Up until now, I felt like I’ve been holding it together; I’ve mostly retreated to good reliable pop tunes to keep my spirits up the last few months. But, this week the damn seems to have broken, and this Logan Farmer track seems to be part of that. The darkness of the cinematography in the video accompanied by the solemn tones of the piano/guitar that opens the track kind of pull you beneath the murky water of your own mind. There’s hints of promise on the horizon in Farmer’s voice, however, dangling little syllables out into the night sky, letting them drift into the ether. Just sit back and absorb this one. This tune appears on Still No Mother, out on August 21st via Western Vinyl.
Oh Milky Wimpshake, how I missed thee! The long running act has been mostly quiet since 2015, but they return (real soon) with a new LP titled Confessions of an English Marxist! Our first listen has the group hanging in the territory where they last left us, bringing about jangling pseudo-punk in a nice bubblegum wrapper. My favorite part are those soft edges hanging about aside the sharp chords; you can hear just the faintest twinkle of a melody, and its every so charming. This new LP is being handled by Bobo Integral, who always release fine pop bits; it drops on October 16th.
I’m really grateful for the resurrection of Devil in the Woods as a label; they’ve already introduced me to some great acts, and they’re back with another one that apparently should have been on my radar: Mexico City’s Los Blenders. The band maintain their influences fall between surf and punk, but you’d be remiss if you didn’t catch just a little bit of that indiepop jangle in the guitars; the notes are sharp as a knife, making your tap your toes as the melodic vocals circle about your head. In fact, this is definitely an indiepop number, and I’m not shying away from that statement! The band will release Mazunte 2016 on September 25th.
Opening with a fuzzy guitar sound and a heavy strum in the front mix is an easy way to catch my attention…the formula used by The Collect Pond. As I keep listening through, I feel as if Danny Moffat has mastered the art of building two distinctive songs into one. Listen closely and you have this light ballad with Moffat’s voice operating, almost independently. Behind it is all is that aforementioned fuzzy feel, seemingly forging its own path unbeknownst to the front of the mix. It’s clever as it overlaps melodies, creating this sense of wonder that completely sucked me inside. You’ll find this track on the In the Garden EP, out soon!
Thirty years on collecting music as a hobby, and I’m still pretty into following labels. For me, WIAIWYA is one of the premiere indie labels out there, not only because I love most of the stuff they put out, but because, like my own label, I like the diversity. Sure, you can pigeonhole certain aspects, but I feel like the label has a really long arm when it comes to describing their sound. Take, for instance, two forthcoming releases, from Sea Glass and European Sun. Sea Glass seems to have this spectral quality, particularly in the way the vocals overlap time and time again; there’s also this alliteration affect that has the habit of ensnaring the listener. On the other hand, you get European Sun has sort of this Ian Dury/TV Personalities feel, particularly in the playfulness of the lyrics. The Sea Glass album Shifts is out on 8/14, with the self-titled European Sun LP dropping on 9/11. At the very least, enjoy these songs, then go dig deeper into the extensive catalogue.
I first caught wind of Japanese jangle pop outfit Jan Flu via a collection of demos back in 2017. They’ve been quiet since, though out of nowhere they sent us their new Sports EP, so it seems only fair we would encourage you to listen along. “Lacrosse” is a standout hit; it’s the infectious sort of pop music that pulls us in immediately. I loved the bouncing rhythm of “Tennis,” and the way the vocals were delivered on that tune were particularly charming to me. Honestly, the more I listen, the more I’m just excited that this EP exists at all; its such a rewarding listen, I think you’re best suited to spend the rest of your day spinning these 6 songs!
I always feel like The Cradle is one of those overlooked bands that everyone instantly loves when they press play (I mean, does your band have 30 releases?!). The forthcoming album Laughing in My Sleep is a few weeks away still, but this heartfelt ballad seems to hit right at home almost immediately, for me at least. It’s a seemingly simple ballad, pounding on the piano with a nice strum layered on top to add emphatic punch. Songwriter Paco Cathcart is joined here by Lily from Palberta, which creates this soothing feel that washes over the listener. Please invest in this band; Paco’s one of the special voices out there; the new LP is out on August 21st via NNA Tapes.
Buddie will be releasing their new Diving LP here in a few weeks, but seems only fair they tease us with one more tasty musical treat before the album drops. Starting it off, they tease a slow burner, then offer a slight twist that speeds up the pace just a bit; I thought it was a cool touch illustrating the band’s attention to detail. The dual female/male vocal delivery on this number really captures your ear; it’s the hook that draws you into the tune, naturally. There are several moments when I expected the band to sort of just unleash and bring crashing pop noise down on me, but they push it back, postponing that release until the very last moment; I can imagine how exhilarating that would be in the live set! If you’re into the tune, Diving is out August 4th via Crafted Sounds.
Sometimes you just need to let loose on a Friday, and this track from Bee Bee Sea seems like the perfect way for us to look in on the weekend. I couldn’t help but feel the hooks of this song get me right from the start; there’s almost that sort of Nobunny/Hunx vibe working. It’s gritty and garage-y, but it’s not going to shy away from having one hell of a good time with us all. Let your hair down and have a little fun with this Italian outfit. The tune below appears on their new LP, Day Tripper, which drops in October via Wild Honey Records.
The broad swathe of sound that Steven Adams and the French Drops are releasing has me penciling in the release of Keep It Light as an endearing record destined to be played until I need another copy. We’ve had an upbeat indiepop number, a grittier folk tune, and now we have this folk pop gem. From the bending guitar in the distance to the quiet vocal accompaniment, it seems Steven Adams is breaking out all the stops here; there’s this brilliant moment just before the 1.5 minute mark (also 2.5) that I absolutely love, if you’re looking for my favorite 10 seconds. Keep It Light will be out on August 21st via Fika Recordings.