Friday, June 23, 2017

Suss Cunts - Suss Cunts

Of all that we've known in our lives, the Suss Cunts are the finest, sussiest, C..... WAIT, STOP ... Ok, that may be the last time we let one of our interns write the lead in for a feature.  Yes, this Sydney/Melbourne trio is sex-positive, but we we aren't going to win the Pulitzer Prize if we toss around words like "cunt".  Oh, I did it.  Never mind -- we can always aim for the prize next year.

OK, personal hopes and dreams dashed, what can we do for a promising young indie band?  Well, we can tell you that their self-titled five-song record is clever, danceable, and full of attitude (but only towards guys that deserve it, we're sure).  And it also walks the pop side of pop punk in a way that makes it a worthy consideration for any summer party playlist.  Certainly more worthy than our Pulitzer dreams, apparently.  So in our expert opinion as curators of summer tunes for decades (yes, we are that old individually and collectively) you need this little record and you need it now.  And think of that great moment when it is time to cue up some music, and you say 'lets play the Suss Cunts'.  You'll probably have more attention than you had the entire day up until that point.  You can thank us later.

Suss Cunts are Nina Renee (guitar/vocals), Tahlia Eastman (drums), and Helena Holmes (bass/vocals).  The record was originally released as a cassette, but now is available in vinyl and digital formats via Emotional Response Records.







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Bandcamp for digital version of EP
Emotional Response page for vinyl

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Hollow Everdaze - Cartoons

Cartoons?  Who doesn't love cartoons?  We all have our favorites, and finding a new one is a treat that makes us feel young again (a feeling more valued every year, we admit).  And now we have a set of musical Cartoons, courtesy of Hollow Everdaze.  Australia's reservoir of guitar pop bands appears to be deep and wide, and this band is the latest to wow us.  It seems to us that these guys simply love music.  They aren't locked into a narrow channel of expression, and are equally adept at woozy psychedelic pop (check out the title track below),  psychedelic Beatlemania ("Poisoned by Nostalgia"), lush dream pop (for example, "Running Away"), and retro '60s psyche pop (prime example, the totally wonderful "Warcry").  The songwriting is excellent and varied, the lyrics incisive.  And with a violin and cello in their arsenal, the arrangements are never lacking in sonic heft.  All around, the craftsmanship on this debut is stunning.  Every time we play this album (and we play it so much that at this point the guys in the next office suite sing along), we discover another detail that we hadn't fully appreciated before.

We know that there is a lot of music demanding your attention, but ignoring Cartoons would be a loser's choice.  Don't be a loser.  Besides, just think of the psychic lift you'll get when the guy next to you on the bus nudges you and when you pull out your ear bud and he asks you what you are listening to, you simply answer "Cartoons", and replace your earbuds and stare into the distance with a smile on your face.

Hollow Everdaze are Daniel Baulch (vocals/guitar/drums/keys), Myles Anderson (violin), Jackson Kay (bass/keys), James Turner (drums), and Dylan Young (keys).  Additional contributions on the album came from Tim Karmouche, John Lee, Zachary Schneider, and Chriss Monn.  Cartoons is out June 23 via Melbourne label Deaf Ambitions.











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Deaf Ambitions page for Cartoons

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Lea Porcelain - Hymn to the Night

Hymn to the Night, by London/Berlin duo Lea Porcelain, is constructed of cinematic, swirling soundscapes, alternating with intense, almost claustrophobic periods of intimacy.  Periods of balladry are bracketed by industrial walls of sound, Joy Division-style intensity and post-punk introspection.  The atmosphere is weighty, and the perspective a bit grim.  But more often than not, the music soars on a wave of synths, and satisfies on the strength of dynamic arrangements and appealing melodic coherence.  This is a very solid debut, and promises very good things for the future.

Lea Porcelain is Julien Bracht and Markus Nikolaus.  Hymn to the Night is out now.









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"Nervous" by Matias Aguayo & The Desdemonas

We've become quite enamored of Crammed Discs, the Belgian label that finds all manner if interesting, and not infrequently off-kilter, music that thrills us, and usually prompts us to start dancing.  One of their most recent additions is Matias Aguayo & The Desdemonas, formed by Berlin-based Chilean musician Matias Aguayo.  According to press reports the music is inspired by music Aguayo listened to as a teenager.  The band's debut LP for Crammed Discs, Sofarnopolis, will be out in October, but we have peek into the works with the throbbing psychedelic electro pop track "Nervous".  Supposedly it is about a nightly encounter with a girl floating in purple light.  While it may cause one to wonder just what Matias was listening to as a teenager, the song is a keeper.  Take a listen and decide whether it makes you nervous.

In addition to Aguayo (guitar and vocals), the band is Henning Specht (keys), Gregorio Gomez (guitar), and Matteo Scrimali (drums)


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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Cattle - Slow Sailor EP

I'll admit that we spent some time here at WYMA headquarters discussing why a band from Japan would call themselves Cattle, but like we do with most tough questions, we gave up and ordered pizza when an acceptable answer wasn't readily forthcoming.  However, neither our ruminations nor our subsequent admission of defeat interrupted our repeated plays of Slow Sailor, the five-song EP that Cattle has released via Jigsaw Records.  On what is their second EP overall, this band displays a deft hand with combining dreampop and noise pop.  It is melodic, crunchy and hook-filled, with soaring female vocals.  With four original songs and a smashing cover of Ride's "Twisterella", it will give you an energy jolt that will make your next Starbucks run unnecessary.

Stream a few songs below, and stream and buy the entire Slow Sailor EP at the Bandcamp link.  Jigsaw Records keeps finding gems, and we love them for it.







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Monday, June 19, 2017

"Sexyland" by Crepes

Melbourne's Crepes are promising an LP.  I don't think we have a date, but we still can hope it is soon.  And while we are hoping, we can enjoy the band's new single "Sexyland".  Boasting a big beat and catchy groove, it has a sly swagger and a sweet melody.  It reminds us of the '70s, but in a good way.

Crepes are Tim Karmouche, Nick Robbins, Pat Robbins, Jackson Dahlenburg, and Sam Cooper.  "Sexyland" and the debut album are to be released by Melbourne label Deaf Ambitions.



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The Popguns - Sugar Kisses


On Sugar Kisses, the second full length from The Popguns since their resurrection in 2012, the band proves as adept as ever in crafting bittersweet indie pop, and have even filled out the sound with Kate Mander adding her voice to harmonize with frontwoman Wendy Pickles.  And unsurprisingly, they have added some additional maturity and perspective to the songwriting.  But the album finds the band unwilling rely only on that traditional strength and listeners aiming for nostalgia.  So here melancholy janglers like the wonderful showcase song "So Long" are balanced by the robust tracks such as "We Don't Go Round There Anymore", "A Dream Of Her Own", "Gene Machine", "Fire Away", and the glorious "Finished With The Past".  The variety and quality of execution shows this Brighton band to be as vital, energetic and aggressive as are many new bands trying to make there way in music.  The difference is that The Popguns are pros at this, and it shows.  Wendy Pickles' voice still impresses with its power and range, but even more intriguing to any careful listener is her nuanced touch with the emotional content of the songs.  The result is an album as strong as any the band has done, and it will serve as a summer mix tape for the discerning indie pop fan.  Pop the champagne corks for The Popguns -- they have earned it!

The Popguns are Wendy Pickles, Simon Pickles, Greg Dixon, Pat Walkington, Tony Bryant, and Kate Mander.  Sugar Kisses is out now via Matinee Recordings.








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Thursday, June 15, 2017

GospelbeacH - Another Summer of Love


It seems to us that one of the best things music can do for us is evoke memories and emotions.  And one of the most evocative albums I've listened to in a long time is Another Summer of Love by Southern California's GospelbeacH.  According to head man Brent Rademaker, the concept behind the album is a California country rock band about to lose their record contract and making a record to try and get radio play to stay alive in the game.  And certainly the album works on that level.  But the magic of music is that for me it works in ways that Brent did not, and need not consider.  For me, Another Summer of Love reminds me of a certain time in my life when summer days involved finding young women willing to head out in a boat or march to the back of the dunes with a bottle of wine, and nights were filled with climbing into my best friend's car and heading to the Ravenna Ballroom or some other teenage hangout with the air bristling with the kind of electricity that a group of young people out on the prowl create.  In those days we listened to music virtually nonstop, and the bulk of it was the sort of country-tinged California indie rock that GospelbeacH has mastered, as well as a healthy dose of Stax soul and R&B.  So Brent and his collaborators got the time and vibe exactly right, and gave me a flood of great memories.  It even prompted me to contact my old wingman, living in the opposite corner of the country, to relive the days when we thought we were becoming legends.

The foregoing doesn't mean that Another Summer of Love is a nostalgia piece.  This is timeless left coast rock, and it will never be unwelcome to those who love guitar pop.  The stories are vivid and true, the performances top-notch, and the variety reveals a songwriter with a comprehensive knowledge and love of guitar pop.  I wouldn't have been surprised to see Chris Hillman, J.D. Souther and the Poco boys in the credits.  But Brent and company are so good, they didn't need them.

Brent Rademaker's background includes Beachwood Sparks, The Tyde and in his deep past, Further, in addition to other projects.  For this album, his core collaborators were Jason Soda and Johnny Neimann.  Another Summer of Love is out this week on vinyl, CD and digital formats via Alive Natural Sounds Records.






Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Sammy Brue - I Am Nice

You all are invited to a teenager's coming out party.  We're talking about Ogden-based Portlander Sammy Brue.  The young man is 16 years old, but writes with the sophistication and observational skills of a much more experienced man, and sings with the phrasing of an long-performing troubadour.  The platform for the party is his new album I Am Nice, although amazingly his two previous EPs were noteworthy as well.

Brue's style touches on folk, Americana, country, garage, and a bit of '60s retro (e.g. "Was I The Only One" and ("I See, I Hear").  One could say he's a young Dylan, but no one deserves to bear that burden.  Moreover, Brue doesn't mine the political and social commentary veins, but rather writes about actual or possible relationships with a keen eye, empathetic tone, and sly sense of humor.  I invite you to watch the lyric video below for "I Never Said" for a view to the young man's knack for lyrics, melody and delivery.  I feel safe in saying that most musicians don't hit that level in their entire career.  And to embellish the praise, I should add that Sammy wrote some of these songs several years ago (I guess one has more time when one is too young to drive).  Moreover, while Brue is brilliant on the slower-paced songs, he can rock out with panache, as evidenced by "Covered In Blood" and "Control Freak" (the latter inspired by an interview with Kurt Cobain).

My favorite songs are "Was I The Only One", "I Never Said", "Control Freak", but every song is a keeper.  The production is superb and ably enhance Sammy's performances.  If you don't get this album, you'll see it on 2017 lists in six months and feel foolish.  Don't be foolish.

I Am Nice is out on June 16 via New West Records.









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