Last year we stumbled into Vern Matz, and we were really grateful for their mellow guitar pop. It’s simplicity proved the power of the songwriting, with little need for extra brush strokes, and it seems that we get the much of the same on the newest release, Strange Songs from a Lifetime of Unfinished iPhone Demos. The name hints at the tunes being unpolished, and perhaps even incomplete, but you wouldn’t be able to tell that listening through the strumming and little atmosphere lurking in the background. If you’re settling in for the day, as the blistering whether lurks outside, then perhaps you should settle down with this new album; it’s sure to warm you right up!
It’s always good to depend on great labels to bring you good tunes, and I don’t think Meritorio Records has let me down even once. The label just announced the forthcoming release of RF, the latest LP from the UK’s Rural France. Our first single is this fuzz bucket of guitar pop, distorted riffs ringing throughout the track, just chomping at the bit. But, it wouldn’t be a hit to me if there weren’t some gravitational pull from the pop element, drilled in by the vocals (backing vocals included), blanketing the tune in this general warmth you just want to cuddle with. RF will be out on October 29th.
Since they released their debut LP in 2018, Breathe Panel have mostly been quiet…until today. They return with this softened brand of guitar pop; utilizing comforting melodies and the faintest of jangling guitars for their charm offensive. I love how everything in this song, from the video to the name to the style all seem to tie into one great release; the colors change outside the window as the trees blow ever so gently in the wind…exactly as that’s happening outside our own window. This is a pop tune at its very purest, asking for little more than three minutes of your time today; it will surely be time well worth it.
The last few months, I’ve personally been hyping the new LP from Finland’s Black Twig, Was Not Looking for Magic. Below…I give you an early stream, as well as my track by track breakdown. If you’re interested in picking up the album, it’s out this Friday via our friends over at Soliti, and I promise you, its got my stamp of approval! Leaving the stream at the top as that’s what’s most important, but my track by track breakdown lives below!
Over the last year or so, the Sour Notes have toyed with what I can only describe as genius marketing! They’ve carefully curated an entire album, releasing it a 7″ at a time on limited pressings; we’ve covered many of those singles here on the site. But, but, but! Today you can actually grab all the songs united in their intended format on the brand new More is the Pity LP! I think of my favorite tunes, “Enough” is definitely one of the immediate go-to tracks on the album, though, the Felt fan in me also views “Blank” in a very nice light. There’s a little something for everybody, particularly for those with a penchant for guitar pop, so give a listen below!
It’s a big day for huge guitars over here at ATH, with me sitting over here trying to drown out the noise in my brain. You know what else goes on today? The Slow Painters will drop their debut LP, despite having been together for some 16 years…good things comes to those who wait. I love that this track just jumps right into a huge wall of clanging guitars; there’s no bullshit, no teaser, just noise. But, the reason I adore this band is their ability to balance that noise on a knife’s edge, ever so often stumbling into a nice pop territory. This song is one such tune, and its all about the melody in the voice just emanating through, giving the tune a perfect see-saw between quiet and loud.
I’m so grateful for the reliable labels that never seem to miss for me, you know, like Trouble in Mind or Fire Talk or, as is the case here, Meritorio Records. They just announced the debut LP from London’s Wicketkeeper, and they’ve left behind a trail of pop bread crumbs to tease you along the way. Their sound kind of skitters all over in the tracks they’re currently offering up, from the great wall of guitar pop featured “The Side” to the 90s college yearbook of “Spin;” these are all glorious guitar songs to help you piss of the neighbor next door…or, I mean, to just turn up super loud as you sped down the Autobahn. Shonk is out on October 16th.
If you’re looking for someone working the true DIY ethos, you might want to pay attention to Josh Hoey and their Special Moves project. On the horizon for the project is the Little Help LP, and while it begins with a looped beat, it quickly jumps into that fuzzy guitar territory with distorted guitars ringing out through your speakers as Hoey calmly delivers the vocal lines; there’s a female counterpart too that adds a nice textural balance to the song’s melody to boot. I kind of imagine this song being written by a fan of Blank Dogs that grew up with a much sunnier disposition; it’s nostalgic-leaning bedroom pop that begs your attention immediately! Look for Little Help on August 28th via Reflective Tapes and Solidarity Club.
Business School is a fairly new project. So new, in fact, there’s hardly the typical flare like web sits and twitter handles and labels. But! There is this song, which is a nice dose of noodling guitar pop to let you cruise through the day. Soft vocals like the one’s here tend to make me think of Nada Surf for some reason; there’s just something in that calming presentation that worms its way into your earholes. You can also hear a Real Estate influence in the recording, particularly in the song’s latter half as it ventures towards a close.
Every time I go to cull some classic guitar pop from my record collection for DJing purposes, I always make sure I’ve got Foxheads Stalk This Land is in the bin. So to me, its great that some 30 years on, Close Lobsters are still making great pop music. The rhythm section does a fine job opening this track up to your ears, giving a nice bobbing pulse before the guitars come in and work their own charms. In the vocals, you can still find that sense of promise in the warmth of the melodies; it feels like there’s promise for us all just around the corner. Towards the end, you get some pseudo-spoken word moments working beneath the guitars before a sort of pop mantra rides the song to a close. The band will release their new album, Post Neo Anti via Shelflife/Last Night from Glasgow on February 28th.