Monday, January 31, 2022

"Certainty" by Steve Lane


We don't need to tell you that the world could use a bit more positivity right now. In business, in politics, and of course, in music. Thus the timing of the release of "Certainty" is welcome. Replete with references to things that endure (we hope) in the natural world despite the many threats, the piano-driven tune is a ray of defiant hope in the mess around us. Thanks go to the artist, Steve Lane of Melbourne, Australia, who also plans to release his fourth album, The Great Imposter, this year. Thanks also go to Last Night From Glasgow, as the label extended its reach across the globe to bring us "Certainty".




Sunday, January 30, 2022

Sad Eyed Beatniks - Claudia's Ethereal Weaver


This feature joins two threads of our (admittedly scary) subconscious. The first involves Kevin Linn. You may not know Kevin Linn. Actually, to be honest we have never met him either, although we have exchanged correspondence with him in his capacity as honcho for the wonderful little San Francisco label Paisley Shirt Records. He seems like an nice, intelligent man with really good taste in music (in that sense, we might actually be twins). The second thread involves the Sad Eyed Beatniks, a San Francisco jangle/alt/twee pop band whose name is one of our instant favorites and about which we had heard good things, but we hadn't had time to check out their music.

The threads combined because we recently learned that Kevin Linn is the one and only Sad Eyed Beatniks. And as the Sad Eyed Beatniks he has released a really, really good album titled Claudia's Ethereal Weaver. Consisting of ten songs, the album is rooted in well-crafted jangling twee, but also includes an lot of interesting details around the edges that earn an alt pop tag as well. And while you won't often find those touches on a jangle/twee album, they fit the Paisley Shirt Records esthetic perfectly. More importantly they add increased space and light to the already deftly constructed compositions. In our view the result is a set of songs that seems to float in the air -- substantial yet seemingly pulling you into the songwriter's inner musings. Playful, honest and engaging, this is music to cherish.

Claudia's Ethereal Weaver is out now via Paisley Shirt Records and Spain's Meritorio Records.


Bandcamp for album


Various links for Sad Eyed Beatniks and album

Josephine Foster - Godmother


Josephine Foster is a unique and special artist. Her vocal style has been termed operatic and even 'old timey' (as in a radio show from the 1930s). But regardless of label, her voice is lovely and expressive, as well as distinctive. Her songwriting style is art folk, but as she notes it owes as much to Tin Pan Alley as the American folk songbook. Her themes are introspective, spiritual, and cosmic.

Foster's new album is titled Godmother, and for our tastes it is a noteworthy and consistently high quality set of songs. It is noteworthy because unlike previous records, Foster's aural palette includes more expansive instrumentation, including synths and other electronics. As for the consistent quality, you will have to let your ears guide you. However, we can't imagine a music fan settling into a chair by the fire and cuing this album to be anything other than relaxed, inspired, and impressed. This is our favorite album by Foster to date, and if this signals a new approach to recording for her, we say bring it on.

Godmother is out now in vinyl, CD and digital formats via Fire Records.

Friday, January 28, 2022

"Strawberry Boy" by Boy With Apple


Sweden's Boy With Apple is new for us, but they certainly have grabbed our attention with their new single "Strawberry Boy". It is a fully fleshed out post-punk track with soaring '80s synth pop vibe that just makes us feel good all over. The Gothenburg-based trio is releasing three singles this spring, and then will record an LP.

The members of Boy With Apple are Zara Henriksson, Saga Fransson, and Tim Hedlund. "Strawberry Boy" is released via VARO Records.


Bandcamp for Strawberry Boy

Thursday, January 27, 2022

"Let's Pretend We're Not In Love" by The Reds, Pinks & Purples


You can trust us on this: There is no such thing as too much music from The Reds, Pinks & Purples. Admittedly there is little risk in making such a pronouncement so long as Glenn Donaldson crafts the sort of hyper-melodic and sadly romantic pop that he has released in 2020, 2021, and now next week. Yes, Summer At Land's End will be out February 4 via Slumberland Records (North America) and Tough Love (UK/Europe), and we expect it to slay us as has its predecessors. The third and final single from the album is below. See (and hear) what we mean?


Bandcamp for album

Various links for album

"High Street" by Team Me

March will bring the end of winter and first hints of spring, at least around WYMA World Headquarters. It also will bring Something In The Making, the third studio album by Norway's art pop band Team Me. The band has earned justified acclaim over their 10 years together, and we are looking forward to this next chapter in their musical story. You can enjoy "High Street", the first single from the album below.

"High Street" and Something In The Making are released via Propeller Recordings.





Wednesday, January 26, 2022

"Aihai" by Pintandwefall


We are certain that it is due to long-time conditioning, but the word "pint", alone or in combination with other words, triggers happy sensations. And those happy sensations include our feelings in learning that Finnish indie pop band Pintandwefall will release their new album February 25. Titled Seventh Baby, it will be available in vinyl and digital formats via Soliti Music. We will have more for you closer to the release date, but we can share the first single, the soaring "Aihai.

Pintandwefall are Sanna Komi, Ninni Luhtasaari, Ringa Manner, and Iiti Yli-Harja, all of whom are involved in other excellent projects as well. They have released six albums and additional EPs and videos.





Tuesday, January 25, 2022

"Melon Dating Simulator" by Peter Cat


Peter Cat is not, in fact, a cat. And you should also know that the main man behind the project is not named Peter. Peter Cat is a band that crafts sophisticated pop music with a plentiful helping of whimsy and humor. A new EP titled Magus is due in March, but we are discussing the non-cat today because the first single from the EP is streaming now in all usual streaming locations. Bearing the perfectly normal (if you are Peter Cat) name "Melon Dating Simulator", in a story set in an online role playing game. We think will give you an enjoyable taste of this band's brand of pop music.

Peter Cat are Graham Neil Gillespie and some like-minded collaborators.




Bandcamp for single


Monday, January 24, 2022

"Middleman" by The Saint Larsen

 Our congratulations to Northern Portrait vocalist and rhythm guitarist Stefan Larsen on his promotion to The Saint Larsen, especially as such designations typically are bestowed posthumously. Although Northern Portrait remains a working band (a new album will be released soon), Stefan has been writing and recording on his own. We only have the one song - "Middleman" - to evaluate, but it suggests that the upcoming album Show Geezer will capture our ears. "Middleman" is a deft bit of songcraft with hints of '60s/70s songwriters Emitt Rhodes and Harry Nilsson.

"Middleman" is out now via Matinee Recordings, which also will release the album.


Matinee Recordings page for "Middleman"

Kids On A Crime Spree - Fall In Love Not In Line


Today's words of wisdom are Fall In Love Not In Line. But unlike some advice which is dryly delivered by a humorous old coot, this gem arrives as the title of perhaps the best noise pop album we have heard in many years. With racing tempos, fuzzing & buzzing guitars, ace vocals and the most premium deluxe hooks you can imagine, Oakland trio Kids On A Crime Spree have given everyone a reason to comply with the album title by falling in love with the band and the album. We have given you three examples below. In choosing them we ignored the singles because, well, this album seems like a collection of hit singles anyway.

Kids On A Crime Spree are Mario Hernandez (bass/vocals), Becky Barron (drums), and Bill Evans (guitar). Fall In Love Not In Line is out now in vinyl, CD and digital formats via Slumberland Records.

Bandcamp for album

Slumberland Records page for album

"Clown" by Pale Moon


I guess I am a bit late to the party with respect to Pale Moon, as the band has been together for a couple of years. But I will not allow a bit of tardiness to cause me to continue to ignore them.  Pale Moon is a duo consisting of Icelandic musician Arni Gudjonsson (Of Monsters and Men) and Russian vocalist Nata Sushchenko. Having released several well-received songs and videos, they plan to release their debut album this year, and have just dropped their first single of 2022, "Clown". The song displays the duo's '70s-influenced approach to warm, accessible pop, and is a great way to brighten the start of the week.





Saturday, January 22, 2022

Armstrong - Happy Graffiti


Music that makes us happy is a treasure indeed. And Happy Graffiti by Armstrong lives up to its name and brings us great happiness. Gentle guitars, bright keys, and a steady but unobtrusive rhythm section provide a perfect backdrop for sunny, mid-tempo meditations by Welsh singer-songwriter Julian Pitt. The magic of Pitt's songwriting is that his musings are personal, even intimate, but at the same time very welcoming. So all of us are invited to the comfortable world he creates. There are echoes of mid-'80s guitar pop such as Aztec Camera, but that is just a reference point because what Armstrong creates is sui generis.

Happy Graffiti is out now via Country Mile Records in the UK and The Beautiful Music in Canada.

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Nicfit - Fuse


Pounding like your heart after a couple of triple espressos and jittery like, well, a nicotine fit, Fuse is an enveloping sonic world of hardcore garage rock and thrashing punk, courtesy of Japan-based quartet Nicfit. It is a total team effort -- all of the players are up in the mix, locked in together, and committed to a volcanic, but cathartic, wave of sound. But make no mistake, this is not an angry album. The vibe here is live happy and party onward, and we are happy to be along for the ride.

Nicfit are KenKen (bass), Kuwayama (drums), Charley (guitar), and Hiromi (lead vocals). Fuse is out now via Upset The Rhythm.



Bandcamp for Fuse

Upset The Rhythm page for Fuse

"Right Here" by Partner Look


We have another great single by Melbourne's Partner Look. "Right Here" is a song by Dainis, who takes the lead on vocals, but supposedly borrowed the title from on of bandmate Lachlan's songs. I guess when the band is comprised of siblings, friends and romantic partners, it is fair play. The song is upbeat pop magic.

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 upcoming album is By The Book , and it will be released February 4 via Trouble In Mind in North America, and Spunk Records and Osborne Again in Australia and New Zealand.


Bandcamp for album 

additional links to order the album

"Sun Is Always In My Eyes" by Kindsight


Scandinavian indie pop is one of our musical joys, and one of the most promising newer acts is the Danish quartet known a Kindsight. Their debut album is titled Swedish Punk and is due March 25 via Rama Lama Records. We haven't heard the album, but we have heard the past singles from this band and we have the new "Sun Is Always In My Eyes" below. We are confident that the album will not be a punk album. But what it will be is a vibrant merger of fuzzy '80s/'90s indie rock and shimmering Nordic pop. And we find that quite fresh and exciting.

Kindsight are Nina Hyldgaard Rasmussen (vocals/guitar), Soren Svensson (guitar), Anders Prip (bass), and Johannes Jacobsen (drums). Don't You Grow Up" is out now via Stockhom's Rama Lama Records, which also will release the album.

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.



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.





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!


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.


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.



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.


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.


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.



Bandcamp for Blurry Things

Soliti Music