New EP: Las Infrarrojas || Las Infrarrojas & Indy Tumbita

Whenever Spanish labels Hurrah! Música and Family Spree Recordings have new music out, they have my full attention. Their latest release is a joint one and might be my favorite release of theirs this year: Las Infrarrojas & Indy Tumbita. It is the latest single of Las Infrarrojas, an awesome foursome from Spain, and I can’t believe how I missed their first two 7″s.*

The sunshine pop of Las Infrarrojas is informed by many influences, from ’60s girl group and rock’n’roll to surf and psych. Here is a band that knows how to write timeless melodies. Their songs ooze major summer vibes, quickly washing any autumn dread away.

I’m not going to put a spotlight on any individual tracks, because this is a quadruple A-side single that I need to have in my collection ASAP.

* Fun Fact: all three Las Infrarrojas singles have an A-side with songs sung in English, and a B-side sung in Spanish.

Add to Wantlist: Bandcamp || Family Spree Recordings

New album: Jackson+Sellers || Breaking Point

Nashville singer-songwriters Aubrie Sellers and Jade Jackson were both artists in their own right, but social media contact during the pandemic led to a 1+1=3 collaboration. Their debut album Breaking Point, out now on ANTI- Records, contains ten folky rock songs, both dreamy Americana ballads and twangy riff driven tunes to dance to. Jackson (acoustic guitar) and Sellers (mellotron, bebot) share sultry vocal duties – their voices match very well – and their alliance sounds and looks like they’ve been friends for a lifetime, even though they’ve only known each other for a year. Both musicians contributed songs they had previously written, and there is one song they wrote together: Wound Up. In addition, there are two awesome covers that they completely have made their own: a flaming version of Julie Miller’s The Devil Is An Angel and an exciting reinterpretation of Suzi Quatro’s The Wild One. Jackson+Sellers, as their joint project is called, are reinforced by Ethan Ballinger (guitars, synth, keys), Matty Alger (drums, percussion, synth, bells), and Rich Brinsfield (bass). Watch and wonder: “You look at me so tender // But I wonder if there lies // Something dark and sinister behind those innocent eyes.”


Add to wantlist: ANTI- || Bandcamp

New album: Secret Towns || Nightlights

Nightlights, the debut album from American indie rock four-piece Secret Towns, was released at the end of September. That we’re only writing about it now is because these are those songs that take a little more time to love. The seed was planted a few weeks ago, and thanks to the occasional attention, the 10 track collection has grown into a wantlist-worthy LP. Luke Thornton (vocals, guitar), Sam Pena (bass), Harry Dulaney (drums), and Matt Petino (lead guitar) play dreamy, jangling guitar pop with psychedelic and ambient post-punk elements, with lyrics about escaping moments from the past and present. In everything the music is aimed at listening at night, the hours that offer the excitement of the potential time ahead to the morning after. As the album begins: “It’s so still tonight // But I feel the rush so far ahead of me.” To end 40 minutes later with the last lines of the title track: “We won’t be the same // Leaving out of the scene // But before you leave // Leave a nightlight on for me.” According to the band, the album represents the idea of affection remaining with the people and places passing through time. Likely that you will be hypnotized if you look at moving city lights at the same moment.

Nightlights is out now digitally. Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Evening Standards || Rainbow Shrimp

Basement Pop is the home of the collective musical projects of musicians Chris Mott & Daun Fields. It is also an apt description of the music of my favorite Basement Pop band: Evening Standards. Mott (guitar) & Fields (bass) take on dual vocal duties in Evening Standards, and are joined by Jacob Hamilton on drums. They play a kind of punkrock and indie rock that is hard to pinpoint. They don’t seem to care about speed, or attitude, or what is cool or happening. What they do care about is writing heartfelt tunes with a lot of melody. That show of heart, that emotional aspect, but also the dual vocals and harmonies give the songs almost an americana or alt country feel. While destined to be overlooked by many, Evening Standards are an easy band to fall for if you just give them a chance.

Rainbow Shrimp is the band’s third album, and if this is your first taste of the band, I highly recommend checking out the band’s previous output. Rainbow Shrimp builds on the previous records, but sounds slightly more lo-fi. It’s another great collections of songs that gets better with each play slowly crawling its way on your end-of-the-year lists. Enjoy the two Evening Standards’ basement pop tunes below, and get ready to develop warm feelings  for this band.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp 

New album: Postage || Postage

Band names raise certain expectations. The first time I heard Postage, a four piece with a history in bands like Signal Lost, Male Patterns, After The Fall, they already had that competitive advantage by naming themselves after a classic All track, from one of my favorite All records (Allroy For Prez). Then again, if their music would’ve sucked that bandname would have been the piece of concrete sinking them to the bottom.

Fortunately, we need not worry about that. Postage’s self-titled debut is filled with melodic punkrock for fans of bands like Dear Landlord, The Dopamines and Leatherface. The record only has one downside: most of these songs have been previously released on the band’s two EP’s, and their split single with Mikey Erg. I’m not complaining though, those releases were digital only and I’m happy to finally be able to own these songs on vinyl. Postage is out November 5th on Dirt Cult Records.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Dirt Cult

New album: The Be Positives || Everything About…

Manchester’s four-piece The Be Positives blend rock, blues, folk, and country influences into a sound that bands like 22-20s, Little Barrie, and The Zutons made about 15 years ago, but with a dash of 70’s Big Star added. Let’s file their sophomore full-length Everything About… under the power pop category. That album title is somewhat overpromising, because the lyrics don’t teach us much about the band (from Rain & Stormy Weather: “Well If it wasn’t such a simple question // Then I would have given it a little thought // And if I’d given her a different answer // Then yes I think it would have come to nought”). What we do know: Mike Seal (guitar, keyboards), Simon Mayne (guitar), Rob Hatton (bass), Callum Darley (drums, percussion) can all sing, and they know how to write varied, melodic songs. These are 11 tests of prowess, ranging from energetic rockers to acoustic ballads. Standout tracks are the garage fueled Please Please Please (“You got me feeling like I am a disease // Yeah you got me going”), and the catchy pub rocker Goodbye (“No I have never been the type // To get help for myself // I just pretend the problem’s someone else’s”). Stream the full album below.

Everything About​… is out now digitally and on CD through Think Like A Key Music; a vinyl LP is available early 2022.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Adapter Adapter || No Comfort

No Comfort is the new (third) full-length album by American bluesy stoner duo Adapter Adapter. The first thing you’ll notice is the cool cover art by Jonathan Grimm; it was a no-brainer to add The Cosmic Mariner to our Favorite Album Covers Gallery. The second thing to mention is that songwriter Nick Ryder (vocals, guitar, blues harp) and Christopher Roy (drums, percussion) do not sound like those other duos from the blues rock genre (you know who i’m referring to), but at the same time evoke positive associations with rock bands with a larger line-up. These are eight energetic songs with heavy guitar riffs, powerful vocals, creative drum patterns and a cheerful harmonica, songs for stamping feet and nodding heads. A big sound on which you can challenge your amplifier.

No Comfort is out digitally and on vinyl LP.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

Dusted || The 10 Best Cover Songs Of October 2021

Not all new music is really new, as many artists occasionally play a song they know from one of their heroes. Often they are songs that deserve to be dusted and polished, simply because they should not be forgotten. Some of those cover versions are so good, 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.

Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door || Cover: The William Loveday Intention || Original: Bob Dylan
It’s unbelievable how much good music Billy Childish continues to create, with originals and covers, but also adaptations of his own earlier work. Last month, with CTMF, he released the great single Bob Dylan’s Got a Lot to Answer For (“Even an idiot must admit that Bob Dylan made some great tunes, but despite his many achievements it must also be said that Bob has got a lot to answer for, so we wrote him a complementary tune”), and from the moniker of The William Loveday Intention also appeared an impressive cover of the master’s Knockin’ On Heavens Door. It’s a classic that has been covered many times, but this is possibly the most epic one. That goes for the 10-minute vocal version (with extra lyrics added), but the even longer instrumental is even more compelling. Out on 12″ vinyl through Squoodge Records and digitally via Damaged Goods.

New album: Fortitude Valley || Fortitude Valley

I’d like to introduce you to Durham’s (UK) answer to Auckland’s (NZ) The Beths: Fortitude Valley! Their self-titled debut provides the ear candy that can only be the result of hitting the sweet spot between indie pop, powerpop and pop punk.

Fortitude Valley is fronted by Laura Kovic, who you may know as the keyboardist of Tigercat. She found her bandmates through the much missed Fortuna Pop! label. Those bandmates? Bassist Greg Ullyart from Night Flowers, Nathan Stephens Griffin (drums) and Daniel Ellis (lead guitar). Ellis also plays in Martha, which is probably my favorite UK pop punk band of the past decade. I love how several of the chord progressions and guitar fills on the record are reminiscent of that band, most notably on the sweet album opener Baby, I’m Afraid.

While decidedly pop-oriented, the music of Fortitude Valley is quite the departure from Kovic’s previous output. “In the past I’ve usually written more gentle melodic pop songs,” she explains in the press release, “but I’ve tried to move away from that slightly on this album and experiment with adding more deliberate bite to my songwriting. Nathan, Daniel and Greg definitely helped to make it more punk.”

The record is timely as well, touching on themes like the passage of time, friendships and relationships growing apart, and feelings of insecurity, depression, and anxiety—as well as searching for love and salvation—, and maintaining to sound joyful and fun throughout. Having two kittens from rescued street cats at home, I can particularly relate to All Haill The Great Destroyer, “a tribute to Margie the rescue cat who destroys everything for fun and is an absolute legend.”

So yeah, what I’m trying to say is that I completely fell for the ear candy of Fortitude Valley. Disclaimer: SO MANY HITS!

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Fika Recordings

New album: Diamondtown || Diamondtown

Diamondtown is made up of veterans of the Nova Scotia underground scene, whose past bands include Eric’s Trip, Dog Day, and Century Egg. The band has about 2.1 million fewer monthly listeners on Spotify than The War On Drugs. And yet, I can envision a lot of those TWOD fans fall for the new self-titled record of Diamondtown. To me, Diamondtown operates in that same realm of spacious, tension building, accessible guitar pop/rock, particularly on songs like Flame, Truth and Outtamind.

But rather than the dad rock-vibe of TWOD with its Dire Straits influences, the songs of Diamondtown  seem substantially informed by ’80s new wave and ’60s jangly pop. They are more concise as well.  Perfect for a late summer beach day, or on your commute with a coffee-to-go in your hand.

Listen to Stride, a perfect and timeless jangle pop tune, and let the sound of Diamondtown gently wash over you.

Diamondtown is out now on Label Obscura.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

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