Sunday, 20 June 2021

The Catenary Wires - Birling Gap

Released: 18 June 2021
Label: Skep Wax Records/Shelflife Records
Listen and Buy Here

UK indie pop band - The Catenary Wires, are a new discovery for me. The group includes Amelia Fletcher and Rob Pursey, who have played in the bands - Heavenly and Talulah Gosh. Their new album is wonderfully melodic with dreamy harmonies, separating them from other indie pop acts. 

It opens with 'Face on the Rail Line' which is superbly atmospheric and so beautiful it drew me in straight away. It has an ethereal quality which is hard to describe, you just have to listen to it really! Their overall sound brought to mind Saint Etienne, and the 80s indie of The Go-Betweens. 

Other highlights on the album include 'Always on my Mind' which is more upbeat and Summery. There are hints of The Beach Boys too. 'Mirror Ball' is a highly enjoyable love song, reminiscing about the 80s, with quirky lyrics - "Be Jason to my Kylie". 

'Canterbury Lanes' is more memorable indie pop with superb harmonies. The album ends on 'The Overview Effect' which is sweet guitar pop at its finest. It has vivid, wistful lyrics full of regret - "If we put the chances we had thrown away into a room, it would be the biggest room we ever knew".

A wonderful album, full of nostalgia, with melodic well-written songs. Highly recommended.

Thursday, 10 June 2021

The Mariners - Tales from the Great Central Line - Volume One

Released: 11 June 2021
Label: _
Listen and Buy Here

The Mariners, from Nottingham UK, are back with their second album. It is more jangly 60s inspired guitar pop, which is great if you love that kind of thing. They may not be all that original but they have such charm that it is hard not to like it.   

It opens with '(That girl called) Mary Jane' which is sweet and upbeat. The simplicity is reminiscent of early Beatles and The Kinks. 'There Before Time' is more Psych sounding but it sounds a little too much like The Zombies - She's Not There.

My favourite on the album is 'Dear Genevieve' which reminded me of The Coral. It is a heartfelt love song from Father to Daughter. It is so sentimental but in a good way. 

Other highlights include 'Ooh La La' an upbeat song about poverty and unemployment, with some great storytelling. 'Jennifer' is catchy guitar pop at its finest which brought to mind The Beatles - I'm a Loser. 'Catch My Breath' is a lovely acoustic song about growing old, with some quirky lyrics. 

'Hey Mister' is  about the death of a valued member of the community. It is sweet with a child-like innocence which makes it even more sad.

A superb album and fans of 60s guitar pop will find a lot to love here. Highly recommended.

Sunday, 6 June 2021

Colours Through The Air Summer Playlist

Its that time of year again so for a bit of fun, I have put together a Spotify Playlist of my favourite underappreciated Summer songs. These are not the ones you will hear played on the radio e.t.c. all the time. There is a mix of recent and some older ones.

Some old favourites are The Pale Fountains - Crazier (it just isn't Summer without that song) and The Velvet Underground - Who Loves The Sun (which I know is obvious but it had to be there!). Also The Zombies, Beach Boys and The Kinks.

More recent favourites include Nick Frater, Rosie Abbott, The Corner Laughers, Dunkie, The Vapour Trails, and many more. I also had to include my Dad's (Chris Fowler) song written during the lockdown and looking forward to the Summer. It is all superb guitar pop, so I hope you enjoy!

You can listen to the Spotify playlist, including more songs here

Friday, 28 May 2021

Kevin Robertson - Sundown's End

Released: 28 May 2021
Label: Subjangle/Futureman Records
Listen and Buy Here

Kevin Robertson, of Scottish band - The Vapour Trails, releases his first ever solo album. I had high expectations for this and it did not disappoint. As you would expect, it is another album of jangle pop perfection.   

It opens with 'Into The Black' which is ultra melodic and Summery. The gorgeous harmonies, of course, recall The Byrds and Teenage Fanclub.

Other highlights include 'Settle Down' which has fantastic pop hooks and a slightly more Country sound. The subtle banjo sounds really add to it too and at times it brought to mind The Traveling Wilburys. 

'See How We Love' is very heartfelt with some wonderful harmonies. It launches into the superb 'Telepathic Minds' which recalls the best of 60s Psych and is one of my favourite songs here.

'Loves Blue Yonder' is the standout of the album and is memorable guitar pop of the highest standard. It is one of those songs which sticks in your mind and has you singing along straight away. 

It ends on 'Yesterdays Reign' which has vibes of The Beatles - Tomorrow Never Knows. A hugely enjoyable listen, particularly if you love 60s inspired guitar pop. Highly recommended.

Thursday, 27 May 2021

Daniel Wylie's Cosmic Rough Riders - Atoms and Energy

Released: 2 Jul 2021/Pre-order now
Label: Last Night From Glasgow
Buy Here

Daniel Wylie, of Cosmic Rough Riders, returns with a new album. I have been aware of his music since discovering the 'Enjoy The Melodic Sunshine' compilation years ago. It was as melodic and summery as the title suggested and filled with superb guitar pop songs.   

The new album is not quite as jangle poppy but has more Americana vibes too. It opens with 'The Bruises and the Blood' which is a dark song about domestic violence. It is heartbreaking and addresses the dilemma of someone listening in and unsure whether to intervene. The sound is reminiscent of R.E.M.

'Heavens Waiting Room' is a deep and wistful song, looking back on life and coming to terms with death. The guitar sound brought to mind Waterpistol era Shack, which can only be a good thing.

My favourite here is the gorgeous love song 'Our Love Will Never Die' which has vibes of Neil Young. It is wonderfully heartfelt, without being overly sentimental.

Other highlights include 'Ruth The Truth', a bittersweet country pop song with some great storytelling. 'Listen to the Sound of the Rain' is another favourite here. It is very atmospheric with 70s Americana vibes. 

It ends on 'Saddle Up The Horses', a Western themed song, with vivid lyrics, reminiscing of childhood. Again, it is beautifully atmospheric and a joy to listen to.

A wonderful album from a superb, yet relatively unheard, Songwriter. Highly recommended.

Monday, 17 May 2021

Jim McCulloch - When I Mean What I Say

Released: 21 May 2021
Label: Violette
Listen and Buy Here

Jim McCulloch, of The Soup Dragons and Snowgoose, releases his much anticipated debut solo album. It is a lovely acoustic sounding record with so much melody and charm.  

It opens with 'Blackstick Boogie', which is very laid-back with Jazz and Folk vibes. There are some beautiful harmonies and intricate harp playing. His sound is reminiscent of Pentangle and also has hints of Marina records band - The Pearlfishers.

'Chorus of Lists' is a standout song here, as it is very unique. It is an almost hypnotic rhyme/chant, with layered vocal harmonies e.t.c. which add to the emotion so effectively. 

Other highlights include 'Augmented Yet Diminished' which had 60s vibes of Burt Bacharach. 'Shining Bright' is an uplifting love song and includes the superb backing vocals of Rachel Jack. 'Open & Shut' is a sweet folk song, again driven by powerful vocal harmonies. 

My favourite here is 'Come Little Waves of Light' which is the perfect example of how the simplest of songs can be the most affecting. It is sung from the heart and has that warmth and timelessness of much loved hymns. 

It ends on title track - 'When I Mean What I Say' which is melancholic with wistful lyrics. The ending is quite ethereal and the perfect way to close the album.

A lovely record, full of well written songs, delivered with such emotion. Highly recommended.

Thursday, 6 May 2021

Electric Looking Glass - Somewhere Flowers Grow

Released: 30 Apr 2021
Label: We Are Busy Bodies
Listen and Buy Here

Electric Looking Glass, from LA, are a recent discovery for me. Their debut is a wonderful listen and a combination of 60s style Baroque Pop and Psych.   

It opens with 'Purple, Red, Green Blue and Yellow' which is as lovely and Psychedelic as the title suggests. It drew to mind The Zombies, with sweet melodies and Garage production.

'Find out Girl' demonstrates some skilled guitar work and harmonies. My favourite here is 'Rosie in the Rain' which sounds like it could actually be a lost radio hit. There are hints of The Kinks here too. 

Other highlights include 'Daffodil Tea Shoppe' which is full of Summery 60s charm, and instantly memorable. It goes into a superb Beatles-esque medley towards the end. 'Motor Car' really drew to mind one of my favourite bands - The Left Banke. 'If I Cross Your Mind' is another standout and melancholic but with great pop hooks.

A hugely enjoyable album, well worth checking out, especially for Baroque pop fans.