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
We’ve told you to keep an eye on Kleine Untergrund Schallplatten, as the German label has been releasing some incredible work this past year…and they’re knocking it out of the park with this new 7″ from Gary Olson of Ladybug Transistor. It’s a pretty soft ballad, with just a hint of bouncing rhythm to grab your ear. That being said, the production behind Gary is what completes the song’s magic; there’s light string arrangements accompanying the angular ring of the guitar…eventually opening up to the wondrous bursting horns that really bring the song home. Gary blends folk and pop seamlessly, and all those who listen are sure to be delighted.
Last week we brought you the wonderful Lake Ruth cover from their split 7″ with Pale Lights, and it only seems right that we share the flip side, right? Pale Lights take the nostalgic leaning pop of the original and spruce it up with a dreamy sense of longing, with guitars seemingly racing through the speakers while Phil has this warm croon, backed by a female counterpart, adding a depth to the tones present in this number. The split sold out in an instant, but you can always enjoy both band’s versions of one another…and you can’t go wrong with either, if you ask me.
The team over at Kleine Untergrund Schallplatten are responsible for some of my favorite releases the last few years, and they’re definitely hitting their mark with this new Lake Ruth/Pale Lights split 7″. Below we have Lake Ruth‘s wonderfully woozy cover of “Only an Ocean” off their opposites Before There Were Pictures LP. They craft this smooth space pop, which interestingly fits inside the ramshackle pop of the original; it definitely gives you a different viewpoint for the song…and I can’t wait to hear what Pale Lights did to “Through the Lychgates!”
For me, lyrics are one of the main things that grab me about a track, so it takes a lot for a song in a language that I don’t speak, or understand really at all, to move me. That all said, this new number from Botschaft is truly a winner; jangly guitars weave delicately through the song and the vocals remind me of the likes of Shout Out Louds. The title, “Sozialisiert in der BRD” translates to “Raised in (West) Germany” and, according to the band is “meant as a radical criticism of growing up in democratic capitalism. It is characterized as a process of adaptation in which the young “citizen” not only is taught a calculating use of mind but also to internalize all the external dutys it has to obey: identity-making.” Take a listen and fall for the band as I did.
It’s not every day you get to delve into the musical world of pop supergroups, but alas, that’s where we are with Jetstream Pony, a band composed of members hailing from acts like Trembling Blue Stars and the Wedding Present. In this new single, they toy with us, delivering a thirty second guitar intro, meandering through your speakers. Then the rhythm section jumps right in, and let’s face it, you’re immediately hooked on this track. The guitars have a jagged edge, but the song has this sugary sheen that’s leaps and bounds above any other purveyor of pop music at the moment. This excellent tune will appear on the group’s new Self-Destruct Reality EP, which is being released by the highly-regarded Kleine Untergrund Schallplatten; it drops in an amazing 12″ format you can find HERE.
There was a time when the electronica was meant to maximize beats per minute and push you out onto the dance floor. When I listen to this new track from SAMT, I definitely recall those hours dancing away to the likes of Bonde do Role, though this time we’re traversing the Germanic languages. The electronic pulses give off a kind of stuttering fuzz, while the drums employ this precision technique that gives the track body. All of it comes together to leave you with this little dance treat that’s going to blow the socks off all your friends at the next dance party. The group release their latest 7″ through one of my favorite labels, Kleine Untergrund Schallplatten.
The BVs won me over last year with the release of Speaking From a Distance, and they’re readying their brand new EP, Interpunktion for release next week! Today, the band are sharing the EP’s statement piece, an almost 9 minute opus of wonderful guitar work. You get the impression that you’re in a scene driving through an unnamed countryside, only the car’s going slowly, letting you soak up every last chord the band delivers. Chords twinkle, hint at jangling, but have this spirited calm that completely captivates listeners. But, don’t fret BVs fans, as several of the tracks on the EP still feature lyrical content, but you’ll have to grab it from the band’s label, Kleine Untergrund Schallplatten to pick it up on February 9th.