Jetstream Pony announced themselves to the world with the incredible Like You Less/Had Enough 7″; they followed that up with the excellent Self Destruct Reality EP and a few more singles. But today is the day we’ve all been anxiously awaiting, as the band announce their self-titled debut LP! A slight angular guitar opens the scene before a wall of distortion comes crashing through your speakers, carefully balanced by Beth’s cooly delivered vocals; Shaun helps add further balance with his deeper vocal notes adding in a perfect foil. While it’s easy to get swept away in the perfection of guitar pop, what I love is how much space the band leave in between; they’re savvy vets, not rushing to fill every second of the song, allowing you to just get lost in the wash of dazzling pop noise. Their self-titled record will be out later this year via Shelflife Records and Kleine Untergrund Schallplatten.
Tapete Records is becoming a powerhouse for some of the best indiepop in the world, so it should come as no surprise that they’ve grabbed onto Gary Olson of Ladybug Transistor for his debut solo record. Our first listen has that classic pop vibe, using huge sweeping string accompaniment to add textured layers to the gentle strumming of the guitars. As if that wasn’t enough, there’s this delightful skip of energy around the 2:40 mark, adding a slight boost before riding off into the song’s proverbial sunset. This feels like the perfect way to daydream through the rest of your Friday; look for the record to drop May 29th.
While “Sick Days” was likely written before this coronavirus pandemic, the new video from Sleuth comes at an apt time, particularly in the way it was recorded, with each member filming while in isolation. You’ll likely find some similar ground if you’re laying low and staying safe. Musically, the song has this casual bounce at the get-go, like happily plodding along and telling stories with an old friend. At the 1:16 mark, the song jumps off and gets a touch boisterous, using gang vocals to build up the song’s exuberant nature. It’s a great song, with a relatable video; you’ll find the track on their new album Gold, which is scheduled to drop on May 29th via Lost Sound Tapes/Jigsaw Records.
I don’t know about you, but my hypochondria/anxiety are full on at the moment, so I’m going back to my comfort zone…the tried and true indiepop I adore. Luckily, we’ve got Into the Wild, the just released LP from the Hannah Barberas, blanketing me in charms and melodies. I love that the band have a distinctive sound for the genre, which seems to be as diverse as possible within the confines of their influences; they bounce around, trade vocalists, share vocals and ultimately provide you with every direction one would like to see things go in the realm of pop. My favorite tunes are “Our Girl is Gone” and “I Like You in Blue.” The new album is available via tons of great people like Subjangle/Gazer Tapes/Doo Lang Records.
One of my favorite LPs of the last few years is the self-titled Young Scum LP. The band have been mostly quiet since its release, at least musically speaking…until this last week when they dropped a brand new single. Indiepop fans will fawn, particularly with the natural hop that goes along throughout the song; it’s part rhythmically propelled and part of the circular jangle of the guitars. There’s comfort in the warmth of the vocals too, which seems particularly important in the world today; I just wanted to get wrapped up in this song, and hope you do too. As of now, it’s just a single, but a reason to celebrate nonetheless.
Did I mention how much we love Lost Film? I put Zero Summer as one of my favorite indiepop releases back in 2019, and Jimmy and his guitar pop work are back with a brand new Between Melting and Freezing EP. As always, Hewitt manages to make the mundane seem extraordinary; here, he’s talking about his adoration for baseball. It’s tied up in this really catchy drum beat, which really serves as the song’s focal point, aside from the lyrics. Sure, there’s some atmospheric notes swirling around the two like pop vultures waiting to swoop in, but they never seem to interfere with the simple hooks of drums and vocals. This release should be out pretty soon via Utility Tapes.
I couldn’t imagine a better way to start your day then to plug this delightful track from Morningwhim, the next release from Fastcut Records. This Japanese quartet seem steeped in the history of pop music; they bring delighting harmonies from every corner of this track, taking the song’s title and shining most of the sun on the listener. The circular jangle that crafts huge emotional swells is omnipresent; it’s steadied and purposeful, serving as the perfect backdrop for the sugary drip of the vocals. Man, such a charmer. This song appears on a 7″ that will pop up on Record Store Day.
Indiepop fans owe a debt of gratitude to Shelflife this year; they’ve already given us new music from Close Lobsters and now they’ve announced the long-awaited brand new LP from Even as We Speak. The group were one of the torchbearers for the heralded Sarah Records…but they went quiet in the early 90s until a reemergence in 2016 with a couple of shows and a new EP. Now we get a new record on the horizon, so we’ll start with this delightful single they’ve offered up. It opens with this swirling strummed guitar and a light-hearted stomp, allowing vocalist Mary to bring the song’s melody into focus with her voice; they work their charms for a good bit, but quickly take that churning indiepop and move it into a synth-driven sugary pop treat. They bounce back and forth between the two structures, accomplished so seamlessly that you hardly notice the studied variance until you press repeat because you simply can’t get the song out of your head. Adelphi drops on June 26th via Shelflife and Discos de Kirlian.
While Mike Lee’s always hard at work in our ATH faves Fanclub, he’s recently gone back to recording tracks where we first fell in love with him, as the songwriter behind Letting Up Despite Great Faults. This song reminds me a lot of Red Sleeping Beauty, driving these hook-laden beats into your skull; they delight upon each rhythmic pulse and each bouncing step. Lee gets help on the vocals here from fellow Austinite Socha, and that textured vocal combination is a sure-fire win in my book. No word on how much new stuff we’ll get from the project, but we’re always grateful to hear Mike working on anything.
Royal Target hadn’t previously been on my radar, but with this delicious new single, they’re definitely a group I need to keep an ear out for. Their latest single is the perfect subtle guitar pop gem that makes folks like me swoon; the guitars turn over and over carefully, seemingly frolicking in step with the precision drum work. An occasional blossom of distortion rings through your speakers, but you’ll still come back and marvel at the patience of the vocals that ride throughout the song. Perhaps one of my favorite things to stumble upon in the last few weeks.