As we’re all looking back on the year 2019, I tend to gravitate towards lists with little agenda, other than to shine a light back on the year in the areas I adore. For one, the indiepop scene. Now, there’s always a great big debate about what indie pop is, so for all intents and purposes, I admit that I just don’t care, so the genre’s purists can yell at me later. Now, this may read as a best of, but merely this is the stuff that stuck out in my brain, so if I missed something, I love you and I’m sorry. Honestly, it just gave me a chance to make a fun playlist (2+ hours!) full of hits for all you pop fans.
Chris from Jigsaw Records has been super kind to us over the years, and super kind to you all with his wonderful label. I reached out and asked for a list for 2019, no rules, no nothing…so he came back with his Best Selling Jigsaw releases…most of these were making waves at his brand new brick and mortar record shop in Portland, My Vinyl Underground.
Remember when you bought that first Pains of Being Pure at Heart LP and you couldn’t tell whether you wanted to rock out or just start your own twee pop band? Well, now you’ve got A Certain Smile to help emulate that very mood, brandishing their own short buzzy pop number. This one’s like a sweet little sampler of indiepop, over in just over 2 minutes, with the band’s current label Jigsaw Records claiming its the best indiepop single you’ll hear this year. That’s super high praise, but to be fair, the band currently includes the owner of the label…but it definitely is high up there on my list. I’ll say top 10. What do you think? The whole Bae EP is out next week on September 20th, with a full LP to follow soon after.
Everyone has their own definition of indiepop; but I tend to ascribe to the original craft where DIY aesthetics and a softer response to punk were all the rage. But, to each their own. So I went through last year to compile what I think is a pretty all encompassing Best of Indiepop 2018; there’s no order, just a collection of really great indiepop. Some of the below are songs, some are albums, some are just bands or labels that were important. Click on for my picks and a playful playlist. Read more
Not too long ago we shared “Mexican Coke,” which was a nod to everything we love about the greater genre of indiepop. A Certain Smile are back again with this bouncing number that faintly resembles our local favorites and friends, Tres Oui, though this tune has just a hint more dreaminess. That comes across in the way the vocals are delivered, wispy and light, just hanging out there in the air. The band is just around the corner from releasing their new LP Fits and Starts, which is shaping up to be filled with catchy ditty after ditty; it drops on March 9th.
Just as I was lamenting a shortage of great indiepop vibes in the 2018, it looks like the world was destined to prove me wrong. Today A Certain Smile announce the release of their debut album, bringing the sound of Portland’s indiepop to our ears. The track rushes forward from the get-go, employing little touches of shoegaze in the guitar to go along with more traditional jagged lines stabbing through the mix. Vocals from Thomas Andrew provide that fireside warmth that pop fans crave, sending out wave after wave of melodious lines through your speakers. The debut album Fits and Starts will be released by the band on March 9th, and it’s sure to be a gem.