Phillip, Josh and Ryan, the trio that comprises Glasgow's PAWS, have spent much of their recent lives on the road. That kind of schedule can fuse the members together, or drive them apart. In the case of this band, it appears to have made them closer. 2016 PAWS are a well oiled and A+ maintained rock machine, and they prove it without question on their new album, No Grace. The pop punk delivery that thrilled us on their prior records remains, but on this album there is a bit more polish. The sound is big and bold, initially demanding your attention, and ultimately justifying the time spent listening. Many records can give us pleasure, but the best give us songwriting that pulls no punches, and performances that evince utter conviction. No Grace is such a record. For us, a perfect triple bill right now would be PAWS, Royal Headache, and Blank Realm. But until that happens, get this record. No Grace is out now via FatCat Records.
Young French-Canadian talent Charlotte Cardin shares another gem of her art with "Faufile", which will be included on her debut EP, Big Boy. Cardin's fusion of electronic production and her retro pop/jazz style give her a timeless appeal.
Sonny & The Sunsets don't permanently attach themselves to any specific style, but they always provide compelling, if unquestionably off-beat, stories and high quality performances. For Moods Baby Moods, their sixth album, Sonny Smith's San Francisco outfit gives us drum machines and woozy synths. But characteristically defying typecasting, the new wave sensibilities are leavened with funk and a variety of technological bells and whistles. And, of course, there are spoken word sections from various characters. The vivid stories mine the weirdness of modern life, with characters who live on the edge, fantastical settings, a space alien or two, and the other facets of every day life in the city by the Bay. At times it plays like a mostly musical old time radio show, but the angst, uncertainty and weirdness of modern life is always engagingly and entertainingly set forth.
The arrival of a new album from Sonny & The Sunsets has always been cause for celebration around WYMA, and this album is no exception. You can never predict where the journey will take you, you just know it will be worth your time. Moods Baby Moods is out now via Polyvinyl Records.
For five years Melbourne's Brodie J. Brummer, Gemma O'Connor, Melanie Barbaro, and Andy Lloyd Russell have been delivering satisfying chunks of well-crafted, pop and psych-glazed shoegaze under the name Flyying Colours. September will bring Mindfullness,their new LP for Club AC30. The lead track has just hit the airwaves, and you can stream it below. To our ears it is big and rumbling head-banger, and it suggests that Mindfullness may be the band's best work to date.
Today is the birthday of Laz McCluskey, a Glasgow musician and songwriter who records and performs under the name Bubblegum Lemonade, as well as part of the duo Strawberry Whiplash. Making his week even more special is his upcoming Bubblegum Lemonade EP, Beard On A Bike. The EP features four songs of bubblegum pop, with jangle, plenty of reverb and a dose of western twang. Touchstones are early Primal Scream, The Jesus And Mary Chain and a number of your favorite '60s bands. The title track is a jaunty tale of a psychopath on a bike path -- happy dreams! The tempo slows for the Rickenbacker-driven "Golden Afternoon". "Saturday Girl" is an upbeat jangle pop joy, and "Looking Out For You" ends the EP with a warm, '60s-infused tug on your heartstrings. We assure you, Bubblegum Lemonade is both our favorite flavor of gum and our favorite brand of lemonade, it is that good!
"Beard On A Bike" will be on Bubblegum Lemonade's next album, The Great Leap Backward, which will be out later this year. But you'll need to buy this record to get the other three songs. And you can do so either as a digital download or CD via Matinee Recordings.
Neil, Benni, Claire and Sarah, who variously are members of Sea Pinks Logikparty, Girls Names and September Girls, all too infrequently put our music as the Ireland/Northern Ireland band Cruising. Their latest is the swaggering "My Twin Sister", a digital release which is available to purchase, but is free if you buy a Cruising tote bag. Both are offered at the Bandcamp link at the bottom of the post.
And just because it is such an awesome blast of music, here one of their prior releases, "You Made Me Do That".
On Fridays we here an WYMA world headquarters like our indie rock loud, scrappy, and enthusiastic. You know, the prefect soundtrack for Friday activities such as a few minutes of editing, a few minutes of glancing at the mail, a few minutes depositing the bribes from all the big labels, and a couple of hours of cleaning up empties and pizza boxes. Now, we don't mean to suggest the the Delivered EP by Scott & Charlene's Wedding is only good for such Fridays, because it works very well driving, at backyard keggers, and working out. Trust me, I'm a professional and have played it in all those situations. But it is one of many perfect times for this EP.
The Delivered EP bridges the gap between the band's well-received Any Port In A Storm LP from a couple of years ago and the follow up album set for release this fall, and displays the first-take immediacy that is the essential element of good garage rock. The title track, which will be on the upcoming album, is a hard and jagged ode to happy substances with Craig Dermody's shouted vocals giving the tune a sense of urgency. The following tunes continue the garage rock vein with a bit more jangle. The closer is a turn-it-up-to-11 cover of Elton's "Bennie and the Jets". Good stuff, and you can stream the entire EP at the Bandcamp link below.
With the voice of an angel, and an undeniable talent for songwriting, we think Singapore's Linying has got a bright future in music world. Her melodies have met an enthusiastic reception with DJs around the globe, and it is time for her to be more widely recognized. Press play on her debut single below, close your eyes and dream.
We first featured Brighton's Fear of Men here in 2011, and it has been a pleasure to watch the band develop since then. The recently released Fall Forever is their second LP, following several singles, EPs and an album compiling several of those shorter releases. The band was, and is, intensely melodic. The defining characteristic in the band's sound remains the pristine tone and melancholic delivery of Jess Weiss's vocals, but the growth of the band features increased use of electronic instrumentation to feature the previously more lo-fi guitar pop set up. The sound is denser, although the strong melodies allow manage to give the album a sense of space and breadth. However, the real triumph in Fall Forever is not the adept and more fulsome instrumentation, or the band's obvious comfort in its own skin and mutual trust of each other's instinct to experiment, although both are impressive. The triumph is that lyrically Fear Of Men may now be the perfect dark pop band. The songs reveal exposed nerves, regrets, anxieties, failures, disappointments, fears, and injuries -- and all in a direct, vivid manner with concise but clever songwriting. The delivery eschews showy emotions or pleas for sympathy, and thus, Weiss' trauma becomes more universal and accessible.
Fall Forever is out now via Kanine Records in digital, CD and vinyl formats. Fear of Men are touring in North America until late July, and then in Europe into September.
On most days, Carla Easton is the lead vocalist for indie pop band TeenCanteen, and Joe Kane plys his musical trade with Dr Cosmos Tapelab. But on some days Carla and Joe are Ette. And on one of those days (well, maybe a couple, I wasn't there to count), Ette laid down the tracks that became the single Attack of the Glam Soul Cheerleaders (parts 1 & 2). The release includes the title track - a throwback sing-a-long with echos of Motown, plus the slower tempo electropop "Fireworks (Joe Kane Disco Dub)", and it it available as a digital download for the ever popular "name your price". The lead track is to be included on Homemade Lemonade, Ette's debut LP which will be released by Olive Grove Records on July 22.