My affinity for indiepop/shoegaze doesn’t ever fade, especially when one of my favorites, Wildhoney, come to mind. The band will be featured on what is already an incredibly anticipated release from Fortuna Pop/Slumberland Records…a four-way compilation featuring The Spook School, Tigercats and The Mercury Girls. This tune definitely looks more to the Wildhoney’s bouncier side, whilst still including that delightful wash of atmospherics atop. I’m a fan of the short bass solo in the song’s latter half before they blast back into infectious exuberance. You’ll have to get your hands on this when it hits on August 26th. Already pondering whether a compilation can be album of the year…on my end anyways.
You thought you knew Evans the Death? Well, you guessed wrong, as the group are clearing changing things up for their new album, Vanilla. The core of this song is a squawking groover, although the band maintain a bit of tenacity in their punishing delivery of the chorus…leading to a complete change of direction in the latter half of the track. It’s like they’re completely re-imagining where they’re going, and it sounds brilliant. Those good people over at Fortuna Pop will be releasing the new effort on June 10th, so be sure to get at it.
I recently wrote about how prolific Darren Hayman has been, having just released a new single for Fortuna Pop. Now he’s back with the Hayman Kupa Band, comprised primarily of he and Emma Kupa of Mammoth Penguins/Standard Fare. Emma opens up this new track claiming “I’m an asshole,” which is the self-deprecating humor that pervades the song, though it’s truly a song about longing for a partner. It’s hard to turn away from this sprite-ly tune…in part because it’s so great, and also because these two have been such a huge part of my listening as of the last few years. I particularly love Emma’s vocals just around the 2 minute mark. Enjoy this track, and keep your ears peeled for more from the band.
On the latest single from Martha, the group opens up really casually, just working the approach with vocals and guitars. That segment alone wins my fandom, based on the sweet vocal tones that are present…but some people need a bit more. You can feel it coming in this track, a faint buzz in the speakers up until the 1 minute mark, and then they blast off. They bring a crashing bit of pop rock fueled by gang vocals and distorted riffs that will ring in your ears, just as you try to memorize every second of the lyrics. This track appears on Blisters in the Pit of My Heart, which will be released in July via Dirtnap and Fortuna Pop.
You know The Spook Schoolis one of my favorite bands of the moment. I quietly (or not so) tracked the band all around town during SXSW, even throwing a couple of shows together, just so they’d have a happy home. Well, news breaks today that the band have a brand new couple of songs appearing on the Continental Drift Compilation via Slumberland and Fortuna Pop. They’re debuting it via video, which is perfect, as you can clearly sense the band’s enjoyment/humor coming through in the clips; it’s one of the things that also makes them such a special live band. Look for the compilation in August…but for now, just relish in the fact that great pop bands still exist. Also, sorry for the over-abundance of FPop stuff today, but when you got it, you got it.
One of my favorite tracks of the last few years is “Boy, Look at What You Can’t Have Now,” which features Darren Hayman (as well as Emma Kupa), so I’ve kept a close eye on the hard-working music vet. Just yesterday, the esteemed Fortuna Pop upped a cover version of “I”ve Been a Bad Bad Boy” by Paul Jones; it’s a new track from Darren Hayman that he recorded with Papernut Cambridge (a band he drums for) as his backing band. It’s a delightful cover, focused around Hayman’s distinctive voice, providing just a hint of swing to it. The label will be releasing the 7″ on May 20th as part of their Jukebox 45 Single Series…and it’ll be very limited on purple vinyl, so rush on over there.
Do you wanna feel young? You wanna feel like you’re alive again? Then run to your stereo, get this Martha song on it, and turn it up really loud. It’s a blasting bit of pop-punk that’s as infectious as it is memorable. The riffs are huge, the drums catch and there’s gang harmonies blasting in and out of the song. I get the feeling that these guys are all substance and none of the bullshit posturing. Sounds like they’re all just having fun, and if you listen closely, then you just might do the same. Look for their album, Blisters in the Pit of My Heart to come out on July 8th via Dirtnap/Fortuna Pop.
It’s been a little over a year since we last heard from Evans the Death with Expect Delays, but I’m excited by the new noise the band’s brandishing with their latest single. The song takes a moment to build before blasting with that angular dance of noise and pummeling drums. Soon the vocals crash in, holding the song ransom, as if the band’s about to spin aimlessly out of control. Somehow they pull it all in, tightening the sound just enough to keep it altogether. We end up with the perfect blend pop and noise, making me all the more excited to hear their new album, Vanilla; it’s slated for release in June via Fortuna Pop.
People rarely rave about records anymore. No matter what, people inevitably find themselves listening to single and hits, but don’t you dare do that with Pete Astor‘s new album, Spilt Milk. If you do, you’re likely to miss one of the purest pop albums likely to surface this year.
You can possibly separate Spilt Milk into two styles, bouncing jangle pop and pure pop balladry. Opener “Really Something” falls into the first category, while a song like “Good Enough” ends up in the latter grouping. But, what one should focus on is the central theme of pop music. To me, it means accessible and catchy, and I feel like if we were all given such options more often, then Pete Astor might be our favorite artist. But, that’s not where we live, nor where we seem to be heading, making this effort all the more outstanding.
Some bands rush songwriting, trying to push out the next hit, trying to stay relevant in a culture adhering to consumption, but within the confines of this album, you have the purest dedication to great songwriting. In doing so, Pete’s managed to craft an album that endears itself to fans of all styles, leaving you with a lesson incraftsmanship; it’s one that I can see enduring in my playing rotation for time to come (and probably yours too).
In the end, Spilt Milk isn’t a musical exercise that will hit you over the head immediately. You have to digest it slowly, which is best with tracks like “There It Goes” that will pull at your heartstrings. Still, you’ll find an inner joy (and maybe a hop in the step) when you put on “My Right Hand,” among others. It’s a listening journeyyou must dedicate yourself to, and in doing so, you’ll reap the greatest reward…a listen that won’t easily be turned off…or forgotten.
The indie world swoons when Flowers come into play; they’ve been crafting the dreamier side of indiepop for some time, and we here at ATH eagerly await their brand new release. This song is probably one of the finer pieces they’ve done. I think the recording is done perfectly, in every facet. Their new record is titled Everybody’s Dying to Meet You, and it’s being released by Kanine in the US (Fortuna Pop in UK). While you’re listening to this song, try to think of something else that sounds this damn good; I bet you cant!