NOVA BLAST are Anti Zurowski (vocals/guitar) and Viktor Hober (drums). Eccolalia will be released on September 16 in vinyl and digital formats via Rama Lama Records.
NOVA BLAST are Anti Zurowski (vocals/guitar) and Viktor Hober (drums). Eccolalia will be released on September 16 in vinyl and digital formats via Rama Lama Records.
"Wearing Devine" hovers in the fog like a light just out of reach. Tantalizing, seductive, but slightly obscured. It has a touch of Lee Hazelwood, Patsy Cline and other American '60s artists, but then warped through a woozy, psychedelic filter that shades the song in darker tones. It is the work of New Zealand singer songwriter Ben Woods, assisted here by Lucy Hunter (of Opposite Sex) and Marlon Williams, and is the second single taken from his upcoming album Dispeller. And if this is the sort of artistry that Ben delivers on the album, we are getting in line.
Dispeller is out July 15 via Meritorio (Europe/UK), Melted Ice Cream (NZ), and Shrimper (USA)
Ben Cook and his band have released another delicious album under the Young Guv moniker. GUV IV starts with the jangle pop/power pop of GUV III but spreads its wings into other euphoric guitar pop territories such as west coast guitar pop, country rock (see "Maybe I Should Luv Somebody Else" below), psychedelic pop, and even a bit of danceable '90s rock (see "Overcome" below). Of course, fans of Ben Cook and Young Guv will not be surprised at the versatility or the pervasively top quality melodies and performances. That it is the project's second record in the first half of 2022 is amazing, but some people just spend their pandemic time more fruitfully than the rest of us.
GUV IV is out now via Run For Cover Records.
Slack Times consists of Chris McCauley (guitar/vocals), Will Stewart (guitar/vocals, and Stuart Norman (guitar). Carried Away is out now via Meritorio Records.
We are very big fans of the music that has been coming out of the San Francisco Area lately. Two of the bands we are following are Cindy and Tony Jay, so it is no surprise that Flowertown also is a favorite. Comprised of Karina Gill of Cindy and Michael Ramos of Tony Jay, Flowertown makes reverb and haze drenched dream pop that touches our souls like few other artists. Next month they will release a 12" titled Half Yesterday, and today they presented the title track via a video created by Karina and Michael. We have played the video so often today that I expect it soon will only show in black and white.
Half Yesterday will be out July 8 via Mt.St.Mtn. (vinyl) and Paisley Shirt Records (digital/cassette).
For the couple of readers whose Swedish is rusty, the title of this song translates as "I dreamt about you tonight". It is the latest single by Per-Olof, a former punker who, to our delight, has recast his creations as pop songs under the name Per och Olof. We think it is a great sound. And Rama Lama Records have signed him, which suggests that they think he has a great sound. Obviously, if Per och Olof is endorsed by WYMA and Rama Lama Records, his music is a solid choice for your playlist.
"Jag drömde om dig inatt" is out now as a digital single via Rama Lama Records.
We aren't interested in writing many words tonight. It has been a long day of yard work, house chores, and a 35 mile cycle. So instead we'll just give you a song that has pleased us today: "Bentley Coupe" by Social House. Modern, melodic, and a artful blend of genres and influences. For our ears, it is a perfect summer jam. If only our Bentley wasn't in the shop ...
Social House is Michael "Mikey" Foster and Charles "Scootie", Pittsburg gents transplanted to Los Angeles. "Bentley Coupe" is out now on all digital platforms.
Alabama trio Slack Times will release their new album Carried Away next week. As evidenced by "I'm Trying", the final single from the album, the band's sweet spot is sunny guitar pop of the particularly jangly kind. Of course, that makes them our kind of band. Think Athens, Georgia meet California. But you don't have to imagine it, just press "play" below.
Slack Times consists of Chris McCauley (guitar/vocals), Will Stewart (guitar/vocals, and Stuart Norman (guitar). Carried Away combines three previous EPs, and will be out June 24 via Meritorio Records.
The members of Beatenberg are Matthew Field (vocals/guitar), Robin Brink (drums), and Ross Dorkin (bass). The South African trio has been popular for over a decade but has been quiet lately as some members worked on other projects. This single is the first taken from their upcoming self-titled EP which will be released November 10 via UK label Leafy Outlook.
Music from Cool Sounds is the most versatile and durable feel good material available. There is none of the jitters like after drinking a second flat white right after the first. And no hangover like after one or more pints past our limit. You can just keep playing them and vibing to the, well, cool sounds. So when we learned that Cool Sounds has a new song, we didn't delay in playing it. And we have played it quite a bit today.
"Hello, Alright, You Got That?" is the first single from the upcoming LP, Like That. This edition of the project marks a change for the project in that Dainis Lacey does most of the playing, as well as the singing and writing -- albeit with some contributions from Pierce Morton, Dylan Young and Ambrin Hasnain. We are advised to anticipate a bit of glam added to the Cool Sounds sound as well, so it will be an adventure. And speaking of adventure, check out the video for "Hello, Alright, You Got That?" It appears to be Dainis and Ambrin relaxing at home with a pool guy in the background, but things aren't quite what they seem. Oh, and we want the 'pool guy's' shirt. Very much.
Like That will be out in October 7 via Chapter Music.
And now we bring you flowers -- The Orchids. Yes, dear readers, Glasgow's fine musical flowers have produced a new blossom titled "This Boy Is A Mess. The song is taken from their next album, Dreaming Kind, which will drop in vinyl, digital and CD formats via UK label Skep Wax. It is their first album since 2014, but "This Boy Is A Mess" demonstrates that the band has not lost their touch for powerful and nuanced songwriting.
The Orchids have been together for over 30 years, and have delivered multiple album, compilations and singles. The members are Ronnie Borland, James Hackett, Chris Quinn, John Scally, and Keith Sharp. Additional contributions to this recording were made by Ian Carmichael, Pauline Hynds Bari, and Paul Quinn.
As for the album, September 2 is the drop date for digital and CD versions, and October 14 is the magic date for vinyl. Yes, that is a long time, but you can pre-order now. And that is a comfort to many of us, especially those of us who have OCD about getting our CD.
Usually when we decide to undertake something as a one off, we are lucky if it happens once. The fact that if we manage to accomplish the thing once, we stop at that point has less to do with our discipline and resolve and more to do with our level of competence and follow through. Compare that to New Zealand indie legends Tall Dwarfs. Members Chris Knox and Alec Bathgate intended the project to be a one off, but it lasted 21 years and produced 13 albums and EPs. By the way, don't feel badly for us -- this isn't the first time we have come off second best in comparison with a beloved band and it won't be the last. In fact, we think it quite likely we have an unblemished record of finishing second in two way comparisons. We say "likely" because to be more certain would require research, and if we really researched something, we assure you it would be a one off.
But back to the Tall Dwarfs. Let it be known that Merge Records is releasing a boxed set (4 X LPs or 2 X CDs, both with digital DL card) of the band's material. The set consists of 55 songs curated by one-half dwarf Bathgate. The material is packed with lo fi gems displaying intelligence, craft, and inspired musicality. The listeners will discern the influence the Tall Dwarfs had on a multitude of other bands, including the Mountain Goats, Pavement, and Yo La Tengo. We already know that this will be one of our favorite releases of the year.
This is an announcement, not a review. But we can't leave you without something for your ears:
"Malice Palace" isn't just an early summer tune, it is a tune that is summer. It shimmers and shines so brightly that eye protection is advised (perhaps a bit of sunscreen as well, just to be sure). And it bubbles and surges like the revelers on the dance floor at a beachside concert. This little gem is the work of Los Angeles based Cones, which is comprised of brothers Jonathan and Michael Rosen. The song alone could be the lads' triumph of the season, but it just is a single from their upcoming August 5 album Almanac. Mark your calendars.
Garbage & the Flowers was formed in Wellington, New Zealand by Yuri Frusin and Helen Johnstone, who have been assisted by various colleagues over the years. However. it appears that they may make their home in Australia at present. In fact, Cinnamon Sea was recorded in Freyerstown, a small village in Victoria, Australia.
Cinnamon Sea is out now in digital and vinyl formats via Fire Records.
I swear this band is going to make me look stupid (or stupider) at some point. Their name is Near Beer, but the way my mind functions/disfunctions I have caught myself typing the name as 'neer beer' and 'near bear'. Leaving aside the fact that being near a beer is far preferable to being near a bear, a band that makes good music deserves to have their name properly referenced. As they march towards the summer release of their debut album, Near Beer has released their second single from the set. "Mixtape Generation" is a pop punk blast with youthful Replacements-style energy. Enjoy the video version with a pre-wedding love fest that goes very wrong, but ends up happy. Bloody, but happy..
Near Beer - formed on the foundations of The Henry Clay People - are Joey Siara (vocals/guitar), Brent Stranathan (drums), and Jeremy Levy (bass/backing vocals). The album will be released via Double Helix Records.
Hectic day (and evening) at work, and we craved the perfect late night music to wind down. Enter stage left, LA singer songwriter Reverend Baron. We don't claim to know much about him, but these two songs were the perfect elixir for a Monday night, and that doesn't come easy.
The right reverend has a new album titled From Anywhere coming out June 24 via Coalmine Records, and we intend to be in line to check it out. We suggest you do the same.
From the academy of deep soul and no ego, Reverend Baron delivers visions of liquor store East LA, the off-the-freeway dry mirage of slow motion graffiti and lonely seagulls. A nylon stringed zen fog with themes of woozy love, layered dimensions of nostalgia and glazed neighborhood tales that roll in with a natural ease.
After notching a permanent status in the skateboarding orbit as Danny Garcia, he transferred his effortless style, dedication and authenticity into music. Practicing a philosophy of demystifying the process and doing it yourself, he has become a proficient multi-instrumentalist, engineer, and producer of his own and other artist's music. All streams of curiosity converge into the river.
An enigma, Reverend Baron emerges from the proverbial gray overpass with no sense of urgency. He takes a sharp gaze at his surroundings and processes them through a factory of depth and gentle swag to yield a sound that sits as easy as fallen molasses on the bodega shelf. The songs are an unassuming invitation to either walk through the doorway or lean on the wall outside, either way something beautiful and rare.
Waving the flag of Teenage Fanclub powerpop, but coloring with their own sweet melancholic style, The Boys With The Perpetual Nervousness are emerging as one of the finer guitar pop projects to invade our brains in recent times. New album The Third Wave Of ... will be out in September via Tear Jerk Records in Australasia and Bobo Integral Records in the rest of the universe. But to start your summer right, you can enjoy "Turning Red", the latest single from the album, right now.
TBWTPN are Andrew Taylor and Gonzalo Marcos.
Clamm are Jack Summers (guitar/vocals), Miles Harding (drums/backing vocals), and Maisie Everett (bass/backing vocals). Care will be released August 19 via Meat Machine in UK, Europe and Asia, and by Chapter Music everywhere else. Clamm will be touring the UK and Europe in late August and early September.
After thrilling us with their jangling creations in the past, The Stroppies have expanded their sound to include more distortion and fuzz, and color in darker aural hues. We took "The Perfect Crime", the lead track for their new album Levity, for a test drive in mid-March (link) and were duly impressed. We now have the full album and can report that it is all that we could have hoped for. It seems that keys come more to the forefront than in the past, although The Stroppies at this point remain a guitar pop band, and the production is more polished. But polish doesn't not arrive at the expense of wit or the palpable personality of each of the songs. Various members of the band take turns with lead vocals, with the others often harmonizing to good effect. Commentators often link The Stroppies to the classic guitar pop sound of the Flying Nun label, and we find the reference neither inapt nor lazy. However, this band isn't just recreating that beloved sound, but rather building a new sound on the foundations.
We heartily recommend this album.
The Stroppies are Angus Lord, Caudia Serfaty, Rory Heane, and Adam Hewitt. Levity is out now via Tough Love Recordings.
Of course we chose to feature "Audacity" because we like the song and are fans of The Muldoons. But we cannot deny that the cover art says something to an early middle of the work week morning that really needs to be said. It seems that The Muldoons are singing about a different audacity -- an audacious romantic pick up (We understand, it happens to us all the time. Really, it does.). As for the song, it is upbeat and sparkles, jangles and chimes. If it doesn't lift your spirits, your spirits aren't going to be lifted. And the trumpet adds a brassy accent that is like chocolate on top of your ice cream cone on a summer day.
"Audacity" is available as a name-your-price digital download via Last Night From Glasgow.
For this album Ray was joined by Matt Bullimore (Mantles) Yea-Ming Chen (Yea-Ming and the Rumours / Dreamdate), Joel Cusumano (Sob Stories), Jasper Leach (Burner Herzog /Tony Molina) and Owen Kelley (Owen Adair Kelley / Sleepy Sun). Swingshift EP is released in digital and vinyl formats via Mt St Mtn, Tear Jerk, Dandy Boy, and Safe Suburban Home.
The album is out now in digital, CD and vinyl formats via Errant Media.
The Circle combines the old and new. The 'new' is the 12 tracks of pop infused indie rock that comprise this solo album by the UK's Jim Shepherd. The 'old' is the backstory of Jim Shepherd. Jim was the lead singer, guitarist, and songwriter of Creation Records and Poptones darlings Jasmine Minks. And if that isn't enough of a selling point -- although it damn well should be -- consider the worthies that have joined in to support Jim on this album: Dave Morgan (The Loft, the Weather Prophets, and Subway Sect) on drums and production, Frank Sweeney (The June Brides) on strings and keys, and Arash Torabi (The June Brides, The Distractions, Beat Hotel) on bass. Guest vocals were supplied by Tommy Reid (The Jasmine Minks), Beth Arzy (The Luxembourg Signal, Jetstream Pony), Vapour Trails, and Marianne Dissard.
As fans of Jim's past work would expect, the songwriting for The Circle is as superb as it is varied. Rock, jangle, powerpop psychedelic pop and a bit of soul are all represented, and the performances are unfailingly tight irrespective of style. But what makes this album so special for our ears is the palpable passion for the material and the joy of playing it. The Circle is not some former rocker living off the past, it is a set of songs as vital as any indie rock you will find anywhere today. This album deserves a wide audience -- do your part.
The Circle is out now in digital, CD and vinyl formats via Spinout Nuggets.
We are here to suggest that you can turn your computer/phone into an instrument of excitement and energy, all without visiting a site that would shock your mother. All you need to do is hit the Bandcamp link for Where's The One?, the 2022 release by supergroup Congotronics International. You get the excitement and energy promised above, and a groove that may keep you up way past your bedtime. After all, the album lasts 82 minutes.
We realize that the term supergroup may be overused, but Congotronics International earns it. The project combines Konono No.1, Kasai Allstars, Juana Molina, Wildbirds & Peacedrums, and members of Deerhoof and Skeleton. The project was developed over a period of years, including a lot of remote collaboration as well as face to face sessions. With multiple styles and artists speaking different languages the music is adventuresome and expansive, but remains rooted in the fusion of traditional Congolese music and rock. Dig in, folks, it is like an audio National Geographic collage.
Where's The One? is out now in vinyl, CD, and digital formats via Crammed Discs.
How about an entertaining combination of '60-style garage and powerpop? Sounds good to us, and comes via Malmo, Sweden's And the Broken. The three track EP is titled Black and Blue, and displays the band's ability with both upbeat and melancholy songs.
And the Broken are Mans Katsler (drums/vocals), Conn Fridh (bass/vocals), Linus Lindvall (guitars/vocals), Johan Hellsten (guitars) and Tobias Borelius (lead vocals). Black and Blue EP is out now as a digital download -- see the Bandcamp link below.
Yellow is out now via Osborne Again.
Ireland's Bobby Aherne is a pop savant who entertains in various styles via several different projects. His musical guises over the years include Sir Bobby Jukebox, Popical Island (a collective of multiple talents), and No Monster Club. It is the last of the three that draws our attention today to listen to their recent LP, Deadbeat Effervescent. We must admit that we don't know the reason for "deadbeat" in the album title, but the music more than earns the term "effervescent". But that has been a recurring and appealing attribute of Bobby's music. It is upbeat and full of hooks, often with an almost circus quality. Humor is a common component, as is a variety of instruments and other sonic details, creating a sonic collage that dazzles and surprises the ears without appearing overstuffed.
The songs on Deadbeat Effervescent are classic No Monster Club creations, only tighter (as tight as NMC gets, that is) and seemingly more polished than previous records. They take the listener on an entertaining musical trip the almost leaves one breathless, and we highly recommend it to end your week on a positive note.
On this outing No Monster Club are Bobby, Tim Falcon Prime, and Mark Chester. Deadbeat Effervescent is out now via Emotional Response Records.
An album from Kevin Robertson doesn't need a lot of words, it really just needs your ears. The man is a master of jangling psychedelic and guitar pop favorably recalling our favorite music of the '60s and '80s. His new Teaspoon of Time is another solo effort, although he also is a member of The Vapour Trails. The Scots singer songwriter is a musical multi-tool. His songwriting is melodic and evocative, his vocals gentle and nuanced, and he plays multiple instruments well. His previous solo album Sundown's End was a welcome treat, but this album even tops its predecessor. Spend and evening with Teaspoon of Time, and it will be an evening well spent.
Of course, an album this good requires contributions from a number of talented individuals. In addition to Kevin (vocals/guitars/keys/harmonica), contributors include Nick Bertling (drums/keys/bass/Sitar/guitar), Scott Robertson (bass/backing vocals/guitar/keys). Additional guest contributions were provided by Dave Morgan, Andrew Taylor, Arash Torabi, Jim Shepherd, Tali Trow, and Nick Frater. Teaspoon of Time is out now via Subjangle Records and Futureman Records
Say Sue Me are Byungkyu Kim (lead guitar), Sumi Choi (vocals/rhythm guitar) Jaeyoung Kim (bass) and Sungwan Lim (Drums). The Last Thing Left is out now via Damnably Records and Beach Town Music.
If When You Motor Away decided to hire a house band for all of our functions, Holiday Ghosts would be one of the top invitees. In fact, we aren't hiring a house band because we actually lack a physical facility to house a function and the house band. Further, the term "hire" suggests some compensation. We have some money from time to time, but summer is coming and that means our beer inventory needs a bump so, well, I think you understand.
But our need to have the essentials of life doesn't diminish our joy at learning that Holiday Ghosts have more music ready for our ears -- music we can listen to and pretend it is played by a house band we had the money to hire. The upcoming installment is an EP titled Credit Note and it is due July 27 via FatCat Records. We understand that the digital version has five tracks, and the vinyl version includes a bonus sixth track. We haven't heard the entire EP, but based on past recordings we expect energetic indie rock with good pop smarts and a sound and performance that could convince you that they are live and in the flesh, albeit in your ears. Take it for a test drive with title track "Credit Note".
The core of Holiday Ghosts has always been Katja Rackin (drums/vocals) and Samuel Stacpoole (guitar/vocals), but they have collaborated with various friends for past recordings. For Credit Note they are joined by B. Spanks (2nd guitar) and Morgan Lloyd-Mathews (bass).
A year after releasing their well received LP Marriage, Swedish duo Wy is preparing to drop an EP titled Something Amazing. The title of the EP seems apt when considered with the beautiful lead track "Teeth". Dealing frankly with the desire to protect someone close but realizing the limits of one's ability to do so, it demonstrates the married couple's connection with real emotions.
Wy is Ebba and Michel Gustafsson Agren. "Teeth" is out now, and Something Amazing will be released June 17 via Rama Lama Records.