There are some labels who just don’t know how to release bad records, and Shelflife Records is one of those you can always trust. This time around, the label is going to bring you the Gone EP from LA-based The Turns. The band’s known for being indebted to a slightly psychedelic period, though the track that I’ve chosen has a softer, more simplistic approach. Here you’ll hear the group walking that careful line between that genre and classic indiepop, utilizing male vocals with a female backing voice to really strengthen the song’s vibe. The label is releasing it as a digital EP as of now, with a cassette version to follow in early 2015.
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It’s been a long-time coming, at least for those that pay constant tribute to the works of C86. Close Lobsters quietly called it a day in the 90s, but they’re now returning with fresh music, after rekindling their musical fire in 2012. This is the first piece of music we’ve gotten from the band in quite some time, but what’s interesting is how relevant this first single is. It’s not dated, and it doesn’t sound like a modern re-hash; it’s got the same vibrancy the band captured long ago. For you indiepop fans, the band will release their new Kunstwerk in Spacetime EP on Shelflife at the end of May.
This isn’t actually an introduction, so much as a return visit to some of our old friends. Luxembourg Signal are in fact various members of Aberdeen and Trembling Blue Stars (JJ,BA, and BE to be exact), indicating to some that you’re alredy in love with the band, and you haven’t even heard them yet. They’ve just signed on with the respected folks over at Shelflife Records to release their debut 7″, and we’ve got the tune below for the A-Side. The song is crafted where it provides warmth via the the vocals, yet still holds an expansive sound that seems to always have been present in the songwriting of the core writers. Hopefully we get to hear more from the group, sooner rather than later.
While they’ve been working at crafting their owned dreamy indiepop for some time, the boys in She Sir have largely gone unnoticed. But, good things come to those who wait, with the group putting together their most confident record to date, Go Guitars (Shelflife Records). There’s not a bad song on the record, and listeners will surely find several of the tracks more than memorable.
“Portese” sets the tone early, with a guitar that has angular intentions ringing immediately in the foreground, while a dreamier chord cascades in the distance. Russell’s Karloff has this whispering gentleness to it that creates the emotional pull for the listener; his performance on this track is purposefully understated, giving you more of a feel from the song’s craftsmanship. Then you’re off into the beautiful world of “Kissing Can Wait,” a track where the vocals are surely the winner in the tune; they playfully move in line with the progression of the bass and drums, molding the song into an upbeat number that leaves your spirit lifted.
Other songs offer more of a dream-pop style on Go Guitars, such as the album’s first single, “Condesendidents.” Karloff’s voice has this soft quality that seemingly rests in the background of the track. Personally, I like how the group breaks out into a relaxed pop jam near the end of the track (about 1.5 minutes); it’s a special moment on the record that illustrates She Sir have decided to go in whatever direction they see fit. And, you can’t cruise through the record without taking on “Snakedom;” this is the best song that’s not on Captured Tracks. There’s a lively beat going on in the background, while the guitars work against each other to create a swirl of blissful pop.
Honestly, those were the things I expected from the band. What I didn’t expect were songs like “Bitter Bazaar.” It starts innocently enough with a lightly strummed guitar line, but the steady vocal opening prepares you for the song’s driving intentions. It sets the scene for a track that appears reserved, though your short wait will see the band pushing the pace and spinning bright guitars twirling around your ears. This is by far one of my tracks the band has left us with, so be sure to give it your undivided attention.
While some bands might get caught up in adding too much to their music, the one thing that stands out in Go Guitars is that the band isn’t trying to do too much, musically. They know what they’re doing, and they’re going to offer listeners the perfect version of that sound. She Sir will leave you with a listen that merely asks for you take it all in and let the warmth of the indiepop deliciousness take care of the rest; your listen will be better off for it.
We’ve championed She Sir for years, and this year has seen the band release several great tracks in anticipation of their forthcoming LP. The album is titled Go Guitars, and we’ve got their third single to offer you today. It begins a touch slow, then the drums provide a proficient bounce to push the song into a more beautiful state. It’s clear by this number that good things are in store as we approach 2014, when the album will see a release from the respected Shelflife Records. Just enjoy the fact that you’re around to listen to such a great tune today; be thankful.
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What a great week for Shelflife Records. First they sign our friends She Sir, and now they’re off and running with a new 7″ from The Fireworks. This new single is pretty marvelous, with a buzzsaw guitar working on one part of your eardrums, while the sweet harmony of the vocals warms the other. I love the slightly poppier attitude that comes with the outro near the end. This is the second release for the label, and they’re pressing it in a very limited number, so it’s best that you get your hands on things before you miss out.
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Seeing as the fall is full of releases galore, perhaps it’s best if I opted to occasionally highlight a record that might not get tons of attention otherwise. For me, a record I grabbed last week that you should spend all your time with comes from The Proctors. It’s titled Everlasting Light, and it’s just this incredible piece of guitar pop that I can’t escape right now. Every song takes a light-hearted tone, pulling at you emotionally throughout, embedding itself within your soul. I can’t say enough great things about this record, so scour your local record store to see if you can get your hands on it; Shelflife Records unfortunately sold out because it’s that good.
Download: The Proctors – Trouble With Forever [MP3]
Monday’s are always the hardest to get back into the swing of things, right? Well, I think this tune from Picnic will definitely help ease you into the work week after a long weekend. The group has recently released their album The Weather’s Fine via Shelflife Records, so you know you can count on the quality of the release. For the most part, the music seems to trickle politely, though there’s a few moments when the instrumentation takes a heavy-handed turn…you’ll have to listen to find it. If you’re looking for something to help your escape the day, then come no further than this gem.
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Man, I hate myself. In the recovery process that was post-SXSW, I forgot how much I loved this jam from The Fireworks. The band just recently released their The Fireworks EP, and it’s this blistering bit of guitar-pop for you to digest. On this four song effort, the guitar work is really what does it for me; it provides a gritty edge to the group’s poppier underbelly. This tune in particular will have you tapping your toes, bobbing your head and hopefully picking up the EP from Shelflife Records. You know what’s good for you, don’t you?
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Been following Shelflife Records for a bit now, and I had almost forgotten to check back with them on plans for 2013. Good thing I took a look-see, as they’ve got two great new acts I want to share with you. First, you’ve got Spain’s When Nalda Became Punk. It’s refreshing to hear spirited jangle-pop coming with just a hint of a Spanish accent. They’re debut for the label, A Farewell to Youth, is out now. Also, the label has just put out the Goodly Thousands 7″, with the Irish group kicking out really rad indie pop, like a less-angular version of The Lodger. Music like this really makes it easy for me to come back to work on a Monday.
Download:When Nelda Became Punk – When It’ll Come [MP3]
Download: Goodly Thousands – Honest[MP3]