Saturday, October 28, 2023

Red Pants - Not Quite There Yet


There were some good albums dropping this week, and we will get to as many as we are able in the next few days. Our first pick is the thrilling Not Quite There Yet by Madison, Wisconsin band Red Pants. A duo consisting of Jason Lambeth and Elsa Nekola, the project has had a busy half decade together with two previous full length albums and a few shorter releases. Elsa provides the drums and some vocals; Jason does most of the rest. They make cute videos, sometimes with Jason's daughter in an acting role.

As revealed on Not Quite There Yet, Red Pants has a style but aren't locked into a narrow genre. Their songs are characterized by chugging or droning guitars with a sturdy rhythm high in the mix and some deft hooks. But from that foundation they deliver diverse tunes that can variously call to mind The Bats, Velvet Underground, Sebadoh, Yo La Tengo or Blonde Redhead. Yeah, it is indie rock, but it is good indie rock -- well written, sincerely performed and, moreover, it is intelligent and still sounds fresh. We like this one a lot (but we still probably won't wear red pants).

Not Quite There Yet is out now in digital and vinyl formats via Meritorio Records.

Jason's Twitter

Jason's Website

Elsa's Website

Bandcamp for Not Quite There Yet

Thursday, October 26, 2023

"Ouroboros" by Joe Ziffer

Well, well, well -- this pleasant and super jangling dose of psychedelic pop called "Ouroboros" may have just introduced us to a new favorite artist. Adelaide's Joe Ziffer is pushing all the right buttons on our musical appreciation control board. The song almost seems to be two songs, starting as a jangling pop tune and eventually transforming into a slice of psychedelia. It will be on regular rotation here while we eagerly await the album Long Shadows, which will be released in digital and cassette formats on November 24 via Tenth Court Records.

Bandcamp for "Ouroboros"

Various links for "Ouroboros"

 Bandcamp for pre-orders of Long Shadows

"Three Cheers" by The Umbrellas


As we have mentioned before, the San Francisco indie music scene is robust and full of quality. A brick in that reputational wall is The Umbrellas. Apparently the quartet has been hard at work preparing a new set of music titled Fairweather Friend, which will be out in January via Slumberland Records and Tough Love Records. Our first taste of the album is the just-released "Three Cheers", which builds on the band's trademark jangle with some textures associated with the somewhat noisier '80s-early '90s British guitar bands. Good stuff!

X (Twitter)


Bandcamp for Fairweather Friend

Various links for Fairweather Friend

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

"Fighting Spirit" by Pop Filter

 This week brought us "Fighting Spirit", the second single from the upcoming CONO LP by Australian band Pop Filter. This edition from the musical tasting menu is a fantastic pop tune. It begins gently and melodically then builds with additional texture and a soaring finish. When added to the first taste of CONO with last month's punchy "Heaven Sent" (our feature here), we know we are in for a varied, high quality set of songs when the album drops in early December. 

CONO with be available via Bobo Integral, Osborne Again and Spunk Records.

Bandcamp for "Fighting Spirit"

Bandcamp for Cono

Monday, October 23, 2023

"WannaBe" by Autogramm


What is this? New Wave/powerpop T Rex? Maybe, maybe not. But it kicks butt for a Monday night and that's good enough reason to post it. The song is "WannBe and the band is Autogramm. The song is taken from the band's upcoming album Music Humans Can Play which will be out November 14 via Stomp Records.

Autogramm are Jiffy Marx (vocals/synths/guitars), The Silo (vocals/drums/synths/guitars), CC Voltage (vocals/bass/guitars), and Lars Von Seattle (guitars/vocals). Obviously, the naming convention for band members is, well, not conventional.




Bandcamp for album

Various relevant links

Stomp Records page for album

Sunday, October 22, 2023

Dot Dash - 16 Again


We have reason to celebrate -- Dot Dash, one of our favorite bands, has released an album collecting 15 of their songs from their previous seven albums, plus a cover of Television Personalities "Jackanory Stories". The title is 16 Again, which refers to the number of songs on the record, but also is a Buzzcocks reference. While not explicitly labeled a greatest hits album, you can expect that the handpicked songs selected from the band's extensive cataloged are intended to wow you. Besides, Dot Dash couldn't give you  any filler tracks because they don't do filler tracks. Trust us, we have devoured all of their albums.

For those of you experiencing Dot Dash for the first time, be advised that the band plays a beefy powerpop with some punk attitude and a good bit of jangle. They also have an appealing Mod twist to some of their songs that will call to mind The Jam (try out "The Color And The Sound"). The songs are hooky and concise and have that quality of instantly sounding like classics. The members are Terry Banks (vocals/guitar), Hunter Bennett (bass), and Danny Ingram (drums). Other bands on their various CVs include Julie Ocean, The Saturday People, Tree Fort Angst, Glo-Worm, St. Christopher, and Youth Brigade.

16 Again is out now in vinyl (the first time ever for a Dot Dash album) and digital formats via Country Mile Records. The previous albums were digital/CD releases and should all be available via Canadian label The Beautiful Music or Dot Dash's Bandcamp page.


Twitter & Twitter (Ingram)

Bandcamp for 16 Again

Country Mile Records

The Beautiful Music

Tuesday, October 17, 2023

The Reds, Pinks & Purples - Murder, Oral Sex & Cigarettes


In a few short years the music of The Reds, Pinks & Purples has come to be regarded as an important and necessary part of the soundtrack at WYMA. As for reasons, of course there is the simple aural pleasure of fine songs with swirling soundscapes and lovely melodies. But the sweet spot of the attraction is the keen observational and storytelling talents of songwriter Glenn Donaldson, outlining both the grit and the hope in the human condition. The latest installment is the six song Murder, Oral Sex & Cigarettes, and we highly recommend it (note that we don't endorse all three activities in the title -- smoking is bad for your health). Two of our favorites are below, but all tracks are worth your time.

The players on this EP are Glenn Donaldson, Kati Mishikian, Lewis Gallardo, Thomas Rubenstein, and Daniel Pearce. Murder, Oral Sex & Cigarettes is available as a digital download, but previous records from the project are available in vinyl from Slumberland Records (US) and Tough Love Records (UK).




Slumberland Records

Tough Love Records

Monday, October 16, 2023

Blue Ocean - Fertile State


What's your personal poison? Noise pop? Shoegaze? Jangle? Post punk? One or more of the foregoing? May we humbly suggest that you can get all of that, as well as memorable melodies and a full load of energy on Fertile State, the debut album from Oakland, California's Blue Ocean. The tracks are distinctly drawn but sufficiently varied that the band is hard to pigeonhole. For our tastes the more aggressive shoegaze/noise pop tracks have the greatest initial appeal. But some of the others, such as "Take A Care", suggest that the band may thrill us mining other musical veins in future releases.

Fertile State is out now in vinyl, CD and digital formats via Slumberland Records.


Bandcamp for Fertile State

Various relevant links

Sunday, October 15, 2023

Bubblegum Lemonade - Out There On The Radio EP


Two factors dictate what we publish: 1. Our tastes; and 2. Available time (this is volunteer activity in addition to work, family, and running through the neighborhood petting dogs). But one rule is that we always make the time for the musical efforts of Laz McCluskey, whether it comes via his Strawberry Whiplash project or, as is the case here, his solo Bubblegum Lemonade. The new record is a three track single titled Out There On The Radio. The lead track will also appear on Laz's upcoming album, while the other two tracks just intended for this release.

For just three tracks, the soundscape on this record is delightfully varied with jangle, fuzz, noise pop, and a some post punk that is a bit more muscular than many past Bubblegum Lemonade songs, all accented with pleasant vocals and some welcome harmonies. Out There On The Radio is out now in digital and vinyl formats via Matinee Recordings.

Thursday, October 12, 2023

Colored Lights - Colored Lights


Just as colored lights can warm up the winter holiday season, the new self-titled album by Norway's Colored Lights can warm our hearts every time we press play. The songs hit the target at that precious intersection of indie pop and power pop with plenty of drive and fuzz underscoring sweet melodies, delightful instrumental accent and well crafted and sincere vocals. And we would be remiss if we didn't mention that the arrangements are quite varied, providing a very enthralling listening experience. Even if approached with a positive attitude, the impact of this album will almost certainly exceed expectations. We think this one is going down on that special year-end list of favorites.

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 is out now via Bobo Integral.

Bandcamp for Colored Lights

Label page for album

"Rearing Wesley" by Wurld Series


What a lovely nugget of psychedelic folk from Wurld Series. "Rearing Wesley" is the new single from the New Zealand band's upcoming November 17 release The Giant's Lawn. Check below for the Bandcamp stream or, better yet, the fantastical video. We love the guitar on this track.

The Giant's Lawn will be released in vinyl and digital formats via Meritorio Records and Melted Ice Cream.


Bandcamp for singles and album pre-orders

Monday, October 9, 2023

"Rise" / "Define Your Dreams" by Azure Blue

 We were feeling a bit lethargic after our weekend, but we jumpstarted the week with the euphoric Nordic pop single "Rise" / "Define Your Dreams" by Azure Blue. We love the soaring synths and the dominant bass lines. It give us good New Order vibes with that appealing Swedish gloss. Get it now via Matinee Recordings.


Matinee Recordings page for record

Friday, October 6, 2023

"Bad Hire" by Teenage Tom Petties

When the boss hires a new associate and later learns that said associate has spent most of the first month of employment watching porn on the company computer, only pausing to alienate the firm's best client, the boss is likely to say "bad hire" (other things may be said as well). And we in the general public run into bad hires when trying to deal with counter service, service calls and conducting business by phone. We aren't bringing this up because we have a solution, but because at least we have an anthem to bad hires -- the appropriately named "Bad Hire" by Teenage Tom Petties. The song doesn't take our side, but rather gives voice to those in an employment situation for which they are unsuited. To be honest, can any of us say that we never have been in that position?

The song is taken from the band's upcoming album Hotbox Daydreams. We are expecting good things.

Teenage Tom Petties are Tom Brown, Galen Richmond, James Brown, Jim Quinn, and Jeff Hamm. Hotbox Daydreams will be out via Safe Suburban Homes and Repeating Cloud on November 3.


Bandcamp for album pre-orders

Various relevant links

Thursday, October 5, 2023

The Popguns - Popism EP

We frequently get harsh reminders that we aren't young anymore. But we still believe in romance and strolls through fallen autumn leaves, and are grateful for any opportunity to sigh with pleasure and surprise at the first listen to good pop music. And this brings us to Popism, the new EP by the wonderful, long-lasting, UK indie pop band The Popguns. The four tracks remind us of the band's impeccable pop nous, professional and, indeed, muscular musicianship, and the vocals of Wendy Pickles, one of our all-time favorite vocalists. As soon as the EP was available we took a walk through the fallen leaves with the record on repeat -- we really had no choice. We recommend that you do the same.

Popism is out now in digital, CD and vinyl formats (see the Bandcamp link below) via Matinee Recordings.




Bandcamp for Popism

Various relevant links

Matinee Recordings page for Popism

Tuesday, October 3, 2023

"Mercury Girl" and "Love Is Overrated" by Lightheaded


Could this be your new favorite pop band? It makes us, um, Lightheaded to consider it (no, we are not above cheap wordplay, especially after beerthirty). Lightheaded is a New Jersey band with pop smarts at the graduate degree level, boy/girl vocals that penetrate your heart, and a Brill building vibe the never fails to rope us in when it is done this well. Yeah, it is nostalgic, but it quite simply is good pop music. You can sample two tracks from their upcoming EP Good Good Great! (a title which we expect will be reflected in our reviews) below. The five-track EP will be out next week via Slumberland Records.

Monday, October 2, 2023

Small Intestines - Hide In Time


Small Intestines are Tristan Peach (Peach Time), Matt Liveriadis (Chook Race) and Rob Remedios (Chook Race) from Melbourne, and they churn out some of the most addictive jangling guitar pop in recent memory. But they also display a broader palette encompassing a folky vein and a bittersweet approach we associate with fellow Aussies Lower Plenty and Dick Diver. The results are presented on Hide In Time, 12 songs that make a strong case for one of the year's top ten albums for us. Pleasing melodies and jangling guitar abound, and there is just the right amount of rough edges in the production. But most impressively is that the songs reflect top quality songwriting and sincere storytelling. These are songs you should want.

Hide In Time will be released September 29 via Meritorio Records in Europe and the United States and by Lost and Lonesome Records in Australia and the rest of the solar system.


Bandcamp for Hide In Time


Seablite - Lemon Lights


September ended with a flourish of quality releases and one of them was Lemon Lights by San Francisco four-piece Seablite. The band often attracts the term shoegaze, but adroitly sidesteps pigeonholing (and criticisms of 'sameness') by crafting songs that are at least as eligible to be labeled dreampop, indie pop, or Britpop. So the level and density of gauze, fuzz or volume may vary, but each track has at its core a delectable pop song. But the true art on offer here isn't just writing a good song and then decorating it with a chosen level of haze, but to perfectly balance the elements to make a distinct aural statement. San Francisco can be proud of this one.

Seablite is Lauren Matsui (vocals/guitar), Galine Tumasyan (vocals/bass), Jen Mundy (guitar) and Andy Pastalaniec (drums). Lemon Lights is out now via Mt. St. Mtn.



Mt. St. Mtn. page for album

Bandcamp for Lemon Lights