Thursday, December 1, 2022

Skytone - Adrift

 

Skytone is a duo consisting of siblings Rodney and Darius Doddridge. When we first encountered their music they were best described as a jangle pop band. However, for new album Adrift the brothers have created a very appealing tapestry of crystalline synth pop. So the sound is more Stockholm/Malmo than Dunedin/Glasgow. But the hooks are good, the choruses soar, and the arrangements paint in warm, bright colors. This album is so good that you will want to play it right now and think of warmer times. But don't forget to break it out again next summer for a worthy encore.

Adrift is out now via Ottawa label The Beautiful Music.



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Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Storm The Palace - La B​ê​te Blanche

 

Enthralling storytelling, which sometimes stretches credibility in a very good way, is the fare on offer on La Bete Blanche. The album is by Edinburgh-based Storm The Palace. The band, whose members hail from Scotland, the United States, and Spain, cook up a heady stew of progressive folk, chamber pop and, to our ears, a touch of Americana. But what really sets it apart from other folk albums is the quality of the writing and the band's evident joy in the theatrics and drama of their performances. The band cites fantasy cinema, dream pop and metal as among their influences, and that isn't mere puffery. So allocate some time to listen and some exciting musical doors may open for you.

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.



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Monday, November 28, 2022

The Persian Leaps - Machines For Living

 


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.


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Bandcamp for Machines For Living

Model Shop - Love Interest

 

Whether the message of the songs on Love Interest are happy, sad, melancholy or joyous, nothing therein is too heavy to not euphorically rise to the skies on the glorious music created by Model Shop. The Seattle trio has earned their stripes over the year in various projects (including Math & Physics Club for Kevin and Ethan), but this current combination has the feel of the graduate thesis after years of work. Why? Well, the simple answer is that it clicks on all fronts and in all presented styles. The guitars are direct and bright and the choruses are simply superb.  Model Shop can do a slow burner and rock out, but they shine the brightest on the uptempo pop songs such as "Lucky", "Letters to Melissa", Compilation Tape", "I Was Told This Would Be Easy", and "The Greatest Only"

Model Shop are Kevin Emerson (vocals/drums), Jen Fox (bass), and Ethan Jones (vocals/guitar). Love Interest is out now in digital and vinyl formats via Madrid's Meritorio Records. However, vinyl will be shipped to US purchasers from Portland, Oregon, which will save shipping costs.




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Bandcamp for Love Interest

Meritorio Records link for Love Interest

Sunday, November 27, 2022

Field School - When Summer Comes

 

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.


Saturday, November 19, 2022

The Laughing Chimes - Zoo Avenue EP

 


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.



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Bandcamp for Zoo Avenue EP

Various links for Zoo Avenue

Thursday, November 17, 2022

No Zu - Heat Beat

 

If a man in a trench coat approaches you and gives you a choice of "zu" or "no zu", you are hereby advised to take the less obvious choice. Sure, you might be tempted to take the first choice and become the proud owner of some zu which, you think, surely must be better than no zu at all. However, if you take the second choice you will have Heat Beat, the new EP by Melbourne's ultra terrific No Zu. If this discussion hurts your head, turn off your brain, press "play" on Heat Beat and let your heart and feet be your guide. This is punk funk. It is dance. It is world beat. It is dark but vibrant. It is the one and only heat beat.

No Zu are icons in Melbourne (and probably everywhere else they have played). Heat Beat is their first record in several years, and presents their last recordings with vocalist Daphene Camf, who died in 2021. We hope they continue because there is nothing quite like them. But the future aside, the weekend comes and everyone should have Heat Beat on their soundtrack. The EP is available in vinyl and digital formats via Chapter Music.


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Various links for No Zu

The Silent Boys - Sand to Pearls, Coal to Diamonds

 


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.



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Too Good to Be True Records


Wednesday, November 16, 2022

The Photocopies - Wrong Century

 


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.



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Bandcamp for Wrong Century-digital-version

Bandcamp for Wrong Century (CD version)

Saturday, November 12, 2022

Heavenly - Heavenly vs Satan

 

Well, well, well ... this is just heavenly. Literally, Heavenly.

If you are a long term indie pop fan, you certainly are familiar with the '90s UK band Heavenly. Even if you are a more recent fan you undoubtedly have read references to Heavenly in reviews or current indie pop bands because they are a gold standard. And with good reason. The band reflected innate talent plus maturation of the sound of Talulah Gosh, their former musical residence. Heavenly vs Satan was the first of their four albums, displaying nuance and dedication to pop sounds not previously dominant in their former work. It is an absolute delight and, to our ears, perfectly timeless.

Heavenly -- that is Amelia, Mathew, Peter, Cathy and Rob -- has decided to release all four of their albums in vinyl, and have begun with Heavenly vs Satan. The disc also includes the first two singles released by the band. The releases are available via Amelia and Rob's Skep Wax label and records stores. For online orders, see the Bandcamp link below.



Thursday, November 10, 2022

"Lucky" by Model Shop

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.

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Bandcamp for Love Interest

Meritorio Records link for Love Interest


"Jennifer Valentine" by Field School

 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.

Bandcamp for single

Bandcamp for When Summer Comes

Saturday, November 5, 2022

The Reds, Pinks & Purples - Everything You Ever Loved

 

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!


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"Ice Cream Skies" by The Laughing Chimes

 


The optimism of youth plus an appreciation for the enduring appeal of jangle pop provide us with a couple of highlight tracks for our Saturday night. The band is The Laughing Chimes, consisting of teenage brothers Evan and Quinn Seurkamp. The Southeast Ohio duo have signed to Slumberland, and soon will release the six-song Zoo Avenue EP. The first single released from the EP is the jaunty "Ice Cream Skies". But just to let you know that the boys aren't one-hit wonders, we included a stream of the single edit of another of the EP's tracks, "Laurel Heights Court".



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Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Dot Dash - Madman In The Rain

 

All of us music fans have bands whose releases will always attract us. One of such bands for WYMA is Washington, D.C.'s Dot Dash. The trio has earned our ears over the course of seven splendid albums, but the new Madman In The Rain is, in our opinion, their best yet. Powerpop, jangle, and punky indie rock spread over 12 well-conceived tracks. Guitar, bass and drums all variously star and support with energy and nuance. The songs will thrill both fans of '80s and early '90s UK, US and New Zealand guitar pop bands, and fans of The Clash and The Jam. But but there is no imitation here -- just agile talent creating new music on good foundations. We are entirely captivated and have entered it on our year-end list of favorites.

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.




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Monday, October 31, 2022

Smashing Times -Bloom

 

Bloom deserves a lot more fanfare than we have observed about it. Thirteen tracks of jangling, twee folk rock, vibrant psychedelic pop and freakbeat reminding us variously of Felt, The Jasmine Minks, Sneaky Feelings and Television Personalities, and sounding to us a lot like a well-curated playlist of hits. But despite the wide influences, and perhaps partially because of them, the album sounds fresh and original. Of course, credit for that largely goes to the writing and execution by The Smashing Times.

The five-piece resides in Baltimore, Maryland, although their musical hearts seem well traveled in place to the UK, New Zealand and California, and in time to the '60s, '80s and '90s. But our musical hearts travel the same spots in the time-space continuum, which may explain why an album new to our ears sounds like it has been in our brains forever. One listen was all it took to move Bloom to our list of favorite albums this year, and repeated listens find it insinuating up the ranks. We highly recommend that your treat your ears.

Bloom is out now via Spanish label Meritorio Records.




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Meritorio Records

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Don Glori - Welcome

 


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.



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Various links for Welcome

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

"In The Woods" by Astrid Swan

 


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.

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Monday, October 24, 2022

The 1981 - Polaroids EP

 


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.


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Bandcamp for Polaroids (The 1981 band)


"Inside Every Mountain Is A Heart" by The Paperback Throne

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.

Saturday, October 22, 2022

My Favorite - Tender Is The Nightshift: Part I

 

One thing we decided early on in our blog careers is that we never should be embarrassed about covering an album that has been out for a while. Our goal is to feature music we like, not just music released this week that we like. We're actually proud that this excuse can apply frequently, but it is mentioned now because it also applies to the subject of this post. Tender Is The Nightshift: Part I was released about four weeks ago, but we just listened to it a few days ago. And then we listened to it again, and again, and again (we'll stop the reputation because we lost count).

So, what is it, (we hope) you ask. It is new wave, new romantic pop created for the modern times. Does it work, (we hope) you ask. Yes, better than we could have hoped. Of course, when one peels back the cover on My Favorite, the quality is perfectly understandable. Almost 30 years after their first single, the core of the band formed at Stony Brook is back to spin tales. The five members are down to two, but the core principles of new wave/art pop with punk spirit remains, leavened by the passage of time and the potential for eventual apocalypse. There are five tracks (the fifth a dub nice dub of the fourth) on this EP, which is the first of a planned three EP set. Count us as totally on board for the next two EPs as well.

My Favorite is Michael Grace Jr. (vocals/vocoders/melodica), Kurt Brondo (synths/piano/drum machines), and Gil Abad (bass). For this recording they are joined by Jaime Allison Babic (vocals) and Joseph Babic (guitars). Tender Is The Nigthshift: Part I is available as a digital download from the Band's Bandcamp and digitally and in vinyl from the Bandcamp for label HHBTM Records in the UA and wiaiwya in UK/Europe.

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Bandcamp for album (My Favorite Bandcamp)

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Friday, October 21, 2022

"Slow Down" by Whose Rules

 

"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.

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Various links for "Slow Down"


Melby - Looks Like A Map

 

Looks Like A Map by Melby sounds like a triumph. We have been a fan of the Swedish band since we first heard their music, so it is no surprise that we like this new recording. But even as fans we did not anticipate the growth in songwriting and arrangement reflected on the album. They are creating with a broader spectrum and additional layers of sound and the production is excellent. And Matilda Wiezell remains one of our favorite vocalists in the indie scene. The year isn't finished, but we are certain that Looks Like A Map is a top 20 album for us.

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.



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Thursday, October 20, 2022

Typical Girls Volume 6

 


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.


Bandcamp for album

"Don't Let This Moment Pass You By" by Field School

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.

Bandcamp for single

Bandcamp for When Summer Comes

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Cool Sounds - Like That

 

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.



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Bandcamp for album Like That

Various links for album Like That

Various relevant links


Sunday, October 16, 2022

Cozy Slippers - Cozy Slippers

 


Last night when we allowed ourselves to follow the Twitter rabbit hole, we read a tweet that said something like this: 'Look at your last Google search - that is what kills you'. That is relevant to this post, because our immediately prior Google search was "Cozy Slippers". Now, if I we were hard working and focused music writers we would have taken the reminder to get back to writing about the new self-titled album by Cozy Slippers. However, as we were not in a hard working and focused frame of mind we spent time musing about just what death-by-cozy-slipper would entail. Choking on a slipper while trying to eat it? Being beaten by a cozy slipper until dead (would seem to take a really long time)? Or perhaps the three members of this Seattle-based band wreaking vengeance for a bad review? Hmmm, thinking about the last one prompts us to get back to work. We mean, they seem like nice people, but why take chances?

In fact, it is no burden to write nice things about Cozy Slippers. The album is packed with hooky, effervescent guitar pop with plenty of fuzz, jangle, chime and twang. Even when the themes turn a bit dark our heads bobs and our feet are moving. And while this band has no weaknesses and the guitar playing was thrilling, we would be remiss if we didn't mention that this rhythm section rocks our world. We haven't seen Cozy Slippers live yet, but based on the 12 songs on this album, we think it is a show worth seeing. But as seeing the band live won't be a option for may of you, we suggest buying the album, playing it loud, and pretending you are at a show. No one will judge you.

The members of the band are Barbara Barrilleaux, Sarah Engel, and Steven Skelton. Cozy Slippers is out now via Subjangle and Kleine Untergrund Schallplatten.




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Various links for Cozy Slippers and the album

Saturday, October 15, 2022

The Reds, Pinks & Purples - They Only Wanted Your Soul

 

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.



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Bandcamp for album

Friday, October 14, 2022

"Compilation Tape" by Model Shop

 

Like any truly good indie pop song "Compilation Tape" has a solid core of melody and hooks. And this new single by Seattle's Model Shop has that and more. The sweet lyrics, layers of detail and classic arrangement result in a tune that lodges in your brain like it always belonged there. And maybe it does! In any case, if you are a pop fan you won't mind.

"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).

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Bandcamp for Compilation Tape

Bandcamp for Love Interest

Meritorio Records link for Love Interest

Monday, October 10, 2022

Free Time - Jangle Jargon

 


Dion Nania moved from Melbourne to New York to pursue his studies, and we expect that left him with scant free time. But unlike those of us who use our free time to play a game or doom scroll the news, Dion devotes considerable energies to Free Time. In fact, the recently released Jangle Jargon is his third album under that name. And while it is Dion's project and his songs, the end result also draws on contributions from Martin Frawley and Amy Franz (Twerps/Wild Horses), as well as Jonah Maurer and Mike Mimoun. 

Dion is a deft songwriter who evinces a solid vision for what he wants to say and how he will say it. So even when several of his songs touch on styles termed slacker pop or dolewave in recent decades, the material strikes the listener as genuinely fresh and original. And for the most part, Jangle Jargon is comprised of timeless guitar pop -- well crafted and expertly performed. An album from Dion is always welcome, but we think that this one is the best Free Time recording so far.

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.




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Polyvinyl shop for US vinyl orders

Aluminum - Windowpane EP

 

Put your face up to the Windowpane EP and experience the thrilling music of Aluminum. The San Francisco quartet makes an aggressive shoegaze wrapped around a nugget of sugary pop and riding baggy rhythms. And then they sidestep being typecast with some sweet dreampop. The effect is exciting and addictive.

The EP begins with the title track, which may become your favorite driving track although it sounds damn fine sitting in my desk chair. After the following gauzy electric interlude of "Waiting For Tomorrow", Aluminum returns with the racing, slashing shoegaze of "Solar" -- and yes, it does seem as hot as the sun. In a delightful change of pace, "With You", the fourth track, is a gentle dreampop tune. "Secrets Breed" is another brief electronic breath-catcher before the closing explosion of "Red & Gold" which combines the various facets of Aluminum to great effect.

Approach this one with an open mind, and we think you will regard Aluminum as one of your top discoveries of the year.

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.


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Bandcamp for Windowpane EP

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Order link for cassette