There’s a certain brand of indiepop that seems perfectly suited for the Nordic countries like Sweden and Finland; I say this because The Slow Summits (Sweden) have just dropped a brand new track that nods back to the perfect sounds of Cats on Fire (Finland). The sound in my brain brings that sort of precision drumming to set the tone, while the guitars do their jangling jig in a circular fashion. Of course, its also all about the vocals, innately dramatic and distinctive, aided here by the appearance of Kajsa Ritso, building in the charm alongside Anders. Go on, give it a listen.
If you do choose to follow these pages, then you’ve likely seen Verandan pop up rather frequently the last few months. It’s important to note, especially for me, that this is the latest project from Ville Hopponen of Cats on Fire fame (a personal fave). Through six times you’ll find yourself enamored with the casual pop vibes, though be sure to pay close attention to the fragility that seems to lurk on tracks like “Inland Sea.” You’ll also be able to find your own personal escape on “Follow the Money,” or turn up the energy with the indifferently upbeat “A Pleasant View.” The self-titled EP just came out over in Finland via our faves Soliti.
You’ve always got to keep an eye on the Finnish label Soliti Music, as they’ve become an increasingly consistent label…I’ve adored the last six releases, to say the least. Today they announce the singing of Verandan, the new project of Ville Hopponen, of Cats on Fire fame. There’s definitely a pop-centric vibe to this, filled in with throbbing bass and a wash of synths that add a darker texture to the track. I’d pick up this song for the delighting chorus with its rising tones and natural hook. Look like Soliti has done it again; expect to find this track on a brand new EP from the band coming your way this Autumn.
I’m generally not one to buy into covers and what not, but here Soliti have put two of my favorite acts together: Delay Trees covering Cats on Fire. I love the fact that Delay Trees have been able to add a layer of brightness to the original, simply with a warmer vocal tone. It’s wonderful to hear band’s you adore cover their friends, all perfectly complimenting one another. This cover is featured on Soliti’s celebration of running the label for 5 years with their My Brain Hurts A Lot Comp, which features the label’s acts covering their labelmates. Enjoy your day folks.
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I’ve backed the boys in Finnmark! for quite some time, and I’m really excited to hear their brand new album, Things Always Change. There’s a delightful jangle to the work of the band on their latest single, although I’ll admit there’s a great deal of maturity here, in both songwriting and the vocals. It reminds me of the best of Cats on Fire, so you can’t really ignore something this special. This ditty is brief, spanning just beyond the 2 minute mark, thus allowing you to get your pop fix over and over again in quick succession. The band’s debut will be released via Beko Disques on May 15th, and it looks to be something really really special…the sort of album indiepop fans will hold dear for years to come.
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I think you’re really going to enjoy spending some time with the latest Plastic Bubble LP. Jigsaw Records has just released the band’s Big Day Parade, which has 20 songs of hooks for pop lovers. It reminds me of a less orchestrated version of Cats on Fire, bringing in ringing guitar sounds, some added flare and a heavy dose of warm melody. You can press play and take yourself on a journey of great pop music, and that’s probably the best way to spend your Monday. It’s available now, with the digital version also being offered up by the band. Get on it.
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I’m really excited for my far away friend Nick and his wonderful label to be celebrating two successful years. Soliti Music has brought us gems from Cats on Fire to The New Tigers to Big Wave Riders, and in honor of that celebration, the label is giving up an 8 track compilation of tunes that are either unreleased or demo versions. They’ve even got a few words about each of the songs, which you can find HERE. But, if you want to get your hands on some great tunes, or perhaps even discover your new favorite band, then click HERE. For now, here’s my favorite track from the label.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/My-Sense-Of-Pride.mp3]
Download: Cats on Fire – My Sense Of Pride [MP3]
Here it is. I know you’ll hate it; I know you’ll disagree, but that’s not the point in making an arbitrary list. We here at ATH worked really hard to fit in the tastes of the four of us, and when we decided upon our Top 50, it really boied down to simple math. What albums did we love when they came out? Do we still enjoy spinning those records months later? If they’re in the Top 50, then the asnwer is probably yes. I mean, our Top 2 records came out in January, and still play a vital part in my weekly listening. There’s no disclaimer here. We are who we are, we like what we like, and we hope that’s okay with you. If not, drop us a line and let us know where we went wrong.
I’m not sure why people aren’t taking as much notice of Soliti Music as we are here at ATH. They’ve already released great records this year by Big Wave Riders and Cats on Fire, and I have a feeling their latest release from Delay Trees is going to be something truly special. This new single from the band is an homage to their hometown, hitting upon the town’s beauty, yet the hopelessness of being stuck there. I think I’m going to play this song for the next several days and never grow tired of listening to it. It’s just remarkable, and you can pick it up on the band’s new album Doze, which comes out on October 19th.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/03-HML.mp3]
Download:Delay Trees – HML [MP3]
It’s already been a great year for our friends over at Matinee Recordings, having released the new Cats on Fire and several great EPs. And they’re at it again with a new EP from Brazil’s Pale Sunday. The title for the release is The Fake Stories About You and Me, and you can grab it from the label right now. Gentle pop music seems to be the group’s specialty, and you can see similarities to the great Teenage Fanclub, but personally I think that things on this listen are a lot softer–in an endearing way of course. Find yourself falling in love with this new track…it’s easy to do.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Happy.mp3]
Download:Pale Sunday – Happy (When You Lived Here) [MP3]