Wednesday, 31 August 2022

The Orchids - Dreaming Kind

Released: 2 Sept 2022
Label: Skepwax Records
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Scottish indie pop band The Orchids are back with a new album. They have been making records since the 80s and were once on the legendary Sarah Records label.   

It opens with album standout - 'Didn't We Love You' which is brilliantly catchy guitar pop with an anthemic chorus. 

Other highlights include 'What Have I Got To Do', which is a more stripped back ballad with heartfelt lyrics. It recalls the best of 80s indie pop, bringing to mind Aztec Camera. 'This Boy Is A Mess' has New Order vibes and again has a big anthemic chorus.

'Isn't It Easy' is more Folk sounding, with atmospheric, orchestral production. It is a very moving listen with some heartbreaking lyrics - "Its much too late and the damage is done. We are flying in the sky too close to the Sun." 

'I Don't Mean To Stare' is more chilled out electronic/synth pop and is wonderfully uplifting and ambient.
A superb album, full of sophisticated pop songs and a variety of sounds. Highly recommended for fans of 80s indie.

Sunday, 28 August 2022

The Photocopies - Pop Trivia

Released: 26 Aug 2022
Label: Subjangle
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The Photocopies is the work of Sean Turner, originally from London but now based in Michigan. This is a compilation double cd of singles and rarities, full of C86-inspired jangle pop goodness.   

There are so many songs here to choose from, but my favourite is 'You Used To Tell Me Everything'. It is a heartfelt breakup song of the highest standard, with hints of early Teenage Fanclub. The production is very fuzzy and lo-fi, giving it that authentic retro feeling. 

Other highlights include 'Anywhere Without You' which is ultra melodic with brilliant pop hooks. There are also hints of The Jesus and Mary Chain. 'Vexed' is 2 minute pop with a Punk edge, and is a lot of fun. 'Might As Well Talk To Myself' is melancholic and instantly memorable, like many of the songs here. 'Better Than Nothing I Suppose' is simple yet so catchy, you will be reaching for the repeat button.
A hugely enjoyable compilation, full of addictive jangle pop gems. Highly recommended.

Saturday, 27 August 2022

The Rotary Fifth - The Rotary Fifth

Released: 6 Jun 2022
Label: _
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This is the debut album from The Rotary Fifth, from Liverpool. Their sound is a mixture of indie,  Psych and Jazz and is more experimental than the music I typically review here.   

It opens with 'Unknown Unknowns' which is beautifully ambient. It is hard to find comparisons but their music has hints of Folktronica Singer/Songwriter - Jane Weaver and also Portishead. 

My favourite here is 'Home', which is anthemic, yet hypnotic. The vocals are haunting and the melody/song as a whole instantly stays in your mind.
Other highlights include 'The Peoples Temple' which is wonderfully atmospheric and would easily fit in a film soundtrack. There are hints of Pink Floyd's more ambient music. 'Sacred Geometry' is a lovely and uplifting listen.

A superb album and ideal End of Summer/Autumn listening. Highly recommended.

Sunday, 21 August 2022

Neil Brogan - Things Keep Getting In The Way

Released: 8 Jul 2022
Label: _
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Neil Brogan, from Belfast, is a relatively new discovery although I was aware of his music when he was in the band - Sea Pinks. His new album is superb jangle/indie pop with 80s vibes.   

It opens with 'August to October' which is straight to the point, 2 minute pop at its finest and instantly memorable. His sound recalls Flying Nun records bands - The Bats, The Chills e.t.c.

Other highlights include 'Watercolours' which is a wonderfully simple and heartfelt love song. 'All We Know' is superbly melodic and jangly with hints of The Byrds too. The lyrics are bleak - "The World is a depressing hell hole, don't I know"
My favourite here is 'Things Keep Getting In The Way' which is upbeat with brilliant pop hooks, like many of the songs here.

A superb album full of short-but-sweet, catchy jangle pop gems. Highly recommended.

Thursday, 11 August 2022

Phil Yates & The Affiliates - A Thin Thread

Released: 15 Jul 2022
Label: _
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Phil Yates, from Chicago, is a relatively new discovery for me. His new album is feelgood guitar pop at its finest.   

It opens with 'I Can't Wait' which is straight to the point, 2 minute pop, full of superb hooks. The sound recalls Thirteen era Teenage Fanclub, and of course The Byrds.

'Trash Carrots' has a slightly heavier Punk edge, which is unexpected, and adds variety to the album. 'The Door No. 3' is a wonderfully melodic and heartfelt breakup song, which will get you emotional - "You're still the one that I adore. Should I grab my things and walk right out the door?"
'Green Eyes' is more instantly memorable power pop, with an anthemic chorus, to enjoy on repeat. 'The Fool' is upbeat, recalling ELO Mr. Blue Sky at times, with some dark lyrics. The melancholic 'Smithereens' is stripped back and atmospheric, reflecting on a relationship.

A superb album full of catchy guitar pop gems. Highly recommended Summer listening.

Wednesday, 20 July 2022

RW Hedges - Long Summer Days EP

Released: 20 Jul 2022
Label: High Tide Records
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RW Hedges is back with a new EP of beautifully crafted songs, which captures all the magic of the Summer season.   

The songs are all under 3 minutes long, with lovely melodies and superb pop hooks, reminiscent of the music of the 60s.

The standout on the EP is opener 'Charm Song' which has hints of Jazz and Folk. It has an uplifting chorus which will stay with you from first listen. 'This Heart' is a 50s inspired love song, which brought to mind Buddy Holly (the song even mentions 'True Love Ways').

Heartfelt ballad - 'A Flower or a Song' is an emotional listen, with the simplicity of early Beatles and The Left Banke. 'A Robin's Song' is joyous with elements of childrens storytelling, old Disney e.t.c. Describing the Robin as "Like an Angel who has come here to watch over me", is a reference to Gershwin's Broadway standard (obviously a huge influence here).

The closing song, 'Long Summer Days', is delicate and sentimental, with stripped back production by co-writer Luca Nieri. There is some intricate piano work and it had hints of the jazz standard 'Fly Me To The Moon.'

A wonderful EP, full of Summer cheer, to be enjoyed all year round. Highly recommended.

Tuesday, 19 July 2022


Released: 1 Jul 2022
Label: Winterlude Records
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UK indie band - The Fernweh return with their long awaited second album. Their debut was one of my favourites of 2018, with plenty of 60s inspired goodness. The main influences being The Beatles, Fairport Convention and early Pink Floyd.   

On their new album, they have gone for a more 70s sound.  It opens with 'The Wounds of Love' which has hints of the glam rock of Bowie and T-Rex. It references Pink Floyd - Another Brick in The Wall and U2 e.t.c. Admittedly, the new sound took a bit of getting used to. The orchestration is rather epic with superb guitar work and violins.

Other highlights include 'Pas Devant Les Enfants' which is more anthemic guitar pop, reminiscent of the music on their debut. 'End of the Summertime' is gloriously psychedelic with quirky lyrics.
My favourite here is 'I Want to See Your Name in Lights' which is beautifully melodic with hints of The Byrds. It has a big anthemic chorus, which brought to mind 'Hey Jude'. 'The Pike' is a bit silly lyrically but is a lot of fun. 'What's Jesus For?' is thought provoking with some wonderful storytelling.

A hugely enjoyable album and a brilliant return. Highly recommended Summer listening.