At the end of last year, Baltimore’s The Smashing Times dropped this delicious 7″ I couldn’t get enough of, so I’m more than excited to hear the band are ready for a new LP later this year. Their sound, as the band describes it, draws inspiration from Felt, Television Personalities and the Pastels; I feel like this fresh single is a little bit of all of those. The crips guitar sound is definitely a nod towards acts like Felt, with a bit of the sort of paisley psychedelia from the Pastels also shining through in the tones. For me, the TV Personalities connection just comes in the manner that the band’s sound seems indifferent to trends; they seem like they’re a ramshackle lot bent on perfecting outsider pop. It’s intoxicating, and you can bet I’ll be spinning it nonstop when Bloom is released in October via Meritorio Records.
Those of you following the New Zealand scene, or anything Oceanic in nature, should keep your eyes on Jim Nothing, as this fresh single from their debut record is pretty near perfect. The riff work in the song has that sort of purposefully sloppy vibe, sort of chugging along haphazardly while the ship rocks around on the back of the rhythm section. Elements of this sound like they’re rooted in 90s pop rock, though you can hear other little DIY bits of flare in the way the vocals work together to build the melodic core. Just before you announce your devotion, the song calls halts, and you’re forced to rush over to the Meritorio Records/Melted Ice Cream sites and grab a copy of the group’s In the Marigolds LP…out September 15th.
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.
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.
All three of these acts have definitely featured on our pages over the last few months, and really, I probably don’t need to go into too much detail, as you’re likely just clicking for the streams, right? No biggie. You get some pop rock from New Zealand; the new album from an ex-Constantine, and a record I’ve been raving about all month. Just click on the streams, enjoy the music, and have a rad Friday.
Best Bets – On an Unhistoric Night (Meritorio)
Steven Lambke – Volcano Volcano (You’ve Changed)
Guy Capecelatro III – Heading North Again (Dromedary Records)
If you’re feeling, like me, a bit overwhelmed on this Friday, and just want a minute to turn up the noise and bang your head a little, then hit up this new track from New Zealand’s Best Bets. It’s a rocking from the get go, hitting with heavy riffs and guitar noodling after the band count it off at the start. The vocals definitely are filled with passion, almost sounding exasperated in their tone, but with just enough melody in the tone to make it feel like a solid bit of pop songwriting. Earnest and loud, which makes for great guitar pop all around. Grab On An Unhistoric Night from Meritorio Records.
We’re a little over a week until the release of the new EP from Swedish pop group Stephen’s Shore, and with that proximity, we’re offered another teaser tune to entice us all. On the earlier tracks from the Green EP, the band have had their spritely bounce intact, but, things take a turn on this new track. The rhythm section still offers up the toe-tapping beat, but there’s a haziness to the guitar work, matched by the a thick coat on the vocals, almost referencing a hint of psychedelia; this all comes to head with the closing breakdown the group use to wrap up the town. It’s a nice little plot twist in their songwriting, illustrating that the Green EP has them working at peak songwriting craft, and we shan’t shy away from that. The EP drops on April 15th via Meritorio Records.
We spent a lot of time last year supporting Rural France, the London duo of Tom Brown and Rob Fawkes; they dropped RF via Meritorio Records. But, Tom now has his own new project, Teenage Tom Petties that should definitely pop up on your radar today. This project isn’t a far stretch from RF, though there’s definitely a grittier feel to both the recording and the style itself…perhaps connecting the dots via a Boyracer or the like would work, in 7 degrees of Indie Pop. On the vocals, Tom definitely has a big Bob Pollard feel here, so the whole thing is built around this huge lo-fidelity guitar pop feel that very much feels like something GBV would have influenced. It’s a jam, and you like jams. The band will have a full album coming this summer via Safe Suburban Homes.
It’s never a bad day when Stephen’s Shore share a single with us, so why not give you the same joy we have listening to the group. The Swedish outfit will be dropping their Green EP in April, and their latest track is the spritely brand of pop you’ve got to have in your pocket to get you through the day. This song just feels like basking in the sun, letting your body warm until its just about red. I love the natural sense of nostalgia in the melody too, as if you’re driving away, waving at your past as you head down the road towards new horizons. Dammit, I just want this on repeat all day long. Green EP drops on April 15th via Meritorio Records.
Kevin Linn’s Sad Eyed Beatniks project will be dropping the new album, Claudia’s Ethereal Weaver, next Friday, but there’s one more beautiful sample to grab your ears before the release date hits. This really feels like one of those perfect tunes written in a bedroom that surely drove the neighbors crazy; it’s got this intimacy and sharpness in the vocals, though the volume of the mix almost makes it feel like its a full-on rock n’ roll hit. There’s just something that swells in this song, as the jangling riffs and heavy beats come crashing billowing through your speaker; it’s like a lo-fi tape recording disguised as noise rock, and I absolutely love it! The new album is out January 28th via Meritorio Records.