This song! This band! This whole fucking record! My god, this is just 100% Summer, isn’t it? Just go ahead and throw a few dashes of Velocity Girl, Superchunk, and Veruca Salt (salt, HAH) into a blender, add a few of your favorite summer camp movies, mix on medium (so you still have some chunks), and you’ve got Cancers.
Ella Kaspar and Lenny Miller round out the Athens, GA-based duo seemingly hellbent on creating melodies as formidable as the mammoth amounts of fuzz and distortion they stir upon. Fatten the Leeches is their debut LP, and if you hadn’t picked up on it by now, it’s tremendous! It’s out September 16, so you’ll have to wait a bit, but listening to “Be Cool” all Summer long doesn’t sound so bad anyway.
If you need more, a 7” and a demo can be all yours over on Kandy Kane Records’ bandcamp page. The record will be released via Kandy Kane (digital/cd) and Dead Broke (vinyl/cassette).
Hey July Friends! It’s a new month and time for a new mix! This month is all about that summer feeling—you know, the one that makes you wanna flop down on it. That said, there’s no Jonathan Richman (One can only put that song on so many Summer mixes in a row), but there’s a whole lot of other A+ stuff going on.
Melbourne Cans (from, well, you guessed it) open the mix up with “Drowned Rats”, a song I’ve unofficially (read: not here) been raving about for a few weeks now. Anyway, it’s perfect and it might be one of my favorites of the year. It’s followed by another two fantastic new ones in a row from Eureka California (not from California) and Burnt Palms (from California), both of which have just released new, spot-on Summer records. Get on it! The Cocteaus and Lush do some dreamy, sunny things and then we’re back to a pair of new pop from Diners and Strange Babes (careful with the outro, it’s an earworm). Okay that’s really enough play by play. The rest of the songs are really good too, I promise. Should you fall in love, do follow the links and buy the records!
1. This is unquestionably my new personal anthem. 2. Do not sleep on this new Ace Bushy Striptease record because it’s brilliant, charming, hilarious, jangly, and wildly infectious. 3. Only listening to records with Gilmore Girls references henceforth.
Almost two weeks later, I’m still coming down from this year’s NYC Popfest. It was easily the best one yet, and as with every year, I’m left with not only new friends, new memories, and new foot blisters, but a refreshed excitement for the current state of POP!
That said, it’s probably then no big surprise that this month’s mix is packed with loads of new stuff! There’s quite a few familiar names from this year’s Popfest in addition to another handful from all corners of the International Pop Underground—from Day Ravies in Sydney, Australia to Heavy Friends in Baltimore, Maryland! Still a lot of 2014 left, let’s get excited!!!
This month’s mix is dedicated to June 12th birthday twins and all-around POP! princes, Michael Avishay and Kevin Adickes!
In case you were unfortunate enough to miss them last week, here a few things to catch up with and further improve this sunny Monday morning! POP YOUR PROBLEMS AWAY!!!
Little Big League “Year of the Sunhouse” The Philly foursome responsible for the one of the best LPs of last year are back already with a new song set to appear on one side of a forthcoming split 7” with Ovlov out in August on Tiny Engines Recs! The track’s as good or better than anything on the previously mentioned LP and Michelle Zauner’s vocals and lyrics are instantly impressive as always. And hey! Their tour starts Monday at the Barbary in Philly! Be there or elsewhere! Dates here!
Gold-Bears “Yeah, Tonight” It’s been tough to keep a lid on this one for the past few months! Gold-Bears sophomore LP Dalliance is about as good as indiepop gets these days. Featuring guest vocals from Emma Kupa (of the hugely missed Standard Fare), “Yeah, Tonight” is a blistering pop song and perfectly suited for opening the record. Right out of the gate, it’s displays the both the matured subject matter and wildly assured songwriting (and guitar feedback) skills of lead Gold-Bear Jeremy Underwood. A fucking plus.
School “Easier” Four singles in now and Göteborg’s School show little to no interest in releasing anything that isn’t a flat-out shimmering pop gem. Just one question remains—WHERE’S THE RECORD???
Happy May, popkids! And a fine NYC POPFEST month, as well! I’d intended to get a Popfest Mix together this year, but, you know, I didn’t—there’s a massive gem from Gingerlys in this month’s sea of songs though, and they’ll be there! So there you go!
Anyway, May: we’re really into the pop season now, aren’t we?! It seemed best to meeee to celebrate the apex of Spring with some of my favorites since the dawn of my love affair with pop songs. If Heavenly’s “Our Love Is Heavenly” isn’t a sunny day ideal, then I don’t know what is. Those chiming guitars! Those harmonies! *Hearts in eyes* *Butterflies in stomachs* And then, well, you could certainly do a lot worse than that one-two punch of a closer from Pearly Gatecrashers and Lunchbox! I’m still convinced, too, after all these years, that those horns towards the end of “Letter From Overend” might be the thing that saves us all. Oh and it all opens with the brilliance of probably the best song Bunnygrunt ever Bunnygrunted!
Here’s a new one from the now half Melbourne, half San Francisco Rat Columns. Their debut LP Sceptre Hole was one of my very records of 2012 and it looks like they’ve got another on the way this year!
If you’re at all familiar with Sceptre Hole, “Another Day” sounds about right—icy janging guitars chug along beneath a wash of glistening keys and a delightfully speedy bassline. The icing on the cake here, though, would have to be that brilliant outro! Guitar lines build on top of each until threatening to fall apart amongst the charging drums and snare rolls. It’s a great way to start a Monday morning!
I am not frequently posting songs here via Spotty, but when a song is as dreadfully fantastic as Wildhoney’s “Soft Bats” (and it’s not streaming on Bandcamp or other internet hideouts), exceptions may be made.
Baltimore’s Wildhoney are indeed a shoegazing outfit, but holy hell if they couldn’t also find their way to a brilliant pop melody blindfolded in the dark of night. It’s for that reason that “Soft Bats” succeeds in that way that Chapterhouse’s “Breather” or Ride’s “Like A Daydream” or Swirlies’ “Wrong Tube” have in the past—Wildhoney aren’t just effects pedal nerds, they’re also pretty damn adequate pop songwriters.
Spring is here! And so are these songs! Play it loud, and if loud isn’t loud enough, continue turning up until you look like the girl(s) on the cover—that’s a safe bet for a perfect reaction.
As with all good things on this earth, the whole of the 17 songs inside make for a terrifically melodic, cacophonous mess of fun! Or so I’d hope. Dig it!New(ish) things you should listen to more of and ¡buy! are linked to their respective internet homes.
01. The Manhattan Love Suicides “Never Far From You” 02. Rat Columns “Wilted” 03. Trick Mammoth “Baltimore” 04. Love Is All “Felt Tip” 05. Island Twins “Over You” 06. The Spinanes “Uneasy” 07. Citrus Groove “Hit The Ground” 08. Sloan “Nothing Left To Make Me Want To Stay” 09. Poastal “The Absolute Magnitude of Negative Five” 10. Ghost Gum “Waves” 11. Sourpatch “Cynthia Ann” 12. Cumulus “Do You Remember” 13. Brittle Stars “May” 14. Pants Yell! “Your Feelings Don’t Show” 15. The Conquests “Is It Right?” 16. The Wedding Present “I’m Not Always So Stupid” 17. Air Miami “Special Angel”
The second single from LA neat guys Heathers is out today and it’s as sickly catchy as it is searingly fuzzy. Like its predecessor “Teenage Clothes”, the pace of a-side “Fear” is quick and melodic, but this time Heathers have packed on few more buckets of noise. Those waves of effects-laden guitars in the chorus meeting up with the distinctly more saccharine, treble-at-11 jangling strums on strums on strums of the verses are so perfectly Gedge-y it’ll make your head explode. B-side “Life Is Elsewhere” rides similar, yet significantly stormier waters—it wouldn’t be a far cry to call it Heathers’ “Blonde”; I’ve been listening to a lot of Weddoes today, does it show?
Still, the visceral success of both tracks obviously lies not in their happening to pair well with early 90s Wedding Present, but more those moments where Michael’s vocals reach as far as they can, stressing and straining. The resulting feeling is not so unlike the the amazing dissonant charm of a blown out amp trying its fucking best. Heathers have definitely put on some muscle and, gurl, ya look good.
This song from Bloomy’s Nice Try has been on the heaviest of rotations inside my head since putting it on earlier today, so it’s about time I put it here, I guess. Pretty much perfect shambolic, emotive melodic popness. It’s from their 2013 debut (?) mini-album/EP Convinced and you can get it here for the low low price of free (or maybe throw them a dollar or two).
In a month that has thus far been quite the anomaly—60+ degree days followed by snow, rinse and repeat—I thought I’d make a mix just juxtaposed enough to match.
Opening with the bubbly bossa of mid-oughts Stereolab, everything stays sunny and saccharine through the first seven (including perhaps one of the catchiest pop songs Tunabunny have ever tunabunnied, from their new dreamboat of an LP, Kingdom Technology). Then, led by another 2014 gem (seriously, get on that new Eternal Summers record asap and ride it straight into the damn sunset), things start to deteriorate—let’s call Flyying Colours’ “Bugs” the ~*~snowstorm~*~ for sake of weatherphor. Some other things happen, then the closing 1-2-3 punch leaves us thinking that Spring might happen sometime, maybe, probably not, BUT MAYBE, one day.
01. Stereolab “Need To Be” 02. Postal Blue “The World Doesn’t Need You” 03. Sleepyhead “Sick of Heaven” 04. Tunabunny “Coming For You” 05. Voice Of The Beehive “I Say Nothing” 06. The Popinjays “Vote Elvis” 07. Ampersand “Tokyo Girl” 08. Eternal Summers “Deep End” 09. Flyying Colours “Bugs” 10. Le Futur Pompiste “My Trophy” 11. The Hundredth Anniversary “Voices, Void” 12. The Frenchmen “Change of Season” 13. The Primitives “Nothing Left” 14. Sibille Attar “Come Night”
I wonder how much prodding it would take for Pam and Bart to pull “Lost and Found”* out of their hat at Popfest? I mean, between The Cat’s Miaow and Shapiros songs, I feel like we could squeeze in another Pam gem. I can at least guarantee my eternal gratitude, for whatever that’s worth.
*The Seashell Sea version please, though I will also accept the speedier Castaway Stones version as beggars cannot be choosers.
Sibille Attar’s debut LP Sleepyhead might be the best record from 2013 that I didn’t hear a single second of in 2013. Sibille, as some may know, has been the brilliant leading voice of Swedish indiepoppers Speedmarket Avenue (who are much overdue for a new record!) since 2004. Her first solo is more of an overtly POP affair and more along the lines of Annika Norlin’s many ventures, or, at times, Nicole Sabouné.
Sleepyhead is still limited to a relatively small Swedish release on Stranded Rekords, but here’s hoping it could see a U.S. release sometime this year!
Pretty in love with this track from Denton, TX’s Blessin’ right now. It’s from their upcoming Do You EP on the wonderful Art Is Hard Records. It’s a cassette, which, ugh, but what can you do? We live in modern times.
It’s good though, so whatever. Fuzzy guitars + twinkly guitars is always gonna be a pretty instant A+ in my book no matter how many times it’s done the exact same way.
Since I hadn’t really pushed it too hard in the past few months, and I’ll take literally any opportunity to make a Wintery-themed mix, February seemed like a fantastic month to make it happen. As I mop up yet another shimmering layer of rock salt off of my living room floor, I’m hoping this brings even the tiniest bit of warmth to a Winter that just won’t seem to end.
February is also well-suited for tying up a few loose ends and getting on with the new year! This month’s mix includes tracks from a few brilliant 2013 records that I stumbled upon just a bit too late (Makthaverskan’s II and Tiger Baby’s perfectly wintery Alone EP), as well as new tracks from School (doing a knock-out Cocteaus impression), Tripping The Light Fantastic, Nicole Sabouné, and Simian Ghost—all making a pretty damn solid case for 2014 being another amazing year for pop songs. And what’s a Winter pop mix without Nothern Picture Library’s “Catholic Easter Colours”? NOT A WINTER MIX WORTH HAVING, THAT’S WHAT.
01. Nothern Picture Library “Catholic Easter Colours” 02. School “Clouds Aside” 03. Tiger Tape “Just A Cat” 04. Je Suis Animal “Painted In My Face” 05. Makthaverskan “Slowly Sinking” 06. Life Without Buildings “Let’s Get Out” 07. Tugboat “Next Year’s Words” 08. Tripping The Light Fantastic “Heavy Heart” 09. Language Of Flowers “It’s Not You” 10. Nicole Sabouné “Conquer Or Suffer” 11. Simian Ghost “Echoes Of Songs” 12. The Faintest Ideas “Nothing Will Ever Happen” 13. The Radio Dept. “I Don’t Need Love, I’ve Got My Band” 14. Tiger Baby “Winter Song”
HAPPY MONDAY! Following a stream of near-flawless singles, Brighton’s Fear of Men will finally be releasing a proper debut LP! “Alta” and “Waterfall” open Loom in a by-now-expected, albeit still gorgeously dreamy fashion. Synths wash over and guitars churn as Jessica calls out in repeat “I’m not alone in this”—further driving home the feelings of loneliness and disconnection that have draped the majority of Fear of Men’s catalogue thus far.
Loom will be released by Kanine Records on the 21st April in the UK, 22nd in the US! Aaaaaaaand a limited two-color vinyl edition will be released on Record Store Day, April 19th!
Oh my gosh oh my gosh, how I missed A Sunny Day In Glasgow! The troupe of Philadelphia pop geniuses are back—making their first peep since 2010’s brilliant Autumn, Again—with a brand new song! “In Love With Useless (The Timeless Geometry In The Tradition Of Passing)” is, quite unexpectedly at this point, a deeply fragmented and danceable dream pop gem, as gorgeous as it is schizophrenic.
The song is the first to emerge from their hopefully upcoming very very soon Kickstarter-funded fourth LP.
If you had hoped to listen to more than one song today, here’s Bleeding Rainbow’s new single “So You Know” to ruin all of your dreams and aspirations of such a thing. It’s the first single from their upcoming Interrupt LP on Kanine Records and it’s an enormous pop song with swirling, driving guitars and a SOARING, earworm of a vocal melody c/o Sarah Everton. This is the sound of the sun exploding. Now we’re all dead.
Around the time that I fell in love with their single “Delphine (With A Purpose)” last year, Dunedin, NZ’s Trick Mammoth we’re still slated to deliver their debut LP Floristry within the walls of 2013. Not quite the case, and so now this gorgeous, dreamy beast of a pop record will be one of the first and finest out of the gate in 2014.
The record opens with "Baltimore"—my absolute favorite of their early demos. It’s probably their most immediately catchy and jangling moment, all speeding drums and basslines, with sun-kissed leads and Millie Lovelock’s breezy vocals, and a damn fine way to open a record. It’s “Cold Dalmation”, however, that’s got me hooked right now. It took me a few tries to get to the last two tracks of the record, as I’m pretty sure I went back and played it at least 5-6 times in a row before moving on! It’s the trio at their snooziest and dreamiest. The track builds and builds into a fantastic bridge with crashing drums and fuzz to the ceiling—all of this topped with the loveliest overlapping vocal harmonies. It’s a dream. Almost like something The Arrogants might have dreamed up, but didn’t.
Also also! You can find more of Millie in the noiser/gazier Astro Children, Sam in the brilliant band Males, and Adrian can be found solo as Mavis Gary! All come quite highly recommended. Males, you may remember, appeared on the November Mix of last year!
So, after admitting to myself that I wasn’t going to get the 2013 year-end mixes done this year I got a little bummed out. 2013 was such a brilliant year for pop that it would be an absolute shame to flat-out forego any mention of the records and songs that made me smile, dance, cry, or otherwise FEEL LOTS OF THINGS this year. So here they are: Skatterbrain’s 15 favorite records and 30 favorite songs of 2013.
Top 30 Songs: (In no order whatsoever, but very much loved)
The History of Apple Pie “I Want More” Girls Names “The Olympia” Big Deal “Swapping Spit” September Girls “Some For Me” The Mantles “Shadow Of Your Step” Joanna Gruesome “Secret Surprise” Little Big League “Brackish Water” Heathers “Teenage Clothes” The Spook School “I’ll Be Honest” Flowers “Shy” Sally Shapiro “Don’t Be Afraid” (Alternate Version) Break It Up “We Have It” Fleeting Joys “Kiss A Girl In Black” Bent Shapes “I Was Here But I Disappear” Wax Idols “Stay In” The Young Sinclairs “You Know Where To Find Me” English Singles “Ordinary Girls” Annie “Ralph Macchio” Empress Of “Hat Trick” The Vacuum Dreamers “Iris The Serene & Judy The Obscure” Places To Hide “Drugs” The Blanche Hudson Weekend “Someone Please Make It Rain” Day Ravies “Double Act” Catnaps “Novelty” Golden Grrrls “Paul Simon” Modern Charms “When We Get There” The Fireworks “Runaround” Tunabunny “Hollywood Unincorporated” Crystal Stilts “Star Crawl” Dutch Barn “Lighter Later”
So there it is! Again, sadly, no mix this year, but most of these songs and almost 100 more favorites from this year can be streamed in my playlist on Spotify here:
Merry new year! I have to say, I am so very pleased to leave the past two immensely busy months of 2013 in the dust and move onto 2014 with a fresh start! On that note, there’s good and not-so-good news. I will not be doing an end-of-the-year mix this year. Excuses are for dummies, but basically it was just a bit too much to add to the growing to-do list of the past several months. It fell by the wayside, and so here we are.
But! Ashes to ashes, or whatever, because it’s a new year a new chance to get back on the ball and put together a mix of (20)14 (aha ha ha) of the most heavenly pop hits! Lots of old jangly favorites, plus a new one from The Fireworks (who released not one, but TWO brilliant records this year), round of the first mix of the year and I hope you’ll love it!!! See you soon!
You Need A Mess of Songs to Stand This Rainy Friday
Granted, it might not be raining where you are, but I think the sentiment is still there. I’ve been a little quiet lately, but I wanted to share a few new things that have been on endless repeat in Skatterbrainland lately.
Let’s Wrestle are back! Foremost pop purveyors Fortuna Pop! will be releasing their self-titled third LP sometime in February. After a countless blur of listens this week, “Codeine and Marshmallows” is well on its way to possible becoming my new favorite Let’s Wrestle track! Definitely more matured and openly heartfelt than we’ve seen from them in the past (“she is my winter, and she’s laying claim/I’m sucking on a spoon, cause her name is pain”), but it comes through as perfect to these ears—and definitely a suitable compliment to a rainy winter day.
Speaking of Winter and December and CHRISTMAS, there’s still time to grab all 4 Singles of the 2013 edition of the Snowflakes Christmas Single Club! This year’s set includes 7”s from Smoke Fairies, The Miserable Rich, The Silhouettes, and The Garlands! Here’s the Garlands’ A-side, a rerecorded version of the their 2008 “Christmas Song.” It’s the Margo Guryan Christmas song you always wanted, but never had.
And to round things out, if you haven’t grabbed any of these yet, you’re going to want to fix that up RIGHT NOW:
New Flowers Demos! If you don’t feel the need to listen to “Shy” 20 times in a row, then I just don’t know how you make it through the day.
So, whoops. Not really any particularly good excuse this month, other than whoops! But don’t let that spoil this month’s mix, because you’ve still got a few days left to soak it up. And there’s lots of new stuff this month, too! Making Marks, Break It Up, Day Ravies, Males, and Modern Charms all have fantastic records out now now now or very much on the way, so go do some thorough snooping!
HAPPY MIXSGIVING! Might I suggest passing out with this after Thanksgiving Dinner on Thursday? That’s what I’ll be doing.
Here’s a slice of endlessly perfect POP for your Friday morning. Mad Planets shared the same shimmering heart-on-sleeve pop tendencies as contemporaries My Favorite—and even once shared a side of wax, too (where this track originally appeared, in fact)—but seem to be considerably less remembered than the aforementioned My Favorite. Quite a shame, as one could make a strong case for Tara Emelye’s voice indeed being one of the finest of indiepop’s mighty mid-90s.
After much hoping and waiting, the first compilation from Netherlands POP label Candy Twist is finally seeing the light of day! Nobody’s Business is PURE POP through and through—a new flag to wave around and then dance on top of until you can’t dance anymore.
Like any pop compilation worth its salt, the 12 tracks span the globe more than a few times—and it’s quite without hyperbole when I say that this thing is wall-to-wall gems. From the fuzzbomb opener c/o The Fireworks to the bittersweet lounge sway of Making Marks’ “Breakthough”, there’s plenty here to warrant an endless amount of listens.
Preorders are up now aaaaaaand if you hop on that train right now you’ll get the FREE and exclusive accompanying fanzine featuring 48 pages of interviews with the bands on this LP, and all sorts of other things!
There aren’t many better ways to start off a brand new week than with a brand new Veronica Falls single! “Nobody There,” recorded to celebrate their upcoming Fall tour, is more of that perfect, chugging, sunny day pop that can be found all throughout ‘Waiting For Something To Happen’.
Apologies for being almost TWO weeks late on my favorite mix-making month of the year! It could have come sooner, but making it last week—with October temperatures in the high 80s—just felt terribly wrong. It’s down to mid 50s this week, though, so now it feels just right.
This month’s mix kicks off with a new one from DOE. All heavy-fuzz, yells and feedback squalls—exactly how any respectable October mix should open, right? Following that there’s Tsunami, Places To Hide (arguably the best song from one of the best records of the year), and 13 others all waiting to get you into the Fall spirit. It’s cozy Mix season, Motherfuckers.
I’m really, really, really happy about the massive amount of early Stereolab these dudes must be listening to. And just when you think maybe they’ve been listening to “John Cage Bubblegum” just a few too many times (as if that’s even possible), the chorus goes all powerpop and you’re like, “ok”.
Philadelphia’s Break It Up—who’ve been hiding right under my nose for the past two years—have finally released their *fantastic* debut LP! And they’ll be playing it at their cd release/Tuesday Tune-Out tonight at PhilaMOCA!
As for the record: To my ears it’s one of the better records to come out of the city in a while! The trio of Casey Bell, Dan Morse, and Jen Sperling throw pop hook after pop; sometimes through fuzzy guitars and speedy drums, and sometimes, like on “We Hate It”, they, quite elegantly, take a page from one of Yo La Tengo’s more sprawling moments. Note: An egg shaker and a wall of guitars will get you VERY far in my book.
Between Virginia Wing’s Extended Play 12” (A title reference to a reasonably accurate sonic touchpoint, perhaps?) and the recently released Shudder Pulps 7”, Faux Discx is kind of killing it this Fall.
The relatively new London four-piece by the name of Virginia Wing, already sound pretty damn surefooted in their pretty particular musical landscape—we’ll call it dirgey, dreamlike Metropolis underbelly rock. “Common Ground” calls up alternating images of shadowy, shuddering treelines and monstrous pistons pumping away in some great noir-kraut mystery machine. But it also sounds like Broadcast, I guess. Listen to it right now.
Well, this Friday just got a million times better! In a pretty surprising announcement, we now have a new Swearin’ song to fall in love with and an early November (5th on Salinas in the US, 4th on Wichita in the UK) release date to get excited about! And if the effortless, Pavement-y coolness of “Watered Down” is any indication, then I think I’ve already got my go-to Winter 2013 record sorted. Get ready for those endlessly charming “Right now it’s easy to see it/And I know why you’re hiding” harmonies to get stuck in your head asap. This is perfect crunchy leaves music.
Though the endlessly wonderful Birthday Kiss (responsible for one of the very best pop singles of this year) seem to be no more, the return of Ben Siddall’s original indiepop venture, The Lodger, is definitely helping to heal the wounds. It’s been three years since we last heard from The Lodger, but the driving jangle of new single “Fast”—available for FREE download—sees Siddall’s pop chops still very much in top form!
WELL THEN, it seems we’re finally getting some real details! In a year that’s seen more classic Indiepop reissues than anyone could have ever possibly expected (House of Love boxset on Optic Nerve, anyone?!), I suppose it’s only right that Talulah Gosh are finally getting the proper retrospective treatment. Was It Just A Dream? comes c/o Damaged Goods Records and includes an extensive collection of radio sessions, demos, singles and LP tracks—all topped off with archive photos and sure-to-be-brilliant liner notes by the one and only Everett True.
Release is scheduled for November 4th, but keep an eye on Damaged Goods for more details! And oh yeah, it’ll be on vinyl.
A mere 48 hours into September and I’m already driving away friends and family with my annual premature over-enthusiasm for any and all things remotely reeking (s/o to the pumpkin candle I’ve already had going for the past week) of Autumn. But, sorry I’m not sorry. Even if it is still hitting 80+ highs, my mind has now officially fixated itself upon some crisp and chilly dreamworld where everything is orange and nothing is sweaty. Now, it’s only fitting that I soundtrack this new mindset as appropriately as I can. AND I HAVE.
If you’re still clinging to those Summer pearls, this might not be the mix for you, but if you’re already having daydreams of leaf piles and hot cider, then you’re in good company. This month’s mix is mostly comprised of old favorites, but pay attention to a pair of new songs from Little Big League (Philly!, ex-Post Post) and Bent Shapes (Boston!, used to be called Girlfriends). Both just released seriously GREAT debut LPs, so get on it!!!!
I don’t normally play it too close to the vest, like, EVER, buttttttttttt, if I’m being quite honest and as free from hyperbole as personally possible, I’d have to say “Shadow of Your Step” is—at this very moment—the song of the year. It meets my typical criteria for a perfect song in that I want the outro to last for at least 10 more minutes. You can lay in the grass to it, you can fall asleep to it, or you could walk home squinting at the sunset to it. It’s everything at the same time and yet so effortless and perfect. The Mantles have gotten better with every passing day; which, to be honest, is tough to say about a lot of their contemporaries.
This is *potentially* the breeziest damn thing you’ll hear all week. It feels like Summer and it sounds just like a Margerine Eclipse b-side—sign me up immediately! I’m a bit unfamiliar with Turntable Films, but I have made myself aware of a few things: I am 93% certain the title of this song is “Honolulu”, they’ve been around since 2009, they share a label with Homecomings (whom I love dearly), and this track comes from an upcoming split with Siamese Cats (whom I clearly need to investigate!). Pour yourself a drink and play it a few times.
Dig around on Second Royal’s site for a little while and you might just be able to order the record!
The second single from Terry Malts’ blistering fuzzbomb of a sophomore LP (on SLR!) is yet another in a fine line of raw, dirt-covered gems that they can’t seem to stop churning out. “Walking Without You”, not unlike the majority of their existing catalog, is a rather ideal complement to being pissed off about, well, anything. And the fact that it sounds like Henry’s Dress’ “You Killed A Boy For Me” and Swell Maps’ “New York” crashing into each other doesn’t really hurt either.
It’s August and once again we’re finally closer to the end of Summer than the beginning! It should come as no surprise to anyone by now that that signals a truly joyous time around here—and a time to celebrate! OH, celebrate we will.
I took this mix on a five-mile walk on Sunday and I can assure you that it’s at least very good for that (and not at all boring after five times, front-to-back, in a row). As is occasionally the case when I feel like it, this month’s mix includes no new songs, but I am hoping perhaps you’ll walk away with something great you’ve never heard before! Like, perhaps, the brilliant intro of Sleepyhead’s “What’s Gonna Set You Free?!” Or maybe the vocal melody gymnastics of HMBM5’s “Suzanne.” There are also two Biff Bang Pow! tracks to be found here! One, of course, c/o Mr. Feck.
We’ve been blessed with a pretty fantastic Autumn by way of August day here in Philadelphia today. It feels, and even SMELLS(!), a bit like Fall outside and I really couldn’t imagine a more perfect day for Columbus, Ohio’s All Dogs to have entered my life! An ongoing Columbus mystery for a little while now, they’ve finally released a stunning, exuberant half a tape with fellow Ohioans Slouch taking on the other half.
Mentioning the house of Crutchfield feels a little too easy here, but it’s also a pretty accurate touchpoint (along with a bit of That Dog, Team Dresch, and Superchunk)—and certainly not a bad one, indeed. The wide-eyed punk-pop energy of lead-off track “Farm” serves as a near-perfect intro to an EP’s worth of songs that never let up even an ounce of that drive. And as if I wasn’t already in love with them enough from the start, the six-song run closes with a Muffs cover. A Muffs cover! Well shit.