Amidst all the global pandemic hoopla, it’s allowed that something truly great gets to slide by my ears, like the debut album from the Bell Streets. The band features Josh from Sugargliders/Steinbecks fame and Nick Batterham, for those of you falling the breadcrumbs of great indiepop stuffs. Opener “Brooklyn” is definitely one of the immediate highlights, offering a bouncy pop feel with ringing guitars and pure pop vocals. You’ll also find songs that are more contemplative in nature, though as rewarding, such as the slow burn of “Crying Inside” or “About to Find Out.” There’s a great amount of diversity within, so I highly suggest you check out Monument today!
It’s been a few years since we’ve heard from Skittle Alley, but quietly they shared a brand new track this morning, and its a nice little Tuesday delight. Lightly jangling guitars open things up, quickly joined by these sweeping arrangements, setting the scene for Fanou to enter with his voice. There’s something so moving about his performance this round, perhaps the accents of those synth arrangements building up the emotional tractor beam. The band have always referenced the Field Mice in their work, and this is one of those times that it does seem like a perfectly apt comparison. And damn, they sneak in a nice guitar line of hooky pop right at the end! No word on a release, but who cares. This song rules.
One of my favorite releases this year was the Not in Love LP by Non La, which was released by trusted labels Lost Sound Tapes and Kingfisher Bluez. We’ve covered various singles, but as we’re all clamoring for live music at now, DJ has opted to reward his fans with a home concert you can watch again and again! All five tracks performed live can be found on the supremely rewarding Not in Love LP; I like that DJ even leaves in just a touch of the on-stage banter; it’s like we’re all right there living the show with him. I think my favorite jam of this bunch is “YR Man,” though I’m also partial to “Come On.” Just needed another excuse to hype Non La, and here it is!
Amidst the Friday bandcamp fanaticism, music world still went on, so I wanted to be sure you didn’t skip over the latest single from Jetstream Pony and their forthcoming self-titled LP. To me, this is one of those classic guitar pop tracks; the guitars ring, with just the faintest jangling dangling out in the air; the drums are sharp and steady, keeping things on track with just the right punchiness. Of course, it only succeeds if the vocals wash over us, blowing cooly through the speakers like that feather in Forest Gump. The band will release their self-titled LP on May 22nd via Shelflife and KUS, but you better hurry, as there aren’t many copies left!
As I sit here alone on my couch, figured that its the perfect time to write about this great new track from Royal Target…oddly titled after my current situation. For me, while I’m sure we’re all relating to the sentiment, I think we can also find ourselves getting lost in the song itself. I love the way the guitars turn over and over, playing between that gentle jangle and circular pop swirl that’s so enticing. It almost has this subversive nature in its subtlety, creeping inside your brain and hitting all those emotional sensory notes that make a tune memorable. Surely you’ll enjoy.
You might recognize Mike Gale‘s name from Black Nielson or Co-Pilgrim, but he’s been working most recently under his own name, just dropping Sunshine for the Mountain God this week via Bandcamp. I was immediately drawn to the tune below due to its crisp guitar and warm melody. It’s one of those tracks that instantly puts a smile on your face, offering a glimmer of brightness amidst all the current darkness in the world, or in our heads. Even now, I can feel my muscles tense up as the song forces a smile upon my face. And, if you’re looking for some fuzzier riffs and the same melodic vibe, don’t worry, the LP is chock-full of back and forth fun! All proceeds from the album go to the Trussel Trust.
I’ve been a fan of the Honeydrips for some time, and if you’ve got the time, I suggest going back and giving 2017’s Give Each Other Some Solace a few spins. But, for today, we’re focusing on the band’s newest single and forthcoming LP. While the song does seem to have a current relevance globally, dealing with the troubles facing healthcare workers. But songwriter Mikael Carlsson says the song was written before the current pandemic; he indicates that healthcare worker struggles have been an ongoing problem, only now becoming more visible to the public. Musically, I think you’re going to really enjoy this one; it has this casual bounce from the rhythm section, using these delightful keyboard accents to build in some layers that accent Carlsson’s soothing voice. I love the chorus, especially the following string arrangements that move you into the next verse. Heres Comes the Sun, the new LP, will be out later this Summer.
Somehow in the hubbub of Easter weekend I let this new single from Even as We Speak sneak right passed me. I’m aiming to rectify that, as it’s a really beautiful pop tune. It opens up with these thickened synths looped over heavy drum beats, with a guitar hanging out somewhere in the distance; it almost feels like the song’s looking back on the purity of trip-hop in the mid 90s. Then the angelic notes of Mary Wyer’s voice enter the scene and everything else fades away; this is one of those vocal performances you don’t forget. As the song draws to a close, a little ambiance and musicality is flexed…but I’m still thinking about those vocals. Another reason we should all have our heads turned towards Adelphi when it drops in June via Shelflife Records and Discos de Kirlian.
Like all of you, it’s been a struggle, just trying to wrap my head around this whole world we’re in at the moment. Luckily, Kevin Hairs tossed over his More Magic, More Magic EP a few days early, and honestly, it totally changed my attitude; this has been the best week for me. “Strange Jangle” has been out for a few weeks now, but it still has that fuzzy fun feeling, along with a message that seems to be about just letting it all go. “Fire the Choir” kind of reminds me of Hunx and His Punx, only spun through the lens of a fan of pop music; it’s charming and kind of gritty in its presentation. One of my favorite’s on this EP comes in next; I just loved the way the guitars were recorded on top of each other in “More Comforting,” matched by this seemingly discordant melody that is reminiscent of Sarah Records. But, it does have to battle with “The Day I Became a Dick,” which oddly enough seems to have a certain sense of swagger about its jangling riffs and cool vocal delivery…but another favorite. It all comes to an end with “Subdued at the VCU,” bringing in a little bit more rambunctiousness to Hairs’ insatiable pop blend. And just like that, More Magic, More Magic is over, leaving you with a super impressionable EP of joyous indiepop that allow you to celebrate life’s littlest moments…like a 15 minute pop record!
The aptly titled Shelter album is being released for free by Sunday Records, in hopes of keeping your love for the purity of pop move strong while we all shelter in place. The Sugar World tune that opens it up is a flat out stunner of indiepop songwriting; it has this spritely bounce and this words like the wind vocals drifting through your speakers. Tracks from the likes of Day & Dream and Fawns of Love definitely up the dream pop ante, in case you were wanting to listen and let the day drift away from you. Plus, nice to hear The Memory Fades do an acoustic version of “Listening to the Marychain.” It’s streaming below, but remember, just because its free doesn’t mean you can’t throw a buck or two to the label!