This is the list you’ve all been waiting for, well, sort of. This is my Top 20 LPs of the year. Admittedly, there’s none of the high profile hitmakers on here, but that’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy those albums. I loved Purple Mountains just as much as the next person, same with Weyes Blood, but in a pickle, would I choose it over that Martha LP? Uh, absolutely not. Plus, I ran a lot this year because I got tired of being fat, so the majority of this stuff is pretty upbeat and “runnable.” There’s no order because all are equal under my ears.
I’m a big fan of indiepop outfitPale Lights, and I reach out to the band from time to time, like I did this year when I was compiling my Year End List collection from people I admire. The band got back to me with their collective list, including some reissues, which you can find down after the jump. I don’t mind one bit seeing Robert Forster on a list!
In my opinion, it’s never a bad thing to start off your Monday with a Comet Gain tune. Here we are revisiting the recently released single “We’re All Fucking Morons” from the band’s forthcoming Fireraisers Forever. It’s a digression from the first single we heard, which was more of a pop song, though this one feels more like the band’s tried-and-true formula. It’s got this matter of fact vocal delivery, with this fuzzy stomp going on just behind; it almost feels like you could see the band playing at some modern psych festival of sorts, particularly with those keys popping their head up to maintain the rhythmic sensation. This band rules. New LP out on October 11th via Tapete Records.
This post gets to be the first of the day because the song’s been out for 24 hours and has popped up where all the cool kids gravitate. Normally I stay away from such things, but I’ve always sort of felt like the Comet Gain were simply a band solely for me. I can still remember the first time I stumbled upon Casino Classics in a chat room for nerds in the late 90s. I still say City Fallen Leaves is my favorite. Alas, the new stuff. I think my favorite on the new LP is “Bad Nite at the Mustache,” but the chorus on “Mid 8Ts” is just so striking that its bound to get stuck in your head all day long. Listening now, I just don’t get how more people don’t adore the fuck out of this band. Just go listen. Fireraiser Forever is out October 11th via Tapete Records.
Everyone has their own definition of indiepop; but I tend to ascribe to the original craft where DIY aesthetics and a softer response to punk were all the rage. But, to each their own. So I went through last year to compile what I think is a pretty all encompassing Best of Indiepop 2018; there’s no order, just a collection of really great indiepop. Some of the below are songs, some are albums, some are just bands or labels that were important. Click on for my picks and a playful playlist. Read more
I’m late to the game on this one, though I’ve known about (and ordered!) this new Comet Gain single for some time, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t encourage you to take a stroll down the road with David Feck and friends. There’s something playful and heartfelt in Feck’s songs, and yet something one could attach to a sort of everyman type; he makes you feel like a friend sharing a story. I love the way he sort of speeds up his lyrics in certain incidents, like he’s racing to get to the point, then drops back to a more casual vibe. I could, and probably more often than not, listen to this band every day. If you’re so inclined, grab the new 7″ from Tapete Records…an LP is to follow next year.
I’ve never hidden my adoration for legendary act Comet Gain, but today I was given a gift of that I wasn’t expecting; Fortuna Pop gathered all their friends to record a cover of “You can Hide Your Love Forever.” The song fulfills the labels last of their subscription series, so this might be your only way to enjoy the song; you can find the original on Comet Gain’s album Broken Record Prayers. There’s too many names to mention them all, but members of notable bands like Allo Darlin, The Loves, Hefner, Spook School, Martha, Flowers…and Emma Kupa who gets bass credit (though no vocal credit?!)…all play a part. A delightful tune, in both original and cover. I have a feeling that in about a decade, folks will look back on Fortuna Pop as the Sarah Records of its day…bummer its hard to get all those albums in the US. Anyways. Enjoy pop.
Buy it HERE.
Some labels, like Emotional Response, have a knack for discovering great acts you might not hear, such as stunning new group Sparrow People from Australia. The band will debut a new 7″ for the label while they work on their full length, and I’m falling into a deep wormhole with these songs. There’s this simplicity to their songwriting, much like my adored Comet Gain; it’s the execution of the songs, and the added layers, that truly make this some of the best casual pop you’re going to hear. Here’s two songs for you to love.
Ever since I first started collecting music as a passion, I’ve always been one of those that blindly follows the labels I love; I buy anything they put out, whether or not I was initially impressed with what I heard…I trust these people. It probably started with Dischord, somehow merged into Saddle Creek and Vagrant…then the Internet exploded…and with that, so did my tastes. I had to find a new label to love…among those was Fortuna Pop. Read more
This might be one of my absolute favorite songs this week. Frozy is a tri-country band, working together when they can, and while this song is short, it packs a great deal in under 1.5 minutes. There’s something romantic in the melody and the light-hearted tones of the guitars on this one. It reminds me a great deal of some of the cleaner pop songs that Comet Gain has been crafting for years, only making the tune more endearing…to me at least. The band has a new effort, Lesser Pop, which will be released later this month, courtesy of Oddbox Records.