For the 8 or so people who read this blog on the regular, you’ll likely be aware of my affection for all things Oceanic, primarily New Zealand and Australia. So, with year end lists in mind, I thought I’d offer up my personal takes on the best tunes to come out of the area in 2017. There’s no particular order, just my sixteen favorites of the year.
There’s even a fun little playlist at the bottom for you to enjoy!
Yesterday Emotional Response dropped a bunch of new release info, like Razz and, well, Sob Stories. The group’s debut EP should be regarded as the standard in how to kick out power-pop nowadays. This short little EP is filled with huge riffs built for loud speakers, vocal hooks that tug on the heartstrings of listeners and a bit of swagger that makes you wanna be cool. I’m partial to “You’ll Only Hurt,” but pretty sure that I could stream these six songs all day long. What do you think? You dig it, order the EP from Emotional Response while supplies last!
The perks of running your own site? Putting up things you love, no matter how often you’ve written about them…like our obsession with The Ocean Party. They just released a new video for one of the tracks off their latest LP, Beauty Point. The video stars drummer Lachlan set over a collection of images taken while the band was recently touring Australia to promote the new record. I love how the song picks up near the 2.30 second mark, adding a nice barrage of pop! The new LP is available now from Emotional Response in the US…and Spunk everywhere else!
Surely you’ve heard about Sarah Records, especially with the rise of of indiepop in the indie realm as of late (or on this site anyways). But, many of the bands from that early period of pop have either reformed or been given their long deserved due. Even As We Speak, fortunately, have gone back in the studio and recorded their first work since 1993. Even 25 years on, they don’t seem to have missed a beat, crafting timeless pop music on The Black Forest EP. The EP begins slowly (energy wise), and then jumps off with the standout track, “Such a Good Feeling.” You’ll be able to get your hands on the EP from Emotional Response.
Florida’s UVTV just dropped Glass back in March, and they’re already up and at it again with the Brand new Go Away EP for Emotional Response. Today we’re sharing a video from the new EP, but we were fortunate to catch up with Rose for a little more info on the group. Check the interview after the jump. And pick up the new EP HERE.
I’ve been on a huge TVP kick, thanks to the Beautiful Music dropping their latest collection of TVP tribute albums. So, with that, it would make sense that I’m salivating whilst listening to the long lostMick Trouble 7″ EP. Those bouncing bass lines, steady drum work and that British vocal delivery simply charms. It amazes me how something recorded in 1980 can still sound so incredibly relevant…and so bad ass. And I’ll probably kick myself for this, but it’s coming out in very limited quantities; Rough Trade will have 100 copies in the UK, while Emotional Response will do a limited run of 50. Regardless of whether you get your hands on this or not, these songs are nothing but jams.
I haven’t heard too much from Kids On a Crime Spree since 2013, though rumors began to surface that the group was working on a split 10″ for Emotional Responsewith Terry Malts. Today, I’m stoked to share this new tune with you, one of the ones that will feature on their side of the 10″. It’s got this driving fuzzy vibe to it, at least on the surface. But, beneath, there’s almost like an 80s power pop style, merging perfectly with those distorted riffs. You’ve got to rush to grab this, as it’s guaranteed to go fast. There’s a link on the song that will allow you to join the ER Mailing list, giving you an exclusive chance to grab it on September 11th.
I think anyone that was fortunate enough to catch the Ocean Party on tour this past Spring would agree that the band is a full-on tour de pop. Every member is a gifted songwriter, which allows for a great bit of diversity…both live and in the studio. They’ve just released Beauty Point, and I can only revel in the joy that you’ll get by spinning this LP on repeat all day. It’s filled with bouncing rhythms, synth stabs and vocal accompaniment in all the right places. Honestly, while I’ve loved the band forever, this might be their most complete record to date…not a single song misses its mark. It’s available now from Emotional Response (US) and Spunk Records (AUS).
Didn’t want to hit you over the head with too much great coverage on Emotional Response, so I figured I’d save this new Terry Malts hit for your Monday. The band are working on a split with Kids on a Crime Spree, and you know we’ll love it. I love the band pulling back on the distortion/fuzz just enough this go round to allow for their pop sensibility shine through…maybe now everyone will recognize them as one of the great pop bands around. While you wait for the new split release, you can also jam the rest of the labels hits over 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.