Tuesday, December 12, 2017

"King of the Last Calls" by Unlikely Friends


D. Crane (Boat) and Charles Bert (Math and Physics Club) bill themselves as Unlikely Friends.  And while we will take them at their word regarding friendship, it is clear that the duo are well matched musically.  Some writers were very impressed with their first LP, Solid Gold Cowboys.  Take for example, the following words:
"The appropriate references here are the crunchy lo-fi indie rock of Guided By Voices and the hook-filled power pop of Teenage Fanclub. It isn't glossy and it isn't twee. But it is top flight songwriting from musicians that know their craft and are focused on fun."
 Good stuff, right?  Thanks, we wrote it.  So we are thrilled to learn that the Seattle band that claims to be hardly known and under-practiced have recruited Mark McKenzie of BOAT and Ethan Jones of Math and Physics Club to help them record a second LP titled Crooked Numbers.  The album will be out on January 12 via Swoon Records, and we anticipate that it will deliver a full load of scruffy, energetic, melodic guitar pop.  And it likely will give us the chance to create another blurb that we can lazily quote when referring back to Crooked Numbers when we discuss their third album.

Meanwhile, enjoy album track "King of the Last Calls" which, just based on the title, may be about me in my college years (when cheap beer was even cheaper).  And if you see these guys, buy them some pizza.  They love pizza.



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Swoon Records

"Dig" by Seazoo

Well, well, well, this is a cracking pop tune that makes the start of the day shoot from intolerable to "I think I'll make it" to "I'm on top of the world" in a four minute span.  Hell, the stuff I took in college to write term papers all night didn't work that well.  So lend your ears to "Dig" by Welsh five-piece Seazoo.  There have been comparisons to Super Furry Animals, but we think they fall in the middle of a musical stew with that band, fellow Welsh musicians El Goodo, Yo La Tengo, and Pavement.

"Dig" is out now in digital format.  See the Bandcamp link below or your favorite digital outlet.




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Bandcamp for "Dig"


Monday, December 11, 2017

Fascinations Grand Chorus - Anglesea EP

After two days rest, we continue our westward march from Belfast to New York City, where pop duo Fascinations Grand Chorus has released their Anglesea EP.  Combining the formidable songwriting talents and sharp performing chops of Stephanie Cupo and Andrew Pierce with Cupo's vocal prowess, the EP demonstrates the band's knack for creating irresistible, retro-tinged melodic nuggets.  The record begins with the upbeat, '60s girl group influenced "When You're Mine".  The following title track demonstrates the band's versatility, with a moody atmosphere reminiscent of Bristol's Fear of Men.  "Hereford Inlet" then steps in with the sassiest vocal of the bunch.  It is the kind of song that puts a bounce in your step as you conquer the day.  "Sundown" and "Wait" complete the set with energy and style, leaving us wanting more, and expecting that the duo will deliver it in the future.

Anglesea EP is out now as a digital release.  See the Bandcamp link below.








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Bandcamp for Anglesea EP

Friday, December 8, 2017

Sea Pinks - Minimum Wage-BBC Sessions (& Others)


So far in our end of the week flurry of new music posts we have traveled westward from Norway to Scotland.  We now cross the Irish Sea to Belfast to laud the most recent offering from WYMA favorites Sea Pinks.  Whether you are looking for an introduction to the band, or are a Sea Pinks fan excited about the prospect of a band-curated set of songs from their catalog, you need to check out Minimum Wage-BBC Sessions (& Others).  The songs represent the band's output since their 2011 debut, tracing their slight evolution from scrappy jangle pop to a still jangling Creation Records-meets-California-guitar-pop vibe.  The recordings capture the songs live, so there is an appealing rawness and immediacy that gives new life to even the songs familiar to the listener.  The set has character to the extent that studio albums often don't.  It isn't that one approach is good and the other band, they are just different.  Thus, even if you have the studio version of some of these songs -- and you are unlikely to have them all -- this is an essential compilation for fans.

Sea Pinks are Neil Brogan (guitar/vocals), Steven Henry (bass/backing vocals), and Davey Agnew (drums/backing vocals).  For now  Minimum Wage-BBC Sessions (& Others) is a digital release only, although a vinyl addition might be available in the future.  You can find it on all the usual digital platforms, but we recommend the band's own Bandcamp link.










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"Bang The Drum Slowly" by The Little Kicks


After beginning our end of the week run of posts in Norway, we cross the North Sea to Aberdeen on the northeast coast of Scotland to celebrate the new single from local favorites The Little Kicks.  Taken from Shake Your Troubles, their album of earlier this year, "Bang the Drum Slowly" is an upbeat and fully charged slice of swaggering indie pop.  Turn it up loud and proud for your Friday morning pick me up. The B-side is the moodier "You and Someone Like Me (Night Version)", and you can test drive it at the Bandcamp link below.

The single It  is out now via Loosen Up Records, and can be found at the Bandcamp link below and the usual digital sources.  Vinyl can reach your hot little hands directly from the band, which can be contacted via their website.

The Little Kicks are Steven Milne, Andrew Corse, Adam Morrice, and Scott Kelman.





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Thursday, December 7, 2017

"Tailwind" / "Dreaming With Our Feet" by Elva


To celebrate the end of the week we are intending to feature several releases that deserve your attention.  We are going to being in Norway and head west, probably ending in Australia with several stops in between.  First on our journey is the debut single by Elva, a pop band from Moss, Norway, featuring (among others) former members of Allo Darlin' and Making Marks.  The two-song record features a shimmering - and slightly scrappy - guitar pop gem titled "Tailwind", and the lovely acoustic "Dreaming With Our Feet".  Of course you want it, so we'll crush your spirit by advising you that the vinyl probably is sold out.  Contact them now to find our.  However, you can still buy the lovely little electrons at the WIAIWYA Bandcamp page.



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Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Modern Studies - Swell To Great


How are things around the When You Motor Away headquarters today?  Thanks for asking, things are swell to great.  Yes, all day so far we have been listening to Swell to Great, the lovely album from Scottish chamber pop/alt folk quartet Modern Studies.  The album reveals itself shyly, with a relaxed pace and a generous 13-track collection of melancholy but richly detailed gems that sparkle a new way with each listen.  The atmosphere is redolent of rural autumn landscapes, isolated seacoasts and the flood of memories.  The vocals are hushed, even delicate, while the melodic arrangements are precise and derive a cinematic vibe via a harmonium and a cello.  We recommend giving this album your ears, preferably with earphones and time to let the album seep into your life.  The rewards are worth your time.

Modern Studies are Emily Scott, Rob St John, Pete Harvey, and Joe Smillie.  Swell to Great is out now on vinyl, CD and digital formats via Fire Records.  This is a re-release, as the album originally was put out by Edinburgh's Song By Toad Records in 2016.  By the way, the title of the album reflects the name for a stop on an organ rather than one's attitude.  However, we aren't the type to eschew the chance of making a weak joke.










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Bandcamp for Swell to Great
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Monday, December 4, 2017

Drahla - Third Article EP


A warm When You Motor Away welcome to a new talent from the UK, Drahla.  The introduction comes by way of their debut Third Article EP, which is released via their own Blank Ad label.  Not a band given to tentative hellos, the EP's four tracks crackle with energy and aggression, driven by furious guitar and an uncompromising rhythm section, and underlying deadpan, but affecting, vocals.  There is plenty of youthful rumble and crash, but solid melodic currents and obvious intelligence.  This is a fine set of songs, and gives us a new band to follow.

Drahla are Luciel Brown, Rob Riggs, and Mike Ainsley.







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Bandcamp for Third Article EP


Even As We Speak - Yellow Food: BBC Sessions

One of our more popular posts in the past few months featured a new EP from Australian band Even As We Speak (our feature here).  The Black Forest EP marked the band's return from a 25-year hiatus, and finds them in peak form.  But while we are waiting for more new songs from the well-rested and obviously rejuvenated band, we wondered whether we could get our hands on some of their past work.  Well, we didn't have to wonder long as Emotional Response Records, the mighty little label that released The Black Forest also gifted the world with Yellow Food: BBC Sessions, a compilation of recordings Even As We Speak made for John Peel and Mark Goodier at the BBC on four occasions in 1992 and 1993.  The compilation contains a generous 16 songs of wide ranging indie pop that demonstrates why the band was one of the darlings of the Sarah Records stable.  You can get it from the label at the Bandcamp link below.  Act fast before the electrons are all purchased and there are no more.











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Sunday, December 3, 2017

The Ocean Party - Guilt

Perhaps the holidays seems like an odd time for us to encourage you to embrace guilt (an emotion that usually infuses us after the holidays).  But Guilt, the new EP from The Ocean Party, is not an ordinary record, just as its Melbourne-based creators are not just an ordinary band.  The final offering of the year from a sextet that has enjoyed a cornucopia of productivity in 2017, the six-song set underscores The Ocean Party's ability to voice the fabric of their, and perhaps our, lives and dress their word-portraits up in some of the sweetest, shimmering guitar pop we have ever heard.  Their observations are concise but poignant, sentimental but clear-eyed  And they don't always have the answers, but they ask the right questions.  The songs on Guilt are intimate and immediate -- they could be a conversation with a mate as easily as a voice over your earphones.  Of course, unless you happen to be a friend of one of the six songwriters and singers that comprise the band, you will have to settle for listening over your earphones.  But that shouldn't stop you.  In our view The Ocean Party are one of the finest guitar pop bands in the world, and Guilt does them proud.

Guilt is out now via the fine Spunk Records in digital and cassette formats.  Their previous releases this year consist of an album of B-sides and outtakes, a tour tape, and the excellent Beauty Point LP (our review here).  The members of the band are Jordan Thompson, Liam Halliwell, Curtis Wakeling, Lachlan Denton, Zac Denton, and Crowman.








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Bandcamp for Guilt
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