When I first started listening to the new stuff from Soft Science‘s new LP, I really thought they sounded like our ATH gaze-pop act Blushing. Similarly, the group draws from a heavy wash of feedback and pummeling drum work, but then you’ve got to sort of peel that away to find the sweet candy center your ears and heart adore. That being said, Soft Science employ more of an indiepop vocal; it’s got that soft crispness that made us fall in love with acts like Heavenly or Luxembourg Signal. They’ve also got some great guitar work in the middle that really opens the song up a bit, almost nodding to more of a 90s alternative feel. So, while they’ve definitely got similarities to things I adore, I appreciate they’ve really stepped out to make the sound entirely their own. They’ll be releasing Lines via Shelflife/Fastcut/Spinout Nuggets on September 8th.
Japanese shoegaze band Belinda May pop up from time to time on these pages, and I’m always glad to share their sound. I mean, its hard not to get excited by the jangling guitar licks that wrap up the melody in this nice delicious package to deliver into your ears. The whole Covid situation impacted their trajectory, as they were riding high on the release of “Beautiful Days,” but now with new singer Harada in tow, the band seem even better. The snappy drums catch the beat and ride those sunny moments to a hook-laden result that’s going to be rewarding the minute you turn it up. This new track appears on a 7″ for Fastcut Records.
As we step into the year, I’m just a little trepidatious, so wherever I go, things are a little reserved, a little slowed down and smoothed, which is why this Screen Prints EP hits all the right notes. You can hear little elements of quieted bedroom pop, the sort that makes you feel like it was meant for only your ears; I can also hear some similarities to our friends in Letting Up Despite Great Faults. If you’re into that sort of middle ground where Stereolab and proto-prog kind of melt into glorious pop that feels like a sugary seance, then might I suggest trying on the second track from the Look Forward EP, “Forecourt.” These are two absolute gems I feel like would fly by if I didn’t point them out, so I’m here to do just that!
I couldn’t imagine a better way to start your day then to plug this delightful track from Morningwhim, the next release from Fastcut Records. This Japanese quartet seem steeped in the history of pop music; they bring delighting harmonies from every corner of this track, taking the song’s title and shining most of the sun on the listener. The circular jangle that crafts huge emotional swells is omnipresent; it’s steadied and purposeful, serving as the perfect backdrop for the sugary drip of the vocals. Man, such a charmer. This song appears on a 7″ that will pop up on Record Store Day.
While you’ve got your head down over Kip calling PoBPaH quits (which you knew was coming), Belinda May are going to give you the best reason to lift it up. Almost immediately, the heavy jangles start to dance their way right into your ear holes. They craft this insane bounce, perfected by the steady rhythm section. It sets up the scene for these warm vocals that seemed wrapped up in a cocoon of fuzz, only dragging you deeper and deeper into the song’s emotions. Reminds me a lot of Austin’s Fanclub, though maybe a hint heavier. This new 7″ track is available via Fastcut Records.
Not quite ready for the weekend, then all you’ll need is this delightful tune from Star Tropics. It quickly opens with twinkling jangle and a layer of fuzz beneath, and that should be enough to get your blood pumping. But, then the dreamy dosage of vocals fly atop, turning out melodies that will have your head spinning…it might just leave you bounding around your living room with a huge grin on your face (I can’t be the only one!). The group has just announced the release of their new LP, Lost World. All you pop suckers will be clamoring to get your hands on this, and it can be all yours on July 7th, courtesy of Shelflife and Fastcut Records.