13/04/2008

Cocoanut Groove

Cocoanut_Sleeve_okCOULEUR

Cocoanut Groove : The End of the Summer on Bookbinder Road 7" (Phonic Kidnapping Records)

Believe me or not, this 7", the first on PK Records, is already a collector : it is obviously the debut release from an artist of exception, whose first essays speak of great songs yet to be written !!!

S/T A-side, available on You tube since several months now, is nothing but a perfect chamber pop anthem, highlighted by an unwinding piano, an harpsichord tapestry,  and a troubling pre-psychedelic beat à la Beau Brummels. And B-side counterpart "Shadow" must not be ashamed of this, with its haunting Donovanesque acoustic-guitar-driven sorrow-overwhelming melody...(have to mention the great artwork by Cameron too by the way)

Olov Antonsson sense of songcraft doesn't suffer any comparison with Curt Boetcher or Arthur Lee and his music is precisely like an intended return to a form of the past : music you can listen to and think about... The album "Madeleine Street" is coming out very soon on Fridlyst label, don't miss it !

In the meantime, go run buy the 7" HERE, HERE or HERE before it's too late !

J-M

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06/04/2008

Pas Chic Chic ! (2)

paschic

Pas Chic Chic ! : Au contraire (Semprini Records

I've already said how captivating the debut 7" from Montreal band Pas Chic chic ! was, and having a full length debut announced could prove to be a difficult curve to handle... Thanks Lucifer they negotiated this in the ideal way !!!

Defining the musical vs lyrical identity of Pas Chic Chic ! on the basis of those 10 songs is rather difficult as it is totally unique ... I'd say take the motorik feel of the rythm of Neu!, the semi alienated/semi genius side of Tom Zé music, the playful Bruce Haack analogic experiences  added with Serge Gainsbourg's double meanings,   and you won't be far from the truth...

I already hear some people (especially francophones) say they're snobbish, mannered, pedantic or obscure...F**k no, they're just f*****g BRILLIANT !!!

J-M

 

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01/04/2008

Pocketbooks

pocketbooksPocketbooks : Waking Up EP (Make Do and Mend)

The first track I ever heard from Pocketbooks was "The First World Record" on the HDIF "Kids at the Club" compilation and I must say it didn't make much of an impact on me, lost in between other compilation highlights (and God remembers how numerous they were...)

Retrospectively though, I must say the song WAS part of the comp' highlights and was already showing some good clues on  Andy Hudson's writing skills : twirling piano gimmicks, short tempo changes, semi-tortuous verses vs  enchanting sing-a-long chorus...    

Two years later and after another promising 7" on Atomic Beat, the band has enriched its line-up with some...kids from the club... and is evolving over and over, leaving the early DIY clothing to a more developped sound decorum, a full 5-piece line-up and the sweetest boy/girl harmonies (Emma and Andy's voices do fit particularly well !). Again, this new EP has taken some time to grow on me, which, in this specific case, is a testimony of its asset and intrinsic masked beauty. Go pick it up HERE !

J-M

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26/03/2008

Still Corners

stillcornersStill Corners : Remember Pepper ?  EP (Self released)

 Take some avant-garde music à la United States of America (you know, the guys who wrote "Love song for the Dead Che", later covered by Northern Picture Library), mix it with some obscure psychedelic instrumentations à la The Animated Egg (you know this long-lost project from the late 60's praised by Jarvis Cocker, known in the States as "101 Strings") and you'll get something very close to Broadcast's retro-futurist pop of course !

 

With this debut EP from London duo Still Corners, these basic elements have been mellowed into a shining 6-gems-ready-to-hear collection ! This unperfect -auto- production, those soundtrack samples,   those wisely used experimentations, those easy-going melodies and  Olivia's breathy vocals (closer to Birdie's Debsey Wikes - where is she now? - than to Trish Keenan) won't necessitate a devil of a time to convince you !!!

And if you're around London, you won't have any excuse to check out the band live on April 10th at the Gramaphone as opening act for the Pocketbooks and Phil Wilson (ex June Brides) !! Buy your tickets HERE !!

See you there !                                                                                            J-M

=> Still Corners : Parallels     => buy the EP HERE directly from the band       

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20/03/2008

Pufnstuf

pufnstufPufnstuf original soundtrack (él)

I wish I had a magic flute...

I wish I lived in Living Island and talked to trees, flowers, candles and books...

I wish I had friends to rescue me when things get rough...

I wish I was a balloon, that a little kid let go, floating through the sky, flying free...

 

Produced in 1969 by Sid and Marty Krofft, H.R Pufnstuf, with its psychedelic tableau of live characters, frivolity and songs, has become a time marker for a whole generation.

This lovely soundtrack, digitally resurrected by él in 2005, was composed by cult figure Charlie Fox (Bugaloos, Barbarella). Some tunes from it have later been redone by groups such as The Murmurs and Death By Chocolate. With both its childlike and dreamlike sides, with Jack Wild's (RIP) cristalline voice, with its use of harmonica and trumpets, this is simply a pure classic pop  record that will simultaneously bring you into innocent AND contemplative moods...

=> "Pufnstuf" sung by Jack Wild 

J-M

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16/03/2008

The Airfields (2)

airfieldscdThe Airfields : Up all Night (Humblebee)

With their "Laneways" ep the Airfields showed themselves to be masters at effortlessly combining beautiful "barbed wire" noise with tender romanticism sometimes all in the course of the same song. The songs on that ep felt like tender bruises, with their lovelorn aching vocals.

Those of you who were lucky enough to snap up a copy of their Cloudberry Records cdep "yr so wonderful" (which is now sold out) know that the "Laneways" ep was no fluke, with the track "icing sugar" showing the Airfields to be masters at their own game sounding like the lovechild of early Ride and Brighter.

Now comes their debut album "up all night" (out on humblebee recordings) and it does not disappoint (by the way all three tracks of the aforementioned Cloudberry records release are included here - phew!). It's an album that shows all the different facets of the Airfields songwriting craft and sound, taking in many different influences from the Field Mice on opening track "prisoners of our love", the "molten lava" sound of My Bloody Valentine on "never see you smile" on which the vocals are a deadringer for Kurt Ralske of Ultra Vivid Scene to the shimmering Clientele-esque tremelo guitars on the song "St. Monday", all the while remaining unmistakingly the Airfields.

In the end the album resembles nothing more than a kaleidoscope or one of those candy sticks which reveal a different coloured and flavoured layer with each lick. It is an album which throws up happy surprises with each listening and which is bound to end up a future classic. An early contender for album of the year ?!

 

=> "Prisoners of our Love"                                                                            Bart

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10/03/2008

Under electric Light

under

Under electric Light :  After the Blue EP (Self released)

   It' starting with an Interpol-like bass/drums mid tempo maneuver but after just 15 seconds, Danny Provencher's cushy voice draws your attention...33 seconds later, the guitar enters the show, like an hypnotic bass variation...33 seconds later again, the keyboard finishes off to give the utmost perfect shape to the ultimate crowning half of the first song ... and this EP in itself is a full-time sacrament...

   Like the Radio Dept., Montreal's one-man band "Under electric Light" knows how to mash trivial components and transform them into an absolute thrill, halfway between impression and reality, between ideas and answers. Life is only beautiful with its uncertainties...

   => "Your rainy Days"    => Buy it HERE

J-M

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05/03/2008

Moofish Catfish


moo

Moofish Catfish : On a Sunbeam to your Heart (Cosy Den)

Where these 4 young swedish girls are coming from is not that important (it's from nowhere) and what they're meaning with this silly band name is too fastidious to explain (I don't know it). Can they sing or can they play guitar ? Don't be too much demanding please...

The 6 gems included here as funny, catchy and anarchic as...say Bearsuit... used to be and as captivating, crunchy and primal as...say Comet Gain... always will be (fingers crossed). An incommensurable surprise !!!

=> Moofish Catfish : Lightbulbs

J-M

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04/03/2008

Sparky's Magic Piano

sparkysparky2

 

 

Sparky's Magic Piano : Feel the Beat and Do it Anyway (Autoproduced) + Like Falling in Lo*e 3" EP (Cloudberry)

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02/03/2008

Theoretical Girl (2)

theoreticalTheoretical Girl : The Hypocrite 7" (XL)

Finding an artist simultaneously praised by Nu-fluokids and indiepopkids will lead you to the fascinating solo project of dark-eyelined Amy Eleanor Turnnidge aka Theoretical Girl.

Her third -long delayed- single, "The Hypocrite" (already sold out)  is indeed into the same dancing vein vs distorted guitars than "It's all too much" and "Red Mist" and is absolutely brilliant ! But take care, some cool, sweet and gentle sounds can be found on her Myspace site too ! The debut album is on its way but no signature announced yet...

=> The Hypocrite

J-M

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26/02/2008

Minimilk


minimilk2

Minimilk : Sa trace silencieuse EP (Phonic Kidnapping Records)

Rémi Parson (The Sunny Street, Electrophönvintage) must be a multi-facial man, totally unsatisfied under one single identity or under a specific tag. Why indeed being the hostage of a "project", a "career" or a "musical genre" while you have a multi-layered sensibility and while your background is varying from yéyé to indie and from bossa to electro ?

Generated several years ago in a sunny kitchen of France with his mate Sébastien Llinares (Nowaki records, Electrophönvintage), Minimilk songs were not necessarily intended to be officially released one day...tiny guitar-driven bossa ditties sung in French...the kind of intimate affair that could have remained confidential till the end of times ! Happilly, like a miracle, it is now out on the newly founded Phonic Kidnaping Records. Musically speaking, simple and beautiful, as we could expect from duo's sense of songcraft, and, in addition, quite original and impressive lyrics, and that's a true revelation !!

The Minimilk EP is an autosufficient treasure in itself and, like a unique magnum opus,  it maybe doesn't need any follower...  The thing is I can't imagine Electrophönvintage releasing their new album without any song in French now...

=> Minimilk : "Un périptère"       => The EP is available at Fraction Discs

J-M

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21/02/2008

Miscellaneous


  • 80's Swedish POP icon Virna Lindt is at last having a MYSPACE TRIBUTE SITE. Stream a title and spread the news !!!
  •  La Casa Azul is candidate to represent Spain at Eurovision Song Contest 2008 with his fantastic song "La revolucion Sexual". As far as I understand, you still have 4 days to vote for the band simply by GOING TO HIS MYSPACE. Do not hesitate to go many times a day !!!! 10 bands will go to the final, to be seen on March 8 at 22.30 CET on TVE. They are second at this very moment, so keep on voting !! Could be a dream come true to see Guille making it !!!
  • The new Fosca album will be released on March 5th and is called "The painted Side of the Rocket". As the next mp3 leads to suppose, you have to expect pure pop brilliance with inspired lyrics !!! Preorder it now HERE !!! 

            ==> Fosca : "Confused and proud"

"These are the bands/artists who have donated a song to be included in 'Country Music', the tribute album to the late Keith Girdler, which will be released on Siesta Records later in the year:

St Christopher, The Wake, Pete Fijalkowski, Hal, The Clientele, Trembling Blue Stars, Biff Bang Pow!, Louis Philippe, Club 8, The Times, Would Be Goods, Love Dance, The Orchids, Aberdeen, Lovejoy and Blueboy.

Quite a line-up for all 'twee-pop' fans, I'm sure you'll agree."

J-M

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Andreas Dorau & die Marinas


dorau1

Seite A : Fred vom Jupiter

Seite B : Auch die Heimat ist nicht mehr Schön

 

When Neue Deutsche Welle austerity meets pop innocence, this gives brilliant and irresistible tunes. "Fred vom Jupiter", released in 1981, like many of early Andreas Dorau songs, is just of surpassing excellence.

It is to be noted Andreas still makes great albums nowadays !!

J-M

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17/02/2008

Bitter Cherry Jam


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Koishi and Miki Nishida have been making pop music since the very early days of Shibuya-K golden era, with their respective bands Chain Letter and Cherry Honeymoon, joining in 2000 in one single unit called Cherry Letter who later became Bitter Cherry Jam. They released a total of 5 hardly available CDr EP's mostly on their own Tulip House Records

Bitter Cherry Jam is making this kind of retro pop never heard since Tot Taylor / Mari Wilson's album "Showpeople" or the Maisonettes : perfectly sparkling sing-along gems higgledy-piggledy recalling Motown sound, Julie London or Roger Nichols' soundscapes,  super-catchy  and putting a big smile on your face !!! 

headTheir song "Our brand new old-fashioned Show" has also been recently featured on the stunning Japanese Indiepop Compilation "Headstart for Happiness" released on the newly founded TKO Records. The comp also features incredible Japanese acts such as Murmur, Pitcher 56, The Caraway, Blue Marble, Flannel, Boys & Girls together or Speedy Wonder...and is really worth buying if you wanna dig into Japanese best kept indiepop secrets  !!

The next Bitter Cherry Jam release will be "The very best of Bitter Cherry Jam" that will feature a few new songs and the remaster versions of old songs from the previous CDR's and it is due at latest for the end of this year WAHOUWWWW !!!!!

J-M

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12/02/2008

Robotboy @ Friendly Noise

robotboy      Friendly Noise records from Stockholm is slowly but surely turning into a modern day equivalent of the very wonderful Les Disques de Crépuscule in my opinion. Just like that seminal Belgian independent label Friendly Noise records manages to project a strong aesthetic and stylistic (if somewhat mysterious) identity, all the while collecting the most diverse sounds from pure pop to pure art and most points in between.


     Robotboy presents the more poppy face of Friendly Noise records. His songs are the perfect meeting point between early Pet Shop Boys at their most thoughtful (think "jealousy" or "being boring") and Baxendale at their most electro hedonistic, with a little early Magnetic Fields thrown in for good measure.


     Behind the sleek Robotboy exterior beats a real human heart (for Petter Strömberg is the Robotboy) which could explain why all Robotboy songs are tinged with a slight sense of melancholia or heartbreak. Just listen to Robotboy's cover of "NITA" by the Young Marble Giants and weep (for he manages to bring out the sadness in those lyrics even more than the original - making it one of the best covers of the Young Marble Giants ever).

     For the song "les enfants terribles" (which was a free mp3 on the Friendly Noise website some time ago, but is now sadly not available anymore - let's hope it is included on a future Robotboy album) he even manages to turn into a pocket Divine Comedy, all pizzicato strings straight out of a little box."Wait another day" is another highlight sounding like a naughties version of the aforementioned "being boring" by the Pet Shop Boys.You can download most of Robotboy's songs from his myspace page, and believe me they are all little gems. Finally, another wonderful song “September” (also recently deleted from FN website) will appear on the Friendly Noise compilation that will complete the trilogy (the first compilation in the series was “Friendly People Making Noise”, the second “Are You Scared to Get Happy?” and now it's time for “Splendid Isolation”). If you like perfect pop, don't miss out on Robotboy.

Bart

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08/02/2008

Elenette

elen1elen2
Elenette : Autenticitet EP + Masculinitet EP (Cosy Recordings)

Cosy Recordings are continuing to extend their unfailing musical range skills with the release of these 2 successive EP's by Stockholm-based quatuor Elenette. And this time the teleportation brings us more than 20 years back in the golden age of Synthpop, between Japan's arty sophistication and A-ha's immediate pop (the song Kärlekskomplexet sounds like a superb "Take on me"variation).

In addition to this, all-present saxophone backings are conveying a very special emotion (think a happy Tuxedomoon or a light-hearted Theatre of Hate) and the use of Swedish language on top makes all the thing sound fucking exotic ! Elenette, kings of sparkling chansonette !!

J-M

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04/02/2008

In Embrace

Between 1982 and 1984 Cherry Red records was my favourite independent label (I know it would be much cooler to pretend Factory records was my favourite, but " I believe in truth ... though I lie a lot"). Cherry Red seemingly released a classic record every week by artists like the Monochrome Set, Felt, Ben Watt, the Marine Girls, Momus, Jane, Tracey Thorn, Eyeless In Gaza,... which have all since been recognized as such.

inembrace1However, hardly anyone ever mentions In Embrace who in my opinion recorded in "Shouting in cafés" and "This brilliant evening", two of the finest singles ever in Cherry Red records' history. In Embrace hailed from Coventry and were largely the project of one hopeless romantic called Gary Knight aided by an ever revolving band of musicians. Seldom has there been a songwriter more eloquent at putting the feelings of falling in and out of love into words than Gary Knight.

=> In Embrace : "Shouting in Cafés"


 

In Embrace songs are full of words about longing, secretive glances, sudden smiles, embraces in dusty bedsits, lips that should be kissed and selfdoubt and all this set to shimmering heartbreaking melodies. That Gary also had the voice of a young Edwyn Collins was an added bonus.
In Embrace songs always seemed to strike a perfect balance between melancholia and joy.One review at the time said they made the perfect tunes to make you want to gaze at raindrops running down the window. I couldn't have put it better myself.


inembrace2After "this brilliant evening" two more equally fine In Embrace singles slipped out almost unnoticed on the small independent label Glass records namely "a room upstairs" (another great romantic song) and "what's got into me" (Gary's lovelorn words set to a great dumb skanking tune reminiscent of what Saint Etienne got up to years later on their fine cover of the Field Mice's "kiss and make up") and then, just as the were supposed to release their masterpiece, an album called "songs about snogging" (a very In Embrace title - others include "your heaven scent plays hell with me"', "sun brings smiles", "chocolate for breakfast", "love among the crumbs"), there was ... nothing.
The album was never released as Glass records went bust and the producer John A. Rivers refused to let go of the mastertapes because he didn't get payed for the sessions.


Up to this day my heart still aches a little when I think that I never have heard and probably never will hear this record. It's just like a love-affair suddenly cut short ... In a way that's very apt In Embrace, their heaven sound still plays hell with me.


inembrace3ps : only a handful of In Embrace's songs (the "shouting in cafés" and "this brilliant evening" 12 inches with assorted b-sides) are available on cd ( a cherry red compilation called "a fine day and a brilliant evening" which also includes songs by Jane and Grab Grab the Haddock, no home should be without one).

We can only hope that the older Glass records stuff and the "songs about snogging" album ever see the day. Cherry Red or LTM are you listening ?! 

Bart

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31/01/2008

Ballads of the Cliché

ballads

Ballads of the Cliché : Evergreen (Self-released)

The charm of innocent lyrics, the charm of a whispering male voice (Bobby), the charm of a xylophone sound, the charm of Indonesian accent (Ninatika), the charm of cheap harmonies... from folky guitar ballads to upbeat jangly twee  to piano-romantic anthems, this is indeed a quite charming debut album we have here from this Indonesian 8 piece-band, caught two years ago with their "Smiley EP", almost in the same period than fellow-countrybands Mocca and Goodnight Electric. Don't expect Ballads of the Cliché to revolutionate music but expect Ballads of the Cliché to contribute breaking the ridiculously ficticious frontiers of great indiepop !

=> Get the album from Fruit Records or Apple Crumble

=> Ballads of the Cliché : "Love Parade"

J-M

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Japanese Delights (part II)

While japanese billboard is contaminated by poor R 'n 'B and Rap stuff, some great pop stuff keeps being released :

Kyoko Fukada - kimino hitomini koishiteru : Composed by Mr Konishi (Pizzicato 5) himself for this well-known model/actress Idol, this song is a real blaster !!

Archoryme - La douce vie : Behind this new band we find Takanamo K-Taro (ex Pizzicato 5 - again) with singer Nishimura Ikuyo. They released their 2 (!!!) debut albums in the same time one week ago !

Harco - Be my Girl : Written by Harco and Hideki Kaji, this lovely song has been widely broadcasted through a TV commercial
Vanilla Beans - U love Me : Rina and Rika are cute and well-dressed ! In addition to that, they are cute and well-dressed ! Yes really !
Meg - Ok : For this single, notorious Electropop artist Meg has experienced collaboration with Nakata Yasutaka from Capsule and the result is just splendid !
Perfume - Baby Cruising Love : Their recent single "Polyrythm" was a deception but this brand new one is quite good and is already in the charts top 10 after only 1 week ! Viva Perfume !!
J-M

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28/01/2008

Soda Fountain Rag

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Soda Fountain Rag : It's Rag Time ! (Yesboyicecream)

Could we dream of a better way to start the year than having in our hands the first "proper CD" release by Norwegian bedroompop-wondergirl Soda Fountain Rag on the wonderful Yesboyicecream records (SKWBN, The Positions, Saint Thomas ? I'm talking about a "proper CD" to differentiate it from the recent cd-r releases  on Anorak, My Honey and Cloudberry even if it doesn't make any difference practically nowadays...

14 songs in exactly 30 minutes 18 seconds, with the half being "classic" inclusions from previous releases (Army of Silent Kids, Driving in your Car, Angry Girl, The Saddest Boy Again, I was reborn, Don't kill the Clowns, Everything ends...WAWWW, almost a "Greatest Hits"!) and the other half  being released for the first time on "hard support", from the joyful piano driven “The Saddest Boy in Town” to the Undertonesque “You sit and wait for Life” and from the casio-baroque  “I laugh myself to Sleep” to the thrilling indiepop anthem “Go!” 

To put it in a nutshell, if you only have to own ONE SFR essay, this is the one!!! And the incredible news is...she already has sufficient material for another album!

 => Soda Fountain Rag : "I laugh Myself to Sleep"

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23/01/2008

Moto boy

moto

Motoboy : S/T (Songs I wish I had written)

Imagine a guy -Oskar Humlebo aka Moto boy -alone on a small stage, with an enigmatic glitter imagery, free of any gender-representation, singing a poignant and languid ballad - Blue Motorbike - driven by his single black metalguitar, a bit as if Glam Rock and New Romantic had an intimate appointment at this precise moment and place ...:

This happened one week ago in Jeriko, Malmö, Sweden for the release gig of Moto boy's debut album and I really really wish I was there...And yes indeed, THE album is finally out on "Songs I wish I had written" label (Le Sport, Gentle Touch, Lovekevins...)!

First impression : Moto boy's voice is instantly engaging and I can't do anything but hanging on his every word. The initial comparison with New Romantics goes further  : from time to time, Oskar's range is very similar to Midge Ure's and first song "Young Love", the new single, is reminding me a lot of this "If I was" classic hit ...

Musically speaking, most of the songs are revealing to be achingly touching and disarmingly beautiful in their simplicity, proving the first "Blue Motorbike" single was not a "one -lost- hit wonder". Although clearly embedded in the 80's, the whole bunch is suitable for any decade...don't miss it !

=> Moto boy : U

J-M

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20/01/2008

WeePOP ! arriVAL !

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One Happy Island : Pulaski Park (WeePOP !)

Along with Asaurus Records, the lovely London based WeePOP ! label must be the one with the cutest hand crafted packagings. And as catalog is concerned, the mini-cd label has clearly privileged quality to quantity too ! Another piece of evidence is their first 2008 release by Boston-based outfit One Happy Island, a new band we noticed several months back on Indiepages demo section...Reminiscent of Razorcuts with hillbilly hints (!) featuring squeeze box, harmonicas, ukuleles and handclaps... this will definitely sheer you up and take you to a sort of Old-West campfire popfest,  smelling Granny's green beans and lapping strawberry milk in the same time !!!

J-M

The Motifs : Matches EP (WeePOP !)

I know it's the middle of winter and there is hardly any sunlight about between those all-encompassing grey winterclouds, but listening to Melbourne's the Motifs makes me think about  spring-time or summer already. Could it be because their songs are reminiscent of a sweet spring breeze or the intricate little flowermotifs on a summerdress ? Suddenly I feel like somebody is tickling my face with a blade of grass, there's a melting ice-cream in my hand and the Motifs' singer is whispering her bittersweet lyrics into my ear ... like sweet little secrets between best friends or lovers.
Spring and summer really aren't that far away ...The Motifs released a lovely mini-cd called "matches" on the same Weepop! in December. Like the "One happy Island" EP it's limited to 120 copies too, but as it was released more than one month back, you better hurry up to make sure you can dream about summer in the middle of winter too (sorry for South-hemisphere readers huh) !

Bart

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17/01/2008

Bottle Rocket zine

 

-What's the point in making a cute drawing on paper while you can cut and paste a picture from Google image search ?

-What's the point in enumerating the records you're listening to when you can make a playlist on last.fm or radio.blog ?

-What's the point in using a typewriter when you can write, correct and re-write your text with any police and colour on your computer ?

-What's the point in paying for a paper zine while you just have to follow the links and download full albums (!!) for free on some mp3-blogs ?

brGetting the latest Bottle Rocket zine (issue n°5 already in one year time!) will definitely give you some clues !!

This great issue is including interviews with California Snow Story and The Pains of being pure at Heart,  an interesting article on Grimsey record label, some reviews (Georgie James, Vampire Weekend, Shout out Louds and Jens lekman) and a lot more stuff

=> Get it HERE and check the previous issues as well !

Katy (BR brain) and I agreed to publish the "Pains of being pure at Heart" interview herebelow in its original design, which is also a prelude to further collaborations with other paperzines in both directions !!!

Long life to Bottle Rocket !!!!

J-M

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The Pains of being pure at Heart interview

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Interview by Katy from Bottle Rocket zine issue #5

=> The Pains of being pure at Heart website

=> Buy the S/T EP HERE and check Slumberland Records and Atomic Beat Records for the next couple of exciting split 7" announced.

20:43 Écrit par J-M dans Musique | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0) |  Facebook |

14/01/2008

The Luminaire, London, 10/01/08


Indiepopheaven - an evening at the Luminaire in the company of the School/the Would-be-Goods/Club 8

     Last thursday at the Luminaire in London I thought I'd died and gone to indiepop heaven ! When the night starts out with all your favourite recent tunes by such artists like the Bridal Shop, Sally Shapiro, Moscow Olympics, Moto Boy, etc being played at top volume over the soundsystem (courtesy of the Tack Tack Tack ! dj's) you just know you are in for something special, and that's not taking into account that we had yet to witness three of the best indiepopbands play live.                   

The School are the youngest and newests addition to my list of favourite bands on this bill and they do not disappoint. Their easy-going charm and their sweet sixties girlgroup influenced songs full of melodic twists could win over any old cynic (or he would have to have a heart of stone), but just by looking around me I can tell that no such cynic is to be found at the Luminaire tonight : everybody seems to know and love the School already. That's hardly surprising when the songs are so great. They play all the favourites (like "valentine", "all I wanna do") and some songs I hadn't heard yet ("shoulder", "I want you back (?)") but which are sure to become favourites too - actually on one listen they already are. They finish their set with "kiss me in the snow" and it is Xmas all over again !
 
     The Would-be-Goods follow and they are initially a little bit of a letdown, but due to no real fault of their own I must add. Jessica had lost her voice earlier in the week and was just getting it back and the sound was appalling which hardly helped. I mean what is a Would-be-Goods song when you can hardly hear those delicious vocals and those brilliant lyrics ?! But they fight hard against these setbacks and come out shining by the end of the set, which they finish with a blistering version of "Emmanuelle Béart" (actually Jessica is looking so great, she shouldn't be jealous of Emmanuelle at all). The fact that they included one of their oldest songs dating back to those glorious El records days, "the camera loves me", in their set makes me very very happy indeed.
 
     And then it is time for
Club 8. Some argue that their gorgeous bittersweet pop is better suited for daydreaming to on your own in your bedroom then for a live setting, but when they sound this effortlessly cool who is complaining. Not me. And who says you can't daydream among a crowd of likeminded souls ?
They look brilliant of course : Karolina resplendent in a black print dress - a classic Swedish beauty - and Johan doesn't look too bad either. They are expanded to a sixpiece for this live outing, but the band keeps very faithful to the original versions of the songs which is just great (why should they tamper with perfection ? It would be like painting a moustache on the Mona Lisa).They start proceedings with "Jesus walk with me" and Karolina's voice is so crystal clear, it is spinetingling. You can almost hear a pin drop in the Luminaire, no mean feat.
     The rest of the set consists of songs from the new album ("heaven", "the football kids", "whatever you want") and songs from their earlier albums ("everlasting love", a deeply moving "love in december", a joyful "boyfriends stay") and is way too short. They could go on for hours and I wouldn't care. I'm in heaven. For an encore they first play "a song which nobody will want to hear but we play it anyway" in Johan's words and by that he means "Saterday night engine". He couldn't be more wrong as the crowd sing along with the footballchant-like chorus and go wild. To close the evening they go back to the glacial beauty of a more accoustic version of the devine "missing you".

     And then the dream is over ... But I've still got a great big grin on my face. Cause Club 8 make me realize I'm the boy who couldn't stop dreaming. And dreams do come true.


Bart

20:55 Écrit par J-M dans Musique | Lien permanent | Commentaires (1) |  Facebook |

10/01/2008

Les calamités

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One year before The Shop Assistants' birth, two years before The Flatmates' formation, three years before C86 cassette release, came a girl-band from France that, in the same time already, encapsulated the happy sixties pop spirit, everyday girls' innocence and jangling Postcard Records guitar pop...

=> A site : http://www.calamiteux.com/enindex.html

=> A song : "Toutes les nuits"

J-M

23:33 Écrit par J-M dans Musique | Lien permanent | Commentaires (9) |  Facebook |

06/01/2008

Fireflies

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Fireflies : "Goodnight Stars, Goodnight Moon" LP (Lavender, Music is my Girlfriend) + "Snowstorm" EP (Twentyseven Records)

"My memory brought me thoughts of you, of me, and of you and me. I Thought of the cherry blossoms in spring. Our hearts fluttered and our eyelashes batted often beneath those quiet trees. Our love was like a dinosaur. We trembled in its presence and no distance was too far for its colossal legs. But your plane landed like a meteor, and now the dinosaur is missing, but not forgotten. My recollection, like some congested museum, proudly displays its skeleton.

I stood there for a while, thinking the breeze on your mountaintops was maybe strong enough to carry you, but as the afternoon carried on, I decided to take a walk back down into the valley. I wanted to be home before dark. I like to watch the sun set into the earth an the stars rise into the sky. It's one thing we can still share."

=> Fireflies : "Summer has gone"

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Danish Pastries

 

While reading about  the forthcoming debut  essay from promising danish band Northern Portrait on Matinée Records site, I realized how much I came accross many other talents from Denmark lately, so here are some videos and links of what I could think of :

The Elephants : "5 Minutes". Fresh Danish buzz !

Tiger Baby " Noise around me". My all-time danish favourites in a live perfomance at Privatclub in Berlin this Summer

Rumskib : "Love at first Sight" from their wonderful dream pop eponym album. Remember Lush, Curve, MBV ? This is what it's all about ! Mmmm love this vid from Godard's "Alphaville"with Anna Karina !

Figurines : "Let's head out", excellent first single from their latest album on Morningside Records

Oh no Ono : "The Shock of the real". Also on Morningside Records, these guys are so funny and decadent !

Also check Oliver North Choir Boy , De Agtige (super 8bit/casio pop !) and Labrador !!
J-M

21:24 Écrit par J-M dans Musique | Lien permanent | Commentaires (1) |  Facebook |

01/01/2008

Songs selection 2007 + contest !

 

Here is a selection of songs that embellished my year... In addition of being terrific, they also mean a lot to me, for several reasons ! You can stream them all on the radio !

CONTEST CLOSED : WINNERS WILL RECEIVE A MAIL SOON !!

Wishing you a POPfull 2008, sweet darlings !!!

01 soda1

Soda Fountain Rag : "The saddest Boy again" (My Honey records)

The utmost thrilling bedroom pop you could figure out with innate qualities of bright songwriting !

02 motoboy

Moto boy : Blue Motorbike (Songs I wish I had written)

"One guy with nothing but his guitar and his voice". His first digital (free) single... a true lost summer bilboard hit...

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Rocca : Baby mine (Unreleased)

A burning anthem that will make you sweat and let your fragile body make all kind of unwanted dangerous moves.

04 moscow2

Moscow Olympics : Still (Fraction Discs)

Pure shoegaze pop perfection from Philippines with stepped-up Cocteautwinesques accents... 

05 fitness2Fitness Forever : Bacharach (Autoproduced)

Italian search for pop perfection...confidentially released in 2006 but only revealed to the - open-mouthed - world in 2007

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Little big Adventure : Ben & Jerrys (Digital dwld))

The 3rd single, "packed with weeping guitars, heartbreaking lyrics and drunken beats...Hopefullness is lost and hopelessness is found"

07 cloettaCloetta Paris : I miss you Someone (Digital dwld)

Simply a great song wrapped in a seducing eurodisco gift-packaging... instant crush guaranteed...                         

07 painsThe Pains of being pure at Heart : This Love is fucking right (Painbow Records)

Magnificent noisy pop gem or "How the Field Mice would sound like if they were coming from New-York..."

09 motocompoMotocompo : Dream flows (Poplot)

Really charming electro pop song à la Ladytron from this Japanese girl-duo, a serious Perfume contestant !

10 smileA Smile and a Ribbon : Baby's Breath (Shelflife)

Vinyl crackles covered with heavenly vocals 'till that sudden tempo change that will borrow your heart !

11 blind

Blind Terry : When Prefab Sprout wrecked my Mind (Cloudberry)

A superb bittersweet piano-driven pop song that could easily fit on the latest Camera Obscura album (thanks for insisting Bart)

12 sproutts1The Sproutts : Hidden Costs (Autoproduced)

A ready-to-eat creamy melody right away from New-Zealand… somewhere between Weezers’ catchy hooks  and a convulsing Pinback…

13 invisibletwinInvisible Twin : Best kept Secret (Le Grand Magistery)

The utmost delicate love song from the ex-Shoestrings duo, taken from the "A very Magistery Valentine" comp         

14 tillmannsTillmanns : Heavy Rotation (Fraction Discs)

Early 80's hypnotic down beat whine...this great single has been in heavy rotation indeed

14 aftersAfter-school Sports : Wind Up (Cosy Den Recordings)

Melodrama song on light comedy DIY music                                                                                                            

16 daring girlHomecoming Party : Daring Girl (Unreleased)

This song is sticking into my head and making me giddy...haven't heard something so hypnotizing since ages !

17 daysDays : Downhill (Shelflife)

An endlessly postoned single that hounded us all year long...                                                                                       

18 mike1Mike in Mono : Euro Eccentric (Static Caravan)

"Electronic analogue pop fudge, with underwater vocoder vocals... It truly is as catchy as turkey cough... Think a casio Debussy no less."                                                                

19 sucrette

Sucrette : Love & Whistle (Autoproduced)

Pure modernism and innocence from this Kyoto duo...Prends ta sucrette, darling, c'est si bon !                 

20 little nameLittle Name : How to Swim and Live (Sleepy Records)

Broken hearts, horns, reverie, sparkling guitars, outmoded melody ...this is what it's all about : a step forward in the pursuit of happiness !

21 DondoloDondolo : J'ai deux amours (La bulle sonore)

Mylène Farmer meets Jacno meets Casino Music...of course it's French and of course it's "trop trop bien"

J-M

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27/12/2007

Orwell

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Orwell : Le génie humain (Twin Fizz Records)

In the same vein than Notre-Dame, Orwell was one of those french hidden treasures we discovered through the Asian channel and the wonderful Quince Records in Japan, with their first album "Des Lendemains" in 2001/2002.

Orwell is the illegitimate crown prince of what we could call the "Baroque pop" dynasty, starting from the precursor Jean-Baptiste Lully to the young ancesters Love/Polnareff/Beach Boys and the more recent Cardinal/Louis Philippe/Divine Comedy.

And perfect "Baroque pop" it remains more than ever indeed with the latest "Le génie humain" : use of many classical or traditional instruments (strings, winds, flute, banjo, piano, organ...), patent development of the orchestral style and lyricism, contradictions and diversity by means of multiple collaborations (Aprilia Sari from indonesian band White Shoes and the Couple Company, Andrew Watt from Heavy Blinkers fame, Médéric Gontier from Tahiti 80, Norwegian wonderboy Alexander Von Mehren...)... 

The opus is somehow focused on those differences between circumstances, beings and feelings and this aspect is perfectly illustrated in the following video of the first single "Elémentaire":

=> Orwell : "Le génie humain"   => BUY the album immediately HERE or HERE
J-M

13:52 Écrit par J-M dans Musique | Lien permanent | Commentaires (2) |  Facebook |