Friday, July 21, 2017

Life Model - Lucky EP

Today is Life Model's lucky day.  Or, more precisely, their Lucky day, because their new EP with that title has been released.  The band has been known for their dreamgaze (dreampop + shoegaze), but this record finds them muscling up with a touch more rocking, and it is a sound they do very well.  Opener "Skin and Bones" rumbles and threatens like something seeping out of the Seattle underground in the early '90s.  Title track "Lucky" brings the melody in a noise pop charmer.  The lovely "4ever" and "Together" hint at and build upon the band's dreampop roots.  Take it for a spin below -- if you are looking for good, new music, this may be your lucky day as well.

Life Model is Sophie Evans, Chris Smith, Joanne McCafferty, and Michael McDonald and they are based in Glasgow.  Lucky is out now in cassette and digital formats via Frux Tapes.



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Thursday, July 20, 2017

"Press Play And Escape" by Teflon Sega

We started out the day with some R&B, so we'll continue with an electronic R&B/future pop track from up and coming American artist Teflon Sega.  Keep your ears open -- we are sure you will hear more from him.


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"Do You Want My Love?" by Harpoons

Today is almost the end of the week.  Almost.  What is needed is a shot of energy to help us make it to Friday.  And where will we get it?  We will get it from "Do You Want My Love?", the new disco-tinged R&B song from Melbourne's Harpoons.  Put it on repeat, and make it through the week.  And then send the band a thank you note.

Harpoons are Henry, Jack, Bec, and Marty.  Their second album will be released later this year.



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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Various Artists: 23 Bangers - The Casual Lurkers Guide to Emotional Response (2017)

Let's be honest here - we all find ourselves feeling a bit lazy at some point.  For example, every now and then I think I should make a new playlist with my favorite recent songs, favorite songs overall, favorite songs of a certain genre, or whatever.  But then I sit down, open a beer, and let the moment pass.  True, it sometimes takes two beers for the moment to pass, but I'm not a quitter so I stick with it.  And that's all fine, except that after the moment passes I don't have the hits compilation I had intended to make.

However, once again Jen and Stew at Emotional Response Records have saved the day.  Emotional Response Records releases a lot of records, in a lot of styles, by artists from lots of places around the globe.  As a public service for us lazy types, they are offering 23 Bangers - The Casual Lurkers Guide to Emotional Response (2017).  As the title suggests, the record contains 23 songs selected from the label's 2017 releases.  It is a no effort, no fuss and quite low-priced way to get a hits compilation of indie rock, punk, psychedelic, electronic, and indie pop songs well worth collecting.  Try some songs below and then visit the Bandcamp link.















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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The Americans - I'll Be Yours

We generally make up our own minds around here.  In fact, we are quite comfortable with our enviable position as one of the premier tastemakers in indie music [citation needed].  But that doesn't mean that we ignore the opinions of other worthies in searching for good new music.  And when T. Bone Burnett and Jack White, among others, recognize a band's talent, we are content to be followers for a day.  And that brings us to The Americans -- a band whose interest in pre-war Americana roots music has broadened into an appealing brand of roots rock.  A brand that reflects rockabilly, country, blues, Americana, roots rock and swaggering rock and roll.  We featured the band's The Right Stuff EP a couple of months ago (link), and were pleasantly surprise that a full LP --  I'll Be Yours -- is available so soon.  Energetic stompers, roadhouse anthems, and slow-burning ballads showcase a band with deep understanding of their influences and formidable talent and commitment.  The songwriting is as strong as the performances are sincere.  And while the album impresses from the opening notes of the upbeat "Nevada", it still manages to be a 'grower', revealing depth with repeated listens.  The Americans have landed.

The Americans are Patrick Ferris (vocals/guitar), Jake Faulkner (bass), and Zac Sokolow (guitar).  I'll Be Yours is out now in vinyl, digital and CD formats via Loose Records.








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"Move to Run" by the Ocean Party

Here at WYMA World Headquarters, we are very fond of oceans and parties.  So it won't surprise anyone reading this post to learn that we also are very fond of The Ocean Party.  The Melbourne six-piece has been a favorite here for the last several years, and we even hauled ourselves out to see their show here in Seattle a few month ago.  Despite being at the end of a long overseas tour, they managed to be very entertaining and charming, and the memories still linger pleasantly in our minds.

But enough of the past, because The Ocean Party is ready to release another LP.  Beauty Point is coming to our ears and hears on August 18 via Spunk in Australia and New Zealand and Emotional Response Records in the US.  Well have more on the new album in the coming weeks, but here is a very tasty hint of what is to come.





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Thursday, July 13, 2017

Waxahatchee - Out in the Storm

Out in the Storm, the fourth Waxahatchee album from Katie Crutchfield and company, takes everything that has been good and true about Waxahatchee albums past, and almost impossibly makes it better.  Crutchfield's approach is raw, honest, and at times lacerating.  But she never forgets that a song's impact is also dependent on its ability to entertain, and entertain she does.  This album is ten songs, and a bit over a half hour, of crunchy, '90s-influenced indie rock and power pop, and a few simmering indie pop ballads, laying out Crutchfield's dissection of a breakup, with the spotlight on both the other party and herself.  Unlike previous Waxahatchee albums, Out in the Storm was recorded with a full band, including sister Allison lending her own vocal prowess to Katie's.  And those elements, in addition to excellent production, show to good effect.  The album as an epic feel.  Moreover, despite the "breakup album" theme, the overall mood is defiant and fierce, rather than weepy and downtrodden.  One of my favorite songs is the soaring "Sparks Fly", but there are sparks on a broader scale as well, because throughout the album Crutchfield displays the ability to make lyrical points as if live electric wires were embedded in them.  This is the sound of a formidable songwriting talent clearing the decks for the next chapter, and it is glorious.

Out in the Storm is released in vinyl, digital, CD and cassette formats tomorrow, July 24, via Merge Records.






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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

The Stevens - Good

Yes, it has been a long, long time since the last album from Melbourne's The Stevens.  But take it easy on them.  If some young men are finding the cure for dread diseases, building safe, diverse and inclusive communities, and negotiating lasting peace, you can't expect them to churn out guitar pop on demand.  Admittedly, there is no evidence that the members of the band were engaged in any such activities, but we don't know that they weren't, so perhaps we should cut them some slack.  I'm sure they were doing very important things since the release of their debut LP in 2014.

And one of those things is crafting 18 lo-fi gems that we find on Good, their new album.  This record is a heady brew of crunchy Guided By Voices-styled indie rock, Flying Nun-style jangle, '70s prog rock, and Television Personalities arty guitar pop.  Or, to put it in simple terms that don't make those of you two drinks into your evening try to sort through the influences, this is varied, melodic, eclectic, soaring, thrilling music with heart, humor and brains.  The Stevens find pop bliss in every corner of their music and burnish it brightly it for their fans.  I suppose that it isn't earthshaking news to say that a 18-track album has some good songs.  But Good is rich in really good songs, and suffers no weak ones.  In fact, if I were to compile a list of my favorite 30 songs of the year so far, Good would have several entries.  Try a few below, and then ask yourself, should I deny myself pop bliss?  I expect you will answer the question correctly.  We trust you, we really do.

The Stevens are Travis MacDonald, Alex Macfarlane, Gus Lord, and Matt Harkin.  Good will be released by Chapter Music in digital, vinyl and compact disc formats on Friday, July 14.







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Tuesday, July 11, 2017

The Popguns - C88 Demos

What can be better than some music from The Popguns?  More music from The Popguns, of course.  On the heels of Sugar Kisses, their stellar new album for Matinee Recordings (our feature here), the band has released an EP of late '80s demos.  The five-track record was available in CD and digital formats, but you all are late to the party and will have to be content with the digital download.  But content, I suspect we all will be.



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Stutter Steps - Floored EP

We assure you that Pittsburgh's Stutter Steps was not created specifically to attract our attention.  But followers of the blog could readily conclude otherwise after listening to the band's new EP Floored.  Fronted by songwriter Ben Harrison, who is a curator at the Andy Warhol Museum, Stutter Steps offers EP six tracks of jangling, melodic guitar pop that simultaneously recall the so-called Dunedin sound and West Coast guitar pop, with a touch of the Velvet Underground.  The lyrics are intelligent and poetic, and Harrison's vocal delivery, ably supported by Cindy Yogmas, is warm, sincere, and appealingly gruff.  Four of the six songs are up-tempo, chugging nuggets of perfection.  The other two, "Identical Eyes" and closer "Encino" display the band's adept hand at slower arrangements, with the latter boasting a bit of countrified charm and the former reminding me a bit of Chicago's Bare Mutants from about five years ago.  Obviously, the selling point isn't that Stutter Steps is doing something new, it is that they are making perfectly crafted music in a timeless genre.  It you are a fan of The Bats, Galaxie 500, Luna, Zebra Hunt, The Mantles, and Expert Alterations, you will find Floored to be a shiny new treasure.

In addition to Harrison (vocals/guitar), Stutter Steps are Sean Finn (drums), David Horn (bass), Phil Jacoby (guitar), and Cindy Yogmas (vocals/keys).  Floored is out now via Cleveland's Blue Arrow Records.






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