Leave it to Slumberland Records to try and squeeze the last few drops out of my bank account before the year wraps up; they announced another crisp collection of pop to add to their roster of great releases in 2022…the Laughing Chimes. While that doesn’t surprise me, the talent of the Seurkamp brothers at such a young age; this first single takes on a timeless bit of pop charm, rocking with those classic circular jangles that swirl through your speakers amidst a steady stomp. I will say that the vocals certainly take on a nice bit of wistfulness, making this the perfect Monday tune to get you started. Their Zoo Avenue EP will be out on November 18th.
One of the great things about the last 30 years is the ease with which we can dig out old files and tapes and give them a proper re-release, which is how I came upon The Variable Stars. Our friends over at Recorded Psychic Readings reached out to let us know they’d be dropping a tape from the Bay-area bands early recordings. Take a listen to either of the songs below and you’ll surely see where I fell in love here; it’s got the charm of the Pastels or Comet Gain, albeit with just the faintest hint of modern indiepop. Honestly, I love how the vocalist seem to perfectly compliment one another, particularly when they’re uniting for a nice melodic push. If, like me, you hadn’t heard of this band, well, spend some time streaming these bops! All Signs Point to Life will be out this Friday!
Grecian popsters Youth Valley really have the charms to get us into the rest of this week; they’re bringing in this delightful new track, with promises that their will be more like-minded gems come the release of their LP this Winter. Listening, there’s definitely something faintly Morrissey in the vocals (before we all decided that guy was awful); they have this shyness to them that seems fitting for the band’s lyrical parable on how we’ve all grown to shy to go out and enjoy the night. And, if the voice wasn’t enough to seduce you, listen to the sharpness of those guitar chords, dancing and distorting in the distance, twirling their little fingers through your hair, playfully; it’s all sheer charm, and I can’t wait to hear more from the outfit.
Alabama’s Slack Times maybe get lumped in with the janglers of our time, and obviously I don’t mind that one bit, but I think that sells the band really short. On the title track to the forthcoming LP, the band even do their best to set the record straight with this sort of pseudo-Cali sun-pop guitar noodling; it’s balanced out by, you guessed it, the spot on jangle that counteract. Once the melody of the vocals sets in, it begins to feel like we’ve got this nostalgic longing settling in, both in message and sound; I don’t think there’s a single pop rock balladeer of the past that would mind this song being on their resume. If you’re looking for that spot where classic Americana meets up with jangling pop, then look no further then Carried Away; the LP is out June 24th via Meritorio.
As we move into the summer season, I start to indulge a bit more in my musical sweet tooth, which is great since there’s this new Silver Liz tune giving me my fix. “Oooh hooo” opens up the track, and instantly you’re sucked into that dreamy voice, intoxicated as it bends the notes around this very light jangle. Still, whilst loving it, I didn’t become addicted to this track completely until the moment where the band pull back the music and let Carrie Wagner’s voice continue to shine on its own, almost in that Hope Sandoval fashion…and each time the band employ that little trick I get a little weak in the knees.
If you actually read this site, then I reckon you’ve liked seen Slack Times pop up on our radar previously, particularly as we made a nod to their At the Blue Melon Rendezvous and its Athens influences. Well, today we’re here with the news of their new compilation record, which will include 6 new songs, atop the 8 tracks from their previous EPs. If you don’t find these crystalline guitar jangles hitting the right notes, wait until the handclaps and hip-shaking swagger swing into the chorus to really sell you on the masterful hooks the band use to fill their tunes. Carried Away already has 9 great tunes, so we’re looking forward to the rest if they sound this damned good. The LP is out June 24th via Meritorio Records.
You ever land on something that immediately feels like home, feels like the place you belong? Well, for those who were in love with Math and Physics Club (this is Charles’ new band), or even just great pop music, this Hey Satellite EP from Field School should feel as such. The opener “Moon Jellies” had this incredible guitar feel, like this cool shadow blanketing me down here in the hot Texas sun. Then I hit the third track “Jennifer Valentine,” and I was in absolute love; this feels like the first time you turned on If You’re Feeling Sinister, just immediately blown back by the sincerity and the charm, simultaneously. This is a must listen. Right now. Do it.
We haven’t heard from Holiday Crowd in quite some time, but boy is this new single a welcome return. The group just dropped new of a new 7″ for Shelflife Records, and the A-side is the sort of slinky-jangle pop nod, toying with a hint of croon to the vocals. In a way, it’s kind of a Sarah Records influenced take on Two Wheels Good-era Prefab Sprout, which should hopefully catch your ears. The jangles aren’t over the top, but the melodic charm of the chorus really helps sell the sound here, particularly when pace is added to the vocals giving the song that sort of swirling allure. Party Favours 7″ is out on April 15th.
We’ve been covering New York’s Phantom Handshakes for quite some time over here, but now they’ve turned us onto another artists, as they just dropped this catchy pop ditty with Edinburgh’s Swiss Portrait. This song works steadily on a solid beat, working that snare to its catchy best; the guitars swirl and jangle behind that, wrapping the track in this emphatic bit of jangling pop music. Federica’s vocals add the dreaminess you’re seeking, playing from the distance like some angelic whisper weaving in and out of the core of this track. Not sure if this is a one-off tune, or something larger at play, but we’ll keep you posted…for now just enjoy this hit.
I’ve been a fan of James Hindle and Calvin Halliday since their Pooches days, and their latest US Highball single takes their jangling joyousness and spins it in a little bit more sedate tone. It’s not that the duo lose any of their melodic hooks, rather they just soften the edges, putting them more in line with the likes of Lucksmiths or Boys with the Perpetual Nervousness; I don’t mind that one bit. It’s a classic pop sound, soaked in harmony and sampled beats, whetting the appetite for the release of their forthcoming A Parkhead Cross of the Mind, dropping on March 25th via Lame-O Records.