Wednesday, May 23, 2018

High Sunn - Missed Connections

Every year as summer approaches we search for music to provide our summer soundtrack.  You know, music for driving to the beach, music for backyard parties, music for late nights on the deck under the stars.  And a prime contender this year comes courtesy of 18-year old San Francisco musician Justin Cheromiah.  Recording and performing as High Sunn, Justin has followed his well-received 2017 EP Hopeless Romantic with Missed Connections, containing some of the most infectious, guitar pop we've heard in a long time.  We note that Justin is not a rookie when it comes to recording his songs, as he has been recording his own material since he was 14.  But now he is working with a full band and, while still lo-fi, his material is polished, hook filled, melodic, and highly accessible.  Unsurprisingly, the themes run to coming-of-age and teenage angst, but we old guys are fine with that if the music is this good.

Missed Connection commences with the sunshine surf pop of "Summer Solstice", followed by the '90s alt rock "I Thought You Were There" and the upbeat power pop "Those Last Words", with oohs and swoops in the choruses.  And for our money, those aren't even the best songs.  What are the best songs?  Well, the run of songs from track four through the closer, track 10, presents a wealth of choices so consistent that we can't decide for you.  We've presented three candidates below, but we encourage you to stream the album on Bandcamp and decide for yourself.

For this album, Justin's band includes Joe Jensen (drums), Freddy Rivera (lead guitar), and Arianna Vazuez (bass).  Missed Connections is out now in digital, vinyl and CD formats via Stockholm's PNKSLM Recordings.








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Bandcamp for Missed Connections
PNKSLM Recordings

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Color Dolor - Love

Love is the third album by Finland's Color Dolor.  Offering elements of dream pop, electronica, R&B, industrial, and club music, it is a delectable showcase for the craft of Stina Koistinen (vocals) and Nicolas "Leissi" Rehn (instruments and programming).  Adventurous and dynamic, yet intimate, the album looks at love at several levels and from several perspectives, but never fails to delight and entertain.  It is a new musical approach for Color Dolor, but we think that it should provide them with a chance of gaining a major audience.

Love is out now in digital, vinyl, and cassette formats via Helsinki's Soliti Music.









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Bandcamp for Love
Soliti Music page for Love

Monday, May 21, 2018

The Cleaners From Venus - Star Cafe


Another record by Martin Newell, AKA The Cleaners From Venus, isn't really a surprise, although it is thoroughly welcome.  The new Star Cafe even has a bit of a twist as it is a concept album, or perhaps a play waiting for a troupe of willing performers.  It is packed with great storytelling, loosely based on Cinderella and set in a cafe (with the thought that the audience can be the customers).  It offers family drama, hopes and dreams, and the awakening of second chances.  Musically, it boasts the sort of timeless folk pop arrangements that the British do so well.   The recording is lo-fi, but the execution execution and sincerity are top of the range.

Enjoy the album, and if you are tempted to stage a play, Martin has said he may even be willing to offer a bit of scriptwriting.










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Sunday, May 20, 2018

Those Unfortunates - Two Songs About Football


Once again for your listening pleasure, London's Those Unfortunates.  The London band, which released an excellent album last year (link), has followed their recent bus-themed single with a single about football (or soccer, for those otherwise inclined to confuse things).  Consisting of two songs celebrating the beautiful game while showing two sides of jangle pop -- the energetic "Hornsey Automatic FC" and the folky "King of the Lane".  This record is a great way to get into the mood for this summer's world cup.

Those Unfortunates are Ben Brill, Magnus Alanko, Henry Bird, and Seb Brennan.  Two Songs About Football is out now in digital and cassette formats via Gare Du Nord Records.







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Bandcamp for Two Songs About Football


Thursday, May 17, 2018

"Make Your Own Mind Up" by The Firestations


In early April we featured The Year Dot by UK band The Firestations.  To say that the album impressed us is an understatement, and I believe we referred to it as "a musical fireworks show" (link to WYMA feature).  The band is now releasing the shimmering, layered, standout album track "Make Your Own Mind Up" as a single with three added remixes by Bit Cloudy, Grasscourt, and The Nameless Book.  Check out the video or stream below and make your day better.

"Make Your Own Mind Up" is available as a digital release via Lost Map Records, which we expect is the only record label on the Isle of Eigg, an island off the coast of Scotland.






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Bandcamp for "Make Your Own Mind Up"
Lost Map Records



"Sunday Roast" by Courtney Barnett


The answer is "yes, of course!"  The question was "do you want more Courtney Barnett.  We get a lot more Courtney tomorrow when new LP Tell Me How You Really Feel is released.  But we have a video for a song Courtney wrote when she was 13.  The seemingly effortless lyricism of her songwriting and sincerity of her performance slays us.  Being competitive guys we figured that we would write the great stuff we accomplished when we were 13, however, when viewed in print it was obvious that some things don't need to be shared.  And I am reminded, and comforted, that there is a statute of limitations applicable to most of it.

Tell Me How You Really Feel is out tomorrow, May 18 via Mom + Pop Music (US and Canada), Milk! Records (Aus and NZ), and Marathon Artists (UK and Europe).



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Wednesday, May 16, 2018

"An Air Conditioned Man" by Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever

We still are about a month away from the release of the debut LP from Melbourne's Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, but the good lads don't want us to suffer too much while waiting.  Accordingly, we have another album track to enjoy while we wait for Hope Downs to drop.  Indie rock heaven, folks.

The album will be out June 15 via Sub Pop.






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Bandcamp for "Mainland"
Sub Pop

Monday, May 14, 2018

Death and the Maiden - Wisteria

We have a wisteria growing alongside our front steps.  It winds up the pillars of the overhang and overhead trellis, and then spreads up, out and across, creating a virtually impenetrable tangle of branches and leaves that is eight feet high, 10 feet front to back and 14 feet side to side.  At this time of year it blossoms, and the visual effect is stunning.

And with our own foliage in mind, we think that Wisteria is an apt name for the new album from Dunedin, New Zealand's Death and the Maiden.  Its nine tracks present dark, tangled pop, full of mystery and unease, but always propelled forward by an insistent, inspired polyrhythmic beat.  The synths and reverbed guitars create an enveloping sound, like a dense aural fog.  The overall effect is hypnotic, evocative, and addictive -- at the same time claustrophobic and liberating.  And frankly, after listening to it we find it hard to turn directly to other other music.

Death and the Maiden are Danny Brady, Lucinda King, and Hope Robertson.  Wisteria is out now via Fishrider Records and Occultation Recordings.










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Bandcamp for Wisteria
Firshrider Records
Occultation Recordings