Tuesday, 30 November 2021

West Coast Music Club - Take A Deep Breath

Released: 12 Nov 2021
Label: 72rpm Records
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West Coast Music Club, from West Kirby, are back with a new album. Their music is anthemic, yet melodic, recalling the 80s jangle of The Go-Betweens.   

The album opens with 'Life Of Lies', which has strong melodies and hooks. The song itself is uplifting yet the lyrics are melancholic with themes of loneliness. The jangling guitars recalled The Byrds.   

'Long Goodbye' is strongly reminiscent of Grand Prix era Teenage Fanclub and is a lovely listen. 'Jenny's Still Got (What it Takes)' is superbly catchy Power Pop which will have you singing along.

My favourite here is 'Thinkin'' which is a heartfelt love song. It is instantly memorable and has vibes of David Bowie's Heroes. The sound is gloriously Summery, even on these cold Winter days. 'Girl' has a slightly heavier edge and brought to mind Jimi Hendrix.  

A hugely enjoyable album, full of variety and catchy melodies. Highly recommended for fans of the Jangle pop genre.

Thursday, 25 November 2021

Peter Hall - Light The Stars

Released: 26 Nov 2021
Label: _
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Peter Hall, from Nottingham UK, returns with his debut album after last years beautiful EP - There's Something Wrong With Everyone. It is a stunning album, demonstrating well-written, sophisticated indie pop.   

The album opens with 'Save Yourself' which is rich in melody with a memorable, anthemic chorus. His music recalls Teenage Fanclub's softer sounding later music. 

My favourite here is 'Two Twenty Two' a heartfelt ballad of the highest standard. The production is epic and orchestral, like many of the songs here. The object of affection is a record (could it be The Beatles...?), rather than a love interest, as in most songs. 

Other highlights include 'Dream of the Sun' which is an emotional listen with some devastating lyrics - "I don't need no Tarot to know whats coming next. I'm waiting for the arrow to hit me in the chest". It bought to mind some of John Lennon's solo music.

 'The Best Idea' is another epic, melancholic ballad which will get you emotional. Lyrically, it is very honest - "I don't know what's night or day. I just dream along the way."  

A superb debut album, full of memorable songs, written from the heart. Highly recommended.

Tuesday, 16 November 2021

Rural France - RF

Released: 29 Oct 2021
Label: Meritorio Records
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Rural France, based in Wiltshire UK, are a recent discovery for me. Their songs are short, sweet and very catchy, recalling the best of early 90s indie pop.   

The album opens with 'Clementine' which is straight to the point, 2 minute pop, as many of the songs are here. The lyrics are melancholic, about being bogged down with family life and the sacrifices e.t.c. Melodically, it is very upbeat, with hints of early Teenage Fanclub and Pavement.

Other highlights include 'Hosepipe Ban' which is quite lo-fi and Summery, with superb pop hooks. 'Sling Your Hook' is more of the same, with quirky lyrics and themes of alcoholism. 'You Haven't Been In Love' is another standout song here and a simple, heartfelt ballad you will want to play on repeat.

A hugely enjoyable indie pop album, full of memorable songs which don't outstay their welcome. Highly recommended.

Wednesday, 10 November 2021

Tigers & Flies - Among Everything Else

Released: 12 Nov 2021
Label: Violette
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Tigers & Flies, from Manchester, are the latest band to join the superb Violette label. Violette are best known for releasing Michael Head's album Adios Senor Pussycat back in 2017. There are vague similarities to Pale Fountains era Mick, with Tigers & Flies.   

The album opens with 'Night Time Mood' which is very 80s sounding, recalling Orange Juice. It is a little bit messy, with a slightly heavier edge, reminiscent of post-punk. Television had to be an influence here too.

My favourite here is 'Half' which is a heartfelt love song, with an anthemic chorus, full of longing - "When you leave, half of me walks away too. Don't leave as I need the half of me that is you." It is well produced and the brass really adds to their unique sound.

Other highlights include 'Bat and Ball' which is full of attitude and swagger. The trumpet solos towards the end of the song are impressive. 'Don't Let Her Walk Away' is emotional lyrically, and about a painful break up. Again, this song is gloriously chaotic towards the end. 'Headspace' has a distinct guitar riff running throughout which will stay in your head, from first listen.

A superb album from a unique band, full of brilliantly varied songs. Highly recommended.

Monday, 8 November 2021

The Brothers Steve - Dose

Released: 15 Oct 2021
Label: Big Stir
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The Brothers Steve, from LA are back with their follow up to 2019's debut #1, which finished highly on my end of year list. The new album is a wonderful listen with more enjoyable power pop anthems.   

If you aren't familiar with Jeff Whalen's (of the band - Tsar) solo album '10 More Rock Super Hits', it is also well worth checking out.

The new album opens with 'Get on Up' which is a fun party song, and a fusion of the glam rock of Bowie, with the 90s indie of Primal Scream, with some Rolling Stones thrown in too!  My favourite here is 'Next Aquarius' which is superbly catchy with hints of 60s Pysch. 

Other highlights include 'Mrs Rosenbaum' which has Beatles vibes and some wonderful storytelling, with wistful, melancholic lyrics. 'Electro-Love' is more instantly memorable guitar pop. 'Sugarfoot' is a bit silly lyrically but will bring a smile to your face.

A hugely enjoyable follow up, full of power pop brilliance. Highly recommended.

Tuesday, 2 November 2021

Sandra's Wedding - Pleasure Grounds

Released: 1 Oct 2021
Label: _
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Sandra's Wedding, from Goole UK, have been one of my favourite new discoveries of this year (found through the brilliant Janglepophub music blog). Their new album is a highly enjoyable listen, recalling the best of 80s jangle.

'Lovin' Life' is my favourite here and is feel good guitar pop at its best. It is very Summery and anthemic, even on these cold Autumn days.

Other highlights are 'When I Stall' which particularly brought to mind Pale Fountains era Michael Head. 'Love Everyone' is uplifting, melodic and again a joy to listen to. 'Council Pop' is more moody sounding with hints of 60s Psych and chiming guitars.

A wonderful album, full of guitar pop gems with memorable melodies. Well worth investigating.