self-referential humor and a good dose of punk. The quality is no surprise, as Swansea Sound brings together Hue Williams and Amelia Fletcher who were members of the Pooh Sticks with Rob Pursey and Ian Button. Hue and Amelia handle the vocals, Rob plays the guitar and Ian drums. Rob and Amelia also perform as Catenary Wires and formerly were members of Talulah Gosh, Heavenly, and Tender Trap.

The singles are available as digital releases. A single copy of "I Sold My Soul On EBAY" also was pressed in vinyl and auctioned off. The auction is over. You didn't win. But get the singles now, and you still will be considered a winner! 

By the way, "I Sold My Soul On EBAY" is release via new label Skep Wax, which soon will release a third Swansea Sound single "Indies Of The World" in partnership with HHBTM, Formosa Punk, and Lavender Sweep.



Bandcamp for "I Sold My Soul On EBAy"

Bandcamp for "Corporate Indie Band"/"Angry Girl"

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Still Corners - The Last Exit


One of our more pleasurable listing experiences of the new year so far has been The Last Exit by UK-to-Texas-to-Woodstock duo Still Corners. To our ears the special magic is the seamless combination of dream pop, desert noir and cinematic soundtrack. Consisting of well-crafted songs, perfectly rendered by instrumentalist Greg Hughes and vocalist Tess Murray, the album is captivating and relaxing. Each song surrounds the listener with its own atmosphere and pulls him or her into the story. We can feel the dry wind and the rustle of unseen wildlife, and feel the growing unease. Magic, indeed, and it will keep us entertained for a long time.

The Last Exit is out now as a digital release via Wrecking Light Records.




Bandcamp for The Last Exit

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

"Helpless Circumstances" by Cool Ghouls


About ten years ago we posted some demos from a band that called themselves Cool Ghouls. We didn't know much about them other than they were based in San Francisco and their brand of garage and psychedelic rock, and determination to have fun, was just what our ears and souls needed.

Well, it seems that the ghouls are still cool, and are writing even better songs than the ones that captured our attention initially. You all can put our opinion to the test when At George's Zoo hits the streets in a couple of months, but it would be too cruel to leave you without an appetizer. So here is the first musical animal from the Zoo: "Helpless Circumstances". What a great song -- throbbing rhythms, ace guitars and sweet group singing.

At George's Zoo will be out March 12 via Empty Cellar (US) and Melodic Records (UK).



"Devils Please Be Gone" by Black Twig


The return of Helsinki's Black Twig after a half decade of silence is a cause to rejoice at WYMA World Headquarters. The return is marked by new single "Devils Please Be Gone", to be followed by a new LP. As always with this four-piece, the guitars are magnificent in this worthy beginning to a new chapter for the band.

Black Twig are Aki Pohjankyrö, Rasmus Rantanen, Kaarlo Stauffer, Janne Vainikainen. The album is titled Was Not Looking For Magic, and it will be released February 26 via Soliti Records.




Bandcamp for single

Monday, January 18, 2021

"Lilting" by Oh-OK


If one were to choose a specialty in music archaeology, one could do worse that focusing on the Athens scene that spawned R.E.M., The B-52s, Love Tractor, Pylon and many others. Thanks to HHBTM Records another artifact has come to the surface with the upcoming release of The Complete Reissue, collecting the work of Oh-OK. Helmed by the duo of Linda Hopper and Lynda Stipe, the band was together for only a short time in the early '80s but they made some terrific music. The album is coming in early February, but you can stream one of the tracks below.

"Dead Inside The Inside" by Jo Yonderly

Jo Yonderly has said that he isn't generally a fan of blogs, but we need to do our job so we are bringing you his new release "Dead Inside The Inside". Is seems to us to be a garage rock/art rock/psychedelic composition that addresses mental illness. We think it evidences a good bit of talent, and we recommend it.

Apparently Yonderly has found a home with Stockholm's Rama Lama Records, which has announced that we can look forward to a full album of Yonderly's experimental indie rock in the future.


Bandcamp for "Dead Inside The Inside"

Rama Lama Records page for Jo Yonderly

Sunday, January 17, 2021

"Power Cut" by Nighshift


We begin a new week in fine fashion with the sleekly trippy and hypnotic "Power Cut", the second song to be released from the upcoming Zoe LP by Glasgow's Nightshift. This is a band with a firm grip on the styles of their Glasgow forebears, but also imbued with a penchant for experimentation that makes them one of the more exciting bands on our radar.

Zoe will be released on February 26 via Trouble In Mind Records.


Trouble In Mind Records page for Zoe

Thursday, January 14, 2021

"Crimson Mask" by Cool Sounds

January 15 is Scott's birthday, and what better way to celebrate than with a new single from the upcoming LP Bystander by Melbourne's Cool Sounds? "Crimson Mask" continues the band's string of '70s soft rock vibes, layered arrangements and terrific guitars. This one isn't quite as laid back as some of the band's songs, but it still has a chill vibe, a few curve balls and hooks galore. But really, it is not surprise -- everything Cool Sounds created is top shelf.

Bystander will be released February 12 (Abraham Lincoln's birthday) via Osborne Again Music and Spunk Records in Australia and New Zealand, and Nice Guy Records in the rest of the whole wide world. Cool Sounds are Dainis Lacey, Nick Kearton, Ambrin Hasnain, Steve Foulkes, Jack Nichols, and Pierce Morton.



Bandcamp for "Crimson Mask"

Bandcamp link to pre-order Bystander


"White Sands" by Still Corners

We think that one of the better indie albums to be released this month is The Last Exit by London-based duo Still Corners. You will have to wait until January 22 for the album, but you can take it for a trial run with the desert noir gem "White Sands". We have become ardent fans -- the songcraft is impeccable and Tessa Murray's vocals are swoon-worthy.

The Last Exit is Still Corner's fifth LP, and will be released via Wrecking Light Records




Bandcamp for "White Sands"

Pre-Order links for The Last Exit

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

"Full Mood" by Sarah Mary Chadwick


Here is a really, really good way to end the day: Sarah Mary Chadwick, her piano, and her new single "Full Mood". Romantic and restful, we needed four replays before we were ready to leave it and hed to bed. The ten-miler in the morning may start a bit late.

Chadwick, a native of New Zealand, is living and recording in Melbourne. Her work trends toward the intimate, with direct lyrics and a penchant for exploring sadness, effects of trauma and other emotional states. "Full Mood" is taken from her new album, Me And Ennui Are Friends, Baby, which will be released February 5 via Rice Is Nice Records and Ba Da Bing.



Bandcamp for "Full Mood"

Various links for "Full Mood"

Link to pre-order album

"Dead and Gone" by Jess Locke


Looking for a new talent to follow? Meet Jess Locke, indie rock singer-songwriter from Melbourne. She will release new album Don't Ask Me Why on March 26 via Dot Dash Recordings/Remote Control Records. You can sample her music below with the new single from the album, "Dead and Gone". Melancholy with a touch of blues, it showcases Jess' vocal style and her songwriting talents.



Various links for "Dead And Gone"

Bandcamp for album

Various links to pre-order album

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

"Heartflow" and "The Revolution of Super Visions" by Jane Weaver

Our midweek treat is brightly-colored cosmic pop via "Heartflow" and "The Revolution of Super Visions", the two singles thus far released from Jane Weaver's upcoming album. Titled Flock, the album will be available March 5 via Fire Records. "The Revolution of Super Visions" was released last fall, and features some funk to go with the pop grooves. "Heartflow" is brand spanking new and shines like a freshly created star -- but a star you can dance to.




Bandcamp for "Heartlow"

Bandcamp for The Revolution of Super Visions

Various links to source Flock

"Gone" by Painted Shrines


If indie pop fans were allowed to create bands from among their favorite songwriters and performers, we would't be surprised if one delectable combination would consist of Jeremy Earl of Woods and & Glenn Donaldson of Skygreen Leopards and The Reds, Pinks and Purples. We are happy to report that you can cross that one off the "wish list" and move it to the "completed" column. On March 5 Woodsist will release Heaven and Holy, a full album from the duo's Painted Shrines project. The first single is "Gone", and you can stream it below. Fans will not be disappointed.

Twitter for Painted Shrines


Bandcamp for album

Various links to source album

Monday, January 11, 2021

"Directions" by Dannika

We have a very happy start to the week with "Directions" -- the second single to be released from Dannika's upcoming LP Gems. Winsome and infectious, if it were a stray dog you encountered out walking you couldn't resist taking it home. It is not, in fact, a stray dog. But it is a perfectly formed pop tune, and you can take it home with you.

Melbourne's Dannika is the project of musician, songwriter and filmmaker Dannika Horvat and three friends, they produce indie pop that seems to have a gloss of something special. Take a test drive with the single, and set a calendar alert for January 29, when Gems will be released via Spunk Records and Osborne Again Music. The other members of Dannika are Liam Parsons, Stefan Blair, and Paul Ceraso.


Bandcamp for "directions"

Bandcamp for Gems

Sunday, January 10, 2021

"Fragments" by Rats On Rafts"


With all of the turmoil in the United States we find ourselves turning to more aggressive music frequently. Consider it a bit of stress deflection. One of the best noisy albums in the first part of 2021 is the third album by Dutch band Rats On Rafts. The album is titled Excerpts From Chapter 3: The Mind Runs A Net Of Rabbit Paths, and you will have to wait until January 29 to gift your ears with the full treat. But you can get the new single "Fragments" (and the two previous singles) right now. We assure you that this album isn't just an exercise in noise. It is smart, focused, and brings psychedelic tones to the band's post punk arsenal. Enjoy "Fragments" below.

Excerpts From Chapter 3: The Mind Runs A Net Of Rabbit Paths will be released via Fire Records.




Bandcamp for Fragments

Various links to stream/buy "Fragments

Bandcamp for album

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Das Body - Peregrine

Hailing from the blue collar east side of Oslo, Das Body channels their environment in crafting gritty but colorful electro pop. Musically, they are energetic, lyrically and thematically they are sassy and direct. The quartet is led by the versatile vocals of striking frontwoman Ellie Linden, whose talents are backed by dynamic guitar/synth/percussion arrangements. We find that we reach for this album most often in the evening hours as it prompts us to dream of the days when we can attend live shows again. Das Body definitely is on our wish list.

Peregrine is out now via Das Body Records.



"Nap Gate" by Wurld Series


Needing a solid distraction from the political mess that is the world's latest Banana Republic, the United States of America, we turned to the fuzzing, buzzing, psychedelic goodness of "Nap Gate" by Christchurch, New Zealand's Wurld Series. And while it is available now as a single, it is taken from What's Growing, the band's second album. It is an appealingly noisy nugget that promises good things from the album.

Wurld Series founded by transplanted Brit Luke Towart, and Luke and drummer/producer Brian Feary recorded What's Growing with like minded friends participating as available. The album will be released March 19 via Meritorio Records (Europe/USA), Osborne Again (Australia) and Melted Ice Cream (New Zealand/Rest of the world).


Bandcamp for Whats Growing

Meritorio Records

Osborne Again Music

Melted Ice Cream Records