Top Albums of 2021

Honestly, I’m pretty over lists at this point. They’re arbitrary and don’t really reflect anything but someone’s tastes, except here where they reflect the tastes of three individuals…because that’s how we roll. So, take this list with a grain of salt. These are the records we thought were the best, which mostly just means these are the ones we listened to on repeat throughout the year! Feel free to leave a comment on what you think we missed, or why we’re dumb; we love good comment trolls.

Also, because this list is really about crediting the art that made us happy, we wanted it to make you happy too, so we included purchasing links where we could. Read more

Seablite Share Breadcrumbs

We’ve been big Seablite stans since the release of Grass Stains and Novocaine, and with that, it’s been really nice seeing the growth, in both their popularity and the quality of their songwriting; the band also features Andy of Chime School, so extra bonus points on all fronts. News just hit that they’ve got a remarkable new 7″ coming out via Emotional Response, and well, this first single doesn’t let us down one bit. I love how the pounding drums open up the track, setting this furious pace behind the cascading wall of guitars; it’s creating this contrasting tension that really drives home the melodic draw. And, while they’re nice and quiet, I think the setting and tones of the vocals are spot on perfect for the band; they seem to crest in just the right spots, so hats off to the final mix master on this jam. This 7″ will be available on January 1st.

Last Week’s Jams Today (10.18 – 10.22)

We were back on our game last week, for the most part. We had tons of great tunes, so we’re hoping you caught wind of at least a few of these on the site. But, if you didn’t, Monday’s a great day to just sit back in your chair and relax. I also threw in a few tunes from the likes of Spirit Was, Keg, Power Supply, Belaver and Dummy who all released most excellent albums last week. You get 20 songs to ease you into this week. Might I still suggest listening to Japan Review. That Rural France tune isn’t half bad either!

Chime School Share Wait Your Turn Video

Thursday feels like a good day to visit a Slumberland release, so why not begin with a band on the meteoric rise in the jangling pop realm, Chime School. So far, the singles from Andy Pastalaniec’s project are perfectly defined, but I feel like this is one where you really get the feeling that this could just be the beginning of something huge. There’s little bits of layering in this that sort of walk a fine line between nostalgic 70s 12-string guitar ballads and the hazy underbelly of early 90s Britpop, though spinning that kaleidoscope still hints at the purity of classic indiepop. No matter which way you spin Andy’s songs, it’s like unwrapping a gift individually wrapped for each listener’s experience. Chime School is out on November 5th.

Last Week’s Jams, Today (September 27 – October 1)

Mondays, am I right? Honestly, been struggling for energy and motivation of late, but last week had some really great tunes hit, accompanied by great albums from the likes of Semihelix, Cindy and Ducks Ltd. I chose to open with this Semihelix on the mix because I’d love to take the opening 30 seconds and put it in my pocket to carry it around with me all day. Also, unfortunately, the Humdrum track isn’t on the streaming platforms just yet, so be sure you click HERE to check that great tune out!

 

The Chime School Share It’s True Video

Guess I’m reveling in the joys of pop music today, which I don’t mind one bit. This new Chime School video is another charmer from Andy Pastalaniec, fueled by these thumping drum snaps and churning jangles. I love that despite the song’s brief nature that things still seem fully developed, and even included several distinct moments that stand out from the jangles, like the classic sunny guitar solo in the early moments or the emphatic punch that comes in the song’s stomp about just after the minute mark; it’s not always easy to pack all those great moments into a song running under 2 minutes, but sure enough, its executed perfectly. The self-titled LP is due November 5th courtesy of Slumberland.

Last Week’s Jams, Today (September 7 – 10)

Welcome to another Monday my friends. First, taking a minute here, as I’m writing this post, to celebrate the 7 day young Rhys Bennett Lankford! That’s right, went and had me another one of those kids, and its been a lot of fun, and well, we’re super stoked on the lil’ fella. That said, we also had a short week, so maybe we didn’t get as many jams in as we might otherwise. But, rest assured, we’ve got a pretty solid little collection of tunes here for you to begin your week, with quite a few ATX appearances from the likes of Lola Tried, American Friend and more. You know what to do, press play and stuff.

Chime School Announce Debut Album

This site has paid tribute to the work of Andy Pastalaniec with his work in various projects from Cruel Summer to Seablite, but now Andy’s earning his own stripes with his project, Chime School. This last week Slumberland announced they’d be working with Andy on his debut LP, which at this point, sounds like a fun-filled collection of indiepop ditties. There’s plenty of jangling going on in this lead single, though I’ll admit that the vocals actually feel like they might fit right into a 90s alternative pop playlist; there’s just something about the nostalgic warmth there that sets Chime School outside the modern fare…I love the clarity in those notes for sure. I mean, it’s a band from San Francisco, which is so hot right now, musically speaking. It’s also a band on Slumberland, so you get reliability. And, the tune rules, so pre-order the eponymous debut!