Not only are we Labrador Records fans, but we’re also huge fans of Club 8. They just dropped this darkened electronic gem to announce their brand new album Golden Island. For the most part, this number takes on more of an atmospheric vibe than the band has presented before, with the vocals coming across almost as carefully exerted breaths in the front of the mix. The song’s construction and minimalism illustrate that the group can work on varying levels, not just hitting you over the head infectious pop; this is pop music for those that think. Look for the new record in early 2018!
A few weeks ago news started to bubble about Agent Bla, the latest, and possibly youngest, act to bring great music out of Sweden. They recently released THIS VIDEO, which reminded me to go spend more time with their self-titled debut. Still, I’m struck by the band’s early single form the record, “(Don’t) Talk to Strangers;” it has this swirling dreaminess that adheres to my personal pop aesthetic, including powerful vocals that are sure to have you taking notice of these youngsters. Their album will be handled in the US by Kanine Records, who’ve got a pretty good resume with dreamy pop bands like Fear of Men; it hits on June 9th.
Long ago, when I was really into buying soundtracks, I picked up the Marie Antoinette CD. Admittedly, I bought it because of the Strokes, but it opened the door to my obsession with the Radio Dept. At the time, my tastes were pretty broad, indie rock speaking, but this opened an entire different world to my realm. Their songs were always playful, rooted in this expansive bit of electronica, though they tended to experiment a bit more than the other things I was listening to at that age. What struck me, probably later than my first few listens, was the band’s ability to drape political content in this airy delight that was supremely rewarding. I’ve picked up everything I could get my hands on throughout the years, with Clinging to a Scheme being my personal favorite. If you’re new to the band, I suggest Passive Aggressive, which is a great compilation from some of their best 2000-era work. They come to the Mohawk Monday night, for what I’m assured will be an exhilarating experience. It’s fresh off some rave reviews for their recent album, Running Out of Love, reigniting America’s love for these Swedes. They’ll be joined by Brooklyn’s Germans. Buy your tickets HERE. Not many make music as grand as this, but when they do, you’re better off if you come experience it live!
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POKAL is a Swedish band new to me as of of today you should be listening to right now. Though breezy is a word tossed around a little too much nowadays to describe music, I can find no better word for this music. It’s bright, shiny, and full of a delightful bit of pop tendencies. Check out “Great Expectations” below and enjoy what I’ve been listening to all day.
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It’s a good thing that the indiepop community is so small and involved, otherwise I might never have heard of Sweden’s Tinsel Heart. The group just released their Hey Boyfriend EP, filled with energetic fuzzy pop songs that you can play again and again. Just be sure you give the EP time, as there’s a soft gem of a tune waiting at the end with “Sunday Sunday Smile,” offering a little bit of respite from all the infectious joy in the EP’s opening tracks. Congratulations, your day just got a whole lot better!
Man, I think this might be the track of the week for me. It’s been a busy week, so Many Voices offers some dreamy respite to kick back and relax. Opening with a shimmering bit of dream pop before the voice of Matilda Mard opens her vocal performance. Each musical step is carefully attended to, and it all seems so purposeful…accomplishing a huge emotional pull as it drifts over five minutes. She’ll be releasing Away for All Time via Hit City USA on October 28th, so keep a look out on this stunning gem.
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Looks like the Swedish label, Lazy Octopus Records, is going to be my new “it” label…just wrote about Lion’s Den last week, and now they’ve got this great smoky bit of not-pop for you to enjoy from Growth. Guitar here’s kept to a minimum, angular shaking in the background whilst the vocalsunfold in a smoky haze; the latter half of the track sees all musical notes taking on a more discordant vibe. This song features on the group’s upcoming Colour Cut & Clarity EP, which is being released by the label on what’s quickly becoming a packed release day, September 16th.
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A few months back I was excited for you to hear new music from Shy Mirrors, Sweden’s latest purveyors of great poppy punk rock. Now you can stream the entirety of When Nothing Is Next, their latest album. It’s almost like a pop version of Guided by Voices, employing a lot of similar guitar sounds, only with larger hooks for listeners…akin to Austin’s Slow. There’s not a song on this whole record that I didn’t enjoy, and with short tracks, it’s easy to fall in love, then press repeat to start enjoying yourself all over again. Stream it below and get you some!
Many of you know that songs such as this one from Brodet aren’t usually my bag, but sometimes the right song comes along and I’m swayed. This one is called “Ultra Friend” and is a sort of murkey and dark bit of pop music. Think bands like The Knife or Fever Ray and you’d be pretty close to the sounds created here. My apologies to the band, my computer won’t let my type or copy an umlaut for some reason….
Expect a new EP from Brodet in September.
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Imagine yourself listening to Superchunk really loud. It’s so loud you’ve blown your speakers out, so the sound rattles, sounding a little grittier, a little dirtier than before. Well, that’s exactly what Shy Mirrors new single sounds like, at least to my ears. They just released this brand new little blaster, a tease for those excited about the band’s new work, which is slated for a release later on in 2016. It’s a track with power, yet one with just the slightest hint of catchy hooks, so clearly I can’t turn it off. Neither will you.
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