Posts Tagged ‘Paisley Shirt Records’

Sad Eyed Beatniks

The run of low-key pop charmers out of San Francisco lately has been admirable to say the least and the crew at Paisley Shirt has been unparalleled in documenting the current slide from garage grit towards jangle-pop bliss. Though let’s not completely dismiss Rocks In Your Head, who are probably just about neck in neck with them at times. Nonetheless, this latest release from label head Kevin Linn’s Sad Eyed Beatniks nails the cross section of sounds that filters through his label. With an air of ‘80s jangle — The Clean, Verlaines, Cleaners From Venus, Deep Freeze Mice — and a hangover of ‘60s Nuggets that informed ‘em in its veins, Linn’s latest tape gives the Beatniks some shape and shine. Blurry-eyed swayers butt heads with wobbly harmonies and hooks that were too good to stay buried in the hiss that marked some of his early works.

The record’s definitely got a lineage cut out of the Barrett warmed plastic pop school, but its tempered by years of knowing that you can’t stare straight into that particular sun for too long without developing a permanent warp. With a quirky hook of song titles that represent geographic locations, the works on Places of Interest hammer out a series of vignettes that paint with a wide brush of strummed sunshine and it’s hard not to just let the whole thing wash over you in a delirious haze. The tape is out now and recommended for pick up before its disappears.




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Tony Jay

I first caught wind of Tony Jay on a great comp from Rocks In Your Head that came out last year rounding up an essential crop of Bay Area bands. The track there stuck to the ribs, a swooning jangler buried in a blanket of hiss. The name’s a misnomer. There’s no Tony in the flesh, but he exists in the mind of the players, if only to inform the scope of the band’s lament. They create a vision of loner pop that’s scuffed and sullen, yet still saddled with enough hope to soften the edges and let the listener peek into the crinkled diary pages of Tony’s heartsick limbo. The band’s been knocking out singles and tapes for quite a few years it seems, but this new one on Paisley Shirt has the band peaking. A Wave In The Dark gives their vaseline-lensed pop a proper stretch out, adding some heft and dimension to their decidedly lo-fi basket of hooks and harmonies.

The hushed delivery wafts over the speakers with a confessional color that finds the band retreating behind bedroom walls rather than filling out stages. If anything, it feels like this was a tape recorded and left by accident on the high school bleachers. It’s a secret treasure found and played endlessly in the tape deck of a car filled on summer job wages and driven around the outskirts to shake out the rejection of a crush. The songs here are hooked on the K catalog —picking at the delicacy of The Softies and Heavenly, with a touch of Sarah alums Brighter in the mix. There’s been a good glut of jangle-pop that wants to mix the bittersweet with the sun, but it’s nice to feel the cloudy day drift of Tony Jay on the headphones. Some days that sun just won’s shine.




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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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