Out of nowhere comes the announcement of the debut LP from The Keep Left Signs, a band comprised of members of The Mare and The Electric Pop Group…both who’ve made it onto our pages previously. It’s a sign that, yet again, Shelflife has its finger on the pulse of great indiepop vibes; the sound crafted here is pretty much the staple of every great indiepop hit this year. It features lightly jangling guitars, steady percussive bounce and vocals that always seem to wear a touch of longing. It’s remarkable in that it’s not overly remarkable; it’s crafted with melodies that endure, and if you get your hands on this super-limited release, then I’m sure you’ll agree with that sentiment. It’s titled Tomorrow, and it sees a release on December 8th.
We interviewed Cloud Nothings several years back during Fun Fun Fun Fest, six whole years back, and several albums ago. They were a highlight, winning best drummer award, as I recall.
I last saw Japandroids open for Iggy Pop. That was pretty nuts. They even knew they were speed-bump on the way to the spectacle.
Click through for a few thoughts and the photos.
Our continued allegiance to the Spook School must go on…especially as the band are readying the release of Could it Be Different for next January via Slumberland. This track features Anna on the vocals (who apparently is a tiger), while the group employ their classic buzzsaw guitars and bouncing rhythm section. One of my favorite attributes about the group in this video, which is also present in their live setting, is the enjoyment they seem to have making music together; even with serious subject matter they always manage to bring a light-heartedness to the affair. Infectious pop at its best, so get ready for the rest come January 26th.
Sub Pop have a winner with Loma; I’m going to come out and say it right now. The project is a new musical partnership between Cross Record and Jonathan Meiburg, so it should be no surprise that we’d fawn over the release. And, to be honest, if one was to concoct this mixture fictionally, the actual band sounds precisely what one might create. Emily’s voice seems to be at the front, with Meiburg’s deepened, operatic tones just behind hers; the track unfolds ever so carefully, allowing for instrumental flourishes that are important in the work of their own respective projects…particularly the falling piano line that enters periodically. It’s ornate, textural pop, and we’ll get to hear the entirety of their self-titled debut album on February 16th.
Admittedly, Television Personalities are not a band for everyone, yet I feel as if they’ve informed a lot of the work I adore today. Luckily, the band’s lost album, Beautiful Despair, is being released by Fire Records on January 26th. This song, crafted after an encounter with Evan Dando sounds a bit muddied, almost like a demo, yet like all the best TVP work, there’s a beauty in its imperfections. Oh, and the lyrics, always so clever and hilarious, even when being serious…sitting here I’m just grinning. Dan Treacy was the forefather that every literary indie rocker didn’t know they loved, and hopefully with this release getting some attention, people will start to go back and fall for the band all over again.
Lesneu is a French pop act, and something quite special on this midday adventure. While one could easily put it into the realm of dream pop…there’s much more. The song takes you on a musical journey, or at least moves you in that direction. Drums open, then bass and ringing guitar play off in the distance as an atmospheric wash crosses your speakers. Then come vocals, a minute later, coolly riding the song’s natural vibe. Throughout, the guitars just hang back, lightly circling your ears, leaving plenty of space for the vocals to soar as the track progresses. This track features on the new album Lovin, which will be released by Music from the Masses on December 12th.
We all shed a tear when we learned that Sound On Sound was cancelled. We have a lot of good friends that put so much effort into making this year’s festival amazing, a quantum leap over last year.nnWe will not debate the valor of their efforts to save the festival or lament the missed opportunity of seeing Iggy Pop surrounded by a Ren Fair here.
The thing we may not understand about the festival circuit is that bands are on tour and need to use the festivals to home base around a few stops nearby before and after. Knowing this, the SoS team was able to schedule a few makeup shows to accommodate the travelers. One such show was for Lindstrom, a guy from Norway that was travelling a long way to hang with us. This set was high on my list for standing in a field with friends vibing. We replace the open spaces and axe-throwing for the friendly confines of Cheer Up Charlie’s.
Line & Circle might just be one of the best pop groups around, and it feels like they’re just getting started. This new single seems to be their most mature number, demonstrating the careful work that went into the recording…guitars running circles around your ears, cascading in the distance while the natural melody warms you to your core. It’s the sort of pop that’s not made too often, made for longevity in one’s record collection, not quickly discarded hooks. The group will be releasing Vicious Folly on December 1st (Grand Gallop), with a guarantee of pop music you can revisit for the rest of your times.
The man once revered as JBM simply goes by Jesse Marchant, but what hasn’t changed is his elegant songwriting. He’s just announced Illusion of Love, his latest release, and with that announcement comes this stunning video and single. Marchant seems to have delved deeper into the accompaniment around his style, filling this track with a beautiful piano movement and string arrangements, immersing the listener in the fullest emotional experience; you match that with the powerful video and you have a recipe for success. This new LP will drop on January 26th via No Other.
Around these parts, and by that I mean, me and my friends, the name Martin Newell means a great deal…as one of the core members of Cleaners from Venus, that should mean a great deal to you as well. His career has spanned over several decades, but we got wind yesterday of a new release titled Martin Newell’s Jumble Sale, a collection of lost songs and demos from 1975 to present; their existence alone is reason for rejoicing. Just to have a DIY career span that long, and still have people caring is important…so stream this collection and revel in the joy that is anything with Martin’s name attached to it.