Jangle Pop

New single: The Cords || Bo’s New Haircut / Rather Not Stay

Ready for some charming and catchy C86 coolness? On the lookout for something new and twee? Meet The Cords from Scotland aka the sister duo Eva and Grace Tedeschi who, based on this two-song single they just dropped, seemed destined to become the next indie pop darlings from the Glasgow music scene. I, for one, can’t seem to stop playing it.

Cassingle out now through Heavenly Creature Records.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Lunchbox || Pop And Circumstance

Remember MTV Cribs, the reality show where celebrities graciously invited us common folk to marvel at their obscenely lavish mansions and extravagant lifestyles? I’d love to see an indie version of the show, and my first guests would undoubtedly be Lunchbox’s Tim Brown and Donna McKean. This dynamic duo has been crafting top-notch underground pop records in their Oakland, California home for over two decades, and stepping into their world would be a fascinating peek behind the curtain of their creative process. I can already imagine losing myself for hours exploring their eclectic record collection, which spans everything from ’60s/’70s AM-radio pop and TV show theme music to punk, C86, and mod.

These diverse influences shine through brilliantly on the outfit’s latest LP Pop And Circumstance, arguably one of the finest LPs to come out this year in underground pop. While firmly footed in indie underground history, Pop And Circumstance also sounds extremely radio friendly. It’s packed with tracks that could easily dominate the airwaves and climb the charts in a more just world – not in a small part due to the generous use of horns, organs, handclaps and an abundance of prime quality hooks. Lunchbox deliver their songs through a sepia filter, evoking a sense of nostalgia and good old-fashioned fun, yet there’s an authenticity to their sound that sets them apart from mere retro imitators.

While Pop and Circumstances offers a wealth of potential singles ready to improve your next playlist, it above all is a great and endlessly enjoyable album from start to finish –  skipping any of these dozen tracks would be offensive. CD/LP available now at Slumberland Records!

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Slumberland || Discogs

New EP: Stephen’s Shore || Neptune

Stephen’s Shore make their third visit to the wantlist, and it is for yet another EP, a format this Swedish five-piece feels very comfortable with. Their recipe? Record four of your best new songs, put it on a 12″, sell, repeat. It’s a formula Stephen’s Shore have honed throughout the years, one the band keeps finding ways to refine and improve on.

The Neptune EP is a sun-soaked journey into jangle pop territory, totally beach-ready and completely roadtrip proof. Much like their past releases, the charm of these tunes grows with each spin. They’re understated yet remarkably rich and inviting. Stephen’s Shore make every note count and lets the music do the talking. And boy is it joyful to float along to the driving bass lines of Garden, the delightful jangle of evergreen-in-the-making Sunset, the REM-esque allure of Lost And Found, and the twangy balladry of Under The Pine.

Grab your copy of the Neptune EP at Meritorio Records, it’s available now!

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Discogs || Meritorio

Dusted || The 10 Best Cover Songs Of April 2024

Not all new music is really new, as many artists cover songs. Sometimes these are songs by their favorite artists, eg as a tribute to such a musical hero for a special reason, or they simply feel that a song deserves to be dusted and polished to reacquaint fans with great songs from the past. Other times, bands cover songs as a parody. Regardless of intent, some of those cover versions are so good or so much fun, we’d like to put a spotlight on them. Chosen from a wide range, here are – in random order – ten of our favorite covers from last month – links to the pages where you can add them to your wantlist included.

In April, I noted around 70 cover releases that would be worth sharing, including the compilation The Power of the Heart: A Tribute to Lou Reed and David Byrne doing Paramore’s Hard Times (both already received enough attention elsewhere), but with your and our precious time in mind, we have to make choices. Here we go.

Love Will Tear Us Apart || Cover: Pedal Steel Noah || Original: Joy Division
Instrumental covers of new wave hits on a pedal steel guitar? Austin-based teen Noah Faulkner (16) and his even younger brother Nate (13) somehow make it work. Their videos on Instagram and TikTok, always with their dog Kara in the foreground, are popular, and with their Texas Madness EP (out via Lightning Rod Records) they take their successful hobby to the next level. Joy Division’s Love Will Tear Us Apart suddenly sounds quite cheerful.

New single: The Laughing Chimes || Tomorrow’s 87

The Seurkamp brothers just can’t seem to deliver bad songs. Their two brand new tunes, Tomorrow’s 87 and The Apologist Effigy, again have ace guitar melodies and charming vocals that you can’t get out of your head after a few listens. It’s interesting to follow how their jangle pop continues to develop and sounds increasingly rich (this is a full band effort), incorporating more hazy influences from post-punk, new wave and dream pop. The new work is bright and dark at the same time, as if the sun breaks through a nightly shoegaze show, but is as irresistible as ever.

Tomorrow’s 87 is out now digitally via Slumberland Records.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: The Sylvia Platters || Vivian Elixir

Is the 8-song album becoming the new standard? For time-stressed bloggers, this trend certainly makes life easier. However, as a music fan, there are albums that leave you wanting more than eight tracks—like the new Sylvia Platters LP, Vivian Elixir.

Vivian Elixir is a record of contrast. Thematically, it deals with lost minds and souls and making sense of living in a chaotic complex world – fitting for a band named The Sylvia Platters. Sonically, the album carries a melancholic yet melodic vibe that offers a silver lining of brightness. It’s a journey of introspection and catharsis; for a pop band The Sylvia Platters sure know how to rock out – or conversely, for a rock band, they sure have a great sense of melody. The Sylvia Platters excel in using these contrasts to their advantage with us listeners as the biggest beneficiaries.

This is a crisp and tasty record that takes jangly guitar pop to interesting places. And as with any release by The Sylvia Platters that are some songs that are particularly great. Listen to my current favorites below. Vivian Elixir is out now on tape at Grey Lodge Records.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: The Lemons || Lemology Vol. 2

Anyone who has heard Californian slacker pop outfit The Lemons, will not soon forget the music of John Lemon (vocals, guitar), Chris Twist (vocals, guitar), Kimmy Slice (vocals, bass), Kelly Lamone (vocals, tambourine) and Juicy James (vocals, drums). Their sound is truly unique, not due to genius or perfection, but thanks to simple and sweet harmony vocals that are easy to sing along to, with sparse support from jangly guitars and a cheerful tambourine, encapsulated in short but catchy, lo-fi tunes. A year ago they marked their 10th anniversary of their first gig with Lemology Vol. 1, a compilation of 24 early recordings, singles, alternate takes and forgotten jingles from the Hello, We’re the Lemons era. It turns out there is much more: Lemology Vol. 2 compiles 30 demos and early versions of songs from their later sessions, largely previously unreleased. More summery fun for young and old.

Lemology Vol. 2, written, performed & recorded by The Lemons, at home, is out now digitally (self-released).

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New single: SYBS || Bad Old Days / Paid Gofyn Pam

New is a relative concept. Take for example Cardiff-based bilingual post-punk/slacker pop band SYBS (SUBS), featuring Osian Llyr (guitar, vocals), Kieran Macdonald-Brown (guitar), Herbie Powell (bass) and Daf Adams (drums). These two songs will soon appear on their long-awaited debut album*, but in reality they have been playing them live for many years. Shoegazey Bad Old Days even is the oldest song on the record – it’s about teenage feelings and experiences that can still follow and affect a person throughout their life – and although there’s been a few versions recorded throughout the years, this should be the definitive take. A pretty good one, but it’s the re-recorded version of Paid Gofyn Pam – translated: Don’t Ask Why – that in my opinion will be reason enough in itself to justify purchasing the LP, because the combination of jangling guitars, grooving rhythm section and infectious vocals is nothing more than awesome. Old or new, who cares?

Double A Side single Bad Old Days b/w Paid Gofyn Pam is out now streaming via Libertino Records.

*Update (May 3): Full-length debuut album Olew Nadroedd (Snake Oil) is out now digitally, on CD and vinyl LP, through Libertino Records. They call it “a moving time capsule of the excitement and wide eye wonder — on one hand fear, and anxiety on the other — of young adulthood. A lot of the lyrics are reflective, anxious and uncertain but the music for the most part is vibrant, noisy, and almost hyperactive.”

New single: The On And Ons || Looking Out Of A Mirror

French record label Rogue Records once again confirms their growing status as a reliable supplier of cool 45s. The latest single from the Australian garage/power pop-sters The On And Ons is no exception in that respect. Both A-side Looking Out Of A Mirror and B-side Hey What’s Going On?, together less than five minutes long, manage to combine quite a few proven delights and catchy hooks into earworm hits. That’s actually no surprise, because we really liked their LPs Back For More (2021) and Let Ya Hair Down! (2023) too. The band, formed in 2015 by Glen Morris (Screaming Tribesmen), his brother Brian Morris, and Clyde Bramley (Minuteman, Hoodoo Gurus), specializes in jangly guitar melodies combined with psychedelic harmonies, as invented in the 60s. Here they surpass themselves.

Looking Out Of A Mirror b/w Hey What’s Going On? is out now digitally and on 7″ vinyl through Rogue Records. The band expects to release a new full-length album in 2025.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: The Reds, Pinks & Purples || Unwishing Well

Glenn Donaldson is next level prolific. He is constantly writing and recording music and the latest addition to his quickly expanding The Reds, Pinks & Purples discography – one that is as consistent visually as sonically, is called Unwishing Well.

Donaldson plays almost everything on Unwishing Well, and what comes out is always tasteful, delicate and jangly indie pop. His strength goes beyond technical prowess. The gently flowing, subtly layered music automatically directs attention to the lyrics. Here is where Donaldson truly shines, his delivery complementary of the mood of the songs, the track list, including standouts like What’s Going on With Ordinary People, Learning to Love a Band, and Your Worst Song Is Your Greatest Hit, resembling chapters in a collection of bittersweet short stories.

Donaldson proves to be a masterful storyteller once again, and his latest album is another one where words and music are in a symbiotic relationship. Unwishing Well is out now on CD and LP at Slumberland, Tough Love, and World of Echo.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Discogs

Scroll to Top