Ready for another round of exciting music? Our Jukebox series reaches its 51st week with another TOP TEN playlistplaylist including the tunes we have been enjoying the most lately. Like the unpredictable Spring weather, we have a really eclectic collection of tunes, full of new findings. A lot to listen & enjoy! And don't forget to join us at our Soundcloud blog page.
I'm reading 'Pequeño Circo', what could be considered the Spanish version of 'Please Kill Me', an impressively detailed (more than 900 hundred pages) oral history of the alternative music in our country (the 90s you know). So the next chapter in our anthologywas almost mandatory. Here's a slice of the best indiepop ever made in Spain, courtesy of one of the most privileged minds has ever been on a stage, Sergio Algora...
Song: Pon Tu Mente al Sol
Artist: El Niño Gusano
Use your imagination and make it pop. And if you can make people happy for a while. That's what the songs of El Niño Gusano, the songs of Sergio Algora can do for you. Pure surrealism and lyrics that simply show he was a writer penning tunes, bits of psychedelia and all the joy you can put into 3-4 minutes of music you call pop. A genuine talent, one of the true artists of Spanish indie. 'Pon Tu Mente al Sol' is one of my favourites tunes from El Niño Gusano. It's a perfect tune soaked in the sun, the straightforwardness of the music, with the jangly guitars, combining with Algora's trademark lyrics and an unstoppable, upbeat vibe, crowned with a heavenly chorus... And then the song changes completely, a fanfare appears, trumpets, a chorus reminiscent of Love, The Beatles.... Genious all over. El Niño Gusano, the best smile providers in Spain from 1993 to 1999.
Two fantastic, very personal projects, plus a band making gorgeous classic indiepop on our discoveries' trio of the weekend!Enjoy!
Nadine Shah. Born in Whitburn, South Tyneside, to Pakistani-Norwegian parents, this British musician started making a big buzz with two EPs, debut 'Aching Bones' in November 2012, and 'Dreary Town' in April 2013. First album, 'Love Your Dum and Mad' appeared that July, confirming the arrival of an artist to be closely followed. Now she returns with 'Fast Food', out now, a powerful & flawless collection of tunes that fosters the path of the dark, alternative rock, that channels the spirit of PJ Harvey and Nick Cave, but with an idiosyncrasy (very personal lyrics too) completely of their own. Rising star.
Slow Decades. Hailing from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, UK, this yet unsigned band (labels, what are you waiting for?) has been around for a few years now, playing gigs mainly in the north east of England, while they fnished their debut album. After two years in the making, 'The Frost & The Concrete' saw the light of day at the end of 2014, and this indiepop wonder can't pass unnoticed. Heartfelt, delicate, enduring, with all the 80s lo-fi charms, the quintet leaded by Ben Lowes-Smith knows how to put together everlasting melodies, lush instrumental details, melancholic lyrics and warm vocals. A truly gorgeous LP demanding your attention.
Anomie. Under this moniker hides Philadelphia, PA-based Rachel Browne, vocalist/guitarist of the also interesting dream pop band Field Mouse. After a couple of tunes that surfaced previously on the Internet, the alternative pop songstress has delivered her first, self-titled EP, on February 2015 through Father/Daughter Records. Four tunes written in California and recorded with the help of Andrew Futral on bass and Erick Slick on drums, where Browne, as the artwork rightly states, shows her teeth: urgency, guitars, intensity, and achingly straightforward emotions. Meet Rachel!
In a perfect world, the next song in our anthologywould be the definition you find in dictionaries, the example music schools (if they teach that) use to explain what's a one-hit wonder... Simply a perfect jangle-pop (some might say twee) tune from a completely forgotten band... from Greece??? What I just said. A one-hit wonder... but what a wonder!!
Song: If She Doesn't Smile (It'll Rain)
Artist: Fantastic Something
Year: 1983 If you don't instantly fall in love with this song, let's face it,pop is not your thing. Which is utterly sad, because this is just a glorious tune, a slice of heaven made on earth, built on crystalline guitars. A lost treasure, suspended in memory and recovered by social networks, created by Alex and Constantin, the Veis brothers, Boston, Massachussets natives but brought up in Greece. There's a bit more of history as well as a little more on their songs out there, but nothing comes close to this gem (although it's on my-to-do list to check the 85' Cherry Red album properly). It's all about the melody and the feeling you couldn't skip one single note, as if the whole tune was assembled in one piece, like a waterfall of guitars, permanently there, intricate, merged one into the other, brightly shimmering together. Ringing in your ear, and memory. Forever.
A very eclectic trio of proposals in our discoveries' series this weekend!Sure you'll find something to love!
The Go! Team. Call it prejudice, I won't argue, there's too much music out there to reach everything, so I never got into this six-piece band from Brighton, UK, conceived by Ian Parton in 2000s as a project to mix all sorts of music styles, from Sonic Youth to Bollywood soundtracks, from hip hop to electro. The ambitious ideas crystallised in three LP so far, 'Thunder, Lightning, Strike' (2004), 'Proof of Youth' (2007) and 'The Rolling Blackouts' (2011); and five EPs, debut 'Get It Together' (2000), 'Are You Ready for More?' (2005), 'Audio Assault Course' (2006) and two live recordings. But the real reason The Go! Team are included here is because of 'The Scene Between' their latest album, out since this March via Memphis Industries and, easily, one of the best of the year so far. Without losing any of their trademark's effervescence and kaleidoscopic way of understanding pop, here's a collection of stunning, bright, cheery, jumpy and joyous indiepop tunes. Dance, smile, enjoy, go!
Death and the Maiden. When you receive an email from Fishrider's boss Ian Henderson you are going to hear something worth listening, so it's time to go back to Dunedin, NZ, folks. Inspired by an Edward Munch engraving, vocalist and bassist Lucinda King returned to New Zealand from Berlin in 2012 to make music with synth and drum programming Danny Brady. It seems Chromatics was a major influence but, luckily (not a fan of italo-pop for blatantly empty movies) the duo found there was something more authentic, menacing, darker here, flirting with post-punk as well as with hypnosis, and adding a wider sonic palette totheir sound with the addition of guitarist and drummer Hope Robertson. Now that their self-titled debut LP is out via Fishrider we invite you to introduce yourself into the gloomy but starkly beautiful world of Death and the Maiden, seven haunting pieces set on a parallel universe of telluric shadows, icy machines and ethereal vocals. The distant war dances of the heart...
Etti/Etta. We end our round of proposals with Raffaella and Marcus, a duo coming from Campora, Italy, and Toronto, Canada, active since 2014 and with a stunning debut EP, named 'No? Yes', self-made, handmade, totally DIY-casette-made, out since past September, with another tune available at their bandcamp (all-pay-what-you-want) since this February and the promise of more to come very soon. Six tunes so far and a lot to admire: somewhere in between post-punk and noise pop, here's the unadulterated lo-fi attitude, the howl, the roar, the edge, the stomping feeling packed with the ominous, the mystery, the haze. Rough dreams. A personal favourite of the year so far...
Still enjoying your holidays? We hope you are doing so, and in order to help you a bit here's a second round of our TOP TEN playlist this week! More free time means more music to listen and discover, so we had many exciting tunes we wanted to share with you! Like the return of our beloved The School, The French Pop Dream or The Fabulous Artisans, or new discoveries like Waxahatchee or Talkie Walkie. Have a listen and take care! And remember, this is also available at our Soundcloud blog page. Join us!