Thursday feels like a good day to visit a Slumberland release, so why not begin with a band on the meteoric rise in the jangling pop realm, Chime School. So far, the singles from Andy Pastalaniec’s project are perfectly defined, but I feel like this is one where you really get the feeling that this could just be the beginning of something huge. There’s little bits of layering in this that sort of walk a fine line between nostalgic 70s 12-string guitar ballads and the hazy underbelly of early 90s Britpop, though spinning that kaleidoscope still hints at the purity of classic indiepop. No matter which way you spin Andy’s songs, it’s like unwrapping a gift individually wrapped for each listener’s experience. Chime School is out on November 5th.
Guess I’m reveling in the joys of pop music today, which I don’t mind one bit. This new Chime School video is another charmer from Andy Pastalaniec, fueled by these thumping drum snaps and churning jangles. I love that despite the song’s brief nature that things still seem fully developed, and even included several distinct moments that stand out from the jangles, like the classic sunny guitar solo in the early moments or the emphatic punch that comes in the song’s stomp about just after the minute mark; it’s not always easy to pack all those great moments into a song running under 2 minutes, but sure enough, its executed perfectly. The self-titled LP is due November 5th courtesy of Slumberland.
This site has paid tribute to the work of Andy Pastalaniec with his work in various projects from Cruel Summer to Seablite, but now Andy’s earning his own stripes with his project, Chime School. This last week Slumberland announced they’d be working with Andy on his debut LP, which at this point, sounds like a fun-filled collection of indiepop ditties. There’s plenty of jangling going on in this lead single, though I’ll admit that the vocals actually feel like they might fit right into a 90s alternative pop playlist; there’s just something about the nostalgic warmth there that sets Chime School outside the modern fare…I love the clarity in those notes for sure. I mean, it’s a band from San Francisco, which is so hot right now, musically speaking. It’s also a band on Slumberland, so you get reliability. And, the tune rules, so pre-order the eponymous debut!
Probably going to be the last post I get up today, because, well, five songs seems like enough for you. Don’t get greedy. Figured I’d go out with a banger, which is absolutely what this new Fortitude Valley single brings to your ears. I love those distorted guitars, flirting with me by offering this understated little jangle and a little bit of pop rock swagger; it doesn’t hurt you get that scorching solo in the song’s middle. Laura’s voice always makes me think Toni Basil for some reason, which gives me a wee chuckle and only solidifies the endearing factor FV bring to the table with each new single. Their debut self titled LP drops this October via Fika Recordings.
Here’s a new band to put on your radar: Petite Amie. The Mexican band is brandishing this late night explorative pop, bordering somewhere between sublimely chill and French dreaminess…both are good. This song’s got this subtle little dance floor groove, that little shoulder shimmy as you spin about the dance floor, and that alone sets you in the mood to let your body smile as you listen through. Aline Terrein has these pseudo-disco vocal notes, like some late night DJ serenading you deep into the morning hours as you tap your toes and bob your head. The band will be releasing their self-titled debut via Devil in the Woods/Park the Van on October 1st.
XOR is the solo project of Secret Shame bassist Matthew, and next week he’ll be releasing his debut solo record. For the last single before the release, it seems he’s aiming to hit right at the heart with the catchiest tune on the release. At times, the warmth of his vocals lines up with the synth work he’s crafted, melodically seducing the listener with these synthesized harmonies. If you’ve been caught up in the work of Black Marble or Soviet, or hey, maybe you like the last few New Order records, then you’re going to find yourself pressing repeat on this tune for a long time to come. Look for XOR next Friday!
Looks that we have a pop-centric focus this morning, bringing in another great tune from the Umbrellas and their forthcoming LP. This tune reminds me a lot of the band’s label mates, Jeanines, but perhaps that’s mostly revolving around the brevity and the sharp jangles hanging in the thick of the tune. But, where they make things their own is where they take the urgency and stretch it out, adding in this sort of 60s girl-group vocal harmonizing, ending up giving the song a dreamier feel. The rhythm section gives you the immediacy and bounce, but you can sit back and let it wash over you a bit more, calmed almost by the melodic nature. The band release their self-titled debut on August 6th via Slumberland.
If Laura Kovic wanted to get our attention with her band line-up, it doesn’t hurt that she’s fleshed out the Fortitude Valley line-up with members of Martha and Night Flowers. It also bodes well that the band just keep releasing these pop rock jams that just get stuck up inside your head! The latest singles is almost as much fun to watch as it is to listen to, letting these grunge-y pop rock riffs rip and swirl all over the place as Kovic bounces her voice in and out of the song’s grooves. The video matches up with the song perfectly, giving the sense that the band are not only enjoying the songwriting, but each other as well, which is always a bonus for a fan. Fika Recordings will release the debut self-titled LP in October of this year!
Another day and another great pop tune from the current pop epicenter of San Francisco; today’s new track is the latest single from the Umbrellas. They waste no time jumping right into the twisting turn of jangling guitar sounds, steeped in the rich history of California. That would normally be more than enough to whether this critics meaningless opinions, but the dueling vocals craft this blossoming melody that I can’t get out of my head. It begins with Matt offering up some heavier tones, akin to Calvin Johnson, but as the track moves forward, Morgan jumps in; I love it because these aren’t mere backing vocals; they’re dueling lyrics, meeting in the end to unite for effect. Fine, okay, this band rules. They’re debut self-titled LP is out on August 6th via Slumberland Records.
Perhaps this is entirely due to growing up surrounded by Depeche Mode cassettes, but there’s something truly special about what XOR is doing in the realms of electronic pop. The majority of the scene features heavy hitting notes, dropped beats that just push and push, but not here. Instead, you get these twinkling synth notes and a steady drum loop; it’s got pace, but its not frantic, more like steadying the ship so as to allow the guitar lines to jump in and dance around. If you were a big fan of Soviet in the early 00s, then this new project from Matthew of Secret Shame should be right up your alley; XOR releases the self-titled debut LP on July 30th.