Adrift is out now via Ottawa label The Beautiful Music.
Adrift is out now via Ottawa label The Beautiful Music.
Storm The Palace are Jon Bews (violin/vocals), Will Bews (bagpipes/bass/flute/vocals), Alberto Bravo (drums/vocals), Sophie Dodds (autoharp/field recordings/guitar/harmonium/vocals), and Reuben Taylor (accordian/harpsichord/organs/piano/Rhodes/synths/vocals/Wurlitzer piano). The album is out now in digital and CD formats.
We love power pop, and one of our favorite purveyors of that pop/rock standard is St. Paul, Minnesota's The Persian Leaps. This is the ninth time Drew Forsberg's project has featured here, and so long as he continues and we continue, this won't be the last. Whether crafting snappy EPs (which seems to be his preferred mode of musical packaging) or stretching out into full albums, Drew always brings the crunchy, ringing guitars and indelible melodies. You may detect more than a bit of GVB vibe here, and that certainly is a selling point. But there is a wash of Twin Cities guitar pop that puts an even more personal stamp on the music. Our favorite tracks at the moment are 1, 2, and 5, but that is subject to change with repeated plays. And there will be repeated plays.
The EP is available in digital and CD formats.
At times like this we wish that we had purchased the deluxe box of superlatives because the subject of this feature certainly is worthy. Charles Bert, vocalist and rhythm guitarist of Math & Physics Club, refused to let the isolation of the pandemic prevent him from creating music. He began his solo project Field School and released a couple of EPs on a small label started by a friend. But quality has a way of finding a broader audience, and Charles' debut LP When Summer Comes is now available via Spanish label Bobo Integral. For fans of the sweet and bittersweet tunes of Math & Physics Club, and more generally for fans of jangling indie pop, the album is everything we could wish for and more.
The DIY ethos of hometown legends K Records seems to come naturally to Charles. But his musical feet remain firmly planted in the jangle and twee channel of Sarah Records, as well as numerous labelmates at Bobo Integral. What elevates the songs on When Summer Comes above others in that category, however, are the incisive writing and sincere performances. The listener can feel the joy and the melancholy, and enjoy the self-effacing humor. And even the more melancholy tunes benefit from Charles' relatively light touch, leaving the listener with a warm feeling and an understandable desire to hit "replay". This certainly is one of the jangle pop albums of the year.
When Summer Comes is out now in digital and vinyl formats.
Every year a number of bands surface with a jangling sound that earns our ears, as well as a place in the lineup with those jangle poppers who preceded them. But occasionally a new band will carve their way to the center of the genre, sounding like they have always been there and now are being imitated by others. Southeast Ohio's The Laughing Chimes may be such a band. The project begun by teenage siblings Evan and Quinn Seurkamp has released their debut EP Zoo Avenue which is one of the stronger opening statements we have heard from any band lately. It is no wonder that the brain trust at Slumberland Records signed them. Sunny, chiming optimism for a gloomy fall -- you really shouldn't miss these guys.
Zoo Avenue is out now in digital and cassette formats.
Richmond, Virginia's The Silent Boys are indie/jangle pop lifers, with a quarter of a century, eight albums and a core of devoted fans paying tribute to their talent and dedication. That doesn't mean that they are famous -- after all, their tag line is "willfully obscure since 1986". But it does mean that if you are an indie pop fan you owe your ears a taste of the spanking new Sand to Pearls, Coal to Diamonds. This is music made by humans, not machines with an eye to beats per minute, but even so it seems more homespun than many guitar pop bands. To our ears the emphasis is on the story more than the sound, although the sound is sweet as well. And all that makes the resulting songs memorable as well as pleasing and well worth your time.
The players on Sand to Pearls, Coal to Diamonds are Wallace Dietz, John Suchocki, Grant Oliver, Michael Click, John Morand, Dan-O Deckelman, and Maitreya Suchocki. See the Bandcamp link below for the digital release. CDs are available via French label Too Good To Be True Records.
We won't pretend we are very familiar with Sean Turner's project The Photocopies. But having stumbled over Wrong Century, the new collection of songs, we suggest that it is a good place for you and us to start. Sean is a Londoner decamped to Ann Arbor, Michigan, and he obviously shares our fondness for '80s and '90s guitar pop. This record includes songs previously released on singles and EPs, plus some covers of worthy songs by other artists. A great listen!
You may be too late to get the CD from Discos de Kirlian, although it is worth trying. But digital copies certainly are available. See the links below.
Seattle trio Model Shop opens our nostalgia floodgates. Before we discovered girls, we frequented model shops to buy and build plastic playthings. Then we developed love interests and model shops became a thing of the past. But Model Shop promises to call to mind both of those segments of our lives with their upcoming LP Love Interest, and to do so with the jangling, sparkling indie pop that we have loved for our adult lives. Take a taste with irrepressible new single "Lucky" and look back in our archives for our posts about previous singles "Compilation Tape" and "Letters to Melissa" (or take the efficient approach and just hit the album Bandcamp link below).
The album will be released November 25 via Spanish label Meritorio Records. Note that US orders will shop from Portland, thus avoiding expensive shipping charges.
Model Shop are Kevin Emerson (vocals/drums), Jen Fox (Bass), and Ethan Jones (vocals/guitar). Kevin and Ethan were members of Math & Physics Club.
We are just a week away from the drop of an album that all indie pop fans should have on their wish list: When Summer Comes by Field School. We have shared a couple of singles from the album previously, but just in case you still have doubts or missed the earlier post, one listen to the final single, the yearning "Jennifer Valentine", should seal the deal. The song has made our "song obsession" list.
Field School is Olympia, Washington's Charles Bert. When Summer Comes LP, which will be out November 18 via Bobo Integral.
From time to time we engage in a bit of housecleaning, and we invariably are proud of the results. However, Glenn Donaldson of The Reds, Pinks & Purples puts us to shame. You see, he has been going through his vaults of unreleased recordings (or limited and rare releases) over the past few years and packaging them for our eager ears. The latest is the six-song Everything You Ever Loved. If you are a regular reader you already know our high opinion of the music from this project. And you know that the music really sells itself with melancholy plucks on your heartstrings and melodies that seem like they have been in a happy place in your brain forever. So dive in, kiddos -- may Glenn's vault's never run empty!
The album was supposed to be released on November 5, but you can't keep a good album hidden and it has burst out of the gates already.
Dot Dash are Terry Banks (guitar/vocals), Hunter Bennett (bass), and Danny Ingram (drums). Their former bands include St. Christopher, Saturday People, Glo-Worm, Weatherhead, Swervedriver, Julie Ocean and Youth Brigade. Madman In The Rain is out via Ottawa, Canada's The Beautiful Music.
Bloom is out now via Spanish label Meritorio Records.
Welcome to Welcome. Created by double-bassist and composer Gordon Li recording as Don Glori, the album reflects jazz, soul, Brazilian and funk. Gordon paints with all of the colors available in the musical spectrum resulting in an incredible vibrant and uplifting set of songs. Gordon and his collaborators wield sax, vibraphone, bass, keys, flute, drums, percussion and vocals into a stew that reaches out and grabs your soul. Such a joyful and eminently human set of songs shouldn't be missed.
Welcome is out now via Bedroom Suck & Flightless in Australia and New Zealand, Cargo Records in the UK and EU, and Dispatch Dept. in North America.
Last year we wrote the following about Astrid Swan's LP D/other: "...songs that feature literate and poetic storytelling and ... compelling vocals. ... Don't miss this album, it is absolutely terrific." And if you did miss the album, consider this your reminder to rectify your omission. However, the purpose of this post isn't to grant you a second chance, although it does so, it is to share the good news that one of the finest tracks from D/other, "In The Woods", is now available as a single. It is a song about sadness and the value of accepting your sadness to allow you to go forward. And it is absolutely gorgeous.
The single is out via Helsinki's Soliti Music.
We have stumbled across a 'must have' record that we want to share with you. It is the five-track Polaroid EP by the San Francisco Bay Area band The 1981. The EP consists of three songs previously released as singles, and two new ones. They all are worthy of being singles, and if this were still a time when indie rock ruled the radio airwaves and radio ruled our music experience, all five songs would have a better than even bet of charting well. Of course, this isn't 1981 any more, but this music is here and now and you should grab yourself a copy in digital or cassette format.
The 1981 is Adam (vocals/guitar/bass/drums/keys), and Bobby (keys/synth/organ/vocals). Polaroids is out now via Dandy Boy Records.
The Paperback Throne is Ralph and Sylvia Hector. It appears that they are active with a community of other creatives and participate in projects with various combinations of artists. But they also release music as The Paperback Throne. And under that name they just released "Inside Every Mountain Is A Heart". A grand orchestral pop tune as heartfelt as the title would suggest, it is the centerpiece of the upcoming album Waves. The B-side is "Arms Around You", a folky tune about comforting your loved one. I actually needed these tracks today as my wife crashed on our bike ride and I just got back from the ICU. she is likely to be fine, but it is a reminder to pay attention to what is important and your loved ones, because it all can disappear fast.
The single is available as of October 21. Waves will be released on October 28 via Iffy Folk Records.
Bandcamp for album (US -HHBTM)
Bandcamp for album (My Favorite Bandcamp)
"Slow Down" is an appealing and pleasing reminder to take time to enjoy the happy current moments and not always rush onwards. It is the creation of Marius Elfstedt, a Norwegian producer, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist known up until now for his work in the EDM field. The pandemic prompted him to start a solo project named Whose Rules. After listening to "Slow Down" we hope Marius isn't too slow about releasing more.
Melby are Teo Jernkvist Zurcher (drums/percussion), David Jehrlander (bass/synths), Are Engen Steinsholm (guitar/synths), and Matilda Wiezell (vocals/guitar). Looks Like A Map is out today, October 21, via Rama Lama Records.
Emotional Response Records knows that they have a good thing going with their Typical Girls series. It is so good, in fact, that this month they released Typical Girls 6. The series is dedicated to showcasing women artists in indie music. These records have introduced us to new artists, as well as giving us new songs of artists already on our 'favorites' list. The music encompasses female-fronted bands in indie pop, indie rock, punk and darkwave and regardless of country of origin. To give you a taste of the goodies, please enjoy songs by San Francisco dreampop band Cindy, Sheffield, UK's Persona, and Memphis' Optic Sink.
The album is released in vinyl and digital formats. See the Bandcamp link below.
Today's special song is "Don't Let This Moment Pass You By" by Field School. The song is a wistful slice of sunny, jangling pop that reflects and honors the artist's Puget Sound DIY predecessors (including his former bands). It is the third and final single from the upcoming When Summer Comes LP, which will be out November 18 via Bobo Integral. It is one of our eagerly anticipated albums for this calendar year.
Field School is Olympia, Washington's Charles Bert.
For some time Cool Sounds has been our go-to band for brightly colored soft rock with a good dose of jangle. However, they don't stay in a single lane and in prior releases they have flavored the compositions with dream pop, country and indie pop. In Like That, their new album, the core of soft rock remains, but the band has added some glam to the proceedings. Now, this isn't a sea change because Cool Sounds' songs have always seemed to have a propulsive swagger and sparkly polish. But the glam element pushes to the front edge here and, to our satisfied ears, is a delightfully fresh addition. As often is the case for Cool Sounds a lot of sonic details are packed into the songs (including horns), as well as plenty of whimsey and humor. But it all is in service of a good song and, we suggest, some very danceable tunes.
The main man of Cool Sounds is Dainis Lacey, who writes and sings the songs and, for Like That, played nearly all of the instruments. But he draws on talented friends such as Ambrin Hasnain, Dylan Young and Pierce Morton to round out the proceedings. In our view Lacey is a very talented musical cook and on this album he got the glam, the bounce, the melodies and all of the other ingredients just right. It is a very enjoyable set of songs and is available now via Chapter Music.
The members of the band are Barbara Barrilleaux, Sarah Engel, and Steven Skelton. Cozy Slippers is out now via Subjangle and Kleine Untergrund Schallplatten.
Well none of us pop fans can complain about the volume of material released by Glenn Donaldson's The Reds, Pinks & Purples in the past few years, because he has released more than anyone would have thought possible. And that is especially true given the top quality of the music that comprises those releases. Of course, it is human nature to want more of what we love. But is is too early for a "greatest hits" album (and how would one choose?), and we don't want a career retrospective of the project because we hope there is much more to come. Fortunately, Glenn hit on a solution: They Only Wanted Your Soul. This new LP reaches back in the near past and grabs the four songs from a rare early EP released on a Swedish label and adds six additional songs from that 2019-2020 period that were never formally released. As you would expect, it is the among the finest examples of melancholy dream pop that you could hope to find. So we recommend that you buy it because the only winning move to is have a complete set of The Reds, Pinks & Purples. And we all like to be winners.
They Only Wanted Your Soul is out now in vinyl and digital formats via Slumberland Records. The Bandcamp link contains an note for UK purchasers who want to avoid overseas postage fees.
"Compilation Tape" is the second single from the band's upcoming debut LP, Love Interest. We recently featured the first single, "Letters to Melissa" (link). The album will be released November 25 via Spanish label Meritorio Records. Note that US orders will shop from Portland, thus avoiding expensive shipping charges.
Model Shop are Kevin Emerson (vocals/drums), Jen Fox (Bass), and Ethan Jones (vocals/guitar).
Jangle Jargon is out now via Bedroom Suck. Bedroom Suck is a Brisbane label, but US fans can purchase vinyl at the Polyvinyl Shop link below.
Aluminum are Marc Leyda (vocals/guitar/sampler/synth), Ryan Gonsalves (vocals/bass), Austin Montanari (guitar), and Eric Mohammed (drums). Windowpane EP is out now in digital and vinyl formats via Dany Boy Records.