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!
If you recall, we, along with other various label friends, helped get the debut Love Burns album out into the world (still got a few tapes left if and you like). Well, we were happy to be part of that, and now it looks like Phil and company are ready to make your Bandcamp Friday super easy…just click “BUY” on this new digital only EP. It’s four brilliant pop songs, continuing to show off the striking songwriting in Sutton’s repertoire. Me, I love “Forever in Bliss;” there’s something about it that just feels huge, like a giant of a pop rock tune built for arenas of dancing fans. However, as with all things Love Burns, there’s not a miss here, so head over and grab the Fade in the Sun EP.
It’s been several years since we’ve heard from Aussie outfit Summer Flake, but we’re all being rewarded today with a brand new single and the hope that more is on the horizon. A light little strum drew me into this tune, offering a sort of musical ray of sunshine that could slide right into any moment in your life. The vocals feel equally as light, and in a sense, almost dreamily playful, riding the mix like a white knight on a glorious stallion of melody. To me, there’s something super sweet in its simplicity, and I can’t help but appreciate every moment of this tune; here’s to hoping we get more. Track out today courtesy of Rice is Nice!
I’m super picky about my commercial pop, but there’s something soothing about a new Elizabeth tune. Her recent batch of singles has seen the Aussie songwriter move into a more modern pop twist, something that offers up immediacy in its hooks; you even get a faint little trickle of autotune on the vocals, which surprisingly worked for me (I’m not generally an autotune fanatic). It’s interesting to see the direction she’s turned towards, remember the early days of Totally Mild; there’s still the same sort of lyrical sentimentality, though spun in an entirely different fashion.And, not only is there a new video tied to the trio of new singles, but today also celebrates the reissue of the incredibly special The Wonderful World of Nature on hot-pink wax!
Friday’s are perfect for Swedish pop songs, in my ears. You’re looking out the window, counting down the windows towards freedom, but as the Slow Summits detail in their latest single, “time’s on your side,” so be sure to take it all in. The song itself is a subtle jangling ditty, rolling and bouncing along the highway of life, all the while Anders drapes his velvety voice atop to layer more melody for your ears. For a band that claims that their “songs aren’t extraordinary,” they sure pack a charming punch that I can return to again and agin.
Listening to this new Alvvays tune really illustrates why the group have continued to rise in prominence through their career. With each album, they’ve taken some touchstones from their first effort, though they’ve spun them towards being crossover pop hits at the same time. This latest single is no different, filled to the brim with noise and distortion, then balanced on a razor’s edge with a smashing blast of pop; the sheer volume work here is definitely an added tool, illustrating the band’s thoughtfulness in recording as they toy with the expectations of breaking out of the indiepop mold. Blue Rev will be out in October via Polyvinyl.