Admittedly, Withered Hand wasn’t on my radar until Slumberland Records helped released New Gods; I then, of course, went back to pick up Good News, his first album. Where is this going, you ask? Well, four songs off of Good News have been re-recorded with accompanying strings, and it seems fitting that we share those, if and only to share our affinity for Dan Wilson’s craft…not to mention the great labels that are sharing in this release, WIAIWYA and Fika Recordings. The below song is a great example of the emotional pull that can be added via string accompaniment, and man, throwing that in with a Wilson penned tune is likely to make me cry. Except I can’t because it’s cold here, like my heart. The Ten Years EP is officially out on December 20th.
In this modern age, immediate musical fulfillment is important; people scroll on if they have to invest themselves too much; I’m guilty of it myself. But, that’s precisely why this new single from the Leaf Library is so special. You’re not going to find that immediacy, rather you’ll be immersed in this was of electronic pulses that clear your mind of everything. This is where the core of the song lives; it’s melodic vocals dreamily floating about; it’s careful guitar notes skittering about in the far-off distance; this is a song to let yourself be lost, and then found again. And you’ll be grateful, so you’ll pick up the World is a Bell from WIAIWYA, which drops on October 25th.
I’ve previously mentioned Darren Hayman‘s ambitious 12 Astronauts LP, and while the album comes out Friday, there’s another teaser track regarding Pete Conrad awaiting. This one is particularly special to a Texan, as the title is an allusion to the Texas community in which most of the astronauts lived in the 1960s. Musically, there’s a simple, almost Casio-esque beat that Hayman uses as a backbone for his voice. But, it’s the chorus here that’s really special; the guitars drop in and there’s added sampled layers, with Darren spinning his charming melody right into your heart. Just skip to the 1:17 mark if you don’t believe me. 12 Astronauts is out Friday via WIAIWYA. Love pop, learn things.
It looks like WIAIWYA is dedicating itself to celebrating space exploration, having recently announced The Moon and Back; now, there’s a new LP on its way from one of my favorite songsmiths, Darren Hayman titled 12 Astronauts. Our first single is this grand ballad with sweeping accompaniment written as an ode to Alan Bean, the fourth person to walk on the Moon. While the track lends itself towards the life of Bean, Hayman is still able to capture a broader theme of perseverance that we can hopefully all identify with in our own lives. Never a bad time for Hayman to pop his head up in my world; think I’ll go listen to Hefner while I await the release of this LP…it’s out on July 12th.
I’m not sure there’s a label quite like WIAIWYA; it’s a label that blends their love of pop with really creative releases (did you see that 7777777 series?). Today the label announces a 38 song compilation that celebrates the adventures of Apollo 11. They tease us with three delightful pop tracks from Darren Hayman (Hefner), Mikey Collins (Allo Darlin) and Whoa Melodic…all powerful songwriters who’ve graced these pages. Oh, and you loved that Jeanines track from earlier? They’re on here too! So, if you’re wanting to blast off into space and relive the Apollo adventures of 50 years ago, jump on this pop rocket ship and blast off…or just fall in love with all the effort put into another unique release.
We were really excited to hear news of the debut Whoa Melodic LP late last year, and now we’ve got our second single from the self-titled album. This track seems perfectly built for those Sunday afternoons spend enjoying the sunshine on your back porch. There’s a great melody (I mean, melody has to be in every song, right?) that casually sits back in the mix, relaxing behind the sunny guitar chords and the soft beat of the drums. Pop songs like this don’t exist too often, so I’ll gladly welcome anything on par with this ditty. Look for the debut February 1st via WIAIWYA.
I can pretty much be guaranteed that anything coming out via WIAIWYA is going to be something I’ll enjoy; John seems to hand pick from my brain for his catalog…or so I like to think. His first release of 2019 is going to be the debut from Whoa Melodic, the project of Michael Wood who has played with the Hayman Kupa Band and Singing Adams. Our first listen has this almost stuttering mod feel to it, like if Elvis Costello hung out with a bunch of indiepop kids; there’s that sharpness in delivery contrasted with the natural warmth of Wood’s voice. Seems like a great way to start off 2019; the self-titled LP will drop on Februrary 1st.
If you haven’t been keeping an eye on the continuous production of great singles from WIAIWYA, then hopefully you’ll turn your head with the latest, a split covers 7″ from the Wedding Present and Cinerama; they cover The Clash and ABBA…though is it really a split if David Gedge is behind both? Whatever. The ABBA cover streaming below is fairly gentle, much like the original tune; I always appreciate the prettier, more delicate, side of Gedge, which is how I’ve always come to think about Cinerama. The single comes out the first week of November, and then we’ll be able to talk about what a great job Gedge did with the Clash I expect.
Every time Pete Astor releases something new I sort of fawn and swoon. Today was one such day, as I realized that Pete has a new 7″ on the way, just a few short months after he dropped the powerful One for the Ghost. He seems to be taking one from the pages of label mate Tony Molina, maximizing his songwriting in a mere minute and a half. That guitar hints at my mom’s tape collection, harkening back to the glory days of classic rock n’ roll in the 60s. But, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the entrance of Pam Berry (of Black Tambourine fame?) on vocals to soften the vibe and pull on those heart strings. Damn all these great pop songwriters and their 1.5 minute gems! Alas, the new 7″ comes out October 7th via WIAIWYA.
We’re just a year or so removed from The Orchids 30 Year Retrospective, and it’s great to see the band have new music on the very near horizon. In fact, they’ve recently released the first single from their forthcoming 7″ for WIAIWYA. It’s a mild-mannered pop song, mostly sitting back and allowing the harmonies to do the work over soft percussive elements. The vocal display, of course, has that luxurious contrast between male and female bits…James’ voice always sounds so friendly and familiar, like all those times my father sang with his guitar around the house. Anyways, another great Sarah Records survivor with new music for us; they’re new 7″ drops on August 7th.