Monday, January 30, 2023

Tubs - Dead Meat


Dead Meat was released last Friday so music fans with their ear to the ground for great new releases probably have listened to it several dozen times by now. For the rest of the world (including those waiting for us to bestir ourselves and write a post), it is time for you to hear one of the better albums of 2023. And yes, we are confident in making this statement less than one full month into the year.

The album is by Tubs whose members count several bands in their backgrounds. Notably, two members are Owen Williams and George Nicholls who were in Welsh band Joanna Gruesome. Other projects on the members' resumes include Snifanny & The Nits, The Snivellers ns SUEP. The band sketches their songs with a wide palette, encompassing post punk, '80s alternative, scrappy jangle. punk aggression and Frightened Rabbit-style folk rock. No matter the breadth, every song has deceptive complexity but fits together like a perfect puzzle. All that is left for the players is to sell it, and oh, do they sell it with fire and intelligence in equal measure.

Dead Meat is out now in CD, vinyl, cassette and digital formats via Trouble In Mind Records.




Bandcamp for album

Saturday, January 28, 2023

"Vulture" by Holiday Ghosts


We typically go into a period of mourning after 'tax day' in the United States. It is sad to make millions of dollars from an indie music blog only have taxes diminish our beer budget. We thank you in advance for your sympathy. However, this year the mourning period will not be gloomy, because on April 21 Holiday Ghosts -- on of our favorite current bands -- will release new album Absolute Reality. The first single is the energetic, and a bit spooky, "Vulture".

Holiday Ghosts are Katja Rackin (vocals/drums), Samuel Stacpoole (vocals/guitar/synth), Benedict Nightingale (guitar/backing vocals), and Morgan Lloyd Matthews (bass). The single and album are released via FatCat Records.

"Into The Puzzle (Shortcut)" by Locked hands


Intriguing electro pop drops from Edinburgh's Locked Hands have been all too infrequent. However, we understand that that will change this year with the project's debut full length, The Fort Rhythm Section. The album is scheduled for release this Spring, but the inventive and rhythmic first track "Into The Puzzle (Shortcut)" is available to stream now.

Locked Hands is the project of Belfast-born, Edinburgh-based Sean Ormsby. Other Ormsby projects are Night Noise Team, Blue Tiles, and Errant Boy, all of which have featured on these pages in the past.

Friday, January 27, 2023

"Sunset Sea Breeze" and "Rain Song" by Whitney's Playland


We find it hard to imagine that true indie pop fans could listen to "Sunset Sea Breeze" and "Rain Song" and not pre-order the album from which they are taken. The songs are dreamy but substantial, and stick in your brain like all great pop does. It is true that Sunset Sea Breeze doesn't release until mid March, but a pre-order gets these two tracks now which makes the wait more tolerable. Complete details are at the Bandcamp link below.

Sunset Sea Breeze is the work of San Francisco band Whitney's Playland. The project began with Inna Showalter and George Tarlson, and more recently added Evan Showalter and Paul DeMartini.

The album is a joint release by Spain's Meritorio Records (vinyl and digital) and San Francisco's Paisley Shirt Records (cassette).

Bandcamp for album and single

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

"Gone Tomorrow" by The Bluebells

Glasgow's The Bluebells have a reputation in knowing indie circles that is outsized in relation to their duration (a few years in the '80s and a couple of reunions) or output. But the reputation is deserved. One of the finer jangle/new wave bands of their era, they produced polished songs that transcended the music produced by many of their contemporaries. Although the core members went on to other projects, they have reformed and will release The Bluebells In The 21st Century, their first LP in a few decades on April 28. Lead single "Gone Tomorrow" is out now, and it is a cracker with a bouncing rhythm and soulful vocals. Strutting and breezy, it made our week. Two more singles will drop before the album. This is a very welcome return.

The Bluebells In The 21st Century will be available in vinyl, CD and digital formats via Last Night From Glasgow.


Various links for "Gone Tomorrow"

Label page to pre-order the album

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Julian Never - Pious Fiction


From the first notes of opening track "Seven Steps" we were hooked. After the 15 track run of Pious Fiction, we sighed and began again. From start to finish this album is superb. The artist is Julian Never, the current recording alias of Julian Elorduy (formerly drummer for MAYYORS and also helmed Fine Steps), who was joined by Mark Kaiser for this album. The foundation for these songs is jangling guitar pop, but sunny melodies are washed in sparkling synths calling to mind '80s New Romantics era hits. Julian's deep tenor is both soothing and commanding. While the entire album is a triumph, we especially like "Seven Steps", "High School", "Grassharp", "Step On" (oh, how we love this song), "Relax" (with a chug and strum that reminds us of New Zealand greats The Bats), and "The Fall". It is early in the year, but this is looking like a top 15 album to us.

Pious Fiction is available now via excellent Sacramento label Mt.St.Mtn and is distributed by Revolver USA and Cargo UK.


Bandcamp for Pious Fiction

Mt.St.Mtn. page for vinyl

Mt.St.Mtn. Website

Monday, January 23, 2023

Peter Hall - About Last Night


Nottingham's Peter Hall is an artist that deserves a wider audience. His musical territory is melodic rock and power pop. His previous EP and debut LP both made our rotations, so we were eager to hear his new mini album, About Last Night. In our view, this work is even more remarkable than its predecessors. We think Peter's special talent is the ability to craft songs that simultaneously tickle the brain and touch the heart. And a post-breakup album sung by a narrator that did not want the breakup does hit the heartstrings. But teardrops aside, the compositions are melodic and delivered in a pleasant and affecting high tenor. Other than our pleasure at the quality of the music, we had the feeling that we weren't hearing the songs for the first time, but rather they were treasured pieces from our catalog.

About Last Night is out now via Subjangle.

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Bandcamp for About Last Night

"Dopamine Detox" by Mary Anne's Polar Rig


In September we introduced the noisy, punk-influenced rock of Mary Anne's Polar Rig via single "Summer Girl" (link). The Malmo, Sweden band has a distinctive and energetic approach to their art and we find it quite refreshing. "Dopamine Detox", the second single from their upcoming album,  is out now and it certainly helps us open our eyes in the morning.

The members of the band are Malin Hofvander and Harald Ingvarsson. Makes You Wonder will be out March 24 via Rama Lama Records. Just because you likely are wondering, the band takes its name from a former mining station in the Arctic which has been repurposed as a hotel.



Bandcamp for Dopamine Detox

Sunday, January 22, 2023

Spice World - There Is No I In Spice World


There Is

There is No I In Spice World may be an odd title, but we are here for the music, not the title. And what music this is! Freemantle's Spice World has graced us with ten tracks of pop ranging from jangling and upbeat to languid and careworn. We are reminded at times of Dick Diver, but Spice World is a bit shaggier and has a 'live to tape' informality of their own. But don't assume that spontaneity means lack of quality. These are inspired compositions, sincerely performed. And  There is No I In Spice World just may be one of the better albums you will hear in the first quarter of 2023.

Spice World are Jonny Burrows, Lyndon Blue, Julia Suddenly, Rhian Todhunter, and Layla Martin. The album is out now via Tenth Court and Meritorio. If you order vinyl, US orders will ship from Portland and European orders will ship from Spain, reducing the mailing costs.

Bandcamp for album

Tenth Court Records page for vinyl

Meritorio Records page for vinyl

Friday, January 20, 2023

"Lose" by Lachlan Denton


We already felt that 2023 was shaping up to be a good year for indie releases. And then it got better -- Lachlan Denton, songwriter and musician with excellent bands The Ocean Party, Pop Filter and Partner Look, is releasing the next chapter of his solo career this year. The album is Furnishings, and will be released via Bobo Integral Records on April 14. We have no doubt that it will be 'must have' album, but you don't even need to trust us. Judge for yourself with the bright and positive "Lose".

Bandcamp for album

Thursday, January 19, 2023

"I Confess" and "In Space" by Connections


For music fans like the editorial board at WYMA (including the hound dog sleeping at my feet and the cat sleeping in my office chair which forces me to type this post standing up), there always is an emotional rush in discovering a new band that tickles our ears. Today's joyous find is Ohio's Connections. With a power pop jangle reminiscent of Big Star and Teenage Fanclub, their new single "I Confess" is an undeniable gem. And then there is the first song released from their upcoming album, the indie pop carnival delight "In Space".

Of course, discovering them doesn't mean we are ace detectives. After all, we have learned that the band has released five albums and has been together for ten years. Number six is titled Cool Change and will be out in March via Trouble In Mind Records. We don't intend to miss it.



Bandcamp for Cool Change

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

"Pa min cykel" by E. Bjorklund

 Swedish songwriter and musician Erik Bjorklund has just released the second single from his upcoming album. The jaunty tune is titled "Pa min cykel" and is about the feeling one has after a long bike ride.

Formerly of Delsbo Beach Club and Blodmyren, the prolific Mr. Bjorklund had written a number of songs in years past that hadn't been released via his other projects. He has collect the songs and given the album the apt title Latar fran en svunnen tid (trans: Songs from the past). It will be out April 14 via Rama Lama Records.

Bandcamp to pre-order album

Label page for album

"Moon Boy" by First Day of Spring


"Moon Boy" is a song that makes us very happy, so we have to thank First Day of Spring for not living up to their name and waiting for, well, the first day of spring before sharing it with the world. Melodic, with an uplifting arrangements and shoegaze accents, it is one of those songs that seem to demand the "replay" button -- and we cannot resist.

The song heralds the coming of the band's EP Fly Over Apple Blossom which will be released February 24.


Friday, January 13, 2023

Various Artists - We Don't Make No Junk!


We have expressed our admiration for mighty little Flagstaff, Arizona label Emotional Response Records on several occasions. They have proved their worth once again with We Don't Make No Junk! Released at the end of 2022, it is the product of the astute decision to include songs from the label's various 2022 releases to showcase the talent and alert potential buyers to talent they may have overlooked. We find it hard to imagine that one could listen to the songs and not investigate full albums by a few of the artists. We have provided a few streams below, but their are many more delights on the album. Fair warning -- Lande Hekt may have the sweetest voice in the world.

Note that while the album is 'name your price', a few coins for the label will make it more likely that they can continue to release albums by indie artists.

Bandcamp for album

Bandcamp for Emotional Response Records

Thursday, January 12, 2023

"Nothing Ever Changes" by Ibex Clone


If we were to make a list of important bands on the Memphis indie scene we could credibly include Ex-Cult, NOTS and Harsh Reactor. Three members of that band formed Ibex Clone and began crafting a fascinating brew of post punk and progressive pop with folk influences. Their debut album From Nowhere was released in February 2021, and the will deliver the follow-up All Channels Clear early next month. Based on what we have heard, expect visionary compositions and mind-blowing performances. We aren't setting them up to fail, we just think the album will be that good. Your first taste via lead track "Nothing Ever Changes" is right here, right now.

Ibex Clone are George Williford (guitar/vocals), Alex McIntyre (bass) and Meredith Lones (drums). All Channels Clear will be out February 3 via Goner Records.

Bandcamp for album pre-orders

Goner Records page for album pre-orders

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

"Nowhere To Go" and "Chance Encounters" by Blues Lawyer


It isn't true that just because WYMA has lawyers on its staff we are obligated to cover any band that references lawyers. Even if the band includes no actual lawyers. However, when a band proves itself to be a hook generator, a riff machine, and creator of some thoughtful tunes in a pop rock wrapper, we are all in. And what we are into is San Francisco foursome Blues Lawyer. Formed about six years ago, the band will release their third album, All In Good Time, next month. Check out the first two singles below. Sure, they may not be real lawyers, but who wants to need (or pay) a real lawyer?

Blues Lawyer are Elyse Schrock (drums/vocals), Rob I. Miller (vocals/guitar), Ellen Matthews (guitars), and Alejandra Alcala (bass/backing vocals). All In Good Time will be out February 17 via Dark Entries Records.



Bandcamp for singles and album pre-orders

Dark Entries Records

EggS - A Glitter Year


While diving into 2023 releases we still are working on worthy recordings from 2022. In the case of A Glitter Year, an exceptionally worth release. The album is by the fabulous French band EggS, and delivers an energetic and vibrant set of garage, indie pop and college rock tunes. It is out now on Prefect and Howlin' Banana.

Bandcamp for A Glitter Year (Howlin Banana site)

Bandcamp for A Glitter Year (Prefect Records site)

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

The Sundries - Full of the Joys of Spring and Magic Johnson EPs


The music of The Sundries is like getting an injection of sunshine directly into your brain. No matter the weather outside, you will be convinced that the sun is sparkling, the breezes warm, and everyone is smiling. Oh, sure, not every lyric is happy. But the melodies are buoyant and the vocals are affecting. If your mood isn't elevated after listening to Full of he Joys of Spring and Magic Johnson EPs, seek professional help.

As you may have discerned from the mouthful of a title, the album combines two previously released EPs. Tracks one through four are from Full of the Joys of Spring EP (released digitally in 2022), and tracks five through nine are from the Magic Johnson EP (released digitally in 2020). The compilation is out now in digital and CD formats via Subjangle. The first-released EP is a bit scrappier, and the second-released EP a bit poppier. But both are well worth your time.


Bandcamp for album

Thursday, January 5, 2023

"Anything" by Frankie Rose

We have long considered Frankie Rose (Vivian Girls, Dum Dum Girls, Crystal Stilts, Frankie Rose) to be one of the brighter lights in the indie music constellation, but we have had no fresh recordings for six years. Happily, that now changes with the announcement of her new album Love As Projection to be released in March. That Frankie is still in full possession of her considerable talent is well demonstrated by the first album track released - "Anything". Lush, layered and melodic, the song heralds an intriguing electro pop chapter for Rose. And, as always, her vocals are stunning. 

Love As Projection will be out March 10 in digital, vinyl and CD formats via Slumberland Records.





Bandcamp for album

Various links to order Love As Projection


Monday, January 2, 2023

"The Voyeur" by Megadose


This month we get a megadose of Seattle musical goodness. Specifically, we get Heating Up by Seattle four-piece Megadose. The album is the band's second, and listeners can expect intriguing lyrics and plenty of hooks. Take a aural peek via the lyric video for the album closer, "The Voyeur". Two previous singles can be streamed at the Bandcamp link below. Based on the evidence to date, we think Heating Up will be a winner. 

Heating Up will be self-released by the band on January 20, and is available in digital and vinyl formats.



Bandcamp got Heating Up

Tall Dwarfs - Unravelled: 1981-2002


If you and/or someone close to you is a regular reader of this blog, we have the perfect after-Christmas present for you: Unravelled: 1981-2002. It is a 55-track compilation of the work of New Zealand's Tall Dwarfs. The project of Alec Bathgate and Chris Knox, who previously had been in Toy Love. Tall Dwarfs was the captivating synthesis of '60s guitar pop, '80s jangle and plenty of inventive experimentation (OK, a bit of weirdness as well). The compilation does not include every one of their recordings, but it covers a large portion with tracks from their entire time as a band. If we had to provide a pithy descriptor it might be "the Beatles and Young Fresh Fellows form their version of Television Personalities". Of course, many reasonable minds can and will differ, but it is hard to do justice to such wide-ranging creativity. Add it to you collection, and you likely will listen often.

Unravelled is available in digital, 4-LP, and 2-CD formats via Merge Records.


Bandcamp for Unravelled