Rider Release Debut EP

Rider might be a new name on your radar, as it is mine, but the project is helmed by Frode Stromstad of I Was a King. The Norwegian project also includes Honey Radar‘s Jason Henn on drums, which should further our interest on this side of the pond. This project definitely pulls in Frode’s familiarity with little nuggets of pop, though admittedly, this feels a bit grittier, in the best way possible. “Deep Rivers” has some faint GBV references, though Stromstad’s voice is too kind, offering more of a melodic feel. I think the easiest to access for folks will be “Smell the Floor,” built on huge riffs disguised beneath layers of fuzz, though rest assured there’s melodic treasure lurking beneath this song’s surface. Just imagine if Comet Gain were a power pop band; then you’ll understand Rider. Stream the whole EP below!

Digging on The Umbrella Puzzles

Everyone in the little circle of indiepop nerds has been dropping hints to me that I should check out the Umbrella Puzzles, and I’m glad I finally came to my senses. You can stream the band’s forthcoming EP before its release, and you’ll hear what I’m talking about. My first run through, I could hear the indiepop vibes going on in the vocals; they have that melodic softness that makes fans of the genre swoon. Musically, it had this almost classic psychedelic pop moment, but the more I listened, the more I feel like the band has no problem calling themselves fans of acts like Television Personalities. Sure, there’s a nostalgic rock vibe, but it has this bounce to it that you’ll surely find yourself enjoying this afternoon. The EP is available on November 14th from

New Music from Made-Up

Imagine that you took bands like the Clientele, Animal Collective and Elvis Depressedly…then throw it in a blender and see how fucking beautiful the world could be…that’s what this new track from Made-Up sounds like to me. It has this warped, warm coating that intoxicates the listener, while still making nods to our love of pop sensibility. Still, it has this natural intimacy that lends itself to the vibe we often get with bedroom recordings; it’s sort of the perfect blend of all your favorite things, allowing you, encouraging you, to get swept away in the world. Look for the Made-Up EP, out March 8th via Forged Artifacts.

Another Pop Number from Jupiter Sprites

I’ve written about Jupiter Sprites, and now that we’re making our way to the morning, its time for some more thoughtful fare, something slightly dreamy, something new from the Seattle outfit. I like the happy, almost yacht-rock vibe of the guitars, meanwhile the keyboards wash the whole track in this most tranquil vibe. The vocals are perfect, they match both moods, the lightness of the guitar and the dreaminess of the electronic vibe, and at times, they almost come in like an added instrument…if you’re willing to let yourself go. You’ll hear this track on the group’s self-titled EP, which drops on February 1st.

Dreamy Pop from Jupiter Sprites

You all know how I love a good bit of dream-scape with my pop music, and this Jupiter Sprites tune definitely hits the spot. The guitars initially seem like they’ll be offering up some brighter future for us all, jagged and bright from the get-go. But, once the vocals come in, layered and atmospheric, the song’s bent turns into the depths of your subconscious. It does keep with a nice contrast, as the guitars beneath still seem to be battling the voices…all the way through to the electronic flourishes near the song’s last third. If this is up your alley, then look for the band’s self-titled EP out on February 1st.

Nice Rocker from Sauropod

  1. I don’t know too much about Oslo-based Sauropod, but I feel like I need some sort of noisy rocker to kick start Monday. It’s a guitar-pop masterpiece pulling on fuzzy guitar lines and a catch chorus that sounds a lot like Nirvana’s “Sliver.” I can’t help myself, however, I just want to turn it up and sing along like some freed juvenile. Plus, the grunge rockers are giving a message within the confines of this number, offering their proposed retribution for men who assault women. Hooks and a message? Happy Monday. Look for their self-titled EP to drop on August 24th via Propeller.

Eclectic Pop from Will McKay

There’s so much to enjoy when listening to Will McKay‘s music. Walking into this track, you’re likely to feel a little nostalgic, as it has a classic rock bounce. But, McKay quickly turns the song into something more dreamy as he allows his pop sensibility to swirl during the chorus. His vocal delivery is super casual, and as it meets up with the bouncing tempo it takes on a youthfulness that makes his tune all the more endearing. You should check out his brand new self-titled EP that he just released, featuring this enchanting little ditty.

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New Sloan Peterson Tune

While we usually give Melbourne a lot of focus here, we’ll be turning to Sydney where we find songwriter Sloan Peterson offering up some solid indie rock. Listening to this track, you can see Sloan fitting in with the styles present in a lot of current US contemporaries, bringing in these faintly hazy vocals to push the semi-psych pulse of the tune. I love that there’s not tricks, just a simple straight aheads blast of enjoyable pop music. She’s in the process of finishing up touches on her self-titled EP, which is set to be everywhere later on in the summer.

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Premiere: Western Homes Video + Super Secret Show

Just before the year closed, Western Homes released a great self-titled EP (you can buy it right HERE), and now there’s a brand new video to go with the track “Mind the Gap.” The track itself is a pretty bare bones affair, mostly consisting of vocals and guitar work, but it’s the unique quality of the vocals that always attracts me…it’s part guttural punk rock and part balladeer. In the video we find Westy in a contemplative mode, set against various local backdrops and bedroom shots. It’s a great way to get into Western Homes, and a great way to get into the catalog of Super Secret Records…who are having a showcase tonight at Beerland with Quin Galavis, New Berlin, Nick Allison and, of course, Western Homes!

Drifting Pop from Bartholin

ddOh Friday mornings. Somehow, we’re all looking towards the weekend, sometimes it’s all that consumes us. For me, this Bartholin has my mind wondering to what’s ahead, what hides beyond the horizon. It’s the new project of ATH fave Drew Danburry and Cat Leavy, building on a steady drip of pop. The opening moments are pleasant enough, as each breathy vocal turns, but I wasn’t sold completely until after the 2 minute mark where the vocals soar, met with backing accompaniment…and now, I just can’t wait to hear what else the two have in store. They’ll be releasing a self-titled EP next Friday, so keep your ears peeled.

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