Saturday, September 30, 2023

Islet - Soft Fascination


We aren't offering our readers money or prestige, but tonight we offer you a bit of magic. The eleven tracks on Soft Fascination deliver euphoric, burly psychedelic magic. Of all the albums we have heard this year it is near the top of the pack for jaw dropping, eye-widening moments. The creation of Welsh band Islet, its brand of psychedelic pop isn't the hazy meandering kind, but rather a psychedelia riding surging basslines, dancing keys, overflowing emotions and sparkling vocals.

Islet are Alex Williams, Emma Daman Thomas, John "JT' Thomas, and Mark Daman Thomas. Soft Fascination is out now via Fire Records.





Bandcamp for Soft Fascination

Thursday, September 28, 2023

"Heaven Sent" by Pop Filter


One group of musicians who has provided us with great enjoyment and inspiration in our years writing this blog is the Melbourne collective Pop Filter, and formerly known as The Ocean Party. Both in those bands and in other projects (e.g. The Snowy Band, Partner Look, Cool Sounds), the members have proved themselves to be deft songwriters and fine musicians. The pace of their recorded output may have slowed down as life becomes more complicated with families, relocations and jobs, but that just makes new music even more appreciated.

Today we feature "Heaven Sent", the first single from the upcoming full length CONO, which will be released in December via Bobo Integral, Osborne Again and Spunk Records. The tune is an upbeat and rambunctious description of modern life, and the determination to make it work. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

Bandcamp for "Heaven Sent"

Bandcamp for Cono pre-orders

Treasures of Mexico - Burn The Jets


We are happy to report that in making Burn The Jets, Treasures of Mexico did not plunder the historical artifacts of Mexico. However, they do deliver musical treasures to enjoy. Ranging from jangle to gentle psychedelia to '80s guitar pop, the songs are masterful creations by artists who have lived and influenced the relevant eras and only get better with time. There really isn't a weak song among the ten tracks, and there are plenty of highlights. This album seems to be flying under the radar a bit, but regular readers of this site should find it hitting their sweet spot with loving force.

Treasures of Mexico are Mark Matthews, Bob Collins, Nick Rice and Russ Baxter, with additional vocals by Beth Arzy. The members' career projects include The Dentists, The Discords, The Men With The Golden Gonads, Phaze, Secret Affair, Groovy Uncle, and Dutch Embassy. Burn The Jets is out now in digital, vinyl and CD formats via Spinout Nuggets



Bandcamp for Burn The Jets

Spinout Nuggets page for album

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

"Laminating The Classics" by Mope City


Earlier this month we shared the lead track from Population 4, the upcoming fourth LP by Australian band Mope City (link here). We now have the second single, "Laminating The Classics". It is a track that commands our attention with a thundering bass, wiry and jangling guitar and gloomy vocals. We think this album is going to have some weight, and we mean that in a good way.

Mope City is Amaya Lang, Matt Neville, Shaun Donovan, and Nick Johnson. Population 4 will be out October 13 via Tenth Court Records.

"Hit The Wall" by Seablite


How does a band interest fans in their upcoming album? PR firms, social media, bloggers and word of mouth among fans all can play a part. But probably the most effective tactic is releasing a few of the presumed 'killer' tracks from the album over the preceding months. And if that is the gold standard, Seablite's Lemon Lights is going to do well when it is released in three days. The golden goal of the pre-release campaign is this terrific video for album track "Hit The Wall", in all of its dream gazey, psychedelic pop glory.

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




Mt.St.Mtn. page for pre-order of Lemon Lights

Bandcamp for Lemon Lights

Bandcamp for previous releases

Various relevant links for Seablite

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

"Last Words" / "Heat Beat Heads" by NO ZU


Got the midweek blahs? We have the solution. Melbourne beat/funk monsters NO ZU have briefly rescinded their break up by issuing a two song parting gift for fans new and old. The release consists of the appropriately-named "Last Words", which is their take on 23 Skidoo's 1981 song, and a remix of "Heat Beat Head" from their 2022 album re-worked by Grim Up North (which, in turn, consists of Norwegian Rune Lindbaek and Dan Tyler of Idjut Boys). Do all these cooks spoil the broth? Most certainly not! It is spicy and freaky, but oh so very nice.

If you like the dance-worthy beats NO ZU dishes up, we suggest you grab this release because we can't count on them rescinding the break up again (Certainly none of the many people that have broken up with us have ever rescinded, and we weren't too proud to beg). We are happy to report that various members of the band will carry on with Cong Josie, Split System, Sui Zhen, Cayn Borthwick's solo project, and probably others to come.

The single is out now via Chapter Music.

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

"The Giant's Lawn Part I" and "Lord of Shelves" by Wurld Series


Tonight we have treats from our Christchurch friends Wurld Series. They come in the form of the first two singles from the band's upcoming LP, The Giant's Lawn. "The Giant's Lawn Part I" is the grandly psychedelic folk pop opener for the album. "Lord of Shelves" is guitar pop done well. On this two-song evidence, we have marked this The Giant's Lawn as an album we must have.


Bandcamp for album pre-orders

Tony Jay - Perfect Worlds


Perfect Worlds by Tony Jay is an album that seeps into your pores and wafts into your brain like the incoming fog. We play it at home, in the car, and on walks as it steadily becomes the soundtrack of everyday life. And while the search for perfect worlds will always remain aspirational, this album is pretty high on the perfection scale for our tastes.  The music is made of delightful melodies, hushed and hazy vocals, and gorgeous guitar tones -- contrasts that fit together to splendid effect. The subjects of the song can be the mundane parts of life, including relationships, inevitable loneliness and even depression. But the point is less the story and more the perspective and atmosphere. This one is on our preliminary top ten albums of 2023 list and we highly recommend it.

Tony Jay is a San Francisco project headed by Michael Ramos. Ramos also is in Flowertown, Cindy, 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

Perfect Worlds is out now via Slumberland Records.


Bandcamp for Perfect Worlds

World Of Echo page for album

Various links

Saturday, September 16, 2023

"Stop Pretending" by Small Intestines


The pop music world has many bands named after body parts. We have Elbow, Talking Heads, The Head and the Heart, The Shins, Bad Brains, and Stiff Little Fingers, just to name a few. But to our memory, the digestive track has been ignored -- except for Butthole Surfers --until now. Australia has gifted the indie music world with The Small Intestines. A three-piece consisting of Tristan Peach, Matt Liveriadis and Rob Remedios from Melbourne, they churn out some of the most addictive jangling guitar pop in recent memory. Their LP Hide In Time will be released on September 29 via Lost and Lonesome and Meritorio Records. For now, thrill to the third single, "Stop Pretending".


Bandcamp for singles and album pre-orders

Friday, September 15, 2023

"Gleði (Joy)" by Mark W. Georgsson


Three years ago Scotsman Mark W. Georgsson impressed us with his 12" release Comes A Time (our feature here). That record revealed an artist capable of expressing himself well in multiple styles, including country, folk, Americana, Norse and Celtic. The man is back this month with a new four-track EP Things Have Changed, to be released September 29 via Last Night From Glasgow. While one track was released previously as a single, our first taste new single "Gleði" (the term means joy in Icelandic and Faroese). For most of its running time, the song is an appealing folk rock tune. The surprise comes in the form of a sunny, psychedelic finishing touch. The man can play the guitar with flair!

The single is out now, and it comes with B-side "Bewildered".

Thursday, September 14, 2023

Soft Science - Lines


One of the more satisfying albums we have heard this month is Lines. Its ten tracks consist of a swirling, shimmering, robust dream pop that seems to be constructed out of shoegaze. It is music in which the listener can, quite pleasantly, get lost. And some days that is just what we need. The album is the work of Soft Science, which is comprised of notable Northern California dream pop/shoegaze artists. They released three previous albums (we covered Highs and Lows in 2012 (link), but Lines is the first we have had the pleasure of writing up in over a decade. We most certainly will make a point of not missing number five.

Soft Science is Katie Haley (vocals), Ross Levine (guitar/synths/backing vocals), Matt Levine (guitar), Tony Cale (drums/percussion), Becky Cale (bass/backing vocals), and Hans Munz (electronics). Lines is out now via Shelflife Records (US), Spinout Nuggets (UK), and Fastcut Records (Japan).

Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Swansea Sound - Twentieth Century


Now that we are well into the 21st century, do we really want to revisit the 20th century? The answer, as is the case for many things in life, is 'that depends'. If the revisiting is  via robust guitar pop with punk shadings, ace male and female vocals, and lyrics that display an incisive bite, a wistful smile and a knowing wink, the answer for us is resoundingly affirmative. So where do we find all that? In the Twentieth Century, of course. It is the new LP by grown-up supergroup Swansea Sound. Comprised of members of legendary bands such as Talulah Gosh, Heavenly, Death in Vegas, The Pooh Sticks, and The Dentists. Whether shading remembrances of past relationships, poking fun at pretentious musicians, moaning about the takeover by technology, or revisiting road trips and nights out, the album is bouncing, thumping treat for the ears and heart. If only we could describe our past with the same perception and wit as Rob Pursey, well, our lives would seem more interesting and, we guess, so would we. But we can all share it done just right via Twentieth Century, so what are you waiting for?

Swansea Sound is Hue Williams (lead vocals), Amelia Fletcher (lead vocals/keys), Ian Button (drums), Bob Collins (guitar), and Rob Pursey (guitar/bass). The album is out now via Skep Wax.




Bandcamp for Twentieth Century

"No More Swamp" by Bas Jan


Looking at our notes after a few plays of "No More Swamp" reveals comments such as 'vibrant', 'original', 'fun', 'intriguing', and 'intelligent'. Well then, that is our review sorted out ...

Just kidding. A band that can deliver a single like that deserves a few more words. "No More Swamp" is the second single from the upcoming Back To  The Swamp by London fourpiece Bas Jan. The band displays an undeniable talent for packing a lot of lyrical and musical delights in a song, and infusing more energy than we can muster after several pots of Seattle's darkest coffee. We suspect that this album will be one of the sleeper hits of the year. Our only criticism is that perhaps it should have been released in time for Halloween.

Bas Jan is Serafina Steer, Charlotte Stock, Emma Smith and Rachel Horwood. Back To  The Swamp is out November 10 via Fire Records.




Various links for single

Bandcamp for album pre-orders

Fire Records page for album

Friday, September 8, 2023

The Radio Field - Don'ts and Dos


Dusseldorf's Lars Schmidt isn't always about the jangle, but when he does the jangle he does it very well indeed. His current project for that side of his musical talent is The Radio Field. After gaining our attention and approval demos and an EP in recent years, the band has released long-player Don'ts and Dos. The record is everything we could want -- melodies, jangle, and a good amount of crunch and fuzz. As one could expect with veteran musicians comfortable playing with each other, there is no hint of 'debut album' on Don'ts and Dos. Rather, its ten songs evince a band that has hit its stride and doing its best work. The result is a delight from start to finish.

In addition to Lars Schmidt, The Radio Field is Christoph Schneider, Philipp Breuer, and Mark Specht. Don'ts and Dos is out now via Lars' Less Records and Subjangle.





Bandcamp for album

Less Records page for album

Wednesday, September 6, 2023

"Everyone In Town" and "Waiting" by The Brights


We all hope we have a bright future, but a very promising band from Sydney has tilted the odds by naming themselves The Brights. The good news is that, after listening to the two singles released from their upcoming album Oyster Rock, the name isn't just wishful thinking. With good songwriting and an appealing folk rock/alt country vibe, these guys are going to shoulder their way into forefront of favored indie bands. Oyster Rock will be out December 1 via Meritorio Records and Stable Records. but new single "Everyone In Town" and its predecessor, "Waiting", are waiting below to pleasure your ears.



Various links for The Brights

"Pot of Boiling Water" by Seablite

With their signature blend of shoegaze, jangle and Britpop, San Francisco's Seablite is an indie band that deserves our attention. And they get it. New album Lemon Lights will be released near the end of the month by Mt.St.Mtn., but we offer new single "Pot of Boiling Water" as the best evidence so far that you should be in line to get the record as soon as it is available.

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



Mt.St.Mtn. page for pre-order of Lemon Lights

Bandcamp for previous releases

Various relevant links for Seablite

Sunday, September 3, 2023

"Eat Yr Promises" by Mope City


Mixing jangle, storm clouds, understated vocals and a good dose of home grown mope, "Eat Yr Promises" is an addictive slice of gloom pop to satisfy your sad soul from Sydney's Mope City. A touch of genius ends the weekend right, we say here at WYMA HQ. The song is taken from upcoming album Population 4, which will be out October 13 via Tenth Court Records.

Mope City is Amaya Lang, Matt Neville, Shaun Donovan, and Nick Johnson.


Various links for "Eat Yr Promises"

"Warm Jets" by Colored Lights


For fans of guitar pop, Norway's Frode Stromstad needs no introduction. A member of I Was A King and The No Ones, he is a master of melodic, hooky guitar pop that stands shoulder to shoulder with GBVs, The Minus Five, and Young Fresh Fellows. His new project is Colored Lights, which will release their self titled debut album later this month. The final single from the album is the lovely "Warm Jets". Check it out below.

Colored lights are Frode Stromstad (I Was A King/The No Ones) with Bard Ingebrigtsen, Frank Tonnesen, Ole Reidar Gudmestad, and Tomas Pettersen.

Colored Lights will be available September 22 via Bobo Integral.


Bandcamp for "Warm Jets"

Bandcamp for album pre-order