The Arctic Flow have graced these fair pages on several occasions, so I’d be remiss if I didn’t toss them a mention now that they’ve got a fresh single out on the esteemed Sunday Records. In a sense, it reminds me a lot of the stuff that came out on the Tres Oui record last year, though this one definitely feels like Brian’s playing up the dream factor in song; there’s not atmospheric haze really, but the vocals feel list gasps of air floating through your speakers. Not quite sure if this means there’s a new record on the way, but you can’t really turn away from a great song on a Friday, can you?
The aptly titled Shelter album is being released for free by Sunday Records, in hopes of keeping your love for the purity of pop move strong while we all shelter in place. The Sugar World tune that opens it up is a flat out stunner of indiepop songwriting; it has this spritely bounce and this words like the wind vocals drifting through your speakers. Tracks from the likes of Day & Dream and Fawns of Love definitely up the dream pop ante, in case you were wanting to listen and let the day drift away from you. Plus, nice to hear The Memory Fades do an acoustic version of “Listening to the Marychain.” It’s streaming below, but remember, just because its free doesn’t mean you can’t throw a buck or two to the label!
Last week you were worried about the pressures of Valentines Day (either ignoring it or giving in to its commercial necessity), so you might have missed the release of Strawberry Generation‘s new LP, Afloat. It’s an indiepop record that sort of dances all across the genre, in the best way possible. Starting with “Afloat,” you get this big ringing guitar pop swoon with crashing drums and softened melodies, turned right into the following Alvvays-esque track “Lying to Lauren.” I loved the Orange Juice guitar reference on “Breakthrough Feeling,” but still get the chills on the dreamier “Tango” popping up later in the album…this is the must listen tune, for me. The entire LP benefits from the trading of songwriting duties between Luk and Valerie, giving each song its own unique sound, though still working together as a cohesive unit. It’s filled with variance, which is welcome, considering the indiepop sound is so specific that it can sometimes get burdensome with 10 like-minded songs…NOT THE CASE HERE. Afloat is available via Sunday Records.
Rhode Island outfit Strawberry Generation have been hanging around, at least to our knowledge, for several years, with a handful of EPs to their name. Today, the band are out to share their Recollections EP for Sunday Records; it collects remixed and remastered versions of early tunes, as well as throwing in a brand new track to tease what’s coming from the band’s debut LP (out later this year!). For those unfamiliar with the group, you’ll find the band a multi-headed indiepop outfit, capable of charming with understated melodic gems like the below “(My Love is Like A) Satellite” or punchy pop numbers like “Coffee.” Listening through, you’ll notice they switch up vocalists quite often, which builds in a diversity not always present in the genre. New tune “Kitchen+ Crisis” is the slow blossoming pop sort, billowing with backing harmonies and some lush arrangements. Grab the EP now from Sunday Records, and look for the full length debut come this Spring!
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.
Cornwall’s LIPS are about to be the next great act on the storied Sunday Records; tomorrow they’ll drop their debut EP…and get ready for everyone to swoon. In starting out the EP, the drop a bold indiepop challenge in “Apartment;” it’s fueled by these dancing dreamy guitar jangles and feathery vocals from Rachel Anstis. Antis is the clear winner here, though she steps aside to let the band do their best to get you to kick up your shoes. Skip down a song and you’ll find “Walls” toying with the fuzzier “gaze” side of the realm. Still, Anstis steals the show, moving between angelic notes and calming cool, running through the song like its her own vocal playground. “Sunken” turns around to show you just how far the outfit can take their pop sensibility, shaking about between sharp angular cuts and hazy notes that tear through your speaker. I’m putting my money down now that this is one of the Top 5 EPs of the year!
RayRay and I were both big fans of Kosmonaut; they had some tragically overlooked tunes, but now we’ve got news (thanks Wally!) that Stephen Maughan has formed new act The Memory Fades. They’ve recently released the She Loves the Birds EP, and by recently, I mean today. Listening through the four tracks, I’ve come to the unfounded decision that the band are made up of equal parts Lucksmiths and Galaxie 500, with J Spaceman doing the studio recording…of course, none of that is true, but I think it will help craft an image of the group in your mind. Think slow burning pop songs that crawl inside your brain and take over. You can get a handful of limited copies from Sunday Records if you’re into it.
Well, I’m pretty sure that the world’s going to be a better place today, at least if this morning’s listen to the Always On Your Side EP is anything to go by. I mean, I can’t deny the catchy powers crafted by Red Sleeping Beauty this round. “Always on Your Side” is crafted with hook-laden synths and warm vocal melodies, then it’s immediately followed by the playful bounding of “Falling Out of Love.” That’s it. I can’t write about it anymore. It’s just too delicious. If, like me, you’re enjoying these four tracks, they’re available in a limited capacity via Sunday Records.