I hate to admit it, but Dot Dash is one of those bands I take for granted. They consistently release a great record every few years, though the last time we heard from them was back in 2018, before the world went to shit. But, this Friday they’re dropping their rad new Madman in the Rain LP, and we’ve got an early listen that warrants your time today…not to mention a great reminder to never forget them. Listening through, I’m really struck by the ballad-esque title track, though that opening bass line in “Forever Far Out” sets the tone for a record chock-full of bangers. Little pop, little punk, little attitude, lots of hooks…a record you’ll come back to time and time agin. Madman in the Rain drops on Friday courtesy of the Beautiful Music.
Good things come to those who wait, and we’ve been waiting almost a decade for Exploding Flowers to return with the follow-up to their self-titled debut. “A Daunting Thought” hits you immediately, dropping in this charm that’s part nostalgic California sunpop and part dreamy psychedelia. I love moving on to the ramshackle ditty “Far, But Never Gone,” which would fit along with some of my favorite power-pop hits of the year thus far…and that only gets us to the third track. Other stand outs on a personal note would be “Mirror Mirror, Face to Face” and “My Poor Heart,” but to be completely fair, this might be one of the most complete pop releases I’ve heard this year…every song’s a winner. Seriously, if you have any pop tendeines, be they dream, psych, jangle, power, what have you…you will instantly fall in love here. Stumbling Blocks is out via the Beautiful Music on August 11th, but stream it all below.
Skytone are a two piece 80s synth pop group who hail from Ottawa, Ontario, and they’re on their way to releasing an album on TheBeautiful Music.From that, they dropped this single “Here and Now” about a month ago, but somehow missed my radar until now. It’s a good summer tune: bouncy bass lines, breezy guitar riffs, and twee synths greet you pretty much instantly when you press play. The melody is lovely, with lyrics talking about wanting to stay in a moment, which is the kind vibe that summer time tends to lend itself to. It’s pretty hard not to groove along with the group for the four minute track, so I’d go ahead and give in and press play below.
My friend Wally at The Beautiful Music recently turned me onto James Clarke Five, as he knew that I’m a sucker for a good pop tunes of any sort. Apparently James Clarke aka Jimmy Hughes has been banging around since the 1980s with The Cherry Boys, but he’s recently been bopping about with his own work. It’s interesting, at times he’s got one hell of an operatic voice, as is apparent in “Married;” it lends itself to that sort of broad pop from classic groups like the Zombies. Though there’s an obvious nostalgia, many of the tracks on Parlour Sounds are so wonderful they fit right along side the various pop LPs in your collection; I mean, check out the move at the 40 second mark in album closer, “Just a Smile.” Indulge in this LP, then thank me and TBM later.
I’ve already encouraged you to go give Proto Retro a thorough listen, but in case you keep ignoring me, I’m going to continue to give you a healthy dosage of Dot Dash. They just dropped this mostly live footage video for album standout “Unfair Weather.” This track puts the group’s crystalline guitar pop tendencies on display…you know, the sort everyone whose anyone is trying to pull off these days. Plus, the rhythm section is always on point, which gives the guitar work space to sort of meander around the perfect harmony. And, if you love this song, you can grab it for free over HERE, or grab the whole LP!
I’ve been following DC’s Dot Dash for some time, so it’s nice to see a new record come our way. It comes at the perfect time too, as Proto Retro is a great summer guitar pop record; it might also be jumping into the realm of my favorite LP from the group. There’s a quick poppy punch with opener “Unfair Weather,” giving listeners a slight Teenage Fanclub vibe, then they go for a cleaner almost Aussie sound on the following “Gray Blue Green.” The back and forth between the power pop and clean jangle of heavier indiepop is where the record succeeds; it’s got enough attitude to keep the cool kids satisfied, but just enough warmth to make pop fans swoon. The album is available from The Beautiful Music as we speak, so stream it for yourself below.
Spain’s The Yellow Melodies have been on my radar for quite some time, thanks to our friend Wally at The Beautiful Music. I think I first fell in love with their tribute album to the Television Personalities back in 2012, but they’re back with a brand new album titled Life. I’ve been jamming it quite a bit the last few weeks, and today you get your chance to get your hands on the LP. If you press play below you’ll find an album filled to the brim with charming melodies and indiepop delights; it’s a complete gem from start to finish. I could go on and on, but who needs my words…you just need the songs below!
Some of the simplest forms of pop music are the ones that become the most meaningful to us, which is where I’m left after spending some time with this new Armstrong track. It’s part of the new album, which features unearthed recordings and B-Sides, and this listen is making the world just a bit brighter today. You’ll mostly hear the voice of Julian Pitt lightly draped atop strummed guitar and piano play. If you need a great ballad, or just generally looking for something to make you feel good, then go here. The new LP, Fragments and Curiosities is available now from The Beautiful Music.
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- It’s always easy to troll the Gums and the Forks to find the latest and greatest, but you’ve gotta peel back the shades in order to find gems like Roy Moller. Roy’s been banging about as “Scotland’s best-kept secret” for sometime, but with his latest release, I don’t think it’s fair that Scotland gets to keep him…these tunes are just too good. The Beautiful Music (home to Dot Dash) just released There’s aThousand Untold Stories, and it’s a collection of great songs in the vein of Loweor Bowie; it’s pop classicism, pure and simple. Stream these songs below and get hip to what we’ve all been missing.
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SKYTONE is a two-piece band out of Ottawa who have a brand new track that is sure to make you break out a sweat from dancing in the summer sun. I know you’ve been looking for a way to extend the weekend and so I’m glad to share “Second Hand Shops” with you. It’s the perfect blend of jangly guitars and surfy vibes, and even includes hand-claps! You get lyrics that will tickle your summer-feelings: “I don’t care what they say about tomorrow,” and a chorus that begs you to leave it all behind. Skytone have got a real winner of a single here, and I highly suggest you take a listen and heed their advice.