I’m a sucker for really great pop songwriting, particularly when its crafted inside Travis County lines, which is the case for Duncan Fellows, who release the Sadlands today. The record is filled with these swelling moments that burst into euphoria, like the soft lead on “Like I Used To.” You also just get these little classic pop rock moments where the vocals stretch for these high notes, only to crash down with joyous guitars like we get on “Swallowing Grains.” But, maybe your bag is that slow burning pop vibe, which you’ll find on “Best I Can,” shimmering its dreamy way right into your heart. All in all, if you just want a record that makes you feel good, spend some time with this LP today.
Feel like I was kind of hitting too much on the post-punk note, so its great to have this Luke Rathborne tune to get in on over here. There was just something simple, something that just seemed to come together perfectly here. Perhaps it was the perfect melody, perhaps the song’s execution, but every time I press play, I end up tapping my toes, trying to learn the words so that I can sing along. I love Rathborne’s performance on the chorus too, just pure pop genius and definitely fitting for a Friday afternoon cruise into the sunset. Turn it up folks, you won’t regret it.
As much as I adored, and still do, Future Me Hates Me, I think I’m most impressed by the slight tweaks the Beths are adding to their musical repertoire. Sure, I’d love another dozen rockers I can sing atop my lungs to my neighbors on my job, but you can’t make the same record over and over. On their latest single, you can still hear remnants of the first LP; Elizabeth Stokes has such a distinctive melodic delivery…a certain sharpness in how she drops certain syllables. Still, the rest of the song employs the use of space and patience, almost hinting at what we’d typically call a big pop rock ballad. Catchy and open, this might be the best tune we’ve heard from the new LP yet. Jump Rope Gazers is out July 10th via Carpark Records.
Forget Mondays. Tuesdays are the real struggle. The good news is I’ve got this nice little pop rocker from Seattle’s BOAT to get your day started. I love the way the band sets the tune up, toying with a softer side of indie rock in the opening moments before bounding down the road into the cheerful realms of hook-laden pop. There’s a slightly rough edge to the vocals in the chorus, cut up by a backing vocal that layers a nice softness just underneath. This tune appears on the group’s new LP, Tread Lightly, which is scheduled for release on May 1st; you can pre-order it HERE.
Been a hot minute since we’ve heard from Richmond’s Big Baby, but better get acquainted now as they’re brandishing six delicious new pop tunes you’ll want to consume…and we’ve got the lead single below for you. The band, fronted by Ali Mislowsky (also of ATH faves Young Scum), start with a heavy three second tease; they collect themselves, and they’re off. The guitar chords seem to be dancing and swirling around your ears, all the while the rhythm section keeps your toes tapping. In the vocals, you this coolly delivered warmth, but the hook is all about the falling notes in the line “can’t get you out of my head.” If you’re into the sugary sweetness on display, be sure to grab the Fizzy Cola EP from Hidden Bay Records or Jigsaw on January 10th!
Two things I love are when your favorite labels team up to work on something; you generally know something great is in the water. In this case, Kingfisher Bluez and Lost Sound Tapes have united to bring this great pop rock LP from Non La your way, and what a single to kick things off. It starts off with this sort of Sandy Alex G solo work, just a solid voice and a guitar line; even at its simplest, you’re intrigued. Then, gang vocals join in the fray, teasing for a second before the song jumps off to pure infectiousness; I don’t know if it’s the stuttering of “r-i-ght” or the the gang singing along, but there’s nothing that can make this track any more fun. Not In Love will be dropped on February 14th, and you can pick between vinyl and tape!
Forgive me for expecting Mo Troper to continue crafting these hook-laden gritty rock numbers for his new album, Natural Beauty. It would seem that Mo’s completely flipped the script here, brandishing more of a penchant for pop than anything. The orchestration behind Troper’s songwriting has definitely added some great textural layers to this tune, but I’m still all about that chorus; I love the way his voice soars when he sings “when I was younger/it was fun.” This feels like one of those unexpected albums that you just fall in love with, trying to convince all your friends its the greatest things out there! Natural Beauty is out via Tender Loving Empire on February 14th.
I’ve been off battling a cold all week, so it’s good to find a nice little rocker to squeeze into the playlist on a Thursday, just before we roll into the weekend. This Hussy (not to be confused with THE Hussy) tune is really great, and I honestly can’t quit playing it super loud. It offers this fuzzed jangling riff, coated in atmospherics that set up the immediate bounce of the vocals; I love the urgency in Sophie Ellison’s voice as the tension in the track builds. Sometimes you just need a jam of a song to come in and lift your spirits, and pretty sure this tune’s spot on in that fashion. Go on, have fun.
Cold weather is creeping in through my window, and I’m trying to hold onto every extra ounce of energy possible over here, which is great since there’s this Hot Shorts video to share with you. It’s a quick pop ditty, opening up with muted guitar riffs and vocals for a good thirty seconds or so. Drums drop in, the song bursts off with this anthemic chorus that you’ll find yourself screaming in a matter of seconds. It’s a no frills pop rocking journey that ends just as soon as its started, so press repeat. Or better yet, go buy I Understand and I Wish to Continue via Icecapades Records.
I loved the shit out of Second Home (2016), and I felt like Dogbreth generated some decent buzz, so I was surprised to not hear from them. But, like all things, Tristan had to move, so the band changed up until he found friends in Seattle, his new home. And, all of a sudden there’s a brand new LP of great pop rock tracks that you should turn up real loud right this instant. The opening tracks have some punch, but don’t worry about getting burnt out, as you’ll find a few slow jams like “Walk You Again” to sort of cleanse the palate. It’s like this glorious hodgepodge of power pop, pop punk, emo and indie rock, all rolled into this delicious package built for repeat rock listens. Ever Loving is a great LP, and I just now found out about it! Go grab it from the band now!