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!
The older I get the more I just want to delve into great pop songwriting; I don’t need the frills, just great tunes. I’m pretty sure that this new single from Steven James Adams will fall in line with that attitude. Opening as a piano ballad, allowing Adams’ voice to shine brightly before the song bounces off into a spritely bit of pop music. Drums steady the melodies, and while the sound is filled with extra instrumentation, no instrument overdoes it…everyone plays their part perfectly. It’s our first glimpse at what’s to come with Old Magick, his second album coming via Fortuna Pop in early 2016.
London’s Chorusgirl released their album not too long ago at the beginning of November, and from that album, today they’ve shared a rad little music video for the track, “Dream On, Baby Blue.” This track is a bright and airy dreamy pop song that’s got enough sunshine in it to bring you back to warmer days (even though it’s not that cold here in the ATX). You can watch the quirky music video below, and be sure to pick up a copy of their debut album here, as they are clearly cranking out some good tunes.
Pete Astor is most well-known for his work in The Loft, though I’ll admit I came at him sideways via The Weather Prophets, then went back to find the Loft. That being said, he’s been crafting his own solo work since the early 90s (his last release was in 2011). This week Fortuna Pop announced added up another track from his new album, Split Milk, which is filled with spritely pop songs. It’s funny too, as I just saw another great UK act, The Charlatans, and while I’m not sure how well known either they or Pete are in the States, good songs always rise to the top. This sample is another sign that Mr. Astor still has it.
Today’s the day when I get to count on reliable labels I adore to bring us great new tunes, such as this brand new single from Chorusgirl. There’s a definitive nostalgic nod, as mentioned in the band’s bio (Lush/The Cure), but I see the group fitting right alongside acts like Eternal Summers. You’ve got guitar work swirling around the vocals, all the while the rhythm section propels the song forward, giving the track a juxtaposition between brooding and shimmering joy. You’ll be able to grab their debut album from Fortuna Pop on November 13th.
This song is for the math nerds and the pop fans, so be warned. Oh, and it’s also filled with exuberance like you w0n’t find anywhere else. At the beginning of the track, you’re seeing the Spook School build in their own brand of joyous pop, and then while the shouts of “I am bigger than a hexadecimal” are blasted, you can feel the band fueling up the tension. They unleash it as the video bursts through with a group of folks all happy to join in the bands proclamation. Still, don’t let the fun of the track take away that there’s still an underlying theme lurking here with the band, but I’ll let you (or them) come to terms with that. This song features on their new album, Try to Be Hopeful, which is out soon via Fortuna Pop.
It’s been a bit since I’ve heard from the Spook School, but by the sounds of their new single, it looks like the group is ready to come back with a vengeance. Their last album, Dress Up (2013) was phenomenal; it was upbeat indiepop. You get the hooks and charm, but it’s played with a heavier hand. Think of acts like Speedy Ortiz or Joanna Gruesome, but with a more charmed approach, making them slightly more appealing to those with softer spots in their listening hearts. They’ll be releasing Try to Be Hopeful this October via Fortuna Pop, with a promise to take on subject matters dealing with “sexuality and being awesome.” You can also check out this really great video of the band discussing issues of transgender with LJG HERE (it’s pretty great).
Mammoth Penguins just released their debut album, Hide and Seek, last week via Fortuna Pop, and it should come as no surprise that I’m in love with the effort. The star of the show, and the most recent single from the group is Emma Kupa, formerly of my favorites Standard Fare. I love her songwriting, not to mention the way the guitar sounds on the album; I guess her distinctive voice doesn’t hurt either. But, I think any one that’s been into the guitar pop vibe the last few years will find that this is one of their favorite albums; for instance, if you like Gold Bears or Eternal Summers, this is the album for you. You can grab it right now right HERE.
A few years ago I was introduced to Standard Fare, and shortly after they broke up. So I kept an eye on Emma Kupa, and I’m really excited to hear what comes from her new group, Mammoth Penguins. This song’s been floating around in demo fashion, but it’s really impressive now that the noise has been amped up, pushing the pop envelope. There’s a few moments when the song settles down, allowing Kupa’s enchanting vocals to lament her (or the narrator’s) lack of accomplishments in comparison to her elder. It looks like Fortuna Pop will be releasing the band’s album, Hide and Seek, later on in this year, so listen to this nice first taste.