It didn’t take much convincing for me to jump on this new track from Model Shop, as the band features members from Math and Physics Club, plus they’re releasing their debut on Meritorio Records. This new single illustrates the promise that awaits; there’s this striking positivity that resonates from the various textures, always hitting the pop notes. As I listened on repeat, I found the tune landing somewhere between Nada Surf and early Jimmy Eat World, leaving me with a tune I could let live in my head all day long. Love Interest will be out on November 21st, and it’s going to spin on my end non-stop.
We covered a lot of territory last week, with a few songs not on streaming services (the Persian Leaps/Cindy), so here’s a wrap-up of last week to kick off your Monday morning blues. I was stoked to hear new Intelligence, but I had to start off the playlist with a new track from I Was a King, as its one of my favorites this year. Some cool stuff came our way from the UK, from the likes of European Sun, Chorusgirl and Pete Astor. Meritorio Records had a solid presence with the new Jim Nothing LP stream and a fresh single from Spice World. Plus, we touched up on some bonus Austin sounds from Twain and High Heavens. Stream it all below, friends.
It’s hard not to get overly excited when you hear the immediate infectiousness from Australia’s Spice World. That drum beat dropped in behind the guitars on “Dying to Go” and I just felt like I had been welcomed into a party with all my best friends; there’s this natural freedom to the track, rambunctious and fun, tethered to a hook all the while. Then they slip in and slow things all the way down on the flip, getting a little more of a look-in to the band’s ability to switch speeds mid-album. And speaking of album, the band are using this double single to announce There is No “I” in Spice World out on January 20th via Tenth Court and Meritorio Records.
New Zealand’s Jim Nothing are no stranger to these pages the last few months, but seeing as they’re a little bit ahead of us in terms of daylight, we get to stream their debut LP a bit earlier than Friday! For those of you into the traditions of lo-fi and early 80s DIY aesthetics, you’re certainly going to feel the charms of this entire listen. Take “Seahorse Kingdom,” for example, using this thumping rhythm and aura of whimsy to carry the exuberance of the song immediately to the listener. Maybe you want to swing the other way and hit on one of the great singles like “Fall Back Down,” which reminds me a lot of their Oceanic neighbors Twerps (and other “dole” wave) acts. Brief songs and steady bounce just guarantee you’ll run right over to Meritorio Records/Melted Ice Cream and grab yourself a copy of In the Marigolds!
One of the records I picked up last week was the forthcoming LP from Smashing Times, and today there’s another new single out there that illustrates the group’s musical growth. You can hear sort of a late 60s psychedelia in the guitar work, just hanging in the twang, but the vocals definitely feel like they’ve been chiseled out of early 90s Britain. So you get this interesting juxtaposition, putting melodic pop balladry right alongside the smoke-filled rooms of the past; I’m totally digging on the mixture of the two, kind of like traveling through time in a kaleidoscope of rad sounds. Bloom is out in late October via Meritorio Records.
Our friends over at Meritorio Records consistently unearth great acts and bring them to my attention, like New Zealand’s Jim Nothing. The band play just on the edges of modern jangle pop, perhaps mellowed on the edges to have a softer feel to the natural bounce. This fits perfect into the style, as the vocals are delivered in that manner that’s just above spoken word, steady and just hinting at the melody; that, of course, gets a little aid by the sped up jangle of the guitar when necessary. In the Marigolds is destined to win you over when it drops on September 15th.
At the end of last year, Baltimore’s The Smashing Times dropped this delicious 7″ I couldn’t get enough of, so I’m more than excited to hear the band are ready for a new LP later this year. Their sound, as the band describes it, draws inspiration from Felt, Television Personalities and the Pastels; I feel like this fresh single is a little bit of all of those. The crips guitar sound is definitely a nod towards acts like Felt, with a bit of the sort of paisley psychedelia from the Pastels also shining through in the tones. For me, the TV Personalities connection just comes in the manner that the band’s sound seems indifferent to trends; they seem like they’re a ramshackle lot bent on perfecting outsider pop. It’s intoxicating, and you can bet I’ll be spinning it nonstop when Bloom is released in October via Meritorio Records.
Those of you following the New Zealand scene, or anything Oceanic in nature, should keep your eyes on Jim Nothing, as this fresh single from their debut record is pretty near perfect. The riff work in the song has that sort of purposefully sloppy vibe, sort of chugging along haphazardly while the ship rocks around on the back of the rhythm section. Elements of this sound like they’re rooted in 90s pop rock, though you can hear other little DIY bits of flare in the way the vocals work together to build the melodic core. Just before you announce your devotion, the song calls halts, and you’re forced to rush over to the Meritorio Records/Melted Ice Cream sites and grab a copy of the group’s In the Marigolds LP…out September 15th.
Alabama’s Slack Times maybe get lumped in with the janglers of our time, and obviously I don’t mind that one bit, but I think that sells the band really short. On the title track to the forthcoming LP, the band even do their best to set the record straight with this sort of pseudo-Cali sun-pop guitar noodling; it’s balanced out by, you guessed it, the spot on jangle that counteract. Once the melody of the vocals sets in, it begins to feel like we’ve got this nostalgic longing settling in, both in message and sound; I don’t think there’s a single pop rock balladeer of the past that would mind this song being on their resume. If you’re looking for that spot where classic Americana meets up with jangling pop, then look no further then Carried Away; the LP is out June 24th via Meritorio.
If you actually read this site, then I reckon you’ve liked seen Slack Times pop up on our radar previously, particularly as we made a nod to their At the Blue Melon Rendezvous and its Athens influences. Well, today we’re here with the news of their new compilation record, which will include 6 new songs, atop the 8 tracks from their previous EPs. If you don’t find these crystalline guitar jangles hitting the right notes, wait until the handclaps and hip-shaking swagger swing into the chorus to really sell you on the masterful hooks the band use to fill their tunes. Carried Away already has 9 great tunes, so we’re looking forward to the rest if they sound this damned good. The LP is out June 24th via Meritorio Records.