I have been keeping these little post-it notes on my desk at work with reminders of things that I wanted to write about at great and extra-lengthy-length here, but the list just keeps getting longer and longer to the point where I am feeling not so much like “It will be fun to write about these things,” but more like “Help me, help me, oh god, oh god.” So here is my list, offered up with minimal commentary! I promise, I’ll write more soon (I’ve been working on my end of year lists, so hopefully I’ll actually get those done before, uh, the end of the year…)
Seapony (free EP + 7” on Double Denim Records) Seapony has been getting a lot of buzz lately & that buzz is well-deserved! Their free downloadable EP (available on their Bandcamp site) is a pop delight and so is their 7” (released on Double Denim Records.) Sadly, the 7” seems to be sold out (I snagged a copy from Rough Trade last week, but it looks like they’re all gone now!), but you can still stream the 7” tracks here. I wouldn’t be surprised if this was repressed (I also wouldn’t imagine that it’s too difficult to find mp3s online.) Seriously, though, if you’re into Sourpatch or any number of great recent and classic pop groups, this won’t be a disappointment.
Bad Banana Bad Banana’s Crushfield demo is 10 songs of pop-ish, punk-ish nature written & performed by sisters Allison and Kate (who you may be familiar with by way of P.S. Eliot.) Their demo is up for free download and you can stream four of the demo tracks on Muxtape. On December 12th they’re getting ready to hit the road with Sourpatch for a handful of east coast dates (Sourpatch will then head over to the UK and Bad Banana will continue touring the US.) You can view tour dates here.
Johnny Reb Okay, okay, I’m always talking about how I get these e-mails saying, “Listen to this!” and I am like, “Oh, okay,” and then I don’t and then months later, I think, “Well, maybe I’ll give this a shot” and it turns out that it’s something I would have really liked all along? Well, that happened again (surprise!) Johnny Reb has three tracks up for streaming on their MySpace along with relatively little information to accompany them. I don’t really know who Johnny Reb is or if they have any official releases, but I do know that “When Were Spring” is an awesome song that I could listen to for quite awhile before burning out on it. Really, all three of the songs are quite good in a way that takes you by surprise in bits and pieces — a lyric here, a guitar line there. I can sincerely say that I’m looking forward to hearing more. (You can read another write up of Johnny Reb on Brill Dream, who clearly responded to their press release in a much timelier fashion than I did. When will I learn?)
New 7” & video from Allo Darlin Allo Darlin’s debut album was one of my top albums of 2010 (an entry with more on these “top albums” is likely forthcoming) and I have basically accepted the fact that I am just going to buckle down and buy every single single that this band releases. “My Heart is a Drummer” (a gorgeous Paul Simon-esque pop song) was one of my favorite tracks on their self titled album & it’s just been released as a single on Fortuna Pop. You can pick up a copy direct from the label (to my knowledge, there aren’t any US distros currently carrying this.) “My Heart is a Drummer” also recently got the video treatment — you can check the video out here.
New 7” from Sweater Girls (& re-press of their first 7”) Sweater Girls have a new single out on HHBTM (featuring great pop jams and adorable cover art by Leslie Dallion.) I’d heard a lot of buzz about Sweater Girls, but didn’t give them a chance until recently (thanks to Matt from Skatterbrain.) I’ve ordered the new single from HHBTM along with the repress of their first 7”. You can stream some Sweater Girls tracks on their MySpace.
New single from The Pains of Being Pure at Heart On December 14th Slumberland will release a new single from The Pains of Being Pure at Heart. The a-side, “Heart in Your Heartbreak” has been floating around on the internet for awhile, but the b-side, “The One”, recently became available for free download via Fortuna Pop (which will release the single in the UK.) You can download it for free (you just need to supply an e-mail address) here.
New Blanche Hudson Weekend Release The Blanche Hudson Weekend was one of my top bands of 2010, so I’m so stoked to say that Squirrel Records has put together a CD compilation of their 7”s. Reverence, Severance, and Spite features tracks from The Blanche Hudson Weekend’s 3 7”s along with a handful of new tracks and early demos. You can view a full tracklist and order direct from the label here. To my knowledge, there aren’t any US distros that have this in stock, though Jigsaw Records does have the first 2 Blanche Hudson 7”s.
Broadcast One (Dandelion Radio Compilation) I always look forward to hearing from Odd Box about their new releases because they’re either things that are right up my alley or they’re things that challenge me & push me in new directions. Odd Box’s latest compilation, Broadcast One, pays tribute to Dandelion Radio, an online radio station broadcasting in the tradition of John Peel and named after Peel’s Dandelion Records label. Broadcast One features over an hour of music handpicked by Dandelion DJs (you can see a listing of who chose what song here.) You can pick up a copy of Broadcast One from Odd Box.
Odd Box Singles Club And speaking of Odd Box, they’ve sold out of the early bird edition of their singles club, but it’s not too late to subscribe at the regular price. For (roughly) $56, you get 6 split singles featuring exclusive tracks from 12 different bands. I’m most excited about The Blanche Hudson Weekend and Bracelettes, but there’s loads of great artists (you can view a full lineup and get more ordering information here.)
November Singles from EardrumpsPOP There’s been another batch of free downloadable singles from EardrumsPOP. November offered new originals and covers from Insect Guide, Sometimes Always, and Baffin Island. These singles continue the series that EardrumsPOP began in October. I absolutely loved “Bats” from the Insect Guide single and “You Can All Hide” from the Sometimes Always single, both of these tracks are available to stream online on the EardrumsPOP site. Keep an ear out for new singles on the 10th and 20th of every month!