Friday, 26 February 2021

Tamar Berk - The Restless Dreams of Youth

Released: 26 Feb 2021
Label: _
Listen and Buy Here

Tamar Berk, from California, makes her solo debut and it is a wonderful listen, full of guitar pop gems.

Her sound is reminiscent of the  early 90s and brought to mind artists such as Juliana Hatfield and Liz Phair.

It opens with 'Skipping the Cracks' which is brilliantly upbeat with great pop hooks. The theme is looking on the bright side of a breakup.

'Shadow Clues' is a lot darker and heavy sounding, with suspense running throughout. There aren't many lyrics so it is kind of hypnotic, and about barriers in a relationship. 'A New Case' is a beautiful, piano driven ballad with some heartbreaking lyrics - "There's nothing I hate more than you seeing me this way. I'm nothing more than a lump of clay."

My favourite here is 'Better Off Meditating' which is more energetic guitar pop. It has a slight punk edge to it and a chorus you will be singing along to.

Other highlights include 'Heavy & Abusive' - a sad song about fear of saying the 'wrong thing' to a short tempered partner. 'Til I've Won', is a heartfelt love song with some beautiful melodies and superb vocals. 'In The Wild' is more hook filled, Summery pop. It ends on 'Suitcase & Gun', a slow song about trying to escape from somewhere, with vivid lyrics.

A fantastic debut and a hugely enjoyable listen. Highly recommended.

Wednesday, 24 February 2021

The Electric Stars - Velvet Elvis The Only Lover Left Alive

Released: 1 Feb 2021
Label: _
Listen Here
Buy Here

The Electric Stars are a Psych/Power Pop band from Manchester UK. I was first aware of them a couple of years ago. Their new album has plenty of variety and some very quirky lyrics, making for an interesting and enjoyable listen.

It opens with 'Velvet Elvis', a 9 minute epic. The sound has the 90s vibes of Primal Scream, and a psych/dance groove to it. There are some superb guitar solos. Lyrically it is about finding solace in music, away from the horrors of Politics e.t.c. 

'Electric Stardust' is more jangly and upbeat with 60s vibes. Lyrically it is reminiscing about growing up, being young and finding who you are. The chorus is wonderfully melodic and catchy.  

My favourite here is 'Sunshine', which has Psych vibes of The Rolling Stones. It is instantly memorable and very Summery as you would expect!

Other highlights include 'Suicide' which is a lot darker with intense and thought provoking lyrics. 'Loaded With Regrets' is an emotional listen - a heartfelt, vivid account of a breakup. 'We Love You' has a more 70s Punk edge to it, and great energy. 

A brilliant album, recommended to all fans of the guitar pop genre. 

Friday, 19 February 2021

The Gold Needles - Whats Tomorrow Ever Done For You?

Released: 19 Feb 2021
Label: Jem Records
Listen and Buy Here

Power Pop band - The Gold Needles, from Hull UK, have been on my radar a while. Their song 'Here She Goes Again' from the last album was one of my favourites of 2019.

The new album opens with 'What's Tomorrow Ever Done For You?' which brought to mind the jangly guitar pop of The Bluebells. The hooks are superb and it is instantly memorable.

'I Get The Pressure' has more 80s vibes and is upbeat and anthemic. There are a few covers on the album too, the first being 'Have You Ever Loved Somebody', by The Hollies. It is a great version and they add their own unique style to it.

Other highlights include 'Billy Liar' which is wonderfully catchy with a child-like charm. The band pay homage to The Beatles with a cover of 'If I Needed Someone'. It fits in with the album perfectly. 'The Story of My Life' sounds like a lost 80s radio hit. 

The album ends on a beautiful ballad 'Drown This Sorrow' which is heartfelt and melancholic. It shows there is more to the band than just upbeat anthemic pop. 

A brilliant album full of well-written guitar pop gems. Highly recommended.

Wednesday, 17 February 2021

Stephen's Shore - Brisbane Radio EP

Released: 22 Jan 2021
Label: Meritorio Records
Listen and Buy Here

Stephen's Shore, from Sweden, are back with a new EP. Their last album - September Love, was pretty much all I listened to in Summer 2018, so I was really anticipating this.

Their sound is a combination of 60s inspired Byrdsian Psych, meets atmospheric dreampop. It opens with 'Brisbane Radio' which is brilliantly melodic and catchy. The echoing vocal harmonies are so effective and makes them unique in an overcrowded genre.

'Midvert' is a wonderful instrumental, which is somehow warm and Summery sounding even on the coldest days. 'Skogen' has more chiming guitars and melancholic lyrics.

It ends on 'Up to No Good' which is more superb jangle pop with memorable hooks. Well worth checking out, along with their album September Love, if you haven't already.

Wednesday, 10 February 2021

The Boys With The Perpetual Nervousness - Songs From Another Life

Released: 5 Feb 2021
Label: Bobo Integral/Kool Kat
Listen and Buy Here

The Boys With The Perpetual Nervousness is the side project of Andrew Taylor from Dropkick. Their song 'Feeling Never Goes Away' was one of my favourites of last year, so I was quite excited to hear this. Dropkick also have a new best of which I would recommend checking out too.

This album is full of the usual guitar pop gems. It opens with 'I Don't Mind' which has Summery Teenage Fanclub vibes. 'Play (On My Mind)' is more of the same, heartfelt melodic indie at its finest.

My favourite here is the wonderful 'Rose Tinted Glass' which is instantly memorable with fantastic pop hooks. Most of the songs here are under 3 minutes long and although short, are very satisfying.

Other highlights include 'Summer' with its sparkling guitar riffs and anthemic chorus. 'In Between' is a lovely closing song, simple and sweet. They don't stray away from their usual sound but it is very enjoyable and will sound especially great in the Summer. A highly recommended listen.