Sunday, 13 December 2009
Very few words for this newly born band called Dance Me Dead. They declare they steal their inspiration from mixed and varied images of drinks, dance, death and the perverted face of Dolly Parton. Do we actually need another seven piece outfit from Stockholm with 80s new wave and post punk references? We surely do. Listen to new single "I wish you could hear me now" and dance till you drop dead.
Wednesday, 9 December 2009
Sunday, 6 December 2009
A trip into space is always a fascinating adventure full of ambiguities. Sweet Trip aren’t from outerspace but from the land of San Francisco. Led by Roberto Burgos -a young immigrant from Panama- they worship My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive, Pale Saints, Stereolab and Cocteau Twins. They furtively create their own soundscape while manage to mitigate mediocrity by blending ambient, electronica and indie in style. It should be noted that Burgos has furthermore remixed songs for the infamous Japanese shibuya-kei idol Takako Minekawa. “Your World Is Eternally Complete” is now out on the new “Little Darla Has A Treat For You, Volume 26” (Darla Records). Sweet!
Wednesday, 2 December 2009
I have recently been infected by the Swedish virus Berndt. It’s a dangerous one, conducive to bad health results such as weird dancing moves and extra peculiar shopping therapy. The Berndt are young and stupid and cool and fearless. They are also proud of their stage presence and claim that this is their big asset. Whether they do provoke a live chaos or deliver an explosion of energy, emotions and fiery rhythms is yet to be confirmed. What is already verified, however, is their unique enthusiasm and talent captured on both their EPs [“Bap! Bap!” and “…Walk”]. Debut album is expected to be out January 2010 (Pophat Music). Virus Alert!
Sunday, 29 November 2009
When I was a little girl I was told I should join the ballet. That was supposed to make me look cute, toned and feminine. I was never into gymnastics so instead, I started reading books, drawing silly pictures and listening to music. Years later I bumped into The Ballet, a New York outfit that seems to enjoy old pop records and being gay; they actually named their first record after the Mattachine Society which was in the 50s one of the earliest lasting homophile organizations in the US. What is adorable about those guys is the infectious popsongs that borrow sth from the early Magnetic Fields delicacy. Second album “Bear Life” is out now! Song “The House on Fire” is pure excellency.
Wednesday, 25 November 2009
Monday, 23 November 2009
You dig 8-bit weird sounds? Like nintendo and other video games? Then you NEED to enter the world of 50 Hertz, a crazy toy-synth swedish trio that had featured on Björk's compilation "Army of Me: Remixes and Covers" (2005). I haven't heard from them in a while so I guess they have called it a day and/or concentrated on their other electro project called Slagsmålsklubben (check them out on their recent EP "Sponsored By Destiny" as well as on Kitsuné Maison Compilation 8, released this november). In a nutshell: this is nerdy stuff with colourful bows and brilliantine on top. Yummy.
Tuesday, 17 November 2009
Coming across bedroom pop bands from the land of Sweden is not a remarkable discovery. Yet often the strictly romantic face that is incorporated in a sensitive genre such as indie pop is simply and effectively charming. Elizabeth and Stefan is a band in love, first with each other and then with anything evoking sunny memories from the likes of Even As We Speak and Heavenly. I reckon their name is a smart reference to the Belle & Sebastian song (from “The Life Pursuit” album), but maybe the duo just likes to wander around the streets of Camden Town in London, down to Mornington Crescent street. First release was a split 3" cd single, issued by cloudberry and now it's time for their first EP; “Corners” is out on the Peruvian label Susy Records (limited edition consisting of 100 numbered copies). Song "Seventeen" is a pop delight.
Thursday, 5 November 2009
Twin pop could be a new genre and Wake the President could be named its leaders. Twin brothers Erik and Bjorn Sandberg wander the streets of Glasgow, fantasize blonde busty girls and philosophize over drops of love and despair. Even though they bear the brunt of the classic Glasgow music scene, they seem to weild considerable power over their own individual sound, which varies from C86 to more recent jangly stuff. They have already won great supporters including BBC Radio 2 DJs Stuart Maconie and Mark Radcliffe, who have praised both singles ‘Remember Fun?’ and ‘You Can’t Change That Boy’. Debut album "You Can’t Change That Boy" was released 9th March 2009 (Norman Records). I can't change that boy, you are so right.
Monday, 26 October 2009
Based in Bristol and thus creating a certain controversy round the infamous trip hop scene, The Hi-Life Companion prefer to sing only for champagne and chocolate. They like to preserve the legend of indie pop and act as a modern stand-in for the likes of Galaxie 500, The Lucksmiths, Felt and Jonathan Richman. Previous releases include a sold out cd single on cloudberry and appearances on various compilations, while they have recently released their debut album, called "Say Yes!"; mixed by Rob Price from Airport Girl, the album is out on the wonderful Plastilina Records. Say Yes!!
Tuesday, 20 October 2009
Cocoanut Groove is the solo project of Olov Antonsson, who decided in 2007 to call it a day with The Tidy Ups and concentrate on music that recalls orange skies, carnivals and cotton candy... or to put in a more simple way, concentrate on mournful and sleek options of The Zombies, The Clientele and The Go-Betweens. His cute 7inch "End of the summer on Bookbinder Road" was released last year, while debut album "Madeleine Street" is out now on Fridlyst Records. It's a foregone conclusion that swedish pop will lead the way for a long time. And Cocoanut Groove are bound to vindicate my point.
Monday, 12 October 2009
Honestly, can a band call themselves after a Dan Brown cheesy novel and get away with it? It’s truly not that simple. In the world of global marketing, having a name like The Da Vincis can be an immediate turn off. YET, this almost childish american band is surprisingly more elegant than their shocking seventeen years. Jazz, bossa nova, indie pop and 60s crooner seems to be an almost effortless attempt for them [they do remind me a bit of Vincent Vincent & The Villains, even though I wish them more luck than the aforementioned]. Those high school dudes have caught me on hop with their first piece of work.. “See you Tonight” is out on Olympic Records. Great potential.
Sunday, 11 October 2009
It seems like there's a hive of activity within the new American indie pop scene. More and more bands favor the uncontrived verse-chorus story while find sound repetitions futile. Bingo! Ohio quintet Afternoon Naps, led by Thomas and Leia, don’t beat about the bush. Having formed in 2006, they cast their demons aside and present a straightforward pop suggestion derived by the likes of Comet Gain, Ladybug Transistor, Felt and Shop Assistants. They also have a new cd out. “Parade” is pressed in only 1,000 copies and is released on the wonderful label Happy Happy Birthday to Me. Lovely stuff.
Wednesday, 16 September 2009
Tuesday, 15 September 2009
Hunting for the misbegotten children of Stereo Total? Mikrofisch is your answer. They are bright, imaginative, intelligently naïve, frivolous, preposterous, outspoken, sceptical. They use keyboards, old drum boxes, melodica and theramin in order to construct an 80s retro super twee charming electro pop sound. They like to get ambiguous, make statements and get obsessed over shit bands. They are even so cool as to have both their albums for free downloading through their myspace ["Masters of the Universe" is the latest]. I consider myself a dedicated fan... even only cause they have a song titled “Let's Kiss and listen to Bis”. Pure genius.
Wednesday, 9 September 2009
Sunday, 6 September 2009
Horses and shoes are two incompatible subjects, yet Drew Diver and Jacob Graham seem to have found their magic spot. The NY band ascribe their taste to the likes of Blueboy, Embassy and Legends and this makes it impossible not to long for their sound. Lyrically, they opt for childhood summers and heartbroken teenagers, hence complying with the inviolable rules of shimmering pop music. They got off the ground with single “I wish I meant more to you” [a pretty Field Mice cover, free MP3 from the excellent Holiday Records site] and now the main dish is served… first release “The Imperial School” EP is out from (my dearest) Shelflife Records September 22. Oh. They are also best mates with The Drums. which is pretty cool.
[no video for Horse Shoes!]
Thursday, 3 September 2009
Katsen have very recently come to the fore. They walk on the Brighton seafront and edge towards their own unique music settlement. I could name them the new modern version of Adult or a less obscure version of Add N To (X), but that would be misleading as Christopher and Donna supplement their sound with more Stereolab-esque melodies, 80s Fad Gadget lines and an attractive 8-bit game sound. Katsen are one of the best electro pop newcomers so watch out for them. Their debut album "It Hertz!" is released 28th September (by Thee Sheffield Phonographic Corporation). Kat Power!
Wednesday, 2 September 2009
Tuesday, 1 September 2009
There is a hidden twisted language game going on in the indie pop world. Strangely enough, french is where most bands wind up. Portland-based brother/sister duo, Eux Autres, honour the land of croissant in the best possible way. They write songs about soccer, military history and pop culture whilst devouring records of Francoise Hardy and Jacques Dutronc. After two albums, they have two singles out [“You’re Alight” and “Strangled Days”] as well as an appearance on a hm,well... Bruce Springsteen compilation titled “Play Some Pool, Skip Some School, Act Real Cool”. Leaving Bruce aside, Heather and Nicholas are lovely. ils sont vraiment magnifique.
Saturday, 29 August 2009
Swedish bands have become sort of a trend nowadays. Yet, there are very few that actually stand out and sing in their native language. [ingenting] are six blokes who, since 2003, have stayed true to their mother tongue. Having released two albums, they excel as pure indie poppers and are now back, carrying on with their awkward Swedish accent. "Tomhet, idel tomhet" is produced by Jari Haapalainen (Camera Obscura, Ed Harcourt, The Concretes) and is out September 9th. The only Labrador band singing in Swedish? True and precious.
Wednesday, 26 August 2009
I have met a lot of music alliances hooked up in the music world but this one between Iceland and Ireland... boy, this is a strange one. FM Belfast wear heavy coats in the frozen streets of Reykjavík. They dig electro/indie stuff and seem to be cut out for international success [Iceland Airwaves has been promoting them since 2006]. They also have a pretty album out ("How to Make Friends", 2008); it's worth buying it from their website and if you do that, grab the chance and watch again "101 Reykjavík". honestly, how COOL was that movie?
Monday, 24 August 2009
Adrià Arbona and Paulita Demaiz are two charming twee maniacs. HE plays odd instruments like glockenspiel and stylophone; SHE plays the tambourine and claps her hands in a pseudo-naïve way. Together they are Papa Topo!, otherwise the new sensation of Spanish music! They are absurdly young, hail from the exotic bizarre place of Mallorca (Binissalem, Balears) and dote on the likes of Tullycraft, Pipas, Nixon, Talulah Gosh. In October Papa Topo! are to release a split single with Guatafan (on elefant records) while their first single is on the cards, produced by Guille Milkyway (La Casa Azul). Twee cuteness.
ps. I could compare Adrià and Paulita with the Greek band LE PAGE, they would definitely match together for a split single or sth.
Sunday, 23 August 2009
I will now spill the beans. Stuart Murdoch is BACK with a new (sort of) project he’s been working on. I got to admit I was never a hardcore Belle & Sebastian fan; surely, they’ve written gorgeous pop songs and are amongst the Scottish dream team, still I never managed to fall in love with them. Sometimes this just happens. Nevertheless, what’s new and interesting here is the female voices [selected after auditions] with a bit of 60s girlgroup touch, all shored up by a musical narrative which is much better than that of “Storytelling”. Other clues involve mystery performance by Neil Hannon from the lovely Divine Comedy and album release date on the 22nd June (Rough Trade). God help the boy? No, Stuart doesn’t need any help whatsoever.
Thursday, 20 August 2009
How can Germany tie in with Japan? Honestly, I didn’t think there was an actual meeting point between the two countries until I came across the band Telesushi. Göttingen's outfit seems to have avidly digested beers, sake, sausages and tuna sushi along with large amounts of indie pop, new wave and punk; they even have a couple of covers on Ramones and The Monkees. Telesushi have just self-released the cd “Endeavourle” which you can easily order through their myspace. They are not popular yet but sure are bent on becoming soon.
Wednesday, 19 August 2009
The Postmarks are a band that I started to relish a while ago. What I enjoy most about them is an abstract retro-french element, the image of sky and sun above Miami, the cinematic figures that come as unexpected. And even though releasing cover songs for one year didn’t necessarily mean walking in uncharted paths ["By the Numbers" project], The Postmarks do spawn seductive and atmospheric pop tunes… like “Goodbye” from the debut or “Go Jetsetter” from this year’s album “Memoirs at the End of the World” (released 25/8/09). Their music makes me beam. And that is a damn good thing.
Sunday, 16 August 2009
Italy ain't that much of an indie pop country, no question about that. However, I recently found out that Bologna is the centre of italian indie.. so search no further. Young and hyped fivesome My Awesome Mixtape take pride in their last year's award as Best Live Band -at the annual Meeting of Independent Labels in Faenza- and come as an interesting blend of indie rock, hip hop and electronica. Desperately in search of an after-holiday tune to stuck in your head? You definately NEED to listen to awesome single "Me and the Washing Machine". Either buy the “Other Houses” EP (issued for a total of 168 numbered copies) OR wait for second album "How Could A Village Turn Into A Town" out September 2009. Italian pop!
Thursday, 13 August 2009
This is a different post with a very recognizable face. And even though his new album is considered old news by now, it would be unfair not to mention that Patrick Wolf has released one of this year's finest works. He is a brilliant musician and I have tons of respect for his style, his voice, his music, his stage presence, his hair colours, his artistic manners. His fifth album "The Bachelor" is fierce!! ps. "Hard Times" is the new vid, but I prefer to post here sth from 2005.
Wednesday, 12 August 2009
Down at the river of Mississippi, Dent May takes delight in fishing. He puts on his big glasses, combs his hair in the most absolute nerdy way and turns into this retro pop persona that it’s fairly impossible to ignore. More kitch than Darren Hayman and more ironic than Kelley Polar, he released -along with his ensemble Dent May & His Magnificent Ukulele- the folky pop album “The Good Feeling Music of Dent May & His Magnificent Ukulele” (on Animal Collective's Paw Tracks label, feb 2009). Dent May is a weird talented little fellow and I declare my love for his videos. Eat your heart out, yes.
Monday, 10 August 2009
I've always found the mutual support between Sweden and Norway utterly cute. In response to Bedroom Eyes’ “Norwegian pop”, we've got Monzano who chatter about “Swedish geography”. Monzano are an Oslo-based indie rock quartet that is intrigued by good books, bad movies, road trips, hangovers and chocolate cakes. They released their debut “High Horses & One Trick Ponies” [an album that I have most enjoyed and played on repeat for quite a while], lost two members and are now back all brand new and shining. GOOD NEWS is: they announced they are finally recording their next album, which has the working title "By this time last year everything will seem younger". It is expected to be out in autumn and I am a happy girl.
Sunday, 9 August 2009
I was very recently introduced to this band and, honestly, it took me like 3 seconds to succumb to their temptation. First of all, I’m a sucker for weird band names. Second, I’m a sucker for swedish indie pop. Third, I can’t help deeply appreciating six people who love squirrels, colourful teddy bears, bubble machines and soft toys... only cause they breed “smiling hearts and warm lips” to quote their words. You Say France & I Whistle blend indie pop with cowbells and retro keyboards; and they’ve got a 2008 released hand made cloth covered cd, which you can order through their myspace. Whistle!!
Saturday, 8 August 2009
I like The Marquez brothers. Both Dale and Ryan seem to be pretty hardcore indie pop kids with high sensibilities, impeccable music taste and some of the coolest t-shirts around. Originating from Manila - Philippines, they create their dreamy pop sound in California... leaving thus aside a bunch of other most interesting projects [Sodajerk, Carnival Park, Sonnet LVIII, Soft Pillow Kisses]. Things you need to be aware of: dedication to Bouquet, love for Sarah catalogue, one debut album released last year. Apart from a couple of sweet covers on the Lucksmiths and Prefab Sprout, Apple Orchard are to release their new EP “Leafy Lanes” in a few days (on their own label Haymarket Recordings). So keep an eye for them. and an apple.
Sunday, 2 August 2009
In my Japanese fantasies I discern various objects; some are cute pink squares, some are white dolls with kinky outfits, some are plain chopsticks with a touch of sushi on the edge. Reminiscing the shibuya-kei era, Sucrette star in those fantasies. They come from Kyoto, adore France, revive the old bossa feeling while play with whispers and childish voices. Shiho and Okuda Hidetaka return with a double gift; new album “Bon Voyage” and a new edition of mini album “C’est si bon” (2007) re-titled “C’est si bon plus”! Did I mention how much I love japanese pop? Well.. there you go.
Friday, 31 July 2009
Far away, in a place where indie kids play wisely with each other, My Writes are to blame for nurturing the twee spirit. Gorgeous melodies, heartfelt confessions, graceful stage presence and the package is ready to get exported from Singapore. Having previously released an EP ("Peace, green lollipop" - 2006), My Writes now proudly present their debut "It's Okay, I'm with the band". Guys.. Im 100% with you.
Wednesday, 29 July 2009
The Hidden Cameras are back and I’m more than thrilled. I have definitely missed Joel Gibb’s twisted “gay church folk music” and now its time for some good recharging. The fifth album is titled “Origin:Orphan”, its out on 22/9 (label: Arts & Crafts) and from what I’ve heard until now it kinda makes sense in a more dark synth way. First single “In The NA” comes with a cool video. Turn the volume on.
Monday, 27 July 2009
Glancing at the American/French minimal synth scene, Automelodi come as an exceptional suggestion. Xavier Paradis -ex Arnaud Lazlaud- takes pride in hailing from Montreal, conveys segments of romance and melancholy in an extravagant introvert manner and brings a small present within his pocket. Automelodi show they’ve done their homework or… to paraphrase this in their language, ils ont “fait ses courses”. Their white EP is ready to take us by storm.
Saturday, 25 July 2009
Stars are my fetish. I draw them on my skin and they immediately gain life. Stars in Coma were born in Sweden. André Brorsson, the group’s soul, produces and creates music non-stop, makes alliance with labels like Music Is My Girlfriend or Plastilina and is responsible for a major pop track called “Amelie”. The new album "Sisters" is out, with guest appearances from Linda Anderson (formely known as Elfi) and Alexis Hall (from The Motifs). Starcrazy? Yes and we love it.
Wednesday, 22 July 2009
The song in the vid below is probably the best song Ive heard in 2009. Perhaps I exaggerate a bit but this tune is so damn haunting I almost feel a victim of its beauty. Thieves Like Us alter their face, forget the Kitsune electro past, close the doors to the italo disco parties and prove once more that melody is what really music is about. Thieves Like Us have a new EP out. and a new record. and a new heart.
Tuesday, 21 July 2009
Once upon a time, there were two children growing up happily in Arhus, Denmark. They met at a summer school, wasted massive amounts of time chatting over music and finally formed Bodebrixen. Aske Bode and Andreas Brixen cherish swedish pop, make true love statements, pay a tribute to Jim Jarmusch and use a bunch of instruments.. from bongos and synths to trumpets and saxophones. Their debut got released a year ago [on the danish indie label, Good Tape Records] but it surely didn't get the value that it deserved. “Keychain” is an absolute pop anthem and should be credited as such.
Sunday, 19 July 2009
Spanish pop is often so twee it can be irritating. Not to me! Cola Jet Set are fully conscious of what true indie pop is about and they take it to the extreme… shinny bright colours, stripy vintage dresses, retro nerdy attitude, modern psychedelic pop with 60s soul influences. They are one of the lucky bands that will play Indietracks next weekend (it hurts to just even write this). Cola Jet Set have their second album "Guitarras y Tambores" out now on the most lovely elefant records.
ps. On a second note, I wish I knew spanish, but as I’m just a human with certain (admittedly very few) flaws, I DON'T! I can easily pretend I understand the lyrics but... I'd be thrilled if you guys added some more english on your myspace/last.fm page!
Friday, 17 July 2009
Candy is my kind of word. The reasons are apparent. I live in my own candybox and whatever I do I make it so sweet that I end up suffering from severe toothaches. San Francisco-based duo, Boy in Static, do not create such over-the-top sweet music, however they choose to name their last record "Candy Cigarette". Having met at a Notwist gig, Chen and Ross return this year to elegantly mix 60s toy pianos with 80s synth machines and 40s crooner vocals. Detail! They clap their hands together with Marc Bianchi (Her Space Holiday), Liz Enthusiasm (Freezepop) and Ulrich Schnauss. Both of the videos below are exquisite for completely different reasons.
Thursday, 16 July 2009
Montreal is a place still breathing under the shadow of the 2005 guitar hype. Back then, the city was tagged as "the new Great Britain". Now, its still going on with a vibrant music scene but luckily we got some more variety on top. Le Couleur play lovely FF indie/electro pop (FF= french lyrics + female vocals = killer combination). They shamelessly talk about a girl, draw her angles and flirt with her in their own little way. "La Fille" is their new colourful single.
Wednesday, 15 July 2009
MAYBE This is Pop arent really pop as they lean towards more punk-ish lines, however their name rocks and their music rocks even better. Think Kap Bambino, think Fox n Wolf masques, think Tour Eiffel, think connection with The Victorian English Gentlemen Club, think guitars and synths blended together with female semi screams. I can hear sth.. and this is France finally starting to wake up.