Friday, November 30, 2012

MV : "Into you" by The JPS Experience

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Ritas - she's with the band / slash fic

The Ritas return with this great pair of songs which is a free download on Odd Box, very punk garage-y and lo-fi yet also with plenty of melody and glamour. "She's with the band" drifts along sublimely while "Slash fic" roars at you.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

MV : "Stockport" by The Wake

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Cornerboy - just another Sunday song (Dufflecoat)

Cornerboy play some great 60s and Sike edged indie pop with plenty of classic sounds mixed with energy and joy. This EP for Dufflecoat has a great indie pop rush on "Keep on trying" with a chorus to die for. "Just another Sunday" reminds me a bit of the likes of the Sugargliders, mellow and sweet guitar licks and vocals on a simple yet infinitely pleasing melody, with just the right squirt of psychedelic pop in the mix.

"Same old bus" has a very Sixties feel to it and is pure pop joy. Finally "Universal friend" takes the tempo down a lot and has a bit more depth than the poppier tracks having a bit of a Lennon-esque melody meander. This EP is a total winner, if you love indie pop that takes its influences from 60s and classic guitar pop then this is for you.

"Just another Sunday song" is out at the end of November 2012.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Cabaret Voltaire - mix-up

Cabaret Voltaire's first album comes from the earliest days of post-punk electronica and experimentation that finally led to industrial, goth and techno. So what do we get from this 1979 release: scruzzy vocals, dirty dub, tape loops and weird noises abound. Is it all just an atonal din though? Well maybe at times it does sound like some kids messing about such as on "No escape" which seems to go on forever with its annoying melody and actually goes on for longer than that. "Fourth shot" sounds like broken synths over a badly tuned guitar, and could well be.

On "Heaven and Hell" it all finally makes sense, a demented electro melody over disembodied vocals and random noise interjections. Its the soundtrack to the dark future we were all promised but has yet to arrive. When we are going around in black leather in spiked cars amid a smog of a post-Apocalypse then this is definitely the soundtrack. "On every other street" stands out for me as my favourite track with its feeling of electro doom amid the insanity.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Ice Choir - afar (Underwater Peoples)

The best album of 2012. 

There i have said it, no ambiguity about that statement this is as good as it gets, and its very very good. The Ice Choir reinvents late 80s synth pop with a mixture of hipster cool and funky techno fun, merging classic synth and 80s pop sounds with modern tech-savvy lyrics. At first listen you might think they ("they" being mostly Kurt Feldman - the drummer in the Pains of Being Pure At Heart) are taking the piss but its far more than that. Its a loving and knowledgable recreation of late 80s sounds beautifully polished and slick like the best of Scritti Politti.

As with Kurt's previous project The Depreciation Guild at the heart of the Ice Choir isn't retro-ness or an encyclopaedic knowledge of a past music scene beyond the stuff "everyone knows" (though these do help) but simply great tunes. The pop hooks of the likes of "A vision of hell, 1996" and "Two rings" with its electro-ish beat are sublime along with the techno-soundscapes of "Teletrips" and "I want you now and always". Its the best album of 2012, its probably also the best album of the 1980s.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Toni Halliday - time turns around

Before Curve... Toni Halliday was a decidedly un-goth and un-shoegaze 80s pop star and this great single is a highlight of her pre-noise career. Late 80s pop with plenty of synths and choppy guitar riffs. You get the title track twice on this 12" version, a harder extended synthy "Euro-tech" remix by Alan Wilder and the 7" version.

The remix is great fun actually with plenty of gasps and bumps moving into synth and guitar soundscapes. Toni never made it as a pop star though but luckily something else was about to happen.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Choir Invisible / Memory Girls (Dufflecoat)

Its been awhile since the last Dufflecoat split single, this one pairing together Ireland's The Choir Invisible with Japan's Memory Girls. Starting with The Choir Invisible, "your boyfriend" is a well-structured song of lost-love bitterness, reflective and mellow before erupting into a guitar frenzy. "Overseas" is a bit more jaunty with a nice beat and a great pop melody.

Memory Girls' "our freedom, our darkness" is a glorious shot of jangly pop as is the following "Lazy blues" with its ringing guitars and dual vocals. Four more essential pop tunes from the world of indiepop bought to you by Dufflecoat Records!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

8-bit Peoples 050

This is what it says on the tin. A compilation of 50 tunes by 8-bit inspired chip tune artists to celebrate the 8-bit Peoples collective. Nearly all of the artists were unknown to me though a couple like the Depreciation Guild i had heard of before. The music is a mixture raging from indie songs that have a heavy influence of chiptune electronica to pure electronic music.

Some of it sounds like a crazy remix of the video games you used to play, 4mat's "vertical" is like that with its classic video game melody married to harder beats with Tugboat's "never enough" on a similar vein. Mesu Kasumai's "worm rider" has a melody that is almost pure 80s pop.

The Depreciation Guild's "kickle's processional" fits in well with their first album's more chiptune orientated shoegaze pop. Jeroen Tel's "alternative fuel" has a great pop hook and against is a video game inspired classic tune with a bit of 80s TV theme thrown in. Nothing can prepare you for Bud Melvin's "62 miles", chiptune bluegrass! It doesn't all work but there is some cool stuff on here, its bleeping great!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart - Jeremy

The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart (hereafter POBPAH) return with their first new material after their second album released last year, and its a hot single bringing together 2 ace cover versions. Side A of POBPAH's new 7" (or the first track if you got it as a digital single) is a cover of The Magnetic Fields' "Jeremy" is a fast and frenetic indie pop rock thrash.

Side B of POBPAH's single is a cover of East River Pipe(!)'s "my life is wrong" and is all punky thrashy guitars and screeching noise and like the A-side is pretty awesome.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

UK top-selling singles of all time

To mark the 60th anniversary of the UK singles chart a comprehensive list of the top-selling singles of all time has been drawn up. The chart lists all 123 singles that have sold over a million copies since 1952, and the full list can be seen here.

The chart, which is topped by Elton John's "candle in the wind" re-release to mark the death of Diana seems to be a bit short of indiepop of course, no Sarah releases make the cut. I can't detect any of the singles i've ever bought on the list at all, the first one i ever got: Iron Maiden's "the trooper" isn't there anyway, nor is the second: the Four-Tops "going loco in Acapulco". I suppose that is a good thing?

However there are a few indie/alternative interlopers. New Order's "blue monday" is at #69 having sold 1.16 million copies, though if the stories are true didn't Factory lose money on every one? Ian Dury & the Blockhead's "hit me with your rhythm stick" is the 82nd best selling single of all time and that makes me kind of happy for some reason.