Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Fall Companion

Afternoon Naps

Afternoon Nap's first record Sunbeamed somehow slipped by me back when it came out, but after finally hearing it a few months ago, I made sure I would miss out of their new LP, Parade. Aside from the summery-titled "Beach Bums", Parade looks and feels like a perfectly chilly and jangling record. The one-two-three-four punch of "Mitten Fingers", "Seasons May Change", "The Fall Companion" and "Catholic School" in the middle of the record is an utter joy to listen through. There's no work at all involved in making it through this record. The songs are simple and catchy and flow right through you, yet not even one of them seems to feel forgettable. I can't believe these guys aren't getting as much attention as The Pains – they've certainly got the chops. Listen to "The Fall Companion" and you'll see what I mean! Whirling keys and guitars that sparkle and shimmer brighter than the finest champagne! What else could one ask for???

[MP3]: Afternoon Naps :: The Fall Companion (Highly Rec'd!!!)

Afternoon Naps on MySpace!
Parade is out on Happy Happy Birthday To Me! Buy it!

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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

New Pants Yell!: "Cold Hands"

Pants Yell!

Pants Yell! have just posted up a new song from their upcoming Slumberland debut on MySpace this morning! It's a new, pretty much completely different version of their song that appeared on the first Skatterbrain compilation. Along with it's fuller instrumentation and quicker beat, "Cold Hands" seems to also be sporting a few new lyrics and a shortened title! While I'd gotten pretty familiar with the other version, I'm loving this one too just after a few listens and I'm now officially even more excited for the new record even more than I thought I could be. Received Pronunciation will be out November 10 on LP/CD care of Slumberland Records! A PY! album on vinyl!!! Slumberland makes dreams come true, folks.

Go Listen to "Cold Hands" on MySpace!

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Video: Ida: "Shotgun"

Ida would hardly be indiepop, but hey it's almost October and the leaves are really starting to fall now and there COULD NOT be a better time for their lush, warm melancholy. If Simple Machines were a beverage supplier, then Ida were their brand of hot tea.

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Monday, September 28, 2009

Video: Mazzy Star: "Fade Into You"

I haven't got a lot of time this morning before I have to run off to class, so here's the black and white version of the video for "Fade Into You" by Mazzy Star. I've had it stuck in my head since I went to bed listening to it the other night. Over fifteen years later and it's still one of the most haunting pop songs ever.

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Leafy Lanes

Apple Orchard's new, self-released Leafy Lanes EP showed up on my doorstep about two weeks ago – just in time for Fall. Despite the EP title's obvious seasonal suggestions, the music within more than drives home the EP's languid, seasonally-thematic overtones. Then, Apple Orchard's brand of indiepop has always been pretty appropriate for the year's colder days – you know, those days when a hot drink just won't do the trick, and what you really long for is the reliable comfort of a dreamy keyboard melody. Ryan and Dale have got them in spades, but on Leafy Lanes we also see the odd jangling lead ("That Sleepy Side of Town") or slow-burning solo (their cover of Carnival Park's "Fall Fast"). I don't think I've listened to this EP even once past noon and I think that's just fine, and I think the boys of Apple Orchard could only agree. So, if you need a warm wake up call on these increasingly chilly Autumn days, I'd recommend picking yourself up a copy of Leafy Lanes.

For those unfamiliar with Apple Orchard, here's a little something to convince you:

[MP3]: Apple Orchard :: Hit Or Miss (Very Recommended!)

Apple Orchard on MySpace!

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Video: Sourpatch: "I Want You Either Way"

Haha. Right after finishing up that Sourpatch post I noticed that they just put up this brand new video all of five hours ago! Everything sounds much more beautifully mixed here and this video is just a blast! I'm guessing "I Want You Either Way" is gonna be on that upcoming LP! I really can't wait now! EEEEEEeeeeeeee!

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The Cats and Dogs are getting along

Sourpatch at SF Popfest (photo by Steve Louie)

Sourpatch have a new four-song EP out! YES! It's part of WIAIWYA's monthly singles club! Somehow I neglected to notice this at all between July and now, but better late than never I suppose. I had the Fun EP blasting during a chilly walk up to the city yesterday, which seemed like the perfect setting for it, and I think I've really fallen in love with them! It's an utter shame there aren't more bands of the moment that recall this kind of early 90s punky pop K sound – but then I guess that's what makes Sourpatch so special to me, so I guess I can live with that. My only complaint of these songs is that the guitars are pretty low in the mix. I don't know if it was intentional, but I'd really love to have them in my face a little bit more. Regardless, Sourpatch should be everyone's new favorite band! If you don't believe me, take a listen to "Fun" – it's such a perfect blast of, well, fun!

[MP3]: Sourpatch :: Fun (Wayyyy Recommended!!!)

Sourpatch's debut LP will be out soon on Happy Happy Birthday To Me! Yay!
Sourpatch on MySpace!

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Monday, September 21, 2009

The Mantles

The Mantles

The Mantles new, debut LP on Siltbreeze is too awesome. I've been glued to it for the past 48 hours and the flawless songs it holds. It's not the sort of stuff I typically gravitate to, but immediately heard echos of The Dentists and The Chills – but maybe a with a bit more psychadelia thrown in – and now I'd say I'm totally hooked. I'm still obviously drawn more to the record's first half (what I would consider to be the "poppier" half), but beginning to end it's still an awesome record with some really fantastic hazy production. Here's a song from that first, "poppier" half, "Don't Lie".

[MP3]: The Mantles :: Don't Lie (Highly Recommended!!!)

Get the record from Siltbreeze!
The Mantles on MySpace!

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Thursday, September 17, 2009

New Veronica Falls: "Beachy Head"

Veronica Falls

For those of you – myself included – who have been dying to hear something new from Veronica Falls, I'm happy to report that they've just posted a new track on MySpace! It's called "Beachy Head" and as the name would more than imply, it sounds pretty surfy – dark surf, if you will. As expected the guys and gals of Veronica Falls have absolutely nailed it yet again with the vocal harmonies. Holy shit can these kids sing some terribly infectious harmonies.

Listen to "Beach Head" on MySpace!


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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Introverted Romance in our Troubled Minds

P.S. Eliot

I was first introduced to the Alabama four-piece P.S. Eliot via the awesome DC blog I Could Die Tomorrow sometime around the beginning of this year. I downloaded their demo and played it nonstop and was dying to hear an actual release for months and months. P.S. Eliot's brand of mostly fast, noisy, female-fronted pop/punk did everything I didn't even know I was dying for then. They eventually drifted out of my mind a little bit, but just a few days ago I found out that they've released their debut LP!

Introverted Romance in our Troubled Minds is out now care of Salinas Records and though it sounds like their recordings have lost a good bit of fuzz I loved, the songwriting is still way above the bar and I'd be lying if I said it hasn't already become one of my most favorite records of the year. New songs "Tennessee" and "Sore Subject" prove the band are still writing killer songs, but "Tonight", which appeared in much noisier form on their demo, is the current highpoint for me. In terms of a simple reference, I'd say in girls and guy of P.S. Eliot were born a little earlier they would have been welcomed with open arms by a certain Jenny Toomey and Kristin Thomson in the early 90s. If you love the song – and you will! – go grab the LP from Salinas! It's only $7.50!

[MP3]: P.S. Eliot :: Tonight (Soooo Recommended!!!)

P.S. Eliot on MySpace!

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Video: Grass Widow: "Lulu's Lips"

This Grass Widow song is going to be stuck in my head for days and days. There are some seriously infectious "La La La"s going on in this song!

Grass Widow have got a new 12" out on Captured Tracks which you can go check out at the label's new, actual website! Hooray!

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The Last Dance!

Imagine my surprise when I stopped by the Magic Marker Records website and was greeted with the completely amazing news of a new Free Loan Investments record!!! Their new Last Dance 7" EP is out now and sports FIVE unreleased, sparkling indiepop gems from Roger, Amanda, and company! I can wait for this one to show up on my doorstep – would have been a tad bit more appropriate a few months ago, but I'll take some new Free Loan songs any day of the year! Head over to Magic Marker straight away and buy the crap out of this record, because you WILL regret missing it if you do. To get you in the mood, here's a fantastic live video of "Bomb The Bourgeoisie"!

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Monday, September 14, 2009

The Sparklers: "Secret Snow"

I bought The Sparklers' single, "Secret Snow", from Fantastic Records at the same time as that Ampersand record this past May. It's a pretty Wintery record – a Michigan band with a song called "Secret Snow", duh – so it didn't feel right to go raving about it back in the Springtime, so I've waited as long as I could to express my love for the single's a-side. Though snow may still be months off in the distance, the warm, Softies-esque female harmonies and beautiful violin-laden chorus, all set atop some quaint, Magnetic Fields-y electronics, already feel tons more affecting than they did almost four months ago. A proper rip of the single still eludes me, but hopefully this clip of the song will do just fine for now. Fantastic still has a bunch of copies of this, I think, so if you like what you hear then go pick one up – it's on clear red vinyl!

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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Dream Diary

Dream Diary

Dream Diary are pop from none other than Brooklyn, NY. However, unlike much of the pop currently bursting out of the city, Dream Diary's sound seems to owe less to the fuzzy garage spirit than most – settling much more cozily into the early Sarah Records area. Listening to the two songs currently on their MySpace ("Bird In My Garden" and "Is He Really Mine?"), my mind started shouting out Sea Urchins! Brighter! Poppyheads! Their songs are classic, unabashedly indiepop – crafted exclusively for anyone with a heart worth melting. They're currently without a label, and I see no plans for a release yet, but hopefully something won't be too far off.

Listen to Dream Diary on MySpace!

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Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Ruby Falls

Heroines cover art

After finding Ruby Falls lodged between many of my favorite bands on the Pop Narcotic comp Why Do You Think They Call It Pop? I made it a point to track down their debut LP on Silver Girl, Heroines. The girls of Ruby Falls hailed from NYC and though I've seen them described as Math Rock and their songwriting carries some pretty deep feminist themes, my ears tend to focus on the moody pop melodies found peppered across their debut LP. It's not all for me – songs like "Amended" and "Thirst" get a little too heavy for my liking – but moments like the record's title track and the nearly six-minute-long "Pennies" show off the girls' brilliant harmonies perfectly in the form of moody, sprawling pop songs. Listen to "Pennies".

[MP3]: Ruby Falls :: Pennies (Highly Recommended!!!)

Ruby Falls on Silver Girl Records

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Friday, September 04, 2009

Your Surrounds Just Bring You Down

I must be off to class soon, but I wanted to wanted to post this Friday video before I took off for Graphic Design III. "Goes So Slow" is one of the earliest Even As We Speak songs written by Matt Love. The original recording is dark-sounding and quite electronic, but this solo acoustic version played and sung by Mary Wyer is just completely beautiful.


Also, be sure to head over to the Matinee Recordings MySpace and listen to three completely brilliant new tracks from Strawberry Whiplash, The Electric Pop Group, and Northern Portrait. I'm particularly excited for the new Electric Pop Group record, but that Strawberry Whiplash song is really getting to me, too.

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Thursday, September 03, 2009

Brown Recluse: The Soft Skin EP

The Soft Skin cover art.

Timothy Meskers and Herbie Shellenberger are two of the nicest dudes I know, so of course, it's only fitting that they be part of such sweet sounding pop music. Brown Recluse(no more Sings)'s new EP, The Soft Skin, has been in the works for some time now, but it's finally come to us from none other than Slumberland Records. Mike knows a good record when he hears one, and so do I – this is one of the coziest damn things I've heard in a long time. With the onset of the Fall season outside my window I've been returning to lots of older Fall favorites to get me in the mood, but there's no need to return again (at least for a little while), because Brown Recluse's The Soft Skin is my new Fall favorite.

The EP includes "Night Train," a favorite of mine that appeared on the first Skatterbrain compilation, but the real standouts of the EP for me are the last two tracks: "Rainy Saturday" and "Contour and Context." Timothy's vocals feel warm, strangely familiar and the melodies are easy to fall in love with – especially since there are so many to pick out! In short, I find it impossible to not fall in love with these four timeless pop songs. So, despite the fact that it's a Sunny Thursday, I urge you to listen to "Rainy Saturday."

[MP3]: Brown Recluse :: Rainy Saturday (Hiiighly Rec'd!!!)

Buy The Soft Skin from Slumberland!
Brown Recluse on MySpace!

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Wednesday, September 02, 2009

That year I spent at The Imperial School

The Imperial School cover art.

The impending Horse Shoes EP that I spoke of over a year ago has finally come to fruition via the always wonderful Shelflife Records! Since I last spoke of them it looks like they've relocated from Florida to New York, which fortunately has done no wrong to their sweet melodies. Between the 7" and the CD, The Imperial School has so many great moments to offer – each one as triumphant and dreamy as the next. I'm still particularly taken with the EP's title track "The Imperial School" with it's brilliantly sad, yet equally uplifting chorus; and that's really what Horse Shoes are all about – getting the sad and the uplifting to dance together all through the night. At least that's how I'm hearing it. With slicker production, these songs could have gone a bit wrong, but they still feel just unsure enough to be perfect. Listen to "The Imperial School".

[MP3]: Horse Shoes :: The Imperial School (Highly Recommended!)

Buy The Imperial School from Shelflife Records

Horse Shoes on MySpace!

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Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Weed Hounds

NY's Weed Hounds

Weed Hounds are a brilliant newish band fron NY that I recently stumbled upon. One of the best stumbles I've taken a dive on in some time, too. They play songs influenced by the likes of MBV, and Swirlies, but ultimately sounding a lot like For If You Cannot Fly-era Small Factory with notably catchy melodies, great boy/girl alternating vocals, and a whole lotta noise. Since their four-song demo made it's way into my life last week, a day hasn't gone by that I haven't listened to it all the way through at least twice. At the moment I would have to say my favorite is either "Save Me From My Lethargy" or "Embrace (More Or Less)" (Which appears on the September mix).

[MP3]: Weed Hounds :: Save Me From My Lethargy (Verrrrry Recommended!)

Their demo cassette is available to buy now from Crooked Direction Records, and you would do well to buy one immediately! They've also got a split 7" with Dude Japan on Rok Lok Records due out sometime in the hopefully near future.

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Video: Brilliant Colors: "Highly Evolved"

San Francisco's Brilliant Colors, whose "Highly Evolved" 7" on Captured Tracks is one my favorite records of the year, finally have a video for that single's a-side – and it's a bit strange.

Brilliant Colors on MySpace!

Thanks to Chris for pointing this out!

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