Our list of albums to look forward towards as the year ramps up includes this forthcoming LP from The Telephone Numbers. While the track may feature the slightest of acoustic jangles, its the work behind Thomas Rubenstein’s voice that really elevates the song. String arrangements are the most obvious, like a hand from the the heavens sprinkling magical melodic dust, sweeping across the song to coat it in this textural warmth. Behind that light jangle you can also hear another guitar line, sort of dancing a jig around the front of the mix, but it adds punctuation to both vocals and guitar notes, giving Thomas a pop hero’s welcome. The Ballad of Doug is out June 25th via Meritorio/Paisley Shirt.
Earlier this year we shared the A-side single for “Mirrorball” from the Catenary Wires, and in that post I alluded to a forthcoming LP from the band; the good news is that you can now pre-order the new record, Birling Gap. An added bonus is that it comes with a great new track that should only further push you to pressing “add to cart!” The song opens with a careful acoustic guitar and slight bit of ocean-spray ambiance, setting the scene for Amelia’s sparkling voice to shine, as per usual. With progression, the song builds in that ambiance, filling the pop bucket to the brim, spilling over into pure bliss near the 1:22 mark. Looks like we’re in for another treat, so be sure to get your hands on the new album, released by Skepwax (UK) and Shelflife (US) on Jun 18th.
Not sure what the reasoning, though I’m assuming its legal issues, but Ducks Unlimited have decided to change their name to Ducks Ltd. What? Who cares? Well, for one, I do. But also, the name change comes with the signing to Carpark Records. That also comes with an added bonus, as the label will be reissuing the delightful Get Bleak EP (which I’ve raved about before), only with added bonus tracks. The tune features below features their solid jangling rocks, that sort of Billy Elliott toe-tapping fun, though I think the calming nature of the vocals is finally sinking in with more listens; it was always upbeat indiepop, but that soft underbelly is definitely resonating with this jam. Seriously, more people should make tunes like this. The reissue drops on May 21st.
Last week, the Lodger released Cul-de-sac of Love, their first LP in over 10 years, but albums never die, so they’ve got a fresh video for standout “I Don’t Wanna Be It.” For me, this offers up the side of the band that I’ve grown to love, still pulling those jangling guitar strings yet holding back on the tempo to allow for a little breathing room. Here they wash that space with a little synth work, and a softened vocal melody; it opens up the song and makes gives the tune longevity, allowing it to sit with you hours after the track (and album) have faded out. The video treatment has the tune spliced with footage of the band amidst a scrolling forest jaunt, diving into the natural realm where pop fans are most comfortable! The LP is available world-wide now!
When we gave you a heads up about the forthcoming mini-Lp from Bart and Friends, we warned you that Bart Cummings had amassed a who’s who of indiepop to work with him on the new record…and today we’ve got a track starring Pam Berry of Black Tambourine! This run is a fairly sedate affair, like a swinging back and forth with your partner on some late dancefloor as the lights begin to fade with you into the night. Heavy guitar works in contrast with Berry’s crystalline performance, giving off this wistful note. The song’s brief, but the 1:26 mark leaves you with the delightful crest where the jangling notes meet Pam meet Gary Olson’s trumpet for a final pop triumph! Order the Tolmie Wild Thymes from KUS now!
Norway pop outfit Remington Super 60 have been churning out some incredible pop nuggets the last few years, and today they add to that by dropping their Nouvelle Noveau EP. The opening track “Talk With You” should immediately turn you onto the band’s timelessness; Elisabeth’s voice could have come from one of your favorite 60s girl groups or been the intoxicating soundtrack to one of your recent indie flicks. I love the feathery nature of her notes, but it perhaps wouldn’t seem so sublime if Christoffer Schou didn’t add these delicate little touches to give the song’s lift, like the distant guitars in “I Won’t Change My Mind” and “Still Near.” Overall, the whole of the release feels like sitting down with a bowl of hot soup on a freezing day…nothing ever felt so right. Stream it below.
Red Sleeping Beauty were meant to be joined on stage at last year’s Cologne Popfest by Mary from Even as We Speak, so they did the next best thing and got Mary to join them on a track for their forthcoming record. The song’s a masterful bit of driving synth pop, running with a heavy beat that seems built for late nights and neon lights. But, as much as the energy has this dance floor fit, Mary’s softness does a good job of keeping the tune elegant, giving it this confidence that shows signs of a huge record coming our way. This tune’s available now via Matinee Recordings, with the album to follow later this year!
Bart and Friends have a forthcoming mini-album all set for release via Kleine Untergrund Schallplatten, and today we’re more than excited to offer you a sneak peak at one of the standout tunes on the record. Bart’s really gathered some indiepop heavy-hitters, bringing in the likes of Mark Monnone, Pam Berry, Gary Olson and more to the fold for the recording of this record, so the sounds are basically the core of every indiepop sound you’ve ever loved. Lightly jangling guitars ring circles around your ears, with that heavier guitar line working in perfect contrast. And as much as I hate to say it, the vocals are perfect; they’re crisp and velvety, involving some melodic backing vocals just faintly behind the mix, leaving listeners with the perfect swoon. Plus, at just over 2 minutes, it’s the perfect pop nugget to consumer bright and early and smile the rest of your day. Pre-orders for Tolmie Wild Thymes are available from KUS now!
I’m a huge fan of the Lodger, and why they’ve been away for a good amount of time, their return with Cul-De-Sac of Love was a great news. It drops today, and my copy is apparently on its way to my home, so I haven’t spent as much time with it as I plan. My first runs through the whole LP show the band toying with various approaches to their craft, but with Ben Sidell’s voice still remaining the core of their appeal. Honestly, it reminds me of the likely follow up to Flashbacks, employing those catchy guitar chops while still offering up a really subtle approach to pop vibes. I’ve really been drawn towards “Perfect Fit” on these morning run-throughs, but go on and pick your fave…there are plenty of great tracks to choose from here. It’s available all over the world right now!
If you’re looking for the perfect piece of pop, you can generally rely on the good people of Sweden to help, like new outfit Marble Raft. The duo of experienced musical vets have been crafting their sound the last few years, built on the concept of pop and fables. This single is our first listen, with the band Olle and Gabrielle trading vocals throughout, uniting during the chorus to create the band’s natural euphoric feeling buoyed by heavy synth flourishes and atmospheric washes. In need of a little Monday morning warmth? Turn this one up, and be on the look out for Geography, which drops on May 7th.