We introduced Melbourne band Partner Look recently via the first single from their upcoming album (link). But to our pleasure and surprise, we already have another album track to share. For "Rodeo Tragic" subject is horses, and freedom, and perhaps a few other things, and it sounds terrific.
As we noted in our first post about Partner Look, the members are two sisters and their partners, who also happen to be friends. And they all are or have been in bands that have appeared on these pages, so they have our highest seal of approval.
Partner Look are Lachlan Denton (The Ocean Party/Pop Filter/others), Dainis Lacey (Cool Sounds), and sisters Ambrin Hasnain (Cool Sounds) and Anila Hasnain (Studio Magic). The name of the album is By The Book , and it will be released February 4 via Trouble In Mind in North America, and Osborne Again in Australia.
Combining punk, hardcore and propulsive rhythms, Nicfit are preparing to explode into our musical consciousness. The Nagoya, Japan-based four piece are Hiromi (vocals), Charley (guitar), KenKen (bass), and Kuwayama (drums). Debut album Fuse will be released January 14 via UK label Upset The Rhythm, but you can catch the excitement with the two singles released from the album so far "Deviation" and "Fuse".
Finnish band Verandan has just released their third single of the year. "Night" is a mid-tempo gem with a robust rhythm, sparkling instrumental flourishes and folk-rock vocals reminiscent of New Zealand stalwarts The Bats. The song originally appeared on compilation released by Spanish label Kocliko. A superb song, it is hard to believe that it didn't make the last album. The single is out now via Helsinki's Soliti Music.
Verandan is one of our favorite bands and we are happy to report that they will be recording a new album in 2022. Its members are Ville Hopponen, Kaarlo Stauffer, Aki Pohmankyro, Sampo Seppanen, and Aleksi Peltonen.
We all like a good massage, and this year has shown Los Angeles' Massage to be very, very good. The four-piece earns high praise for their album Still Life, which was released earlier this year. This lovely little EP isn't just a place holder -- it is a clear demonstration that his band has the chops to be considered on of the best guitar pop bands around. Look at it this way, even if Still Life hadn't been issued this year and put Massage high on many year end lists, the December arrival of Lane Lines would have been enough to earn the band a lot of chatter in the indie pop world. At this point, we can confidently recommend a daily Massage.
Massage are Alex Naidus, Andrew Romano, Gabi Ferrer, and Natalie de Almeida. Lane Lines is out now via Mt.St.Mtn. Note that the record is available in digital and vinyl formats, and the vinyl includes two additional tracks -- a demo of a single from Still Life and a demo for a track on the next LP from the band.
Gathering talents from Heavenly, The Pooh Sticks, and Talulah Gosh, Swansea Sound could be considered indie royalty if they were the types to regard royalty as a coveted status. But we suspect that they would scoff at such a designation, and that is but one of the reasons to appreciate them. Of course, the main reason to appreciate them is that they are four grounded and charming people who have crafted a wonderful 13-track album of stirring, punchy and incisive crash pop and punk titled Live At The Rum Puncheon. Although the band pulls no punches lyrically, their music is quite catchy and they find the time for some romance, remembrance and plenty of humor to go with social and political observations. Targets include the digital marketplace, teenage angst and the modern music industry, but they also include a tribute to one of their former bands.
We like this album so much that we forgive the untruth at its core. You see, this album was not really recorded live at the The Rum Puncheon. The Rum Puncheon was a notorious bar in Swansea where one could drink away the day, but it closed a long time ago. In the band's defense, the music sounds like it could have been played at the establishment back in the day, and we mean that in the most positive sense. And in a way, that untruth reveals a greater truth: What better place for a virtual band formed in a pandemic to pretend to play live than a long-shuttered venue? There has been a lot of good music created in the pandemic, and in our opinion this album must be included in the top tier.
Swansea Sound (who 'borrowed' the name of a radio station for their name) are Hue Williams, Amelia Fletcher, Rob Pursey, and Ian Button. Live At The Rum Puncheon is out now in CD, cassette, digital and vinyl formats via HHBTM Records, Skep Wax Records, and Austin Town Hall Records. Purchase of a physical version gets you a digital download and Bandcamp streaming, but the album is not available on streaming services.
Trappers is the name adopted by Joel Nettesheim for his music endeavors. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Georgia, Trappers is prolific and versatile. The recently released Trappers Cabin, his 14th album, includes rock, psychedelic, alt folk, and a few songs that resist classification. However, each song displays solid melodic sense and Trappers' full commitment to the project. Cue it up, it really is an rewarding listen. The video is homemade and features Trappers and his daughter.
The players on the album are Trappers (guitar/vocals), Jonny Daly (guitar/pedal steel), Adam Higgins (bass/organ/synth/backing vocals), Zack Smith (drums), Aaron Hill (soundscape), and Nancy Kaye Hill (backing vocals).
Trappers Cabin is self-released. See the Bandcamp link below.
LA band Massage really didn't need to do anything more to earn a place in our musical hears this year. Debut LP Still Life is only five months old and is one of the best albums we have covered in 2021. However, sometimes talent doesn't rest, and Massage comes back this month with the six-track Lane Lines EP. We will have more to write about the EP next week when it is out via Mt.St.Mtn., but we can assure you that there is no drop in quality. And our opinion is underscored by the new single from the EP, "In Gray & Blue. Enjoy!
Musicians, siblings, friends, and romantic partners -- please meet Partner Look. The band consists of Lachlan Denton (The Ocean Party/Pop Filter/others), Dainis Lacey (Cool Sounds), and sisters Ambrin Hasnain (Cool Sounds) and Anila Hasnain (Studio Magic). Since we have covered all of those projects in the past, it is no surprise that we find the sound of Partner Look to excite our musical taste buds. The name of the band is refers to the German word "partnerlook" which applies to two people wearing same outfits. Credit for that goes to the German-born Ambrin and Anila, who taught the term to their partners Cainis and Lachlan, respectively.
What Partner Look promises to deliver is sparkling guitar pop with song contributions by all of its members. Debut album By The Book will be available on February 4, but you can hear the first single, "Partner Look" (how is that for direct marketing?) below. Engaging, emotionally and smart, this is just the song we wanted to start our weekend.
By The Book will be released by Trouble In Mind in North America, and Osborne Again in Australia.
Glenn Donaldson has released "Pour In The Light", the second single from his February 2022 release under his current banner The Reds, Pinks & Purples. With plenty of jangle and chime, and Glenn's hushed vocals riding an upbeat melody, it is another reminder that this artist is in the midst of an extraordinary period of creative excellence.
The new album is titled Summer At Land's End and it will be released via Slumberland Records in North America and Tough Love Records in UK/Europe. Vinyl collectors should note that there are two vinyl versions. One is a single disc of Summer At Land's End. The other version contains the album plus another disc of instrumental songs (not instrumental versions of the album's songs). I would not be surprised if both versions sell out in the pre-order stage.
San Francisco' indie scene is having a very good year. We are going to highlight two reasons in succession. The first is Room For Wrong by a four-member band called The Aerosols. Consisting of Joe Z. Armin (guitar/vocals), Amy Fowler (guitar/keys/backing vocals), Josh Bevalacqua (bass), and Raul Sanchez (drums), The Aerosols concoct a bracing mix of hooks, '80s guitar vibes, and jangle. And they aren't shy about getting a bit weird, but never in a distracting way. They remind us a bit of Seattle's heroes of the past The Young Fresh Fellows. And if you remind WYMA Blog of The Young Fresh Fellows, you know we like you.
Room For Wrong is out now in digital and vinyl formats via the band's Land of the Lost Records.