Thierry Haliniak is no stranger to the sounds of pop music, having been on the edges of the indie pop realm since the early 90s, but it’s really been the last decade or so when his solo work as My Raining Stars really seems to have sprung to life. There’s that nostalgic carousel of jangling guitar licks chiming through your speaker. All that, dreaminess, yet its still the warmth of Thierry’s voice beckoning you to dive further into what’s lurking in this new LP. Searching for crisp pop music to transport you back to the 90s? Well, then you’re going to want to grab 89 Memories, the new LP, which is dropping today via Shelflife/Discos de Kirlian.
We haven’t heard from Holiday Crowd in quite some time, but boy is this new single a welcome return. The group just dropped new of a new 7″ for Shelflife Records, and the A-side is the sort of slinky-jangle pop nod, toying with a hint of croon to the vocals. In a way, it’s kind of a Sarah Records influenced take on Two Wheels Good-era Prefab Sprout, which should hopefully catch your ears. The jangles aren’t over the top, but the melodic charm of the chorus really helps sell the sound here, particularly when pace is added to the vocals giving the song that sort of swirling allure. Party Favours 7″ is out on April 15th.
Greek outfit Sugar for the Pill will be releasing their debut LP next week, but we’ll be out and about at SXSW most likely, so wanted to make sure we’re up and at ’em by throwing our support behind the group’s new effort. We’ve got a brand new single too, so you win either way! This track is filled with these cascading guitar lines, shimmering behind the vocals, which I think tends to give the track that shoegaze mark, but a closer ear will reveal some extra elements that have me excited about what the band brings to the table. The rhythm section is bouncy, offering up catching lines that have you tapping your toes, so you get a little post-punk inflection in the tune. Plus, there’s these gang shouts that pop up in the chorus and at various other points, breaking through the dreaminess and giving a more punk ethos to the tune. So, while you’d like to lump them in with your like-minded dream gaze acts, check out how they turn it into something wholly their own. Wanderlust is out March 18th via Shelflife Records and Make Me Happy Records.
We’re going to have ourselves a little Shelflife party over here at ATH, which is completely okay, as it’s one of my favorite labels. Earlier we had that hot Salt Lake Alley tune, and now we bring you the latest from the dream-gaze outfit, Whimsical. The video, like the song, is definitely shrouded in a bit of denseness, with the guitars churning out this wall of noise that serves as the background; the video uses slow pacing and these similarly heavy color tones to match that vibe. Musically, Krissy Vanderwoude’s voice is able to pierce the shroud of darkness, delivering this pulsing bit of melody that shimmers on the surface, as this genre should. If you dig it, Melt will be out on April 1st.
The year’s had some great pop tune, though I’ll be honest, as I’m not quite sure that anything’s really delivered the supreme jangle that I deserve! Well, that all changes today when Salt Lake Alley announce their sophomore LP, on Shelflife no less! From the moment you press play the guitars skate and shimmy, sort of skirting around you speakers as the beat bounces lightly in the background. I love how Mikael and Gustav seem to be trading off vocal roles on this song, adding this real dynamic punch that charms a pop fan like myself. Oh, and please please hang out just pass the 1:37 mark as there’s one hell of a guitar solo just waiting to make you swoon over the hooks. Their new LP, It Takes Two won’t be out until 2022, but you can enjoy the first sample below!
You’ve got to leave it to Shelflife Records for their continuous output of acts that are mostly completely new to me. Just take a listen to the lead single from Swedish outfit, Astral Brain, who will be releasing the Bewildered Mind this October via the US label. When it begins, the vocal performance from singer Siri tends to waver back and forth between pastoral and baroque. But, at the minute mark, the song just lifts off, lifting you spiritually out of your chair and into the dreamy caverns of the soundscape created by Einar Ekstrom. Siri’s voice is the perfect foil for Ekstrom’s work, at times, her control of melody doesn’t even require words, merely spinning out charming monosyllabic notes to make you swoon. This gem of an LP will be out on October 15th, you can order it HERE!
Looks like today’s a very easy indiepop listening sort of day, which is never a bad thing in my opinion; I’m following up that Geoffrey O’Connor tune with the latest from Always You. Oddly, the video (like O’Connor’s) also features a rose, though I suppose that’s tied to the song’s title. But, enough of that. This song’s all about the piano/keys build the song’s backbone; it allows the steady beat to give pace while encouraging billowing atmospherics to wash over the vocals. Speaking of the voice, they’ve got this melodic haze, a sort of fog machine of warmth and pleasantries indicative of the promise that the band’s forthcoming Bloom Off the Rose seems to be setting up; it’s out on July 16th via Shelflife/Discos de Kirlian.
The forthcoming LP from The Catenary Wires is high upon our list of anticipated releases this year, and now we’ve got another single to give us a little peek at what’s inside. As soon as the video plays, I honestly felt like I was at home in the 80s listening to my dad’s record collection; the core vocals of Amelia and Rob over that light strum just held this nostalgic breath in my lungs for an instant. But, as the song progresses, there are some little details like the slight buzz around the 1:07 mark (and again later) that kind of ties the band to their modern peers. In a weird way, it feels like your favorite indiepop stars spent the weekend holed up with J Spaceman, and I mean that in the most positive light possible. The little turn at 2:13 doesn’t do anything to hurt either, sweeping emotion through your bedroom speakers. Look for their new LP Birling Gap on June 18th via Skep Wax/Shelflife.
It’s Friday, and well, we’ve all got to celebrate surviving another day, let alone looking into a weekend. So, we’ve got French outfit Pastel Coast with a brand new single from their new LP for Shelflife Records. Every time I turn it on, you can definitely hear the influence of their countrymen Phoenix and Air; this tune seems to combine elements of both into a nice little package that seems both upbeat and intoxicating, without being overly kitsch. It’s a fun little tune that’s perfect to start your day, pulsing in and out like a little disco pop show; you know you wanna buy the record; Sun is out on June 4th!
Are you ready to get your summer playlist jacked up? Yeah you are! You want that perfect hit for cruising through the streets, warm breeze blowing through your hair; I know you do! Well, luckily, we get news that French band Pastel Coast is going to be dropping their follow-up to Hovercraft this summer via Shelflife Records/Groover. Listening through, its frantic pop, with a little bit of indiepop flare to it, but to be frank (“Hello, I’m Frank!), the song is super reminiscent of Phoenix before they became mainstream crossover darlings. Think about Phoenix circa It’s Never Been Like That, particularly “Rally.” The same sort of hook-laden pop potential courses through this Pastel Coast tune, but just as you’re about to pigeonhole the sound, the band seduces you with a counter melody that draws out the song’s approach, dipping their toes in a dreamier bit. You get it all here, and most of all, you get to revel in a great pop tune; Sun will drop this June!