Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The Clientele - Music For The Age Of Miracles

Seven years away from their last release of new material, and after dropping a greatest hits compilation, The Clientele has treated us to another album.  And in our view, Music for The Age Of Miracles ranks up with the band's best work.  Combining the pastoral vibe of psychedelic pop and the wistful vocals of the new romantics with swirling emotional currents and chamber pop arrangements, the album is a like a delightful set of nesting boxes.  Each time you listen is a fresh chance for discovery and a shift in perspective.  Unsurprisingly lush and layered, the songs invoke hazy daydreams and autumnal walks in the forest.  While the compositions are tightly constructed, they manage to give the impression of space and light, as if the players spontaneously chose what to do next.  Charming, beautiful and satisfying, this is not an album for indie pop fans to miss.  A few of the tracks are below, but you'll want to stream the entire record, which you can do at NPR First Listen (link).  You will discover that additional highlights include both the opening and closing songs.

The Clientele are Alasdair McLean, James Hornsey and Mark Keen, with Anthony Harmer joining for this album.  Music for The Age of Miracles is out Friday, September 22 via Merge Records.

Merge Records

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

"Green Doesn't Look Good On You" by Lord Willing

This is a public service announcement from Justin, aka Lord Willing, our friend in Los Angeles.  He wants you to know that "Green Doesn't Look Good On You".  And because you may be devastated by that news, and he doesn't want you to be sad, he has recorded this bluesy, soulful musical message to make it all more bearable.

And because good style advice can be hard to find, you may want to download this Lord Willing track from your favorite digital source.


"Bad Boys" by Paddy Hanna

We haven't featured Ireland's Paddy Hanna here for a while, but his new single "Bad Boys" is a very welcome return.  Smart, slick, and oh so satisfying.  Enjoy it, and make note that 2018 brings his next album via Strange Brew Records.  Paddy will be touring in Ireland this fall.

Website for Strange Brew Records
Bandcamp for "Bad Boys"

Monday, September 18, 2017

Floating Action - Is It Exquisite?

You likely have heard Seth Kauffman before, even if you weren't aware of him.  Perhaps it was with Jim James, or Dan Auerbach, or Angel Olsen.  And if you pay attention to music, you know that good musicians attract and choose to work with other good musicians.  So you might be tempted to think that Kauffman is good at this music thing even before you hear his solo work.  You would be correct, but of course in a world of 'fake news', you want proof.

And your proof is right here, under the title Is It Exquisite?.  Written, played, sung and recorded by Kauffman under the name Floating Action, the album is a veritable celebration of pop music.  The set includes southern soul, a bit of funk, vintage rock, some sunny psychedelic pop and even some dub effects.  Kauffman doesn't recognize traditional boundaries, but his has superb instincts and proves himself to be a top-quality musical brewmaster.  Everything he throws into the hopper on this album works, and works with style.  It is a truly rewarding listen.

Is it Exquisite?  is available via several labels, including PIAPTK and OK Records.  The only remaining question to answer is whether the record is exquisite.  Why yes, yes it is exquisite.

PIAPTK site for Is It Exquisite?
OK Records site for Is It Exquisite?

Siobhan Wilson - There Are No Saints

OK, so maybe there are no saints.  But Siobhan Wilson sounds like an angel on There Are No Saints, and if we have an angel, maybe we can do without the saints.  On this album, her second, offers moments of beauty with contrasting storm clouds and heartbreak.  Wilson's clear vocals are presented in a variety of settings, from spare folk arrangements to piano ballads to J&MC fuzz and distortion.  And while the listener could be forgiven being seduced by the aural delights to the exclusion of all else, it is a mistake to ignore the lyrics.  This is heart-on-the-sleeve stuff with self-awareness and a refreshing lack of self-pity.  Residing in Glasgow, Wilson also has spent considerable time in Paris, and sings in French on two track, including the lovely "Paris Est Blanche" below.

There Are No Saints is an album of charm, passion and craft, and it will become your late night favorite before retiring with a smile on your face.  It is out now via Song By Toad Records.  See the Bandcamp link below.

Bandcamp for There Are No Saints

Friday, September 15, 2017

"Means" by Errant Boy

Over a month ago I devoted digital ink to a 2016 album by Scotland's Errant Boy.  The album was indeed worth my time and effort, but when discussing albums long past the release date, especially by artists involved in other musical ventures, one worries that perhaps the band won't make more music and one has gotten the readers unduly excited.  Fortunately, Errant Boy spares us that concern by releasing new song "Means".  It has an Postcard Records Orange Juice/Josef K sound with excellent dynamics and a pace that gets our blood moving.  And on Fridays, our blood needs moving.  Oh, we would be remiss if we didn't mention that it is a free download.  Thanks, Errant Boy.  Now write a few more; we are insatiable.

Errant Media on Twitter

Thursday, September 14, 2017

"Until We See The Sun" by Beauty Sleep

Introducing Cheylene Murphy, Ryan McGroaty, and Aimee Williamson, collectively known as Beauty Sleep.  We think their brand of upbeat, hook heavy synth and guitar pop is a welcome ray of sunshine on the scene.  A new EP, Nature Will Eat Me, is expected soon.  Meanwhile, you can enjoy their latest single, "Until We See The Sun".  Right here.  Right now.


"Frostbeat" by Sad Palace

Whether Sad Palace are indeed sad, or whether they live in a palace, are questions we'll leave for another day (read: we hope no one asks us about it because we have no idea).  But the four-piece from Britain's south coast can be happy about how their latest single, "Frostbeat" turned out.  The song offers two sides to the band in one package.  After about three minutes of straight up melodic pop, a big guitar riff slams into the picture, grabbing the song and the listener (lovingly and, thankfully, figuratively) by the throat, and then dissolving.  Knowing how to make a memorable impression is important in this industry.  Well done, Sad Palace, well done.

"Frostbeat" is out now via Kissability.  Check your favorite digital outlet.


"A Single Truth" by The Deportees

The Deportees are a five-piece from northeast Scotland that have proven quite adept at a brand of Celtic folk rock that tends towards the dramatic.  Their sound is full, layered and quite satisfying.  The band's debut album is titled The Birth of Industry and will be available on November 3.  The first single is the digitally released "A Single Truth", which thrills will rich harmonies, dark themes and insistent guitar lines.


Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Cody Munro Moore - Perfume Nightmare

On Perfume Nightmare Cody Munro Moore shapes a post-punk soundscape with taut pop-rockers, '80s pop and a bit of house.  The hooks are plentiful and the songwriting clever and smooth.  And the Sydney musician's vocals, often reminiscent of The Cure's Robert Smith, are up to the task regardless of the genre at hand.  As always, we give extra credit for employing a sax, such as on "Just Don't Need It Enough" and "Night Scene".  You may be familiar with Cody's endeavors with Big White or New Lovers, but it doesn't matter if you aren't.  This album stands by itself and we think it marks a big win for Mr. Moore.

Perfume Nightmare is out as a digital download on September 15 via Moore's Dinosaur City Records.

Dinosaur City Records
Twitter for Dinosaur City Records

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Joy Cleaner - Total Hell

Your first question upon hearing Total Hell might be 'is this a compilations of hits from Joy Cleaner?'  Your second question may well be 'who the hell is Joy Cleaner?'  Fair enough, let's take the second question first.  Joy Cleaner is a power pop trio from New Jersey which includes Kyle Wilkerson of the late Makeout Vertigo.  Kyle and pals Joey and Cory display a knack for loading each track with wall-to-wall hooks and playing them with anthem-level energy.  As for the second question, to my knowledge this is their only album to date, but it is full of sharp-edged indie pop gems.  Good stuff at a good price!

Total Hell is available now in digital and CD formats from Jigsaw Records.  See the Bandcamp link below.

Facebook for Total Hell

"Strange Insistence" Gun Outfit

Hard-etched and deliciously textured western soundscapes with mystical musings, the music of LA's Gun Outfit is a special kind of musical treat.  Take a taste with "Strange Insistence" and then mark your calendars for the new album, Out of Range, the band's fifth.  The LP will be released on November 10 via Paradise Of Bachelors.

Paradise Of Bachelors order page for Out Of Range
Bandcamp page for Out Of Range

Monday, September 11, 2017

Even As We Speak - The Black Forest

Once upon a time there was Sarah Records, on of the finest of the indie pop labels.  It was so beloved that in the wake of its sad demise its life has been celebrated in documentary and book form, and the label often is mentioned in reviews of records by current bands if they are deemed to have a style similar to the bands which released on Sarah.  The laudatory postmortems (well deserved, in our professional opinion) prompted renewed interest in some of the Sarah Records stable.  One of such bands is Sydney's Even As We Speak.  They played NYC Popfest last year, and with renewed energy returned to the studio to record their first record in a quarter century.  The resulting The Black Forest EP bears testament to the fact that the band has lost nothing in the intervening time.  From the achingly sweet opener through standout track "Such A Good Feeling" to the country-jam instrumental closer, it is clear that Even As We Speak can still thrill and inspire.  The five-song set is essential indie pop and we highly recommend it.  Get it now in vinyl, CD or digital format via Emotional Response Records.

Bandcamp for The Black Forest
Emotional Response link for vinyl

BMX Bandits - BMX Bandits Forever

Purveyors of bittersweet pop of high quality, BMX Bandits has been around long enough to now have released their tenth album.  Admittedly, that isn't an exceptionally high number for a band formed in 1985, but BMX Bandits have always lived via their own schedule.  The lineup has changed numerous times, with the constant being founder Duglas T. Stewart, who named the band with the expectation that they would be short-lived.  The cast of other performers over time have included, among others, members (or future members) of Teenage Fanclub, Superstar, Soup Dragons, Boy Hairdressers, The Vaselines and Eugenius.  BMX Bandits Forever does not contain any surprises for fans of the band, but that is intended as praise, not criticism.  The album contains a generous sixteen songs of the sort of guitar pop that those of us who admire the band expect and cherish.  With ace-colleagues such as Stuart Kidd and Anton Newcombe, the band offers classicn heart-on-the-sleeve music, with sunshine and regret never far from the surface, and plenty of humor and wry observations to keep the listener engaged.  When a band remains active this long, there is a good reason, and it is that it delivers what we need, and BMX Bandits Forever delivers.

Duglas Stewart on Twitter
Bandcamp for BMX Bandits Forever
Elefant Records


Saturday, September 9, 2017

"End Game" by Johnny Kills

One of the wonders of modern life is that there is an App for just about anything you want to do.  They are supposed to make life easier and more efficient for the user.  And sometimes they even manage to do so, although I suspect that often the greater reward is more to the vendor's side of the ledger than the user's.  But it seems to us that the music world has long had a similar tool.  Pick an emotion or event -- be it unrequited love, political rage, the joy of being young and stupid, the thrill of surfing, the hit of illicit drugs -- there is a song for that.  Yes, there always is a song that helps you own, process or celebrate the moments in your life.

And that brings us to the moments where you have screwed up so badly that there is nothing you can say or do to finesse the situation.  We're talking epic, relationship ending, job trashing, friendship destroying, reputation deflating faux pas.  Is there a song for that?  Why yes, thanks for asking, there is.  The song is "End Game" by UK trio Johnny Kills.  It covers just that situation with as much distortion and bratty vocals as those situations demand.  So if you do something soul-crushingly bad, at least you now have a song to help you deal with it.

Johnny Kills is Tim Lloyd-Kinnings (guitar/vocals), Lewis Lloy-Kinnings (bass/keys/vocals), and Cameron Gipp (guitar/vocals).  Drumming on the record was provided by Fin S. Woolfson.  "End Game" is self-released on the band's own Johnny's Killer Records.  "End Game" is the third of a trio of summer 2017 songs from the band.  Check out "My Shirt Guy Is High" and "Let's Talk About Me" at the Soundcloud link below.  I assure you they are worth your time.


Friday, September 8, 2017

Beaches - Second of Spring

Some bands lose their edge ten years in, and some just stay in place.  And then there are Melbourne's Beaches.  Four years after their second album, the fine She Beats, the quintet delivers the magnificent Second of Spring.  The album is a generous 17 track layer cake of psychedelic rock, equally impressive for its artistry and technical accomplishment.  The songwriting is mature and adventuresome, the melodies and harmonies affecting, and the arrangements textured.  The rhythm section is sharp and aggressive.  And the guitars?  Well, with superb players at lead and two rhythm guitars, the guitars are breathtaking.  These ladies can coo in your ear, or whack your chest cavity with heavy riffage.   But that isn't enough, so they do both in the same song.  The tone of the album reflects the dichotomy of light and dark, with tension and release provoked with every track.  Loving this album is easy, leaving it would be hard.

Beaches are Ali McCann (rhythm guitar), Alison Bolger (rhythm guitar), Antonia Sellbach (lead guitar), Gill Tucker (bass), and Karla Way (drums).  All of the members sing.  Second of Spring is out September 8 via Chapter Music in double vinyl, CD and digital.

Bandcamp for Second Of Spring
Chapter Music page for Second of Spring

"Humpty Dumpty" by Acid Tongue

I'm not sure the world deserves Acid Tongue, but we have them and won't give them back.  And that is final.  As we mentioned a few weeks ago (link), the band is having babies.  Specifically, they are having Babies, their debut full length record.  The LP will be released by Seattle/New York label Freakout Records, and if new song "Humpty Dumpty" is any indication anyone that shares a wall, floor, or ceiling with When You Motor Away World Headquarters better be prepared for nonstop Babies.

Acid Tongue's Fall tour schedule is listed at the bottom of the post.

Bandcamp for Babies
Pre-order page for Babies

Tour Dates:
8/28 – Boston, MA – Zuzu Bar
9/1 – New York, NY – Berlin
9/2 – Brooklyn, NY – Alphaville
9/19 – Brooklyn, NY – The Gateway (Euro Tour Kickoff)
9/27 – Brighton, UK – Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar
9/28 – Hull, UK – ADELPHI
9/29 – London, UK – The Shackwell Arms
9/30 – Portsmouth, UK – The Birdcage
10/1 – Cambridge, UK – Blue Moon
10/2 – Bruxelles, BE – Le Chaff
10/3 – Mannheim, DE – Kurzbar
10/7 – Biarritz, FR – Savsage Festival
10/10 – San Sebastian, ES – DabaDaba
10/12 – Lisbon, PT – Damas
10/13 – Porto, PT – Mas Habitos (Babies LP Release Party)
10/14 – Sevilla, ES – Sala X
10/16 – Toulouse, FR – La Cave a Rock
10/17 – Imperia, IT – Arci Camalli
10/18 – Firenze, IT – Annibale Night @ NOF
10/19 – Roma, IT – Fanfulla 5/A
10/20 – Perugia, IT – T-Trane
11/3 – Reno, NV – Off Beat Festival
11/4 – Reno, NV – Off Beat Festival (2nd Chance)
11/17 – Seattle, WA – Freakout Festival
11/18 – Seattle, WA – Freakout Festival

Thursday, September 7, 2017

"Cherry On Willow" by David West with Teardrops

Three weeks ago we brought you "Swan's Beat" by David West with Teardrops (link).  The song was the first track from the band's October release Cherry On Willow.  They now have shared the title track, so we invite you to have a glammy strut down Willow Street with David West and Teardrops.  Oh yes, we are looking forward to this album.

Bandcamp for Cherry On Willow
Tough Love Records

El Goodo - By Order Of The Moose

Unlike many people, I have actually met a moose.  They are shockingly large, prone to aggression and a bit odoriferous.  So when I am ordered to do something by a moose, I don't take it lightly.  Accordingly, when I received a copy of By Order Of The Moose, I dutifully cued it up and pressed play.   That simple act of self-preservation had two results.  First, I was not attacked by a moose.  Second, I experienced one of my more enjoyable listening experiences of the second half of 2017.  By The Order Of The Moose is a really, really good album, even if you aren't worried about an attack by the largest member of the deer family.

The creation of Welsh psychedelic pop mavens El Goodo, who take their name from a Big Star song, the album reflects the band's appreciation for '60s music.  And we mean a broad swath of '60s music.  There is surf, sunny beach pop, garage, psychedelic, Baroque pop and British Invasion, and even some spaghetti western flourishes.  Oh, we didn't mention the gypsy songs -- we have those too.  These guys can harmonize like the Beatles and Beach Boys (and in some tracks, such as album closer "As You Said Your So Longs", they sound like both those bands in the same song), and the production is full and crisp.  Perhaps almost as impressive as the individual compositions and performances is that the album is so masterfully done that there is nothing jarring about the different styles.  It quite simply is one of the tastiest, most dynamic, musical tapas bistros you can imagine.

They say El Goodo, we say 'oh goody'.

The band are Elliott Jones (drums/percussion), Jason Jones (guitar/vocals), Pixy Jones (guitar/vocals/keys), Lewie Sewers (guitar), Matthew Young (keys), and Andrew Cann (bass).  By Order Of The Moose is out September 8 via Strangetown Records.


Wednesday, September 6, 2017

"Schauer" by unhappybirthday

Before bed I wanted to share this great bit of icy melancholia by German trio unhappybirthday.  The song is the title track for an LP released in 2016.  We've given you links to all of their music, and suggest you start exploring.  You may not get any sleep tonight, but you'll hear good music.

Bandcamp for Schauer LP
Bandcamp for all releases

UV-TV - Go Away EP

Go Away EP could be your new favorite record for getting the old heart rate into man/woman-of-action mode.  Consisting of four blasts of garage and pop punk with sugary vocals, distorted guitar, elastic band bass and pummeling drums, this is the kind of music that reminds you just why you love indie music.  There seems to be a bit of Glasgow's Shop Assistants in the DNA, but with a bit more of the sugar and punk concoction and a bit less of edge-of-the-knife.  All in all, we think it is really good stuff.  The EP is the handiwork of UV-TV, a trio from Gainesville, Florida consisting of Rose Vastola (bass/vocals), Ian Bernacett (guitar/vocals), and Ryan Hopewell (drums).

The record is out now in digital and vinyl formats via Emotional Response Records.

Bandcamp for Go Away EP

"Bullet" by Love Sick

Mid week requires a bit of energy, and if that energy carries a twisted love story, all the better for us.  So here is "Bullet" -- your introduction to Scottish-born, London-based electro pop duo Love Sick.  Slick, propulsive, and oh so sultry, it puts a bounce on your step, and a catchy refrain rattling around your cranium.  Happy Wednesday, people!

B3SCI Records

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

"Chai ( חַי)" by Pageants

Formerly lending her talents to teenage sensations Avi Buffalo, Rebecca Coleman's next act is Pageants.  Originally her solo project, it now is a band with the additions of Devin O'Brien and Dylan Wood.  We featured the band in early 2013 (link), but released material has been sparse to date so we lost track.  However, earlier this year the band released "Lingr" (see the Bandcamp link below), and now have shared "Chai ( חַי)" in advance of Pageants' debut LP.  Dreamy, yearning and upbeat, the song suggests good things for the album.


"Indian Pacific Express" by Wireheads

We're about to do it to you again. Yes, it is time to implant a tune in your brain that will rattle around for days.  You'll even find snippets of the melody bubbling to the surface from time to time in the coming weeks, and after a moment's reflection you will remember that it is from "Indian Pacific Express", the new song from Brisbane's Wireheads.  The song is available as a digital download now, but the really good news is that it is just the first release from the band's upcoming LP, Lightning Ears, which will be available on October 20 via Tenth Court Records.

Bandcamp for "Indian Pacific Express"
Tenth Court Records Bandcamp page

Saturday, September 2, 2017

The Pains of Being Pure At Heart - The Echo of Pleasure

None of us here can describe the pain that may be felt by the pure at heart because, well, none of us at When You Motor Away can speak with experience on the subject of purity.  But over the course of four albums, and continuing with the new The Echo Of Pleasure, Kip Berman's The Pains of Being Pure At Heart ("POBPAH") speaks eloquently on the subject, so we simply will refer everyone to POBPAH on the matter.

When POBPAH burst on the scene they were a breath of fresh air -- wistful yearning, tentative lust, jangle and the crash of melodic noise.  The template has been tweaked from time to time, most noticeably on the more stripped down previous LP Days of Abandon, but The Echo of Pleasure opens up again like a blossom in the spring sun.  The melodies are again bold, and the sound robust, providing a perfect foundation for Berman's songcraft and the performances of the frontman and his able colleagues.  The DNA of '80s British guitar pop resides in the skeleton of the songs, but the trappings reflect more recent Brooklyn indie pop and Berman's singular and consistent muse.  POBPAH fans can rejoice, because this is a good one.

For The Echo of Pleasure Berman is joined by co-vocalist Jen Goma, Jacob Danish Sloan and  Kelly Sloan.  The digital album is out now, and the physical album will be out on September 15.


Thursday, August 31, 2017

"Like You Less" by Jetstream Pony

This is the happy day when we do not need to post demos by Jetstream Pony, one of our favorite new bands.  Today, we have "Like You Less", the band's first official single.  Hook filled fuzz pop with heavenly vocals give you a lot to like, and certainly justify our devotion to this band. The single will be available next week on vinyl from German label Kleine Untergrund Schallplatten.

We also have become aware that the band is named for a retired racing Greyhound who also goes by the name Jenna.  We think Jenna deserves some limelight as well, so we've included a photo of the speedy girl at the bottom of the post.


Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Baker Island - Restless Legs

We love distortion, fuzz, hooks, harmonies, and buzzsaw guitars around here.  And that means we love Restless Legs, the new sophomore album from Newcastle upon Tyne quintet Baker Island.  This is '90s rock dredged in noise pop and garnished with lovely pop details.  We could listen to it all day around here.  If fact, we have been listening to it all day around here.  Check out a few standouts below, and you'll probably head to Bandcamp to hear them all.  When you came here today, you probably had no intention of owning an album named Restless Legs, but you may just do so before you go to bed.

Restless Legs is out now in digital, vinyl and CD formats via Philophobia Music

Bandcamp for Restless Legs

Monday, August 28, 2017

Sachet - Portion Control

On Portion Control, the recent album by Sydney's Sachet, melodic blasts of fuzzy garage rock meets sharp-edged post punk pop with some '90s alt rock touches.  The vibe is upbeat, and ideas are launched, developed and ended concisely but in very satisfying fashion.  We look forward to hearing a lot more from this band.

Sachet is Lani Crooks, Nick Webb, Chris Anstis, and Sam Wilkinson, members of Ray Davies and The Space Banditos.  Portion Control is out now via Strange Pursuits


Saturday, August 26, 2017

"LTF" and "Cracks" by Frøkedal

Falling in love is exciting, frightening, chaotic, and blissful, and frankly can leave even the most articulate love struck individual incapable of describing the complex feelings.  However, not all are so limited, one one lovely exploration arrives via the new double A-side from Norway's Frøkedal.  Covering the tumult, vulnerability and joy with glistening arrangements and crystalline vocals, it is a very satisfying record and may make falling in love seem less daunting.  In any case, it should make your weekend better.

Frøkedal is Oslo-based Anne Lise Frøkedal with Olav Christer Rossebø, Thea Glenton Raknes, Erlend Ringseth, and Ingeleiv Berstad.  LTF/Cracks is out now via Propeller Recordings.

Order page
Propeller Recordings

Ghostpoet - Dark Days & Canapés

Ghostpoet is Obaro Ejimiwe, a shapeshifting musician of considerable talent.  On Dark Days & Canapés, his new album, he delivers stories perfect for those wee morning hours when things slow down and one has to decide whether to go to bed or just head out for pre-dawn breakfast and start the new days.  The power of Ejimiwe's art doesn't derive from tempo, volume, or hooks, but rather from the shaded atmosphere, jazzy accents, guitars jumping in like startled flocks of birds, skittering beats, and the languid but anxiety-tinged vocals.  He adeptly addresses the heaviness of the times with a lyricism and empathy that infuses what could be a very bleak set of themes with a triumphant humanity.  This is an album that presents a worthwhile change of pace for indie music fans.  If you only have time for one track, test drive "Immigrant Boogie" below.  But we highly recommend a deeper dive.

Dark Days & Canapés is out now via Play It Again Sam.


Friday, August 25, 2017

"Free" by Pegboard Nerds X Motopony

Seattle's Motopony has featured here in the past in their accustomed glitch folk/psychedelic pop guise (with a bit of soul and funk).  But today they step into new territory with "Free", a collaboration with Norwegian/Danish electronic duo Pegboard Nerds.  With nods to both melodic rock and the dance floor, it celebrates freedom from the constraints of addictions with both music and message simultaneously uplifting.

Pegboard Nerds are Norwegian DJ Alexander Odden and Danish DJ Michael Parsberg.  Motopony is a five-piece fronted by Daniel Blue.

Link to purchase and stream
Motopony Website
Motopony Facebook
Motopony Twitter
Pegboard Nerds Website
Pegboard Nerds Facebook
Pegboard Nerds Twitter
Pegboard Nerds Soundcloud

"I Took Your Picture" by Cults

We counted ourselves as big fans of Cults when they stomped into our musical consciousness in 2010.  Their darkly haunting take on a retro sound was refreshing and very welcome.  So were were not happy when the core duo of Brian Oblivion and Madeline Follin terminated the band a few years later.  We can't be sure, but perhaps it was our tears that caused a reconsideration (and perhaps not, to be fair).  But whatever the reason, Cults are back in operation.  The sound is a bit different, now delving into '80s power pop.  But that is OK with us -- it is the talent that makes the band, not the style.  Oh, you want proof?  We've got it covered.  Check out "I Took Your Picture" below.

And now that you are interested, note that the new album is Offering, and will be released October 6 via Sinderlyn.  The band will be touring extensively over the next couple of months to support the album.  See the dates and venues below.


Cults North American tour dates
09/16 - Hartford, CT - Small State Great Beer Brewfest
10/14 - Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brenda's
10/15 - Washington, DC - Rock & Roll Hotel
10/17 - Brooklyn, NY - Music Hall of Williamsburg
10/18 - Boston, MA - Brighton Music Hall
10/19 - Albany, NY - The Hollow
10/20 - Toronto, ON - Lee's Palace
10/21 - Detroit, MI - Marble Bar
10/22 - Chicago, IL - Lincoln Hall
10/24 - Minneapolis, MN - Fine Line
10/25 - Madison, WI - High Noon Saloon
10/26 - Des Moines, IA - Vaudeville Mews
10/27 - Omaha, NE - Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts
10/28 - Denver, CO - Globe Hall
10/29 - Salt Lake City, UT - Urban Lounge
10/31 - Seattle, WA - Neumos
11/01 - Portland, OR - Star Theater
11/03 - San Francisco, CA - The Chapel
11/04 - Pioneertown, CA - Pappy and Harriet's
11/05 - San Diego, CA - The Irenic
11/06 - Santa Ana, CA - Constellation Room
11/07 - Los Angeles,CA - Teragram Ballroom
11/09 - Phoenix, AZ - Crescent Ballroom
11/11 - Dallas, TX - Dada
11/12 - Austin, TX - Antone's
11/13 - Houston, TX - White Oak Music Hall
11/14 - New Orleans, LA - One Eyed Jacks
11/15 - Birmingham, AL - Saturn
11/16 - Nashville, TN - Exit/In
11/17 - Atlanta, GA - Aisle 5
11/18 - Carrboro, NC - Cat's Cradle
11/19 - Baltimore, MD - Ottobar

Thursday, August 24, 2017

New songs from Grapell

One of favorite EPs last year was the Love Chamber EP by Swedish neo-soul duo Grapell.  Happily, their desire to explore the musical expression of romantic love was not sated by the EP, so they've gone back to the studio to record a full length titled Crier.  The album will be released on November 3, but for now you can enjoy the first two songs the band has shared.

Grapell are Emil Erstrand and Nils Nygårdh, who have been friends and bandmates since their teenage years.

Bandcamp to pre-order Crier

"of tiredness of sleep" by hd hausmann

We've been a bit sparse in our posts this week, so we will try to make it up to you in the next few days.  Please accept the new cinematic gem from the collective known as hd hausmann.


Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Seafang - Solid Gold EP

If you call yourselves something like "Seafang", you probably aren't allowed to play folk, twee pop, or chamber pop.  St. Petersburg, Florida's Seafang understands this, and they aren't going to tempt the music gods by breaking rules.  So on Solid Gold, their five-track EP for Emotional Response Records the quintet offers shoegaze and fuzz pop anthems, with dense, busy guitars and soaring melodies and vocals.  Think of the aggressive fuzz of Glasgow's Shop Assistants and the soaring anthems of Veronica Falls coupled with more shoegaze density and more vocalists, and you'll get the picture.  But why consider it via pictures?  Listen below and at the Bandcamp link.

Seafang are Heidi (vocals), Susan (guitar), Stacey (guitar/vocals), Gary (bass/vocals), and Paul (drums).  Solid Gold is out now.

Bandcamp for Solid Gold
Emotional Response Records page for vinyl and CD

Peak Body - Peak Body EP

Time for a little fitness, isn't it?  One of our favorite blogs, the New Zealand based POPLIB has written a couple of times about a duo from Hobart, Tasmania named Peak Body.  So we checked out the band's self-titled EP today and, yes, it was well worth our time.  They play a minimalist electronic pop, sometimes spare and sometimes lush.  The rhythms as insistent and the vocals soft and ethereal.   In five tracks the band hits drum and bass, Krautrock, psychedelia, and dreampop, and owns them all.  After a few plays, we think we are totally into Peak Body mode.  Fitness is great!

Peak Body are Emma Jane Marson and Jordan Scott Marson.  Peak Body EP is available at the Bandcamp link below in cassette and digital download formats.


Tuesday, August 22, 2017

"Juglar Child on the Carousel" by The Zephyr Bones

If you are a fan of psychedelic pop with summer beach vibes (welcome to the club), your new favorite band may be The Zephyr Bones.  With members from Spain and Chile, the Barcelona-based quartet plays fuzzy, punchy psychedelic pop to warm your heart and move your feet.  Spanish label La Castanya will release their LP, Secret Place, on November 10.  You can sample the goods via the first album track to be shared, "Juglar Child on The Carousel".  And UK fans should note that the band's first-ever UK show is set for November 24 at The Shacklewell Arms.

The Zephyr Bones are Brian Silva (guitar/vocals), Jossip Tkalcic (guitar/vocals), Marc Lopez (drums), and Carlos Ramos (bass).

Bandcamp for 2016 single Black Lips / Surrounded by Flowers
La Castanya

The Van Pelt - Stealing From Our Favorite Thieves / Sultans of Sentiment (reissues)

Stealing From Our Favorite Thieves

Wound tighter than a death grip and playing guitars like buzzing weapons, The Van Pelt's debut album, Stealing From Our Favorite Thieves, provided fierce post punk and quasi-hardcore in a world diverging into turntables or alternative rock and grunge.  Their acerbic observations were dished in a staccato talk-sing, punctuating the riffs and crashes, headlined by often humorous song titles.  It was defiant and breathtakingly life-affirming, with melody present but suited in a coat of protective aural armor.  And for us, when you listened to it, it was as if this was the only music in the world.  If you were an A&R guy looking for the next big thing, you wanted to be the guy to sign this band.  If you were such an A&R guy, it would end in tears for you.

The band was formed in New York City in 1994 by Chris Leo (vocals/guitar) of Native Nod (and brother of indie hero Ted Leo), with Sean Greene (bass), Brian Maryanski (guitar), and Neil O'Brien (drums).  This debut album was released two years later by a small New Jersey label Gern Blansten, supposedly turning down big money offers.  Apparently, DIY basement rock by disaffected outsiders was too deep in their psyches to shake off for a few dollars.  The explosion that was Stealing From Our Favorite Thieves detonated with great impact, especially with critics, label scouts and college radio, and further marked the band as one expected to continue an upward trajectory.

The reissue of Stealing From Our Favorite Thieves is out now in digital, CD, cassette, and vinyl formats via Spanish label La Castanya.


Sultans of Sentiment

So, what do you do when you are on the cusp of becoming the country's new darling rockers?  Well, if you are The Van Pelt you tack in a new direction.  With Seth Green leaving the band and Yoko Yasuda (Blonde Redhead) joining on bass, the band wrote and recorded songs that emphasized the melodic core of its predecessor and dialed down the volume and pace a bit.  The resulting Sultans of Sentiment, also released by Gern Blansten, offered measured steam of consciousness observations with relaxed and more spacious arrangements.  The band still could bring the noise, such as on "Yamato (Where People Really Die)" and "My Bouts with Pouncing", and the song titles remained in the whimsically absurd range.  Nevertheless, the overall tone of the album risked losing the momentum created by the band's debut. But instead the stripped back approach allowed fuller appreciation of the quality of the songwriting and melodic presentation, bringing the band new fans and greater recognition.  And it is our favorite of the two '90s releases from The Van Pelt.  Sultans of Sentiment also has been reissues by La Castanya, and is out now in digital, CD, cassette, and vinyl formats.

As an indie music fan, you can probably sketch out how this ends.  The band records a third album that doesn't see the light of day (until this decade), and the members of The Van Pelt go on to other projects.  But now, thanks to La Castanya, we have our Van Pelts back.

Bandcamp for Stealing From Our Favorite Theives
Bandcamp for Sultans of Sentiment
La Castanya page for The Van Pelt