New EP: The People´s Pleasure Grounds || The People´s Pleasure Grounds

The People’s Pleasure Grounds is the new solo project of Dutch multi-instrumentalist Jimmy de Kok (Iguana Death Cult and The Black Marble Selection). Accompanied by three close friends, and recorded by Temples drummer Rens Ottink, these first four songs of the band are an impressive blend of psych, surf and sunshine pop. The band’s sound has elements of the laidback nature of Allah-Las, but also of the urgent guitar licks of Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever.

Pick up the Cassette at Harry Records. Vinyl available through Little Water Records.

Add to wantlist: Harry Records || Little Water Records

New album: Quiet Confusion || Magella

Ten years after the release of their debut LP, Quiet Confusion is back with their fourth full-length studio album Magella (the title is a tribute to freedom of expression). Although the Italian trio has changed their line-up (below you listen to Antonio Cortina (vocals, guitar), Giovanni Franceschini (drums) and Roberto Panarotto (bass)), remained has the stoner rock ‘n’ roll that is deeply drenched in heavy blues and psychedelics. The album title is a tribute to freedom of expression, because the three musicians had the privilege to explore soundscapes in an instinctive and genuine way. This led to standout opening track Long Wave, which with a (far too short) running time of only 2:42 is unique in this genre, in which long jams such as the instrumental closing track J.J. are common. This band shows how to master both and everything in between. This is powerful and exciting music with a live feeling and authentic sound.

Magella is out now digitally and on CD through Go Down Records.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Go Down

New album: Tchotchke || Tchotchke

New York-based trio Tchotchke – Anastasia Sanchez (drums, vocals), Eva Chambers (bass, vocals) and Emily Tooraen (guitar, vocals) – have released their self-titled debut album, produced by The Lemon Twigs. At first hearing these are simply nine indie pop songs with a 60s girl group sound, but surprising baroque, psych, folk and rock influences – guest musicians added cellos, horns and violins – make the album more unique, fascinating and eccentric than you initially expect. Wonderful arrangements, enchanting vocals. Actually, there are no weak moments here, but apart from the singles Ronnie, Dizzy and Don’t Hang Up On Me, in particular Oh Sweetheart, Come (featuring Jonathan Rado) is an addictive summer hit.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Paper Lips || The Sound Of Sound

The imaginary award for the most nerdy cover art of recent months goes to Paper Lips’ debut album The Sound Of Sound. Fortunately, the music is more exciting than the graphics suggest. Paper Lips is a solo project by English singer-songwriter Mike Whittaker, who we know from garage rock / rhythm ‘n’ beat bands The Baron Four, The Jack Cades and Thee Vicars, but what he does here is fundamentally different – no less good though. You’ll hear ten psych folk songs, nine originals and a cover of 13th Floor Elevators’ Splash 1, with chiming guitars, relaxed vocals and summery melodies. They take some time to get used to, but slowly but surely enchant you. Connoisseurs will be able to name the precise audio frequency spectrum, but even without that knowledge you feel that The Sound Of Sound is on the right wavelength.

The Sound Of Sound is out digitally and on vinyl LP through Dangerhouse Skylab and Mono-Tone Records.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Discogs

Dusted || The 10 Best Cover Songs Of June 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.

In June we heard some covers on the soundtrack of Baz Lurhmann’s biopic film ELVIS, The Routes’ did a surf rock Kraftwerk tribute, Elvis Costello celebrated Paul McCartney’s 80th birthday, a project of Disclotch Records contained 27 home recordings to pay homage to Daniel Johnston, and previously we wrote about releases from Thee Escapees, Mikey Erg, Reverendo Band, Runaway Lovers and Townies with some successful cover versions. Below we list the 10 best that we haven’t mentioned yet.

Hound Dog || Cover: The Record Company || Original: Big Mama Thornton
The iconic rock ‘n’ roll track Hound Dog was written by Jerry Leiber & Mike Stoller, first released by blues singer Big Mama Thornton (1953), and made famous by Elvis Presley (1956). The ELVIS soundtrack features an honorable cover by Shonka Dukureh, but as a fan of American roots rock band The Record Company, it’s their version that you see here (not related to the movie). It’s not a Thornton or Presley imitation: as always The Record Company gives it its own twist. In case you don’t know: they previously worked on Beastie Boys’ So What’Cha Want, still one of my favorite covers ever.

New album: Marco Busato || Night Of My Times

Marco Busato is a Brazilian-born, London-based singer-songwriter / multi-instrumentalist (please don’t confuse him with canceled artist Marco Borsato from the Netherlands), who is just in time to make your summer a bit better with his first solo album Night Of My Times. You’ll hear nine original, sunny guitar pop songs rooted in the 70’s, inspired by the psych, surf, soul, mod and tropicalia greats (the entertaining “influences” playlist includes Kevin Ayers, The Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, Os Mutantes, Love, Allah-Las, Chris Bell, etc.) – perfect tunes from a sympathetic music maker that make you forget your worries for a while. “Be high and low, not right or wrong”, he sings in Sunken Ships, and for someone who likes to be right, I’ll think about that again when the sun goes down. Anyway, if only the beach clubs would play these tracks instead of the usual electronic noise pollution, how right would that be?

Night Of My Times is out now digitally and on vinyl LP through Bickerton Records.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Bickerton || Discogs

New album: West Coast Music Club || Faded Scrapbook

Just half a year after their previous album Take A Deep Breath (featuring the amazing single Jenny’s Still Got (What It Takes), remember?), here’s the fourth full-length from UK indie pop trio West Coast Music Club. The beautiful title Faded Scrapbook reveals the central theme of the ten new songs: their poetic lyrics deal with dreams and memories, regret and longing, faith and satisfaction. The words of Fanclub Favorite could have been ours: “We can’t forget the joy that we felt // You soundtracked our lives don’t you know what you meant.” We enjoy this Hotel California: “I asked you if you knew what ‘Tiffany-twisted’ meant // Or what ‘colitas’ were, you smiled and said Who cares? // This song is beautiful, kiss me, kiss me make you mine.” And the title track, advising to turn the page, also applies to this LP: “Around the corner something new no certainty of lasting.”

This is varied guitar-driven music that switches between dreamy jangle pop, psychedelic shoegaze and uplifting power pop. Songwriters Martin Adams (vocals, guitar) and Peter Madden (guitar, bass), together with Marc Joy (drums, bass), have delivered a small masterpiece that won’t lose its color for the foreseeable future.

Faded Scrapbook is out now digitally and on CD through 72rpm Records and Kool Kat Musik.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New EP: The Sound Station || Wild One

Nakia and Simon Black are a prime example of how great musical taste and talent can result in great tunes. In their Gimme 5 feature on our site, they revealed their impeccable taste, and the only negative thing I can say about their band The Sound Station’s output is that I wish they were a bit more prolific.

But scarcity makes the heart grow fonder – or something like that, and their new EP Wild One was worth testing our patience for. The four songs on the EP are The Sound Station’s love letter to the outcasts of ’50s and ’60s music, to the earliest punks, the greasiest rockers, and the grooviest R&B lads and ladies. It’s an exhilerating brand of garage rock that sounds particularly combustible on the title track and Late Night Snack.

The Wild One EP is out now on 7″ single at Chaputa! Records. The quality of the songs and the great by João Pimenta should make this one a can’t lose purchase.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Chaputa!

New album: Abel Natürlich || Smug

Geertruida, a record label from the Northern coastal province in the Netherlands, provides the perfect metaphor for Abel Natürlich’s debut record Smug: “A restless theme park ride.” It’s probably the weirdest thing I actually enjoyed lately.

THERE IS JUST SO MUCH GOING ON! That was my first impression. Smug is a kind of record that intentionally overstimulates. And musically it’s all over the place. There is a chiptune element to most of the songs, there are egg punk parts, there definitely is some baroque pop to the record – the vocal melodies strangely remind me of The Zombies’ Odessey And Oracle.

About that theme park metaphor. Smug sounds more like a really dense theme park than a specific ride. Let’s say each of the songs has a lot of rides that are all hectic and unpredictable. The waiting time in between? Minimal.

Bring your own food and drinks. Smug is out now through Geertruida Records.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Yellow Pills || Too Many Metrics

Yellow Pills is the solo bedroom project by Chicago-based musician Ryan Miera. At a fast pace he writes and records cinematic garage psych tracks with surf influences, largely instrumental although occasionally vocals pop up. I like the title of his new album – Too Many Metrics – but the song titles also evoke all kinds of images and stories (What does The Letter H stand for? Does The Devil’s Drug Dealer also supply yellow pills? Etc). More importantly though, this is simply very entertaining music. Diverse, quirky and exciting.

Too Many Metrics is out now via Mint 400 Records – streaming only for now.

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