Tragedy struck the Ocean Party late last year, with the passing of Zac Denton. But, before that, the band, who had typically written all their songs together, suggested the idea they should all write their own EPs, to spotlight their various songwriting talents. Zac went home to record his, encouraging the others to add to it as they saw fit, though there was no hurried schedule. When he passed, the band went to add their parts, to add to the storied life of an incredible songwriter gone too young. Nothing Grows marks what is the last Ocean Party release, dropping in a limited quantity on Emotional Response here in the States.
It’s been a great few days reading over the responses from the various labels who’ve been so kind to share a quick thought on who they are and why they do what they do. It’s a great view at all the hard-working individuals putting their life into music. Today we’ve got Forged Artifacts, Emotional Response, Spare the Rock, My Little Empire and Dadstache.
I’ve made no secret of my adoration for The Ocean Party over the years, but every time I feel like I’ve peaked, they go off and release something incredible. Their latest single teases you, sliding in ever so quietly…touch of electronic atmosphere and voice opens; then guitar and gang vocals join before the beat kicks the track forward. The forlorn keyboards and meandering guitar would be enough, but suddenly the tune bursts forth, slide guitar and full band working away. It creates one of those magical moments you get so rarely in pop music, the sort that makes you feel lucky to even be here listening. Their new LP, The Oddfellows Hall, drops on November 9th via Emotional Response/Spunk Records.
Ever prolific, our faves the Ocean Party are preparing to release a brand new 7″, with a slight catch. Rather than craft a couple of normal hits to squeeze into the format, they’ve opted instead to create twelve 1 minute songs. Below, you get to hear three of those forthcoming 12 minutes; you’ve got 25% of the album in your hands! I think I’m struck the most by the middling minute; it’s a slight bit different than what they’ve been working on in previous releases…maybe a tougher exterior. Regardless, we’re going to buy it, and you should too; it’s being released in July via Emotional Response and Spunk Records.
Can’t say that we know too much about Blues Lawyer, though we know the band is about set to release their debut Guess Work via the trustworthy label, Emotional Response. We do know that Dick Stusso is involved, as well as a few other members from the San Francisco scene. This track comes in with angular chords, matter of fact vocal delivery, with a slight female accompaniment; it’s like Ought just decided to write straightforward hits with a heavier dosage of pop sensibility. It ends up sounding sort of old school, and that, in and of itself is rather refreshing; the album drops April 20th.
The Aussie trio Suss Cunts first came to my attention with their debut EP, released over in the US by Emotional Response. They’re already back with a brand new EP for Hysterical Records, and we’ve got the title track here for you. It’s got an interesting punk rock edge, though more infectious than some might give that genre; I hear a few similarities on both guitar tone and vocals to Dead Kennedys. But, the trio brandishes their own style and flare, almost as if they’re falling off the tracks, whilst still sounding steady as ever. Look for the Temper EP on April 27th. Love these ladies, and here’s hoping you do too.
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.