Posts Tagged ‘Indie Pop’

R. E. Seraphin – “Leave Me Here in the Tide”

The last EP from R.E. Seraphin was steeped in a vaseline-lensed power pop, but on his follow-up, Seraphin is moving towards the crossroads of janglepop and indie pop that culls moves from The Field Mice, Even As We Speak, and all manner of 80’s twee pop confections. The track is cut with a dreaminess that’s less easy to pin down. For contemporary comparisons, Seraphin is running through the same filters that Cory Cunningham’s Business of Dreams seems to find familiar, and both bands share a lot of time among the soft pink clouds of daybreak, working their way through the mists. “Leave Me in the Tide” is pinned to a cracking drum machine, and finds its charm in not letting the jangle become the dominant force, letting the guitar warp in the sun just a bit as it wriggles its way through the song. The last EP showed a lot of promise and A Room Forever makes good on it in short order. The EP is out now on Paisley Shirt Records.



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The Sunset Canyoneers

The California coast is always fertile ground when it comes to Cosmic American Music and Cosmic Country in particular. Adding to a scene that’s already packed with faves like Pacific Range, GospelbeacH, and Mapache, Sunset Canyoneers pick up on the twang-simmered ease that lends itself so well to the salt-scented airs of their surrounding environs. As befits their inclusion on Spainish label You Are The Cosmos’ roster, the band focuses on breezy pop harmonies but tinge them with a low-swung sweetness, jangle and slide-dipped sound that’s heir to an amalgam of Big Star, New Riders of the Purple Sage, and Crosby, Stills & Nash. Though, at their most pure, the band seems to be distilling those same influences through the lens of aughts faves like The Tyde or The Stands.

The band’s pop penchant, sky-high, three-part harmonies and tight format set them apart bit from their contemporaries, who often dig into the folk, or extended jam sides of the spectrum. While Sunset Canyoneers feel like they might be able to stretch the boundaries of a few of these live, their sound is built on crisp pop tracks that are dressed up in Western shirts. It’s a shift from quite a few of the members’ previous projects, but that’s not to say that they don’t pull off their new sound amiably. When they slip off the twang and lean into the warm breeze of pop on “As Far As I Can Tell,” there’s a hint at where the players are coming from, yet it sits alongside the Cosmic Country without too much of a change in temperature. The marriage of indie pop and psych-draped country comes through most prominently, making their enthusiasm for the sound an infectious part of the process. You can feel that Powers and the band are having a good time and in the end that’s the feeling that permeates and the vibe that radiates.




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Boyracer – “Crack The Red”

Got another volley of fuzz from Boyracer, who are just coming into their 13th album. Having blossomed in the ‘90s, working through labels like Slumberland and Sarah, they became nothing if not prolific ambassadors of indie pop over the years. While the lineups would change, the buoyant, blistering songwriting of Stewart Anderson remained a constant and as luck would have it the world found itself ready to love indie-pop with a newfound enthusiasm over the last decade or so and the band’s come into a rather pervasive second (or third) wind. “Crack The Red” is a fuzz-rumbled ripper that works as an ode to a well-earned bottle at the end of the day. While the guitars are set to sunburn, the harmonies cool it off and let the song sink into the skin. The band’s lengthy tenure lets them call in a whole host of friends on the new LP. While Burnt Palms’ Christina Riley joins as a permanent member there are pop-ins from Mary Wyer and Anita Rayner (Even As We Speak), Snowy (Ocean Party), Penny McBride (Cannanes) and Boyracer roster legacies from Simon Guild, Laura Bridge, Matty Green, Jen Turrell, Ged McGurn and Ara Hacopian. The video embraces the bottle in the only way a pandemic vid can – Anderson leads the charge with a whole host of friends sharing the screen to sympathize with a glass. If you’ve missed out on the record, I’d recommend getting it onto the decks.

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The Reds, Pinks and Purples – “I Should Have Helped You”

Some subtle news slips out over the long weekend that there’s a new 7” from The Reds, Pinks and Purples coming on EU label Discreet Music. The official follow-up to the band’s last LP, Anxiety Art culls four tracks from Glenn and co.’s prolific Bandcamp run over the last few months. In addition to the title track, “I Should Have Helped You,” the record picks up official version of “Unrequited,” “Keep Your Secrets Close,” and “They Only Wanted Your Soul.” As with the last album the band excels at mining the Sarah Records heyday with songs that tip both jangled and jilted – catchy but with a true melancholy heat. There’s not a cut on here worth missing but check out the autumn sighs that abound on the EP closer below. The song’s got Glenn’s earnest delivery humming and close enough to feel breath in the speakers, but its heard to push down the lump in the throat that forms over these two and a half minutes. Seems there should be some copies stateside soon, but there’s a link below for the import as well. Along with his Telephone Numbers output, these are some of Donaldson’s most intimate, but aching songs and its worth keeping an ear on them to see what’s popping up next.




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Parsnip – “Treacle Toffee World”

Yeah! This new EP from Parsnip is heading towards the top of the list of their releases. Their last album was a killer, but somehow the pop vapors emanating off of these four tracks find them at their peak and begging for more. They already slayed with the opener “Adding Up,” and now they sweeten the deal with a new video for “Treacle Toffee World.” This one’s clipped to an organ wave and fuzz-pedal bubble that make it float. Just one more reason to get this EP in your stack, and they haven’t even gotten to my favorite, the closer, “Repeater.” Though the whole thing’s out today so take a full listen through over at Bandcamp and then do the right thing and get it in your collection.



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R. E. Seraphin

A sparkling power pop cut from R.E. Seraphin (Talkies, Apache, Buzzer) starts off his solo tape for Paisley Shirt and it’s stuffed full of a bittersweet optimism that feel as prescient as ever. Laced with strums and yearning leads, the song swells to a chorus full of hangdog hope. Seraphin knows his way around a hook, but the song, along with the majority of the album, thrives on a soft-focus pop approach that’s woozy and winsome. Seraphin’s approach is charged enough to keep this one stuck in your head all day, but melancholy enough to leave a sigh in your lungs by the third rotation through your brain. As he eases into the rest of the album, Seraphin balances vaseline-lensed pining with a power pop pounce that’s lined up with the kind of forgotten gems that littered the cut-out bins, but were necessary pickups to those with the right kind of ears. Churn a brew full of Phil Seymour b-sides, deep cuts from The Phones, Jags, and Pointed Sticks and this tape starts to come together.

Having spent time in a number of power pop upstarts from Apache’s similarly faded ‘70s slink and Lenz’ new wave quiver to the glam on the cheap workouts of Glitz, Seraphin has spent plenty of time in this pocket, but its nice to see him going all in with his name on the marquee. He’s not completely alone, though, bringing along the original Talkies rhythm section, but this is a new strain from what Talkies were laying down. A close (if not kissing) cousin of his other band, but still making its own imprint in more faded denim direction. I’ll still maintain that if you press your ear to the rail, the last ten years ring true with a wellspring of solid power pop and this one slides into the collection nicely.



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Parsnip – “Adding Up”

Parsnip’s album from last year was an exhilarating breeze of post-punk devoured by indie pop and the band keeps up the pace on a follow-up single this May. With a bouncy strum and their color drenched splashes of organ leading the charge, the band expands on charms of When The Tree Bears Fruit, throwing in their sightly askance harmonies for good measure and letting a breath of spring waft in as the last note trails away. This time the single shares space at their usual hang about Anti-Fade (a true barometer of Aussie pop if there ever was one) and over at Episode Sounds in Japan. The band seems built for the short format so, while in other hands an EP would seem like just a stop-gap, this one’s a necessary pickup for Parsnip fans and indie-pop hoarders alike. The record sidles onto shelves May 15th.




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Sachet – “Arncliffe Babylon”

Mid-last year Aussies Sachet released the standalone single “Nets,” which would not seem to be an actor piece and the title track of their upcoming album for Tenth Court. This week the quartet have a new low simmer jangler and its pushing Nets up the anticipated pile for sure. “Arncliffe Babylon” has an undeniable ‘90s quality to it, or rather, it has several that all pile together for a song that’s hitting several tips of the tongue at once. There’s the low-slung baseline that rips its riff straight out of slacker-punk pages – loping and bobbing with a bubbled indifference. The guitars are over toasted like an afternoon snack forgotten in the toaster over and just caught before the flames take hold. Then there’s the vocals of Lani Crooks, who’s delivery is wedged somewhere between the alt-rock quiet cool of Kay Hanley and Anna Waronker. There’s been plenty of ‘90s revivalism, but somehow the soft-punch and loosely braided melodies of Sachet feel like the right impulses are making their way back around. The album is out shortly on Tenth Court.


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Ezrat – “Loud Sounds”

While they often bubbled under the surface, Brooklyn’s EZTV were a vital piece of the power-pop puzzle from the last few years. As the band’s mercurial sound began to change over the years they pulled in a soft lilt of country and folk that rounded their sound into something far more nuanced than genre tags can hope to evoke. Much like Canadian contemporary Michael Rault, they’d found a sound that was lush and luxuriant within the bounds of pop, and while it seems that EZTV as an entity have faded into the ether that informed them, their spirt lives on with Ezrat. Songwriter Ezra Tenenbaum has begun a new journey that’s gilded with many of the same charms as his previous band. Hung heavy with the dissolution of not only the band but many past relationships, the songs on Carousel were culled from a cache of 50 recordings Tenenbaum had saved up as home demos.

Ezra brought Kyle Forester (Woods, Crystal Stilts), John Andrews (Hand Habits, Cut Worms), and Michael Hesslein (Mail the Horse) along for the ride, fleshing out a bittersweet gem of an album at Figure 8 Studios in Brooklyn. On the first single, “Loud Sounds,” a knotted riff gives way to the sighs of strings (provided by Elena Moon Park & Kyla-Rose Smith) with Tenenbaum giving the track his usual rose-colored veneer – soft strums fading into the winds and melodies wrapping themselves around your own memories until they tug at the heartswell sweetness of melancholy days gone by. The record is out May 1st. Take a few spins ‘round with “Loud Sounds” below.



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Martin Frawley – “Nowhere To Be Seen”

Ahead of an Australian tour, the ex-Twerps frontman Frawley returns with another shaggy shaker that follows his lowkey but loveable album from last year. “Nowhere To Be Seen” pins its hopes on a knuckle-crack beat, bouncing bass line and alternating strums and piano trickles. Frawley found his niche over the course of Undone at 31 with a heart-on-his-sleeve approach that was full of confessional ballads that were soaked and smirking at the end of the bar. This one’s a little more trepidatious, through still letting the emotions rise through to the surface of the skin. It’s a song full of small disappointments and personal reflections that perhaps we could all use. Recommended you get more familiar with Frawley, if you aren’t’ already.



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