When you get an email about new music coming from Kleine Untergrund Schallplatten, if you’re me, you listen up. Today I’m really excited to share this tune from Desert Souls, a German outfit walking that rare ground where indiepop and psychedelia bleed into one another. Here we kick things off with a raucous crowd before the band bounce into a wayward garage jangle, almost surf-y in presentation. Then come the deep vocal tones, sort of delivered in this haunting fashion, sure to make sure the syllables land on beat with the drum work. Behind it all are these great backing vocals, swelling the song’s natural pop sensibility, while the vocals and the guitar tend to shift towards a Death Valley dance show. Keep your eyes peeled for more from this outfit, as KUS turns everything into gold!
Monday’s are meant to be about great tracks, occasionally the great tracks you just discovered from the previous week. In the case of the BVs, you might not have heard their new album Cartography, but I wanted to make sure its on your radar because it’s one brilliant LP. They’ve tossed out another single to hopefully encourage your ears, so get to it. The track is like a nice homage to Galaxie 500; the guitar work cascades and creates this beautiful landscape for the listener. Then, the heavy vocals come in, almost working in contrast to the music, holding onto their own wondrous melody. I can’t say enough good things about this band, so I won’t stop until you’re all in love. Grab the limited LP from Kleine Untergrund Schallplatten.
I thought the BVs outdid themselves last year with their EP and 7″ (KUS & Cloudberry). But, they’ve offered us this brand new video to go along with the announcement of their forthcoming LP, Cartography. A little tambourine lets you open the door, and once you’re inside, the song and video roll along on galloping percussion. It sets the song in motion, allowing for the warmth of the vocals to permeate the rest of the track as the guitar operates along some muted jangling to continue the pace. I love love love the extra guitar chords dancing around after the 2 minute mark, working perfectly to match the dreamy vocal notes. Their new LP will be out on March 14th via Kleine Untergrund Schallplatten.
I’m not one to typically write about cover songs, unless, of course, it comes via one of my current favorites covering one of my all time favorites. The Softies gave us the writing Jen and Rose, and now they’re being covered by Jetstream Pony. This song will appear on the Kleine Untergrund SchallplattenLabel Compilation, compiling tracks from the label’s very stable roster…both Jetstream and KUS were in our Best of Indiepop list. This version has a slightly noisier bent than the original, though they still include those wondrous harmonies. the rest of the compilation includes other ATH faves like the Pale Lights and the BVs, so grab one HERE.
Everyone has their own definition of indiepop; but I tend to ascribe to the original craft where DIY aesthetics and a softer response to punk were all the rage. But, to each their own. So I went through last year to compile what I think is a pretty all encompassing Best of Indiepop 2018; there’s no order, just a collection of really great indiepop. Some of the below are songs, some are albums, some are just bands or labels that were important. Click on for my picks and a playful playlist. Read more
We’ve told you to keep an eye on Kleine Untergrund Schallplatten, as the German label has been releasing some incredible work this past year…and they’re knocking it out of the park with this new 7″ from Gary Olson of Ladybug Transistor. It’s a pretty soft ballad, with just a hint of bouncing rhythm to grab your ear. That being said, the production behind Gary is what completes the song’s magic; there’s light string arrangements accompanying the angular ring of the guitar…eventually opening up to the wondrous bursting horns that really bring the song home. Gary blends folk and pop seamlessly, and all those who listen are sure to be delighted.
Last week we brought you the wonderful Lake Ruth cover from their split 7″ with Pale Lights, and it only seems right that we share the flip side, right? Pale Lights take the nostalgic leaning pop of the original and spruce it up with a dreamy sense of longing, with guitars seemingly racing through the speakers while Phil has this warm croon, backed by a female counterpart, adding a depth to the tones present in this number. The split sold out in an instant, but you can always enjoy both band’s versions of one another…and you can’t go wrong with either, if you ask me.
The team over at Kleine Untergrund Schallplatten are responsible for some of my favorite releases the last few years, and they’re definitely hitting their mark with this new Lake Ruth/Pale Lights split 7″. Below we have Lake Ruth‘s wonderfully woozy cover of “Only an Ocean” off their opposites Before There Were Pictures LP. They craft this smooth space pop, which interestingly fits inside the ramshackle pop of the original; it definitely gives you a different viewpoint for the song…and I can’t wait to hear what Pale Lights did to “Through the Lychgates!”
For me, lyrics are one of the main things that grab me about a track, so it takes a lot for a song in a language that I don’t speak, or understand really at all, to move me. That all said, this new number from Botschaft is truly a winner; jangly guitars weave delicately through the song and the vocals remind me of the likes of Shout Out Louds. The title, “Sozialisiert in der BRD” translates to “Raised in (West) Germany” and, according to the band is “meant as a radical criticism of growing up in democratic capitalism. It is characterized as a process of adaptation in which the young “citizen” not only is taught a calculating use of mind but also to internalize all the external dutys it has to obey: identity-making.” Take a listen and fall for the band as I did.
It’s not every day you get to delve into the musical world of pop supergroups, but alas, that’s where we are with Jetstream Pony, a band composed of members hailing from acts like Trembling Blue Stars and the Wedding Present. In this new single, they toy with us, delivering a thirty second guitar intro, meandering through your speakers. Then the rhythm section jumps right in, and let’s face it, you’re immediately hooked on this track. The guitars have a jagged edge, but the song has this sugary sheen that’s leaps and bounds above any other purveyor of pop music at the moment. This excellent tune will appear on the group’s new Self-Destruct Reality EP, which is being released by the highly-regarded Kleine Untergrund Schallplatten; it drops in an amazing 12″ format you can find HERE.