Category Archives: playlist

Double Summer

Once you start to explore new music beyond what’s readily listenable on Spotify or terrestrial radio, it’s easy to lose yourself in related link clicks all the way to discovering entire scenes. Such has been the case for me recently when uncovering the variety of great bands in Melbourne, Australia, one of whom (Dick Diver) I was lucky to see live recently among a small crowd in the lobby area of the Vera Project here in Seattle. Heard of the bands Cool Sounds, Teaser Pony, The Shifters or Ciggie Witch? Well, I certainly hadn’t. They’re all from Melbourne, and all in my new summer 2015 music mix.

Turns out that when you spend the past few months opening a new browser tab anytime you run across an interesting-sounding music link, you end up with a ridiculous amount of bands and songs to check out. And that’s not counting the 20+ bands I saw at this year’s NYC Popfest.

Anyway, I managed to winnow down selections from 50-odd bands to a still-large 28 tracks total – none of which have (yet) worn out their welcome in my headphones on my daily commute.

As with my spring playlist, I’ve written the tiniest capsule review of each song, with band origin, release date and label info, as available. This time I lost track of where I found each song (I really let the browser tabs pile up). However, numerous hat tips must be directed to those Twitter accounts/blogs/people of good taste and generosity of music-sharing spirit who sourced some of these, including: IndiePopSavedMyLife (@indiepopSML), Toby (@finestkiss), When You Motor Away (@WYMAblog), Ben (@didnotchart), Fuzzed Out Bliss (@PostpunkRadio) and Tim Sendra.

Hoping to share a little new-song-discovery thrill with you, here are my picks:

Double Summer

A Summer 2015 new music mix

The Airplanes – Where You Are Now
Charmingly-earnest fuzzpop bliss.
(Fayetteville, AR, USA – July 2015, Summer Daydream)

Cool Sounds – Control
Enchantingly-moody throb and jangle.
(Melbourne, Australia – June 2015, Beko Disques)

Ciggie Witch – Look of Pain
Moseying slide guitar and shuffle with a sweet pop core.
(Melbourne, Australia – June 2015, Osbourne Again Music)

Dick Diver – Waste the Alphabet
Taut pop chug that levels up when all the guitars and vocals kick in.
(Melbourne, Australia – March 2015, Trouble in Mind)

The Chills – America Says Hello
Hello again to the finest purveyors of crystalline pure pop.
(Dunedin, New Zealand – July 2015, Fire Records)

Seapony – Saw the Light
Gossamer guitar confection.
(Seattle, WA, USA – July 2015)

Presents For Sally – Wishawaytoday
Bringing back early 90s-style shoegaze / Manchester beat pop in style.
(Bristol, England – July 2015, Saint Marie Records)

Westkust – Swirl
Truth in song title advertising, cresting wave after wave.
(Gothenburg, Sweden – April 2015, Luxury)

The Cairo Gang – Ice Fishing
Byrds-song in a mod pop wrapper.
(Chicago, IL, USA – June 2015, GOD?)

The Golden Eaves – No Other
Sun-dappled and swinging guitar pickings.
(Augsburg, Germany – July 2015)

The Chandler Estate – Spies (No more)
Pensive and gently bopping.
(NY, NY, USA – May 2015)

Joanna Gruesome – Honestly Do Yr Worst
Sweet and tart, lilting vox & shouts, guitar snarl and strum.
(Cardiff, Wales – March 2014, Slumberland Records)

Spring King – City
Pinballing post-punk stomper.
(Manchester, England – April 2015, Handsome Dad Records)

SHOPPING – Why Wait?
Mind your own business (on the dance floor).
(London, England – July 2015, FatCat)

The Shifters – Algeria
Pay your rates-UH! Or homage to none other than Mark E.
(Melbourne, Australia – February 2015, Comfort 35)

Teaser Pony – Champion Fullback
Sparkling ballad of a disenchanted sports hero.
(Melbourne, Australia – May 2015, Cinnamon Records)

Dirty Sidewalks – It’s Getting Better
Covered with bubblegum and a little grit.
(Seattle, WA, USA – May 2015, MuSick Recordings)

Eternal Summers – Together or Alone
Raises its head from its shoes long enough to shout it out.
(Richmond, VA, USA – May 2015, Kanine Records)

Lorna – Bigger Than Sound (And Greater Than Us)
Enveloped in a gently chiming pop undertow.
(Nottingham, England – July 2015, Words On Music)

No Joy – Hollywood Teeth
Tuneful distortion, like their similarly loveless predecessors.
(Montreal, Canada – June 2015, Mexican Summer)

Vaadat Charigim – Hadavar Haamiti
Echo-ey and slightly mysterious thundercloud of guitars.
(Tel Aviv, Israel – May 2015, Burger Records)

Linden – Rest and Be Thankful
Horn-accented Sunday strolling.
(Argyll, Scotland – June 2015, Slumberland Records)

The Orange Peels – 9
Unwinds as the highway, sunny and meandering.
(Boulder Creek, CA, USA – May 2015, Mystery Lawn/Minty Fresh)

Ultimate Painting – (I’ve Got the) Sanctioned Blues
Still picking and twanging, riding a rail.
(London, England – June 2015, Trouble in Mind)

MERCURY GIRLS – Golden (demo)
Blurry blast of ba-ba-ba-das.
(Philadelphia, PA, USA – March 2015)

The American Peasantry – Don’t Let Your Heart Go Wandering
Bouncing a Postcard through a blender.
(Ventura, CA, USA – May 2015)

Treasures of Mexico – Optimism
A very pretty minor key meditation.
(Chatham, England – June 2015, Shelflife Records)

Stephen Hero – Golden
Lush and hushed guitar shimmer.
(Manchester, England – June 2015)

Coming Up Roses

This is a new music blog, so time to share some of the new(ish) music I’ve been listening to for the past couple of months. Most are pretty recent, but a few hail from as far back as last summer. (Am a little rusty at this new music mix thing. Baby steps.)

I tried to find as many songs as possible on one service, but of course there’s not a single one that has them all. So I’ve embedded everything – meant to be listened in that order – below. But if you’re a Spotify user and want the E-Z listening experience, my Spotify New Music (Spring 2015) playlist includes all but three tracks.

Each song includes my capsule review, and info about where each band hails from, the month/year of release, label and source. “Source” in this instance means where I heard about a specific band. Except for Wire. I already know them (duh).

And close your eyes if there is an actual video. Some I couldn’t find just the music. All you need is the music!

Here we go:

Coming Up Roses

A Spring 2015 new music mix

Young Guv – Ripe 4 Luv
Prince-y and power-poppy strut and swagger.
(Canada – March 2015, Slumberland)
Source: label Twitter account

BRONCHO – Class Historian
Jittery pop with alternating guitar sparkle and rev, crooning stutter.
(USA – July 2014, Dine Alone)
Source: friend

Surf City – Hollow Veins
Laconic vox and guitar gallop from NZ via JAMC.
(New Zealand – January 2015, Fire Records)
Source: KEXP

Ultimate Painting – Ultimate Painting
Mining a mid-tempo guitar pick and twang groove. Alternately: VU VU VU VU.
(UK – October 2014, Trouble in Mind Records)
Source: another band

Zebra Hunt – Half Right
Indie guitar pop ne plus ultra set to a Before Hollywood beat.
(USA – February 2015, Tenorio Cotobade)
Source: friend

Twerps – Back to You
Chiming, sweet swirl of keyboards, guitars, nasal coo and yelp.
(Australia – October 2014, Merge Records)
Source: KEXP

San Cisco – RUN
Panting, sinuous booty-shaker. Falsetto synth breakdown.
(Australia – March 2015, Island City Records)
Source: Tractor Tavern calendar listing

Viet Cong – Bunker Buster
Insistent, art-damaged guitar spinning, puncturing post-punk gloom.
(Canada – January 2015, Jagjaguwar)
Source: friend

Thigh Master – Age of Concern *
Dizzying crash and pop interlude. Fall in A Hole of fuzz.
(Australia – February 2015, Tenth Court)
Source: friend

School Damage – Sick of You *
Twee psych fuzz, keyboard doodle.
(Australia – August 2014, Detonic Recordings)
Source: clicking on links on the internet

Speedy Ortiz – Raising the Skate
Tough girl smirk and warble. Angular guitar see-saw and circle, wobble and spike.
(USA – February 2015, Carpark)
Source: friend + coworker

Tigercats – King of Vic
Stalking pitter-patter for tiny dances. Whine and gentle melody.
(UK – February 2015, Fortuna Pop)
Source: friend

Lightning In A Twilight Hour – Memory Machine
Echo chamber guitar and synth, clock rhythm and vocal hush.
(UK – November 2014, Elefant Records)
Source: someone on Twitter

Wire – Burning Bridges
Gradually thawing the 15th.
(UK – April 2015, Pinkflag)
Source (for new LP): band Twitter account

Viet Cong – Continental Shelf
World weary thump and guitar frazzle tension to slow recline release.
(Canada – January 2015, Jagjaguwar)
Source: friends

The Wave Pictures – I Could Hear the Telephone (3 Floors Above Me)
Rifftastic garage-rock jangle, growl and rave up.
(UK – February 2015, Moshi Moshi)
Source: friend

Cool jerk, pop percolation, pose and drawl.
(USA – July 2014, Dine Alone)
Source: friend

Tangerine – Tiny Islands
Chirping pixie piston-pop. Sugar-spun guitars.
(USA – October 2014, self-released)
Source: KEXP

Twerps – I Don’t Mind
Winsome and fragile, quiet heart to bursting overflow.
(Australia – October 2014, Merge Records)
Source: KEXP

Zebra Hunt – Haze of Youth *
Pretty picking figure eights. Shimmer, sway and sigh.
(USA – February 2015, Tenorio Cotobade)
Source: friend

* Not available on Spotify