Saturday, March 25, 2023

"She's In My Head" by The Plus 4


The first three months of 2023 have been the most productive in terms of releases in the career of the UK's The Plus 4. Of course, we are compelled to admit that -- to our knowledge -- that three month span contains the only releases from the band. However, the quality of the releases are striking. The band clearly loves the guitar pop of the '60s, and presumably has a good collection of Beatles music.

This brings us to the latest release, "She's In My Head". We are particularly fond of this one as it veers more into the garage end of the British Invasion spectrum. And while the band aces the test on that score, they still manage to pack in a few surprise details. All in all, a joyful listen and a welcome addition to our growing collection of music from The Plus 4.

Friday, March 24, 2023

"Let's Hang Out Forever" by The High Water Marks


With the weekend here it is time for some top class powerpop here at WYMA World Headquarters. The selected track is the just released "Let's Hang Out Forever" which, you must admit, is a perfect weekend sentiment. The song is by The High Water Marks and is taken from their upcoming album Your Next Wolf. We can only howl with pleasure.

The Grøa, Norway fourpiece consists of Hilarie Sidney (Apples in Stereo and Elephant 6 co-founder), Per Ole Bratset, Logan Miller & Øystein Megård. Their new album Your Next Wolf will be released in June via Minty Fresh.

"Please Fall In Love With Me (Booth and the bad angel)" by Lotte Kestner


A Seattle artist that deserves more press -- from us as well as others -- is Anna-Lynne Williams. Recording and performing as Lotte Kestner, she creates intricate and delicate folk-pop songs that tickle the brain and massage the heart. Today we feature the stunning take on "Please Fall In Love With Me (Booth and the bad angel)". If this stirs your interest, please click on the Bandcamp link below and check out her early 2022 album Lost Songs, which seems to us a good place to begin a deep dive.

Ann-Lynne was the vocalist and songwriter for Trespassers William, and also has collaborated with other artists.



Bandcamp for Lotte Kestner's releases

"Posters" / "My First Beer" by Teenage Tom Petties


Tom Brown, who also has been on these pages with this duo Rural France, has found his way into our lineup again with his bedroom-project-turned-full-band Teenage Tom Petties. Their entre is via today's release of the double A-side "Posters" / "My First Beer". It is uptempo guitar pop with plenty of jangle and a good dose of punk attitude. Sounds right up our alley, you say? You are right.

Teenage Tom Petties are Tom Brown (guitar/vocals/drums), Jim Quinn (bass), Rob Fawkes (lead guitar), and Galen Richmond (backing vocals). This single is out now via Safe Suburban Home and Repeating Cloud Records. Tom released a full album under this name last year, and he and the band plan to record another one this summer. "Good news" we say.


Bandcamp for record

Thursday, March 23, 2023

Goliath - The Garden EP


We can't tell you much about Goliath, but we think the Scottish band's recently released Garden EP deserves your ears. We are particularly taken by their lovely cover of BMX Bandit's "Serious Drugs", but there are other delights as well.



Bandcamp for The Garden

Bandcamp page for other releases

The Sprouts - Eat Your Greens


It seems we never have to wait long before another musical treasure arrives from Melbourne. After some research, we discovered that the reason for our perception is that, in fact, we never have to wait long before another musical treasure arrives from Melbourne. Tonight, we celebrate the release of Eat Your Greens by Melbourne quartet The Sprouts. (the official release date is the 24th, but as we write this on the evening of the 23rd, we note that it is already the 24th in Australia).

The members of The Sprouts, well, sprout from other fine Australian bands, including Chook Race, Dippers (fka Thigh Master), Permits and Ill Globo. The songs they have crafted for this record are organic, soothing, and appealingly shaggy. There is plenty of strum and jangle, the arrangements interesting and the harmonies lovely. We honestly don't know whether Eat Your Greens is a 'one off' project or is intended to continue. We hope it is the latter, but in any case The Sprouts have snuck in under the radar with a fine, and completely addictive, set of songs.

The Sprouts are Rob Remedios, Innez Tulloch, Tom Marinelli and Matthew Ford. Eat Your Greens is out now March 24 via Tenth Court.

Bandcamp for Eat Your Greens

"Storytelling" by Talking Flowers


Our friends at Stockholm's Rama Lama Records are continuing to expand their rosters. And as we would expect, the additions are exciting and tasteful. Most recently, they have added Malmo-based singer songwriter and producer Astrid Lagerstedt. Astrid, who records and performs under the name Talking Flowers, has cemented the new relationship with a double A-side single titled "Storytelling". The title track and the flip side "Bedroom Walls" give us a sense of the range of Astrid's artistry and hint at a reservoir of talent. We look forward to more.

Monday, March 20, 2023

Whitney's Playland - Sunset Sea Breeze


Spanning delicate indie pop, gauzy dream pop and fuzzy shoegaze, Sunset Sea Breeze can quickly make a listener wish that Whitney's Playland had come into their life sooner. But we need to be thankful for musical treasures whenever they appear. And make no mistake, this is a lo-fi treasure of understated but superb songwriting and sincere performances. Get it, play it, and then irritate your friends by repeatedly asking whether they have gotten into Whitney's Playland yet. Don't worry, they will return the favor some day.

Whitney's Playland is Inna Showalter, George Tarlson, 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 (digital and cassette).

Whitney's Playland Bandcamp for album

Bandcamp for album (Paisley Shirt Records)

Meritorio page for vinyl

Friday, March 17, 2023

Death and Vanilla - Flicker


Sweden's Death and Vanilla are masters of dreamy, dark pop comprising of psychedelia and a cinematic melancholy. Their new album is the nine-track Flicker, and it is already one of our favorites from their discography. The band has woven delightful details (such as dub and motorik) into their creations and, dare we say, infused some sunlight into the proceedings. The album is a delight after delight and should please listeners for a long, long time -- perhaps until the next Death and Vanilla album.

Death and Vanilla are Marleen Nilsson, Anders Hansson and Magnus Bodin. Flicker is out now on vinyl, cassette and digital formats via Fire Records. 




Bandcamp for Flicker

Various links for Flicker 

"Nationsville" by The Toads


At a recent WYMA editorial meeting one of our interns alleged that we haven't featured enough amphibians on the site. While we couldn't remember a recent feature focused on amphibians, we could think of some very, very good reasons why such was the case. However, the youth of today can be judgmental and surly, and we couldn't send him away to get donuts and beer because he had just finished the errand ('donuts and beer', you ask. Well, one needs to break fast and it was going to be noon in a few hours so ... ). So we looked at our recent messages and, to our relief, discovered a just released single by The Toads.

Titled "Nationville", it features a full load of pleasures including sardonic vocal delivery, terrific guitar licks, and bass and drums that are dynamite. The video is also 'too cool for school' with the quartet playing to an audience consisting of two dummies. Oh, and have we mentioned that rhythm section? The tune is the lead track on the band's upcoming debut album In The Wilderness, and it is quite likely we are going to love it.

The Toads are Miles Jensen (vocals), Billy Gardner (guitar ), Stella Rennex (bass), and Elsie Retter (drums), borrowed from The Living Eyes, The Shifters and Parsnip.

In The Wilderness is due June 9 via Anti Fade Records and Upset The Rhythm.


Bandcamp for pre-order of In The Wilderness

Thursday, March 16, 2023

"Finding A Way" by Sumos


We believe that scuzzy, garagey indie pop bones is an essential ingredient for mental health. In fact, we are so certain in our conclusion that the science backs us up that we won't bother to look up a citation. After all, we can't remember the last time we were wrong about, well, anything.

So, with that introduction we offer some head medicine, courtesy of Manchester four-piece Sumos. It is a free-wheeling blast of noise and melody that energizes us and makes us feel young (and we are at an age where that is a coveted emotion).

Sumos are Joel Sloan (guitar/lead vocals), Kyle Tarbuck (lead guitar/backing vocals), Siobhan Tarbuck (bass), and Andy Kilroy (drums). Their debut LP, Surfacing, will be released in May 12 via Meritorio and Safe Suburban Home.





Bandcamp for single and album pre-order

"Molecule" / "Soft World" by Hot Coppers


Keeping with the theme of new discoveries that make us happy, we are spinning "Molecule" / "Soft World" by Melbourne's Hot Coppers. While A-side is purportedly a sad song about the 'one that got away', it is too upbeat to dampen our mood. After all, we at WYMA didn't have anything invested in that particular one that got away (although we do have our own lists). And we certainly can't be sad about Hot Coppers planning to release an album on May 23.

The main man for Hot Coppers is music producer Gareth Parton, whose live band includes members of The Lucksmiths, Mid-State Orange, The Zebras, Amarillo and Clan Analogue.



Bandcamp for single

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

"Fade" by Juppe


"Fade" just makes our day! It sounds like it sprang out of the funk scenes of Philadelphia or Detroit in the late '60s or early '70s. Our wonderment increases as we discover it is a contemporary tune by Finnish songwriter and musician Juppe (Julius Kasperi Jappinen). The single is out now via Soliti Music. And since Juppe is signed, we hope this means more of his music is coming our way.

In addition to Juppe, the players were Nestori Majoinen, liro Sivula, Saku Kaukiainen, Aapo Soulanto, Leei Haapanen, Joonas Nurela, and Hp Siikasaari.


Sunday, March 12, 2023

"Your Head's In The Sand" by Inkfields

The well-traveled Samuel James-Griffiths is Inkfields. He began the project while in Dresden, and continued perfecting his craft in street music performances while traveling through Germany and Sweden. He now resides in Edinburg. His debut album was Beneath The Waves, to be followed later this year by The Third Side Of The Coin.

The second single from the upcoming album is the just-released "Your Head's In The Sand". The arrangement is flowing, but the theme is intense: Pride and stubbornness causes failure. It is out now as a digital single via Rave Child.

"Easy Hands" / "Pearl Machine" by The Mary Onettes


Into their third decade together, Sweden's The Mary Onettes are not highly prolific, but when they deliver the results are unfailingly worth the wait. And so we happily welcome their latest single, the two-track "Easy Hands" / "Pearl Machine". The record displays two sides of The Mary Onettes, with the A-side delivering morerobust indie pop with a storyline personal to songwriter Phillip Ekstrom and the life of an artist. "Pearl Machine is a pensive but relaxing listen with a stately pace and spare lyrics that don't make an appearance until well after the two-minute mark. All in all, another treasure from The Mary Onettes.

"Easy Hands" / "Pearl Machine" is released via Stockholm's Labrador.

Friday, March 10, 2023

"Madhouse Breakout Multitool" by Kindsight


When the WYMA brain trust (yes, there is one, just ... ummm ... trust us on that point) decides that a band is one of the best indie band on the scene, there is a concern that we may have set a difficult bar for the group's next record. However, Kindsight's new single "Madhouse Breakout Multitool" suggests that the Danish quartet are going to follow last year's debut album Swedish Punk (our feature here) with another stellar recording.

As we expected, the sound of "Madhouse Breakout Multitool" is wonderful - layered, dynamic and sparkling with a dose of fuzz and grit. But it also has the delicious storyline of a couple of siblings barricading themselves in their rural house to protect against the inmates of a local mental institution that have escaped.

"Madhouse Breakout Multitool" is out now via Rama Lama Records. Kindsight are Nina Hyldgaard Rasmussen (vocals/guitar), Soren Svensson (guitar), Anders Prip (bass), and Johannes Jacobsen (drums). The band is playing SXSW in Texas, and is preparing their second full length album.

Thursday, March 9, 2023

Coral Grief - Daydrops


Some bands achieve their dreampop sound with haze and pastel arrangements. It seems to us that Seattle band Coral Grief takes a different route, achieving a dreamy sound via dreamy, wistful vocals and distinct but layered instrumentation. The result walks the line between dreampop and post punk, but it does so with a well-earned confidence. The six songs on their new EP Daydrops are uniformly polished and produced many approving sighs from our review panel.

Coral Grief are Lena Farr-Morrisey (vocals/bass/synth/guitar), Sam Fason (guitar/synth/samples), and Cam Hancock (drums/percussion). Daydrops is out now in digital and cassette formats via Den Tapes.


Bandcamp for Daydrops

"It's A Mystery" by The Plus 4


When we first introduced The Plus 4 last month, we admitted that we knew nothing about them other than they are based in the UK and are dedicated to a Beatlesque version of indie pop. However, now -- as we are about to reveal their third single of 2023 -- we can confirm that, well, we know nothing more. So, we direct you straight to the music.




Wednesday, March 8, 2023

"Don't Give Yourself Away" and "Telephone" by Dropkick


A couple of years ago we raved about an album from Scotland's Dropkick (our feature here). In the meantime we have covered releases from another project engaging Dropkick's principal songwriter, Andrew Taylor: The Boys With The Perpetual Nervousness. But our gaze turns back to Andrew's main band as it is poised to release a new album in April. Titled The Wireless Revolution, we expect that it will feature the sweet jangle and even sweeter vocal harmonies for which this band is deservedly loved. And you can get a preview of the reason for that love on the first two singles from the album. Stream them below and enjoy!

Dropkick is Andrew Taylor, Ian Grier, and Alan Shields. The Wireless Revolution will be out via Hurrah Musica (Murcia) and Rock Indiana Records (Madrid).

Tuesday, March 7, 2023

"An Imposed Exile" by High Water Marks


The name of this band lends itself to some word play, but as a matter of fact, the high quality pop of Norway's High Water Marks is arguably at or near the high water line for the genre. For proof you need look (and listen) no further than their new single "An Imposed Exile". The Grøa, Norway fourpiece consists of Hilarie Sidney (Apples in Stereo and Elephant 6 co-founder), Per Ole Bratset, Logan Miller & Øystein Megård. Do we like it? Yes, we do. And that makes us very happy to learn that their new album Your Next Wolf will be released in June.



Bandcamp for single

Monday, March 6, 2023

Nothing Natural - NN


Dense and melodic with elements of grunge and shoegaze, NN certainly is different form the jangling, chiming tunes we featured yesterday. But we find that this EP by San Francisco band Nothing Natural works its way into our subconscious and insists on repeated listenings. In fact, despite the robust sound, we find this set of songs to be very welcoming and relaxing. Give it a spin.

Nothing Natural are Austin Montanari (guitar/vocals), Kristen Addison (bass/vocals), Dylan Lockey (drums), and Marc Leyda (guitar/sampling). NN will be out in early March in digital and cassette formats via DandyBoy Records.

Bandcamp for NN

Sunday, March 5, 2023

"The Town That Cursed Your Name" by The Reds, Pinks & Purples


As we recently noted, Glenn Donaldson's The Reds, Pinks & Purples have more new music coming this month. We featured two of the tracks in early February (our feature here), and tonight we have the special treat of the title track -- "The Town That Cursed Your Name". It is a smashing tune with a triumphant vibe of resilience and steadfast devotion to your spirit despite obstacles. Once again, Glenn hits the emotional bullseye.

The Town That Cursed Your Name will be out March 24 in digital and vinyl formats via Slumberland Records and Tough Love Records.



Bandcamp for album

Slumberland Records

Tough Love Records

"Arboretum Miles" / "Estates of Sparking Haze" by Laughing Chimes


As we wrote in our last post, today is full of jangle with a San Francisco flavor at WYMA World Headquarters. While Laughing Chimes aren't San Francisco residents, the Athens, Ohio band is on the roster of Bay Area's Slumberland Records, and their new single has a full dose of jangle and chime. The two-song release is "Arboretum Miles" / "Estates of Sparking Haze", and follows closely the band's debut EP from last November (our feature here).

This new single further confirms the grasp songwriters Evan and Quinn Seurkamp have on the sound of classic jangle pop of the '80s and '90s, and a bit of British Invasion as well, despite all of that happening before they were born. Thematically, youthful hopes and yearnings and washes of melancholy are timeless and, when done as well as this, quite affecting.

The record is out now as a digital release via Slumberland Records.

"Coming to Your Town" by Chime School


Today at WYMA is a mostly jangle day, and a San Francisco day as well. First up is the new two-track single by Chime School, the Rickenbacker-driven project founded by Andy Pastalaniec (Seablite/Cruel Summer). The band's self-titled album from 2021 impressed us greatly (our feature here), so we were eager to learn what new treats we coming. We listened, and were weren't disappointed. The A-side is "Coming to Your Town", a more muscular jangler addressing the reactionary turn of some San Francisco citizens during the pandemic. The B-side is a jangling version of Buzzcock's "Love You More". And in our view, covers of Buzzcocks are always encouraged. 

The release date for the record is scheduled for April 7, and will be out via Slumberland Records (North America), Meritorio Records (Europe) and Fastcut Records (Japan)..

Bandcamp for single

Various links for single

Friday, March 3, 2023

"Family Tree" / "Love is a Petal" - Captain Starlet


Offering a fresh, energetic and tuneful take on powerpop, York, UK's Captain Starlet makes a big impression on WYMA with their new single "Family Tree" / "Love is a Petal". How can we not be happy listening to music played by a band that really, really sounds like they are enjoying what they are doing, and also do it very well.

Captain Starlet are Tom Carroll (guitar/vocals), Sam Festenstein (bass), Cameron Baker (drums), and Ethan Carroll (guitar). This single is out today via UK label Safe Suburban Home.



Bandcamp for Record

Various links

Thursday, March 2, 2023

Various Artists - 14


As indie fans, you are well aware of how difficult it can be to find the best of the working artists. As people highly paid to find new music, we feel your pain. And that's why we owe a boatload of thanks (and perhaps a record purchase) to Prefect Records. The Hartlepool, UK label has collected 14 gems from among the best indie projects and bundled them into the appropriately titled 14. While some of the bands were known to us, many of them were new. All of the songs are excellent.

As always, we wanted to give you our favorite tracks without embedding the whole album. But as we played through the list we realized that we were marking every track. Yes, every single track. So don't take the list as a 'best of', take it as 'oh my God, there is more of this'. Then dive in.

14 is out now in digital and limited vinyl formats.

Bandcamp for 14

The Happy Somethings - A Gathering of All Sorts


Classic DIY indie pop with no gimmicks but plenty of inspiration and spirit. Oh, and a welcome dose of humor as well. We are talking about A Gathering of All Sorts by UK band The Happy Somethings. The trio from the East Midlands of the UK gathered this collection from new songs and reworked old songs. To our ears, it is all fresh, melodic an irrepressibly upbeat. For our gray and rainy Thursday, this was an ideal choice to get us through the day.

A Gathering of All Sorts is out now in CD and digital formats via Subjangle.



Bandcamp for album

Various links

Wednesday, March 1, 2023

"You" by Lachlan Denton


We truthfully cannot think of a better mid-week mood lift than the upbeat and sweet "You" by Melbourne artist Lachlan Denton (The Ocean Party/Pop Filter/Partner Look/and others). The song follows "Lose" the debut single from his upcoming album Furnishings (our feature of "Lose" here). We have long admired Lach's craft, yet we are nevertheless struck by quality of "You" and "Lose". The clarity of expression and completeness of the arrangements are top class, and suggest that the album will be an instant favorite.

Furnishings will be out April 14 via Bobo Integral, Spunk and Osborne Again.

Bandcamp for pre-order of Furnishings