Jangle Pop

New album: The Laughing Chimes || In This Town

It’s not a goal in itself, but when you discover really good music that hardly anyone seems to know about, it’s pretty cool. That’s the feeling I had when listening to In This Town, the debut album about life in a small town by The Laughing Chimes. The humble indie rock / jangle pop band – brothers Evan and Quinn Seurkamp – plays 11 sympathetic melodic tunes that I can’t get enough of. It is precisely for these kinds of discoveries that we started this website, so that you can enjoy it too.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New single: Telephone Numbers || Leviathan

When we talk about quality indiepop, we often talk about Melbourne. We should not count out San Francisco though. Here is one example: The Telephone Numbers released their first physical release Leviathan today on Fruits & Flowers. The A-side is a jangle pop gem, the B-side has hints of Teenage Fanclub. Suffice to say, I like this a lot.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

Overlooked album: Davey Woodward And The Winter Orphans || Love And Optimism

If you are into indie and janglepop from around the globe, I recommended subscribing to DJ nstop’s (Jen Matson) weekly radio show Cycles Per Second. I had her latest show playing in the background this morning while working from home, and this one song grabbed my attention. It was Bad Day by Davey Woodward And The Winter Orphans. It’s the latest single from their album Love and Optimism, which was released a couple of months ago. Davey Woodward is a scene veteran, having played in bands such as Brilliant Corners and The Experimental Pop Band. What a fine surprise this record is. It’s described as pop music for grownups. I am not sure about that, but it definitely is not the pop music for juvenile delinquents I usually abuse my ears with. Still, it’s a safe bet that if you like Lou Reed and Velvet Underground, you’ll appreciate this record. Love and Optimism is a testimony of Woodward’s strong songwriting skills. The band recorded the record live in the studio, giving the songs a natural feel and edge that I believe soothes them well. The result? A record that is perfect for a gray and rainy day.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Discogs

New single: Stephen’s Shore || Brisbane Radio

Stephen’s Shore are from Sweden. The band members share a love for California, skateboarding, moody pop songs and jangly guitars, and you can tell. Their new EP is full of moody and breezy jangle pop goodness. You may have heard the standout title track already, but the other three songs are worthy additions, particularly closing track Up To No Good.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Meritorio Records

New album: Kiwi Jr. || Cooler Returns

I’ve been looking forward to this day: January 22nd, arguably the first great release day of 2021. Plenty to write about this week. First up: Cooler Returns, the new Kiwi Jr record. The band already leaked a couple of great songs last year, which is kind of standard practice nowadays to hype upcoming releases. A practice that often results in disappointment once the album arrives. Not in this case, far from it. From album opener Tyler, it’s clear that Kiwi Jr. have not been messing around in 2020. Kiwi Jr. still play the jangly indie rock of their debut we all fell in love with, but on Cooler Returns they upped their game in almost every way. The subtle addition of a saloon piano, organ and harmonica creates a fuller and more mature sound. And with mature, I don’t mean “well they developed their songwriting skills but now sound kinda boring.” This record is fun as hell, and the songwriting is great. Trust me, you can skip adding it to your wantlist, just buy it ASAP. Kiwi Jr. sets the bar high for other bands that are planning to release a new record this year. By the way, kudos to the band for picking the perfect title for a sophomore album that exceeds its predecessor without losing any of the appeal of their debut.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Discogs

New EP: Fletcher || Frog EP

Fletcher is an American indie rock band consisting of four best friends. Their joint Spotify playlist features Real Estate, Magic Potion, Mac DeMarco, Vacations, Her’s, Peach Pit, boy pablo and Good Morning – credible influences. But the young multi-instrumentalists themselves offer a valuable addition to the jangle / slacker pop genre with their Frog EP released today. From the first notes of the great track 2005 VW Passat you will be grabbed and they will not let you go until last song Hannah’s Ford ends.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New EP: The Vapour Trails || Underneath Tomorrow

The Scottish five-peace The Vapour Trails have released a mini album with seven new songs. As in their previous work, on Underneath Tomorrow you hear chiming guitars and beautiful harmonies again (the alternative jangle / pop / psych / rock band is influenced by The Byrds, Teenage Fanclub and 90’s Brit stuff). Give it a listen below. A CD and digital album are out now through Futureman Records.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Kid Chameleon || Unreaching The Reeds

If you are in the mood for an indiepop album that is not boring, not overly produced, but features pretty great songwriting, soothing vocals, and a mix of slower and faster songs, make sure you check out Unreaching The Reeds by Kid Chameleon. What a pleasant collection of homerecorded timeless indiepop. The uptempo Roque Bouquet is my early favorite of the record, I think. Or perhaps, My Girl Is 6 with its Teenage Fanclubesque chorus. Or is it Swan Song?

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp (Name Your Price Download)

Looking Back || Niek’s Overlooked Records of 2020

I’ve been checking out several 2020 AOTY lists in the past couple of weeks and have to admit: I missed a few. It happens, right? Perfection is overrated anyway. Here are 20+ releases from all kinds of musical directions that I either overlooked or was too quick to dismiss in 2020. They are on my wantlist now, that is all that matters. Click below to check them out. As always, I’ve included links to the purchasing locations for these releases. ICYMI also check out my favorite 2020 albums, singles and EPs, 2020 playlists and Dennis’ 2020 AOTY list. Happy new year!

New Compilation: The Young Sinclairs || O.P.P.

The Young Sinclairs have been releasing excellent indiepop records since 2007. Throughout the years, they’ve recorded several cover songs, which they’ve recently wrapped up and made available as a name your price download as their Christmas present to the world. It’s worth checking out, and not just because you’ve always wanted to know what a jangle pop version of Sweet Child O’ Mine sounds like.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

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