A lot of friends are making podcasts, playlist and whatnots, so I figured I should go the imitator route. Wanted to start off this week with a little indiepop for you all…so I made a podcast of hits, most of which come from 2017…and a few oldies added in for fun. Enjoy some upbeat numbers today…there’s a tracklist after the jump!
Sometimes you get lucky and an unexpected hit comes your way, such as the brand new 7″ that just popped up from The Fireworks. The group has come a long way since their early EP, most notably the switch to Beth Arzy (Lux Signal/Trembling Blue Stars) on vocals; she seems to have made way for a cleaner dosage of indiepop, allowing the band to work around her melodic voice. Don’t you worry longtime fans, “We’ve Been Wasting Time” offered up that distorted guitar ring in your ears just as Arzy smooths the edges; I love the bounce provided by the drum work here too. If you missed this, better go grab it from Shelflife, as it won’t be around too much longer!
No? You didn’t get the new stuff from The Fireworks? What are you waiting for? The more the word gets out on the Black and Blue EP, the more people are going to be climbing over each other to get their hands on a copy. Like all great releases on Shelflife Records, they go quick, so you should head there now to grab a copy. But, in case you need more convincing, check this great old school style horror flick the group’s using to promote their latest single…it includes some grotesque murders, of the fun sort. Watch the video, love the song, grab it!
I’m astonished that the Fireworks haven’t caught hold in the United States yet; they’re perhaps one of the best female-fronted guitar pop bands. Perhaps that’s because they include a bit of jangle, a bit of shoegaze and a DIY aesthetic. Wait. Those things are all really cool, and the Brighton group continue to prove they’re a force in the studio, even if you haven’t gotten a chance to listen to the band yet. You should start by going back and listening to Switch Me On, then you can bounce around some other recordings, all whilst getting prepped for their Black and Blue EP; it’s going to be released on a limited 10″ via Shelife Recordson July 15th.
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Back in 2015, and probably before that, we became enamored with London/Brighton based band, The Fireworks, and their debut album,Switch Me On,which was all parts unabashedly fuzzy energy, jam packed into an album. Today, I’m quite pleased to share a new track from the band which is taken from an upcoming EP, Black and Blue,which the band will be releasing shortly on July 15th. The track is called “All The Time” and from the moment you press play, you know you’re getting into something special. The drums sound off like a countdown before those vocals and guitars kick in, giving the whole thing a 90s alt feel, but then as the track takes off, this genre is met with dueling vocals and snarling guitars that turn things into an even darker modern punk track. Take a listen and then go preorder that beautiful blue vinyl EP from ATH faves Shelflife Records…or else you’ll be missing out big time.
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Tons of genres out there, but if you’ve been following our work, you know that I’m really partial to the indiepop scene. I scour the confines of the Internet for any and the best of the genre, and admittedly get tons of tips. So, I looked back through what had come out and wanted to throw a little bit your way…just another list of what I think was the best in indiepop in 2015. Still staying away from numbering. Also…some of this has made my other lists, but I wanted to expand on my favorite genre a little bit. Read more
Year-end lists are everywhere…and I can see why they’re important to people. But, seeing as we generally walk off the beaten path more often than not, our list of the Top 50 Albums of 2015 is in no particular order, save alphabetically. It seems pointless to rank one piece of art higher than another, especially when the four of us at ATH all have varying tastes. We just put this list together of the albums we loved the most this year. Are we saying they’re better than records by Grimes or Kendrick Lamar? No, we’re just saying that these are the records we loved more than others. So, you can read on for what we thought was hot.
Also…put links to individual stores where you can buy the albums from the bands…as that’s how we all survive in this music world.
This week’s been really slow musically, and I can expect with CMJ that next week will be much the same. So, with that, I’ve done some hard core browsing of the net. It gets boring posting the same thing as P4K which is the same thing as Stereogum…it’s an endless cycle of been there done that. Luckily, I stumbled across this great band that I know nothing about, The Keep Left Signs. In fact, there’s little to no information on the group, other than the demo tracks below…and a poster with their name on it that also features Fireworks, The Garlands and The Electric Pop Group. Those names and these songs have me convinced. You?
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The Fireworks are a self-proclaimed loud fuzzy pop band from London who have released a bunch of material thus far, but Switch Me On marks their first trip down full-length LP lane. And it is an exciting one, filled with gritty feedback, alluring pop hooks and dueling vocals coated in reverb to pull you into this groups infectious sound.
Switch Me On is an exhilarating chase at high speeds—you’re constantly trying to keep up with The Fireworks in their never-ending energy, but its one that you’re willing, and wanting, to keep pace with, as the lo-fi fuzz rock is as good as it gets. The band bursts through the door with their squalling feedback, utterly distorted guitars, popping percussion and the trading off of vocals between Emma Hall and Matthew Rimmell. “With My Heart,” is just the beginning, breaking the ice so that you can jam along with the band. The chorus is infectious, as Hall and Rimmell share the hook; their voices collide to add to the collected messiness of the sound. It’s not clean and it’s not delicate, but the ferocity gives the band the right amount of grit they need to push forward to other places. For example, “Let You Know” is the least fuzzy track on the record, and it pushes on the jangly nature of the guitars and the smooth vocals rather than the intensity of the feedback. The Fireworks aren’t a one trick pony.
Halfway through, you’re refreshed with “On and On,” which is championed by Emma Hall’s vocals and a killer guitar solo at the end. Like the other songs on this album, this one is also fast and furious, streaming by in a blaze of buzzing guitars and pop hooks and its one of the best tracks on the album. As Hall chants “on and on and on…” as the title suggests, you wish her and the band would just keep on. And they do; later on you get “Corner of My Mind,” which is as close to shoe-gaze as this band gets, and the guitar riffs that cut through the feedback are sharp and crisp, grabbing you with their clarity in the fuzzy cloud of noise. It’s the little nuances such as these that vary from song to song that keep the tracks from getting too redundant or falling down the well of sound.
So you reach the end of the album, and you realize just what’s happened to you: your hair has been blown back a bit, and your socks have been knocked clean off your feet, and you find it a little hard to stop shaking your hips. You’ve been switched on by The Fireworks, and the only cure is to spin Switch Me On again and accept your grunge-y, fuzz pop fate. As far as this genre goes, this is some of the best music you’ll find. Turn it up loud and get down.
The Fireworks are an electrifying power dream pop outfit based in London who have celebrated quite a bit of growing success already from their initial releases. They’ve put out a few singles as well as EP’s which should have already gotten your attention, but if you haven’t been formally acquainted with this group, have a listen to the track below. “On and On,” while brief, gives you a perfect slice of electric guitar heavy rock that still appeals to your dream pop sensibilities with the reverb laden vocals of Emma Hall. This group has their debut album, Switch Me On, set to be released February 10th of this year on Shelflife Records, so get excited and pre-order.
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