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Best of 2015 Playlist (Always Updating)
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Review: Soft Peaks- Altocumular
Made up of various different groups, Baltimore indie poppers, Soft Peaks, have released a stellar sophmore EP that is nothing short of amazing. Reminiscent of Big Star and Teenage Fanclub, the songs on Altocumular combine beautiful vocal harmonies with jangily guitar lines. The track "All the Way" has power pop classic written all over it.
"All the Way"
October 29, 2014
Listen to Autocumular here:
Review: The Zags- Small Bags EP
Evoking much of the classic power pop sounds of the 70's and 80's, The Zags excel at pleasing music fans that feel that music today is missing that certain magic it did in power pop's hey day. Strong melodies over beautifully distorted and jangly guitars are at no shortage on this EP. What makes this collection of songs even more entertaining is the lo-fi production quality, giving it a delightfully raw simplicity. Plus, the vocals are very much in the same vein as The Rubinoos, Off Broadway, or 20/20 which is definitely a bonus for any power pop fan.
"Bridges of 1987"
November 22, 2014
Listen to Small Bags here:
The Ultimate Jellyfish Experience is Here!!!
November 22, 2014
Review: The Singles- Look How Fast A Heart Can Break
Mixing 80's and 90's power pop, glam, and garage rock, The Singles' Look How Fast A Heart Can Break makes for quite an exhilarating listen. Each of the 13 tracks offers something unique to this album from the classic rock n' roll sounds of "You've Runned Away" and "(She's Got) A Heart of Stone" to the melancholy ballads, "I Only Wish You Loved Me More" and "Our Last Goodbye". This album proves to be more than one reason to stay tuned to what The Singles have in store for the future.
"(She's Got) A Heart of Stone"
"I Can't Believe What I Got Myself Into This Time"
"Our Last Goodbye"
December 9, 2014
Review: The Cool Whips- Goodies
After listening to Goodies it would be no surprise if every single song was stuck in your head throughout the rest of the week. Comedic undertones along with irresistibly catchy hooks and melodies make Goodies quite an enjoyable listen. It is also very pleasing to hear songs so multi-dimensional that you can listen to the album over and over again and hear something new each time that you didn't hear before.
"Tickle Me With A Featherduster"
"Lost In The Summertime"
December 9, 2014
Listen to Goodies here:
Top 10 Power Pop Albums of 2014!
Best Reissues of 2014!
(In no particular order)
The Bats: The Bats: Volume 1
The Dream Academy: The Dream Academy
Cabaret Voltaire: #7885 Electropunk to Technopop 1978-1985
The Aislers Set: How I Learned to Write Backwards/ The Last Match
Sleater-Kinney: Dig Me Out/ All Hands on the Bad One
A Certain Ratio: Sextet
Yo La Tengo: Extra Painful
The Cleaners from Venus: The Cleaners from Venus Vol. 3
Teenage Fanclub: Man Made
The Posies: Failure
Ben Riley from The Traveling Circus Band shares with us his top 10 albums of 2014!
Soft Peaks share with us their top 5 albums of 2014!
The Diabolical Machines share with us their top 5 albums of 2014!
Power Pop Gumdrop's Top 20 Albums of 2014
SPORTS share with us their top 5 albums of 2014!
Review: Jonathan Rundman- Look Up
Indie pop veteran, Jonathan Rundman, returns with Look Up, a strong and intelligent piece of work that mixes often complex song structure with very poignant lyrics. The thing that stands out the most on this album is the way he disregards the stereotypes of indie/power pop by writing accessible songs that also make you think and feel rather than just three chord guitar riffs and happy-go-lucky, thoughtless lyrics. The musicianship is unmatched in today's pop genre and the only critique that I have is that the production borderlines on a little too polished and inorganic but regardless, it is a gem.
"Second Shelf Down"
January 15, 2015
Listen to Look Up here:
Song Premiere: El Silver Cabs- "Rainy Days"
February 16, 2015
"Rainy Days" is the lead single off of El Silver Cabs' upcoming EP Stephen Songtime. The song is an in your face energetic rock tune equipped with delightfully distorted guitars and a timeless sounding melody. The band will be holding an EP release party at Don Pedro's in Brooklyn on February 21st.
Interview with Ryan Allen
Ryan Allen is a Michigan based indie musician who perfectly fuses classic power pop with an array of different musical influences. His new record, Heart String Soul, is set to be released in March. We got to ask him questions about everything from how he got started, to his eclectic taste in music...
February 17, 2015
Review: The Jeanies- The Jeanies
Exuding a brand of youthful, DIY energy rarely heard in bands today, The Jeanies' S/T album is power pop perfection. Harkening back to the classic sounds of bands like The Records and The Scruffs, this album is a must listen for anyone looking for great hooks and the feeling of being young in the modern world.
"I Seen Her Dance"
"Believe Me Jenny"
"The Kids Are No Good"
February 23, 2015
Listen to The Jeanies here:
Review: The Zags- The Zags
Building on the energy of their stellar EP, Small Bags, released last year, The Zags exceed expectations with an even more rockin' return to their classic power pop sound. This album could have easily been released in the early 80's and would have fit in well with bands like The Cars or 20/20, but The Zags effortlessly add their own unique twist. Stylistic simplicity paired with its unmatched pop prowess, make this album a standout and one that deserves many repeat listens.
"Not Your Meant-to-be"
"Make Me A Fool"
March 10, 2015
Listen to The Zags here:
Review: El Silver Cabs- Stephen Songtime
El Silver Cabs' return to a more lo-fi garage rock sound proves to be a success with their 3-song rocker Stephen Songtime. It is quite a unique release for the power pop genre based on the fact that you really can't compare it to any other band's works simply because it just doesn't sound like anything else. It has a little hard rock, a little alternative, a little power pop. It pretty much has something for everyone. Stephen Songtime is definitely a top pick for 2015 so far.
March 10, 2015
Listen to Stephen Songtime here:
Review: Phil Yates & The Affiliates- No Need To Beg
As far as folksy power pop goes, Phil Yates & The Affiliates are fairly uncompromising in the way that they blend both genres so effortlessly and perfect on No Need To Beg. Reminiscent of classic pop/rock artists like Velvet Crush, Bill Lloyd, and Big Star, PYATA add a refreshingly honest and personal touch to their lyrics that is too often forgotten about in the pop genre. Pairing those lyrics with irresistible hooks such as the ones on "Grass is Always Greener" and "Masterpiece", is what makes this album one that deserves attention and praise.
"Grass is Always Greener"
May 12, 2015
Listen to No Need To Beg here:
Review: Missing Sibling- Commiserate
Deeply satisfying and insistently smart yet emotional, Missing Sibling's Commiserate sounds like a record that would fit in nicely with an elite group of albums such as, the Pixie's Doolittle or Sonic Youth's Daydream Nation. Combining a noise rock element with countless hook-laden melodies, Missing Sibling clearly put a lot of thought into this EP and excelled at creating something meaningful and very enjoyable at the same time. Adding two members of The Diabolical Machines to the line-up is just the cherry on top of this stunning alternative rock EP.
June 1, 2015
Download and purchase Commiserate on cassette here:
Review: Shmohawk- Shmohawk
Though old-fashioned in delivery, Shmohawk manages to present 3-minute pop songs in a way that shows real love for the genre and an undeniable freshness. This self-titled release is consistently engaging with each listen and plays like a forgotten classic from the golden days of pop music. The way they mix jangle with folk reminds the listener of The Byrds or Big Star and Shmohawk proves to be one of the finer pop acts out today that deserves much more attention.
"There's A Window"
"Two For One"
June 1, 2015
Listen to Shmohawk here:
Best Releases of 2015... So Far
Review: Wits End- Up To Here
Nostalgics will rejoice when they here Up To Here from LA's, Wits End. Heavily inspired by the past while still maintaining their own unique and quirky freshness, many of the songs have a sound that could easily be called timeless- check out "Face It" or the combination noisy and melodic, "High On Prednisone". Similar to late-70's power pop greats like Off Broadway and The Rubinoos (minus the new wave aesthetic really), the band proves they have a knack for writing great pop songs with a healthy dose of rock n' roll.
"High On Prednisone"