Pleased to Meet You: The Variable Stars

One of the great things about the last 30 years is the ease with which we can dig out old files and tapes and give them a proper re-release, which is how I came upon The Variable Stars. Our friends over at Recorded Psychic Readings reached out to let us know they’d be dropping a tape from the Bay-area bands early recordings. Take a listen to either of the songs below and you’ll surely see where I fell in love here; it’s got the charm of the Pastels or Comet Gain, albeit with just the faintest hint of modern indiepop. Honestly, I love how the vocalist seem to perfectly compliment one another, particularly when they’re uniting for a nice melodic push. If, like me, you hadn’t heard of this band, well, spend some time streaming these bops! All Signs Point to Life will be out this Friday!

Stream Orange Dots Latest LP, Deflated

Another band from the hotbed of Oakland, Orange Dots, has just released the stellar Deflated LP, and I figured you could find a bit of joy in listening to this collection. The PR describes it as “Aztec Camera songs but reimagined by Robert Wyatt,” which should have all you rushing to click the play button here. Personally, I’m loving “A Lot to Take” as my current standout jam, offering this sort of smoothed out jazzy pop you might expect Edwyn Collins to throw your way. But, perhaps what’s so intriguing about Deflated isn’t the hits, it’s the way Sean McDonnell moves back and forth between different brands of pop offerings; you’re not going to find a single song here that sounds like any of the others’ instead, they’re all naturally linked by Sean’s songwriting expertise. This whole LP is now available via Recorded Psychic Readings.