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.
In my opinion, it’s never a bad thing to start off your Monday with a Comet Gain tune. Here we are revisiting the recently released single “We’re All Fucking Morons” from the band’s forthcoming Fireraisers Forever. It’s a digression from the first single we heard, which was more of a pop song, though this one feels more like the band’s tried-and-true formula. It’s got this matter of fact vocal delivery, with this fuzzy stomp going on just behind; it almost feels like you could see the band playing at some modern psych festival of sorts, particularly with those keys popping their head up to maintain the rhythmic sensation. This band rules. New LP out on October 11th via Tapete Records.
This post gets to be the first of the day because the song’s been out for 24 hours and has popped up where all the cool kids gravitate. Normally I stay away from such things, but I’ve always sort of felt like the Comet Gain were simply a band solely for me. I can still remember the first time I stumbled upon Casino Classics in a chat room for nerds in the late 90s. I still say City Fallen Leaves is my favorite. Alas, the new stuff. I think my favorite on the new LP is “Bad Nite at the Mustache,” but the chorus on “Mid 8Ts” is just so striking that its bound to get stuck in your head all day long. Listening now, I just don’t get how more people don’t adore the fuck out of this band. Just go listen. Fireraiser Forever is out October 11th via Tapete Records.
The Catenary Wires history is perhaps far deeper than their discography, but in their short time, Amelia Fletcher and Rob Pursey have already worked with some of my favorite labels in Elefant, WIAIWYA and Matinee…and now their sophomore release is slated for new powerhouse, Tapete Records. This fresh single puts the band’s dynamic at the forefront, relying upon the interplay between the two, trading vocal duties with one another, uniting in certain instances to maximize the harmony; Amelia has this sparkling nostalgic movie star tone, while Rob has this more forlorn croon. The string arrangement dropping in just before the 3 minute mark keeps listeners aware that both the music and voice will be broad sweeping on Til the Morning; it’s out June 14th via Tapete.
I’ve seen lots of lists about the most anticipated albums of the next few months, and sadly, none of the ones I’ve seen include Elva; I’m here to remedy that for me, and for you. “Ghost Writer” is the band’s newest single from their forthcoming Winter Sun LP. It has this spry bounce to it from the churning of the guitar chords; it reminds me an indiepop version of early Beulah. The big difference here, at least in what we’ve heard thus far, is that Ola takes the reigns on the vocals, with Elizabeth (of Allo’ Darlin) taking up the backing vocal roll, and together they craft this sublime harmony that rides throughout the song…all the way to the fuzzy guitar chord that jumps in for the song’s last minute. Winter Sun drops on April 19th via Tapete Records.
We’re not too far away from the release of Six Lenins, but this is the sort of single that keeps me coming back to the Proper Ornaments. The musicianship is crisp, falling under the vein of that sort of post-psychedelic vibe where guitar notes get sharper and melody gets just a bit more focus; they wind it all around this propulsive backbeat. Plus, the breathy vocals really add an extra element that gives the song this natural sense of longing/searching; it’s as if the song is out looking for its best friend, and that friend is me. Look for the new LP to drop via Tapete Records on April 5th.
As I sit here writing, I think I constantly search for music I can take back to my mom and dad, something that represents the music I love. I think the blend of nostalgic songwriting and the penchant for pop that Bill Pritchard is offering up would be just the perfect musical conversation starter. Natural harmonies hang in the way Pritchard delivers his words, and the song seems to have this casual feel that doesn’t overwhelm listeners, like my aged parents. There’s just something so purposeful and everlasting in Bill’s work, and I hope that Midland Lullabies continues to bring him a bit more popularity; it’s being released March 8th via Tapete Records.
On the latest single from the Proper Ornaments, the group has come back to the slow burning pop style that turns magical on dreary days. A piano line (or two) walks this track along, allowing plenty of space for the amble atop the mix. There’s a slight uplift, an added synth sound, during the chorus, elevating the vibe, albeit momentarily. It’s a pretty tranquil number, however, seemingly built on the tradition of pop music from the 60s, where the focus is on budding harmonies that blossom and bloom in your speakers. The group will release Six Lenins on April 5th via Tapete Records.
There’s been whispers of an Elva full-length ever since they dropped their first single, but they’ve picked up over the last month…and that time is apparently near. The group, featuring former members of Allo Darlin and Making Marks, have announced Winter Sun via Tapete Records. At this point, we’re only getting snippets, but they’re lengthy snippets, so it warrants a post…not to mention it’s always wonderful to hear Elizabeth Morris voice coming through my speakers. It looks like she and Ola will be trading vocal duties for the band’s forthcoming release, or at least that’s what we get here in these teasers. So for now, just over 4 minutes to show you how wonderful Elva can be…and then we wait until April!
I had everything mapped out today, scheduled and what not, then Robert Forster goes and drops a single from his new album. I’ve spent countless hours listening to Inferno, and I can tell you that it’s quickly grown to be one of my favorites. There really feels like two sides: a gentler, elegant side and powerful pop numbers, like this one; it kind of sounds like Robert meets Pulp. I love how he stretches his voice into a curled growl on this one, aided by a nice backing vocal to smooth out the edges. Robert is one of the greatest songwriters of our time, at least in my meaningless opinion; I know a handful of others who would agree. Inferno drops March 1st via Tapete Records.