I’ve been off battling a cold all week, so it’s good to find a nice little rocker to squeeze into the playlist on a Thursday, just before we roll into the weekend. This Hussy (not to be confused with THE Hussy) tune is really great, and I honestly can’t quit playing it super loud. It offers this fuzzed jangling riff, coated in atmospherics that set up the immediate bounce of the vocals; I love the urgency in Sophie Ellison’s voice as the tension in the track builds. Sometimes you just need a jam of a song to come in and lift your spirits, and pretty sure this tune’s spot on in that fashion. Go on, have fun.
First, I’d like to thank Slumberland Records for the excellent 30 Year Single Series. I paid for it, as it is one of my favorite labels, and then forgot, except when the occasional package shows up on my doorstep with delicious pop treats! Is it over? I don’t know? If so, I scored some great hits! Second, the label in the last few years has dabbled in reissuing some great stuff…the Wolfhounds, the Springfields…and now East Village. To be honest, while I should know the band, I have no idea who they are other (other than a few short paragraphs on the Cloudberry blog long ago), but I find the sampler of their Hotel Hotrod reissue to be quite up my alley. Charming and warm, lightly jangling and of the indiepop persuasion…so yes, I’m picking this up too! If Papa Slumberland can get his hands on that Another Sunny Day compilation, I’ll be quite thankful. Go check out East Village; the reissue drops on January 24th.
The hype machine around Loving has been building and building since their self-released EP, and today comes the announcement of their debut LP, If I Am Only My Thoughts. This single accompanying the announcement teases these lite little bossa-nova harmonies, working behind these sharp airy guitar notes and calmed percussion. This is the ultimate happy escapism vibe; you can feel yourself sinking into your chair, sinking into yourself…and you probably couldn’t be happier about it. Just another intoxicating pop number here, which has all of us at ATH just as excited as the rest of the folks for their LP. You can grab it on January 31st via Last Gang Records.
It seems like a trend nowadays to flirt with the edges of indiepop. I feel like all these acts are employing these soft guitar edges and sweet harmonies…just like Kevin Krauter. Listening to this new tune, you can even hear the shimmering of guitars combined with the super calm vocal delivery; you make that guitar cutting through scream a bit louder and you might even find this landing in some shoegaze territory. But, at the core, is a great melody, something we can all attach to our ears and hum throughout the day; it’s that natural pop sensibility that we all adore, whether we want to admit it or not. I’m not shying away from my adoration, especially with this jam. His new album Full Hand will be out on February 28th via Bayonet Records.
It’s Tuesday, so it’s time to turn your stereos way up and have yourself a little fun, and what better way than with some fresh power-pop from Wild Flowers of America. The video is a sort of homage to the stylistic choices of late 70s/early 80s Elvis Costello videos, and to be honest, the song’s not too far off either. It starts with this almost muted guitar riff, harnessing the natural pop energy behind those riffs, only to unleash them in the chorus in a grand fashion. I definitely appreciate the good old rock n’ roll solo that closes the tune out; this is some of the best pop rock you’ll hear all week! This jam appears on Lost in the Salvation Army, out this Friday via Crutch of Memory Enterprises.
Earlier in November we found out that there would be a posthumous release from Patrick Doyle’s Basic Plumbing project; he’d previously been part of Veronica Falls, as well as his solo work in Boys Forever. But, the album he’d been working on with friend Helen Skinner is set to come to light on January 24th, and why not share another song he penned. I think you can hear sort of an homage to college rock in this tune, particularly in the way the vocals kind of hang out there in the air, moving in and out of the space left between guitars and drums. Keeping Up Appearances will be out next year, with all the proceeds going to LA LGBT Centre and UKs Calm. You can grab it HERE.
When I heard this Jose Junior tune, I felt like I could immediately place it in my brain. It had that wistful sense you got from Hamilton of the Walkmen; it’s the sort of voice that takes you for a long ride that you’re happy to be on. The more you listen, the more Jose’s influences like the Brian Jonestown and Devendra Banhart start to unfold, particularly in the songwriting craft of Banhart. It’s a definite song, with an underlying note about stepping up into adulthood, whether you’re ready or not. He’s fairly new on the scene, so maybe this track will pique your interest.
I’m a few days late to the game, but the new track from Jetstream Pony is just to good not to share with you all, especially as I’m the 666th viewer of the below video! Counting in with drum sticks, the song almost immediately jumps into this fuzzy stomp from the rhythm section, keeping your head bobbing for a solid 2.5 minutes. Of course, the light jangle and ring of the guitars crafts the perfect juxtaposition there, which sets the mood for the warm emotions of the vocals; I like how they stay steady and calm until the slight pop turn of the chorus comes in to play. This gem is on their brand new 7″ for Kleine Untergrund Schallplatten, out tomorrow…but hopefully there’s a full length just around the bend.
Year-end lists (or “best-of”s as most people term them) are extremely hard for me to compile. I listen to (and buy) a lot of music from day-to-day & despite my best efforts truly cannot keep up with the sheer magnitude of quality recordings coming out each year – and 2019 was a pretty fucking great year for music. So here’s my best shot at compiling a list of my “10 Most-Listened-To” albums from 2019 (plus five honorable mentions). They’re in alphabetical order to avoid any sort of ranking, because honestly ranking something as “best” or assigning a numerical rating seems antiquated & frankly diminishes great art, IMHO. (Trouble In Mind Records releases are excluded, for conflict of interest, but it’s safe to say that anything we’d be investing thousands of dollars releasing is – in our opinion – worth your time). Hope you enjoy & possibly discover something new. Support independent artists & record labels!
We took off at the tail end of last week, but one thing I was listening to was the latest release from Montreal’s Holding Hands, Exile. First, all proceeds from the release go to the Native Women’s Shelter of Montreal, so please be sure to throw what you can spare that way. Second, I’d probably stick around this song for the chorus alone; it has that familiar feel to it, that place that in music that just makes you feel like you’ve been welcomed home. In the end, the song takes up this casual jam, illustrating the craft in the songwriting, but of course, you were already hooked by the balladry up front, eh? Keep on listening here friends.