If you’re looking for someone working the true DIY ethos, you might want to pay attention to Josh Hoey and their Special Moves project. On the horizon for the project is the Little Help LP, and while it begins with a looped beat, it quickly jumps into that fuzzy guitar territory with distorted guitars ringing out through your speakers as Hoey calmly delivers the vocal lines; there’s a female counterpart too that adds a nice textural balance to the song’s melody to boot. I kind of imagine this song being written by a fan of Blank Dogs that grew up with a much sunnier disposition; it’s nostalgic-leaning bedroom pop that begs your attention immediately! Look for Little Help on August 28th via Reflective Tapes and Solidarity Club.
Business School is a fairly new project. So new, in fact, there’s hardly the typical flare like web sits and twitter handles and labels. But! There is this song, which is a nice dose of noodling guitar pop to let you cruise through the day. Soft vocals like the one’s here tend to make me think of Nada Surf for some reason; there’s just something in that calming presentation that worms its way into your earholes. You can also hear a Real Estate influence in the recording, particularly in the song’s latter half as it ventures towards a close.
Every time I go to cull some classic guitar pop from my record collection for DJing purposes, I always make sure I’ve got Foxheads Stalk This Land is in the bin. So to me, its great that some 30 years on, Close Lobsters are still making great pop music. The rhythm section does a fine job opening this track up to your ears, giving a nice bobbing pulse before the guitars come in and work their own charms. In the vocals, you can still find that sense of promise in the warmth of the melodies; it feels like there’s promise for us all just around the corner. Towards the end, you get some pseudo-spoken word moments working beneath the guitars before a sort of pop mantra rides the song to a close. The band will release their new album, Post Neo Anti via Shelflife/Last Night from Glasgow on February 28th.
We’ve been writing about Dead Stars almost as long as we’ve been running this site, which says more about the band than it does about us. Today, they share a brand new single with fresh news of a new LP on the February horizon. In true Dead Stars fashion, it’s just a huge guitar pop rocker, balancing heavy riffs with the melodic nature of the band’s vocals; they’ve always sort of walked this tightrope between reimagined grunge and power-pop, in the best way possible. They’re just one of those bands that makes you want to turn the volume way up and hit the road with nothing but the wind at your back. Never Not Here will be out on February 21st.
I hope that the name Dropkick isn’t entirely new to you, particularly if you’ve been hanging out on these pages here. If it is, then that’s fine, as you’ve now got a chance to check in on the band before they release their new LP, The Scenic Route. I suggest falling in love here, then checking out Longwave (2018). This track has that big ringing sound that made fellow Scots Teenage Fanclub a huge hit, though I’ve always felt like there was more of a gentle underbelly to the Dropkick songs; they almost feel like they’re firepit jams amped up for our pleasure…more Lucksmiths than Teenies. They’ve signed on to work with Bobo Integral next year and release the new LP on February 7th.
If there’s one thing I love supremely, it’s the dreamier side of guitar pop. Luckily, there’s a new act in Austin playing about by the name of ThunderStars. It’s a pretty heavy guitar tune, kind of like taking great bits of Galaxie 500 and filling in the edges with even more fuzz. The rhythm section seems to exist mostly to provide the song with a natural heartbeat, only erupting when called upon to take a little bit of a musical excursion to build some texture into the tune. It’s all the bits of all the sorts of good stuff, be it dream pop or shoegaze or just alternative; the fuzz here just curls my pop toes. They’ll be releasing their album Number Stations on January 10th.
We’ve covered Vern Matz before, and I think going forward, we’re all likely to hear more about the band, especially based on the quality of their latest single. Those fans of recent indie guitar pop nods will surely appreciate the guitar sounds going on throughout this number; they’re really crisp and recall the happy meandering of acts like Real Estate. For me, however, the winner is in the yearning quality of the vocal delivery; it sort of feels like I’m dreaming of the world right along with the vocals. If I’m going off my gut, I think the band have something special here, but we’ll have to wait until their debut album comes in February to really have a full understanding of their talent.
I’m always scouring the Melbourne scene hoping to stumble upon something really incredible, which seems to happen more often than not. That’s sort of how I stumbled onto Annual Leaf who have a handful of releases to their name, with Stay Fresh coming in as their 4th EP of the last few years. The geographical region probably forces you to look right at the guitar pop, but while I adore that, I really loved the way that singers Matt and Mel play off of each other. To me, they seem the perfect fit for the sound, sort of like all those great Comet Gain albums I’ve been hoarding for years. These are songs of warmth with a definite Aussie flare that’s immediately recognizable. Take a chance on this EP right away!
Having just recently announced a brand new album, we’ve now got the next single from Lost Film‘s forthcoming Zero Summer. For me, I was struck by the way the vocals were done, at least in the opening few lines; there’s this group vocal vibe that almost gives off this feeling that we’re all in this together. There’s a slight uptick in energy during the chorus, with the beat working just a little bit faster, holding tight to Jimmy Hewitt’s crisp guitar lines throughout. This is shaping up to be a collection of heartfelt pop songs that are sure to charm the pants off anyone who takes the time to indulge their sweet tooth here.
All year long, the Sour Notes have slowly been releasing 7″ after 7″, and we’re really excited to share with you the B-Side from the latest Shoulda/Enough 7″. This song gives a glimpse into the band’s process, and their desire to do multiple 7″s in a year. it came to be after the band switched gears and changed directions on another B-Side, ultimately sticking with this track as it touches on the concept of pursuing your art despite the uncontrollable factors that sit in your way. Musically, I feel like the band are in a great place, especially when lining things up with my tastes; Jared’s voice sounds really solid hanging in the midst of those huge guitar sounds. This is guitar pop at its finest!
The band celebrate the release of this new 7″ with Thelma & the Sleaze, Royal Forest, The Black Drumsetand Fanclub on Friday over at Cheer Up Charlies. Event info HERE.