Looks that we have a pop-centric focus this morning, bringing in another great tune from the Umbrellas and their forthcoming LP. This tune reminds me a lot of the band’s label mates, Jeanines, but perhaps that’s mostly revolving around the brevity and the sharp jangles hanging in the thick of the tune. But, where they make things their own is where they take the urgency and stretch it out, adding in this sort of 60s girl-group vocal harmonizing, ending up giving the song a dreamier feel. The rhythm section gives you the immediacy and bounce, but you can sit back and let it wash over you a bit more, calmed almost by the melodic nature. The band release their self-titled debut on August 6th via Slumberland.
The Chairman Dances have had me wrapped around their songwriting fingers for a few years now, and with The Strength of Your Arm on the horizon, it seems only fitting we dig into another tune. I really like the subtle nature of this track; to be fair, it reminds me of a Pains of Being Pure at Heart record if you stripped it completely bare, with the melodic notes shining through. What I’ve really enjoyed listening through this track is the way there’s this omni-present patience; the song seems content to unfold slowly, never really rushing, though still content to charm. This feels like a record I’ve already got marked for a favorite of the year; the Strength of Your Arm is out July 23rd.
A few weeks ago we shared a knockout track from Sweet Nobody, and they’ve turned around to drop another hit from their forthcoming We’re Trying Our Best. Admittedly, in the song’s first 3 seconds, they turn around and offer this sugary pop feel that’s akin to fellow popsters Alvvays. Then you get these subtle little dance guitar cuts, shuffling the mix just beneath the creamy delight of Joy Deyo’s vocals. Digging deeper, the song has a bit of insight into Joy’s struggle with a chronic genetic illness that led her to encourage her partner to find someone new so they wouldn’t have to deal with the struggles and pain. Luckily, it led to nothing, but it ties into the thematic elements coursing through We’re Trying Our Best; sometimes all you have is what you’re giving, and hopefully, those that truly love you come to that realization. Perhaps it’s one of the great things about indiepop, bringing dark narratives to bright music so we can all take part in the joys and sorrows of life. The LP will be available on September 17th via Daydream Records.
Friday I was a little lazy, so I didn’t get this new EP up from Kansas City’s Eggs On Mars, which should definitely have been giving a little shine on the day. My favorite thing about the group is that they’re creating this bouncing indiepop, though its spun with a Midwestern sensibility, which seems to be a geographically overlooked bit of bops. Personally, I love “All That I See,” offering up this really sublime chorus that seems like this masterful mix of Beach Boys and 90s alt radio. These are 7 pop ditties that inevitably turn into little eagworms burrowing deep into your consciousness; it’s the cleanest, sincerest pop you’ll hear today. Brighter Now is out courtesy of Subjangle Sounds.
It’s always great to have friends reach out to you and point you in the proper direction, so I’m glad that I heard about this new Geddy Laurance/Michael O split tape before it was too late! We’ve covered Michael O many times (as Mantles and solo), and Geddy played drums in everyone’s favorite, Boyracer, so now we get them both together! With the GL tune, you get a little more pacing, primarily with a faster strum and thicker drum beat; the Laurance vocals do have a touch of a fading daylight feel to them, sort of wilting as they hit your ears. You’ll also find a contrasting guitar line working against the strum, sort of like the counter-punch to the jangle, which was a really nice recording touch. Michael’s tune has some bop to it, so don’t think its totally gone, but his voice sounds a touch fragile in the tune below (which I adore); there’s also this backing vocal popping in that sort of reminds me of Television Personalities somehow. And, this probably sounds like a slight, but there’s just a certain feel to Mr. O’s tune that almost feels like its still in the works, like things aren’t finished or polished; its pop honest at its finest. If, like me, you’re in love, then grab the split from Safe Suburban Home this Friday!
Fridays are great to catch a little spirit and ride off into the weekend with a bounce in your step, which is perfect for you because I’ve got this great new track from Sweden’s the Slow Summits. It’s the perfect bouncing style of pop music you know I love, in a faint way reminding me of Cats on Fire; the vocals have this natural drama to them that makes you swoon. Match that dreamy warmth with the contrasting bounce of the rhythm section at play here and you’ve naturally felt yourself inclined to tap your toes and don your best outfit as you bound out the door. Let’s hope this means more from the band as the year goes on!
Being one of the heralded indiepop labels gives you responsibilities, and for Sunday Records, it seems that responsibility is to organize a collection of great acts to contribute some tunes for a compilation, aptly titled Something Beautiful. Obviously reading our site, you’re aware of the acts, like Letting Up Despite Great Faults or the Suncharms. Personally, this Suncharms tune here is pretty special, like a slow-burning jangler; it feels like something Pete Astor might write, which I don’t mind one bit. Plus, you get other ATH faves like Alpaca Sports and Arctic Flow, along with some bonus tunes from Mariana in Our Heads and the aforementioned Suncharms. If you want to stream, you can do so below, but CD copies are out this Friday, with a vinyl version to follow in September! Grab it HERE.
This Massage LP better not sell out before I get paid, though admittedly, it should definitely be on everyone’s radar. The latest single has this wistful vibe, something akin to a movie scene where the passenger stares longingly out a window hoping/praying for a better day than today…or at least that’s how I’m hearing it. Plus, the jangles and the synths give the song this wash that sounds incredibly similar to Another Sunny Day’s “You Should All Be Murdered,” and that is 100% reason alone to steam this song and tap your toes. I mean, how many great songs can this band write? We’re going to find out when Still Life drops on June 25th.
So, I’m probably a few days late to this one, but I was on vacation! And, as a huge Slumberhead (that’s what we call ourselves, right?), I’m entitled to to post about the announcement of the Umbrellas debut LP! This San Fran act honestly reminds me of their label-mates, the Jeanines, except maybe clearing out some of the fuzzy cobwebs and offering up a more sugary presentation. It’s heavy on the jangles, sharpened with great melodic vocals, and to be fair, it’s everything you’ve probably ever loved about indiepop bands, past and present. A timeless sound that I never tire of hearing; look for the self-titled debut on August 6th via Slumberland!
The forthcoming LP from The Catenary Wires is high upon our list of anticipated releases this year, and now we’ve got another single to give us a little peek at what’s inside. As soon as the video plays, I honestly felt like I was at home in the 80s listening to my dad’s record collection; the core vocals of Amelia and Rob over that light strum just held this nostalgic breath in my lungs for an instant. But, as the song progresses, there are some little details like the slight buzz around the 1:07 mark (and again later) that kind of ties the band to their modern peers. In a weird way, it feels like your favorite indiepop stars spent the weekend holed up with J Spaceman, and I mean that in the most positive light possible. The little turn at 2:13 doesn’t do anything to hurt either, sweeping emotion through your bedroom speakers. Look for their new LP Birling Gap on June 18th via Skep Wax/Shelflife.