Devon Williams hasn’t been around since 2014’s Gilding the Lily, which, for me, felt like he had mastered his own brand of pop songwriting. But, he’s back today with news of a new LP, A Tear in the Fabric. The song’s success revolves around two distinctive sounds; one part is driven by synths and bass, bouncing the track; the other part is the way the guitars jangle and bend their notes, swirling about to match up with the pitch of William’s voice. I really like the way Devon leaves all sorts of space in this song, like the brief interlude that follows 2:12-2:28; it really sort of builds this other-worldly dreamland that’s not too far form where he left off in 2014. His new LP drops on May 1st via Slumberland Records.
When I willingly gave away my money to the Slumberland Single Series I had no idea what to expect, and I’ve been really fortunate to get some gems coming to my doorstep. But, with the announcement of new 7 inches coming from both Pale Lights and Odd Hope, I don’t think I could be any happier that my money was well spent. This Pale Lights single might just be my 2nd favorite track of the year thus far, pretty easily I might add; it’s the brand of pop I’ve always adored, which is perhaps greatly in part to the work of Slumberland. With Odd Hope, it’s just always great to hear new songs from Tim; his work has been an important part of my life, despite just a couple of releases. You couldn’t ask for more, and yet here we are; both 7 inches drop on April 23rd.
It doesn’t seem like Peel Dream Magazine are going to slow down the machine anytime soon, crafting track after track that deserves your attention. It’s strange, but the delivery of the vocals on their latest single already feels super familiar, as if we’ve been listening to the band for years; it’s buried just beneath the wash of rhythmic guitar chords and keyboard droning. I’m just fascinated by their constant collage work; things seem muddy within the confines, but they’ve added the layers so delicately that each instrument seems to ring out individually; you can be captivated by any one note and ride it until the song’s end. Agitprop Alterna is dropping on April 3rd via Slumberland Records.
In listening to this new track from Peel Dream Magazine, I keep thinking how it almost feels like multiple songs being carefully placed atop one another, like some brilliant experiment in pop music. At times, you’re drawn to the buzzy guitar swell, especially upon pressing play at first. Then a vocal comes in, almost like a seance chant; it becomes clear that that serves more as another textured layer, with yet another vocal entering the foray as the focal point. To me, it’s brilliant on multiple levels, one being that it’s a success of a tune, let alone one that feels like 3 songs meshed into a single entity. This is a band everyone should be keeping an eye on going into the release of Agitprop Alterna; it’s out on April 3rd via Slumberland/Tough Love.
As we’re all looking back on the year 2019, I tend to gravitate towards lists with little agenda, other than to shine a light back on the year in the areas I adore. For one, the indiepop scene. Now, there’s always a great big debate about what indie pop is, so for all intents and purposes, I admit that I just don’t care, so the genre’s purists can yell at me later. Now, this may read as a best of, but merely this is the stuff that stuck out in my brain, so if I missed something, I love you and I’m sorry. Honestly, it just gave me a chance to make a fun playlist (2+ hours!) full of hits for all you pop fans.
First, I’d like to thank Slumberland Records for the excellent 30 Year Single Series. I paid for it, as it is one of my favorite labels, and then forgot, except when the occasional package shows up on my doorstep with delicious pop treats! Is it over? I don’t know? If so, I scored some great hits! Second, the label in the last few years has dabbled in reissuing some great stuff…the Wolfhounds, the Springfields…and now East Village. To be honest, while I should know the band, I have no idea who they are other (other than a few short paragraphs on the Cloudberry blog long ago), but I find the sampler of their Hotel Hotrod reissue to be quite up my alley. Charming and warm, lightly jangling and of the indiepop persuasion…so yes, I’m picking this up too! If Papa Slumberland can get his hands on that Another Sunny Day compilation, I’ll be quite thankful. Go check out East Village; the reissue drops on January 24th.
We continue our year-end list from people we love, one of whom is Joe of Wildhoney; he also shared that there’s a new band named Dummy in the works for 2020. Here’s a few words and a list from Joe! And be sure to hit this jump to check out the new 7″ Wildhoney released via Slumberland Records HERE. There’s a cool playlist at the end, with some extras Joe loved in 2019!
Joe: 2019 was a weird year for me and connecting new music, the things I really loved were mostly reissues, things from the past; newer releases were just not inspiring, and it was the first time I can remember this happening and it was, tbh unnerving. Luckily, towards end of the year some things start clicking and I felt inspired and excited again! So here’s some things I really connected with, 5 new releases, 5 reissues/comps and 5 eps/7″.
If I had one thing I could bestow upon you all it would be the gift of the SLR30 Single Series…especially after this week’s installment news of Wildhoney…but that’s not just it…now we’ve got Smiles. This track is that perfect Friday tune, heavy-handed pop riffs blasting behind you as you cruise towards that pop sunset; the warm melody recalls the band’s home state of California, as well as a nod to Teenage Fanclub. The last 30 seconds are interesting, fusing a bit of classic rock vibes with these vocal tones that aren’t too far off from Elliott Smith’s croon. 30 years of great music, and lets hope it carries on for 30 more with songs like this one.
This debut from Jeanines is shaping up to be one of my favorite things this year, especially with this delicious new single from their self-titled debut. The opening few seconds have this steady pounding indiepop feel to it, and I’d already be convinced to fawn, but that’s not the twist that really hits for me. Just at the 33 second mark, there’s this vocal pitch change that seems both nostalgic and omni-present; it switches the mood from indiepop to classic doo-wop vibes (it also happens at 1:16). Brief and memorable, so it makes sense that their debut is being handed by the same label that brings you Tony Molina, the esteemed Slumberland Records…dropping on June 14th.
Slumberland Records had a great week last week…a new video from Business of Dreams, an EP from Papercuts and a cover from Frankie Rose…but the best news was the announcement of this Jeanines LP. There’s an infectiousness bounce tearing through your speakers the instant you press play; it’s matched by that understated jangle in the guitars that makes indiepop nerds swoon. Alicia Jeanine’s vocals have this crystalline quality that sort of ride the melodic wave of the track itself; I’m not sure I’ve been so quickly charmed as I was upon first listen here…and it’s short, so go on and press repeat as many times as you can fit into the next hour. The band’s self titled debut will be out on June 14th.