If you’re a sucker for that sort of post-new-wave meets dreamy pop, then you’re absolutely going to love this new track from A Beacon School. For two minutes, Patrick Smith casually delivers some of the finest dreamy pop you’re going to hear this year; the softness in his vocals keeps the knifing guitar lines and snappy beat at bay, letting the melody sprinkle its hooks all over the track. There’s even a nice little cascading bit of noise at the 2 minute mark, offering a brief bit of dissonant discourse in an otherwise spritely pop number. Yoyo is out on October 13th, and its shaping up quite nicely.
As I look through the overwhelming amount of great tunes coming out this Friday, I’m really excited that there’s a fresh Spearmint album coming to us soon! Soft brushes across the snare set a jolly beat, something that’ll make you lightly tap your toes as the chilled melody blows through your bedroom. But, as someone who relishes beautiful musical moments, in whatever fashion, tie into the 1:48 mark; there’s the slightest tonal change, creating this striking yearning moment that completely floored me as the song strode into its back half. Just a really pleasant way to step into this weekend; you’ll be able to grab This Candle Is For You on October 20th courtesy of WIAIWYA.
You should usually consider the work of the folks at Subjangle to be something charming, which is most certainly the case when it comes to this new single from Italy’s Grand Drifter. One will find an instantly saccharine light jangle in the guitar work, something you might consider akin to early Kings of Convenience. What I love about this track, however, is that there are all these little light flourishes that continue to flesh out the sound as a whole, making it feel like the perfect piece for a sunny day. Listen carefully for little bits of horn and string accompaniment, adding further depth that allows Andrea Calvo to drape his subtle vocals across. Expect Paradise Window to hit this September!
Something purely nostalgic is dripping from the first single from Sweden’s The Parade; it feels like a pop track that would have quietly slid into 90s college radio, only to then be consumed and adored by the masses. Velvety vocals work over synth stabs and electric beats that bob and groove, getting your body slight swinging as you soak in the sunny goodness. It’s the first thing we’re hearing from the band, but it arrives with the sort of sophistication you’d hear on heralded Swedish label, Labrador. Smart and sweet, you’re going to love The Parade.
Tugboat Captain have been hard at work in 2023, already bringing us their third single of the year, continuing a run of solid form the last few years. This tune opens up with a spirited bounce, before sliding into the great literary pop they send our way; there’s definitely some percussive snap here that reminds me of the punctuated moments in my favorite B&S tunes. When that chorus sails real high, you’re going to be rewarded, as you surely knew, built on this soaring vocal that illustrates the band’s range. Good to see them hard at work, and hopefully the UK outfit will have a new LP for us soon!
Friday was a busy day around these parts, but it seems like it was even busier for those over at Slumberland headquarters. The cherished label got some coverage from us via a new Reds, Pinks and Purples single, but we missed out on some other exciting new stuff, so I wanted to be sure we had that up there. After their great self-titled LP, Chime School came back with a brand new hit from their forthcoming 7″ (out in April). Not to be outdone, or out-chimed, Ohioan power-poppers the Laughing Chimes dropped another charmer through the label. Sorry I didn’t get this all up on Friday, but better late than never?
You can always rely upon the work of Bobo Integral, so when they announced Alfie Firmin‘s new album yesterday, I went back to check in on those sounds. Honestly, they’re a pleasant bit of pop songwriting, almost so relaxed it already has my eyes set on the summer time. The guitars are strummed lightly, plucked with enough energy to give the song a sweet bounce that has you softly tapping those toes. Firmin’s voice is crisp and velvety, but it gets a nice little boost from the great horn arrangements added to the track to provide a bit more depth. Looking forward to hearing Absentee in its whole; it drops on may 12th.
I’m always going to give Jackie Mendoza some love on this site, particularly when I can kickstart your day with a fun bit of solid gold pop. This song’s narrative circles around a love story from a youthful perspective, albeit one going on during a pandemic; the young couple is just excited to go off on a dream vacation, and there, they get “Maui’d.” Sure, the lyrics are silly at times, but who gives a shit; there’s a rad hook throughout, which kicks a nice bounce through your speakers…clearly I’m a sucker for it. Jackie’s new album Galaxia de Emociones drops on March 4rd via ZZK Records.
If you’re like me, and you see the holidays as a long slog through social anxieties instead of rest, though you wish you could make your brain think otherwise, then perhaps turn on this bright new Clear Coast single. These German lads have this sound that’s built somewhere between New Order pop radio tendencies and early 2000s indie rock; it’s a wash with synths and catchy melodies. In summation, its just an energetic bop that really helps you put one foot after the other, giving you a little bit of strength to push on through. I love when a pop tune walks that fine line of dreaminess and hope, so if that’s your need, it’s right below!
Back in 2017, this site was filled with notes about Oro Swimming Hour; I loved the band and their various releases that year. But, as happens more often than it should, I hadn’t checked in on them until an email came my way letting me know they had this new LP, Pterodactyl, out in the world. I’ve included the whole thing below, and with all the recent talk about Elephant 6, I encourage you to spend some time connecting the dots between Athens, Georgia and Bristol. They kind of feel like their an amalgam of pop, at all times. You hear little bits of power pop and psychedelia, but then there’s lots of little weird excursions and hidden moments that make it like the most joyous scavenger hunt for discerning music nerds. “Crocodile” and “Cold Tangerina” are my personal favorites at the moment, so find yours below! The LP is out now via Gold Day Records!