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.
If you missed last year’s Marriage LP, then perhaps we haven’t done our part to turn you on to Wy, at least not properly. But, they’ve got a new EP on the way, and it continues to show how incredibly quickly they’ve broadened their sound, hitting on all the high notes we’d expect and then some. When the tune opens, it has this almost nostalgic pop lean to it, though enhanced by this heavy resonance that sets up Ebba’s vocal entry. She’s got this faint little quiver that toys with you, but as the track unfolds you see just how powerful her voice is, dominating the front of the mix. Still, careful ears will hear just how much effort was put into everything behind Ebba, with all sort of varying textures, balancing noisy bits with melodic ringing notes; it’s pop craftsmanship at its finest. The Something Amazing EP is out June 17th via Rama Lama Records.
Belgium band Mauger are preparing to get their follow-up to 2020’s Sunday Competition out in the world, and they start today with this delightful new single. The airy drive of the guitar bob and weave definitely had me from the get-go, and there’s this nostalgic pop feel to the vocal style, something that reminds me of being a kid. And while I’m likely far off, the chorus just feels like its perfect this week, or this year, or the last few years with the repeat of of “I never got a minute to rest;” it just feels like we all need that moment and can’t quite get there. Whatever it is, light head bobs abound with this sweet tune. I’ll get you more info when I know it about the new LP.
I generally try to avoid tracks that hit more than 1k streams on the ole YouTube; I just figured there’s another band that needs my small voice. That being said, when two things happened when listening to this track from Tim Burgess; it’s actually just one thing, me and Tim meeting in the middle. As soon as I played the track, I got transported to my youth where I was spending a lot of time with what was coming out of Britain, the Charlatans being among that lot; it was a feeling radiating from the track, something emotionally pulling on me. So, I read the press release and Tim’s quotes as saying “it’s a simple song, and it’s a feeling more than anything.” Me and Tim, tied together by a mutual feeling and a really incredible pop song. Just enjoy it.
One of the acts Brian and I really enjoyed at SXSW was Swedish trio ViVii; they offered up a dreamy brand of pop that actually felt like it was crafted in Texas. You can hear that in the band’s new single, particularly in the way the vocals seem to tumble across the track like weeds out on West Texas roads. Musically, things back up that approach, with guitar notes bending and turning, all the while hitting those crisp notes that feel like Summertime. It’s a nice little dreamy dose of pop from an act we’re really enjoying; keep an eye out for their new MaviDavilon EP, out June 3rd.
Are the Boys with the Perpetual Nervousness one of the better kept secrets in the indie pop realm? Well, let’s hope not, as you’d be missing out on some great tunes if you skip over the band; start by going back to last years Songs from Another Life. But, alas, its Bandcamp Friday, so the band have dropped this wonderful new single to get inside your ear. I think the group open up the tune with this really soft crystalline guitars, strumming over each other. But, drums kick in slightly, and there’s this brief uplifting moment that immediately takes the track to another level. It’s just a tease, as the chorus really shows where the band’s melodic play shines right to your heart. Don’t sleep on this one.
When we first shared news of the forthcoming Crystal Eyes LP, we were really excited by the group’s blend of pop styles, pulsing with a more frantic energy. But, on their new single, they allow the song to sort of fester and swell, like a slow-burn; this makes tons of sonic space for the band to fill in the spaces, be that the distorted guitar in the distance or the wash of atmosphere that crashes briefly into the chorus. All of this culminates in a huge burst at near the song’s end, sprinkling pop confetti down from the rafters all over the listener as if you’ve just won the game of your life. The band drop the Sweetness Restored on April 22nd via Bobo Integral.
I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that if Pintandwefall were from the States (or maybe the UK) then they’d be an absolute darling on all the cool kid blogs. I’ve been trying to hype them up as a one-man show here, but hopefully this new single will grab you enough to show you what its all about. It hits you with this immediacy upon pressing play, and there’s this playful indie style coming forth that I dove right into. Then the song sort of erupts in a new direction, bringing in a more soulful feel to things, almost like the band magically inherited Nashville vibes. The band are releasing Seventh Baby on February 25th via Soliti.