Saturday, 24 July 2021

Wojtek the Bear - Heaven by the Back Door

Released: 16 July 2021
Label: Last Night From Glasgow
Listen and Buy Here

Scottish indie band - Wojtek the Bear, are back with a new album. It is a sublime listen, their sound brought to mind fellow Scots -  Trashcan Sinatras and Aztec Camera. 

It opens with 'Ferme La Bouche' which is upbeat with an anthemic, catchy chorus. There are hints of brass, which reminded me of one of my favourite 80s bands - The Pale Fountains.

The gloriously melodic 'One Things For Certain' is the standout here, with lovely strings, and slightly melancholic lyrics. 

Other highlights include 'Luck or Design' which is a sad breakup song but surprisingly upbeat. It has some heartbreaking lyrics - "I used to think you were a prize. Now your words cut like knives." 

'Heaven by the Back Door' is another highlight here, with sweeping harmonies. It has themes of religion, finding who you are e.t.c. 'Packing Parachutes' is a very emotional listen with strong emphasis on the beautiful strings, which are prominent on this album.

A wonderfully produced album, full of well-written songs. Highly recommended.

Thursday, 22 July 2021

Ali Horn - Balcony Boys

Released: 16 July 2021
Label: _
Listen and Buy Here

Ali Horn, from Liverpool, is a recent discovery for me. His debut album is a superb listen, with hints of Velvet Underground (particularly Lou Reed) and Echo and the Bunnymen.  

It opens with 'Sun it Rises' which is wonderfully atmospheric and laid-back. It has some really psychedelic lyrics - "Find a girl that makes you see explosions the sky, sit her down and tell her all the colours in your mind".

'Feels like Home' is more of a moody love song, full of longing. The hooks are superb and it even has a fantastic whistling solo. 'Managed Decline' recalls The Velvet Underground - Sweet Jane and is very Summery sounding. 

'Badman' is my favourite here and is more Folk. It is a very heartfelt break up song. 'La Brea Tar' is heartbreaking and deals with themes of depression and poverty. 'Balcony Boys' is slightly more electronic, with the 90s vibes of Spiritualized. 

It ends on 'End Credits' which is upbeat but with quirky and morbid lyrics. - "So sing a happy song, cos I know that it won't be long till we are lying there eternally."

A Superb debut album and highly recommended Summer listening.

Friday, 16 July 2021

Peter Hall - Two Twenty Two

Released: 12 July 2021
Label: The Beautiful Music
Listen and Buy Here

Peter Hall, from Nottingham UK, is back with a new single after last years wonderful EP. 'Two Twenty Two' is more sophisticated guitar pop of the highest standard.  

It is a superbly melodic ballad with sublime harmonies, recalling The Beach Boys and The Beatles. On the whole, it also drew to mind more modern bands Trashcan Sinatras and later Teenage Fanclub. 

The lyrics are wistful and full of melancholy - "Two minutes twenty-two, to fall in love with you. We span so fast and fell so quick." The big soaring chorus is instantly memorable. 

A timeless song and judging from this, the album will definitely be one to look out for. Highly recommended.

Tuesday, 13 July 2021

Sometime Songs - Sometimes Songs EP

Released: 26 May 2021
Label: Wonderfulsound
Listen and Buy Here

Sometime Songs is a collaboration of artists on the superb Wonderfulsound label. To my knowledge, the music is by The Superimposers (brilliant Psych/Indie band on the label). Vocals are by Americana Artist - Angelina.  

'Shooting Stars' is one of those magical songs you don't hear too often today, which recalls Motown Soul of the early 60s. The production reminded me of 50s doo-wop as well, especially the backing harmonies.

Angelina's vocals are very unique and have vibes of Patti Smith. The vocals and music, although from completely different genres, compliment each other perfectly.

'Borderline' is more ambient and laid-back sounding. It again has that magical production.

A superb EP from a label where you are always guaranteed to find something different and unique. Highly recommended.

Saturday, 10 July 2021

Mt Misery - Once Home, No Longer

Released: 25 June 2021
Label: Prefect Records
Listen and Buy Here

Mt. Misery, from Hartlepool UK, are a recent discovery for me. Their debut album is a sublime listen of lovely, well-written indie pop gems. 

It opens with 'The Dreaming Days are Over' which is wonderfully laid back with hints of Teenage Fanclub and Real Estate.

'Tell Me (What's on your Mind)' is my favourite here and a superb love song with Belle and Sebastian vibes. The lyrics are very heartfelt without being too twee.

Other highlights include 'Taken by the Tide' which is slightly more upbeat with a catchy chorus. The music is still very soft sounding and melodic. 'I Was Wrong' is a breakup song of the highest standard. It is immediately memorable, with heartbreaking lyrics.

It ends on 'The Thought of Losing You' which has some lovely harmonies and is reminiscent of The Velvet Underground - Sunday Morning. 

A superb album full of beautiful melodies and emotional lyrics. Highly recommended.

Saturday, 3 July 2021

The Shop Window - The State of Being Human

Released: 25 June 2021
Label: Spinout Nuggets
Listen and Buy Here

The Shop Window, from Maidstone UK, are back with their debut album. It is a hugely enjoyable listen, recalling the best of 90s indie. 

It opens with 'Mannequin Lies'. The sound is reminiscent of RIDE with some superb vocal harmonies. The chorus really soars and has that uplifting, euphoric feeling of Summer.

Other highlights include 'Out of Reach' which is anthemic indie at its finest. The song is so memorable, especially the chorus, with shimmering jangly guitars.

'Break Down Walls' is lovely and melodic, with very heartfelt lyrics, about barriers in a relationship. 'Evacuate' is superbly catchy and upbeat, with more emotional lyrics. There are hints of The Cure in here as well, especially in the guitar sound.

My favourite here is 'Sad Eyes' which is so moving and has themes of growing old and dementia. - " All you have now is the past, The future has gone beyond your grasp." It is never overly sad and negative and highlights the importance of remembering the good times. 

A beautiful folk instrumental - 'Jack's Lullaby', ends the album perfectly. It has magical, film soundtrack vibes. 

A highly recommended album full of anthemic songs which will stay with you.

Saturday, 26 June 2021

Eggs on Mars - Brighter Now EP

Released: 25 June 2021
Label: Subjangle
Listen and Buy Here

Eggs on Mars, from Kansas City, are a new addition to the ever growing Subjangle label. They have had quite a few self-released albums and would say 'Mama Pancake' (2018) is well worth checking out too. The song 'Red Haired Darling' especially stood out. Their sound is wonderfully lo-fi, with hints of Velvet Underground and the 80s jangle of Flying Nun records (The Bats, The Chills e.t.c). 

The new EP opens with 'Fingers and Lips' which is lovely and melodic with strong pop hooks. There are hints of early Teenage Fanclub in here too. 'More' is very short and sweet with 60s vibes.

Other highlights include 'Brighter Now' which is very upbeat with simple melodies which stick in your mind. The production is quite basic with added electronic keyboard bits, giving it that bedroom pop/lo-fi charm. It ends on 'Handbills' which is still quirky and upbeat pop.

A highly recommended EP from a band well worth checking out, especially if you love more lo-fi jangle.