New single: Thee Sacred Souls || Will I See You Again? / It’s Our Love

Alex Garcia, Sal Samano and Josh Lane formed Thee Sacred Souls in 2019 but they are quickly becoming an established name with soul lovers. Their first 7 “, the wonderful Can I Call You Rose? / Weak For Your Love, sold already for € 164 on Discogs. And now the American soul trio has released a new single, of which both sides, Will I See You Again? and It’s Our Love, are just as wonderful. Out now on Daptone’s imprint Penrose Records. A band and a voice to cherish.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Discogs

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: The Shang Hi Los || “Kick It Like A Wicked Bad Habit”

Boston based rock n roll band The Shang Hi Los plays music that could be from one of the many great compilations with 60’s nuggets, only sounding better. It’s all there in their catchy 3-minute sing-along songs: a combination of two good voices, doo-wop harmonies, cheerful guitar riffs and a boosting drumbeat. The only cover – Chicago’s Saturday In The Park – is the weakest track on this EP, that says enough. “Kick It Like A Wicked Bad Habit” is out now digitally and on CD through Rum Bar Records.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New single: Reynaldo Jenkins and the Teardrops || Oleka

Not much more is known about Reynaldo Jenkins and the Teardrops than that they are from Wisconsin (USA) and their music is a mix of doo-wop, garage and punk. But a look at their discography is telling; you will see song titles as Bad Habits, Please for Fucksake, Ten Cent Brain, I Want to Blow Shit Up, I Like a Ketchup, Fuck I OD’d Again and Fuck the Snow (that last one is a Christmas song). You know what to expect, right? In that respect the new (digital) single Oleka is a surprise, because the first song starts with the question ‘Do you love me?’ with a friendly drumbeat in the background. But then you hear a raw throat shouting the answer ‘Can’t you see it in my eyes?’ and screeching guitars coming along, so that the sweet lyrics don’t matter that much anymore. This is all about emotion!

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New single: Don’t Worry || As If By Magic

Indie rock band Don’t Worry from Essex (UK) released the new digital single As If By Magic, out now through Specialist Subject Records. Reportedly it’s “about feeling dissatisfied in the present moment and how we often try to remedy this by looking backwards. Social media can often exacerbate these feelings. The song is a reminder not to swim too long in the warmth of nostalgia and to recognize the value in all experiences.” In terms of music and vocals, this song is much lighter than their previous album Who Cares Anyway? (2018), it could be a radio hit. Do I hear handclaps there?

‘Dive into the rat race // Chop of the top of my head // Find whatever meaning in that which presents itself // I’ll find the time to look inside’

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp 

New album: Oberon Rose || Holographic Blues

Tommy Oberon and Rebecca Rose form a songwriting team, and with surnames like that you don’t have to think long about a band name. Oberon Rose pulls from a variety of rock, folk, country and pop influences that span both genres and decades (we should also mention power pop, glam rock and psych here, yet they produce their own unambiguous sound). After Wunjo (2012) and Tell Me All About It (2018) they have now released their third CD: Holographic Blues is out now through their own label ThouART Records. Mesmerizing music that makes you dream of better times. Watch and listen below to Sinner (the first and imho one of the best tracks on the album) and stream the other tracks on Spotify.

Add to wantlist: oberonrose.com

New album: The Airport 77s || Rotation

Although they occasionally dress as such, the Airport 77s are not airline pilots, but they play their guitars and drums with enough energy to take flight. Bassist Chuck Dolan, drummer John Kelly, and guitarist Andy Sullivan came together over a shared love of obscure 1970s power pop, so not surprising that they cover Bram Tchaikovsky’s Girl Of My Dreams on their self-produced debut album Rotation. The other seven tracks are own work, a selection from the slowly but surely built up repertoire of more than 100 songs, just as good (according to the band bio, the premise was that “the original material had to be good enough to follow Jessie’s Girl in the set”). The music is power pop like power pop is meant to be, but the lyrics really bring a smile to your face – just listen to (When You’re Kissing On Me Do You Think Of) James McAvoy, an ode to the Scottish actor: (“If Coldplay was his jam / Would you say they’re your favorite band? / It’s like you don’t give a damn about human dignity.”)

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 Album: Hjelle || Det Måste Inte Vara Så Här

Hjelle is the singer for Swedish pubpunkband extraordinaire Bäddat För Trubbel. Det Måste Inte Vara Så Här (It Must Not Be Like This) is his third solorecord. It was released last month by the Swedish Ken Rock Label, but only just arrived on Spotify which is how I discovered its existence. The record consists of 15 short and sweet lo-fi tunes that border between pubrock and rock’n’roll with the occasional and very welcome sax-solo. If you like Bäddat För Trubbel, I am pretty sure you’ll dig this as well.

Add to wantlist: Discogs || Hepcat.se

New compilation: Various Artists || Fakes

I’ve always had a weak spot for cover compilations, particularly when the originals are classics and the recreations sound faster, angrier of weirder. So thank you, Drunk Dial Records for asking some of today’s best punk and garage acts to cover their favorite song of fictional artists from movies and tv shows. The result is a highly entertaining compilation. What about Pavid Vermin covering The Beets from ’90’s cartoon Doug? Or Jiffy Marx & kcar doing a delightfully weird version of Sugar Sugar? Or Berwanger doing Welcome to the Dollhouse? What about Careful making this Mitch & Mickey song actually sound good? And bless Charlie Continental for changing Wet Wet Wet’s Love is all Around into Covid’s All Around (“there was a start, there will be an end”). Though I hope this will ultimately get a physical release, it’s currently digital only. There are worse ways to spend $5. And if you need any further encouragement, all proceeds will be divided between the bands and four charities.


Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

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