It’s Friday, and I’m totally stressed. Buying a new house, starting teaching again on Monday, so I needed something to mellow me out a bit. Luckily, the good folks at Fika Recordings sent over this great new album from Stanley Brinks and Freshcard; it’s titled Pizza Espresso. The record is full of duets between the two songwriters, offering an indiepop spin on the folk duets one would get from Emmylou and Gram, or more recently, Dutchess and the Duke. It just sort of makes me feel better about the world knowing that we can all detox from mundane activities with tunes like these. If you love what you hear (you should) then go to Fika and pick yourself up a copy!
It seems like Stanley Brinks is all about collaborations this year, having earlier worked with The Wave Pictures, and now with songwriter Freshcard. The story goes that Mr. Brinks met Freshcard whilst she was working at a bakery in Paris; he invited her to sing some songs, and their friendship was born. Together, the two will release Pizza Espresso as collaborative affair between their two labels, Fika Recordings and Wiaiwya. It’s an album of soft ballads and shared singing roles, allowing for maximum pop indulgence for the listener. You’ll be quite pleased with the results of these two.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/01-If-You-Have-Time.mp3]
Download: Stanley Brinks and Freshcard – If You Have Time [MP3]
It’s been a pretty solid year for Fika Recordings, releasing hits from the likes of Wave Pictures and Stanley Brinks. But, they’ve upped their game today with the announcement that they’ll be releasing a new album from Vermont’s The Smittens. There’s a certain sense of innocence in this song; it harkens back the the gifts of girl-groups of days gone by, accented by nice male backing tracks. You can’t listen to a song like this and not feel your emotions swell with joy. Love Record Breaker will be released on August 18th; you won’t want to skip out on this.
One of the many great micro-labels I constantly follow is Fika Recordings, and they just announced their newest signing, Owl & Mouse. My interest in the label is the obscure singer-songwriter fare they seem to discover, and this is no different. Hannah Botting is the enchanting singer on this song, offering up her gentle voice over her simple chords. Those of you who love the writing of indiepop, lyrically speaking, will also find her wordplay something special. The Somewhere to Go EP will be available in digital and 7″ formats on June 23rd.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/03-Dont-Read-the-Classics.mp3]
Today is a good day for some of my favorite labels, and the hard work of Fika Recordings is coming to fruition with the announcement of this new single from Cosines. Interestingly, I can see that there’s some definite indiepop lineage in what the band are crafting, but if you’re listening then perhaps you’re hearing a bit of a glam rock stomp going on ; it’s one of the traits that helps differentiate the work of the band from many of their compatriots. Their brand new single will be out in May, with this being the stellar A-side.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Commuter-Love.mp3]
It’s great when two of your favorite artists combine, especially when their sounds mesh together so well. Today, I’m bringing you a track from Stanley Brinks (of Herman Dune) working, again, with his friends in The Wave Pictures. The bands both dwell in a light-hearted indiepop world, though with the Waves Pictures, there’s a more of a focus on the guitar work. These lads have worked together before, though Gin is their first effort since 2010. You’ll be able to grab this record from Fika Recordings this week! The version below is a 7″ version, but you can stream the whole album HERE, in case you want the album version, and to listen to the whole.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/01-Spinola-Bay-SB-Vox.mp3]
Download: Stanley Brinks and The Wave Pictures – Spinola Bay [MP3]
Last time I wrote about Making Marks was in 2012, so I’m happy that my 2014 is starting out with a new record from the Oslo quartet. It’s interesting to hear their lead single, “Bruises,” as it definitely has a nice Americana twist to it, showing just how wide the band’s influences spread. For those of you interested in indiepop delights, you’ll love how the group intertwine male and female vocal parts. Their latest release, A Thousand Half-Truths, was just released overseas by the excellent Fika Recordings. You should pick one up, as the record’s destined to be one of those collector’s gems.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/01-Bruises.mp3]
Download: Making Marks – Bruises [MP3]
I used to love this band called My Little Pony, but now the band is down a member and going by a new name, Making Marks. Luckily, the jangling guitars and the hooks I adored are still present in the reincarnation of the group, so indie pop fans can rest with a smile. The new line-up will be releasing their Ticket Machine 7″ on Fika Recordings this coming October, with plans for a full length to follow in the Spring of 13′. If you like your pop with a bit of bounce and a little grin, then you’ll love this new jam. Enjoy.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/01-Hard-To-Be-Good.mp3]
Download:Making Marks – Hard To Be Good [MP3]