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
The more I see indiepop used as a descriptor, the more I try to decipher what exactly it all means. In my mind, the music being crafted by Simon and Wendy (of Popguns fame), is the ideal indiepop sound, if only for those that appreciate the softer underbelly of the genre. As the Perfect English Weather, the duo have been crafting these songs of fond yearning; I love how the guitar work is textured and subtle, setting up Wendy for her beautiful vocal display. I always feel better having listened to the group, and I assume that’s the feeling I’ll get from the band’s next album, Don’t You Wanna Feel the Rain, released by Matinee Recordings next week.
I’m one of those weirdos that trolls all my favorite things…I subscribe to everything and anything that I love…that’s how I was reminded yesterday of this incredibly great Airport Girl tune when it popped up on FortunaPop’s Youtube channel (not sure why?). This track goes all the way back, but sounds like just about everything I love about the indiepop genre. It’s got a powerful fuzzed out guitar working beneath a cleaner cut version; giving sort of a rambunctiousness to the overall sound; it’s like if Comet Gain sounded noisier and maybe even a bit braver. I mean, they flesh it out with horns! If you’re wandering where this track came from; there’s an appearance on the Honey, I’m an Artist LP, as well as via 7″ from, label owner and band member, Fortuna Pop (yes, that’s his name!). Sure, the song’s almost 20 years old, but I got sent a bunch of bullshit hip-hop yesterday, so I’m traveling back in time to when things were good.
Some songs are built to make you swoon, and perhaps that’s unintentional, but considering the consistency with which the Perfect English Weather accomplish said feat, seems it’s all part of their game. A guitar cascades across the sky, whilst a happily plodding piano sets the rest of the musical scene. Wendy has this quietly powerful melodic presentation of the vocals; I think the work on the chorus is quite special here too. This track will appear on the group’s Don’t You Wanna Feel the Rain LP, but for now, you can download the single direct from the band’s label, Matinee.
If you happen to be one of those folks who comes to this site from time to time, you know one of the labels we’ve long been behind is Matinee Recordings; we even threw up something from the label’s new Azure Blue release this week. Today, however, I can now profess my undying love of the label, as they’ve officially combined my two favorite things and put them all into one delectable ear treat with the Official Matinee World Cup EP. The label has gotten five indiepop artists from participating World Cup to craft brand new gems, relating to this summer’s World Cup (no US indiepop bands on this because Michael Bradley sucks). You’ve got Australia’s The Last Leaves, Sweden’s Red Sleeping Beauty, England’s The Popguns, Spain’s The Royal Landscaping Society…and the first new music in years from Brazil’s Pale Sundays. Seriously, this just makes Friday worth it. Stream the whole thing below, and buy it HERE.
Hints of a new Azure Blue release began to surface not long ago, and with that, the band have dropped another delightful electropop gem. It’s a dense wash of synthesized beats, with a driving rhythm that works beneath the entire track; very much a Stephen Morris nod in my opinion. But, what I love about Azure Blue is that they seem to adopt a softened indiepop approach to their vocal delivery, which makes the music both danceable and endearing upon repeat listens. I expect I’ll listen quite a bit when Fast Falls the Eventide is released next week via Matinee Recordings.
Oh Tobias how I’ve missed you. It’s been a couple of years since we’ve heard from Tobias and his Azure Blue project, but out of nowhere he drops a new EP, with news of a full-length coming right around the corner. The newest tune is a heavy synthpop gem, filled with a deep melody that’s washed over by warm vocals. There’s a few new tracks on this Whatever 18′ EP, with the rest compiled from hard to find singles released elsewhere; one of the tunes is a cover of “Justice” by Robert Forster. Grab it over at Matinee Recordings, and then sit back and enjoy the pop sensation while we wait for the next LP.
Feel like its been a slow start to 2018 for indiepop fans, but luckily it looks as if Math and Physics Club are ready to give us a cure. Today, the band shared 3 songs, 2 which we haven’t heard yet to tease their latest effort, Lived Here Before; its being released by Matinee in the US and Fika in Europe. The first thing I notice about the two new songs is that they carry a softer tone, almost akin to early Death Cab stuff. I think of the three songs we’ve gotten to hear, “Dear Madeline” is definitely the one keeping my attention this morning. I hear its cold out there, so hopefully this dosage of pop will keep you warm until its release on January 26th.
As we’ve all noticed, the music news is coming to a slow crawl across your screens. But, some out there are dedicated to keep up the spirit and drop a few more releases. Luckily, one of our favorites, Matinee Recordings, has sprinkled in some delightful indiepop hits to round out the year. We’ve got a few tracks from the Laz Christmas EP, starring Laz from Bubblegum Lemonade fame; the other is a little sample from The Perfect English Weather, giving us a few gems from their English Winter EP. Both releases are now available, so revel that there’s still hits for you to enjoy.
For the 8 or so people who read this blog on the regular, you’ll likely be aware of my affection for all things Oceanic, primarily New Zealand and Australia. So, with year end lists in mind, I thought I’d offer up my personal takes on the best tunes to come out of the area in 2017. There’s no particular order, just my sixteen favorites of the year.
There’s even a fun little playlist at the bottom for you to enjoy!