Wednesday 7 February 2024

Diamond Hands - Cookie

Released: 17 Nov 2023
Label: Kool Kat Musik
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This was a really overlooked album from last year. Diamond Hands, from L.A., are a recent discovery for me and their new album is full of glorious 60s-inspired Psych gems.

Opening song 'I Want You' is wonderfully catchy and Summery, with hints of Surf and Indie Pop. 

My favourite here is 'Fruit Trees' which is epic, with superb orchestral production. There are hints of The Beatles later music. It has that anthemic chorus, reminiscent of Hey Jude. 

Other highlights include 'Spiraling' which has lovely vocal harmonies and solo George Harrison vibes. 'Don't Want to Start Again' is 2 minute pop of the highest standard, and instantly memorable. It ends on 'Lonely Boy' which is brilliantly Psychedelic with hints of The Band - The Weight.

A hugely enjoyable album, from a band well worth checking out. Highly recommended. 

Wednesday 31 January 2024

The Maureens - Everyone Smiles

Released: 19 Jan 2024
Label: Meritorio Records
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The Maureens, from the Netherlands, are back with a new album. Their music is reminiscent of the 60s - beautifully melodic and catchy. Check out the song 'She's A Dreamer' from their last album if they are new to you.

Opening song 'Stand Up!' is anthemic with early Beatles vibes, and some lovely melodies. 

My favourite here is 'Fell in Love' which has some impressive vocal harmonies, of course bringing to mind Simon and Garfunkel as well as the more recent Power pop of Velvet Crush. 

Other highlights include 'Rainy Day' which is instantly memorable, with hints of Teenage Fanclub. 'Alison' is very uplifting yet with melancholic lyrics. 'Start Again' has a lovely chorus which will have you humming along.

A superb album, full of glorious harmonies and heartfelt songs. Highly recommended. 

Sunday 31 December 2023

One Morning in August - Another Morning

Released: 24 Nov 2023
Label: _
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Irish indie band - One Morning In August, are a recent discovery for me and this is their second album. 

Opening song 'Moment' is wonderfully ambient and atmospheric. The album on the whole has a laid back feel to it, with some beautiful instrumentals to come later on.

'Lovers By Surprise' is the standout song here. The sound brings to mind the 00s indie of Idlewild, and there are also hints of R.E.M.  The chorus is superbly anthemic and instantly memorable. 

'Local Minor Superstar' sounds like it could have been a radio hit in the early 00s. The lyrics are quite humorous "You act just like a teenager, you're almost 52..." 

Other highlights include 'Those Days' which is beautifully heartfelt Folk. 'Get it Right' sounds different from anything else here, being really dark, heavier rock. It brought to mind Nick Cave and Mark Lanegan. 

Closing instrumental - 'A Long Journey West' is more electronic with other-worldly synths, taking you away to another place.

A superb album, with a variety of styles and sounds, making this an essential listen. Highly recommended. 

Saturday 30 December 2023

The Lunar Laugh - In The Black

Released: 3 Nov 2023
Label: Big Stir
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The Lunar Laugh, from Oklahoma, are a recent discovery for me but have been making music for a while. This is apparently going to be their final album, which I think is a huge shame judging by the quality of the songs here.

Opening song 'Born Weird' is catchy Power Pop at its finest, with edgy punk sounding guitars. 'Allegiance' is my favourite here and brought to mind Plans era Death Cab For Cutie, with hints of The Beatles and Big Star too. The vocal harmonies are wonderful and it has so much emotion. 

Other highlights include 'Timeless Time' which has some melancholic lyrics and lovely melodies. 'Still Gets To Me' is Byrds-inspired jangle of the highest standard. It ends on the Country-tinged 'Picture Perfect' which is a very moving love song, with some philosophical lyrics.

A hugely enjoyable album, full of heartfelt, well-written songs. Highly recommended. 

Sunday 3 December 2023

The Yellow Melodies - Sunshine Pop

Released: 7 Nov 2023
Label: The Beautiful Music
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The Yellow Melodies, from Spain, are a recent discovery for me although I think they have been making music since the early 00s. Their new album is full of Summery indie pop goodness.

Opening song 'Follow The Sun' is feelgood guitar pop at its finest, recalling Teenage Fanclub, and also The Cure song - Inbetween Days. It is wonderfully catchy and anthemic. 

Other highlights include the moody sounding 'La Magia de Aquellas Noches' which has hints of 60s Psych. The melody is instantly memorable, and its an enjoyable listen. You don't have to understand the words to appreciate it.

'What I Do' is melancholic with hints of doo wop, bringing to mind The Flamingos - I Only Have Eyes For You. Closing song 'The Sunshine In Your Eyes' is another favourite here and has some great pop hooks.

A superb album, from a band well worth checking out, especially if you love indie pop. Highly recommended. 

Thursday 30 November 2023

Ian M Bailey - We Live In Strange Times

Released: 24 Nov 2023
Label: Kool Kat
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Ian M Bailey is back with a new album. It is a lovely listen as you'd expect, full of jangling Byrds inspired guitars. Again, it is co-written by Daniel Wylie (more known for his work with Scottish band - Cosmic Rough Riders). 

Opening song 'The Last Chime' is wonderfully Summery and anthemic, even on these cold winter nights. The guitars really chime, like the title suggests.  

My favourite here is 'It's Summer Rain' which is instantly memorable. Like many of the songs here, the focus is on the soaring melodies and superb pop hooks.

Other highlights include 'The Clock is Ticking' which has a slightly heavier edge and a catchy chorus which will stay in your mind from first listen. 'Dance Around The Room' is beautifully subtle and a blend of Folk and Americana. 'Country Girl' is a heartfelt love song of the highest standard.

A superb album, full of well-written songs with intricate harmonies. Highly recommended.

Tuesday 31 October 2023

Smokey Angle Shades - Let Go Of The Past

Released: 29 Sept 2023
Label: Europa Sun
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Smokey Angle Shades, from the UK, release their second album after 2015's wonderful 'Shades of Joy'. Their sound is a blend of Americana and 70s sounding rock. The band features Ned Crowther from The Fernweh.

Opening song 'Let's Start All Over Again' is a very moving ballad, which brought to mind solo Paul McCartney and of course The Fernweh. 

Other highlights include the instantly memorable 'A Star Called Youth' which is melancholic with a big anthemic chorus. 'And You Tied A Ribbon on It' is uplifting with hints of electronic and brought to mind ELO.

My favourite here is 'Green Eyes' which is Americana tinged guitar pop at its finest. It is lovely and heartfelt, with hints of The Flying Burrito Brothers. 'Prize Fighter' demonstrates some superb storytelling and beautiful orchestral arrangements.

A hugely enjoyable album, full of well-crafted and memorable songs.