Thursday, August 31, 2023

"The Starfish Song" by The Garment District


Earlier this month we featured two singles from the upcoming album by The Garment District (link). While the name of the project was new to us, the name of the woman behind it was not. Jenifer Baron of Ladybug Transistor is a musical force and will always grab our attention. Flowers Telegraphed to All Parts of the World will be released on September 22 via Happy Happy Birthday To Me Records, but we now have the third single. The sprawling, brightly colored psychedelia of "The Starfish Song" brings us happy memories of '70s album rock, where artists could let their imaginations run.





Bandcamp for album pre-orders

Various links for The Garment District

"Back To The Foldout" by Lower Plenty


A few weeks ago we were thinking about some favorite bands from years past and whether they were still recording. One of those bands was Melbourne's Lower Plenty. Coincidently, this week we learned that their fifth studio album, No Poets, will be released this Autumn. While the title of the album suggests that there is no poetry, a review of Lower Plenty's previous work suggests there will, indeed, be poetry. There will be honest sentiments, evocative imagery, and hard truths delivered in a low key over a minimalist acoustic soundscape. The first single is "Back To The Foldout", which we think is an excellent representation of this band's art.

The members of Lower Plenty are Al Montfort, Daniel Twomey, Jensen Tjhung, and Sarah Heyward. No Poets will be out October 6 via Bedroom Suck Records.

Bandcamp for single

Bandcamp for pre-order of No Poets

Thursday, August 24, 2023

The 1981 - Move On

It is often said (usually by one or more parents) that you only have one chance to make a first impression. We don't know Adam Widener and Bobby Martinez of Oakland band 1981 well enough to know whether such sage advice was given to them. But we can say that the first impression delivered by their debut album Move On marks them as a band that deserves our ears. Using '80s guitar pop and power pop as a springboard, the band has added their own spin and crafted songs that delight in turn with muscle, jangle, and fuzz. Given the instrumental prowess and melodic sense of its members, that alone would be sufficient to gain our praise. But 1981 takes an additional step up by using the album to deliver a 12 chapter story of a troubled and dying relationship. Boldly conceived and expertly executed, Move On should find itself on some year-end lists.

For Move On, Adam Widener and Bobby Martinez were assisted by Colin McDonald on bass. Move On is out now via Dandy Boy Records. 



Bandcamp for Move On

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

"Isolated Visions" by Tony Jay


We love all of the music we feature here. But some releases are especially highlighted on our calendar. One such release is Perfect Worlds, the upcoming LP from San Francisco project Tony Jay. The band is headed by Mike Ramos, and can be expected to deliver memorable melodies and hush, captivating vocals. The album is due September 15, but today brings "Isolated Visions", the second single. We have the song on repeat here, but suffice it to say that our one word review is 'stunning'.

In addition to Tony Jay, Flowertown, and Cindy, Ramos is involved with Sad Eyed Beatniks and Al Harper. He previously was a member of April Magazine. For this recording Tony Jay is Ramos, Kelsey Faber, Alexis Harper, and Cameron Baker, with guest vocalist Karina Gill of Cindy.

Bandcamp for pre-order of Perfect Worlds

Slumberland Records page for album

Monday, August 21, 2023

"Witching Hour" by Red Pants


We always are happy to share new music from our Badger State friends Red Pants. The band is Jason Lambeth and Elso Nekola, a duo who put their own twist on the kind of music we all loved from Blonde Redhead and Sonic Youth. The new song is the buzzing pop/rock "Witching Hour" and it is the first single from their upcoming album Not Quite There Yet.

Not Quite There Yet will be released on October 27 via Meritorio Records.

Jason's Twitter

Jason's Website

Elsa's Website

Bandcamp for pre-order of Not Quite There Yet

Sunday, August 20, 2023

"Fertile State" by Blue Ocean


Oakland, California trio Blue Ocean is capable of ferocious noise and melodic pop, and they deliver both in the same song, creating very satisfying noise pop and shoegaze. They got our attention in 2021 with a collection of EPs released by Paisley Shirt/Dandy Boy. They now are preparing to release their debut album on October 13 via Slumberland Records. Get a week,s worth of energy from the title track: "Fertile State".


Various links

Friday, August 18, 2023

"Twentieth Century" by Swansea Sound


Many musicians from the seminal indie pop period marked by "C86" and Sarah Records have retired. Understandable, it can be a tough life. But others are still out fighting the good fight for pop music that isn't controlled and shaped by corporate suits and hired beat makers, hook makers and lyricist ghostwriters. And a prime example of such champions are the good folks of Swansea SoundComprised of Hue Williams (The Pooh Sticks), Amelia Fletcher and Rob Pursey (both of Talulay Gosh/Heavenly/The Catenary Wires), Bob Collins (The Dentists/The Treasures of Mexico), and Ian Button (Death In Vegas/Papernut Cambridge), the band remains as vital today as any of their past projects, and evinces the sort of mastery, wry humor, and acerbic observations that only comes with life experience.

As the band prepares for the release of their new album, they have shared the title track. A rousing tune, its protagonist is a neurotic musician confused about his path. It is accompanied by a video containing quick headshots of past heroes on the indie pop scene.

Twentieth Century will be out September 8 via Skep Wax Records.




Bandcamp for album pre-orders

Wednesday, August 16, 2023

"Melancholy Molly" by Seablite

San Francisco's Seablite shoegaze concoctions are among our favorite of the genre. Fulsome but with a geographically appropriate foggy cast and veins of indie pop, noise pop and jangle, it is refreshingly original. They will release their second album, Lemon Lights, via Sacramento label Mt.St.Mtn. on September 29. Your first test drive is available now via "Melancholy Molly".

Seablite is Lauren Matsui (vocals/guitar), Galine Tumasyan (vocals/bass), Jen Mundy (guitar) and Andy Pastalaniec (drums).

"Sky Club" by Allah-Las


In June we alerted our readers to the good news that Allah-Las would be releasing new album Zuma 85 this Autumn. At the time we shared the second single, "The Stuff" (link). "Sky Club" -- the third single -- arrived this week with a bouncy vocal and a synthesized melody. Yes indeed! Some new tools in the arsenal of the talented quartet.

Zuma 85 will be released October 13 via Calico Discos and Innovative Leisure. The band will be touring Europe and the Western US from late August into November.





Bandcamp for Zuma 85

Various links for "Sky Club"

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Two Remastered Songs by The Chills / Brave Words to Be Reissued


Martin Phillipps formed The Chills many years ago, but the New Zealand band continues to produce vital, exceptional music. However, with the passage of time some of the earlier gems have become unavailable. A few years ago Fire Records reissued Kaleidoscope World (Expanded Edition) and Submarine Bells. This October, for the first time in 35 years, Fire Records will reissue Brave Words. The album, which some believe is The Chills' finest, will be expanded, remixed and remastered. It will be available as two vinyl discs or two CDs.

Two of the remastered songs are available to stream and purchase now. Enjoy!

"Party In My Heart"

"I Think I'd Thought I'd Nothing Else To Think About"




Bandcamp for Brave Words

Fire Records page for Brave Words (Expanded and Remastered)

Fire Records

Wednesday, August 9, 2023

Neil Brogan - Yrs Truly


We are very much about jangle and powerpop here, even if we aren't only about jangle and powerpop. We are particularly drawn to the styles we identify as 'California guitar pop. However, music is universal and it just so happens that one of our favorite sources for the treasured sounds is Neil Brogan, who lives on the east coast -- the east coast of Northern Ireland. Neil fronted beloved band Sea Pinks for a number of years (and formerly was in Girls Names), but he now is recording under his own name. His latest album is Yrs Truly, an 11 track collection of remembrances and observations swathed in melody and guitar goodness. There is perhaps a bit less twee and a bit more rumbling brawn and swagger in this set of tunes than some of Neil's past work, and it is an evolution that the pulls off adroitly. If you are a powerpop/guitar pop fan you really owe yourself some time to take this album for a test drive. It may, in fact, be your favorite driving companion for some time.

Yrs Truly is out now in digital and CD formats. See the Bandcamp link below.


Bandcamp for Yrs Truly

Various relevant links

"Coming Home" by Echo Ladies


Malmo, Sweden's dreamgaze trio Echo Ladies has shared another track from their upcoming album. Propulsive and dynamic with layers of fuzz and feedback, "Coming Home" ably demonstrates this band's chops to stand beside Jesus and Mary Chain and other shoegaze forebears.

Echo Ladies are Matilda Bowid, Mattis Andersson, and Joar Andersen. LP Lilies September 8 Rama Lama Records and Grazehop/Republic of Music.




Bandcamp for "Coming Home"

Various links for "Coming Home"

Bandcamp for pre-order of Lilies


Tuesday, August 8, 2023

Dippers - Clastic Rock


Clastic rock is, in geological terms, rock made of fragments of other rock (trust us, we took geology in the first semester of college before turning to arts and letters, and beer). Is seems to us that the name is quite apt as applied to the new album from Melbourne's Dippers (fka Thigh Master). On Clastic Rock, duo  Matthew Ford and Innez Tulloch spin a variety of tales from simple to fantastical, using jangle, buzz, clang, and various beats, employing melody and dissonance. Matthew snarls and growls with defiance and, perhaps, a knowing wink. It is raw, powerful, and memorable. We played it through, looked at each other and said, 'wow, what was that?' And then we played it several more times in succession. And yes, in the final analysis, it is definitely 'clastic'. We could name a number of bands that are reflected in this album, and Matthew and Innez probably could guess which ones. But reflected does not mean imitated. Dippers have put their own twist  on pop/rock, and we are quite happy that they have done so.

Clastic Rock is out now via Tenth Court and Goner Records.

Note that Dippers will tour the United States in September. The dates and locations are at the bottom of this post.




Bandcamp for Clastic Rock

Various links for Clastic Rock

Goner Records page for Clastic Rock

US Tour Dates:
Sept 7 - Permanent Records Roadhouse - Los Angeles, CA
Sept 8 - Thee Stork Club - Oakland, CA
Sept 9 - Naked Lounge - Chico, CA
Sept 10 - Shanghai Tunnel - Portland, OR
Sept 11 - Sunset Tavern - Seattle, WA
Sept 13 - TV Eye - Brooklyn, NY
Sept 16 - Redscroll Records - New Haven, CT
Sept 17 - Avalon Lounge - Catskill, NY
Sept 18 - TBA - Philadelphia, PA ^
Sept 19 - Abilene Bar & Lounge - Rochester, NY
Sept 21 - Cafe Bourbon St - Columbus, OH
Sept 23 - Cole's Bar - Chicago, IL
Sept 24 - Healer - Indianapolis, IN
Sept 26 - The Earl - Atlanta, GA *
Sept 27 - Drkmttr - Nashville, TN *
Sept 30 - Gonerfest - Memphis, TN
^ w/ Alien Nosejob
* w/ Lewsberg

Monday, August 7, 2023

"Perfect Worlds" by Tony Jay

We like the lo-fi musical confections of Mike Ramos however they come. More recently, they have been in collaboration with Karina Gill (of Cindy, of which Ramos is a member) as Flowertown. However, we are thrilled when Ramos has pulled on the mantle of Tony Jay for a new set of music. That new set is Perfect Worlds, which will be released on September 15 via Slumberland. Will it be good? Yes it will. And the evidence for you ears is the gauzy perfection of the title track, presented below to start your week the right way.

In addition to Tony Jay, Flowertown, and Cindy, Ramos is involved with Sad Eyed Beatniks and Al Harper. He previously was a member of April Magazine. For this recording Tony Jay is Ramos, Kelsey Faber, Alexis Harper, and Cameron Baker, with guest vocalist Karina Gill.

Bandcamp for pre-order of Perfect Worlds

Slumberland Records page for album

Sunday, August 6, 2023

"Notebox" by 1981


Oakland powerpop/fuzz & buzz duo 1981 have released their second single from their upcoming debut album Move On. The song is "Notebox" and we think it will earn the band increased interest in the album release. It is an intriguing track that begins with spoken word and a wiry guitar before bursting into a thumping slice of indie rock.

1981 is Adam Widener and Bobby Martinez (assisted by Colin McDonald on bass). As we noted last month when we shared the first single from the album, the band is influenced by such worthies as Comet Gain, Mike Krol, and The Jesus and Mary Chain. Move On is out on August 18 via Dandy Boy Records. 

Bandcamp for pre-order of Move On

Thursday, August 3, 2023

"A Street Called Finland" and "Left On Coast" by The Garment District


We are busy today, but news that Jennifer Baron on Ladybug Transistor will be releasing music for her new project The Garment District caused us to shift focus. The new album is titled Flowers Telegraphed to All Parts of the World, and it will be released on September 22 via Happy Happy Birthday To Me Records. We will share more information and thoughts about the album closer to its release date, but for now we invite you to enjoy the two songs shared so far: "A Street Called Finland" and "Left On Coast".





Various links for The Garment District

Tuesday, August 1, 2023

Veps - Oslo Park


Meet the Veps (Norwegian for wasps): Helena M. Olasveengen, June K. Urhot, Laura Dodson, and Maja B. Berge. The young Norwegians formed the band in middle school. Now in their late teens, they have followed up their debut EP with a full LP titled Oslo Park. Embracing the loud-soft approach of '90s bands such as The Delgados and Garbage and with plenty of songwriting chops and youthful energy, we think the album is a promising statement for the future of this fourpiece.

Oslo Park is out now on Kanine Records.

David Long & Shane O'Neill - And You Can't Dream That


David Long & Shane O'Neill have been at this music thing for a long time. In the '80s David fronted Into Paradise and Shane fronted Blue In Heaven. In the first decade of this century they played together in Supernaut. Their most recent collaboration as David Long & Shane O'Neill produced albums in 2021 (Moll & Zeis) and 2022 (Age Of Finding Stars), and on July 21 And You Can't Dream That. So what are these oldsters doing? Well, we will tell you what they aren't doing. They aren't going through the motions or trading on nostalgia. They are crafting nuanced and insightful pop music with keen observations, reinterpreted memories, rays of light, and just enough dark shadings to know that they are real. Or to put it another way, we think this is the kind of music a talented young band would be immensely proud to write and perform if they only had enough life experiences and perspectives to write that well. But most don't, so David and Shane have us covered.

And You Can't Dream That is out now as a digital release via Country Pylon Records.