Thursday, September 21, 2017

Tidal Rave - Tidal Rave EP

If you like your guitar pop dark, muscular and melodic, you probably like a lot of guitar pop from New Zealand.  And specifically, you probably will like the music of Tidal Rave.  A five-piece from Wellington, the band has a little EP to display their talents.   A solid rhythm section anchors three vocalists wielding guitars very effectively.  We think you will like it.

Tidal Rave are Emmie Ellis (vocals/guitar), Esther Tempest (vocals/guitar), Kristen Paterson (vocals/guitar), Frank Eggleton (bass), and Charlie Camp (drums), which includes members of Fantails, Sweaty Betty, Kittenbank and Echo Beach.  Tidal Rave EP was recorded at the venerable, and allegedly haunted, Chick's Hotel in Dunedin, New Zealand.





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Terry Malts / Kids On A Crime Spree - Our Love


Life is stressful enough without having to make choices all the time.  Jenn and Stew at Emotional Response Records understand, and want nothing more than for you to live a happy, stress-free life.  So they aren't going to force you to choose between buys some music from Terry Malts or music from Kids On A Crime Spree.  Instead, they are offering Our Love, a four track split release with two songs from each band.  This is a dose of fuzz pop you won't want to miss.  Music purchase without stress?  Consider us your "safe space" for the day.





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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The Clientele - Music For The Age Of Miracles


Seven years away from their last release of new material, and after dropping a greatest hits compilation, The Clientele has treated us to another album.  And in our view, Music for The Age Of Miracles ranks up with the band's best work.  Combining the pastoral vibe of psychedelic pop and the wistful vocals of the new romantics with swirling emotional currents and chamber pop arrangements, the album is a like a delightful set of nesting boxes.  Each time you listen is a fresh chance for discovery and a shift in perspective.  Unsurprisingly lush and layered, the songs invoke hazy daydreams and autumnal walks in the forest.  While the compositions are tightly constructed, they manage to give the impression of space and light, as if the players spontaneously chose what to do next.  Charming, beautiful and satisfying, this is not an album for indie pop fans to miss.  A few of the tracks are below, but you'll want to stream the entire record, which you can do at NPR First Listen (link).  You will discover that additional highlights include both the opening and closing songs.

The Clientele are Alasdair McLean, James Hornsey and Mark Keen, with Anthony Harmer joining for this album.  Music for The Age of Miracles is out Friday, September 22 via Merge Records.








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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

"Green Doesn't Look Good On You" by Lord Willing

This is a public service announcement from Justin, aka Lord Willing, our friend in Los Angeles.  He wants you to know that "Green Doesn't Look Good On You".  And because you may be devastated by that news, and he doesn't want you to be sad, he has recorded this bluesy, soulful musical message to make it all more bearable.

And because good style advice can be hard to find, you may want to download this Lord Willing track from your favorite digital source.



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"Bad Boys" by Paddy Hanna

We haven't featured Ireland's Paddy Hanna here for a while, but his new single "Bad Boys" is a very welcome return.  Smart, slick, and oh so satisfying.  Enjoy it, and make note that 2018 brings his next album via Strange Brew Records.  Paddy will be touring in Ireland this fall.





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Monday, September 18, 2017

Floating Action - Is It Exquisite?


You likely have heard Seth Kauffman before, even if you weren't aware of him.  Perhaps it was with Jim James, or Dan Auerbach, or Angel Olsen.  And if you pay attention to music, you know that good musicians attract and choose to work with other good musicians.  So you might be tempted to think that Kauffman is good at this music thing even before you hear his solo work.  You would be correct, but of course in a world of 'fake news', you want proof.

And your proof is right here, under the title Is It Exquisite?.  Written, played, sung and recorded by Kauffman under the name Floating Action, the album is a veritable celebration of pop music.  The set includes southern soul, a bit of funk, vintage rock, some sunny psychedelic pop and even some dub effects.  Kauffman doesn't recognize traditional boundaries, but his has superb instincts and proves himself to be a top-quality musical brewmaster.  Everything he throws into the hopper on this album works, and works with style.  It is a truly rewarding listen.

Is it Exquisite?  is available via several labels, including PIAPTK and OK Records.  The only remaining question to answer is whether the record is exquisite.  Why yes, yes it is exquisite.





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Siobhan Wilson - There Are No Saints

OK, so maybe there are no saints.  But Siobhan Wilson sounds like an angel on There Are No Saints, and if we have an angel, maybe we can do without the saints.  On this album, her second, offers moments of beauty with contrasting storm clouds and heartbreak.  Wilson's clear vocals are presented in a variety of settings, from spare folk arrangements to piano ballads to J&MC fuzz and distortion.  And while the listener could be forgiven being seduced by the aural delights to the exclusion of all else, it is a mistake to ignore the lyrics.  This is heart-on-the-sleeve stuff with self-awareness and a refreshing lack of self-pity.  Residing in Glasgow, Wilson also has spent considerable time in Paris, and sings in French on two track, including the lovely "Paris Est Blanche" below.

There Are No Saints is an album of charm, passion and craft, and it will become your late night favorite before retiring with a smile on your face.  It is out now via Song By Toad Records.  See the Bandcamp link below.









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Friday, September 15, 2017

"Means" by Errant Boy

Over a month ago I devoted digital ink to a 2016 album by Scotland's Errant Boy.  The album was indeed worth my time and effort, but when discussing albums long past the release date, especially by artists involved in other musical ventures, one worries that perhaps the band won't make more music and one has gotten the readers unduly excited.  Fortunately, Errant Boy spares us that concern by releasing new song "Means".  It has an Postcard Records Orange Juice/Josef K sound with excellent dynamics and a pace that gets our blood moving.  And on Fridays, our blood needs moving.  Oh, we would be remiss if we didn't mention that it is a free download.  Thanks, Errant Boy.  Now write a few more; we are insatiable.







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Thursday, September 14, 2017

"Until We See The Sun" by Beauty Sleep


Introducing Cheylene Murphy, Ryan McGroaty, and Aimee Williamson, collectively known as Beauty Sleep.  We think their brand of upbeat, hook heavy synth and guitar pop is a welcome ray of sunshine on the scene.  A new EP, Nature Will Eat Me, is expected soon.  Meanwhile, you can enjoy their latest single, "Until We See The Sun".  Right here.  Right now.



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"Frostbeat" by Sad Palace

Whether Sad Palace are indeed sad, or whether they live in a palace, are questions we'll leave for another day (read: we hope no one asks us about it because we have no idea).  But the four-piece from Britain's south coast can be happy about how their latest single, "Frostbeat" turned out.  The song offers two sides to the band in one package.  After about three minutes of straight up melodic pop, a big guitar riff slams into the picture, grabbing the song and the listener (lovingly and, thankfully, figuratively) by the throat, and then dissolving.  Knowing how to make a memorable impression is important in this industry.  Well done, Sad Palace, well done.

"Frostbeat" is out now via Kissability.  Check your favorite digital outlet.




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"A Single Truth" by The Deportees

The Deportees are a five-piece from northeast Scotland that have proven quite adept at a brand of Celtic folk rock that tends towards the dramatic.  Their sound is full, layered and quite satisfying.  The band's debut album is titled The Birth of Industry and will be available on November 3.  The first single is the digitally released "A Single Truth", which thrills will rich harmonies, dark themes and insistent guitar lines.



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Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Cody Munro Moore - Perfume Nightmare


On Perfume Nightmare Cody Munro Moore shapes a post-punk soundscape with taut pop-rockers, '80s pop and a bit of house.  The hooks are plentiful and the songwriting clever and smooth.  And the Sydney musician's vocals, often reminiscent of The Cure's Robert Smith, are up to the task regardless of the genre at hand.  As always, we give extra credit for employing a sax, such as on "Just Don't Need It Enough" and "Night Scene".  You may be familiar with Cody's endeavors with Big White or New Lovers, but it doesn't matter if you aren't.  This album stands by itself and we think it marks a big win for Mr. Moore.

Perfume Nightmare is out as a digital download on September 15 via Moore's Dinosaur City Records.








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