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!
Last year everyone was raving about the Sharon/Angle single, and it definitely was a good jam; that same vibe of nostalgic radio pop comes into play when listening to Des Moines’ Elison…but with a twist. Elison, led by Marissa Kephart turn away from the expansive chorus and go for immediacy, dropping in a pure burst of pop rock, that takes the band closer towards a sound akin to Alvvays. So you get the best of both worlds by turning this one up; you can hold onto the broader brush strokes of indie rock and turn over to flirt with the indie pop side…and no matter what, you’ll be rewarded with this killer new single.
With ties to Joanna Gruesome and Porridge Radio, it would make sense that SUEP would fall on our radar, and here they drop in with a brand new video for their single “Misery.” But, one of the things about being tied to other bands is that it tends to shadow expectations, so put those aside and slide into the Suep’s DMs, as they’ve got something going on here. There’s this lounge bounce, almost a jazz-inflected pop ditty, with crooned vocals swirling as the band build layer upon layer of pop sensibility. They employ various electronic and psychedelic notes, twist them up with backing vocals and then present it in a tripped out video format. If you were into the work of Jonathan Bree, well, this band takes that and stretches it into a fashionable pop spectacle. Keep an eye out here, and we’ll keep you posted if we hear more! This single brought to you courtesy of Memorials of Distinction.
Rachel Love, formerly of Dolly Mixture, has been teasing us throughout 2021 with pop breadcrumbs from Picture in Mind, her new LP. Today is the day we finally get to hear the whole thing in full, and why not celebrate that by sharing another one of the great focus tracks from the record. This one’s all about using subtle musical structure as a vessel for the voice. You get these little electronic flourishes, bobbing in and out of your speaker, twinkling at times in front of the snappy rhythm section. Then Rachel just lets her voice float, and its never sounded as heavenly as you might hear here. This is one of the best surprises pop fans have gotten this year, so spend some time with this track…and album!
Starting off this Wednesday dreaming a little bit, perhaps wishing I was somewhere else entirely…so it works perfectly that I had this track from Peli Gene hanging about in the old inbox. There’s just something so satisfying about the emotive quality that drops in the moment the guitars crash into the synths in this song’s opening moments. The vocals come across so sedate, relying upon the angular notes of the guitar to force them into altered tones that maximize the melody. It’s pretty simple in its structure, but ultimately it was so satisfying that I just kept coming back to get the sweetness of those guitar tones.
SUEP is a band that should be on your radar, immediately. The band is comprised of members of Porridge Radio, Joanna Gruesome and PC World, all heavy hitters in their own right. For starters, this video is just pure joy; it feels like we can finally stop for a moment and not take our lives so serious; it’s freeing in that sense. Musically, the band have crafted this sort of amalgam of pop sounds, often leaning towards the “everything and the kitchen sink” method; it reminds me of a more modern, almost punk influenced version of Architecture in Helsinki…if anyone remembers that band. You’ll find it kind of funky, you’ll find yourself gently swinging your hips and grinning, which is all you need to keep on top of SUEP. This single brought to you courtesy of Memorials of Distinction.
Browsing through a lot of recommendations from this last Bandcamp Friday, and I caught onto this track from Air Devi that really stuck with me. For the first minute or so, you feel like you’re in a fairly traditional indie pop genre, blending soft beats and melodic vocals, moving towards a dreamy mood. But, one of the things I loved about this is when songwriter Devi Majeske adds in some layers, like the sitar work she’s been working at including since first learning the instrument. Or, maybe I’m in love with the emphatic punch just before the 3 minute mark. I want folks to take more risks, and I’m down if they do.
Feel like we should slink our way into the weekend, gently tapping our toes as we dream of what’s in store, and what better way than this new single from Mother Sun. The Canadian outfit seem quite unassuming in their presentation of this song; the music almost feels like a carefully mellowed brand of indie rock. Drums tap things out from start to finish, with the vocals soothing like aloe on a fresh sunburn, leaving your skin with this nice chilled touch. Plus, the horn section for arrangement accompaniment is stellar, and placed so well that you’re going to struggle to find anything wrong with this jaunty jam. This single’s one of a handful out now from Divine Bovine.
I was hooked the moment this pulsing note opens the new single from Finland’s Color Dolor; it’s got this driving nature, yet evolves into this more thoughtful vibe…and that’s just one musical element here. With the band’s announcement that they’ll be dropping Blurry Things this November, they’ve created this really superb pop tune to work with it. Stina’s voice seems calm, though she seems to be fighting with the notes in the chorus; this seems to allude to the influence of coping with anxiety that she claims influenced the track. Cool vibes on this new tune; they drop Blurry Things via Soliti on November 26th.
It’s been almost 15 years since The Smallgoods dropped their last album, but with Lost in the Woods scheduled to hit Friday, we were fortunate enough to snag an early listen to the record for you. When we first brought you news of the band’s forthcoming LP, we said that the band aimed to drop bold pop rock, railing against a stale musical climate! While I love the record’s opener, I think a great way to sample the goods from this album is to jump to track two, “Where’ve You Been All This Time;” I’ll go out on a limb here and say this sounds like Dear Catastrophe Waitress era Belle and Sebastian, swelling with arranged sounds and striking power. But, things aren’t always full of bombast; I’m totally in love with “Satellite;” it feels like the perfect pop song and thus I dare you to find a better one to have on repeat today. Shit, now I can’t stop pressing play on “A Month of Sundays;” this record is filled with twists and turns, each equally rewarding. Just imagine yourself on a scavenger hunt of every great pop sound in the last 30 years, but instead of tripping over 30 years of songs, you’ve got the only 10 tunes you’ll need today! Lost in the Woods drops Friday via Lost and Lonesome.