Sunday, 20 December 2020

Colours Through The Air Best of 2020 Albums and Songs






It was so hard to choose but here is the Colours Through The Air 'Best Of' post. My favourite albums and songs of 2020. With the songs, it is one song from each artist.

I have chosen Luca Nieri for best album and song. Even though the album is only very short and a lot of the songs are covers, it had the most impact on me. I also played it the most as it is just really beautiful. 

I felt these albums were the strongest overall and had me skipping tracks the least. It is better to have quality over quantity. You can find the reviews for all the albums on this blog.  


Albums

1. Luca Nieri - Always You 
2. Thomas Scott Quintet - Marionette
3. National Honor Society - To All The Glory We Never Had 
4. Paul Molloy - The Fifth Dandelion 
5. Blake - 1971
6. Snowgoose - The Making Of You 
7. Trevor Beld Jimenez - I Like It Here 
8. Rosie Abbott - Magnified 
9. mylittlebrother - Howl 
10. The Vapour Trails - Golden Sunshine 



Songs

1. Luca Nieri - Always You 
2. The Pierce Kingans - How Could I Forget 
3. Thomas Scott Quintet - Crowded World 
4. Paul Molloy - My Madonna
5. Honeywagen - For Love 
6. The Foreign Films - Birds In A Blue Sky 
7. Dropkick - Feeling Never Goes Away 
8. Hazel English - Off My Mind 
9. Smokescreens - I Love Only You 
10. Pelicat - The Other Side



All in all, it has been a good year and I have found so much great music from doing this blog. Thanks so much to everyone who has shown an interest/sent music to me. There will be a lot more reviews to come.




Friday, 18 December 2020

Davey Woodward and the Winter Orphans - Love and Optimism



Released: 27 Oct 2020
Label: A Turntable Friend
Listen and Buy Here


Davey Woodward, from Bristol UK, is a new discovery for me. He was originally in 80s jangle band The Brilliant Corners. His new album is a superb listen and less jangly, instead with hints of 90s indie rock. 

'Bad Day' opens the album and had vibes of Pavement and R.E.M. It is quite hard-hitting about lifes struggles - loneliness and money worries. The lyrics are vividly detailed and it really puts you in the place of the narrator.

'Hard' is a heartbreaking ballad about a failing relationship. The lyrics are quite bleak - 'My face is lined, from this endless road. The black rainbows where nothing flows.'

My favourite here is the gloriously melodic 'Northern Slopes'. It is a lot more simple than the majority of the songs here, and instantly memorable. It is good to have something a bit more light-hearted as many of the songs here are quite dark.

Other highlights include 'Occupy this Space' which is an honest and heartfelt love song. Again, it is wonderfully melodic and the hints of brass are so effective too. 'The Mall' has superb storytelling, reminiscent of Dylan, and is a sad song about coming to terms with loss - 'So how come I'm the one thats still alive, when you're the one who was supposed to survive?' It ends on 'Clara's Ghost' which has more folk vibes and hints of Velvet Underground. 

An essential listen, with heartfelt songs and vivid storytelling. Highly recommended.

Friday, 11 December 2020

Regional Creeps - No One Cares



Released: 27 Nov 2020
Label: Regional Records
Listen and Buy Here

Regional Creeps, from South Yorkshire UK, release their second album and its full of catchy indie pop gems.

It opens with 'Hard to Choose' which is energetic and extremely anthemic. Their sound is very much C86 indie/jangle inspired. It also bought to mind recent bands like Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever and Spinning Coin.

'Andy's Gone' is moody sounding with twangy guitars. It creates an eerie sound and is very cool. I could imagine it being played at student indie discos e.t.c.

My favourite here is 'Do It For Yourself', which is full of great melody and hooks. It is laid back with shimmering guitars and would make perfect listening for hazy Summer days.

Other highlights include 'No Offence', which is very upbeat and full of energy. 'Maybe I Will' has some great harmonies. The sound is distorted but never overly so, which is often the case with this type of music.

'Dizzy' closes the album in style. This one was quite hypnotic and sounds a little bit shoegaze too. 

A superb album full of wonderful indie pop anthems. Definitely a band to watch out for. Highly recommended.

Wednesday, 9 December 2020

Trevor Beld Jimenez - I Like It Here



Released: 13 Nov 2020
Label: Curation Records
Listen and Buy Here

Trevor Beld Jimenez, from L.A, releases his debut solo album and it is a superb listen. He has played drums and co-written songs for Gospelbeach who are a favourite of mine.

The sound naturally bought to mind the laid-back Americana of Gospelbeach (Brent Rademaker provides bass and vocals on the record). Also there are of course hints of Tom Petty and Crosby Stills & Nash too.

'Moment' is a strong opener, anthemic and Summery with an instantly memorable chorus. 'Get Ready To Fly' is more upbeat, feel good guitar pop.

Other highlights here include 'Saved Me' which is a beautiful and highly emotional love song with 60s West Coast harmonies. 'Comeback Kid' demonstrates wonderful storytelling, with Bob Dylan vibes. 

'TRS (True Love)' is the standout on the album, for me. A brilliant Country Pop anthem with a chorus which really soars. 

'Saying Goodbye To A Friend' is a heartfelt tribute to Neal Casal, his friend and band mate who sadly passed away in 2019. It is beautifully melodic with heartbreaking lyrics. - 'The World just couldn't keep you. You tried to defend. Now I'm saying goodbye to a friend'. 

It ends on 'Your Love Surrounds Me' another superb and moving ballad.

A very enjoyable listen and will bring a bit of Summer to these cold Winter days. Highly recommended.

Tuesday, 1 December 2020

Colours Through The Air Christmas Playlist




Its that time of year again so for a bit of fun, I have put together a Spotify Playlist of my favourite underappreciated Christmas 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.

The opening song could only be Hangabouts - Colors of Christmas from last year. It just brings lovely Xmas cheer, the melody and lyrics work so well.

Some of my other favourites are The Pale Fountains - Benoit's Christmas, and Attic Lights - Why Should Christmas Be So Hard?

I hope you all enjoy. Merry Christmas to all, thanks to everyone who has supported me with this music blog.

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







Sunday, 22 November 2020

Teenage Waitress - Love and Chemicals



Released: 13 Nov 2020
Label: Colorama Records
Buy Here

Teenage Waitress is the work of Southampton based Singer-Songwriter - Daniel J Ash. This is his debut and it is full of catchy, melodic indie pop gems. Daniel was previously in the band - The Lost Boys and their song 'Addicted' is well worth checking out too. 

Highlights of the album include 'The Mess You Made Me Make' which is wonderfully anthemic and upbeat. There are hints of 80s electronic, but not overwhelmingly so and it still sounds modern. The hooks recall all the finest Power Pop of the 70s. 

'I'm Leaving Berlin' is superbly catchy with an infectious chorus you can sing along to. There is also a hint of melancholy in the lyrics. 

My favourite here is 'You Ain't Got It Bad' which is instantly memorable and highly melodic indie pop. I could imagine this being a huge hit at the Festivals in the Summer. 'First Draft Love Song' has more chilled, ambient vibes and reminisces about a past love. The layered vocal harmonies in the production really add to the emotion.

'Maniac' is upbeat and poppy but quite dark in theme, singing of a disastrous date. 'You'll Lose My Love' is another favourite here, a simple love song with early Beatles vibes. Epic ballad - 'Sweetie' brings the album to an impressive close.

A hugely enjoyable listen, full of memorable, anthemic pop goodness. Highly recommended.


Friday, 20 November 2020

Allyson Seconds - Bag of Kittens



Released: 14 Nov 2020
Label: Big Stir
Listen and Buy Here

Allyson Seconds is a new discovery for me. This is a reissue of her debut album from 2009. I don't normally review too many reissues but this didn't get the attention it deserved, first time round.

It was written and produced by Anton Barbeau, one of Psych/Power Pop's best 'lost' songwriters. He has had a busy year, having already released two albums, including the epic double album Manbird.

'I Used To Say Your Name' is one of my favourite songs here. A very moving ballad. Allyson's subtle vocals suit the music perfectly and it has a lot of warmth.  'Boat Called Home' has country vibes and reminded me of some of Paul McCartney's solo music

Other highlights here include 'If I Could Bring You Trouble' which is a lovely duet with Anton. It is highly melodic and memorable with 60s vibes and a hint of Psych. 'Dig My Pig' has a lot of Byrdsian charm and the high vocals really add to the emotion. 

Title track 'Bag of Kittens' is wonderfully quirky. It has a childlike sense of fun. Also on the release are four unreleased bonus tracks. The best of these is 'Octagon' which is uplifting, summery guitar pop at its finest.

A really enjoyable listen, full of well-written melodic songs which will stay with you. Highly recommended.

Friday, 13 November 2020

The Pierce Kingans - Pierce and Love to All The World



Released: 13 Nov 2020
Label: Subjangle
Listen and Buy Here


The Pierce Kingans, from Vancouver, have been one of my favourite new discoveries of this year (found through the brilliant Janglepophub music blog). This is a new compilation featuring the sublime Rona Sessions EP of this year, and a selection of songs from their previous EPs. 

Pierce Kingan has played in other Canadian bands - The Prettys and Psych band The Orange Kyte. His solo material is wonderfully lo-fi, with glorious melodies and unique lyrics.

It opens with 'How Could I Forget' which is a gorgeous and simple love song. Only having one line, its power is in the melody, and it is very moving. The sound is reminiscent of The Everly Brothers and The Beatles.

'So Close' is a beautiful, stripped back ballad. The fragility and intense emotion in the vocals, is remarkable. 'Only Wanted To Be' is another standout here and the layered vocal harmonies are superb. 

Some of the songs here do have a slightly heavier sound too, although still filled with melody. 'It's Bleed Too Long' is upbeat and anthemic, recalling Pixies and early Radiohead. 'Spontaneous Human Busting' reminded me of the most thrash punk side of Nirvana. 'Pray' is eerie, hypnotic and brilliantly weird. 

'Opportunity Opus' is more charming Beatles-inspired guitar pop. Despite having old influences, the music still feels modern and relevant. It stands out against many other artists in the genre.

A wonderful variety of songs, with melodies which will stay with you from first listen. A superbly talented artist, well worth investigating.

Friday, 6 November 2020

Rosie Abbott - Magnified



Released: 2 Oct 2020
Label: _
Listen and Buy Here


Rosie Abbott, a singer-songwriter from Nottingham, UK, is a new discovery for me. I was drawn in when I first heard her single 'Hold On', as part of the Big Stir singles series. The B-side to this - 'I Don't Mean To Block Your Sunlight' is superbly catchy and I found it hard to believe it was only a b-side.

Her album Magnified is a wonderful listen with hints of Baroque pop and more experimental Folk. It opens with 'Magnified' which is a piano driven ballad, with later Beatles vibes. The layered vocal harmonies are very impressive.

'I Confess' is a dark and moody ballad with melancholic lyrics. The theme is regret and reflecting on a past relationship. Musically, it is arranged perfectly with a great guitar solo at the end.

Other highlights include 'Alice Died', which is more upbeat and folky with elements of storytelling. Lyrically, it is heartbreaking - "So sad to see how she'd become as brittle as a flower drying."

'Always Time' is another favourite here, a simple, stripped back song with lovely vocal harmonies. 'Yes' is an intricate, emotional folk song and an acceptance of a marriage proposal. 'The Look in our Eyes' is the most 'pop' song on the album and brilliantly melodic with inventive lyrics. 

A wonderfully accomplished album, especially as Abbott self-recorded this in lockdown. Highly recommended.

    



Sunday, 1 November 2020

The Thomas Scott Quintet - Marionette



Released: 22 Nov 2020, Pre-order now
Label: AV8 Records
Pre-order Here
  
Tommy Scott, better known as the singer of Britpop band - Space, releases his debut solo album. It is a beautiful listen, and a modern Baroque pop masterpiece. 

It opens with 'Shadowland' which is wonderfully atmospheric and eerie. The production is highly orchestral with sweeping strings. The guitar work is also superb with some epic guitar solos. His distinct, powerful voice suits the music perfectly.

'She Smokes Oblivious' is a fine example of indie/guitar pop. Its hard to find comparisons, as its so unique, but it brought to mind Echo & The Bunnymen. 

The standout here was 'Crowded World' which again reminded me of Ocean Rain era Bunnymen, with its grandeur. The lyrics express such a sadness and longing. 'Marionette' has some dark lyrics and is divinely orchestrated. It also brought to mind Nick Cave in places.

Other highlights include 'End of the World', a gorgeous ballad. It is highly melodic and perhaps a bit more subtle than most of the songs here. Again, it had classic 60s baroque pop vibes. 'God Made Me Ugly' is more upbeat, anthemic guitar pop and very enjoyable.

It ends on 'Treasure Chest' which is hugely emotional and again beautifully produced. A stunning album, full of powerful songs. A highly recommended listen.
 

Friday, 30 October 2020

Smokescreens - A Strange Dream



Released: 30 Oct 2020
Label: Slumberland Records
Listen and Buy Here


Smokescreens, from L.A, return with their new album and it is their most wonderfully jangly offering so far. It is produced by David Kilgour of New Zealand indie band - The Clean. 

Their sound is very much reminiscent of 80s jangle pop, such as The Go-Betweens and The Bats. There is a slight Velvet Underground and Modern Lovers influence too.

It opens with 'Fork In The Road' which is highly melodic and catchy. 'Working Title' is more of the same. The guitar work is superb and it has that sparkle of jangle bands from the 80s, the Flying Nun label e.t.c. 

'Nighttime Skies' is a stripped back ballad, with some nice vocal harmonies. 'I Want To Know' is sweet and heartfelt, the melodic hooks are still prominent. 

The standout here is the closing song 'I Love Only You', a beautifully sentimental ballad. It strongly brought to mind Jonathan Richman with some of the spoken parts. The chorus is just lovely, making this one of my favourite songs of the year so far.

A really enjoyable listen, full of songs which will stay with you. Highly recommended.

Tuesday, 27 October 2020

mylittlebrother - Howl



Released: 30 Oct 2020
Label: Big Stir
Listen and Buy Here


mylittlebrother of Cumbria, UK, are back with a new album and their first for renowned Power Pop record label - Big Stir. 

Their sound is very much indie with 90s/mid 00s guitar pop vibes. They reminded me of The Late Pioneers (signed to Subjangle) so if you liked them, or any other melodic indie pop for that matter, this is well worth checking out.

It opens with 'Play Hard', which is gloriously anthemic, reminiscent of British Sea Power and other mid 00s bands. 'Janey' is the standout song here and has hints of Americana. The chorus has some wonderful harmonies and is instantly memorable. I can imagine this getting a lot of radio airplay, here and in the USA. 

'Goldmine' sounds more 70s funk, the chorus is a series of oh's which I wasn't too sure of at first but it is an enjoyable listen.  'Howl' is another favourite here - a catchy love song with a lot of charm and lovely melodies. 'Responsibility' is a simple yet quirky song and will have you singing along.

'Chicago' is epic and quite long at over 5 minutes. The theme is wanting to move away from 'little England' to be with a loved one in Chicago. The song has different sections and reaches an impressive ending, which is heavy and angry in tone. 'Time Of Our Lives' is a big emotional ballad of the highest standard. 

A superb album, full of memorable anthems and great melodies. Highly recommended.

Monday, 19 October 2020

Tugboat Captain - Rut



Released: 16 Oct 2020
Label: Double A-Side Records
Listen and Buy Here


Tugboat Captain, from London, are a fairly new band and this is their debut studio album, although they have had more lo-fi DIY releases before. It is full of memorable and melodic indie pop anthems.

It opens with 'Check Ur Health' which is epic and even has an anthemic singalong towards the end.

'If Tomorrow's Like Today' is the standout here and quite upbeat with melancholic wistful lyrics. It is wonderfully produced and mainly piano driven which is unusual for this sort of music. There are fuzzy guitar solos, trumpets and superb vocal harmonies too. It has a lot of charm and never seems too overcomplicated.

'No Plans (For this Year)' is another highlight and very reminiscent of later Beatles, such as Hey Jude. Again, the production is rather epic.

Other highlights include 'Come Dig Me Out' which is quirky, both lyrically and melodically. It raises issues such as unemployment and behind the upbeat melodies, it is serious and sad. 

'Rut...Waking Hour' starts off as a melodic ballad reminiscent of Elliott Smith. There are lots of changes throughout the song, like with 70s prog. The electronic parts brought to mind ELO. The album ends on 'Day to Day' an anthem about living in poverty with some pretty hard-hitting lyrics.

A superb album, which is unique both in sound, and lyrically. Highly recommended.

Sunday, 11 October 2020

Professor Yaffle - Moments of Clarity



Released: 9 Oct 2020
Label: _
Buy Here


Professor Yaffle, from Liverpool, is back with his third album. I have been aware of him since his debut album (Cosmic Lullabies) which is full of beautiful songs, including 'It Was Always You', 'Sometimes' and a wonderful cover of Michael Head's Newby Street.

His sound is mostly indie but has hints of ambience, electronic, jazz and folk. The new album opens with 'Time To Change', which is laid back and has some lovely melodies with hints of country. 'A Moment of Clarity' is an epic soundscape at over 8 minutes long. The sound is reminiscent of Spiritualized.

Other highlights include 'I Guess That I'll Be Fine', a beautifully melodic love song, with some superb trumpet playing. 'Turning Fear into Ecstasy' is quite moody and has Pink Floyd vibes. It is still chilled out, making this the perfect album for late evening listening. 'You Turned My Light On' is a short but heartfelt ballad, more reminiscent of the songs on the first album. 

My favourite here is 'Sail Away' which has hints of jazz and brought to mind Shack - Hey Mama. It ends on the stripped back 'It's All Over Now', which is very subtle and moving.

A beautifully arranged and orchestrated album, with wonderfully chilled out vibes. Highly recommended. 

Wednesday, 7 October 2020

Sunstack Jones - Golden Repair



Released: 9 Oct 2020
Label: Mai 68 Records
Listen and Buy Here


Sunstack Jones, from Liverpool, are a band I have liked for a while. Their sound is mainly indie but also includes elements of Psych and Shoegaze. Their new album is excellent laid back listening, perfect for Autumn evenings. It was recorded by Simon Jones (The Verve) and mixed by Paul Den Heyer (whose solo album from last year is a favourite of mine). 

It opens with 'Where You Gonna Go' which is an epic start to the album at over 7 minutes. It doesn't feel that long when you listen to it. The sound naturally brought to mind The Verve, especially A Storm In Heaven era, mixed with hints of Americana. It goes into a 'jam' at the end with plenty of great guitar solos. 

My favourite here is 'How It All Went Down' which is a superb pop song with some great vocal harmonies. It still has that shoegaze distortion. The guitar riff brought to mind Oasis.

Other highlights include 'Glass Boat' which is surprisingly anthemic and quite energetic. 'Distill' is a delicate ballad and more stripped back, proving this band aren't a one trick pony in only doing shoegaze heavy distorted tracks. 'Seams' is another favourite and has quite a hypnotic groove to it, like many of the songs here.

Well worth a listen, though I like the melodic indie side to them more, the shoegaze tracks create a glorious 'wall of sound'. Highly recommended.

Tuesday, 6 October 2020

KEYS - Home Schooling



Released: 21 Aug 2020
Label: Libertino Records
Buy Here


Welsh indie band - KEYS are a fairly recent discovery for me. Their new album is a really enjoyable listen with Lo-fi and 60s Psych vibes. It was home recorded during the Lockdown. 

The songs are very well-written and their sound reminded me of Ultimate Painting, Teenage Fanclub e.t.c. 'This Side Of Luv' is a wonderful opener and has the timelessness of 60s Soul, and hints of The Beach Boys. The melody will stay in your head for a long time to come.

'Phases' is the standout song here, a heartfelt ballad of the highest standard. The lo-fi production really adds to the charm, and its simplicity is very effective.

'The Strain' has some fantastic harmonies and really brought to mind Teenage Fanclub's most melodic output. The melody vaguely recalls Procol Harum - A Whiter Shade of Pale. 'Cargoes' is very Psychedelic and heavily Syd Barrett influenced. 'Trick of the Light' is more Velvet Underground and another great melodic pop song. 'Your Name Across My Heart' is a beautiful song and again it sounds like it could be from any era.  

A wonderful listen, and the songs are so great, you will be playing them on repeat. Highly recommended.

Saturday, 3 October 2020

The Pierce Kingans - Pierce De Resistance



Released: 2 Oct 2020
Label: Boat Dreams from the Hill
Listen and Buy Here

The Pierce Kingans are from Vancouver and this is their latest EP. I had very high expectations for this as their earlier 'Rona Sessions' one is a favourite of mine (coming to Subjangle as a cd soon). 

The new EP opens with 'White Phosphorus' which has hints of 60s Psych and brought to mind Shocking Blue's Is This a Dream. It sounds very different to the last EP which was more vocal harmony rich with Beatles/Everly Brothers vibes. The melodies are still gorgeous though, like the rest of their music.

'Opportunity Opus' vaguely recalls the melody of The Beatles - Only A Northern Song. The chorus is superb and there are a lot of changes which still make this unique.

'Entropy 2' has hints of The Strokes and is so enjoyable and upbeat. 'Proximity Pity' has Rolling Stones vibes and sounds more like his old band The Prettys who are well worth checking out too. Highly recommended.

Friday, 2 October 2020

Theatre Royal - Portraits



Released: 9 Oct 2020
Label: _
Listen and Buy Here

Theatre Royal are an indie pop band from Rochester, UK, and have been making music for about 10 years. Although they are a fairly new discovery for me. 

The new album is a superb listen, demonstrating well-written songs full of melody and interesting lyrics. Their sound brings to mind the 80s jangle of other Medway bands (such as The Dentists) and also Australia's The Go-Betweens. 

It opens with 'A Marvelous Death' which is brilliantly anthemic and surprisingly uplifting for the subject matter. 'Kasher' is also a standout here and a lovely song, telling a story of a boy who takes in a lost bird. The harmonies are wonderful and recalls the timelessness of The Beatles e.t.c.

My favourite here is 'Together We're Alone' which is melodic, heartfelt indie pop of the highest standard. A great song which will have you playing it on repeat.

'Count Your Blessings' is a big ballad recalling Echo & The Bunnymen's Killing Moon. 'Tomorrow Now' is more memorable and anthemic indie. 'My Dear' has some wistful lyrics and is also very heartfelt which is something the band do really well. 

It ends on the epic 'Incidental Friend' which has something heartbreaking about it, singing about loss.

A superb album and highly recommended, especially if you love melodic sounding indie with elements of storytelling.

Sunday, 27 September 2020

The English Rain - Echoes of You



Released: 25 Sept 2020
Label: _
Listen on Spotify

The English Rain are from Brisbane and this is their long awaited debut album. It is a great listen and recommended if you love highly melodic and sophisticated guitar pop.

It opens with 'My Town' which has Go-Betweens vibes. It has a big sweeping chorus, with wistful lyrics and glorious melodies.

'Baby Please' is more Americana in style and an example of some brilliant male/female vocal harmonies. It is a love song with a little heartbreak and yearning.

'Everywhere I Go' is another beautiful song, featuring guest vocalist Cassi Marie - an upcoming country singer. It is timeless with hints of Burt Bacharach - Walk on By.

My favourite here is the wonderfully Beatles-esque 'She's A Rainbow'. Its completely different to The Rolling Stones song of the same name. The hooks are superb and you will find yourself humming along.

'Without You' is more catchy 60s style pop, with vague hints of Americana. The chorus is so uplifting, even though the subject of the song is obviously about missing someone you love. It ends on the unexpectedly heavy 'Swamp Girl' which has anthemic 70s rock vibes. It brought to mind The Sweet, and is a lot of fun. 

A wonderful debut album with so much variety and memorable songs. Highly recommended.






Friday, 25 September 2020

Blake - HMS Blake



Released: 25 Sept 2020
Label: Subjangle
Listen and Buy Here

Blake is the work of Julian Pugsley, a songwriter based in Wiltshire, UK. This release comprises of his latest album 1971 (from earlier this year) and a special bonus 'best of' disc of his earlier work.

It is an extensive collection of some of the best 'lost' guitar pop songs you will ever hear. His sound is reminiscent of 90s jangle - Belle and Sebastian and Gorkys Zygotic Mynci. 

1971 has some lovely songs. Highlights include the heartfelt 'Peter Green', which pays homage to the legendary Fleetwood Mac guitarist who passed away in July. The song has more of a Folk sound and has so much charm.

My favourite on the album is the superbly catchy 'Whenever', which actually sounds like a lost radio hit. 'Denied' is a moving and highly melodic ballad. 'Daisy Chain' is a simple acoustic gem, short and very sweet. There are also 6 new bonus tracks, the best of these being 'Pepper man', about Paul McCartney. It has vibes of Status Quo - Pictures of Matchstick Men.

Highlights of the 'best of' disc include 'Vinyl Junkie', which is about loving music and collecting obsessively, something a lot of music fans could relate to. My personal favourite here is 'Anyhow' which is catchy guitar pop of the highest standard. 'Now You're Gone' is also wonderfully melodic and demonstrates superb songwriting. It is instantly memorable like many of the songs here.

'She Flew Away' has 60s Psych vibes with more of a raw edge. It is a lot of fun and one I listened to repeatedly. 'We'll Be Champions' is an emotional song about the four Palestinian boys killed in Gaza (2014) whilst playing football. It is a beautiful yet sad listen. It ends on 'Star Over Bethlehem', a Christmas carol with some lovely harmonies. 

A superb collection of songs from a great 'lost' songwriter. Highly recommended.


Friday, 18 September 2020

The Electorate - You Don't Have Time To Stay Lost



Released: 18 Sept 2020
Label: _
Listen and Buy Here

The Electorate, from Sydney Australia, are a new discovery for me and this is their debut. It is full of melodic and energetic guitar pop gems.

It opens with 'Number 1' which is dark and moody with vivid philosophical lyrics. 'Enormous Glorious Girl' is much more light-hearted and a superb pop song. It has a chorus that really soars.

Other highlights include 'If I Knew' which has to be my favourite here. Brilliantly melodic and anthemic, reminiscent of the best of 00s indie/guitar pop, such as Idlewild e.t.c. Right up my street and it even name drops Fugazi who are obviously an influence here.

'Hercules' has 90s Britpop meets Sgt Peppers Beatles vibes, and themes of climate change with quirky lyrics - 'Well its been strange, strange weather we've been having. Think we've gone down twisting in a sea of plastic.'

'A Good Man' has some great guitar riffs. If you like a slightly heavier edge, this band is for you. Lyrically it is quite angry and has themes of Womens rights - 'You should be able to walk without feeling threatened. You should be able to wear whatever the hell that you want to.'

A superb debut album, full of anthemic indie, covering some important issues. Highly recommended.



Sunday, 13 September 2020

Cassette 50 - Jetmobile



Released: 10 Sept 2020
Label: _
Listen and Buy Here


Cassette 50 is the new project of The Late Pioneers - Nick Worrall. As you might already know I am a big Late Pioneers fan and 'Let Me Tell You How It Hurts' was one of my favourite songs of last year.

It opens with 'Can You Hear The New Revolution', which is upbeat, catchy guitar pop with political lyrics. - 'You're fencing off the hills and the rivers and you're pocketing the gain. Together you can gamble a country and profit from the pain' It sounds like it could be an anti-Brexit song.

Other highlights include 'The Light Behind the Trees' which is catchy with the 90s vibes of Oasis and Teenage Fanclub.

'The Ichneumonidae' is about inequality and the evils of the capitalist society, people born into wealth. e.t.c. Again it has some great melodies and is very memorable.

'The Sunlight Underground' has more psychedelic folk vibes. 'Always in Doubt' is more superb 90s sounding indie with an anthemic chorus. 

An excellent album, both lyrically and melodically. Highly recommended.






Friday, 11 September 2020

Colours Through The Air Autumn Playlist




So Autumn is upon us and for a bit of fun, I have put together a playlist of my favourite Autumnal songs. There is a mixture of recent and old but I feel all of these really capture the magic of the season.

The opening song could only be RW Hedges - Amber Room which was released last year. You can read the review here  There are a couple of songs from his songwriting partner Luca Nieri as well, whose music particularly feels Autumnal for me. A review for his new album can be found here

Some of my other favourites are The Superimposers - Autumn Falls, and The Asteroid No. 4 - The Windmill of the Autumn Sky. I've also included some classics from The Kinks (you could probably guess which), The Pale Fountains, Big Star, The Beach Boys and Dusty Springfield. 

I hope you all enjoy. If its a success I might have to do a Winter one next.

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







Wednesday, 9 September 2020

The National Honor Society - To All The Glory We Never Had



Released: 28 May 2020
Label: Kocliko Records
Listen and Buy Here


This is a great album from about 4 months ago which had passed me by. The National Honor Society, from Seattle, are a new discovery for me and they have 90s jangle vibes.

It opens with 'Turn Me On' which has a slightly heavier edge but is still super catchy and energetic. I hear hints of Oasis but it does not have the sneer and attitude and is a lot more fun.

'Everybody Lives and Breathes' has 90s Britpop vibes and an ultra melodic chorus like the more Psychedelic side to The Beatles.

'Crystalize' is more melodic pop goodness, with highly memorable hooks. The album does require a few listens to really appreciate it fully. 'First Among The Last' has more 80s vibes and synths.

The standout song for me is 'Never Gonna Make It Happen' which has some superb harmonies and hints of 60s jangle, complete with sha la la la's. 'When We Ruled The School' is another gorgeous pop song, full of charm. 

A great guitar pop album, with many memorable songs and anthems. Highly recommended.






Friday, 4 September 2020

Nat Vazer - Is This Offensive and Loud?



Released: 29 May 2020
Label: Hotel Motel Records
Listen and Buy Here

Australian Indie pop singer-songwriter, Nat Vazer is a recent discovery for me. Her new album is a great listen and well worth investigating.

It opens with 'Like Demi' which is very raw and honest lyrically. It seems to be quite a personal song in which she reminisces about her past self and a relationship.

'Higher Places' is my favourite song here and is very heartfelt with elements of dream pop. The sound is slightly reminiscent of Beach House. It is also quite anthemic in quality.

'Grateful' manages to sound like Nirvana, The Beatles and Radiohead, all in one song. Of course it is right up my street! It is quite angry in tone and questions how women are treated in society. 

Another favourite here is 'Mother' which is stripped-back and a heartbreaking song. It has themes of loneliness and families growing apart. 

A superb album, with so much beauty as well as melancholy. Highly recommended.






Thursday, 3 September 2020

Red Cavalry - Give Me A Sign



Released: 2 Sep 2020
Label: _
Listen on Spotify

Red Cavalry are a new band from Wales and Germany. Their new single really caught my attention, demonstrating some of the most perfect jangle pop I have heard all year.

'Give Me A Sign' is superbly melodic with catchy hooks. The simplicity of course recalls The Beatles and The Beach Boys. There are more 80s jangle vibes too.

It is a song to have on repeat and at only just over 2 minutes long, it doesn't outstay its welcome and leaves you wanting more. 

There is an album and extra songs on Spotify which I will be checking out. Definitely a band to watch out for.




                                 




Wednesday, 26 August 2020

Rick Irregular - The Litany Lament



Released: 18 Jul 2020
Label: _
Buy Here

Rick Irregular, from Manchester UK, is a new discovery for me. He was previously in cult Post Punk band - Thrush Puppies. This album is actually a collection of demos spanning from 1997 - 2017.

The song - 'Recently' is what caught my attention and why I am reviewing this. A highly melodic and moving breakup song, with anthemic 90s jangle vibes. The sound brought to mind Longpigs and Teenage Fanclub. Its a song I could see reaching a larger audience.

The rest of the album is a lot heavier sounding more like Joy Division and The Fall. 'In Column Miscellaneous' is dark and moody with thought provoking lyrics. It is slightly reminiscent of The Cure - A Forest. 

Other highlights include 'Bloody Winter in New York' which has dalek like vocals and is very Post Punk. It is quite enjoyable even though its not my usual type of thing and has great energy. Another favourite is 'She's My Monomania' which is heavy but still manages to have pop hooks. 

A collection of songs well worth checking out, especially for the song 'Recently' which will blow you away.







Friday, 21 August 2020

Paul Molloy - The Fifth Dandelion



Released: 21 Aug 2020
Label: Spring Heeled Records
Buy Here
Listen on Spotify


Paul Molloy (The Coral/Serpent Power) releases his debut solo album and it is a wonderfully Psychedelic listen. His sound is very 60s with hints of The Beatles and Syd Barrett.

Lead single 'Dungaree Day' is reminiscent of The Beach Boys - Don't Worry Baby, complete with ba ba bas. It is highly melodic and Summery. 

'My Madonna' is my favourite song here and one of the most fabulous jangle pop songs released all year. It is wonderful lyrically, with imagery of love, space and 'drinking whiskey from a fountain'. 

Other highlights include 'Andromeda' which is Psych with great Pop hooks. 'Hey Ho Jack Of Diamonds' demonstrates superb storytelling and even goes a bit prog with different sections. It reaches a very impressive 'Western' sounding climax towards the end too. It ends on 'Talacre Lighthouse' which is very atmospheric with more nautical imagery. 

A superb album which takes you on an amazing Psychedelic journey. Highly recommended.



Sunday, 16 August 2020

The On and Ons - Menacing Smile EP



Released: 17 May 2020
Label: Citadel Records
Listen and Buy Here

I've been aware of Australian Power Pop/Psych band - The On and Ons for a while. Their previous 2 albums have some great hook-laden melodic pop songs, including a favourite of mine 'Before Our Eyes'.

The new EP opens with 'Menacing Smile' which has 60s garage and Psych vibes. Their sound is a fusion of The Rolling Stones, The Beatles and also fellow Australian band - The Stems. 'Don't Wanna Talk About It' heavily draws from The Beatles but like so much of this music, its a hugely enjoyable listen, which is the most important thing. 

'Monday Blues' is anthemic and remains melodic with some great harmonies. 'Change of Heart' has hints of Highway to Hell and it is a lot of fun. 

A superb EP. Catchy guitar pop at its best.






Friday, 14 August 2020

Librarians With Hickeys - Long Overdue



Released: 14 Aug 2020
Label: Big Stir
Listen and Buy Here

Librarians With Hickeys, from Ohio, are a new discovery for me, and this is their full length debut album.

Their sound is very jangly and reminiscent of The Byrds and R.E.M. The strength of the songs here shows they have the edge over many purveyors of this genre.

It opens with 'Until There Was You' which is perfect guitar pop full of great hooks. 'And Then She's Gone' is probably my favourite on the album - a very sweet and emotional song about moving away to make a better life for yourself.

'Be My Plus One' demonstrates superb songwriting and shows why a lot of the time, simple songs are the most effective. The harmonies and added ukulele make it even more perfect. 'Next Time' sounds like it could be a lost radio hit from the 80s.

Other highlights include 'Leave Me Alone' which is full of Punk energy and angrier in tone. It is really effective and adds variety. 'Alex' is beautifully atmospheric and laid back Summer evening listening. It ends on the very upbeat 'Black Velvet Dress' with more superb pop hooks and melodies. 

A wonderful album, highly recommended to any fans of the guitar pop genre.