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!
Earlier this year we shared the A-side single for “Mirrorball” from the Catenary Wires, and in that post I alluded to a forthcoming LP from the band; the good news is that you can now pre-order the new record, Birling Gap. An added bonus is that it comes with a great new track that should only further push you to pressing “add to cart!” The song opens with a careful acoustic guitar and slight bit of ocean-spray ambiance, setting the scene for Amelia’s sparkling voice to shine, as per usual. With progression, the song builds in that ambiance, filling the pop bucket to the brim, spilling over into pure bliss near the 1:22 mark. Looks like we’re in for another treat, so be sure to get your hands on the new album, released by Skepwax (UK) and Shelflife (US) on Jun 18th.
It’s been about five years since we’ve heard from Ablebody, but in the interim, the band have been hard at work with new tunes…and a new name! The band, led by the Hochheim brothers, has formerly changed their name to Always You, then jumped right back into things with a new single courtesy of Shelflife Records. The tune’s offering is a bit of distance from the band’s indiepop inclinations, giving us a slightly elevated vibe; it’s almost like they’re offering up a really slow burning brand of pop, something that whets your appetite for what’s to come later. The vocals turn over and over in your mind, melodically drifting in a sort of dreamy trance-inducing fashion while the musical background just lounges, relaxing your soul. Nice to have this group back up and in the mix!
When we were fortunate enough to have Rob and Amelia of Catenary Wires take over our web site last year, they hipped us to all they were working on, be it Swansea Sound, Heavenly reissues, European Sun and…well, we knew there was fresh CW on the horizon. Today, they announce their Mirrorball 7″, and they do so in typical fashion sharing a whimsical pop tune to give your day some wings, some spirit (maybe its only me that needs that!). Electronic buzz and horns open up before the light guitar strum provides the stage for the back and forth melodic banter between Rob and Amelia. For me, having listened to the band, and their various projects, this one feels supremely mature, like a lesson in the joys of indiepop being given by its elder states-people; it just gives you this warmth, almost as if it can’t be pigeonholed as anything other than a really great song. This 7″ will be out via Shelflife/Skep Wax on April 16th…and includes a Human League cover! And just a hint, this tune is the first single off a forthcoming LP later in the year.
If you get two great LPs under your belt, you may as well shoot for that third, right? That seems to be the feeling I’m getting with today’s announcement that The Luxembourg Signal will return this Fall with The Long Now. Our first listen has the band dropping in immediately, pounding rhythm pushes the pace as those dreamy crystalline guitars chug; there’s a moment where another guitar shoots in, exploding like some sort of pop music firework in the foreground. You wait almost a minute before the vocals come in, but the wait is worth it, providing a moment to let the song breathe. It all erupts once again, like an indiepop volcano spewing forth sublime pop sensibility through your speakers, covering you in its charm. This is the perfect single! The Long Now will drop on October 23rd via Shelflife/Spinout Nuggets.