We tossed out the first single from California Snow Story not too long ago, but the release date kind of slipped by under the radar, so we should revisit now that there’s a new single and the release date has come! This song’s success lives in the trade-off between male and female vocal performances, and the rest, well, that succeeds on the careful craftsmanship that David Skirving has always placed in his songs. You can grab the new album, Some Other Places, right now from the ultra-reliable Shelflife Records.
Shelflife Records is one of my favorite small labels, and with that, they’ve got an expected sound…but their signing of Dylan Mondegreen is a slight turn to the more casual side of pop music. Here you find the title track of his album Every Little Step, with Mondegreen playing the role of indiepop crooner. It’s relaxed and filled with simple melodies, which might draw similarities to Jens Lekman. I look forward to hearing the complete work from the Norwegeian, knowing I fully trust the label and their choices. Look for the LP on April 8th.
We’ve been on your tail about getting into Talking Bush, from the lovely Shelflife Records label, and I’m pleased to share with you yet another jam of a single from the band. Below, you’ll find “Desperate,” which shows just how much they deserve to be on your radar. It’s got all the elements of a classic new wave synth pop jam, plus these richly deep vocals which juxtapose the whole thing. As we’ve been telling you, look out for big things from Talking Bush; word on the street is they’ll be releasing a full-length sometime next year.
If you notice something is coming out through Shelflife Records, chances are high that it’s going to be damn good. Such was the case when I found Talking Bush and their brand spanking new Ordinary Unusual EP. Talking Bush is the project of a young Russian gentleman whose sound evokes that of The Smiths mixed with a little bit of dream pop. Right now, I’m currently having a hard time figuring out which track I want to post from this EP, so you’re gonna want to head over to their soundcloud and then the Shelflife page to pick this bad boy up.
I love the guitar sound on this track from The Proctors. It’s got this crystalline quality, yet it definitely has faint hints of jangling about it. Still, the song wouldn’t succeed if the vocals didn’t fit right inside the world crafted by the band; they’re not too high, nor too low, in the mix, as if everything is working in unison. The band’s last effort, Everlasting Light, was simply magical, but in this tune, I hear even greater things to come our way soon. No word on exact release date, or title for the record, but you can be assured that indiepop fans are going to fall head over heels for anything the group put out.
Anytime I see a new band or song come on my radar from the folks over at Shelflife Records, I just know its bound to be a good one. Flyying Colours are a Melbourne shoegaze outfit who are on the brink of putting out their ROYGBIV EP, which is coming out next week. To get you excited to get your hands on that gem, I’ve got this perfect pop track from the band that will have you encircled in the male/female dual vocal dynamic, soft, yet omnipresent percussion, and hooks out the wazoo. “Running Late,” just made my day, so won’t you let it make yours?
The Fireworks are a self-proclaimed loud fuzzy pop band from London who have released a bunch of material thus far, but Switch Me On marks their first trip down full-length LP lane. And it is an exciting one, filled with gritty feedback, alluring pop hooks and dueling vocals coated in reverb to pull you into this groups infectious sound.
Switch Me On is an exhilarating chase at high speeds—you’re constantly trying to keep up with The Fireworks in their never-ending energy, but its one that you’re willing, and wanting, to keep pace with, as the lo-fi fuzz rock is as good as it gets. The band bursts through the door with their squalling feedback, utterly distorted guitars, popping percussion and the trading off of vocals between Emma Hall and Matthew Rimmell. “With My Heart,” is just the beginning, breaking the ice so that you can jam along with the band. The chorus is infectious, as Hall and Rimmell share the hook; their voices collide to add to the collected messiness of the sound. It’s not clean and it’s not delicate, but the ferocity gives the band the right amount of grit they need to push forward to other places. For example, “Let You Know” is the least fuzzy track on the record, and it pushes on the jangly nature of the guitars and the smooth vocals rather than the intensity of the feedback. The Fireworks aren’t a one trick pony.
Halfway through, you’re refreshed with “On and On,” which is championed by Emma Hall’s vocals and a killer guitar solo at the end. Like the other songs on this album, this one is also fast and furious, streaming by in a blaze of buzzing guitars and pop hooks and its one of the best tracks on the album. As Hall chants “on and on and on…” as the title suggests, you wish her and the band would just keep on. And they do; later on you get “Corner of My Mind,” which is as close to shoe-gaze as this band gets, and the guitar riffs that cut through the feedback are sharp and crisp, grabbing you with their clarity in the fuzzy cloud of noise. It’s the little nuances such as these that vary from song to song that keep the tracks from getting too redundant or falling down the well of sound.
So you reach the end of the album, and you realize just what’s happened to you: your hair has been blown back a bit, and your socks have been knocked clean off your feet, and you find it a little hard to stop shaking your hips. You’ve been switched on by The Fireworks, and the only cure is to spin Switch Me On again and accept your grunge-y, fuzz pop fate. As far as this genre goes, this is some of the best music you’ll find. Turn it up loud and get down.
Goodly Thousands are a three piece band that formed five years ago in the small city of Dundrum, but are currently based out of Dublin, Ireland. They put out their debut 7″ to much success, selling out that record and gaining a bit of attention. Now they’ve got this new song for you called “Sunshine Hair” which is a the title track off their upcoming EP, which is set to come out March 24th via Shelflife Records, so you know it’s gonna be great. This song already is– it’s got a kind of Pains of Being Pure at Heart jangly guitar riff that starts it out, but then the super crisp percussion kicks in and takes you down the road of twee. Looks like you won’t want to miss out on this band or their Sunshine Hair EP, which you can preorder here.
Band names are often weird, but sometimes they’re really out there. Oddly enough, Pinkshinyultrablast is a name that somehow fits this power-shoegaze group from St. Petersburg, whose sound is a mix of airy dream and heavy noise pop. Everything Else Matters is their debut full-length album, and it is packed with tightly wound tracks that will have your head shaking and your feet tapping fiercely.
You wouldn’t believe my previous statement at the outset of the album, as opener “Wish We Were” creeps in slowly, but as the name of this band suggests, the band just needs a little bit of time to light the fuse before this record explodes into full throttle shoegaze bliss. A few minutes in the song takes off, transitioning from distant and ethereal to tangible and rocking. The drums and infectiously shoegazey guitars kick in, moving the song right along to the sleek sound that Pinkshinyultrablast does so well. “Holy Forest” keeps things heading in this same direction—the band’s sound blends electronic elements like synth and super reverb soaked vocals with the cutting electricity of the white hot guitars to create blazing tracks with speed and intrigue.
Each track pushes through to blossom into its own little explosion of dream pop bliss, some hitting harder and heavier, while other soar through lightly and airy. The vocals play a large part in the balance of Everything Else Matters, creating contrast to the music when its weighed down with a deep bass groove or when the guitars are shredding. “Metamorphosis” and lead single “Umi” are the bands’ best examples of this balance. The first of these two holds true to its name, alternating between simmering instrumentation and straightforward alt rock, the bass line stringing the two together perfectly. “Umi,” on the other hand, is just plain pretty and lush; synths and the lead soft vocals compete for your attention while the peppiness of the percussion bounces you along. Both of these are just two of the types of dream pop you’ll find on this album, and there are a lot more adventurous tracks for you to dance along to.
Just as this firework of an album begins, it fizzles out slowly, akin to the residual smoke that is left behind when the brilliant explosion fades away. What you’re left with is that elated feeling of wonder and excitement, and the burning desire to start it all over again. While this is an album that makes you want to just turn up the volume and jam along, after a couple of times through it begins to fall slightly dimmer each time—still good jams, but a little less hard hitting than the first time.
The Fireworks are an electrifying power dream pop outfit based in London who have celebrated quite a bit of growing success already from their initial releases. They’ve put out a few singles as well as EP’s which should have already gotten your attention, but if you haven’t been formally acquainted with this group, have a listen to the track below. “On and On,” while brief, gives you a perfect slice of electric guitar heavy rock that still appeals to your dream pop sensibilities with the reverb laden vocals of Emma Hall. This group has their debut album, Switch Me On, set to be released February 10th of this year on Shelflife Records, so get excited and pre-order.