Thursday, 26 May 2022

Gabriel's Dawn - Gabriel's Dawn

Released: 30 May 2022
Label: _
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Gabriel's Dawn are an indie pop band from The Midlands, UK and this is their debut. It is a highly enjoyable listen, recalling the best of 60s West Coast guitar pop.   

The band consists of members of other bands, including - The Silver Factory and Alfa 9 (who I absolutely love).

'Loose Canyon' opens the album and it is melodic, Americana-tinged guitar music at its finest. There are some glorious vocal harmonies and the chorus is wonderfully uplifting.
Other highlights include 'I Don't Believe (In the Summer of Love)' which has more chiming guitars, of course recalling The Byrds. The lyrics are melancholic and full of longing - "You took my heart and its not enough for you." 

'We' has some lovely melodies and also brought to mind indie pop band Alvvays. 'Tell Me Which Way' is another favourite here and is instantly memorable like much of the best retro guitar music.

A superb debut from a band well worth investigating. Essential Summer listening.

Monday, 23 May 2022

Kevin Robertson - Teaspoon of Time

Released: 13 May 2022
Label: Subjangle/Futureman
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Kevin Robertson, of Scottish band The Vapour Trails, is back with his second solo album. Like the previous ones, it is full of Byrds-inspired, 60s style guitar pop with lovely melodies and hooks.   

The album opens with 'Tough Times (Feels like That)', which has an iconic opening guitar riff, reminiscent of rock classic - Smokestack Lightning.

The standout on the album is 'Trippin' Back' which is wonderfully catchy, with West Coast style harmonies. It is instantly memorable and the chorus will have you singing along.
Other highlights include 'Rather Hide' which is a lovely pop gem and at just over 2 minutes, it will have you reaching for repeat. 'Moments of Reflection' is more melancholic and brought to mind Teenage Fanclub's later music. 'Don't You Dwell' is gloriously Psychedelic and a joy to listen to. 'Misty Dew Soaked Mountains' is uplifting and atmospheric, with hints of Country.

Highly recommended Summer listening, especially for fans of retro guitar pop.

Wednesday, 18 May 2022

The Shipbuilders - Spring Tide

Released: 6 May 2022
Label: Mai 68
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Liverpool indie band The Shipbuilders have just released their much anticipated debut album. Their sound is a superbly melodic blend of indie, folk and 60s Psych.   

The album opens with 'Stranger's Lament', which strongly recalls fellow Liverpudlian bands - The La's, and The Coral. It is brilliantly atmospheric, about a Sailor returning home from their travels.

The standout on the album is 'Hanging Me At Dawn' which has elements of traditional Folk storytelling, with heavy Psych guitars. The result is so effective and wonderfully unique for recent music.   

Other highlights include 'Fault Line' which is catchy and upbeat, with some bleak lyrics about living in poverty e.t.c. 'Silk Road' is a lovely guitar pop song with hints of The La's - There She Goes. 'The Moon' is an epic Indie Folk anthem which brought to mind The Stone Roses.

A hugely enjoyable album, and recommended listening for fans of both retro guitar music and 90s indie.

Thursday, 12 May 2022

The Jerrys - Ready or Not

Released: 4 May 2022
Label: _
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The Jerrys, from Chicago, are a recent discovery for me. Their new album is an enjoyable listen full of energetic and catchy guitar pop.   

The album opens with 'Alicia' which is full of superb pop hooks. The sound is reminiscent of great Power Pop bands of the 70s, especially one of my favourites - Flamin' Groovies.

The standout on the album is 'Love Me Now and Leave Me Never' which is melodic and instantly memorable, showing that simplicity is often the key with music.   

Other highlights include 'Lean on Me' which brought to mind the 60s Psych of The Seeds and The Rolling Stones. 'Just Us Three' has Americana vibes and is more stripped back with twangy guitars.

A superb album, and perfect listening for fans of more retro guitar music and Psych. Highly recommended.

Wednesday, 4 May 2022

M Ross Perkins - E Pluribus M Ross

Released: 18 Mar 2022
Label: _
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M Ross Perkins, from Ohio, is an artist I discovered last year, from his wonderful cover of Bill Fox - Bird of the World (A Byrdsian jangle gem, well worth checking out). His new album is full of his own Summery guitar pop with 60s West Coast vibes.   

The album opens with 'Industrial Good Day Mantra' which is highly melodic and uplifting, with Beatles vibes. The production is very retro and Baroque Pop in style.

'Wrong Wrong Wrong' is my favourite here and superbly catchy, of course it recalls The Byrds and also The Beach Boys - Come Go With Me. The lyrics are quite sad about not being understood, relationship problems e.t.c. - "Spare me all your mighty sources, curb your complimentary courses, I've been through a few divorces."  

Other highlights include 'Tired of Me' which is more instantly memorable, Byrds-inspired jangle. 'Mr Marble Eyes' is glorious Psych with surreal lyrics. 'Pinball Blonde' is hugely enjoyable and demonstrates superb storytelling. 

A brilliant album, full of wonderfully melodic pop gems, with entertaining lyrics. Highly recommended.

Saturday, 30 April 2022

Man Behind Tree - 3

Released: 29 Apr 2022
Label: Subjangle
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German indie band - Man Behind Tree, are a recent discovery for me. Their new album is an enjoyable listen, recalling the best of 90s guitar music.   

The album opens with 'California Zephyr' which is catchy with an uplifting chorus. The sound is a combination of West Coast harmonies (Crosby Stills & Nash) with the slightly heavier guitars of 90s Yo La Tengo.

'Bird Survivor' is slower and more melancholic, with an anthemic chorus. It is instantly memorable like many of the songs here.  

Other highlights include the gloriously Summery '99' which has more superb harmonies. 'Just Like Everyone' has great pop hooks and brought to mind Teenage Fanclub. '86 Mustang' is very upbeat and fun, ending the album on a high.

A superb album, and perfect listening for hazy Summers Afternoons. Highly recommended.

Thursday, 21 April 2022

Tamar Berk - Start At The End

Released: 22 Apr 2022
Label: _
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Tamar Berk, from California, is back with her second album, after her superb debut last year. It demonstrates more wonderful guitar pop, with plenty of great hooks and energy.   

The album opens with 'Your Permission' a moody ballad about a problematic relationship. It is instantly memorable with later Beatles vibes.

'Tragic Endings' is upbeat and anthemic, with melancholic lyrics. - "I read the endings of books before I even turn to the beginning. My heart can't take surprises anymore. I'm losing faith in happy endings." 

Other highlights include 'Alone Tonight' which is superbly melodic, heartfelt guitar pop, with hints of Aimee Mann. There are some excellent guitar solos towards the end. 'Real Bad Day' is brilliantly catchy with a slightly heavier Punk edge. 'Just Be' is another standout and is more acoustic sounding with country vibes.

A hugely enjoyable album, and perfect Summer listening. Highly recommended.