Jangle Pop

New album: Los Palms || Skeleton Ranch

Fans of bands such as Allah-Las, Mystic Braves, Night Beats, The Growlers and Tijuana Panthers should pay attention now, because most likely they also dig Australian “romantic desert jangle” 5-piece Los Palms. Ant Candlish (vocals, guitar), Sam Arthurson (guitar), Nathan Solly (bass), Code Andrusko (drums, vocals) and Will Bahnisch (keys) just released their full-length debut album Skeleton Ranch and it’s – literally and figuratively – a thrilling one. You’ll hear 9 mysterious songs influenced by garage, surf and psych rock as it came to life in the 60’s – raw, dirty and cinematic. Or as they put it themselves: “Neo-psych ghost stories that create a detailed musical landscape by mixing feedback, fuzz, eerie organs and reverb-soaked guitar and vocals.” They may sing out loud that they don’t want to be cool, but of course they are, while their record is so hot you could warm up to it this fall.

Skeleton Ranch is out now digitally and on vinyl LP through Fuzz Club Records.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Fuzz Club

New album: Model Shop || Love Interest

There is no shortage of motivational quotes about endings and new beginnings. Likely, many of these quotes apply to the Math & Physics Club who released their last  LP (final?) in 2018. In these past seven days, two M&PC related releases were dropped, and it’s definitely an ‘one and one makes three’ kind-of-deal. Singer Charles Bert released his solo debut as Field School last  Friday. And this week marks the debut of Model Shop (Seattle), a new project by M&PC members Kevin Emerson and Ethan Jones together with bassist Jen Fox (Julep, Way South, These People Here).

Like Field School, Model Shop impress from the get go. Album opener Lucky is just one of many highlights on Love Interest. The record is varied and strays further from the M&PC mold than Field School. Model Shop have no issue switching between slow and moody song to upbeat and uplifting tunes. Thoughout it all, Model Shop deliver top of the class indie pop that they generously shower with lush and memorable melodies and delightful harmonies.

Love Interest is out now through Meritorio Records – what a year for that label!

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Meritorio

New EP: The Lunar Towers || Hurry Up And Wait

Last summer we were introduced to UK four-piece The Lunar Towers – songwriters Rory Moore, Joe Richardson, Rob Sewell and drummer Bradley Hillier Smith – through their infectious single Happy as Larry. With four new nice tracks, brought together on their debut EP Hurry Up And Wait, they prove that they have more to offer. They call their music garage pop, but it actually sounds too good for that. You’ll hear bright melodies by jangly guitars, and relatable lyrics by brilliant vocal harmonies. Energetic, sunny and lovable.

Hurry Up And Wait is out now digitally and on CD through Colorama Records. All profits will go towards recording new tunes, so you know what to do.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Field School || When Summer Comes

Charles Bert (of Math & Physics Club and Unlikely Friends fame) returns to the top of the indie pop class with his new solo project Field School. When Summer Comes, as the collection of songs is called, is another example of how, despite its devistating and distrupting effects, the global pandemic inspired some great art. Bert used the period of lockdowns and social isolation to start writing and recording new songs, playing every instrument “learning on the fly.” Ultimately, that experimentation resulted in When Summer Comes.

When Summer Comes is indie pop bliss. The ingredients are familiar: jangly and chiming guitars, Summer melodies, a sense of melancholy and longing. The LP wraps around you like a warm and comfortable blanket, and lets you simply enjoy the moment. No distractions, no worries, just good music. The percussion on most of these songs is sparse, but somehow that feels natural, and only further draws you attention to the delightful guitars, the lyrics and the delicate voice of Bert. Add Field School to the ever growing list of amazing contemporary jangle pop bands like Massage, Umbrellas, Chime School, Quivers, The Laughing Chimes and The Umbrella Puzzles.

When Summer Comes is the kind of record that would not look out of place in the K-Records, Sarah Records or Slumberland Records catalogue. But Bobo Integral is just a perfect fit as well.  Buy it there now.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New EP: The Laughing Chimes || Zoo Avenue EP

From the moment we discovered the music of Southeast Ohio’s The Laughing Chimes, we’ve been fans of teenage brothers Evan and Quinn Seurkamp. They now follow up their convincing debut full-length album In This Town with the Zoo Avenue EP, which is released by the never-disappointing Slumberland Records – a great combination. You’ll hear six fresh jangle pop tunes that would all be hits in other times. Opening track Ice Cream Skies immediately grabs you with an irresistible guitar melody and “pa-da-pa” harmonies, only to embrace you even more tightly with Laurel Heights (which we already knew as a single, then Laurel Heights Court). The title track is another highlight that won’t let go, but really there are no weak moments here. This is perfect pop that brings back the summer.

The Zoo Avenue EP is out now digitally and on cassette through Slumberland Records.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Slumberland

New album: Rainn Byrns || New In Town

Talented DIY musician Rainn Byrns has traded sunny Texas for rainy South London, but his music could have been made in Melbourne. From his home studio he translated his youthful and slightly worrisome or bored view on the world around him and his personal well-being into eleven summery songs, that have now been brought together on his full-length debut album New In Town. His guitar playing and vocals are at times reminiscent of Kurt Vile or Mac DeMarco, but the sound – courtesy of backing band The Byrnouts – is a bit fuller and looser at the same time. Although the lyrics cut dark feelings, they ultimately turn out to be optimistic, and the melodies are sweet and cheerful. This is melancholic jangle pop so bright that Byrns is understandably wearing sunglasses in the cover photo.

New In Town is out now on CD and vinyl LP through Futureproof Records.

Add to wantlist: Futureproof || Rough Trade

New album: S.C.A.B. || S.C.A.B.

Scab won’t be the first thing that comes to mind when you have to come up with a band name, but in the case of New York City-based four-piece S.C.A.B., it’s simply the first letters of the band members’ names – initially a working title, but you know how it goes once you get used to it, especially if you can see it as a metaphor for protection and healing for a a tight-knit group of best friends who’ve always been there for one another. Sean Camargo (vocals, guitar, lyrics), Cory Best (guitar), Alec Alabado (bass, synth) and Brandon Hafetz (drums) just released their sophomore, eponymous full-length album (self-produced), pairing street-smart poetry with a New York sound. “Found another way into a world I wanna see and find out about”, that’s how opening song Why Do I Dream Of You begins, and from which everything that follows seems to flow from. A track like C86 may reveal their influences, but with Six Songs Into Your Spotify Playlist they make it clear that they live in the present. This is melodic indie rock with vibes of assertive post-punk and dreamy shoegaze – jangling guitars in the foreground and nostalgia in the background – and as restless as the city that never sleeps.

S.C.A.B. is out now digitally and on vinyl LP through Grind Select. RIYL: Beach Fossils, DIIV, Ducktails.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New single: Hidden Pictures || Randi

American musician Richard Gintowt has once again written and recorded two great new songs for his band Hidden Pictures, two tracks which I would include in my playlist if I had a radio station. In both Randi and Only Memories, the guitars jangle fine melodies under appealing lyrics (“You never cared much for power pop // Put on Big Star and your face would drop”), hand claps and “yeah’s” included. Such perfect pop music only takes two minutes to make a lasting impression.

Randi is out now digitally via I Love Doby. Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Dot Dash || Madman In The Rain

Singer/guitarist Terry Banks (Tree Fort Angst, St. Christopher, Julie Ocean and the Saturday People), bassist Hunter Bennett (Julie Ocean) and drummer Danny Ingram (founding member of Youth Brigade, Emmapeel, Madhouse) have nothing left to prove. They have made their mark with several memorable and classic records. For the past 11 years, their main project has been Dot Dash, releasing six full lengths in that period. If this is the first time you hear about Dot Dash, i can’t really recommend one out of the six. All of these records are worth checking out. Dot Dash simply seem incapable of making a bad record, and if you’d make a greatest hits record of the band’s discography, it would feature an equal amount of songs from each release. Those who are familiar with the band, will probably smile at the idea of a greatest hits record, and how insanely great that would be.

Dot Dash’s last album dates back to 2018, and I was surprised to discover there is a new one out this week. It’s called Madman In The Rain, and Banks, Bennett and Ingram again do not disappoint. Madman In The Rain will sound instantly familiar to fans – the warm and distinct voice of Banks is such a joy to behold. The band’s sound still has firm roots in eighties music and is a mix of jangly powerpop, mod, punk and indie rock. Songs like Forever Far Out, Tense & Nervous, Airwaves and Saints / Pharaohs are prototypical Dot Dash hits. The new record feels more varied than the average Dot Dash record though. There are more pop oriented and slower songs, and the record closes with Dead Gone, a song that may very well be the most upbeat song in the band’s discography yet – I have to test this assumption later.

Dot Dash have nothing left to prove but they keep going at it, winning over hearts and minds of music fans one at a time. Really, this band deserves a much bigger fanbase. Or like Dot Dash sing “You can’t go on, you can’t go back. You gotta have a heart to have a heart attack.” Madman In The Rain is out now through The Beautiful Music.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

Dusted || The 10 Best Cover Songs Of October 2022

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.

Honk If You’re Lonely || Cover: Say Sue Me || Original: Silver Jews
South Korean indie rock band Say Sue Me celebrate their 10th anniversary with an EP simply called 10 (out digitally and on cassette through Damnably). For this they recorded creditable new versions of their own songs Bad Habit and Old Town, as well as covers of songs by Yo La Tengo, Pavement, Daniel Johnston, Silver Jews, Grandaddy and Guided By Voices. No weak moments here, but as we can’t honor David Berman enough, we chose this one.

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