It’s that silly time of year when we ascribe arbitrary rankings to the music created by our favorite artists. And, I’ve already seen a few lists from the likes of Paste or Rolling Stone (among others) that I find completely off the mark. Now, our ATH End of Year list will be a team effort, so here is a list of records I adored that probably won’t end up on too many other “Best of Lists,” though I think they should! Again, no particular order, just ten albums you should enjoy. …that you might have forgotten about.
Fresh off the release of their thematic John Doe release, Mammoth Penguins are already back with a new release, this time curated by Fortuna Pop (the label that refuses to die). These delightful two tracks appear as part of Kingfisher Bluez Singles Club, which has 12 7″ curated by some of their favorite labels/friends. It’s a subscription series, and if this is where the club starts…then we’re in for a good ride. I love the patience shown on the opening track of this 7″, waiting until the 1 minute mark to unleash its beautiful fury. The B-side is a subtle charmer, illustrating yet again why we love whatever Emma Kupa touches. If the 7″ club is your thing, do it…otherwise just enjoy these great jams.
We’re at that point of the year when music slowly starts to fade as people scramble to tell you what you should have listened to in 2017. I’m guilty of it myself, but a release that’s still fairly fresh, and still getting constant play, is the new Mammoth Penguins (& Friends) LP, John Doe. It’s a concept album centered around the title character, told through various characters. But, don’t get lost on the idea of what is or isn’t a “concept” album; sit back and enjoy the dedication to the songwriting that’s prevalent throughout. Think of it as a great pop record for people who love to read books! If you haven’t gotten a copy, you can grab yours from WIAIWYA.
I’m pretty excited to hear the entirety of The John Doe LP from Mammoth Penguins (& Friends). And of course, that’s only encouraged by the group’s new video for “The Chorus.” The jagged guitar chords set up the listener for the playful swing of Emma Kupa’s vocals, churning sugary delights; I’m not going to lie, been listening to it on repeat for the last fifteen minutes. If you like to indulge in a little bit of pop music that will make your life infinitely better, then by all means, press play…and then again. The new album will be available next Friday the 13th…bringing us all some good luck.
You undoubtedly are aware of my Emma Kupa fandom. It seems like this is her year…she’s already released a great Hayman Kupa Band LP, she’s playing with Suggested Friends and in the last two weeks her band Mammoth Penguins have announced their newest album, John Doe. The angular chords chopping from the get-go kick off this new tune, allowing Kupa to rock a stellar vocal performance as the rest of the group fill the track with percussion. There’s almost a shuffling boogie from the chorus, keeping listeners hooked with that sugary pop vibe. Look for the new album on October 13th via WIAIWYA.
Tons of genres out there, but if you’ve been following our work, you know that I’m really partial to the indiepop scene. I scour the confines of the Internet for any and the best of the genre, and admittedly get tons of tips. So, I looked back through what had come out and wanted to throw a little bit your way…just another list of what I think was the best in indiepop in 2015. Still staying away from numbering. Also…some of this has made my other lists, but I wanted to expand on my favorite genre a little bit. Read more
Year-end lists are everywhere…and I can see why they’re important to people. But, seeing as we generally walk off the beaten path more often than not, our list of the Top 50 Albums of 2015 is in no particular order, save alphabetically. It seems pointless to rank one piece of art higher than another, especially when the four of us at ATH all have varying tastes. We just put this list together of the albums we loved the most this year. Are we saying they’re better than records by Grimes or Kendrick Lamar? No, we’re just saying that these are the records we loved more than others. So, you can read on for what we thought was hot.
Also…put links to individual stores where you can buy the albums from the bands…as that’s how we all survive in this music world.
Mammoth Penguins just released their debut album, Hide and Seek, last week via Fortuna Pop, and it should come as no surprise that I’m in love with the effort. The star of the show, and the most recent single from the group is Emma Kupa, formerly of my favorites Standard Fare. I love her songwriting, not to mention the way the guitar sounds on the album; I guess her distinctive voice doesn’t hurt either. But, I think any one that’s been into the guitar pop vibe the last few years will find that this is one of their favorite albums; for instance, if you like Gold Bears or Eternal Summers, this is the album for you. You can grab it right now right HERE.
A few years ago I was introduced to Standard Fare, and shortly after they broke up. So I kept an eye on Emma Kupa, and I’m really excited to hear what comes from her new group, Mammoth Penguins. This song’s been floating around in demo fashion, but it’s really impressive now that the noise has been amped up, pushing the pop envelope. There’s a few moments when the song settles down, allowing Kupa’s enchanting vocals to lament her (or the narrator’s) lack of accomplishments in comparison to her elder. It looks like Fortuna Pop will be releasing the band’s album, Hide and Seek, later on in this year, so listen to this nice first taste.
Since my fawning of former-Standard Fare leader Emma Kupa never seems to dissipate, I’ve got to promote the announcement of her new mini-album for Wiaiwya. It’s not like she’s kept silent since her former act called it a day; she’s in Mammoth Penguins and she did that great single with Darren Hayman that made our year end list, but now she looks to go out on her own, albeit for a bit. Her approach in the song below shows some slight changes, with a more subdued folk approach and a change to the subject matter (turning from love to family). I love the strength of her voice too. The little album will be available in the Spring, but for now, just enjoy this dreamy track.