Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Emma Russack and Lachlan Denton - When It Ends

After earlier today making the point that life is too short to listen to crap music, we are being extra careful to ensure that all our recommendations meet our lofty quality standards (regrettably, we are not responsible for lower quality standards after happy hour tomorrow).  Thus we have carefully chosen as the subject of this following post When It Ends, the new album by Emma Russack and Lachlan Denton.  Denton is familiar to regular readers as a member of The Ocean Party, a band that appears on these pages whenever the prolific Melbourne outfit releases one of their frequent gems.  Emma Russack is a gifted vocalist and storyteller who has fronted the band Lola Flash and released several solo albums in this decade.  Together, Russack and Denton have crafted ten songs that artfully merge a breezy, melodic simplicity with remarkable subtlety and grace.  The volume is restrained, instrumentation economical, and the delivery relaxed.  Thus, the focus can rest on the lyrical content and sincerity of the performance.  Projecting an atmosphere of warm acceptance of what life offers, these are songs that you will wear repeatedly like your favorite sweater, with a new spark of joy with every repeated listen.  For the last week I have ended every day with at least one complete play of When It Ends, and I don't think that practice will end any time soon.

When It Ends is out now as a digital download via Melbourne label Osborne Again Music.  See the Bandcamp link below.











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Various Artists - Life's Too Short To Listen To Crap Music


In a world in which leaders deliberately spread false messages, we need to value statements that are inescapably truth.  One such statement forms the title of the latest compilation from Flagstaff's Emotional Response Records: Life's Too Short To Listen To Crap Music.  The label has released a wealth of excellent music lately, and they've curated a set that will become your go-to collection for indie rock you really want to hear.  Of course, the underlying albums by the artists also are available.

At $7 for a digital download of 21 songs, you can't afford not to own this record.

Mick Trouble:


UV-TV:


Even As We Speak:


The Ocean Party:


Razz:


Possum Moods:



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Emotional Response Records

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Laura Veirs - The Lookout

The Lookout is a beautiful album with an important message.  The message is pay attention to the special, beautiful things in your life because you cannot rely on them being there forever.  The delivery consists of 12 folky pop songs that serve as an exquisite example to anyone who seeks to write music.  Knowing indie fans have long known of the special art of Laura Veirs, but this is a great opportunity for everyone else to learn as well.  Veirs' songs are confident, detailed, emotionally rich, and perceptive.  But most of all, they are incredibly pleasing to the ear.  By the way, the excellent production is by ace producer, and Veirs' husband, Tucker Martine.

The Lookout is out now in vinyl, CD and digital formats.








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Sunday, April 15, 2018

"Ooooh Baby in the Chorus" by Death And The Maiden

One of our favorite New Zealand bands is the trio known as Death And The Maiden.  Combining reverbed guitars and synths with enchanting and darkly colored vocals, they weave a spell which is seductive, although slightly unsettling.  Wisteria, their latest album, will be available soon but they have provided a glimpse of the gems within via album track "Ooooh Baby In The Chorus".  "Ooooh Baby in the Chorus" is available now as a digital download.  Wisteria is available April 27 in New Zealand and Australia via Fishrider Records, and UK and Europe on May 11 via UK label Occultation.

Death And The Maiden are Lucinda King, Hope Robertson, and Danny Brady.




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"Talking Straight by Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever


One of our favorite Melbourne bands, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, will release Hope Downs, their debut LP, in June via Sub Pop.  You can have a taste with this video for "Talking Straight".




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Saturday, April 14, 2018

Black Gold Buffalo - Black Gold Buffalo

Black Gold Buffalo entered our consciousness in early February, and we immediately told our readers about it because that is what we do with great musical discoveries (link).   The London quartet now has released their self-titled debut album, and to be perfectly honest, it is even better than we thought likely -- and we expected quality.  Our only concern was whether the band's previously released material was far above the remainder of the album.  This is an understandable concern because that sort of thing happens often in the music world.  However, we are here to assure you that Black Gold Buffalo is excellent, darkly-shaded, pulsating dance rock crafted to the same high standards as the singles.  This is a keeper of an album, folks.

Black Gold Buffalo are Keziah Stilwell (vocals), Hannah Holland (rhythm/production), Joy Joseph (rhythm/production), and Marc Hayward (guitar).   The album is available via the band's own Buff Rekkids label.  Check your preferred digital sources.








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Friday, April 13, 2018

Say Sue Me - Where We Were Together

We like going far and wide for our thrills -- in music, food, beer and all the other important things in life.  So today's first musical treat hails from Busan, South Korea, courtesy of Say Sue Me.  Their new album is Where We Were Together, an energetic blend of '60 garage filtered through '90s noise and surf pop.  The affecting female vocals ride the instrumental waves of a band that plays like there is nothing else they would rather be doing.  Thinking about it, there is nothing else we'd rather have them doing either.   And this album isn't a one-note fast tempo affair either, as they can dial it back and let Sumi fill your head with bittersweet musings reminiscent of those Camera Obscura songs you cherish.  Exhibit A would be the charming "Funny and Cute".

We think that this band is poised for a breakthrough, and this album deserves to give them the boost.  In our view, Where We Were Together is an excellent way to begin your weekend.

Say Sue Me are Jae Young, Kim Byunkyu, Kang Semin, and Sumi Choi, although Kang is recovering from injury and drummer Chang Won is standing in.  The band are touring the UK and Europe in April and May.  Where We Were Together is out today in digital, CD, and vinyl formats via Damnably and Electric Muse.  Stream and source at the Bandcamp link below.






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Thursday, April 12, 2018

The Amazing - In Transit

Swedish project The Amazing may set a high bar for assessing their music in choosing their name, but one can't deny the quality of the results.  The latest edition is the recently released In Transit, a glorious 11-track statement constructed of the tension of light and fog, glimmer and distortion.  Atmospheric and richly textured, it manages to soar while remaining slightly reticent and consciously shrouded in haze.  For us, the overall impression after listening to In Transit is like waking up from a pleasant dream, remembering some parts with clarity while other parts remain just slightly beyond our reach.  When we wake up from such a dream, we usually wish we could fall asleep again and resume the dream, but of course that rarely happens.  Happily, after we finish this new gem from The Amazing, we simply can press "replay".

The Amazing are frontman Christoffer Gunrup (guitar/vocals), Reine Fiske (guitar), Moussa Fadera (drums), Alexis Benson (bass), and Frederik Swahn (keys/guitar).  In Transit is out now in vinyl, CD and digital formats.  See the Bandcamp link below for details.











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Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Holy Wave - Adult Fear

On Adult Fear, the third album by Austin's Holy Wave, the band weaves a dreamy psychedelia with enough traces of mystery and veins of unease to create a soundscape reflecting the record's title.  The arrangements are layered and enveloping, sprawling patiently while revealing varied textures and sly hooks through the haze.  This band knows what they like, and what they are good at, and Adult Fear is their best album yet.  Fans of psychedelia can rejoice.

Holy Wave are Kyle Hager, Dustin Zozaya, Julian Ruiz, Joey Cook, and Ryan Fuson.  Adult Fear is out now in vinyl, digital and CD formats via Reverberation Appreciation Society.  A cassette version is available via Burger Records.







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"Running In The Dark" by Color Dolor


Friday brings the release of "Running In The Dark", a taste of what Finnish band Color Dolor will deliver next month with full-length album Love.  The album promises to be an examination of the titular concept from multiple angles, expressed through the original pop and skewed R&B of this Helsinki band.  "Running In The Dark" is an intimate R&B-flavored track that is perfect for your late evening listening.

Color Dolor features Stina Koistinen (vocals) and Nicolas "Leissi" Rehn, although they add musicians for drums, bass and synths when playing live.  Love will be released May 4 in vinyl, cassette and digital formats via Soliti Music.




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Monday, April 9, 2018

Triptides - Visitors

The sun is out today, and our mood requires some sun-kissed psychedelia.  Fortunately, LA's Triptides are ready, willing and able to meet our needs with the 12-track beauty, Visitors.  Those who have followed the band through their previous five albums know what they will get -- swirling, trippy psychedelic pop reminiscent of the '60s and early '70s.  These guys have the substance of the genre running through their veins, and their execution is impeccable.  This album may be their best yet, and will please with songs spanning the spectrum from rocking to dreamy.  Put on your sunscreen.

Visitors is available now in vinyl, CD and digital formats via French label Requiem Pour Un Twister.







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Sunday, April 8, 2018

"Talking in My Head" by Delsbo Beach Club


We have a new single from Rama Lama Records' band Delsbo Beach Club.  Formed in Umea but now based in Stockholm, the band works the indie pop/surf pop groove we find irresistible.  And since it is raining and windy as we write this, it helps us think of better times ahead.

Delsbo Beach Club are Erik Bjorkland, Jesper Jonason, Alexander Kuronen, Stas Heilyk, and Ebba Vikdahl.  They will be releasing their debut EP, and we hope to bring it to you.



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Friday, April 6, 2018

Firestations - The Year Dot

It doesn't take long to welcome The Year Dot, the new album from Firestations, into our hearts.  Opening track "Build A Building" evokes the joy of life, with soaring choruses, pulsating rhythms and dancing guitars and synths.  That song also tells us what we can expect in the following tracks, and reveals the defining characteristic of Firestations.  Starting with well-conceived pop songs, the band then goes to work decorating the bones with layers of delightful sounds, vocal and instrumental, resulting in an exceptionally rich listening experience.  And this assessment doesn't apply only to the upbeat songs.  Even the few songs with a more languid pace benefit from dynamic structures and an arsenal of textures and details.  Lyrically, the band addresses everyday life, but rarely has the mundane, even sharply observed as it is here, been rendered this colorfully.  The Year Dot is like a musical fireworks show, and you won't want to miss it.

The members of Firestations are Mike Cranny, Laura Copsey, Martin Thompson, Giles Littleford, and Tom Hargreaves.  The Year Dot is out now via Lost Map Records.








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Thursday, April 5, 2018

Amen Dunes - Freedom

Damon McMahon, aka Amen Dunes, has proved himself to be a musical shapeshifter over his career to date, as well as an exacting craftsman.  As revealed in his new album, Freedom, his current version is our favorite yet, combining accessible pop tunes and appealing grooves with darkly shaded meditations on life, mortality, masculinity, relationships and human foibles.  The album was three years in the making, but the reward for the listener is perfectly formed songs, combining guitars, synths, and crisp percussion to provide a glimmering, swaggering platform for McMahon's passionate and expressive vocals.  These are songs that are vulnerable yet confident, spiritual yet profane and gritty.  Redemption may be in the sky or in the gutter, or maybe nowhere at all.  But this is the perfect soundtrack to contemplate the possibilities.

I don't know what kind of freedom McMahon is looking for, if any.  Maybe it is just the freedom you grant to yourself to look at the past, remember, judge, and forgive.  Maybe it is the freedom to clean out the corners of the emotional attic and move on with life.  Maybe it will give you a journey to freedom, as well as immediate pleasure.  And you'll dance -- even if you are crying.  McMahon has said that "[y]ou make art to make good art, you don't make art to get accolades."  While we appreciate the sentiment, we believe that good art deserves accolades regardless of expectations, and we suggest that Freedom deserves accolades -- and your ears.  Suggested listening approaches: (1) Earphones; or (2) Driving at night with a good audio system.

Freedom is out now in vinyl, CD and digital formats via Sacred Bones Records.  See the Bandcamp link below.












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Nathan & Eva - Nathan & Eva EP

Brother-sister duo Nathan & Eva (Nathan and Eva Leach) have built a credible following on You Tube over the last few years, mostly playing covers of other artists.  They now have stepped forward with an EP of their own work, and we think it is worth checking out.  Fans of their previous work are aware of Nathan's solid musicianship and Eva's exceptional vocals.  This self-title record will burnish their reputations in those areas, and add songwriting to their accomplishments -- each of them contributed lyrics for two of the tracks.  So if you are looking for a sweet spot in your day, listen to Nathan & Eva.  You may even want to take it home with you.  And a tip, while all the songs are good, if you only have time for one, listen to "Grocery Boy"; it may have you dancing around the room.



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Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Soccer Mommy - Clean

With Soccer Mommy we get a trifecta of goodness.  The crunch and jangle of the guitars perk up our ears, as always, the vocals and the accompanying oohs and aahs make us smile, and the introspective and perceptive lyrics prompt us to nod and mark Sophie Allison as an artist to keep watching.  Clean is her second release since the beginning of 2017, but as the preceding Collection consisted of re-recorded songs from the past few years, it really is her real debut album.

Soccer Mommy rocks out on a few notable tracks, and several more boast a well-constructed loud/soft dynamic.  But this album still has a dominant foot planted in the singer-songwriter universe.  While we personally look forward to further movement into the noisier space in future work, we are by no means complaining.  Allison is an artist that conveys vulnerability and angst with an impressively deft touch, and her chosen arrangements, while often restrained in volume and pace, are richly detailed to make the killer point as sharp as possible.

The players on Clean are Sophie Allison (guitar/vocals/bass), Julian Powell (lead guitar), Nick Brown (drums), and Gabe Wax (keys/bass/guitar/drum programming/percussion).  The album is out now via Fat Possum Records.







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"Dead Connection" by Pictish Trail (video)

We're working hard today and may not post much.  But the inability to reach certain people we needed to reach to complete ongoing projects brought to mind "Dead Connection" from the latest album by Pictish Trail, our favorite musician living on the Scottish island of Eigg.  The song is taken from the 2016 release Future Echoes, but is timely today because it is the subject of the recently released video which you can stream below.  It also is timely because the album is getting a well deserved reissue from Fire Records later this month.  Enjoy!

When not answering to Pictish Trail, the artist also answers to Johnny Lynch (and perhaps other names as well).




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Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Frankie Cosmos - Vessel

Originally a bedroom project of Greta Kline, Frankie Cosmos are unveiled as a full band for Vessel.  We give them a hearty welcome, and offer some advice to our readers:  Don't miss this one!  Full (and by full, we mean 18 songs) of concise, perfectly formed earworms featuring Greta's girlish soprano and her wry lyricism.  The arrangements are dynamic, and with a running time under 34 minutes for the entire album, each song stays long enough to earn your love and then leaves you wanting more.  As was the case with the last effort from Frankie Cosmos, Vessel will be on a number of year-end lists by knowing music writers.  We hope that this time more of you will be able to nod your head and say "oh, we know", rather than "who"?  You've been warned.

Frankie Cosmos are Greta Kline (guitar/vocals/songwriting), David Maine (bass/vocals), Lauren Martin (keys/vocals/guitar), and Luke Pyenson (drums).  Vessel is out now in digital, vinyl, CD and cassette formats via Sup Pop.








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Mark Martyre - Southern Soul Sessions


We are unabashed fans of the bittersweet tunes by singer/songwriter/poet Mark Martyre, so we are happy to present his little two-song record, Southern Soul Sessions.  The songs were recorded and released to mark the start of Martyre's 2018 tour.  Track 1, "Wait", features Stacey Dowswell, who will be performing with Mark on tour.  "Never Forget You", the second song, features Matt Antaya.

Southern Soul Sessions is available now as a digital download.



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Monday, April 2, 2018

Baker Island - Always, 1995


Mondays -- how to deal with Mondays is an age-old problem.  I expect that even our cave-dwelling ancestors dreaded the beginning of the work week ("No, woman! Grul is too hungover to hunt wholly mammoth, me must sleep longer." [Citation omitted]).  However, in our struggle to survive, and serve our higher calling, we venture into the week nonetheless.   The secret to such heroic perseverance is external stimulants.  In our case, this Monday morning is brought to you by Baker Island.  The Newcastle upon Tyne noise pop band has gifted us with Always, 1995, a forward pushing blast of well crafted tunes to jump-start the week.  Consisting of the closing song from their most recent LP, Restless Legs, and three new worthies, it is just what our office psychiatrist recommends for beginning the day.

Always, 1995 is out now in cassette and digital formats via Philophobia Music.




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Friday, March 30, 2018

"The Money Pit" by Matti Jasu

Turku, Finland's Matti Jasu is a singer songwriter whose tastes seem to run towards the rock end of the spectrum.  He intends to release an album later this year, but has shared new single "The Money Pit".  A poppy garage rock number with some hints of the '60s and '80s, it should put a bounce in your step for the weekend.

"The Money Pit" is available as a digital download for 'name your price' on Bandcamp.




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Thursday, March 29, 2018

Various Artists - Under the Paving Stones: Flowers in the Dustbin Records 2007-2017

The best compilations give you good music.  But more than that, they give you music that is top drawer, varied, and hard to find -- evidence that the curator put thought and elbow grease into the project, and added value by providing something you couldn't easily find elsewhere.  And by those standards, Under The Paving Stones: Flowers in the Dustbin Records 2007-2017 is one of the best compilations.  It is a product of the Glasgow label and multimedia collective Flowers in the Dustbin, which has the modest motto: "Be reasonable - demand genius".  And living up to its motto, FITD over the last decade has discovered wonderful bands and released thrilling music.  Many artists are Scottish, some are English, and the continent is represented as well.  Some of these bands haven't released full albums, and albums released by some of them may be hard to find.  Fortunately, the label is celebrating their first decade by compiling 21 of songs they have released previously, as well as "Is This Disco" by Hitlist Youth, which we featured recently.  The compilation includes three songs of taut post punk from Kick to Kill (who should be kicked for not having managed an album yet). several tracks of surreal indie rock by Mummy Short Arms, two songs by For Abel, including the passionate anthem "For Yorkshire", sweet and upbeat pop by The Deadline Shakes, dreampop from Entheogen, three tracks of some of the best jangle pop/folk rock you've not previously heard by The Echo Session, and many more.  (In fact, The Echo Session is one of my favorite bands to have released fewer than a handful of songs  - what the hell are they doing with all their time, investment banking?.)

Yes, we have featured a number of these releases over the past decade, but we are truly excited to have them available in a single release.  To elaborate on our comment in the first paragraph of this post, this album is one of the essential compilations of this year, perhaps of the decade.














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Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Camp Cope - How to Socialize & Make Friends


Those of us that love scrappy, punk oriented guitar pop and aren't profiled in one of the songs on How to Socialize & Make Friends.  If you are profiled as one of the assholes who have burdened the three women who comprise Camp Cope, you should rethink your life (although you probably won't).  The songs crafted for this album by the Melbourne trio are heartfelt and authentic, and performed with passion.  Despite the "punk" label, a number of the tracks are mid-tempo with stripped down instrumentation, and their is a bit of folk to the delivery.  Perhaps think of it as a feminist Beat Happening.  But why speculate? Test out a few songs below, and if they work for you head to the Bandcamp link.

Camp Cope are Georgia Maq (vocals/guitar), Kelly-Dawn Kelso (bass), Sarah Thompson (drums)









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Tracey Thorn - Record

I don't know if Tracey Thorn's career arc from Marine Girls, to Everything But The Girl, to solo pop albums, and now to disco diva is logical in any abstract sense, but the quality of the songs on her recently released Record suggest that disco is, if not inevitable, very welcome.  Consisting of nine songs, including dancefloor thumpers like "Queen" and "Guitar", bubbling funk of "Sister", and the hazy brooding of "Smoke" and "Go", the album boast an impressive range.  My favorites run towards the dance-oriented songs, but your tastes might lead you to the others.  The lyrical content focuses on autobiographical musings and social observations about the role of women with goals and ambition, underscoring the artist's intelligence as well as her musical talents.  The result is an album with a brain, a heart, and the engine room to move your body.  The production is polished and playful, and Thorn's voice is still a commanding instrument.  You can stream the album at various digital sources, or at the Soundcloud link below.

Record is out now via Merge Records.







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Monday, March 26, 2018

Fine China - Not Thrilled

Arizona's Fine China is a band that was formed in the late '90s, persevered into this decade (with a hiatus or two and some line-up changes), and continues to provide us with fresh-sounding guitar pop that recalls some of the best of the '80s.  On their new album, Not Thrilled, the band offers seemingly effortless earworms that will recall The Smiths, New Order, The Cure and OMD.  And while their version of guitar pop wears a Britpop sheen, it has its own quirky charm and never sound imitative.

Fine China is Rob Withem (guitar/vocals), Greg Markov (bass), and Thom Walsh (drums).  On their new album Not Thrilled,







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Puunhalaaja - Kari

For most of us, listening to Kari, the new album by Helsinki's Puunhalaaja, is an exercise in listening to melody, and to the emotion that is ascertainable via melody, tone, phrasing, volume and pace.  The impact of the lyrics will only be understandable to listeners who speak Finnish.  However, the melodic sense, warmth, and restrained energy evident on this album was more than enough to earn Kari a spot on our pages.  With plenty of quieter moments and generous spacing accented by loud-soft dynamics and a few raucous segments, this set of songs will provide rich rewards to the dedicated listener.  Subtlety, by definition, doesn't call attention to itself, but searching for your treasure is part of the prize.

Puunhalaaja are Sebastian Forss (guitar, vocals), Aleksi Peltonen (bass), Mikko Sulonen (guitar), and Olli Juvonen (drums).  Kari is out now via Soliti Music.












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Saturday, March 24, 2018

"On the Run" by Cameo Habitat

New band alert, this time for Edinburgh four piece indie rock band Cameo Habitat.  Admittedly, the internet tubes don't offer much of their music at this point, but the youngsters have uploaded the demo recording of "On the Run", which may or may not be available as a single at this point.  There seems to be some real talent here, so enjoy the song and keep an ear out for them.

Cameo Habitat are Bonnie Higgs (drums), Nicolas Mason (guitars), Oskar O'neill (guitars), and Rowan Gallacher (bass/lead vocals).



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Friday, March 23, 2018

"We Like You" by Errant Boy

The long wait for the second album from Scottish indie savants Errant Boy is made even more painful by the quality of the singles they have shared.  And because the band in knowing and benevolent, they ease our pain by making the singles available as a free digital download.  We are simple people, and we now are happy -- for the moment.   So here you can stream and download "We Like You", featuring a bubbling rhythm and an icy guitar jangle.  This is just the jaunty single you needed to begin your weekend.  Absolutely cooler than cool!

Errant Boy is Sean Ormsby, Chris Harvie, and Sarrah McLaren.  Their music is available via Errant Media.



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Thursday, March 22, 2018

"Domino" by The New Tigers

Turku, Finland's The New Tigers consistently deliver playful, colorful guitar pop of the highest order.  Their new record, Do Xao, will not be available on April 20, the trio has generously shared album track "Domino".  Bright, happy, and even danceable, it is a lovely musical nugget and suggests great things will come in the album.

The New Tigers are Appu Jasu, Janne Kauppinen, and Baltteri Virtanen.  Do Xao will be released via Soliti Music.



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Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Popincourt - The Brilliant Missing Link EP

A bracing blast of sophisticated, mod-styled pop hits your ears with the title song of the two-track The Brilliant Missing Link EP by Paris-based Popincourt.  The pace changes for the stylish instrumental B-side, "ImprovISAtion (Part 1, 2 & more)".  On this record Popincourt once again shows us why they are a band to watch, and a repeated favorite around WYMA headquarters.

The Brilliant Missing Link EP is available in digital and vinyl formats via Jigsaw Records.



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Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Marc With a C - Obscurity


Hey, if any of you are in the Orlando area and see Marc With a C, please tell him he passed the audition.  What audition?  Well, he sent us a copy of his new album Obscurity some weeks ago, but Marc -- excuse me, Marc With a C -- hadn't been on our musical radar and the press of life prevented us from listening upon receipt.  However my unique filing system resulted in the CD still being on my desk last week, so I grabbed it on my way to work and loaded it into the car stereo.  It still is in the car stereo, and I'm still listening to it.  It turns out that Marc With a C is a very adept pop craftsman, and his album is an engaging selection if intelligent, witty tunes that encompass acoustic, power pop, and several other styles with panache.  Enjoy a few of them below, including the Smithereens' style power pop of "Terribly Popular", bitter indie pop "Your Goddamn Birthday", the folk rock "One Of These Are Gonna Be Your Day", and the country ditty "Please Don't Let My Art Die".  Any further requirements can be satisfied at the Bandcamp link.








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The Jazz Butcher - The Violent Years


Fire Records is working hard to ensure that the music of Pat Fish, aka The Jazz Butcher, doesn't become lost to new ears (or old fans).  We think that this is a divinely endorsed mission, and we encourage you to support it.  Last year, the label released a compilation of The Jazz Butcher's first four albums entitled The Wasted Years.  They now have followed that with The Violent Years, which brings together albums Fishcoteque, Big Scarey Planet, The Cult of the Basement, and Condition Blue, all of which were released via Creation Records from 1988 to 1991.  The Violent Years is available now as a four CD bookback set (20 page booklet) or digital download.

The 42 songs are superbly crafted, and are packed with pop references, social commentary, dark humor, love, loss, and joy.  The presentation often jangles and there is a bit of a too-cool-for-school vibe that adds to the outsider atmosphere.  But working with various artists, including at time members of Spacemen 3, Suede, Blue Aeroplanes, and the rhythm section from The Weather Prophets, Fish's arrangements are deceptively tight and perfectly proportioned.  While the collection could be described as dream pop, the collection includes sufficient examples of jangle pop, drone rock, garage pop, roots rock and country modes to resist any single tag.  References could include the The Velvet Underground, The Go-Betweens, Lloyd Cole and the Commotions, The Weather Prophets, among many others.

In our opinion, this is an essential guitar pop collection that transcends boundaries of style, geography and era.  We've provided multiple samples below, but we strongly encourage you to visit the Bandcamp link and listen to the entire album while waiting for your own physical or digital copy to arrive.



















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"Bailiff Love" and new EP by Bamboo Smoke

We recently posted the smoldering wonder that is "To The Waves" by London duo Bamboo Smoke.  Their music is languid in pace, but also is intimate and soulful.  We now can share new song "Bailiff Love", as well as the news that the band has released an EP titled Two Human.  The EP consists of three tracks, "Sleepless", "To The Waves", and "Bailiff Love".  You can stream all three songs on the band's Soundcloud page or at the link listed at the bottom of this post, and buy the EP at your preferred digital outlet.

Bamboo Smoke are Louise (lyrics, vocals) and Tom (instruments, production).



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Monday, March 19, 2018

Caroline No - Swimmers EP

Wandering the internet and stumbling on to the Swimmers EP by Caroline No is like realizing that you are hungry, 10 miles from home, and you forgot your wallet, and then finding a $20 bill on the ground -- salvation and satisfaction in one, unexpected event.  The record consists of six dreamy, lo-fi songs by Melbourne's Caroline Kennedy and friends that manage to be very sweet and satisfying despite their unassuming presentation.  The overall impression is of hazy romanticism and emotional exploration, but without drama or anxiety.  Take a chance -- discover Caroline No.

Kennedy, whose past projects include Plums and Deadstar wrote all of the songs and created the album art.  For this record she is joined by Ian Wadley (drums/bass), Mick Turner (guitar/keys) and Marty Brown (drums on track 4).  Mick Turner also produced the album







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Bandcamp for Swimmers EP


"Is This Disco?" by Hitlist Youth

Scotland is justifiably known for scrappy indie music -- angular, loud, fast and at times a bit in your face.  Examples from the past include Josef K, Fire Engines, and Franz Ferdinand.  Well, we have a new hero for that space: Stirling, Scotland's well-named Hitlist Youth.  Their long-awaited debut single, "Is This Disco", is now available via the choosy curators of musical genius, Glasgow's Flowers In The Dustbin.  Get it as a single, or as one of the songs on the upcoming compilation from the the label, Under The Paving Stones.



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Flowers In The Dustbin page for "Is This Disco?"
Pre-order page for Under the Paving- Sones

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Flower Truck - Mostly Sunny

Hooray! Flower Truck has left some lovely arrangements for us.  And this is indeed a special delivery -- all the way from Sydney and everything is as fresh as the day it was shipped.  The mostly sunny songs on Mostly Sunny are indie pop with breadth, brains and heart.  Some will scratch your jangle pop itch, some with hint at the melancholy art of The Cure.  And there is a strong strain of garage rock as well.  Yes, indeed, like an expensive floral arrangement there is a lot going on.  But the hooks draw your focus, as they should, and then the incredible lushness keeps you in place until the final note.  Wait, you say, lush garage pop?  That's right, this foursome creates their own tapestry and once you hear it, you wouldn't want it any other way.

We haven't had this much trouble choosing only four representative songs all year, so enjoy the streams below, but then go to Bandcamp and try them all.  We have only had this album for a few days, but it has gone from "oh, nice" to "essential listening" to "end of the year favorites list" to "we can't listen only to Flower Truck, can we?"

Flower Truck are Hamish, Charles, Sarah, and Will.  Mostly Sunny is out now via Spunk Records.








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Spunk Records page for Mostly Sunny CD
Spunk Records page for Mostly Sunny LP