Let me just say this…if you’re writing guitar pop music at this very instant, please make it sound like Dropkick. The Scottish outfit have been around for a bit, but the forthcoming album, The Scenic Route, just seems to get better with each single used for promotion. Listening below, you’ll hear that ringing semi-jangle, encouraging a slight toe tap and head bob; it’s subtle, as are the band’s many charms. Sure, the vocals could be described as warm or gentle, but I think of them more as pleasant…something I’d sit and listen to with my mom on her back porch. It’s short, it’s catchy and makes you feel good about the world (for once), so be sure to pick it up from Bobo Integral; it drops on February 7th.
With the vinyl release of the Lucksmiths Naturaliste last month, it had me wondering, who is best suited to fill that void in my life? Seems like Dropkick are the perfect band to fill that void, especially with what we’ve heard from the forthcoming The Scenic Route. This new single is filled with understated jangle, just playfully crafting a warm melody that perfectly aligns with the delivery of the vocal lines. I love the vocal in the chorus; it feels like its sweeping down from above to carry you away in this blanket of blissful harmony. The new LP will be out on February 7th via Bobo Integral.
I hope that the name Dropkick isn’t entirely new to you, particularly if you’ve been hanging out on these pages here. If it is, then that’s fine, as you’ve now got a chance to check in on the band before they release their new LP, The Scenic Route. I suggest falling in love here, then checking out Longwave (2018). This track has that big ringing sound that made fellow Scots Teenage Fanclub a huge hit, though I’ve always felt like there was more of a gentle underbelly to the Dropkick songs; they almost feel like they’re firepit jams amped up for our pleasure…more Lucksmiths than Teenies. They’ve signed on to work with Bobo Integral next year and release the new LP on February 7th.
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 trying to branch out with our list coverage this year, I reached out to Gonzalo Marcos; he runs Bobo Integral out of Madrid, Spain. The label released some really great music this year from the likes of Lachlan Denton, Blue Jeans and the P4K approved, Ducks Unlimited. He also plays in the incredible El Palacio de Linares, who released Largos Agotadores this year as well. So, I asked him if he could do a top list of what’s coming out of Spain, and he responded with the following list.
In case you fancy yourself a fan of jangling pop rock or the casual guitar pop of the Oceanic region, you’re going to want to put your ear real close to the speaker here. This fresh single from Ducks Unlimited only cements the band as one of the best new voices in the indiepop/guitar pop scene. It’s borderline jangle, with the guitars sort of intertwining with a certain sharpness that reveals brightened notes and melody. The vocals have this indifferent cool, which also sort of reveals itself in the “fuck off” lines in the first minute or so. If this is the first release, its one hell of a knockout punch. The Get Bleak EP drops on the 29th of November courtesy of our faves, Bobo Integral.
Every new single that comes from Emma Russack & Lachlan Denton just raises the anticipation for their new LP, Take the Reigns. At this point, Lach’s voice should be super familiar to fans of our site, or even folks who’ve been following along the last few years. He’s got one of the most gentle voices in Australia, and one that has this immediate warmth and intimacy. That talent alone would make his tunes sparkle in the pop ears, but Emma is the perfect foil; she enters the scene in just the right places, rounding out sentiment with a bit of harmonizing. I particularly love the last 20 seconds or so where she takes off on her own; it’s a touching moment, and another gem. The LP will be out on October 18th via Bobo Integral and Osborne Again.
Two of my favorite voices from Australia, Emma Russack and Lachlan Denton, are teaming up again to release their 3rd album working together; they’ve both released wonderful solo records this year as well. In this video, the duo seem to be having a dinner party, built around the making of pasta with a bunch of pals. Emma takes the reins on the vocal duties for this number, with slight backing vocals provided during the chorus. The subject matter here involves self-love, and the inevitable drive to get out of bed and seek it out. Their new album is titled Take the Reigns, and it will be released by Osborne Again/Bobo Integral on October 18th.
Lachlan Denton and his brother Zac were part of my favorite Aussie outfit, The Ocean Party, with each working on their own side-projects along the way. But, as many of you know, Zac passed away suddenly last year, leaving a lasting impression on all of us. Now, with a new tune from Lachlan Denton & Studio Magic, we hear Lachlan coming to grips with the impression Zac left on his own life. It’s creates a strange contradiction whilst listening: the song is beautiful and yet the lyrical content is heartbreaking…still, you’re captivated by both aspects, perhaps the lasting mark that will remain with listeners as they absorb A Brother, the new LP out next week via Bobo Integral/Osborne Again.
Joel Nicholson’s been working as Butcher the Bar for some time, and in that period, he’s gone from solo to full band and probably back again…but for III, we get the full band pop bombast that’s always lived within the confines of Nicholson’s songwriting. There are straight upbeat pop numbers, and some more pensive tunes here, so just stream it below. You can grab the LP directly from Bobo Integral, and if you’re so inclined, you can read my thoughts about each song below.