The hyper-melodic Indiana-based Hoops plays pop songs in the sonic vein of late-1980s and early-1990s alternative and Brit Pop bands. Their new album Routines is a reverb-drenched pop masterpiece. Standouts include:
Exciting new indie rock from the talented women in Cayetana, a three-piece band out of Philly. Their new album New Kind of Normal is a triumphant exploration of the inner rollercoaster ride of insecurity, neuroses, and confusion carried by the catchy indie alternative pop rock that made The Breeders and Echobelly so successful. Standout tracks include:
The reissue trend can be hit or miss, but in the case of Leftfield, the recent reissue of Leftism (renamed Leftism 22) is a home run. The double disc Deluxe Edition features the remastered album (Neil Barnes and Paul Daley have taken care of remastering duties) on the first CD and a bonus disc of the 11 album tracks remixed. The remastered edition has been beautifully done and fixes what has been one of the biggest challenges for their 1995 debut album: terrible sound. Everything has been cleaned up, turned up, and placed expertly in the mix. The result is a fuller sounding record where you can hear a lot of the subtleties that were missed on the original release. Also check out this short documentary on the recording of Leftism.
The New Pornographers are back with Whiteout Conditions, the new full-length release on the band’s own Collected Works Records. There’s a refreshingly different sonic approach on this record that amplifies the group’s gift for song hooks and catchy meldoies. I can’t get enough of this relentlessly exuberant, clever, and addictive power pop record, exemplified by the title track “Whiteout Conditions”:
And tracks like “High Ticket Attractions”:
British Sea Power is back with their first album in four years! Let The Dancers Inherit The Party is flush with influences: hear Doves on “International Space Station” and “The Voice of Ivy Lee” and “Bad Bohemian”…
… even hints of New Order on “What You’re Doing.” Hard to find streaming, so click on the song titles to stream via YouTube.
This band is the total package -vocals of course.
I haven’t seen it yet, but I have been streaming the soundtrack to Ghost in the Shell and its sweeping, expansive score / soundtrack with amazing tracks from the likes of Johnny Jewel (of Chromatics and Glass Candy fame), Gary Numan, Tricky, Nils Frahm (who teams up with DJ Shadow), Boys Noize, Above & Beyond, IO Echo and Ki Theory. Composer Kenji Kawai, who penned the score to the original 1995 Ghost in the Shell film, also makes an appearance with some help from Steve Aoki:
Who misses mid- to late-90s indie rock and emo? Buffalo, New York’s Del Paxton might because they’ve produced the best Get Up Kids meets Texas Is The Reason meets the heavier songs from Promise Ring (Del Paxton’s lead singer Dylan England shares a similar vocal style even) record in years! Be sure to check out All Day, Every Day, All Night on Bandcamp