It’s been a minute since we’ve heard the charming voice of Laz and his project, Bubblegum Lemonade, but man, what a way to return. I’m immediately drawn to the guitar sound, as I’m sure many of the pop aficionados will be too! Then there’s something really special about the his voice seems to rush into the verses, only to turn into a gentle melody a few syllables later, buoyed by sublime backing vocals. Plus, there’s a nice little mid-tune change around the 1:20 mark that gives a nice little emphatic bit of harmony to the song before dancing its way into a handclap-laden solo. Always love his work; the Never Have I Ever EP is out via Matinee Recordings, with a brand new LP slated to come out later in the year!
If you’re into the pop scene, you’re surely aware of Danish outfit Northern Portrait. Well, today brings us good news that a brand new record is on the horizon; it’s titled The Swiss Army, and has an August 5th release date penciled on the books. This new single has that slow-burning ballad down, offering up a calmed croon that rides on the casual rhythm section while the arrangements lift the melody to the surface. I can see this getting a lot of Smiths comparisons in the way the vocals work, but be sure you give the focus to the musical element; there are some slightly noisier elements buried in the mix that I think show the band working to elevate their sound. If you’re into it, be sure to order Swiss Army from Matinee Recordings.
It’s hard to not fawn over a track that takes Red Sleeping Beauty‘s pop craftsmanship then throws in the marvelous support of Amelia Fletcher (Swansea Sound/Heavenly/Catenary Wires) on vocals. The thumping drumbeat gets us started, with a stuttering guitar line faintly toying in the background while the vocals enter pushing the accompanying guitar bits towards more of an outright jangle. When the chorus hits, the vocals get textured backing and the arrangements swell, building it into this indiepop gem that’s going to resonate with all sorts of pop fans. This glorious pop song comes to you courtesy of Matinee Recordings.
After being relatively quiet the last few years, Matinee Recordings has come out this year swinging. First, dropping a Lucksmiths reissue (always a good thing) and now they’ve introduced me to the Saint Larsen, the new project from Stefan Larsen of Northern Portrait. But, while Larsen’s known for his indiepop licks, this first single seems a bit more along the lines of classic songwriting, though spun with that wistfulness I always associated with good indiepop. There’s this slight euphoric twist just after the 3 minute mark that punches this big hook you’re going to want to enjoy. Look for a full length album later in the year!
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!
Matinee Recordings is wrapping up the end of this shitty year by trying to brighten the horizon, offering you some singles to look forward to in 2021. They’ve got two new jams to share with you today, from Northern Portrait and Royal Landscaping Society. Northern Portrait give you a heavy jangle feel, packaged in really neatly woven melodies; they’ve added some great layers on this song, giving you a bit of punch with your pop cocktail. They’ll have a brand new LP coming your way next year! Spanish outfit The Royal Landscaping Society offer you this blend of pulsing electronica and indiepop; I grinned every time that chorus dropped in, gentle and charming, bursting with euphoric feels! And don’t forget that heavy guitar solo in the song’s latter half to boot. This single comes with a cover of They Go Boom!’s “The Gift.” They’ve got a 17 track album coming your way next year, so keep your ears ready! Just be sure to visit Matinee frequently as the news seems pretty constant (and great) right now!
Just yesterday we shared a new track from Strawberry Whiplash off their latest single from Matinee Recordings. But, while investigating that bit of pop joy, we also noticed the label had another quick pop single to share, that of My Darling YOU!. The Swedish duo will be releasing a brand new 20 track record tiled A Dream Come True this December, and they’ve opted to share this quick little burst of pop joy to throw right in your face. It hits you fast and hard, throwing up this sense of joyousness in an emphatic fashion. The tune bursts, charms and then fades away. Just imagine what they’ll be able to do with 20 tracks!
It’s been nearly five years since we last heard from Strawberry Whiplash, but I have a feeling all those indiepop folks out there are going to be clamoring for more. Almost immediately, those crisp guitar notes turn from slight jangle to pace-car, locking the song in this bounding rhythm, occasionally broken up by the return of those crystalline guitar notes. Still, the song wouldn’t be complete without those melodic vocal notes that bring us back to the sugary pop of the early days of rock n’ roll. For some reason, this song just makes me feel like running about on a playground with a giant lollipop in my mouth! Sweet and fun. The digital single is available via Matinee Recordings. And, word is, this single is signs of new things to come, with a fresh LP promised for the new year!
I hadn’t thought of Seabirds in some time, and in fact, they seem like a sort of indiepop anomaly to me. They had a great 7″ for Matinee Recordings, then just disappeared from the face of the Earth, other than a soundcloud page that had been mostly dormant until the other night. Sure, this wasn’t the bounding pop I remembered them for, but it was still a striking little number with barely more than guitar and voice. Today felt like a sort of mellow one, so I figured why not share this delightful ballad in case any of you fawned over the band like I did.
As we’re all looking back on the year 2019, I tend to gravitate towards lists with little agenda, other than to shine a light back on the year in the areas I adore. For one, the indiepop scene. Now, there’s always a great big debate about what indie pop is, so for all intents and purposes, I admit that I just don’t care, so the genre’s purists can yell at me later. Now, this may read as a best of, but merely this is the stuff that stuck out in my brain, so if I missed something, I love you and I’m sorry. Honestly, it just gave me a chance to make a fun playlist (2+ hours!) full of hits for all you pop fans.