Matinee Recordings is wrapping up the end of this shitty year by trying to brighten the horizon, offering you some singles to look forward to in 2021. They’ve got two new jams to share with you today, from Northern Portrait and Royal Landscaping Society. Northern Portrait give you a heavy jangle feel, packaged in really neatly woven melodies; they’ve added some great layers on this song, giving you a bit of punch with your pop cocktail. They’ll have a brand new LP coming your way next year! Spanish outfit The Royal Landscaping Society offer you this blend of pulsing electronica and indiepop; I grinned every time that chorus dropped in, gentle and charming, bursting with euphoric feels! And don’t forget that heavy guitar solo in the song’s latter half to boot. This single comes with a cover of They Go Boom!’s “The Gift.” They’ve got a 17 track album coming your way next year, so keep your ears ready! Just be sure to visit Matinee frequently as the news seems pretty constant (and great) right now!
As a big fan of the Pooches, it makes sense that I’m so infatuated with U.S. Highball, the new project from James and Calvin. Just over a year ago, they dropped Great Record, and they’re back with Up to High Doh dropping at the end of this week! Before you’re there, they may as well entice you with this melodic pop rock ditty; its just a little something to whet your pop whistle. That’s the great thing about the duo; they’re crafting these songs coming in at just under two minutes…so you press play, swoon, digest and then press repeat. That’s how it happens, right? Be sure to pick up the new LP this Friday.
Just yesterday we shared a new track from Strawberry Whiplash off their latest single from Matinee Recordings. But, while investigating that bit of pop joy, we also noticed the label had another quick pop single to share, that of My Darling YOU!. The Swedish duo will be releasing a brand new 20 track record tiled A Dream Come True this December, and they’ve opted to share this quick little burst of pop joy to throw right in your face. It hits you fast and hard, throwing up this sense of joyousness in an emphatic fashion. The tune bursts, charms and then fades away. Just imagine what they’ll be able to do with 20 tracks!
It’s been nearly five years since we last heard from Strawberry Whiplash, but I have a feeling all those indiepop folks out there are going to be clamoring for more. Almost immediately, those crisp guitar notes turn from slight jangle to pace-car, locking the song in this bounding rhythm, occasionally broken up by the return of those crystalline guitar notes. Still, the song wouldn’t be complete without those melodic vocal notes that bring us back to the sugary pop of the early days of rock n’ roll. For some reason, this song just makes me feel like running about on a playground with a giant lollipop in my mouth! Sweet and fun. The digital single is available via Matinee Recordings. And, word is, this single is signs of new things to come, with a fresh LP promised for the new year!
It’s been quite some time since Real Numbers dropped the stellar Wordless Wonder LP (2016), so I’m really stoked that there’s a new EP on the way, and it comes with this sparkling bit of pop in the announcement. I say this, knowing full well I’ll be proven wrong, but the sort of pop they’re presenting here is definitely a lost art, mastered by only a few in the world as of late. It’s got that sharp guitar churn, hanging the melodic vocals out on the clothesline in the wind, letting them breeze right through until the song introduces a light little stomp to shake the pop right out of you. Honestly, might be one of the best indiepop tunes this year…no lie. Brighter Then EP is out in January via Slumberland Records/Meritorio Records.
I always love the stuff that Lost Tapes release; they seem to have this knack for crafting just the right brand of melodic pop that lets the mind wonder. With their latest single, I can’t help but think of myself rocking gently in a nice hammock, breezily blowing in the wind as I let my eyes rest and my mind escape the mundane daily rituals. Things seem so clean and perfect in the way the duo work their songs, and in doing so, they create these nuggets of pop joy; it’s like unwrapping your Christmas present early and realizing nothing else in this moment matters. They’ll be releasing the Quoting Salter EP on December 4th via the esteemed Sunday Records.
Our friend and fellow pop enthusiast Estella Rosa (also part of glorious Nah) just begun a new project with Jorn Aleskjaer named Sapphire & Steel (a nod to the 70s Sci-Fi series of the same name). This week they dropped Assignment 1, a three song EP I felt was necessary to put on your radar. “Home” settles the score immediately, fusing bits of indie pop and new wave seamlessly, giving you melody and groove all at once; Estella’s voice dabbles in the dream pop territory, allowing the notes to sort of rise and fall…might also be one of the best chorus moments I’ve heard her on…just saying. “Rumours” gives off more of a retro lounge feel, like a lounge act with just enough nuance to keep us captivated. “Susan” gives you this sort of late-night funk feel; slight bits of swagger and hipness buried beneath a pop facade that features far more Jorn than we’ve gotten prior to this. A perfect closer for a late night dance party, or maybe just this great introductory EP.
Generally speaking, I dig what Kanine and Howlin Banana Records are into, so when they’ve got something new on the horizon, I’m going to give it a listen. Their latest signing is French outfit Hoorsees, who’ve just signed with the label to release their self-titled LP next February. I was drawn to the jangling guitar style, though I’ll admit they get worked up with something slightly dreamy here; the drums don’t hurt either with their steady-toe-tap beat. The vocals are great, and I love a sort of front person that gets to stalk the stage, which doesn’t always work for indiepop, but here it seems to be fitting. Excited to hear more from this bunch as the album gets closer.
One of the great thing about the vinyl resurgence has been the reemergence of hard to find gems through various reissues. If you’re like me, and a Sarah Records fan, those original hits can be hard to find, and if found, quite pricy! But, thanks to Damaged Goods, we’re all being gifted the deserved compilation treatment for Heavenly; they’ve organized all the singles for A Bout De Heavenly: The Singles. Now, we could go on and on and rave about the band’s signature sound, trace lineage back to Talulah Gosh or move forward to current projects like Catenary Wires/European Sun…but don’t you just want to hear Amelia sing? I love how her voice soars over that jangling jittery guitar as everything falls into messy pop euphoria for the chorus. We all deserve such great pop music. This never before seen video has just recently been digitized from Super 8 footage Rob had.
He had this to say about the video: “This video has never been made public before. We didnt like it at the time, but now I think its the best one. I only had a couple of rolls of Super 8, which is one of the reasons its in slow motion: I had to make a little go a long way! I love the footage of Mathew in this video, though the fact that he is clearly so happy in it makes it a bit hard to watch.”
You know when you turn on a song and you can immediately tell its got its musical hooks in you? Well, when I turned on this new jam from Aiko El Grupo, that’s exactly how I felt, even before the vocals came into play; it just had that inexplicable bounce I wanted to be part of right away. I wanted to jump about in celebration with all my friends; I wanted beer sprayed all through the air; I wanted us all screaming at the top of my lungs. In fact, that’s exactly what I got when everything came together from this new single…if that feels like something you’d want to be part of, then you better turn it up right now! The band release their debut album next month via Elefant Records.