an internet pop thing from philadelphia

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.

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A Monthly Mix: February 2014!

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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.

Hope you like it! <3
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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”

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The “Just Like Johnny Marr” single, and lovelyyyy accompanying video (on location in swinging Japan!), preceding Alpaca Sports' debut LP Sealed With A Kiss debuted this week on internets across the world! While the internet—tumblr most paramount in blame here—has given me a soured outlook on references of the Smiths persuasion, it’s damn near impossible to deny the melodic SWEETNESS of Alpaca Sports here. In fact, it’s with a bit of humor that those "Don’t you make my heart break" harmonies between Andreas and Amanda turn out to be really quite heartbreaking. A+ <3

Sealed With A Kiss is out February 24 as a shared love affair between Dufflecoat and Luxury and it really can’t come soon enough!

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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!

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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. 

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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.

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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.

Floristry is out January 31st on Fishrider Records! Get it get it get it!!!

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!

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Favorite LPs and Songs of 2013

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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 15 LPs: (In a loose, approximate order)

01. The Spook School Dress Up (Fortuna Pop!)
02. Little Big League These Are Good People (Tiny Engines)
03. Joanna Gruesome Weird Sister (Slumberland)
04. Bent Shapes Feels Weird (Father/Daughter Recs)
05. The History of Apple Pie Out of View (Marshall Teller)

06. The Mantles Long Enough To Leave (Slumberland)
07. Sally Shapiro Somewhere Else (Paper Bag)
08. Tunabunny Genius Fatigue (HHBTM)
09. Girls Names The New Life (Slumberland)
10. The Proctors Everlasting Light (Shelflife)
11. Kleenex Girl Wonder Let It Buffer (This Will Be Our Summer)
12. Modern Charms Modern Charms (Clue #2)
13. Little Boots Nocturnes (On Repeat)
14. Golden Grrrls Golden Grrrls (Slumberland)
15. Day Ravies Tussle (Pop Frenzy)

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:

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A Monthly Mix: January 2014!

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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!

YAY! DOWNLOAD! (.zip, 106mb)

  1. Shine! “Bite The Apple”
  2. The Golden Dawn “My Secret World”
  3. Happydeadmen “Life Inside A Frame”
  4. Dislocation Dance “Tyrannies Of Fun”
  5. The Sea Urchins “Please Rain Fall”
  6. Gangway “Yesterday, When I Was Drunk”
  7. The Rain “Tom Paine”
  8. Vinegar Blossom “Solstice”
  9. The Fireworks “Runaround”
  10. The Popguns “Can’t Ignore The Train” (10,000 Maniacs cover)
  11. The Pale Fountains “You’ll Start A War”
  12. Even As We Speak “Goes So Slow”
  13. Po! “Fay” (7” version)
  14. North of Cornwallis “One 2nd Class Return”

<3

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OMG OMG OMG The Manhattan Love Suicides are BACK! It’s been almost five years now since they called it quits, but new track “(Never Stop) Hating You” proves they haven’t lost a single of drop of aggression, nor their penchant for blaring feedback paired with murderously catchy pop melodies.

If this wasn’t already the news of the year, they’ll be playing a spot at the Odd Box Weekender Birthday Bash in May along with such pop luminaries as The Spook School, Heathers, Fever Dream, Shopping, and lots more! Details are here for you lucky souls on that side of the ocean!

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