Saturday, 30 September 2023

Mike Gale - Thanks For Always Waving

Released: 8 Sept 2023
Label: _
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Mike Gale, from Southampton, has been releasing his own wonderfully melodic, lo-fi Folk music for a while. His latest album is a beautifully ambient listen.

The album opens with 'Yipee' which is laid-back, with hints of solo John Lennon. The production is acoustic and stripped back, giving it retro charm. 

Other highlights include 'Summer Be Gone' which sounds like a more modern version of  Harry Nilsson's 'Everybody's Talkin'.

'Grumble Pie' is another favourite here and is uplifting and Summery with more African vibes. Of course, it brought to mind Graceland era Paul Simon. 'I Know Her' is a a sweet song with some lovely vocal harmonies.

'They're Closing the Marina' is heartfelt and melancholic, with more of a Spanish feel to it.

A superb album, highly recommended for fans of lo-fi indie/folk. 

Tuesday, 15 August 2023

Tamar Berk - Tiny Injuries

Released: 18 Aug 2023
Label: _
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Tamar Berk, from California, is back with a new album. It is more wonderfully heartfelt and melodic guitar pop, as you would expect. Her sound brings to mind the 90s alternative pop/singer-songwriter of Aimee Mann, Liz Phair e.t.c. 

The album opens with 'If U Know, U Know' which is brilliantly catchy and anthemic. There are some superb guitar solos towards the end.

Other highlights include 'Whats Become of Me, My Friend' which is a stripped back and melancholic piano ballad. The lyrics are very honest and it is an emotional listen.

'Permanent Vacation' is another favourite here and is uplifting and Summery. 'Drop In The Bucket' has plenty of attitude and more edgy, heavier sounding guitars. It still has the memorable hooks of Power Pop.

'I Was Saved By The Beauty in the World' is a highly emotional song, reflecting on life. There are some philosophical and thought-provoking lyrics - "We're all just precious stones, floating down the river, going home."

A superb album, full of well-crafted guitar pop anthems. Highly recommended Summer listening. 

Saturday, 29 July 2023

Sandra's Wedding - The Hopeful Boy Replacement Service

Released: 14 July 2023
Label: Subjangle (cd) Self-released (vinyl)
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Sandra's Wedding, from Goole UK, are back with a new album. Their previous album (Pleasure Grounds) was one of my favourites of 2021, so I had high expectations for this one. It did not disappoint and is full of wonderfully uplifting 80s-inspired indie. 

The album opens with the title track, which is superbly anthemic. Their sound has hints of The Housemartins and also The Pale Fountains! The lyrics are quirky - "Hey little Goldfish in a sandwich bag..." is one of my favourite opening lines I have heard in a while.

Other highlights include 'French Girls' which is Summery and fun. It is brilliantly catchy and will have you singing along. 'This Be The Verse' is very jangly and upbeat. As is 'The Running Joke' which has more unique lyrics and superb pop hooks.

'To The Beat of Slamming Doors' is another favourite here and is again wonderfully 80s, the opening riff bringing to mind Martha and The Muffins classic Echo Beach. There are hints of The Smiths here too!

A hugely enjoyable listen and recommended for fans of 80s indie pop. 

Sunday, 23 July 2023

Fort Not - Depressed For Success

Released: 7 July 2023
Label: Meritorio Records
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Swedish indie pop band, Fort Not, are a recent discovery for me. Their music is wonderfully lo-fi and melodic, with hints of The Velvet Underground. It also reminded me of the recent band - Rural France (also on the Meritorio label) so fans of them will also enjoy this. 

The album opens with 'Love Will Find You' which is heartfelt 2 minute pop at its finest. There are hints of Jonathan Richman here, and it is wonderfully laid back.

Other highlights include 'Tell Me Nothing' which again has that lo-fi simplicity and is a lot of fun. 'Ringo Starr' is a bit more Punk inspired, with hints of The Ramones. The lyrics are humorous, yet melancholic at the same time.

'Baby Maybe' is brilliantly catchy and upbeat, with hints of The Beatles classic - Twist and Shout. 'My Love' is superbly melodic and reminded me of The Traveling Wilburys - Last Night.

Highly recommended Summer listening from a band well worth checking out! 

Friday, 7 July 2023

Parallax Project - Autologous

Released: 5 May 2023
Label: Kool Kat Musik
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Parallax Project, from Pennsylvania, are a recent discovery for me. The band features members of The Split Squad, Minus 5 and The Junior League (who I was familiar with). So its full of wonderfully catchy guitar pop, as you would expect. 

The album opens with 'Put It Out' which has superb pop hooks and is a lot of fun. There are hints of 80s Power Pop, and it especially brought to mind The Romantics, The Cars e.t.c. 

My favourite here is 'I've Gotta Change My Life', which is brilliantly melodic, with a big memorable chorus you will be singing along to. The production has hints of electronic, bringing to mind New Wave band Devo.

Other highlights include 'Mary Houdini' which is beautifully Summery and has more of a 60s sound. 'You Were Never There' is melancholic with a country twang, and there are also hints of Teenage Fanclub.

It ends on the epic 'Don't Want to Live Inside Myself', which is a superb cover of the Bee Gees classic.

A hugely enjoyable album and recommended Summer listening. 

Sunday, 2 July 2023

Lost Ships - Atoms Collide Forever

Released: 30 June 2023
Label: Subjangle
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UK indie pop band - Lost Ships return with a new album. It is more wonderfully jangly guitar pop with catchy melodies and quirky lyrics.

The album opens with 'The Brittle Heart Foundation' which is anthemic with a great opening guitar riff and superb hooks. Their sound has hints of late 80s/90s jangle bringing to mind The Wedding Present, Martin Newell e.t.c.

Other highlights include 'I'm In Love With Your Girlfriend' which recalls early Teenage Fanclub. Its simplicity is so effective and is instantly memorable, like many of the songs here.

'Highway 62' demonstrates some superb storytelling, with plenty of references to American culture e.t.c. 'Derek from Domino's' is humorous with dark lyrics about a Pizza delivery man who committed some murders. But it didn't last - "Late September he turned himself in with a written confession on his rolling pin"!

'Toaster Song' is a heartfelt break-up song, full of melancholy. The lyrics are wonderfully vivid and there are themes of loneliness.

A hugely enjoyable album and recommended for fans of 90s indie/guitar pop. 

Thursday, 29 June 2023

The Parlophonics - Dying of the Light

Released: 7 Jul 2023
Label: Kool Kat Musik
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The Parlophonics are a trio, based in Germany, London and North Hollywood, and a new discovery for me. Their album is an enjoyable listen, full of memorable guitar pop, rich in melody. The beautiful album cover also drew me in, which is created by the legendary Klaus Voormann (the artist behind The Beatles - Revolver album cover!)

The album opens with 'Fill My Sky' which has hints of 60s Psych, with gorgeous vocal harmonies and orchestral production. It has a chilled, laid back vibe, perfect for Summer evenings.

Other highlights include 'Reading Kerouac', which is upbeat with hints of Fleetwood Mac, yet with bleak lyrics. 'The Dying of the Light' is a heartfelt ballad with a big anthemic chorus, and brought to mind The Beatles - Let it Be.

Another standout here is 'Heaven Can Wait' which has hints of country, again the vocal harmonies are superb. It ends on an excellent cover of Badfinger's 'Song For a Lost Friend' which is beautifully melancholic.

A wonderful album and essential Summer listening.