Summer Break!

Hi. We are offline for a summer break. We’ll return in a couple of weeks with recharged batteries.

Still thirsty for new music? Check out our Recommended New Music (2022) and Dusted (featuring the finest covers of 2022) playlists on Spotify. Or check out awesome blogs like Faster and Louder, Janglepophub, & onetwoxu.

See ya soon. Have a great Summer!

New EP: Continental Lovers || Dale Arden Vs The World

Here is another band that knows how to find the sweet spot between powerpop, r’n’r, punk, garage and glam. Continental Lover reside in London (UK) but based on their sound I assumed they were an US band. The band’s new Dale Arden Vs The World EP is a celebration of all things good about r’n’r. It’s catchy, it’s sleazy and it rocks. They even pay tribute to Joan Jett (on St. Joan). My favorite track is the mid-tempo Really Doesn’t Matter. It’s a massive hit. By the way, given the whole Brexit fiasco, how timely awesome is the band’s name?

Above all, the six song Dale Arden Vs The World EP is a sign of things to come. Four of these songs will also be available on 7″ through Snap! Records (Spain) in September and a full-length album should arrive before the end of the year. Can’t Hardly Wait.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New single: Sharp Class || Tales Of A Teenage Mind

Midlands (UK) mod revivalist Sharp Class have opened a time portal to the late ’70s. Would you like to step in, please? On their latest two songs single, Sharp Class pays worship to the altar of The Jam. They absolute nail that sound, and it’s a blast.

Keep an eye on this band. By their sound and looks, these lads clearly know what they are doing. Or as they sing in I’ve Got It Coming: “And I know where I stand // And I like to think I know who I am // What is set in my soul // I’ve sewn onto the sleeve of my coat.”

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New EP: The People´s Pleasure Grounds || The People´s Pleasure Grounds

The People’s Pleasure Grounds is the new solo project of Dutch multi-instrumentalist Jimmy de Kok (Iguana Death Cult and The Black Marble Selection). Accompanied by three close friends, and recorded by Temples drummer Rens Ottink, these first four songs of the band are an impressive blend of psych, surf and sunshine pop. The band’s sound has elements of the laidback nature of Allah-Las, but also of the urgent guitar licks of Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever.

Pick up the Cassette at Harry Records. Vinyl available through Little Water Records.

Add to wantlist: Harry Records || Little Water Records

New album: Heather Evans || Songs I Didn’t Think About

Can anyone tell me what is so special about Marquette (Michigan)? The only conclusion of my Google search is that it looks like a gorgeous place to live, especially in the fall. But that doesn’t explain the disproportiate amount of good music coming out of there.

Somehow, the band Liquid Mike is involved in all of these releases. Liquid Mike, I believe, is a volcano waiting to erupt in terms of international acclaim – a new record will be out soon. But the quality of the members’ solo work is impossible to overlook as well. It’s no surprise we wrote about Michael Maple’s solo work, Raymond Little’s extremely fun recent record (Those lyrics!). And now it’s Heather Evans’ turn.

Songs I Didn’t Think About is an 8-track mini album produced by her Liquid Mike bandmate Michael Maple.  Evans immediately grabs your attention in album opener I Hope Heaven’s Just a Porch, combining palm muted acoustic guitar work with poetic lyricism. “Watching the sunrise over the seedy motels on the west side of my hometown // Wondering what my friends are doing // They live all around the world now.” Those are just the first couple of lines on the record, and they make you want to pull up the lyric sheet when listening to this record – something I recommend strongly by the way.

Both Evans’ lyrics and vocal delivery remind me of Courtney Barnett at times (i.e., listen to A Lot Like You), but Heather Evans has a more alternative folk/country sound. It’s also quite easy to imagine how effective songs like Jobs, Just Me And You and My Hair would be in a powerpop or punkrock version.

Go give Songs I Didn’t Think About  a try. Oh, and the comments section is open for theories about Marquette.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Zado || Looking Back On What I’ve Lost

Originally released in 2021, but now finally getting the vinyl treatment, here is a record from Singapore that is too good not to share. Zado is just one of the many musical projects of the multi-talented multi-instrumentalist, Izzad Radzali Shah (Anxious Living, Daily Ritual, SIAL – we covered his work in Beach Things). Izzad wrote, played and recorded everything on Looking Back On What I’ve Lost, which is his second record under the Zado moniker. That alone is impressive, but what stands out even more is the sheer quality of the songs.

If I had to put a label on it, I’d put Zado in the indie rock category. That indie rock sound has elements of ’80s underground pop from the US, but there are also touches of shoegaze and britpop. Unpolished yet melodic.

Out now through Singapore label 4490 Records. Vinyl expected to arrive early August.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New single: Bubblegum Lemonade || Never Have I Ever

The good news: everyone’s favorite twee power poppers Bubblegum Lemonade have come out of pandemic hibernation with a new three song single. The best news: It is the lead-up single to a new full length called Jangleadelica that will be out later this year via Matinée Recordings.

Bubbblegum Lemonade sound in particular good shape on Never Have I Ever and non album cut At The Pool. Extremely infectious, positive mood inducing quality pop from Scotland that should put a smile on your  face if you long for the up tempo midcareer material of Belle And Sebastian.  The digital single is available for streaming in loads of places and out now through Matinée Recordings.

Add to wantlist: Matinée Recordings

New album: Hutchie || Some Other Way

Let me introduce you to Hutchie, a band of three featuring members of Le Saboteur, Ol’ Doris, and BUGS. Some Other Way is Hutchie’s debut (mini)album, and it is comprised of eight rockin’ indiepunk tracks. Hutchie are a band that writes songs out of necessity, and their song touch upon the relational and deeply personal (Seat Next 2 U and The Summer Your Dog Died), as well as dealing with societal developments (Out Here). “This is a record full of disappointment, sadness, addiction, and isolation, sure. But’s that’s balanced against an equal dose of love, lust and hopefulness,” singer Michelle Pannell explains.

Feeling out of step with world has fueled angsty and true music for decades. But Some Other Way sounds brighter and more melodic than you’d expect based on that quote. This doesn’t sound like an angry record, but there is definitely a sense of urgency and true emotions oozing through these songs. Yep, I am enjoying this one a lot.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

Album premiere: Charlie Reed || Eddy

Today, we premiere a special record from a special band. Risen out of the ashes of Uh Bones, meet Charlie Reed aka the Chicago all-star cast that is Luke Trimble (Uh Bones), Colin Croom (Twin Peaks), Nick Beaudoin (Spread Joy), Nora & Nolan Chin, Tyler Bixby (Spread Joy), and Justin Vittori (Diviño Niño). Their debut LP Eddy is out tomorrow (July 21) through Earth Libraries. You can stream the record in full below.

New album: Gentlemen Rogues || A History Of Fatalism

Anytime Gentlemen Rogues (Austin, Texas) puts out a new release, they have my eyes and ears. And that even applies when the release technically consists of previously released tracks. This week, the band released A History Of Fatalism, which combines their A History So Repeating and Fatal Music EPs. Both EPs were remixed and remastered, and most importantly: pressed on vinyl for the first time.

It’s a joy to revisit these songs. There is a throwback quality to the guitar-driven powerpop of Gentlemen Rogues. They have that same knack for creating polished yet powerful songs as Bob Mould and Superchunk. And although I wouldn’t call Gentlemen Rogues punk, there clearly is some punk energy to their sound. If you are looking for some quality rockin’ powerpop, pick this one up. You get three bonus tracks with the digital stream (and vinyl download). Of the three I like Fuck And Run the most – a song I at first misheard as Fuck Enron and only later discovered to be a Liz Phair cover. Sigh.

A History Of Fatalism is out now through Snappy Little Numbers and Rocket Heart Records.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Snappy Little Numbers || Rocket Heart Records

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