Last Week’s Jams, Today (7.11 – 7.15)

Was a bit of a hectic week, as I was out of town for a good part of last week, so RayRay helmed things solo, keeping you up to date with new jams from The Berries and Sorry. I crept in towards the end of the week with recent favorites like Key Out and Scarves, but I was most excited to hear new music from Bubblegum Lemonade hitting the airwaves! Oh! And a brand new album out of the blue from Neil Brogan! I mean, it was a short week coverage-wise, but some surefire jams to listen to in here.

Bubblegum Lemonade Return with Never Have I Ever EP

It’s been a minute since we’ve heard the charming voice of Laz and his project, Bubblegum Lemonade, but man, what a way to return. I’m immediately drawn to the guitar sound, as I’m sure many of the pop aficionados will be too! Then there’s something really special about the his voice seems to rush into the verses, only to turn into a gentle melody a few syllables later, buoyed by sublime backing vocals. Plus, there’s a nice little mid-tune change around the 1:20 mark that gives a nice little emphatic bit of harmony to the song before dancing its way into a handclap-laden solo. Always love his work; the Never Have I Ever EP is out via Matinee Recordings, with a brand new LP slated to come out later in the year!

Bubblegum Lemonade Share Final Single

You were wondering how we were going to wrap up the day? Well, we could have done so by streaming another album, Desperately Seeking Sunshine, but we’ve opted to give you their final single before you go over to Matinee Recordings and grab it yourself. It’s the perfect sendoff to a Friday, filled with bright chords that seem to radiate sunshine like an angel’s light shining through your speakers. Plus, Laz throw’s in some “sha la las” throughout the track, so you’d have to have lost your heart if you’re not tapping your toes and grinning as you listen. If your world seems like a lonely place, or you just love great pop music, listen to this track from Bubblegum Lemonade over and over and on and on again.

Fresh Indiepop from Bubblegum Lemonade

Dear Laz,
I just wanted you to know how happy I am that you and Bubblegum Lemonade are back with new music; I feel like it’s been a few years since we last spent time together. There’s something so timeless about the way you construct your songs that inevitably leaves them stuck in my brain. On first listen, people might overlook the way you add in these textured vocal harmonies for emphasis in “Our Mother’s House;” it’s so light that one might barely notice if they’re staring out the window nostalgically…as many of your fans are likely to do. I’m so excited that Desperately Seeking Sunshine is right around the corner (via Matinee Recordings), but I’m even more thankful that you tossed in some exclusive B-sides on this EP. Anyways, just wanted to reach out and tell you I love your work.

Matinee Recordings Bring Presents

As we’ve all noticed, the music news is coming to a slow crawl across your screens. But, some out there are dedicated to keep up the spirit and drop a few more releases. Luckily, one of our favorites, Matinee Recordings, has sprinkled in some delightful indiepop hits to round out the year. We’ve got a few tracks from the Laz Christmas EP, starring Laz from Bubblegum Lemonade fame; the other is a little sample from The Perfect English Weather, giving us a few gems from their English Winter EP. Both releases are now available, so revel that there’s still hits for you to enjoy.

Top 50 Albums of 2016

top50You’ve all been waiting, anxiously. Waiting for our arbitrary list of the opinion of four folks who run this site, and what we think were the best albums of 2016. It’s really really important. We’re going to make our site great again with this list. We’re going to win, bigly. But really, it’s just a list of the stuff we loved the most that we covered throughout this year on our site. The comment section is open, so feel free to tell us where we’ve gone wrong or what we’ve got right or anything else fitting. Read more

Brand New Indiepop from Bubblegum Lemonade

bubblegumHow are you feeling about yourself today? Concerned with the impending doom of the USA election? Well, Laz and Bubblegum Lemonade want to make you feel better, they want to make your world better…and in order to do that they’re dropping this delightful new indiepop gem. You’ll get a steady little bounce, Laz’s warm vocals and infectious melody that keeps you spinning the song again and again. I’m worried about the future, but for three short minutes (and the 27 minutes where I played it on repeat) I was able to forget, lost in song. You’ll hear this tune on The Great Leap Backward, the newest release from the band…out this month via Matinee Recordings.

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Bubblegum Lemonade Brighten the Pop Scene

bubblegumBubblegum Lemonade are no stranger to these pages, those its been a while since we’ve heard from the group. There’s something that the group have perfected, be it the casual ring of the guitars or the balanced approach between every note; it’s sincere pop music that’s absolutely inescapable. Press play and you’ll hear a song that transfers you back to the days of the purity of pop music…no little tactics, not little twists, just the best songwriting you’ll hear this week (in my opinion). They’ll be releasing their Beard on a Bike EP on July 1st via the highly esteemed Matinee Recordings.

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Is Bubblegum Lemonade Back?

bubblegumlemonadeWell, it sure looks like Bubblegum Lemonade is back, and I couldn’t be happier.  Some like it pop came out far too long ago for my tastes, and I’ve been clamoring for Laz to get back in the studio with his friends and make me some new hits! It looks like he’s done just that, with news on Friday leaking a brand new demo that sounds pretty near perfect…if you exclude the final mastering. Like all his work, it borders the line between great power pop and indiepop, filled with catchy melodies and infectious tunes.  No word on a release, but let’s hope its sooner rather than later.

[youtube]https://youtu.be/oPtjSEC-d8U[/youtube]

Top 50 Albums of 2013

albums banner 2013 procMaking our year-end list of Top Albums is never something we take lightly.  We realize that it’s rather arbitrary in the grand scheme of things, but we realize that our role is to at least toss out our opinion, however meaningless it may be. In the long run, we had to take the tastes of several people, and whittle it into a list of 50 great albums that we think are vital to your listening experience.  We know it’s a matter of personal tastes, but the records below are reflective of our tastes and our site, so don’t get mad, they’re just opinions. But, feel free to tell us where we went wrong, or what we might have missed.  If you click on the album titles, you can also read our full reviews of each album, save the ones that we didn’t get to in time. Sorry we don’t like Kanye.

50 – WampireCuriosity
49 – Dot DashHalf Remembered Dream
48 – Mantles  – Long Enough to Leave
47 – The Appleseed CastIllumination Ritual
46 – Bad SportsBras
45 – Part TimePDA
44 – Dick DiverCalendar Days
43 – Math and Physics ClubOur Hearts Beat Loud
42 – Veronica FallsWaiting for Something to Happen
41 – Eat Skull – III
40 – The Lonely WildThe Sun as It Comes
39 – The Love LanguageRuby Red
38 – Gun OutfitHard Coming Down
37 – Cate Le BonMug Museum
36 – Daughn GibsonMe Moan
35 – Andre ObinThe Arsonist
34 – ArpMore
33 – Gap DreamShine Your Light
32 – The Black WatchThe End of When
31 – Ty SegallSleeper
30 – The StevensA History of Hygeine
29 – Of MontrealLousy with Sylvianbriar
28 – Mirror TravelMexico
27 – Local NativesHummingbird
26 – Girls NamesThe New Life
25 – GRMLNEmpire
24 – Small BlackLimits of Desire
23 – AudacityButter Knife
22 – Mikal CroninMCII
21 – Chelsea WolfePain is Beauty
20 – FoalsHoly Fire
19 – Radical FaceFamily Tree: The Branches
18 – Youth LagoonWondrous Bughouse
17 – Terry MaltsNobody Realizes This is Nowhere
16 – Shout Out LoudsOptica
15 – Kurt VileWaking on a Pretty Daze
14 –  BraidsFlourish//Perish
13 – Crystal AntlersNothing is Real
12 – TyphoonWhite Lighter
11 – Ski LodgeBig Heart

10 – GamblesTrust

Admittedly, this album makes nods to folk troubadours of Christmas’ past, but what grabbed me from the moment I heard this record was the sincerity in what’s being created.  In leaving us with a stripped down listen of folk tunes and incredible poetry, we’re asked to look into the history of American songwriting tradition; it’s been awhile since it was executed so well.

9 – The GrowlersHung at Heart

I’d put this album on any list for one song alone, “Someday.”  But, it just so happens that the rest of the album maintains the sensation that’s established on the opening track.  I’ve heard it referenced as a surf-psych opus, but what’s been assured in my mine is what an incredible listen we’re all be treating to when we put Hung at Heart on our record players.

8 – Wax IdolsDiscipline & Desire

Hether Fortune seems to scare people.  Her work is in your face, never making an excuse for who she is or what she believes.  That attitude carries on into her music, allowing listeners to experience a musical world void of any pretense.  The songs on this album are angular, dark and abrasive; the vocals have Hether dominating the scene of modern lady rock warriors.  If you don’t dig it, she doesn’t care, but I do because this record rules.

7 – Parenthetical GirlsPrivilege

While many of the songs on this effort leaked out before under various EPs, the whole masterpiece exists in the way it was tied together as a complete work.  It’s operatic and grand at every corner, but it’s also undeniably a pop record.  The emphasis might revolve around the more artful spectrum of pop music, but this is an album you can play for everyone in your family, and they’ll all find themselves swept up in the wonderment of Privilege.

6 – The NationalTrouble Will Find Me

What else really needs to be said about The National.  They consistently make great albums that are lauded then often overlooked, but we didn’t want to do that to one of our favorite acts.  I mean, if they played 8 shows in 8 days, we’d be at every one, and the DJ set after party.  Their accolades and recognition are warranted, and it’s especially clear on this, their latest release.

5 – LegsPass the Ringo

When listening to Pass the Ringo, I thought of one thing: this is the sort of record that makes a small label, like Loglady Records, a household name. It’s spun around garage rock and psych rock structures, whilst still maintaining an accessibility that few people working in that genre achieve.  Some albums can play in the background of your house, and might be happy to do so, but Legs created something that made me stop and listen at every turn; I’m thankful for that.

4 – Warm SodaSomeone for You

Someone For You came our way in January.  On my record player, it hasn’t left since.  This is one of the most rewarding power-pop records I’ve gotten my hands on, and trust me, I’ve gotten my hands on a lot of great records. Each song is filled with innate hooks and garage rock grit, encouraging you to tap your toes for the entirety of the record.  You’d think after a full year our interest would have waned, but with time we’ve only grown to appreciate the record even more.

3 – Coma CinemaPosthumous Release

At the moment, there’s not too many people releasing music that’s the quality of Mathew Cothran and Coma Cinema. There are elements of the bizarre, similar to the work of early Elf Power, yet there’s this intimacy that artists like Eliott Smith were able to create with their listeners.  You wrap that up and put it in a package of pop sensibility, and you have an album that can’t be ignored.

2 – Bubblegum LemonadeSome Like it Pop

In today’s musical climate, we buy into the fact that artists have to be doing something strange, or something that’s vastly different from their peers.  But, in the grand scheme of things, we often forget what it’s like to take enjoyment out of the music.  This album was one of the many reminders that music, when it’s good, can be quite special.  Every song here is a single, and worth your time; it’s the best thing Laz has done, and I feel like he’s just really getting started.

1 – Magical CloudzImpersonator

This album is about Devon Welsh.  From the first instant I heard his voice, it took hold of me. Throughout the year, Impersonator, consistently played on my radio. His voice was mesmerizing, captivating audiences on several occasions in Austin, convincing us to be as quiet as a mouse, so as to hear every note.  The unique quality of the album will reward listeners for years to follow.  It made us believe in great music again.

 

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