Everyone has their own definition of indiepop; but I tend to ascribe to the original craft where DIY aesthetics and a softer response to punk were all the rage. But, to each their own. So I went through last year to compile what I think is a pretty all encompassing Best of Indiepop 2018; there’s no order, just a collection of really great indiepop. Some of the below are songs, some are albums, some are just bands or labels that were important. Click on for my picks and a playful playlist. Read more
Slum Summer is the San Diego outfit formed by Hugh J Noble upon his move from England; he once played in an early version of what is now the Wave Pictures. But enough of the past, as his new band has this brilliant pop single for you today. His voice is quite distinctive, low down in the register, but I love how he runs his syllables together, not necessarily worried about rounding out the edges to brandish sheen pop. The rhythm section is spot on, giving the song this natural uplifting quality, that works in contrast to the heavy tones of Noble’s voice; it oddly reminds me of an indiepop version of Pedro the Lion, though I can’t say that’s what that working towards. The group will release ABABO via Jigsaw Records on January 18th of next year!
It seems that all over the world people are jamming to those jangling guitars and smooth harmonies that make us swoon…and Jigsaw Records is helping educate me (and others, I hope) on the indiepop scene over in Indonesia. The first of two releases from the area is the new LP from Sharesprings titled Paraparlor; they sound exactly like you’d want them to if you were into indiepop in any way. The other release is from Kaveh Kanes (which I always wondered if that was a GoBetweens reference), offering up the band’s second full-length, Loanwords. They employ similar dreamy guitar work, though there songs seem softer to a degree, blanketing the listener in pop music. Both releases are available, so go and grab ’em while their hot.
Flying Fish Cove is the latest pop export from Seattle, immediately setting the charm levels on high as soon as you press play on their latest EP. The opening tune “Sleight of Hand” kicks in with those jangling chords with furious drumming speed to set the tone behind Dena’s vocals. They settle down for a brief moment on the following tune, but jump right back into the bread-and-butter bouncing indiepop you’ll need to get through the rest of this week. I especially like how “Pony Bracelet” seems to operate in varying segments, all of which could hint at the band’s sound in the future…or maybe not. Check out the whole EP right below or grab it from Jigsaw Records!
Cozy Slippers first came on my radar a few weeks ago when Jigsaw Records put up a new single from the group’s Postcards EP. Well, good news is they’ve now offered up another fine item for your streaming pleasure. I like the tonal quality from the opening minute, almost ticking you into a post-punk vibe before settling into the rising/falling vocal harmonies that subdue any pop aficionado. They’re playful in their craft, trading hooks, dare I say, back and forth. It’s a song you’ll find hard to pull yourself away from; the Postcards EP will drop on April 20th.
Beneath the rain in Seattle is a shimmering pop underbelly, or at least that’s what this new track from Cozy Slippers would have you believe. The band drop this new single today, hanging jangling guitar lines out in the air while the duel vocal threat of Barbara and Sarah supply the required amount of melody. That melodic element almost hints at the realm of dream pop, accented by a seemingly smoky mix in the studio. The trio will release their Postcards EP via the reliable Jigsaw Records on April 20th.
I’ve always admired the work that Jigsaw Records has done, and I’m really stoked on their latest release from Anthony Rochester. Honestly, it’s low-key pop with perfect execution; it’s as endearing as it is dreamy. Opener “Sing us a Seaside Song” works twinkling guitar lines over minimal percussion, or get into the light-hearted side of pop music with “Cat food etc.” Regardless of which song you land on, you’re going to be rewarded with tunes that delight time and time again; Anthony Rochester Sings for You is available now.
Tired of the modern musical landscape? Same. So why not take a trip with Popincourt, the French songwriter brandishing his own brand of power-pop…with just the faintest hints of Weller or Costello. The guitar chords chop right through from the get-go, stuttering at first, waiting to unleash their hook when united with a bouncing organ line. It’s almost like we’re inside some mod-club, shaking about whilst Popincourt serenades us all. Kick off your shoes, jitter about and feel yourself free with this catchy number. Look for it to appear on the band’s new record, slated for a Spring release on Jigsaw Records.
The first track we heard from Half Forward Line (the new project from So Cow/Oh Boland members) you got what you wanted, or expected: a solid power pop outing that soothed. But, on the flipside comes their powerful new single, employing buzzsaw guitars and a pummeling pace that creates instant fury. The call and response vocals are forceful, providing a larger “punk” vibe than we figured, especially when they turn to a fading growl in your speakers. When the band formed, they promised each other to record and write as quickly as possible (2 days!), leaving us with The Back of Mass album; it’s a diverse listen influenced by the individual tastes of the 3 members…and it’s now available through Jigsaw Records.
Dream pop/indiepop fans hopefully have heard of this out of print album by Kaveh Kanes; it was originally released on Kolibri Rekords a few years ago. Lucky for us all, Jigsaw Records are giving us a chance to get it back in our hands. This little gem is filled with cascading guitar lines and atmospheric touches that are perfect for putting your head on your pillow and drifting into the day. There’s a little sample to get you in the mood below, but you can go over HERE and stream the release in its entirety, in case you hadn’t heard of it!