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!
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.
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.
I’ve barely even gotten used to the idea that there will be a great new Real Numbers EP coming next year, and already there’s another jangle out there. Spritely angular guitar rifts thrust you onto the dancefloor, spinning you about with a buoyant rhythm section that has your arms flailing in the air. Those disaffected vocals give just the faint hint of wistfulness, though there’s just a hint of hope on the way the vocals bound through the song in the far off horizon. Please 2021, bring me tons more great indiepop just like this! If you’re a fan, Brighter Then will be out on January 22nd via Slumberland and Meritorio. Buy it for me for my birthday! (January 16th)!
Well, perhaps Summer Lane isn’t the brand new album from the Proctors, but it’s the long lost record that we deserved…we just never got the chance…until now. The majority of these tunes were written between 1993-1997, with Sunday Records being so kind as to finally bring these songs to light. I love the forlorn guitar sounds on “Distant Echoes,” matched with that longing in the vocals. “Moon Song” has a great performance from Christina Priest (and maybe some opening drum work familiar to Oasis fans). And don’t get stuck on the mellow pop you say? Then turn on the upbeat jangling rocker, “Shooting Star,” full of delightful dual vocals. Or maybe the dreamy guitars circling on “Not So Far Away” are more your style. All this to say that Summer Lane is needed in your life today, and thanks to Sunday Records, you can get your hands on it!
Los Angeles’ outfit Smokescreens are definitely a group that we can get behind, especially after you consider how much I enjoyed Used to Yesterday. So, today, we get double the good news (and really triple)…first, the band have a new album coming out on Slumberland Records and second we have that new single below! But, the icing on the cake, aside from the excellent new music, is that it was produced by David Kilgour of the Clean; he also designed the album art work. There’s definitely a very Go-Betweens nod, particularly in the way the song opens with that guitar line. I love how the vocals sort of wash over you, much like the waves of the ocean repeatedly crashing upon you as the sun beats down upon your skin; its joyous and warm. We’ll keep you posted as the A Strange Dream‘s release date draws near.
For some artists, this whole pandemic thing has been really great for songwriting, like for Glenn Donaldson and his project The Reds, Pinks and Purples. Over the weekend the project dropped two brand new songs, both delightful and required listening for you today. “Pictures of the World” opens with this big guitar strum and these shakers coming around while Donaldson carefully enters, almost frail; I keep imagining this song accompanying a video of a couple in various stages of goofing, probably shot on an outdated camera to give a little bit of a fuzz to the edges. In the end, Glenn has this slight Bob Pollard note…though not sure if he’d enjoy that note. I love the breathy vocal approach that comes out in the second tune, “Tell Me What’s Real” during the choruses; it gives off this timeless pop quality that makes me wish I could just sit around doodling in a notebook while my mind drifts off with the steady beat of the song. You can’t go wrong pressing play on either of these tunes.
You don’t have do too much to get my ears to perk up, and this new single from Royal Target just jumped right in from the get go, tossing out that j-angular little guitar noodle before the song settled into its melody. Gentle little pop hooks dig into your ears and hold tight with the slightly affected vocal warmth; I think a real highlight comes in right near the 2 minute mark when you get the slightest little tonal shift. That helps switch the song’s mood more towards one of longing, kind of that wistful dream of what’s next…which I’m sure we can all relate to these days.
It’s incredibly hard to keep track of all the great music being released nowadays, so hopefully you come here for a little guidance to narrow down your choices. One of the record I’ve been bopping to is the new self-titled LP from The Late Pioneers, which was just released by Subjangle. Ultimately, this is a brilliant pop record, culling influences from various periods of pop music, be that classic singles or the more recent jangling styles of indiepop. Many of the tracks offer this wondrous sense of promise in the world, like “Into the Mud,” but you will also encounter some more reflective pieces to keep the listen balanced. I think my favorite tune is “Leaving Today,” but start where you want and fall in love with this LP.
If I were to pick out an Austin artist that would break out into the world to win everyone’s hearts, the odds of that group being the Infinites are pretty high. What began as a looped guitar project between Dan Levine (Ghetto Ghouls) and Jared Zoltar (the Zoltars) has a evolved quickly into a well-oiled pop making machine. In their newest single, the guitar lines dance and flutter, jumping out sharply when emphasis is needed. Everyone else takes on a casual vibe, waiting for the the vocals to intoxicate; I love how Jared naturally has this hook in the way he’s delivering his lines, matched perfectly by those guitar parts. The band will be releasing their debut self-titled LP on First Human Records on April 26th.