New EP: The Flaming Sideburns / The Maharajas || Split EP

Now this is fun: the Finnish garage punk rock band The Flaming Sideburns (active since 1995) and the Swedish 60s garage rock band The Maharajas (since 1998) together on one EP! From The Flaming Sideburns you can spin Searching Like a Hyena and Nibiru, taken from their latest LP (Silver Flames, 2021). And although The Maharajas also have a new album out (Floor Killers, 2021), they recorded two new songs for this EP: Where The Action Was and Kill Your Darlings. Four garage bangers, eleven minutes of pure fun. Out now on both black and swamp green vinyl 7″ through Chaputa! Records.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Chaputa!

New album: Kodah || The Apocalypse

Here at Add To Wantlist HQ we try to listen to as much new music as possible. Often we know after half a minute whether we want to pay more attention to a release or not. Sometimes that takes a lot more time, and Kodah’s (digital) LP The Apocalypse is a good example of that: not a sound you hear every day, but so intriguing that you keep coming back to it. Kodah is the alternative pop-rock indie project of American singer / songwriter / producer / audio engineer / composer Dakoyta. She does everything a little differently than usual: alienating lyrics through distinct, dreamy vocals on a bed of hypnotic electro-rock. These aren’t songs that open up to you quickly, but they’re intriguing enough to make the effort to do so. Stream the album below and judge for yourself.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Fernet Underground || Kaikki Säröllä

Now here is a new band that surely will get the hearts pumping of fans of the punk of ’77 and the powerpop of the late ’70s, early ’80s. Fernet Underground are a three-piece from Oulu, a large city in the Northern part of Finland that is rather isolated from the other major cities in the country. With isolation comes great creativity though, and Oulu has a vibrant music scene. The three band members of Fernet Underground (or its abbreviation: FUG) are past and current members in bands such as Ruotomieli, Roku Rousu & The I.O.N.S., Moses Hazy, Kotoisat Sävyt, The Blood Sausage Boys, and The Botherers. Central to the scene around the band is a century old house in Oulu where locals can practice and record their music.

The debut album of Fernet Underground is called Kaikki Säröllä and is stacked with pop hits with a punk attitude and indecipherable Finnish lyrics about dealing with every day struggles – listen to my personal favorites Täällä & Sun, Eläimet, Anna Aikaa, and Painajainen. Fernet Underground reminds me of classic punk bands like Buzzcocks, Undertones, and The Vibrators, and contemporary bands like Laika’s Orbit. Fernet Underground is also influenced by ’80s and ’90s alternative rock, which you can tell from songs like Mitä Tekisin, Realistinenm Kyyninen, Ateinstinen and Paine.

Given the quality and assuredness of this record, it’s crazy that Fernet Underground only started around 18 months ago – more proof that there can be positive side effects to pandemic boredom. I’m already curious what they will come up with next; clearly they have a good thing going up North. For now Kaikki Säröllä is only available on cd, cassette and digital. Fingers crossed that a label will pick this one up for a vinyl release!

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New EP: Concrete Jane || Sole Mio

Contrary to what you might expect from the name Concrete Jane, this is the work of a man called Julien Zumkehr in everyday life. Together with his bandmates Cédric Gerfaud, Antoine Crettenand and Léon Boesch, the musician from Geneva (Switzerland) just released the lo-fi folk mini-album Sole Mio, containing six pleasantly languid songs that fans of Mac DeMarco and RF Shannon will appreciate. Out now digitally and on vinyl 10″ through Le Pop Club Records / Urgence Disk​. Summery psych pop with wonderful guitar playing. 

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Concrete Jane

New EP: The Vovos || Jana

The Vovos are from Melbourne. Named after an iconic Australian biscuit that is covered in pink fondant and raspberry jam filling, it makes sense to expect the band to sound extremely sugary. But, although there is plenty of melody to the music of The Vovos, this is no bubblegum. On the 8-song Jana EP, The Vovos play DIY garagepop and indiepunk with ramshackle charm and youthful energy that sounds like a throwback to the eighties. Their songs about being lost in IKEA, schoolyard crushes, teenage drama, and climate change are a lot of fun, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see this band inspire a new wave of riot girls to pick up instruments and create something of their own.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Roolette Records

New album: Recreational Mouthwash || If That Means Anything

I am not sure how I stumbled upon If That Means Anything , the debut album by Recreational Mouthwash. The queer indiepop four-piece from New York plays a kind of music I don’t usually go for. But yesterday I had it on my headphones while walking in a summer drizzle, and for some reason, it just clicked. I was drawn in by album opener Everything But You, a minor masterpiece with soulfully sung deeply personal lyrics, wandering instruments, cool guitar licks and a slow buildup to a cathartic release. The sheer musical talent and the willingness to travel different musical paths in the song distantly reminds me of Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s II album. Everything But You essentially offers a blueprint of the music of Recreational Mouthwash, a band that takes their time in building up tension in their songs and play around with delayed rewards for listeners. The emotional edge, sense of urgency, the stellar guitar work and pop sensibilities in the music of Recreational Mouthwash sets the band up for a bigger stage, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see this band explode rather sooner than later. If That Means Anything is quite the leap from my usual musical diet, but I like it a lot.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Torrey || Something Happy

Please pay attention if you like bands like Alvvays, The Umbrellas and Fazerdaze. Meet Torrey, a four-piece indie pop band based in the Bay Area (San Francisco, California), fronted by songwriters and siblings Ryann (vocals / bass) and Kelly (rhythm guitar), and supported by close pals Eric (drums ) and Adam (lead guitar). In their own words they make sweetly melancholic, hook-heavy pop tunes and there is nothing to argue with. Their debut album Something Happy has ten joyful jangly guitar songs, sung clearly and with a clear sound. As welcome cold snacks on lazy hot days. Stream below.

Out now digitally. Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Andrew Bryant || A Meaningful Connection

“What is this feeling that I have // ​​Like I’m caught between the here and the now? // Just some shitty midlife crisis // That would bore even the steadiest crowd?” — the first lines of the track Reality Winner capture very well what Andrew Bryant’s new album A Meaningful Connection is about. Here’s a man confused about time and truth, needs and fears. What is a meaningful connection? What is real? What story haven’t I told yet? What if the supposed truth turns out to be a lie? How will I go when my time comes?

The cover photo recalls John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s Bed-ins for Peace, but we don’t see flowers but a smartphone. Opening song Private Window explains: “Folk singers on Twitter // You know they’ve got all the answers // They’re all at the tips of your fingers // In that pale blue light // You can lay down in your bed // Hang your hat on every line that you’ve read // While your lover is dreaming // You are waking to that blue bird song.” The American songwriter / musician struggles, but manages to capture his quest in poetic lyrics, with many topical phrases worth remembering. He wrote, recorded, produced, performed and mixed all the music himself, an impressive achievement. “I sing all my songs and feel them // Staring at the back of my eyelids // And we call this a meaningful connection”, he sings in Birmingham, with a voice that is vulnerable and powerful at the same time. I feel the songs too. This is a beautiful indie pop record.

Out now digitally and on vinyl LP. Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Real Sickies || Love Is For Lovers

Canadian bubblegum pop punkers Real Sickies are quite the prolific band, steadily putting out at least one album per year since 2018’s excellent Get Well Soon. They have great timing as well: Last year, the band released a quarantine album before most countries were even in lockdown. That album featured one of the major quarantine hits, with a chorus that popped up in my head every time I took a look at my bone dry hands – “I washed my hand over 50 times today // My water bill is going through the roof.” Seemingly unhindered by the pandemic, the band today release their latest, and *spoiler alert* greatest record, and it’s not even close. [Post continues below]

New single: Bad Sex || Bad Sex (Miranda b/w Devil Doll)

Okay, I am going to keep this short, before I give in to any of the other bad puns the name of this band evokes. I am talking about Bad Sex, who are a raunchy and sleazy powerpop’n’roll outfit from Portland. With their latest single, the band sends a well-aimed arrow to anyone who gets excited by The Sweet, The Cry, The Exploding Hearts and Gentleman Jesse. Bad Sex hits that sweet spot between powerpop, punk, glam and rock-‘n’-roll on both of these songs, and I hope to hear more from them soon. Out now on a 7″ at Crash Assailant Records. Talk to you later, going to clean up my browser history now.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Crash Assailant

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