Indie Pop

New album: Super Bummer || Super Bummer

Super Bummer is a Denver-based indie rock outfit featuring long time friends Keenan Vincent (songwriting, vocals, guitar), Justin Camilli (production, mixing, art, guitar), Thomas Austin (bass) and Nic Turiciano (drums). Previous work dealt with Blushing in the Night, Big Ambition and Futuresickness, but the latest release is a different story.

“The person you have called is not available right now. Please try again later.” The voicemail message that opens their new, self-titled LP is the kick-off to eleven goosebump-inducing songs about losing a parent. The atmospheric, howling guitar melodies and compelling, intense vocals mesmerize, bringing us close to the grieving process. Although the subject carries a great deal of loss and sadness, both the personal lyrics and the melancholic music are rather comforting.

Super Bummer’s S​/​T album is out now digitally through Grouphug.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Stefan Murphy || Hospital Verses

Hospital Verses may be Stefan Murphy’s debut solo full-length, but by no means we’re dealing with a new kid on the block: the Irish singer-songwriter previously performed and recorded with The Mighty Stef, Count Vaseline and The Sleeveens. That doesn’t make this new album any less majestic though. We’re presented with nine richly orchestrated indie-folk/chamber-pop pieces, in which Murphy’s dark-distinctive vocals are given the stage to shine. A beautiful cover of Alex Chilton’s All We Ever Got From Them Was Pain fits seamlessly between the eight original songs. This is not light fare, but it does add more color to autumn.

Hospital Verses, produced & mixed by James Mechan, is out now digitally, on CD and vinyl LP through Sweet Time. Featuring Stefan Murphy (vocals, guitar, bass, drums, percussion), James Mechan (bass, organ, guitar), Eli Steele (guitar), Coralee Wilson (background vocals), Tim Easton (background vocals) and Evan Walsh (sax).

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Discogs || Sweet Time

New EP: Field School || A Familiar Fate

“If you need patience, i will give you time
if you need faith, i will give you mine
if you are stuck, i will kick in the door
if you are broken, i will love you more”
(taken from I Think You’re Amazing, Grace)

Generous lad, that Charles Bert (Math & Physics Club and Unlikely Friends) isn’t he? Not just with his words full of love, heartbreak and yearning, but with his music under the Field School moniker as well, a project ignited by pandemic boredom, dread and an abundance of time. The latest EP, Field School’s fourth EP and fifth release in little over 20 months (ICYMI make sure to check that 2022 LP), is another W for Bert. Honestly, I could listen to this guy strum, jangle and chime his guitar all day. Same for that warm and honest voice of his.

A Familiar Fate is out now on Tape via Sm. Craft Advisory.
Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Al Menne || Freak Accident

You may know Al Menne as the lead singer of the quite popular Seattle-based rock band Great Grandpa, but Freak Accident marks their first official foray as a solo artist. The nine subdued indie pop songs here don’t have to shout to be moving. From the first notes and lines this album hits the spot: “Take it from me, I’m no mystery // I’m not hiding anything, I’m just pausing to think // If you could feel the heat between my words // Well I’ll ask you ’bout it later ’cause I know it’ll hurt.” Dark in theme and light in sound, with wonderful vocals at the forefront. A beautiful intimate debut.

Freak Accident, produced by Christian Lee Hutson and mastered by Greg Obis, is out now digitally and on vinyl LP through Double Double Whammy.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Double Double Whammy

New EP: Robots || El Plan

Barcelona three-piece Robots have a new EP out called El Plan. The majority of the seven songs on the EP are melodic pop punk, with hints of indie pop as well as garage pop. What these songs have in common is how easy to digest and instantly likeable they are. Fun stuff.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Another Michael || Wishes To Fulfill

I initially dismissed Another Michael’s new Wishes To Fulfill album. Fortunately, I was so zoned in at work that I did not took the time to put on the next record in my mailbox. The Philadelphia band slowly won me over. Although Wishes To Fulfill is a departure of the loud ramshackleness of my common musical diet, it definitely is something special. To my noise battered ears, Another Michael sound like a mix of ’70s AM pop, Pinegrove and Unknown Mortal Orchestra. They display a level of talent and skill that invites listeners to sit back with a lyric sheet on their lap and a pot of coffee or tea close. In a world that keeps spinning, inertia can offer a reminder of the finer things in life, and Another Michael provide a fantastic soundtrack for taking it all in.

Wishes To Fulfill is out now at Run For cover Records. It’s part of a duology of which the second, more experimental installment (Pick Me Up, Turn Me Upside Down) is expected to arrive in 2024.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Run For Cover

New album: Jeff Moller || Sigh Baby

Jeff Moller may not be a household name, but chances are you’ve heard him play on other artists’ records, recently those of Yea-Ming & The Rumors and Sugar Candy Mountain, but many more. All that experience is reflected on Sigh Baby, the full-length debut album from the Californian singer-songwriter/multi-instrumentalist. Although he himself describes his music as ‘slacker anthems that sound like a fog-pop Tom Petty’, I would opt for ‘jangly indie pop meets melancholic folk rock’. The ten songs here feature contributions* from friends and former bandmates returning the favor, including members of Sugar Candy Mountain, Papercuts, Michael James Tapscott, Young Moon, Indianna Hale and Magic Magic Roses. The combination of relatable lyrics, colorful arrangements and atmospheric Byrdsian melodies enchants.

Sigh Baby, produced by David Glasebrook & Jeff Moller, is out now digitally, on CD and cassette through Royal Oakie Records. Featuring Jeff Moller (vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bass guitar, keyboards, percussion), with *on selected tracks Jason Cirimele (drums, backing vocals), David Glasebrook (backing vocals, piano), Indianna Hale (backing vocals), Will Halsey (drums), Trevor Montgomery (electric guitar), Ash Reiter (backing vocals), Jason Quever (drums), Kate Sweeney (backing vocals), Kyle Skelton (backing vocals) and Michael James Tapscott (backing vocals).

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Royal Oakie

New EP: Cinema Hearts || I Want You

“Your heart rate is higher than usual.” My sports watch sounds worried. Me? Not so much, because I have a plausible explanation: I’ve been listening repeatedly to Cinema Hearts’ new EP I Want You.

Cinema Hearts is Caroline Weinroth, and she loves ’60s Girl Group Pop as much as ’80s DC Punk. That simple factoid alone sends my heart racing in excitement. Then I pressed play and the I Want You EP sonically has next to little in common with Minor Threat, Teen Idles, Fugazi and Rites of Spring. If there is any noticable influence, it’s the passion simmering underneath the songs. Weinroth sings like she means it, with a level of conviction and attitude that juxtaposes nicely with the polish shine of her music. Touching upon themes of independence and female empowerment (“I want you, but I don’t need you”), The I Want You EP is extremely poppy and like The Pipettes in the mid ’00s, Cinema Hearts provide an faithful yet fresh update of the ’60s Girl Group experience. I can see fans of Best Coast and Alvvays going crazy for this EP as well.

I Want You will be out eventually on vinyl (currently estimated to arrive late 2024) on Burnished Records.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New EP: Castlebeat || Nothing

California-based singer-songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Josh Hwang is back with six new lo-fi home recordings under the moniker of Castlebeat, once again proving what a creative mind he is. The Nothing EP was given no fewer than sixteen genre labels on Bandcamp, which we can summarize as jangly shoegaze meets dreamy post-punk. Unstoppable guitar melodies, hazy vocals, and lyrics that have much more to them than you expect from the one-word song titles – almost intoxicating.

Nothing, written & recorded & produced by Josh Hwang, is out now digitally through his own label Spirit Goth Records.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Maura Weaver || I Was Due For A Heartbreak

If the name Maura Weaver doesn’t ring a bell immediately, there is fair chance you’ve heard her work in Mixtapes, Boys and Ogikubo Station or her contributions on records by Homeless Gospel Choir, Direct Hit! and Masked Intruder. Here is another reason why you should have Maura Weaver on your radar. Her solo debut I Was Due For A Heartbreak is out now. It’s a departure from indie punk that associated with Weaver’s previous projects, but it is a welcome one. I Was Due For A Heartbreak is an impressive indie pop record with a slight country twang and a touch of ’60 girl group to it. It’s a record that sneaks up on you, the kind that sets you up for an unexpected gut punch in its second half. With the strong opening combo of Ease On The Eyes and Crush On You Pt. II, you get the sense that the record is frontloaded, like most records are. Then you discover that the B-side of I Was Due For An Heartbreak may be even better. That idea starts with Jefferson Highway, but gets cemented with the upbeat yet melancholic Goner, a heart-grabbing show-stopper of a tune. And while you are recovering from the song you get sucked into the amazing title track that is an emotional rollercoaster. Color me impressed, indeed!

I Was Due For A Heartbreak is out now at Don Giovanni.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Don Giovanni

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