I felt like the first 20 seconds of this song had me circling the track, watching it unfold from above as some sort of celestial being. Of course, that’s probably what Purple Pilgrims would want for any listener, as they craft this spaced pop that seems to expand beyond the realm of our own universe. There’s core lyrics, but they’re accented by this angelic haunt that sort of drifts in and out of the mix, as if that core vocal is this central force from which the whole of their musical galaxy expands. The group return to us mortals with their album Perfumed Earth on August 9th via Flying Nun Records.
It’s a nice and sunny day here in Austin and I think a bright, poppy tune would suit the atmosphere just fine. My desires for such a tune comes today by way of New Zealand based artist Mermaidens and their new song “I Might Disappear”. It’s perfect for fans of Alvvays if they could bring a bit more of an edge with crunchy guitars coming in from time to time. I hope you dig it.
Mermaidens will release new album Look Me in the Eye on September 9th via Flying Nun Records.
While Flying Nun Records might be best known for fostering a certain guitar sound, the label has always been on the forefront of what goes down in New Zealand. The label’s latest signing, DOG Power indicates that they’re more than what’s in the storied history. For starters, there’s an inherent darkness to this song; it has something to do with the deep vocal tones, as well as the electronic accents and guitar rings. That being said, Sam Perry comes across like a fresh Dave Gahan, giving off this perfectly seductive croon that creeps through your speakers. The group will release their self-titled album on November 26th.
For the 8 or so people who read this blog on the regular, you’ll likely be aware of my affection for all things Oceanic, primarily New Zealand and Australia. So, with year end lists in mind, I thought I’d offer up my personal takes on the best tunes to come out of the area in 2017. There’s no particular order, just my sixteen favorites of the year.
There’s even a fun little playlist at the bottom for you to enjoy!
Flying Nun Records continues their run of really great female-fronted guitar pop this year by signing Fazerdaze for the release of her debut Morningside. Honestly, this might be the best thing they’ve got on the books this year (that includes new music from The Bats and The Courtneys). This single coming with the announcement has a rather dreamy quality to it, especially in the way that there’s a coat on the vocals. But, in the music, you can hear the guitar being strummed way up in the mix, which adds a great balance to the track. This definitely sounds like something we’ll all agree is great…look for it on May 5th, just in time to help craft a great summer playlist.
Looks like Flying Nun is going to be on a run this year, bringing new music from The Bats…and this much anticipated album from The Courtneys. From the sound of it, The Courtneys II is going to be filled with dreamy harmonies and classic guitar pop sounds; I haven’t heard a song on the album I don’t like yet. This one stays in one place for most of the track, using ringing guitars to create a bit of distorted melody, while the anthemic style of vocals gives hope to us all that we, too, can be huge rock stars! Look for the record on February 17th.
Friday’s got some great tunes for you, including this new one from legendary Flying Nun act, The Bats. Apparently the band are prepping a brand new record for 2017, and your first listen should be one that puts the LP high on your anticipation list…it is for me. Their style has this playful guitar ring to it, with the slightest hint of a bounce in there. While the majority of this track has a deepened tone, but I love the turn at the 3 minute mark where they get drawn out with the phrase “don’t want to fall on the antlers.” This is lovely, and the perfect way to begin a Friday.
Ghost Wave are a two piece out of Auckland who are making psych rock that will have you jamming hard. They released this track, “All U Do is Kill” a short while back, but we somehow missed it, so it’s pertinent that I share it with you. I’m loving the way this track unwinds as it goes, with psych synths streaming in and out of the mix while the vocals are fuzzy and falsetto, adding a breezy feel to the otherwise grungey and gritty funk-rock. Take a listen and watch out for the impending music video for this song, which should be out sometime soon.
If you’re looking for a lady with some pipes, you need look no more. Hollie Fullbrook has a set of pipes that’s going to win your heart, and it makes listening to her project Tiny Ruins something quite special. The band is fleshed out with a bass and a drum, but for all intents and purposes, the show is stolen completely by Fullbrook’s voice and her gentle strumming. You need to sit back and let this song wash over you; you’ll be grateful that you did. The band’s new record, Brightly Painted One, will be out on May 13th via the heralded Flying Nun Records.
New Zealand has long been home to some of the greatest pop music created, and The Bats have been around for a great bit of that, with their career coming up close on 30 years of brilliant LPs, EPs and singles. Now, the band is soon to release Free All the Monsters, which you can find on Flying Nun Records. On the title track you’ll find bright guitars, and even a little male/female vocal performance; it’s a simple study in basic indie pop–the kind those who hold this genre dearly will be sure to enjoy. Give this track and the record a go, if you know what’s good for you.
Download: The Bats – Free All the Monsters [MP3]