Sunday, January 16, 2022

The Lucksmiths - Why That Doesn't Surprise Me (20th anniversary edition)



We don't mean to be judgmental, but if you are here you are likely to be an indie pop fan. And if you are an indie pop fan Australian guitar pop heroes The Lucksmiths are known to you. You probably also know that the group is no loner active. But like all artists that make good music the band lives on through their songs and Matinee Recordings is giving them extended life via  the 20th anniversary release of The Lucksmiths' seminal 2001 album Why That Doesn't Surprise Me. The album was the fifth by the trio of Marty Donald, Tali White, and Mark Monnone, but it marked their first use of a professional studio and producer. The choice not only led to higher production values but also a expanded sonic textures.

The release is available in CD and vinyl formats via Matinee Recordings and Lost and Lonesome Recording Company in Australia.

Matinee Recordings page for record

Die Schiefe Bahn - 6 Song Demo EP

 

Die Schiefe Bahn is a German post punk trio with members in Hamburg and Berlin. Their promise is evident from these six demos which were recorded after three rehearsal sessions. It originally was available on a self-released cassette, but the professional ears at Emotional Response Records found it worthy of digital and vinyl release (the vinyl is a 7" as the songs are brief). We think they are right.



Bandcamp for record

Friday, January 14, 2022

The Royal Landscaping Society - Means of Production

 


Today our thoughts turned to landscaping. We didn't actually go out and tend the garden. Instead we nestled in our favorite chair and cued up Means of Production, the new album by The Royal Landscaping Society. The album is a stunningly lovely and uplifting landscape of romantic pop songs. Generously packed with 17 songs collected from various past records and covers of worthy indie pop peers, it is an album to cherish and will seem as fresh in a decade as it does today. We intend to sit by the fire and listen to this one several more time before bed.

Based in Seville, Spain, The Royal Landscaping Society is a duo consisting of Chris Romero (vocals/guitars/synths/machines) and David Vidal (bass). Means of Production is out now via Matinee Recordings.

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Matinee Recordings for Means of Production

Thursday, January 13, 2022

"In The Eyes Of Our Love" by Yumi Zouma

 

New Zealand's Yumi Zouma has long been among our favorite pop bands, and we think that 2022 could be their best year ever. They have a tour beginning this spring (pandemic willing) and a March 18 release of new LP Present Tense. The first two songs shared from the album are swoon-worthy, and the new "In The Eyes Of Our Love" raises the stakes with a racing beat and an aggressive edge. By the end of the year, everyone should love this band.

Yumi Zouma is Christie Simpson, Josh Burgess, Charlie Ryder, and Olivia Campion. All are New Zealanders although some now reside in New York and London. Present Tense will be their fourth and will be released via Polyvinyl.



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Bandcamp for Present Tense

Various links for Present Tense

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

"Breadcrumbs" c/w "Ink Bleeds" by Seablite

 

We have been lax publishers in recent weeks. We will try to change that but life sometimes intrudes so progress will by slow. However, tonight we bring you the latest 7" by San Francisco quartet Seablite. The band has wowed us with previous releases, and we are equally impressed with "Breadcrumbs" c/ "Ink Bleeds". It is a prime showcase for the Seablite's blend of '80s crash pop and shoegaze, with an extra dose of sugar in the vocals.

Seablite are Lauren Matsui, Galine Tumasyan, Jen Mundy, and Andy Pastalaniec (Chime School). The single is out now via Emotional Response Records.

Sunday, January 9, 2022

"I Still Owe You Everything" by The Reds, Pinks & Purples

The Reds, Pinks & Purples is setting the standard against which we are measuring indie pop these days. Is that fair? Maybe, maybe not. But the heart does what the heart wants to do. Of course, there is a wide variety of pop music, and we don't expect, or want, everyone to have the same lyrical shading or hushed, love-scarred vocals. But Glenn Donaldson's knack for melody and crafting tune after tune that you feel you must own -- and own right now -- is a high bar. And Glenn has done it again with a new two-song single titled "I Still Owe You Everything". It is available digitally for 'name your price'. Happy Sunday evening!

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Bandcamp for "I Still Owe You Everything"

Saturday, January 8, 2022

The Sweetheart Revue - Good News, Bad News

 


Not all albums live up to their names, but Good News, Bad News is not just any album. The band is Glasgow's The Sweetheart Revue, headed by singer-songwriter-guitarist Gerard Sampaio, who is joined by Jack Cocker (guitar/vocals), Liam McArdle (bass), Heather Phillips (violin/vocals), Moshe Price (drums), and Jen McKee (cello/accordion/piano/vocals). They have been together since 2007, but recording Good News, Bad News presented two special challenges: Recording an album during a pandemic with several associated lockdowns; and Gerald's inoperable brain tumor. Not surprisingly, the latter challenge provides the "bad news" portion of the proceedings, addressed in several songs with an admirably positive outlook. However, the album contains good news songs as well. But whether delivering good news or bad news, the songwriting and performances are top shelf. Rarely do we encounter an album with this level of humanity and connectedness, and we treasure it. We encourage you to do so as well.

In addition to the members listed above, additional assistance was provided by Tim Davidson (pedal steel guitar), Jamie Houston (keys), J.P. Berrie (horns) Gordon Kyle (horns).

Good News, Bad News is out now in digital, vinyl and CD formats via Last Night From Glasgow.



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Label shop for the album

Thursday, January 6, 2022

Announcing: Upcoming album by Kids On A Crime Spree

Oakland's Kids On A Crime Spree is one of the best power pop/noise pop bands making music these days. Unfortunately, getting noticed in the biz is a bit difficult. And that is where we come in. We want all our readers -- yes, both of you, pay attention -- to know that the trio will release an LP titled Fall In Love Not In Line on January 21 via Slumberland Records. You don't have to just take our word for the band's quality as we have provided the three tracks from the album released to date below. "Goods Get Got", "All Things Fade", and "When Can I See You Again" are melodic, punchy, concise and warm, and they suggest good things for the album.

Kids On A Crime Spree are Mario Hernandez, Becky Barron, and Bill Evans.



Bandcamp for album

Various links for album

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Makthaverskan - För Allting

 


The pandemic seems to have given many artists the time to focus on creating music. As a result, we are still devoting space to worthy releases from 2021, despite our calendars showing 2022. Of course, we won't get to all of them, but we will get to as many as we are able while still championing current releases. And that brings us to För Allting, the latest album by Gothenburg, Sweden's Makthaverskan. This quintet writes with a broad scope, embracing post-punk, shoegaze, dream pop and some jangle pop without putting a wrong foot forward. Always evincing a fierce passion, the band upped the production values for this album and to our ears it is their best effort yet. Although the band was formed in 2008, they still sound fresh, focused and sincere.

För Allting is out now via Run For Cover Records.





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Bandcamp for album


Tuesday, January 4, 2022

"Try Try Try" by Ian McKelvie

 

We have been enthralled by the guitar pop creations of Ian McKelvie, recording as The Colourful Band, in the past decade. But Ian has taken a risk for his latest single, reimagining himself in '70s R&B style. It isn't a shift we would have anticipated but we have to say that he has nailed it. Take "Try Try Try" for a test drive below and if it warms your winter heart note that it is available for 'name your price' on Bandcamp.

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Bandcamp for "Try Try Try"

Monday, January 3, 2022

The Fish John West Reject - Best Steet

 

It may just be that the best EP we hear this month is by a bunch of rejects -- specifically, The Fish John West Reject. The record is the five-track Best Street. The band was formed in Tasmania in the '80s and later relocated to Melbourne. They formerly were known as The Dunaways, but later acquired their current idiosyncratic but memorable moniker.  A versatile band, they are known for power pop and jangle pop.

Best Street is a delightful representation of their talents. Opener "Southwesterly" is an jangle pop gem in true Australian style. The following "Elwick Drive-In" is a power pop standout. The following three songs display the band's ability to rock with style.

The players on the EP are Mark Narkowicz (vocals/guitar), Andrew Viney (vocals/bass), Graham Rankin (drums), Harvey Saward (acoustic guitar/keys), Ted Lethborg (guitar). The songs were written by Narkowicz, Rankin, Viney and M.D. Witheford. Unfortunately, Witheford has passed away and the EP is dedicated to his memory.

The Fish John West Reject has self-released Best Street, so Bandcamp may be your best source.



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Bandcamp for Best Street

Spotify for Best Street

Color Dolor - Blurry Things

 

Finnish duo Color Dolor are versatile, with past recordings bearing elements of dreampop, electronica, R&B, and club music. However, for the recently released Blurry Things Stina Koistinen (vocals) and Nicolas "Leissi" Rehn (instruments and programming)  have focused a bit more tightly in the dreampop realm. The promo promises magical sounds and, to our ears, the band delivers on the promise. The songs on Blurry Things are bright, colorful, and dynamic with a plentitude of delightful details sprinkled in like extra ribbons on the presents we opened last month. This album really is like just now finding a lost pile of presents that were overlooked at the side of the overstuffed chair on Christmas morning.

Blurry Things is out now via Helsinki's Soliti Music.




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Bandcamp for Blurry Things

Soliti Music