Back in 2017, this site was filled with notes about Oro Swimming Hour; I loved the band and their various releases that year. But, as happens more often than it should, I hadn’t checked in on them until an email came my way letting me know they had this new LP, Pterodactyl, out in the world. I’ve included the whole thing below, and with all the recent talk about Elephant 6, I encourage you to spend some time connecting the dots between Athens, Georgia and Bristol. They kind of feel like their an amalgam of pop, at all times. You hear little bits of power pop and psychedelia, but then there’s lots of little weird excursions and hidden moments that make it like the most joyous scavenger hunt for discerning music nerds. “Crocodile” and “Cold Tangerina” are my personal favorites at the moment, so find yours below! The LP is out now via Gold Day Records!
If you recall, we, along with other various label friends, helped get the debut Love Burns album out into the world (still got a few tapes left if and you like). Well, we were happy to be part of that, and now it looks like Phil and company are ready to make your Bandcamp Friday super easy…just click “BUY” on this new digital only EP. It’s four brilliant pop songs, continuing to show off the striking songwriting in Sutton’s repertoire. Me, I love “Forever in Bliss;” there’s something about it that just feels huge, like a giant of a pop rock tune built for arenas of dancing fans. However, as with all things Love Burns, there’s not a miss here, so head over and grab the Fade in the Sun EP.
It’s been several years since we’ve heard from Aussie outfit Summer Flake, but we’re all being rewarded today with a brand new single and the hope that more is on the horizon. A light little strum drew me into this tune, offering a sort of musical ray of sunshine that could slide right into any moment in your life. The vocals feel equally as light, and in a sense, almost dreamily playful, riding the mix like a white knight on a glorious stallion of melody. To me, there’s something super sweet in its simplicity, and I can’t help but appreciate every moment of this tune; here’s to hoping we get more. Track out today courtesy of Rice is Nice!
I’m super picky about my commercial pop, but there’s something soothing about a new Elizabeth tune. Her recent batch of singles has seen the Aussie songwriter move into a more modern pop twist, something that offers up immediacy in its hooks; you even get a faint little trickle of autotune on the vocals, which surprisingly worked for me (I’m not generally an autotune fanatic). It’s interesting to see the direction she’s turned towards, remember the early days of Totally Mild; there’s still the same sort of lyrical sentimentality, though spun in an entirely different fashion.And, not only is there a new video tied to the trio of new singles, but today also celebrates the reissue of the incredibly special The Wonderful World of Nature on hot-pink wax!
Friday’s are perfect for Swedish pop songs, in my ears. You’re looking out the window, counting down the windows towards freedom, but as the Slow Summits detail in their latest single, “time’s on your side,” so be sure to take it all in. The song itself is a subtle jangling ditty, rolling and bouncing along the highway of life, all the while Anders drapes his velvety voice atop to layer more melody for your ears. For a band that claims that their “songs aren’t extraordinary,” they sure pack a charming punch that I can return to again and agin.
Listening to this new Alvvays tune really illustrates why the group have continued to rise in prominence through their career. With each album, they’ve taken some touchstones from their first effort, though they’ve spun them towards being crossover pop hits at the same time. This latest single is no different, filled to the brim with noise and distortion, then balanced on a razor’s edge with a smashing blast of pop; the sheer volume work here is definitely an added tool, illustrating the band’s thoughtfulness in recording as they toy with the expectations of breaking out of the indiepop mold. Blue Rev will be out in October via Polyvinyl.
Ever stumble into something and totally get dumbstruck? Well, when I turned on this track from the Martial Arts, I’ll admit, I was a bit gobsmacked (not Godsmacked like RayRay’s favorite band). At times, it channels the sort of high school pop of the 50s; it’s playful and filled with these charms that seem to come from the jukebox era. That said, the sound has this natural earnestness, almost like it’s a DIY doing their best to craft stadium-ready rockers. It sounds like everything I’ve ever heard, and yet nothing sounds at all like what the band is doing. The band will be re-releasing the Getting Stranger by the Month EP on August 12th via WIAIWYA.
Johan Andergard has his hands in a lot of the great Swedish pop music I adore, from Acid House Kings to Club 8, but his solo work as the Legends always seems to always find the perfect home in my heart. This song, with an admitted study of the Field Mice, feels like is got this splendid gallop to it, like riding your horse through some sun-filled valley with flowered rolling hills. There’s just something about the vocals that lift your spirits, allowing you to peak in step with the tune itself, and a subtle backing vocal mixed in behind the front of the mix, furthering the song’s natural charm. Johan’s working on tons of tunes for 2022, so hopefully we’ll hear more soon!
Since stepping away from Totally Mild and going it her own, Elizabeth has done nothing short but amaze me. Her voice has always been one strikingly bold, but on her latest single, she seems to take it even further, stretching those tones into full powerhouse mode! While the Wonderful World of Nature had ties to her earlier work, feeling like a natural step away from her previous outfit, this new single is as bold as her voice, fully immersing Elizabeth into the pop world. The synth notes sound sad, matching the persona, though the powerful drop in at 2:34 shows Elizabeth isn’t messing around; she’s “happier now,” after all.
Despite countless trends pointing elsewhere, timeless pop music is always in fashion, particularly over here. So, here we are with a brand new single from The Special Pillow, an acts that’s been at it for nearly 30 years, and counts Yo La Tengo as huge supporters. Listening to this brand new single, I’ve got all sort of things running through my head, at least when I’m thinking of comparisons. At times, the guitars play into the jangling pop that’s working its way around with the likes of the Umbrellas or Boys with Perpetual Nervousness. But, ultimately this band sounds to me like New Pornographers if they were able to tighten their sound (they always felt overly noisy in spots). The pop bops are noticeable in between jangles, and this tune uses multiple layers of vocals to seduce the listeners. In the end, timeless pop music is made by great songwriting, and The Special Pillow has that for days…Mind Wipe EP is out in September via Zofko.