Another Hit from Mikey Collins

We’ve already written about the forthcoming Mikey Collins LP, but I’m here to encourage you to look into this new single. It opens with light little keyboard dance, with a teasing bass line just underneath…soon the cymbals and snare get a work out as Collins enters the picture. All this is really to set up the listener for the sublime chorus, where Mikey’s joined by a female counterpart; it’s not far off from the hook-laden work Mikey pulled off behind the kit in Allo Darlin. I like how he stretches himself just a bit before the 3 minute mark, elongating the syllables to maximize melody. You can grab his new solo LP Hoick right now from Fika Recordings.

Mikey from Allo Darlin Readies Hoick

I’ve made no apologies in my undying love for the now defunct Allo’ Darlin. Recently we were alerted to a new project that’s spun out of the ashes of said band; it’s the project of drummer Mikey Collins. As one’s likely to suspect, this is definitely a pop song from start to finish; there are some added flourishes you might not have found on an AD track though. Personally, I really like the vocal delivery of Collins here; it lives somewhere in the realm between Norman Blake and Matthew Caws…both voices I adore. Plus, it never hurts to have a natural bounce provided by the rhythm section. His debut solo LP is titled Hoick and it drops on August 17th via Fika Recordings.

Indiepop Fans Will Love Elva

You’re going to love Elva, and in fact, you probably already do without even realizing it. The band is comprised of members of the disbanded Allo Darlin, and Making Marks. Today news broke that the group will be releasing their debut 7″ for WIAIWYA, and we’ve got one of the songs below for you. It’s the perfect execution of understated pop, focusing on the natural melody created by the vocals, as well as the instrumentation behind. Tight drumming keeps a slight bit of pace to keep your toes-a-tapping. And of course, combining male and female vocals in unison is always going to hit home for fans of the genre…though I’d say for any fans of great music. This here is a gift that will make your day; it has already made my day better. Look for the limited edition release to drop right before Christmas; go grab it HERE before it runs out.

Another Bill Botting Tune for You

Those of you still mourning the loss of Allo Darlin can rejoice in the fact that Bill Botting is still out there writing great tracks. Now, that being said, don’t lost in the idea that he was an indiepop star, as his new music has a slightly different taste. He’s writing songs rooted in pop traditions, though he’s bringing in a bit of country to his craft; he sort of sounds like he was listening to a lot of Old 97s in this tune. There’s a new album coming from Bill Botting and the Two Drink Minimums titled Better Friends; it’s being released on March 10th via Fika Recordings.

Bill Botting Announces Album

bbWhile I know we were all more-than-bummed when Allo Darlin’ called it quits, there’s promise in the future, especially knowing that Bill Botting (the AD bass player) has already announced a solo outing. Now, it’s not exactly what one would expect, with a little bit more of a folk influence, though he’s still employing the band’s tendency for great melodies. On this track, there’s a gentle female vocal accompaniment, perfectly accenting Bottle’s seeming Western drawl. Bill Botting & the Two Drink Minimums will release their album, Better Friends, on March 10th via Fika Recordings…an always reliable source of great music.

Christmas Pop from Bill Botting + Two Drink Minimums

billYou know Christmas or Hanukkah (or just holiday season for pc purposes) is around the corner when you see a flood of lists hitting the Internet. With that, we also get the gift of great Christmas music from our favorites, like Bill Botting who plays with Allo’ Darlin. He’s rounded up a bunch of friends for a short little EP titled It’s Not Christmas Anymore, and the track they’ve got floating out is quite a joy. It’s got a little bit of stripped down folk, but still adheres to a pop sensibility that’s visible in the work of all the participants. Should make for a nice little holiday listen; it’s available via Fika Recordings.

Indiepop Delight from Sleuth

sleuthAre you looking for the perfect place where Alvvays and Allo Darlin meet? That perfect indiepop comes in way of Vancouver’s Sleuth. The vocal qualities seem to lean more toward the former, while the musical aspirations closely resemble that of the latter. It harkens back that perfect late 90s era of pop music…no bullshit, just great songs. They’re doing a limited release of their latest album, Out of the Blue Period, via Kingfisher Bluez and Jigsaw Records this month, so if you know anything about modern indiepop, you know this is always a trustworthy source.

Top 50 Albums of 2014

TOP 50 ALB 14These lists are everywhere, so you’ll be excused if you just roll your eyes and skip on. But, that being said, we always seem to be way off the mark when it comes to our Top 50 Albums of the Year.  Sure, we have some of the sure fire hits on this list like Angel Olsen and Sharon Van Etten, but don’t even read on if you’re look ing to see where Run the Jewels made it…they’re not there. Sorry not sorry.  So, if you’re into arbitrary lists by people who like to push their own agenda, then this list is for you! Read more

Sat/Sun Austin Weekend Show Spotlight

austinAs I said yesterday, there’s tons of places you can find yourself this weekend for a good old fashioned music concert.  But, maybe you need a suggestion or two as to where you wanna go? Well, I’m here to point you in the right direction, based on my extremely biased opinion.  Feel free to ignore these options, or play everyone’s favorite game of Where’s Norman Wanklord? Here’s the list. Read more

Allo Darlin’ – We Come From The Same Place

HIRES

Rating: ★★★★ ·

Allo Darlin‘ first hit my radar back in 2012 when they released their sophomore record, Europe, and let the world know they have some serious skills when it comes to sunny indie pop. We Come From the Same Place offers a further trek down this road of well crafted glistening pop tunes as well as a beautiful transitional record for a shift to autumn days.

The band opens with “Heartbeat–” a bouncy and ukelele filled little warming up number, which gets you excited for this album by reminding you just what made you fall in love with Allo Darlin’. The real goodness is yet to come, but don’t worry it’s coming soon. Second up is “Kings And Queens,” in which the band picks up the pace and starts to hit their stride. Following that, you get the simply swoon-worthy title track, whose choral hook, complete with backing guitar riff is enough to make anyone tap their toes and jam along with this group. When Elizabeth Morris belts earnestly, “Please believe me, I’ve never said this before,” as the guitar delicately jams along with that jangle in the background, I was jolted from passive to active listener as that sensation of excitement swept over me. Here is where this album hooked me—from here on out I was pretty much on board with anything this band wanted to throw out.

This track isn’t, of course, the only stand out number on the record, as later on you get numbers like “Bright Eyes” and “Crickets In The Rain.” The first of these two songs turns out to be one of the more rock-laden tracks on the record and begins with a little stripped down electric guitar. What makes this track so special is the duet between male and female vocals that you don’t really find anywhere else on the album. Combined with that squalling electric guitar that takes off on its own at the end of the track, this number is infectious. “Crickets In The Rain” gives that perfect for autumn combination of sunny sounding instrumentation with a melancholy twist—be it in the lyrics or Morris’ vocal quality. It’s the perfect mirror to falling leaves or rainy days mixed with the still stagnantly hot Texas sun.

My small issue with this record is that it seems to be lacking a little power punch to push it through to the end. The songwriting is brilliant, the tracks are all pretty good, but I needed one more spectacular, knock-it-out-of-the-park song towards the end of the record to push me head-over-heels in love. That being said, since the songs are slow-burners at the end of the record, perhaps I’ve just missed the needle in the haystack and that missing piece will become evident with repeated listening. You have a listen and hear for yourself.

 

1 2