Swedish musician/producer Mathias Engwall is set to release his Nevereverie LP under the llawgne moniker. For me, the attraction initially was steeped in the deep construction of the tune, building these extravagant layers of bubblegum pop. But, the trick employed here, is that Engwall disguises those layers in this sort of atmospheric wash that sort of reimagines classic 60s era pop through a more modern lens. At times it feels heavy and psychedelic, yet still pulled in by this gravitational pop pull that builds and swells, sort of like the pop version of Papercuts…which is a great compliment. Be on the lookout for this LP later in the year.
Fresh off selling their soul on E-Bay, Swansea Sound return with another solid single to add to your collection of pop music. They’ve always got great messaging, and here they seem to be calling to arms all the indie labels to unite! I’m on board! Musically, you can’t really argue with the back and forth between Hue and Amelia; how does Amelia’s voice sound so timeless and pristine? Put all that sugary melody together with the bop of Rob and Ian, and the band have another certified hit on their hand. This tune appears on the group’s new 7″, dropping on March 12th via Skep Wax and HHBTM!
If you’re looking for a little bit of dreamy pop combined with sprinkles of 90s rock, then boy have I got the band for you today: Hadda Be! They’re the newest act on powerhouse label Last Night from Glasgow, and I can’t get over this jam. It’s got just a hint of swagger that nods at punk, but these arena rock feels that make it sound huge; you feel like you’re surrounded by hoards of fans clamoring to hear those huge riffs billow through the speaker stacks. Some rock just feels timeless, feels like it could bridge any genre, any emotion; this tune is one such track, and thus should be the highlight of your listening experience today. Look for Another Life to drop on April 30th.
It seems like the five year wait for new music from Black Twig has really worked out in our favor, as the group share another incredible single from their forthcoming Was Not Looking for Magic. I was committed to loving this song when it opened with that sort of pastoral post punk feel, circling guitars over a thundering rhythm section. Still, I was blown away by Aki’s performance here; he sounds huge and solemn, creating this sort of fatherly comfort; the forceful jump in the chorus is equally matched, putting his range on display for all of us to enjoy. I know there’s a lot of hype around releases, but this song just made the new LP jump to the top of my list! Look for Was Not Looking for Magic on February 26th via Soliti.
San Francisco’s Pardoner first bounced up on our listening rotation when they released Uncontrollable Salvation in 2017 via Father Daughter Records. But, they’re a few years and a few releases down the road, and today announce their signing with Bar None for their new LP, Came Down Different. They grabbed me with the clever tightrope walk with heavy shoegaze on one side and slacker pop on the other. Just imagine a band that grew up jamming to Pavement in their practice space, but only with a penchant to make enough noise to piss off all the neighbors. I dig it; the new album drops on May 14th.
Psymon Spine hadn’t really been on my radar, but this new single definitely has me looking into their work as we prepare for the release of their new LP, Charismatic Megafauna. Their latest single continues my upbeat push on the day, digging deep into the NYC purse and pulling out bits of Chk Chk Chk and even LCD Soundsystem. The rhythm and the emphatic vocal delivery definitely reek of those spastic !!! dance parties drenched in sweat and the stench of spilled beer. But, they do add in some softened pop textures, which really elevate the song beyond just your everyday party trick. Stoked on this one. The LP drops February 19th via Northern Spy.
Having already hyped up Wurld Series and their forthcoming What’s Growing LP, I was eager to hear what their second single was all about. We got some big fuzz on that first one, but now, they’ve completely flipped us on our heads, turning instead for the perfect pop nugget a la Tony Molina. It’s 1:43 seconds of delightful pop balladry, featuring this wonderful vocal melody and heavy strumming riding atop a synthesized organ line; something about it reminds me of Jeff Mangum in the best way, of course. I love a little pop treat, and perhaps there’s none better than something that’s so quickly consumed in order to press repeat and have it play through your speakers the rest of the day! Look for What’s Growing on March 16th via Meritorio Records.
Ya’ll know I love to throw out a pop jam with some Spanish flare, which is perfect as the latest single from Chile’s Mecanico just came my way. It’s this sugary dancefloor ready pop number, filled in with some dreamy textures to build upon the song’s natural melodies. Every little burst popping through just makes me want to punch the air and celebrate the joy of just taking in that breath today…and sometimes, that’s all we need. Plus, the band is huge in Chile, so we could all expand our horizons a bit by checking out what’s going on outside of the American/British blogosphere!
Max Foreman‘s spent the better part of two decades playing in various projects (Bouquet/Tenebre), but this year he steps out on his own terms to deliver his debut solo effort. On the title track from his forthcoming Underground EP, you get a glimpse of the musical landscape he straddles on this release; he seems to draw from both his electronic background and his West Coast locale. I love the ever so subtle move into the chorus, delivering this delicate little twist into sunny psychedelia with an electronic pulse that snakes through the song’s entirety. Lurking in the back half, you’ll find this volcanic pop explosion, though brief, it adds brightness to this this dark tinged pop track. Max will release his EP on March 5th!
This new track from Melbourne’s Slomo just made it across the pond, and I’ve really been enjoying it this morning. You could possibly file the track under the shoegaze/dream pop realm, twisting with little elements of post punk, but its all about the execution that really made it stand out to me. The front half of the song is built around Jem King’s angelic vocals, guitars sort of skittering about behind her; you can feel the tension building, but it never entirely reaches that pinnacle…or so it seems. They delay that release, teasing with a short glimpse before returning back to the cavernous realm where Jem’s voice is at play. But, just as you cross that 3 minute threshold, the song erupts forcefully, echoing through your speakers as the track fades fades fades away. Look for their new album L-Dopa is out February 19th.