Another Good One From Azure Blue

unnamed (2)Just as Azure Blue is a few weeks out from releasing his third studio LP in Beneath The Hill I Smell The Sea, Tobias Isaksson has it us once more with another new wave electro pop gem to tantalize us for this new record. “Tragedy & Changes,” sounds like a straight-from-the-eighties hit, complete with super faded and breathy vocals plus never ending drum machine beats that patter through the song. What I’m really digging though, is the very end of the song when some electric guitar sneaks its way into the electro pop mix and carries you out. Look out for the latest from Azure Blue that’s due out next week on June 15th through Fika Recordings.

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Azure Blue Releases New Single

azure blueIt’s probably never a bad day, at least in my house, if Azure Blue is releasing something new.  We’ve known that the band were just around the corner from releasing their new album, Beneath the Hill I Smell the Sea, and they’ve added to that excitement with a teaser EP (and single). The EP is basically one great single (plus album track Baby You Are a Star) and a few remixes, but you’d miss out if you skipped over this delicious track they’re offering.  It’s got crisp guitar work, a driving beat and a coated vocal that, as always, brings the perfect harmony to the band’s sound.  Look for the album from Fika Recordings and Hybris on June 15th.

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Bright Indiepop from Azure Blue

Azure-BlueIt’s not been too long since we last heard from Azure Blue, but I welcome their return nonetheless.  The groove in their latest single has this vibe that seems like it was ready for college dance floors in the late 80s/early 90s.  Still, the echoed wash that coats the vocals provides a different view, turning the song from a dance tune into a powerful bit of dreamy indiepop.  You’ll even hear the song explore some darker EDM territory as it nears its close; I’m definitely glad I’ve got this song to jam to today. Look for Beneath the Hill I Smell the Sea to hit later this year via Fika Recordings.

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Stream New Album from Stanley Brinks and Freshcard

freshtodethIt’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!

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Stanley Brinks and Freshcard Release Album of Duets

Pizza EspressoIt 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]

Catchy Tune from The Smittens

smittensIt’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.

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New Music from Owl & Mouse

owlOne 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]

 

Fresh Indiepop from Cosines

coverToday 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]

 

Stanley Brinks and The Wave Pictures Unite!

sbwpIt’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]

Swinging Pop from Making Marks

makingmarksLast 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]

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