Friday, April 30, 2021

Robot Fox - Sham Rage


We are clear on our mission. The heading of our webpage says "This is not music criticism. On this blog, you will only read about music we like." And that doesn't necessarily mean that we didn't like submissions that we don't cover. At this point there are only two of us (and for the past several years, it was only me), so we just don't have time to write up all the good music. So, given our mission you know that we think that every record we write up is worthy, and we hear a lot of really good music. However, there are times when we are impressed well beyond the normal range when we listen to a new song or album. You know, the sort of reaction where you sit still for a moment, and then say "wow". And that brings us to Sham Rage by Melbourne band Robot Fox.

Wow. Just wow.

Of course, it wouldn't be fair to stop at 'wow', although we sincerely suggest that it should be sufficient. So what do we have here? We have psychedelic pop in its broadest and truest sense. There are intriguing songs and free form arrangements which manage to stay on the right side of the chaos line while blending '60s psych, '70s soft rock, '80s post punk, and a dose of music hall sing along. In addition to the standard guitar, bass, and drums, there is flute, sax, and piano. Singing and spoken word deliver the lyrics and jazzy breakouts and unexpected changes abound, sometimes overlaying other segments. It all hangs together because the craft is superb and the trip we go on with the band is a truly delightful ride. It all adds up to a top ten album of the year to date for me. And by the way, wow.

Robot Fox are Jackson Dahlenburg, James Donovan, Jimi Gregg, Marie Klaschka, Pierce Morton, Bec Smith, and Brendan Wrigley. The band brings together members of Cool Sounds, Crepes, and Banana Gun, and because this is Melbourne, possibly other bands as well. Sham Rage is released via Melbourne's Osborne Again Music.


Bandcamp for Sham Rage

Osborne Again Music

"Esther" by Jeshua

At the start of the month we introduced the talented Glasgow-based artist Joshua Gray, writing and recording as Jeshua (link). As it happens, he also is here at the end of the month with new single "Esther". A lovely track written as a tribute to the artist's late grandmother, it also is the final single to be released from his upcoming album. Sparkling and heartfelt, it warms our Friday morning.

The album is titled Unreliable Narrator and will be released on June 4.





"Rocky Trail" by Kings of Convenience

Beloved Norwegian indie pop duo Kings of Convenience have released new single "Rocky Trail" in conjunction with their announcement of a mid-June album Peace or Love.  An elegant example of acoustic pop accented by a sprightly violin, it demonstrates that Eirik and Erlend remain masters of lean but emotionally evocative songwriting.




Various links for "Rocky Trail"

Link to pre-order Peace or Love

“Season of the Witch” by Sunset Lines

 First of all, this is not THAT “Season of the Witch”, it’s a new pop track from San Francisco-based Sunset Lines. It’s not a heavy psychedelic track; in fact it’s light, airy and catchy. Especially notable is the way they build the music around lead vocalist Liz Brooks (who also writes). This is part of an EP due out May 14.

In addition to Brooks, Sunset Lines consists of co-founder Paul McCorkle, Scott Smit and Ben Manning. McCorkle and Brooks started this project together after another band they were in broke up, and that seems to be a good thing - they have an enticing musical vision, and Brooks definitely has some things to say in her songwriting. 

Thursday, April 29, 2021

"Kommer du ihåg" by Per och Olof

Per och Olof is the solo project of Per-Olof (Per och Olof is Swedish for 'Per and Olof'). Formerly a member of punk bands, he has honed his own songs into very appealing pop songs. Recently signed to Stockholm's Rama Lama Records, he has released four singles this year, the latest being "Kommer du ihåg". The title translates to 'do you remember', which Per-Olof says is about love at first sight. It is an upbeat slice of smart guitar pop with driving drums and ringing guitars. To paraphrase Per-Olof, for us it was 'love of the song at first listen'. 

And we also recommend that you check out the other singles at the Bandcamp link below.

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

"Mollyducker"/"Keep It" by Good Morning

We wish you a good morning. We understand that it may not be morning for you at the moment -- it isn't for us, either -- but it is certain to be morning somewhere. As a matter of fact, my iPhone world clock says in is morning in Melbourne, Australia, and they have a Good Morning that all of us can enjoy. The band is a duo consisting of Stefan Blair and Liam Parsons, and their creations have been celebrated here in the past. However, the reason for this feature is that Stefan and Liam have shared both good news and good music.

First, Good Morning has signed to Polyvinyl Record Co. Second, they have released a single with two really excellent songs, "Mollyducker", sung by Stefan, and "Keep It", sung by Liam. Both songs bear the weight of some dark themes, but the melody, grooves and arrangements are as good as guitar pop gets. The single is out via Polyvinyl and the bands own imprint, Good Morning Music Company Worldwide. You can stream both of them below.

This is the first new music from the duo in nearly two years, although we heard their guitars and backing vocals on the Dannika album released earlier this year (our feature here)





Various links for single

"Open Sea" by Verandan

One of my favorite indie pop bands is Finnish five-piece Verandan. Led by singer and songwriter Ville Hopponen, their music is emotive, dynamic and melodic. For 2021, Verandan is focusing on a series of singles. The latest is a widescope delight titled "Open Sea", and is out on April 30 via Helsinki label Soliti Music. Musically, the song is glimmering and expansive. Thematically, it speaks to the desire to shrug off work and responsibilities, set sail and head out of the harbor. That all connects quite well with me at the moment.

In addition to Hopponen, Verandan is Kaarlo Stauffer, Aki Pohmankyro, Sampo Seppanen, and Aleksi Peltonen. In addition, Jari Suominen contributed electric piano on this song.



Soliti Music page for Verandan

"Bad Dream" by Azure Ray


Azure Ray has returned, and we are very happy about that development. The project of Maria Taylor and Orenda Fink was unveiled some 20 years ago. Their hushed vocals and sparsely adorned dream pop arrangements deservedly attracted a fan base, but the duo has not been prolific in recent years. However, their stunning debut album was re-released earlier this year, and they now have announced that Remedy, their first album in 11 years, will be released in June via Flower Moon Records. The title track was released recently, and we now have new single "Bad Dream". Based on evidence to date, Azure Ray is back and better than ever.

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

“The Man Who Sold the World” by The Hics (Bowie tribute Modern Love due out May 28)

 We’re happy to be able to tell you about this upcoming David Bowie tribute record, including covers by The Hics, Helado Negro, Khruangbin, We are KING and a host of other artists recording alternative versions of some well-known and some lesser-known cuts from Bowie’s oeuvre. As one of the Bobs put it so well, we celebrate the guy's entire catalog. Here is “The Man Who Sold the World” by The Hics. It creates a whole new mood around the song, sort of a low-key spy soundtrack feel:

And here is "Sound and Vision" by Helado Negro, a fairly catchy Latin-tinged slow and easy hip-hop track that highlights the melody of the original song while creating a new way to think about the lyrics of this 1977 Bowie classic. I like the idea of including this one in a jazz/hip hop/electronic music collection - Bowie was trying some new stuff on Low at the time, and this feels pretty true to the spirit:


 Finally (I'm just catching up) here is We are KING playing "Space Oddity" - a stretched out electronic version with breathy female vocals that ramps up the volume and layers in more sounds as it builds. Because the song's so well-known and loved, a cover would have to be pretty different, and this one is.


So hopes are high for the rest of this record. Definitely looking forward to the Khruangbin track.  The album is due out May 28 on BBE Records. 

"My Brother" by Island

London's Island have released "My Brother", their third single of 2021. Each has been different, and we particularly liked the sunny jam "Octopus". However, the video for "My Brother" just made us feel warm and happy all over. A dynamic melodic musical performance and a cool, affecting video -- we recommend it.

Island are Rollo Doherty, Jack Raeder, James Wolfe, and Toby Richards. "My Brother" is out now via Frenchkiss Records.




Bandcamp for "My Brother"

Various links for "My Brother"

“You Too” by Dree Leer

Dree Leer is a punk trio from Birmingham, Alabama. And if you are inspired in your post-pandemic travels to go check out a burgeoning music scene, this might be the one. Dree Leer is only the latest of our featured Birmingham artists this month, following The Blips and Janet Simpson, so again I say, there’s something going on in Birmingham. This is strong stuff and I reckon it comes across great live. 

The album is called Throw Hands, a properly aggressive title, and it will be out Friday. 
Where do you think they got their inspiration for this aggressive, proto-punk style? Well, check out this cover of The Stooges' "Now I Wanna Be Your Dog", with its Dr. Caligari-meets-Sunset Strip video:

The band’s leader, Jackie Lo, is a really good singer, and delivers the vocals with a lot of energy that allows them to cut through the glorious noise of this hard rocking punk attack. We’ll have a little more on this one soon. It’s out Friday (4/30) via Betamax Records.

Monday, April 26, 2021

"Sunset" by Pastel Coast

We are closing our night with a delightful slice of beach pop with a French accent. The song is "Sunset" by the French four-piece Pastel Coast. A shimmering, propulsive blend of indie pop and dream pop, you can stream it below or watch the charmingly off-beat video in which the protagonist has a violent break up with her potted plant. 

Based in Boulogne sur Mer, Pastel Coast will release a new album Sun in early June via Shelflife and Groover Obsessions.

“Trevor Philippe” by Johnny Mafia

French punks Johnny Mafia have a new album due out May 21, Sentimental. They cite some classic punk influences, Ramones and Pixies, but I hear more Offspring than anything else. The latest track is "Trevor Philippe", and here's the video for it:

I really like that song. Like any well-done melodic punk music (again, Offspring is a good example), energy is the key and they've got plenty. Here's the track "I'm Sentimental":


You can preorder at the Bandcamp page, or find out more at their website. It's on Paris-based label Howlin' Banana Records. 

REISSUE: Cream - Goodbye Tour - Live at the Forum - remastered, new vinyl edition out now


Out now on UMe/Polydor is a reissue of the full Cream concert at the Forum from 1968, featuring a heartwarming intro by Buddy Miles and full, well-mastered versions of 9 songs over 4 sides of vinyl that will convince you (or reinforce, if you already were convinced) that Cream live was probably as good as blues-derived rock (which is to say, rock) ever got. The “Crossroads” on here, starting from a standstill and with Eric Clapton singing lead on a cover of his favorite blues artist, is masterful and by itself probably worth the cost of this package. 

I remember having the original Goodbye and Wheels of Fire on, respectively, 8-track and scratchy vinyl hand-me-downs, and have to say that, if your experience is similar, you may want to revisit this music. You will be amazed. There are moments that reveal themselves more clearly here - Jack Bruce’s thundering bass runs on “Crossroads” and Ginger Baker’s crackling drum work on “White Room” among many - that compliment Bruce’s vocals and Eric Clapton’s legendary guitar work and will transport you. In addition to the blue vinyl rendition of the Forum concert, there is also a 4-CD box set containing four concerts from this same time period. I’m so glad this is out of the vault.

Cream Goodbye Tour Vinyl/CD Site

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Natvral - Tethers

If you were a fan of The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, as I certainly was, and you expect Kip Berman's solo work as Natvral to be more of the same, you need to adjust your expectations. Things change: Kip's life changed; my life changed; and I hope to God that your life changed as well. In Kip's case, he now is married, twice a father, and living in Princeton, New Jersey instead of New York City. So Kip's songwriting gaze is on his new life, sprinkled with some heartfelt tugs at the pull of his old life. On Tethers, his debut album as Natvral, it is honest songwriting, and as we would expect from Kip, excellent songwriting. The style of the songs is different than POBPAH as well. Gone is the fuzzy wall of guitar, replaced by a folky, roots rock approach. I suits Kips voice, and it works well as a vehicle for the material. The song have an immediacy and a rawness. Not a rawness owing to lack of completion, we think, but a rawness due to a deliberate choice to not polish away the instinctive emotions flowing through the song. We think this is a special album and will be in a cherished spot in our rotation for a long time.

For Tethers, Berman enjoyed the contributions of Brian Alvarez (drums), Sarah Chihaya (backing vocals) and Kyle Forester of Crystal Stilts/Woods (organ). The album is out now via Kanine Records.




Bandcamp for Tethers

Various links for Tethers


“Mobile” by The Mountain Goats

 Here’s a treat from The Mountain Goats, who’ve been almost superhumanly productive recently. After October's Getting Into Knives and December's two-volume The Jordan Lake Sessions, comes a new record, due out in June. This track, “Mobile”, with a man praying for a sign from God on a balcony in Mobile, Alabama, was recorded at FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals. All the imagery reminds me of the way the Band used to mine the rich traditions and lore of the American South, while interspersing biblical allusions to up the terror quotient, wrapping it all in a terrific rock and roll package. 


The guitar solo over the outro is good, and I look forward to hearing how they sequence this on the album. The title of the album? Dark In Here. The theme continues... 

Album is due out June 25 on Merge Records. 

Raf Rundell - O.M. Days

 I think London DJ Raf Rundell has created a genuine treat for listeners with O.M. Days. Apparently the name of the album stands for 'Oh My Days', although I have had that confirmed by absolutely no one (Tucker is in the room with me, but Tucker is a dog and usually agrees with me). But whatever its intended meaning, around my house it means 'the party has started'. The album consists of ten tracks, the first six of which providing enough funk, disco, R&B and related styles to make us think we aren't housebound by a virus. Track 2, "Down", was so compelling that I got stuck on it and hit the replay button four times. The following "Monsterpiece" was the perfect disco palette cleanser. Next up is "Ample Change" featuring Lias Saoudi of Fat White Family, thrilling with propulsive tribal drumming accented by middle eastern/North African melodies. It is one of the more compelling tracks, but with a seven minute run time I will leave it to you to stream.  But we will deliver the following "Always Fly (ft. Terri Walker)" because we all want, even deserve, some slinky R&B on a Saturday night.  

And then with track 7, "Miracle", the album turns more reflective although no less interesting. It is as if Papa Raf knows we need to wind down and relax before Sunday morning. Of those latter songs, we are most taken with "Butter Days (ft. Andy Jenkins)".

Raf Rundell is one half of group 2 Bears (with Hot Chip's Joe Goddard). O.M. Days is his second album, and is out now via Heavenly Recordings.




Bandcamp for O.M. Days

Various links for O.M. Days

Saturday, April 24, 2021

“Diamond Studded Shoes” by Yola

Yola’s got a big voice and she’s using it to get our attention for things she cares about, so listen up.

"Everybody's saying/
That it’s gonna be alright/
But I can't help but wonder/
If it's gonna be on my dime" 

She declares “this song explores the false divides created to distract us from those few who are in charge of the majority of the world’s wealth and use the ‘divide and conquer’ tactic to keep it. This song calls on us to unite and turn our focus to those with a stranglehold on humanity.” This message is delivered in a three and a half minute rollicking pop soul tune featuring some stinging slide guitar and outstanding vocal harmonies. Here’s the video and the song:


 The album is Stand For Myself and it's due out July 30 on Easy Eye Sound (Dan Auerbach also produced). She'll also be out on tour later this year in support. Looking forward to hearing more, this is a strong start.

Friday, April 23, 2021

"Spring" by Mini Trees


After drumming with several other bands, LA's Lexi Vega commenced her solo project as Mini Trees in 2018. Mini Tress has released at least one single and a couple of EPs. Having now signed with Run For Cover Records, she has just released "Spring" -- a dreamy song envisioning a comfortable long term relationship. Stream it below and await more from Mini Trees later this year.





Dinosaur Jr. - Sweep It Into Space

Dinosaur Jr. is a rare case indeed, a band whose new stuff is every bit as vital as their "old stuff". On their latest album, we hear the classic Dinosaur Jr. sound, as J. Mascis demonstrates his uncanny ability to wring melody from cranked-up guitar and his trademark vocal croak. It's a wonder and something to be truly grateful for, so from When You Motor Away, the first thing I'd like to say is "thank you." Like our patron namesake Robert Pollard, J has exceeded any reasonable expectation that would have been ventured back in the 90's, and is still delivering high quality rock music. Here is "I Ran Away", with a slow, easy, loping rhythm:

 Here is "Garden", one of the two Barlow tracks here, building slowly with a combination of an understated electric and strummed acoustic guitars behind Barlow's earnest vocals:


 And finally, here is "Take It Back" - a song built on a piano line, almost sort of a reggae beat, and a hummable vocal line that carries about :45 into the track, where Murph hits the drums and the song opens up a bit - though even J's solos are kept in control.


 As always, Barlow's bass lines and Murph's drums share a comfortable interplay, somehow always delivering just what's needed. This is that rare theing - music that is comfortable, familiar, without being the least bit boring. Ragged, but beautiful. Let's be glad they are still at this. It's out today (April 23) on Jagjaguwar. 

Thursday, April 22, 2021

"Big Plans (Little Hands)" by Dag

 One of our most eagerly anticipated albums of the year is Pedestrian Life. A double LP to be released by Bedroom Suck Records on June 25, it is the latest output from Dag. The band is a trio fronted by the deservedly esteemed singer songwriter Dusty Anastassiou and includes Dan Ford and Dave McMillan. Dusty is a compelling presence on stage, and a creative force as a songwriter. The band is a tight, instinctive unit that delivers the songs with just the right level of melody and loose-limbed spontaneity.

We will spill more digital ink on Dag when it is time to feature the album, but today's mission is to deliver the single "Big Plans (Little Hands)", which is the album's 12th track. A country-shaded song about the joys of falling in love and the dangers of losing one's sense of self while doing so, it is going to be on our summer soundtrack and probably a lot of other music fan's soundtracks.

Joram Feitsma - Flux


Joram Feitsma is an excellent, creative pianist from Utrecht, whose day job is professor in the field of public policy. His new album Flux is out this week, and is a beautiful collection of solo piano numbers and ambient interludes. The opening track, "Struck", is just that, sort of a fanfare struck on strings and a synthesizer. It's a good appetizer for the outstanding piano work on offer. Speaking of which, here is "Lente", a pretty, meandering solo piano piece that brings to mind a walk in someplace strikingly beautiful, changing pace, changing direction, but never without beauty:


 And here is the title track:


I love the way he cascades the higher notes, and holds and kind of shapes the lower notes that bring it back to the theme, back to Earth, so to speak. From Joram's press piece, he shared a bit about his inspirations, and not just musical ones: "Working in public policy science might not sound like a source of artistic inspiration, but the existential questioning of thinkers such as sociologist Max Weber and philosophers Jean Paul Sartre and Albert Camus, whose work intimates a world bereft of intrinsic meaning, is paradoxically the inspiration for Feitsma's playing - cathartic, soul-stirring of inspiration and purpose, self-determined structure and meaning through repetition." [Rood Media] 

Given that our blog is inspired by lo-fi guitar rock and Scottish pop (among other things), I can say that we do know melody, even if we are not credentialed to truly review a neoclassical piano album on its merits as neoclassical music. But this is beautiful stuff, and I am thrilled to bring it to you. It's available on all streaming services from Bigamo, starting Friday, April 23.

Joram Feitsma at SoundCloud

Joram Feitsma at Bandcamp

"Bladderwrack" by Buffet Lunch

May we present to you, "Bladderwrack" by Buffet Lunch. Now, you might think that the phrase "buffet lunch" doesn't reside pleasantly in proximity to a form of the word "bladder". You may (or may not) be more at ease if you learn that it is a reference to seaweed. But it really doesn't matter because we aren't asking you to ingest anything, but rather to listen to the new party favor from the colorful and skewed world of a Scottish band named after a midday meal. The song is the latest single taken from The Power of Rocks, the band's new LP which will be released May 7 via Upset The Rhythm.

"Bladderwrack" is representative of the album: Delightful percussion sharing equal billing with synths and guitars, imaginative stories and a keen sense of humor. 

Buffet Lunch are Perry O'Bray, Neil Robinson, John Muir, and Luke Moran.



Pre-order page for album

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Dannika - Gems


Gems is is an intimate and friendly album -- an album made by friends with locked-in, cohesive performances that evince mutual understanding and respect. It also boasts a roster of songs that are open, agile, versatile, and unassuming. The observations are well-crafted and interesting, but are delivered in an understated manner and make no claim to be the universal truth. The result is that this is a set of music that brings the listener into the songwriter's world and makes him or her oh so comfortable and welcome. The album doesn't feel like a concert, it feels like a day spent at a cottage in the country with friends, only set to music.

From the above, it is obvious that whether I like an album often depends on how it makes me feel, but this feature is of less use to you if I don't provide some more detail. Gems is a guitar pop album from Australian band Dannika, featuring jangling and ringing guitars, bright melodies, colorful and quirky lyrics that still manage to pack a punch, and songs ranging from fulsome uptempo to sparse and laid back. The band consists of award-winning filmmaker and songwriter/vocalist/bassist Dannika Horvat, Liam Parsons (guitar), Stefan Blair (guitar), and Paul Ceraso (drums). Parsons and Blair are also known as the duo Good Morning (which was featured on these pages in 2015).

Gems is the debut LP from Dannika, and is out now via Melbourne label Osborne Again Music.


Bandcamp for album

Hooveriii - Water For the Frogs

(Hoover Three) are a 5-piece band from LA, playing heavy psychedelic prog rock with a few twists. Over the course of their latest, Water For the Frogs, they cycle through a variety of sounds. From heavy guitars on “Cindy” and “Hang Em High”, to a drum-driven motorik workout, “Control”, they explore the crossroads of prog and psych. 


I love the pace and glorious chaos of "Control" - it's probably my favorite track here. 

Then there’s a super slowed-down number, a cover of Lou Reed's “Shooting Star” that sounds like nothing so much as a doom rock take on Neil Young’s already slowed-down take on Don Gibson’s “Oh Lonesome Me”, only with a treated saxophone in the background (which eventually takes over the song for about a 45 second outro). And another motorik inspired cut, “We’re Both Lawyers” - an instrumental with some tasty, slowly building guitar solos over the barely-controlled tempo of the drumming, until it all speeds up and explodes, then settles back down into the slashing guitar lines that fade into a beeping synthesizer in the close-out. So, while it all fits nicely under the “psychedelic” label, there’s a good bit of variety here, and elements that make it worth coming back to - falsetto vocal choruses, short guitar solos, and a variety of synthesizer sounds pulse in and out of the steady, drum-driven rhythm. 

The penultimate track, “Erasure”, delivers a rollicking 3:45 of drum and guitar blasts:


And the whole thing closes out, fittingly, with a 9:53 workout called "Gone" that includes all elements, including the sax, adding a bit of free jazz that, given everything that's come before, is not at all out of place. There's a lot of creativity here and some inspired playing, and the band claims as influences Bowie, Iggy Pop and Soft Machine. Given that this is their first album full of new (nothing from pre-recorded parts) music, it's evident how much fun they had putting this together. And it's a lot of fun to listen to. It’s out now from Reverberation Appreciation Society. 

Janet Simpson - Safe Distance

Safe Distance is the first album Janet Simpson has released under her own name, but it’s clearly not her first music. She has been part of some terrific collectives, including Delicate Cutters, Teen Getaway, Wooden Wand and World War IV, so we are familiar with her talent. But given the space of a whole album and the opportunity to make it her own, Simpson has knocked it out of the park. From the waltz-time title track to the Latin-tinged “Wrecked” to a generous helping of guitar-driven country rock like “Nashville Girls”, “Reno” and “I’m Wrong”, there is not a wrong note on this record. Here's the video for "Nashville Girls":


 She sings well in line with the guitars on the latter songs, but the real showcase of Simpson’s vocals is on songs like “Ain’t Nobody Looking” and "Black Turns Blue", where the guitars are turned down, an acoustic guitar, quiet keyboards or a bass line carries the tune and she just sings.


That's some amazing singing, strong, light, clear, resonant - on a couple of beautifully-played and arranged songs. It will be a long long time before I'm tired of this record. Of special note, one of her co-conspirators is Will Stewart, whose project The Blips we covered here last week. Same label, too - Cornelius Chapel records. Something going on in Birmingham! 

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

“Hot & Heavy” by Lucy Dacus

Here’s a great new track from Lucy Dacus, with a wonderful, emotionally affecting video. Her voice carries the first part of the song, and as strong as it is, her voice could carry the whole song. But there’s good country rock band playing behind her, and the song’s mixer, Shawn Everett, is smart enough to leave her voice up at the top of the mix, so you follow her all the way through. It’s really well done.

 The album is Home Video, and it's due out in June on Matador. She recorded it in Nashville at Trace Horse Studio. She shared a few thoughts about the song: “I thought I was writing ‘Hot & Heavy’ about an old friend, but I realized along the way that it was just about me outgrowing past versions of myself. So much of life is submitting to change and saying goodbye even if you don't want to.” Listen, read more or preorder at the site below: 

"Hold You Back" by Quivers

 Ahhh, the sound that refreshes! Australian four-piece Quivers have released the second single from the upcoming LP Golden Doubt. "Hold You Back" is a rousing guitar pop tune about the conflicts presented in a relationship. The driving beat is addictive and the backing string arrangement gives the song some nice depth as well. You can stream it below or listen while watching the band in action.

Quivers are Sam Nicholson, Bella Quinlan, Michael Panton, and Holly Thomas. The single is out now, and the album will be out June 11 via Spunk Records (Australia/NZ), Bobo Integral (Europe), and Ba Da Bing (North America/UK).




Bandcamp for Golden Doubt

"He Said She Said" by Chvrches


Scots electro pop trio Chvrches has emerged with a new single "He Said She Said". The song is a sharply-worded reaction to the roles, limits and expectations society imposes on women. The darker themes are wrapped in a thumping, glossy '80s-style electro pop wrapper that sounds good to our ears

Chvrches are Lauren Mayberry, Iain Cook and Martin Doherty.





Monday, April 19, 2021

Gracious Losers - Six Roads Ends

 Normally a nine-piece band, Glasgow's Gracious Losers bucked the pandemic trend for stripped-down set ups and assembled 15 players to record their second album, Six Roads Ends. Comprised of worthy musicians from other groups, Gracious Losers cross genre boundaries and blend Celtic folk, folk rock, psychedelia, country, pop, and Americana. And with 11 tracks, the album gives the listener a taste of all of those. Moreover, the tracks include a versatile offering of restrained but powerful songs for a quiet, rousing stomps appropriate to get the entire audience dancing and singing along and a few that are in-between. The sound of The Gracious Losers evinces sincerity and warmth and is sufficiently distinctive that we would be hard-pressed to find it elsewhere. But why would you look, when it is all right there on Six Roads Ends.

The regular members of the band are songwriter Jonathan Lilley, joined by Amanda McKeown, Gary Johnston, Heather Philips, Rory McGregor, Monica Queen, Johnny Smillie, Celia Garcia, and Erik Igelstrom. Six Roads Ends is out now in digital, vinyl and CD formats via Last Night From Glasgow.



Label link to pre-order vinyl

Sunday, April 18, 2021

"Summer Sun" by Matt Berry

 Matt Berry is a master of psychedelic pop, and for those who don't know it the proof is coming via The Blue Elephant, his new album due May 14 on the Acid Jazz label. But you don't have to wait that long for your first bit of proof. Here is "Summer Sun" the second track from the album. A stomping, wide-scale mash up of psychedelia and British acid rock, it has us eagerly anticipating the album.




Bandcamp for The Blue Elephant

Various links for The BLue Elephant

"Nightflyer" and "Persephone" by Allison Russell


Allison Russell, vocalist with Our Native Daughters and Birds of Chicago, has announced a solo album. Aptly named Outside Child for this talented musician, poet, and writer of Scottish, Grenadian and Canadian descent, it will be released May 21 via Fantasy. The album promises to reflect on her difficult childhood and eventual survival as she forged a life for herself. Two singles, "Nightflyer" and "Persephone" have been released so far and we think that they hint at music that is both powerful and elegant. The videos and streams are below so you can make your own evaluation.





Bandcamp for Outside Child

Various links to order Outside Child

Fantasy Recordings

änsendå - änsendå EP

Nico Chavez has returned to Stockholm after an extended period in the indie rock and psychedelic music scene in London. The change in location also brings Nico's solo project as änsendå. The self-titled EP is an energetic and playful merger of pop and psychedelia, it is a fun EP that brings a smile to our faces and a bounce to our steps, even though we don't speak Swedish. Give it a try! 

änsendå is out now via Rama Lama Records.


Bandcamp for EP

Rama Lama

Saturday, April 17, 2021

"Duo" by Sam Gellaitry


Scottish producer Sam Gellaitry released three EPs between 2015 and 2017. An EP titled IV is scheduled for release May 14 in digital and June 11 on vinyl. A proven talent as a producer, the new EP will feature his voice for the first time. Sam's refreshingly innovative compositions reflect his penchant to think of expressing music as various color choices, as well as reflecting a broad array of influences. The first single from the upcoming EP is "Duo", which was inspired by French house. Try it out with the video below. "Duo" is out now via on Sam's own imprint Viewfinder Recordings via FFRR Records/Parlophone.





Various links for "Duo"