Saturday, 26 June 2021

Eggs on Mars - Brighter Now EP

Released: 25 June 2021
Label: Subjangle
Listen and Buy Here

Eggs on Mars, from Kansas City, are a new addition to the ever growing Subjangle label. They have had quite a few self-released albums and would say 'Mama Pancake' (2018) is well worth checking out too. The song 'Red Haired Darling' especially stood out. Their sound is wonderfully lo-fi, with hints of Velvet Underground and the 80s jangle of Flying Nun records (The Bats, The Chills e.t.c). 

The new EP opens with 'Fingers and Lips' which is lovely and melodic with strong pop hooks. There are hints of early Teenage Fanclub in here too. 'More' is very short and sweet with 60s vibes.

Other highlights include 'Brighter Now' which is very upbeat with simple melodies which stick in your mind. The production is quite basic with added electronic keyboard bits, giving it that bedroom pop/lo-fi charm. It ends on 'Handbills' which is still quirky and upbeat pop.

A highly recommended EP from a band well worth checking out, especially if you love more lo-fi jangle.

Thursday, 24 June 2021

Dany Laj and the Looks - Ten Easy Pieces

Released: 11 June 2021
Label: We Are Busy Bodies/Rum Bar
Listen and Buy Here

Dany Laj and the Looks, from Ontario, are a recent discovery for me. Their sound is a fun blend of Americana, 50s rock n roll and Power Pop, making their album a highly enjoyable listen.

It opens with 'Don't Keep Me Guessin'' which is really anthemic and upbeat. The male/female vocal harmonies are superb and its so uplifting it will have you singing along. It is the standout on the album and I could imagine it as a Summer music festival favourite.

Other highlights include 'Pick It Up' which is more brilliantly anthemic Power Pop and is infectiously catchy. It brought to mind Cheap Trick and Material Issue.

'In Other Words' is a slower ballad, still highly melodic and heartfelt. The production is quite stripped back and rough, giving it that retro feel. 'Who's Pickin On You' has more wonderful pop hooks. 'You and Me' sounds like a lost 50s/early 60s radio hit with more Country vibes.

A highly recommended album, especially if you love melodic and hook-laden Power Pop/Americana.

Tuesday, 22 June 2021

John Myrtle - Myrtle Soup

Released: 18 June 2021
Label: Sad Club Records
Listen and Buy Here

London Songwriter John Myrtle is back with his debut album after a wonderful EP back in 2019. It is more 60s inspired jangle with so much charm and melody.

It opens with 'Get Her Off My Mind', which is the standout song here. His sound recalls early Kinks and there are some superb harmonies. It is sung so sweetly but without being too twee. 

Other highlights include 'Here I Go Again' which also has 60s vibes and brought to mind The Velvet Underground - Femme Fatale'How Can You Tell If You Love Her?' is more perfect pop which strongly reminded me of The Lovin' Spoonful - Did You Ever Have To Make Up Your Mind?.

'Spider on The Wall' is a lovely Syd Barrett-inspired song. The lyrics have a child-like simplicity and it is perfectly whimsical. The album ends on 'Remember Holly Park', which again has some beautiful harmonies and wistful lyrics.

A highly enjoyable listen and much recommended for fans of 60s guitar pop.

Sunday, 20 June 2021

The Catenary Wires - Birling Gap

Released: 18 June 2021
Label: Skep Wax Records/Shelflife Records
Listen and Buy Here

UK indie pop band - The Catenary Wires, are a new discovery for me. The group includes Amelia Fletcher and Rob Pursey, who have played in the bands - Heavenly and Talulah Gosh. Their new album is wonderfully melodic with dreamy harmonies, separating them from other indie pop acts. 

It opens with 'Face on the Rail Line' which is superbly atmospheric and so beautiful it drew me in straight away. It has an ethereal quality which is hard to describe, you just have to listen to it really! Their overall sound brought to mind Saint Etienne, and the 80s indie of The Go-Betweens. 

Other highlights on the album include 'Always on my Mind' which is more upbeat and Summery. There are hints of The Beach Boys too. 'Mirror Ball' is a highly enjoyable love song, reminiscing about the 80s, with quirky lyrics - "Be Jason to my Kylie". 

'Canterbury Lanes' is more memorable indie pop with superb harmonies. The album ends on 'The Overview Effect' which is sweet guitar pop at its finest. It has vivid, wistful lyrics full of regret - "If we put the chances we had thrown away into a room, it would be the biggest room we ever knew".

A wonderful album, full of nostalgia, with melodic well-written songs. Highly recommended.

Thursday, 10 June 2021

The Mariners - Tales from the Great Central Line - Volume One

Released: 11 June 2021
Label: _
Listen and Buy Here

The Mariners, from Nottingham UK, are back with their second album. It is more jangly 60s inspired guitar pop, which is great if you love that kind of thing. They may not be all that original but they have such charm that it is hard not to like it.   

It opens with '(That girl called) Mary Jane' which is sweet and upbeat. The simplicity is reminiscent of early Beatles and The Kinks. 'There Before Time' is more Psych sounding but it sounds a little too much like The Zombies - She's Not There.

My favourite on the album is 'Dear Genevieve' which reminded me of The Coral. It is a heartfelt love song from Father to Daughter. It is so sentimental but in a good way. 

Other highlights include 'Ooh La La' an upbeat song about poverty and unemployment, with some great storytelling. 'Jennifer' is catchy guitar pop at its finest which brought to mind The Beatles - I'm a Loser. 'Catch My Breath' is a lovely acoustic song about growing old, with some quirky lyrics. 

'Hey Mister' is  about the death of a valued member of the community. It is sweet with a child-like innocence which makes it even more sad.

A superb album and fans of 60s guitar pop will find a lot to love here. Highly recommended.

Sunday, 6 June 2021

Colours Through The Air Summer Playlist

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

Some old favourites are The Pale Fountains - Crazier (it just isn't Summer without that song) and The Velvet Underground - Who Loves The Sun (which I know is obvious but it had to be there!). Also The Zombies, Beach Boys and The Kinks.

More recent favourites include Nick Frater, Rosie Abbott, The Corner Laughers, Dunkie, The Vapour Trails, and many more. I also had to include my Dad's (Chris Fowler) song written during the lockdown and looking forward to the Summer. It is all superb guitar pop, so I hope you enjoy!

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