Friday, 28 May 2021

Kevin Robertson - Sundown's End

Released: 28 May 2021
Label: Subjangle/Futureman Records
Listen and Buy Here

Kevin Robertson, of Scottish band - The Vapour Trails, releases his first ever solo album. I had high expectations for this and it did not disappoint. As you would expect, it is another album of jangle pop perfection.   

It opens with 'Into The Black' which is ultra melodic and Summery. The gorgeous harmonies, of course, recall The Byrds and Teenage Fanclub.

Other highlights include 'Settle Down' which has fantastic pop hooks and a slightly more Country sound. The subtle banjo sounds really add to it too and at times it brought to mind The Traveling Wilburys. 

'See How We Love' is very heartfelt with some wonderful harmonies. It launches into the superb 'Telepathic Minds' which recalls the best of 60s Psych and is one of my favourite songs here.

'Loves Blue Yonder' is the standout of the album and is memorable guitar pop of the highest standard. It is one of those songs which sticks in your mind and has you singing along straight away. 

It ends on 'Yesterdays Reign' which has vibes of The Beatles - Tomorrow Never Knows. A hugely enjoyable listen, particularly if you love 60s inspired guitar pop. Highly recommended.

Thursday, 27 May 2021

Daniel Wylie's Cosmic Rough Riders - Atoms and Energy

Released: 2 Jul 2021/Pre-order now
Label: Last Night From Glasgow
Buy Here

Daniel Wylie, of Cosmic Rough Riders, returns with a new album. I have been aware of his music since discovering the 'Enjoy The Melodic Sunshine' compilation years ago. It was as melodic and summery as the title suggested and filled with superb guitar pop songs.   

The new album is not quite as jangle poppy but has more Americana vibes too. It opens with 'The Bruises and the Blood' which is a dark song about domestic violence. It is heartbreaking and addresses the dilemma of someone listening in and unsure whether to intervene. The sound is reminiscent of R.E.M.

'Heavens Waiting Room' is a deep and wistful song, looking back on life and coming to terms with death. The guitar sound brought to mind Waterpistol era Shack, which can only be a good thing.

My favourite here is the gorgeous love song 'Our Love Will Never Die' which has vibes of Neil Young. It is wonderfully heartfelt, without being overly sentimental.

Other highlights include 'Ruth The Truth', a bittersweet country pop song with some great storytelling. 'Listen to the Sound of the Rain' is another favourite here. It is very atmospheric with 70s Americana vibes. 

It ends on 'Saddle Up The Horses', a Western themed song, with vivid lyrics, reminiscing of childhood. Again, it is beautifully atmospheric and a joy to listen to.

A wonderful album from a superb, yet relatively unheard, Songwriter. Highly recommended.

Monday, 17 May 2021

Jim McCulloch - When I Mean What I Say

Released: 21 May 2021
Label: Violette
Listen and Buy Here

Jim McCulloch, of The Soup Dragons and Snowgoose, releases his much anticipated debut solo album. It is a lovely acoustic sounding record with so much melody and charm.  

It opens with 'Blackstick Boogie', which is very laid-back with Jazz and Folk vibes. There are some beautiful harmonies and intricate harp playing. His sound is reminiscent of Pentangle and also has hints of Marina records band - The Pearlfishers.

'Chorus of Lists' is a standout song here, as it is very unique. It is an almost hypnotic rhyme/chant, with layered vocal harmonies e.t.c. which add to the emotion so effectively. 

Other highlights include 'Augmented Yet Diminished' which had 60s vibes of Burt Bacharach. 'Shining Bright' is an uplifting love song and includes the superb backing vocals of Rachel Jack. 'Open & Shut' is a sweet folk song, again driven by powerful vocal harmonies. 

My favourite here is 'Come Little Waves of Light' which is the perfect example of how the simplest of songs can be the most affecting. It is sung from the heart and has that warmth and timelessness of much loved hymns. 

It ends on title track - 'When I Mean What I Say' which is melancholic with wistful lyrics. The ending is quite ethereal and the perfect way to close the album.

A lovely record, full of well written songs, delivered with such emotion. Highly recommended.

Thursday, 6 May 2021

Electric Looking Glass - Somewhere Flowers Grow

Released: 30 Apr 2021
Label: We Are Busy Bodies
Listen and Buy Here

Electric Looking Glass, from LA, are a recent discovery for me. Their debut is a wonderful listen and a combination of 60s style Baroque Pop and Psych.   

It opens with 'Purple, Red, Green Blue and Yellow' which is as lovely and Psychedelic as the title suggests. It drew to mind The Zombies, with sweet melodies and Garage production.

'Find out Girl' demonstrates some skilled guitar work and harmonies. My favourite here is 'Rosie in the Rain' which sounds like it could actually be a lost radio hit. There are hints of The Kinks here too. 

Other highlights include 'Daffodil Tea Shoppe' which is full of Summery 60s charm, and instantly memorable. It goes into a superb Beatles-esque medley towards the end. 'Motor Car' really drew to mind one of my favourite bands - The Left Banke. 'If I Cross Your Mind' is another standout and melancholic but with great pop hooks.

A hugely enjoyable album, well worth checking out, especially for Baroque pop fans.

Wednesday, 5 May 2021

Lost Ships - Nostalgia EP

Released: 30 Apr 2021
Label: Subjangle
Listen and Buy Here

Lost Ships, from Portsmouth UK, are back with a new EP and it is more superb jangle with 90s vibes.   

It opens with the wonderfully anthemic 'Weight of the World' and it immediately drew to mind Teenage Fanclub's more upbeat earlier music.

'Shirley from Shirley' is more enjoyable indie pop and was reminiscent of more 80s jangle/C86. There is some great storytelling and describes a mundane day in the life of Shirley with some quirky lyrics. 

'Inside My Head' is my favourite here and is very catchy with more unique ideas and lyrics - 'In the takeaway of love, theres no refunds and no returns. All you see on your receipt is that your purchase is complete.'

'Come to Me' is more melodic and catchy indie pop of the highest standard. A hugely recommended EP full of memorable songs.