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.