Wednesday, November 29, 2023

"Echoes" by The Umbrellas


With "Echoes", the second single from their upcoming album Fairweather Friend, The Umbrellas thrill us with melancholy shaded guitar pop reminiscent of The Sundays and The Popguns. But amid the jangle  and regret, we note some new nuances in the songwriting and execution that has us eagerly awaiting the album.

Fairweather Friend is out January 26 via Slumberland Records and Tough Love Records.

X (Twitter)


Bandcamp for Fairweather Friend

Links for pre-order of Fairweather Friend

Sunday, November 26, 2023

"Undertow" by Pop Filter


Each of the three singles from the upcoming new album, CONO, by Australian band Pop Filter has been different from the others, but all have been excellent songs. The recently released "Undertow" is bursting with vitality and purpose, with a punk vibe underpinning the loose-limbed pop arrangement. With keys and horns, there is no shortage of ideas, but it all hangs together in a live-to-tape kind of way. If you are making a year end 'best of' list, we suggest saving a slot for CONO.

CONO will be out December 1 via Bobo Integral, Osborne Again and Spunk Records.

Bandcamp for Cono

Sunday, November 19, 2023

Wurld Series The Giant's Lawn


Spoiler alert: The Giant's Lawn is one of our favorite albums of the year. So, on to other things.

Just kidding about the "other things", but we are quite serious about the rich musical tapestry that New Zealand's Wurld Series has dropped for our pleasure. Dipping into the well of New Zealand indie pop but expanding the palette with progressive folk, psychedelia and folk rock that will recall sounds from the UK in the '60s and '70s, the band offers spry compositions that balance light and dark, drone and twinkle, fuzz/jangle and pastoral calm. With 17 songs, Wurld Series has given themselves plenty of room to develop their ideas and cover multiple facets of their art, but nothing is redundant or overstays its welcome. The guitars are a joy throughout and the arrangements are fantastic and often fantastical. 

We think this album deserves to be on the turntable of every indie fan, and it is already in our 10 ten of 2023 list.

Wurld Series are Luke Towart, Brian Feary, Ben Woods, and Ben Dodd. The Giant's Lawn is out now via Meritorio Records and Melted Ice Cream.


Bandcamp for The Giant's Lawn

Friday, November 17, 2023

"Forms of Knowing" by Outer World


Tracy Wilson and Kenny Close are not strangers to the world of indie music. Tracy was in Dahlia Seed and Ringfinger and Tracy and Kenny were in Positive No. But what has captivated us this morning is the first single from their current project, Outer World. The song is "Forms of Knowing", a dreamy and insistent slice of psychedelic pop. It is taken from Who Does The Music Love, which will be out in March 2024 via HHBTM Records. We hope there are some additional singles before the album drops. We think it will be a winner!



Bandcamp for album

Label page for album

Various links for Outer World

Friday, November 10, 2023

Model Shop - Check The Forecast


Infused with great hooks, energetic musicianship, and the ineffable joy of making music, Check The Forecast by Model Shop is your feel good pop record of the week. November is Seattle's rainiest month, but you wouldn't know it after listening to the four tracks on this record.  "Easy Winter" is the lead single, but the true sunshine is delivered by the complete EP. Masterful work by this trio and you shouldn't delay treating your ears.

Model Shop is Ethan Jones (vocals/guitar), Jen Fox (bass/vocals), and Kevin Emerson (vocals/drums). Check The Forecast EP is out now in vinyl and digital formats via Meritorio Records.




Bandcamp for EP

Thursday, November 9, 2023

"Self Help" by Dumb Things


Proclaiming progress on self improvement, and expressing hope that the fruits will bring back a former lover, "Self Help" is the title track from the upcoming third album by Brisbane's Dumb Things. It is a terrific slice of mellow jangle that hits us just right.

Dumb Things are Adam Vincent (guitar/vocals), Madeleine Keinonen (guitar/vocals), James Southey (guitar/vocals), Andrew Robinson (bass), and Patrick Hill (drums). The album will be out in the new year via Brisbane label Coolin' By Sound.



Bandcamp for single

Various links for Dumb Things

Wednesday, November 8, 2023

Dancer - As Well


About a half year ago we featured an EP by a new Glasgow-based project called Dancer (link). In light of the members' association with acts such as Nightshift, Robert Sotelo, Current Affairs, and Order of the Toad, we expected good things.  And the band delivered.

Dancer has just release a second EP titled As Well. The band's versatility is on display with gentler songs and songs with a harder bite. But all the tracks have in common a prominent and delightful rhythms and undeniable charm. 

The Band is Gemma Fleet (vocals), Chris Taylor (guitar/keytar), Andrew Doig (bass), and Gavin Murdoch (drums). As Well is out now in digital and cassette formats via Gold Mold Records.


Bandcamp for As well

Various links for Dancer

Tuesday, November 7, 2023

Mope City - Population: 4

Does Mope City make music to which you can mope? Well, we suppose you could do that. But we find their art intriguing and entertaining even when we are in a good mood. Their latest effort is Population: 4, ten tracks of  jangling, twanging downcast rock that may call to mind Low, Polvo, or a somewhat deconstructed Jesus and Mary Chain. Perhaps it is the aftermath of Halloween, but more likely it is just us, but we find jangling guitars, thundering bass and gloomy vocals to be right up our alley these days. We began the day with the album as the soundtrack for our morning coffee, and we'll end it with one more spin before bed. Three of our favorites are below, and we think we reflect the range of the songs on the album. Enjoy!

Mope City are Amaya Lang, Matt Neville Shaun Donovan, and Nick Johnson. Population: 4 is out now via Tenth Court Records.


Bandcamp for Population 4

Sunday, November 5, 2023

Vanishing Twin - Afternoon X


We are remiss in not writing sooner about Afternoon X by London trio Vanishing Twin. It has given us great delight for a couple of months and we still discover new joys with every listen. The band spreads its psychedelic arts across tracks that can be described as pop, trip hop, electronic pop, creating a soundscape that is both aurally colorful and pleasingly fluid. Even at its most experimental, and it definitely has plenty of such moments, it is playful and accessible. At some point, you may even think that you have begun to hallucinate. In fact, you may be hallucinating, but not to worry, it likely is just the music. Well, probably it is just the music. You do you, and we won't judge. However, we recommend that you give this album your ears. 

For this record Vanishing Twin is Cathy Lucas, Valentina Magaletti and Susumu Mukai. Afternoon X is out now via Fire Records.



X (Twitter)


Bandcamp for Afternoon X

Various links for Afternoon X

Thursday, November 2, 2023

Chance Occurrence by Postal Blue


Postal Blue is Brazilian artist Adriano do Couto. Adriano intends to release a series of singles in the upcoming months, the first of which is the two-track Chance Occurrence. The title track is a jangling gem that hits our sweet spot oh so very nicely. The second track is a sincere acoustic ballad that ably shows Adriano's versatility. If the following singles are up to this standard, consider our ears to be captured. 

Readers interest in other releases from Postal Blue can check out his Of Love & Other Affections which we covered in 2015 (link).



X (Twitter)