Jangle Pop

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 single: Anselmus || My Life Is Better With Indiepop

Now this is multi-level praiseworthy and inspiring. Chaotic Pop is a new DIY label from Indonesia, which shows that you can also release music with a stack of blank CD-Rs and an LG writer. First up is Tangerang-based one-man band Anselmus, who shares his first two jangly twee pop songs. The lyrics My Life Is Better With Indiepop and Shala la la la la You’re a Complete Rip-off alone are good for a smile, but it is the guitar melodies that win you over.

My Life Is Better With Indiepop is out now digitally and on CD-R single through Chaotic Pop Records. Discovered at JanglePopHub. Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

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: 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 EP: Dreamcoaster || Say Nothing EP

The title track of the new Dreamcoaster (Brighton, UK) has left me smitten. It simply is 3 minutes of fuzzy indie pop perfection. It sets up a wave to ride on for the subsequent three songs – all good. Jangly, dreamy and noisy all at the same time. Dreamcoaster is the duo Jane and Andrew Craig, who for the EP have exchanged their trusted drum computer with the capable hands of Popguns drummer Tony Bryant.

The Say Nothing EP is released on the Craig’s own Duck Race Recording Co label. It’s available on CD. May I recommended buying it in the package deal with Dreamcoaster’s equally great Dreamcoaster 7″ EP?

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Small Crush || Penelope

Californian indie rock/garage pop band Small Crush returns with their sophomore LP Penelope under their belt. Songwriter Logan Hammon (vocals, rhythm guitar), Jackson Felton (lead guitar), Allen Moreno (drums) and Joey Chavez (bass) deliver another ten charming, punchy tunes with jangly guitar melodies, pleasant hazy vocals and youthful lyrics about love and longing for better places and times. “There is so much beauty out here // So much unseen // If I could describe it somehow // It would be a dream” (from second single Ecosystem). You’ll also find such beauty in this late summer music.

Penelope is out now digitally and on vinyl LP through Asian Man Records.

Add to wantlist: Asian Man || Bandcamp || Discogs || Small Crush

Nieuw album: Swansea Sound || Twentieth Century

Don’t ask why, but last month I ended up in Swansea, UK, and knowing that a new album was on the way from the band that took their name from this city, you’ll understand that I kept my ears open. I heard traffic, construction work and seagulls (drowned out in the evening by the rain on my umbrella), noises that have little to do with the music of Swansea Sound, but share the raw what-you-see-is-what-you-get mentality. Anyway, after their stellar Live At The Rum Puncheon LP and fun Music Lover EP, the indie supergroup now returns with their sophomore full-length, looking back on the end of the Twentieth Century. Hue Williams (vocals), Amelia Fletcher (vocals, keys), Rob Pursey (guitar, bass), Bob Collins (guitar) and Ian Button (drums) drop twelve new C86-esque pop-punk songs, jangly and melodic. With the dark humor typical of the British, they sharply reveal that the legacy from before the turn of the millennium has some flaws (the first lines of the opening track: “Paradise got digitized // Lithium and cyanide”). The tunes are punchy and melancholic and contain clever hooks and sing-along choruses, interaction between male and female vocals provides extra tension. This is indie as it was meant to be, sounding more appealing and exciting than any city does.

Twentieth Century is out now digitally, on CD and vinyl LP through Skep Wax Records.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New EP: Pash || Skylight

Pash is a twee indie pop project from Australia, featuring Joseph Buckmaster, Jemimah June, Jackson McCarthy and David Gauci. The fact that they describe themselves as shy and introspective doesn’t stop them from coming to the fore with this Skylight EP, following up on their 2021 Somersault EP and 2020 double A-Side cassette Demonstration. The lyrics of the three songs here explore themes of fantasy, hopelessness, desperation and embarrassment – wanting something you can’t have, or somewhere you can’t go – which fits well with the hazy vocals and synthy, melancholic sound of the music, that will appeal to fans of Sarah Records’ work. The title song with which the EP opens is the most subdued, after which lead single Possession and focus track Fantasy become more and more upbeat, as if the foursome gradually feel more and more free.

Skylight is out now digitally on Dinosaur City Records.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New EP: solamente muero los domingos || qué dif​í​cil es, qué bien se siente

solamente muero los domingos (smld) are a trio from Panama that debut with qué dif​í​cil es, qué bien se siente, which roughly translates to ‘how hard it is, how good it feels.’ slmd don’t use CAPS in their band name, and that reflects in their music that is not loud at all. Expect chiming and jangly guitars, hushed vocals and gorgeous melodies. The indie pop of smld would not look out of place at all in the current Bay Area scene. Favorite track: me perdí el eclipse.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New EP: Horse Chops || Horse Chops

Horse Chops is an indie rock trio from Newfoundland, Canada, featuring veteran musicians Adam Beardsworth (vocals, guitar), Neil Targett (vocals, bass) and Craig Caines (drums, percussion). On their self-titled debut EP you’ll hear six jangly garage rock songs that stand out for their wit and quirkiness. They’re appealing stories about longing and wonder, full of clever wordplay and relatable pop-cultural references: “I want you // To know that I’ve been noticing your // Led Zeppelin sneakers walking across the floor // And all those // Cryptic runes keep me from getting bored” (from Led Zeppelin Sneakers), “I saw you holding hands with a goth boy // Don’t you understand he’s using you as his toy // For channeling the fear of existence // For using you in satanist experiments” (Goth Boys ), “His t-shirt says The Police / / I heard him say he loves Sting // I think Sting’s a dickweed // But he’s okay at bass I guess” (Creepin’), and so on. Very entertaining.

The self-titled Horse Chops EP, produced & engineered by Neil Targett, is out now digitally (self-released).

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

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