Photo by Knut / Eardrums Music.
December is the worst month of the year for new releases. The safe thing for labels and bands are of course Christmas related releases, but also re-releases, – a lot of re-releases. So, the album list is much shorter than usual, and fr some reason this time the EPs-section is far longer. I hope all of you will have a lovely Christmas and a Happy new year. See you in 2018, – the year I myself also finally will release my own debut album as Featherfin! I am pretty excited about that.
So, here we go!
Here is my summary of the releases I loved the most in DECEMBER.
The list is in no particular order, but the ones I loved the most are marked with a red ||.
SINGLES I LOVED THIS MONTH
From the singles this month, I especially liked the new songs from:
ELVA – “Tailwind/ Dreaming with our feet” The 2 track debut single from ELVA, – Elizabeth Morris Innset of Allo Darlin’ and several members of Making Marks’ new band. 2 lovely, warm songs, – one where Ola from Making Marks sings and Elizabeth sings on the other. (Spotify).
Tiny Fireflies – “Nothing” A beautiful new Tiny Fireflies song, – a bit darker sounding than the songs on their debut album from last year. The opening post-punky guitars are lovely, and the catchy, dreamy chorus makes me want more, more, more. Can’t wait for a new album! (Spotify).
Corridor featuring Halo Maud – ”Deux Coeurs” Very interesting single from Montreal based band Corridor and Paris based Halo Maud. Dreamy Stereolab’ish pop with a cool arrangement where the beat changes from 4/4 via 3/4 to 2/4. Lovely melody and vocals! (Spotify).
The Shacks – “Audrey (Spending all my time with you)” Think 60s French pop sung in English. Whispery, soft vocals and sweet, lush melodies. (Spotify).
Anna Burch – “Tea-soaked letter” Upbeat, catchy indie from one of the finest new artists debuting in 2017. Very, very good! (Spotify).
The Spook School – “Someone to spend Christmas with” This can – and should – be listened to all year. An amazing song! (Spotify).
You will find even more of my other favourite singles in the Spotify list.
ALBUMS I LOVED THIS MONTH
The Just Joans – You might be smiling now… || Oh, yes, I am smiling, now, because of this album. I love The Just Joans, and their new album is really good. “Steal the keys (1996 tears)”, “You make me physically sick (let’s start having children)” and so many of the other songs are brilliant popsongs, and as usual, the lyrics are in the Stephin Merritt-league. (Spotify)
Pale Lights – The stars seemed brighter (album) / Jean, bring the flowers (EP) || Two great gifts from from one of my favourite indiepop bands, Pale Lights, just before Christmas! The EP came last week, with 3 amazing new songs, and now the album is here on the fine Kleine Untergrund Schallplatten-label, and I love it. A lot. Sometimes, their sound brings back memories from that good summer years ago when I constantly listened to another of my favourite indiepop bands, The Bodines, and other times I am reminded of the songwriting of The Go-Betweens. Good music and good times. It feels great to be this excited listening to new music. The feeling is rarer and rarer these days, but wow, I am in love again. (Spotify)
Blush – Blush || The songs of Maura M. Lynch, singer/guitarist/keyboardist/songwriter in Brookyn band Blush are warm, rough, lovely, catchy indie pop/indie rock of the best kind. “Daisy Chain” is such an amazing song. (Spotify)
Dressed Like Wolves – The big try || The album title is a lot shorter than their previous album ‘In the end we all just walk off into the sea in the eyes of the ones we left behind‘ and the new album is also a lot noisier than the lo-fi folk with glockenspiels and toy-instruments from the last album. The songs are still great, and I think this new, fuzzier style suits these songs. There are still some of the folky stuff here, and I like that a lot too. Very, very good. The lyrics are always worth listening to. (Spotify)
Some Gorgeous Accident – The lovers of their opposites || Some Gorgeous Accident has been around, on and off, for almost 12 years, and sadly this release marks the end of the project. The album includes 14 songs, – some previously released, some re-workings and many new tracks. It’s a lovely way to mark an end. Dreamy pop/shoegaze. (Spotify)
EPs I LOVED THIS MONTH
Operator Music Band – Coördination || I love this! On their Facebook, they say “we are skronky, we are wiggly,
we are motorik, we are in brooklyn”. Pretty accurate, I guess. Steady motorik beats, analogue “kosmische” synths, guitars and really good vocals from Dara Hirsch and Jared Hiller. Is this what they call “artpop”? If so, I like artpop. If you are nerdy on synths, like me, they have listed all the synths they use on their Bandcamp page. Lots of Moogs and Korgs. (Spotify)
The Perfect English Weather – English winter EP || Beautiful, slightly melancholic pop that draws inspiration from several genres. The Brighton duo Wendy and Simon Pickles are also members of the indiepop band The Popguns, but here they get to show a different musical side. More synths and electronic instruments, a more dreamy sound, less fuzzy chords. Wendy’s vocals are really given room to shine here. If I must refer to other artists here, I would say that this sounds like a better version of Saint Etienne mixed with Trembling Blue Stars. Maybe. The EP is out on Matinée Recordings. (Spotify)
Average Sex – Ice cream EP || I mentioned their single “Ice cream” in last month’s post, and the EP includes 3 more tracks. Supercatchy power-pop/indiepop. (Spotify)
Line & Circle – Vicious folly || Last month I wrote that the single “Vicious Folly” was among my absolute favourite 2017 tracks, and there are more of this kind of quality-songs on this EP. The best ones comes towards the end, – “Who runs wild” and “Mid bloom” are amazing. Indiepop. (Spotify)
The Keep Left Signs – Tomorrow || This is nice, – I like this EP a lot. It is a long EP, more like a mini album, with 7 songs, out as a co-release by Kocliko Records and Shelflife Records. The band includes members from The Electric Pop Group and The Mare, which itself is a quality sign. Highly melodic indiepop with jangly, shimmering guitars, 60s inspired sound and lovely, calm, dreamy vocals. (Spotify)
Cut Worms – Alien sunset || If you told me that this album was released in the 1960s, I would believe you. It has “that sound” and those beautiful 60s harmonies, combined with a bit of roughness and dirt. A bit of Beatles, a bit Harry Nilsson, a bit Everly Brothers, maybe a dash Simon & Garfunkel and a little bit 60s folk. (Spotify)
(more EPs after the photo)
Dianas – Leave love || Melbourne based band Dianas have a special place in my heart. You should save a place in your heart for them too. Their special vocal harmony style is a pleasure to listen to. The 6 track EP includes their two amazing 2017 singles + 4 new songs. I love this. Dreamy pop. (Spotify)
Bubblegum Lemonade – Laz Christmas || I am not a big fan of indie Christmas releases, but Lawrence “Laz” McCluskey’s indiepop-alias Bubblegum Lemonade has released a very good 6 track EP for the holidays. I am not sure if jangly Christmas pop will get me into the Christmas mood, though, so I hope he will change the lyrics and release this again around spring or summer or something. These songs may easily fit in the warmer season as well. (Spotify)
Hater – Red Blinders || For some reason, I think I like Hater most as an EP band. I think it is because the format gives much more focus on each song, and you easily see/hear their brilliance. I have many Swedish favourite bands, and this is one of them. (Spotify)
Soda Fountain Rag – Keep my headphones on || Norway’s Soda Fountain Rag is back again, this time with a new 5 track EP out on Kocliko records/WWNBB Collective. This was released today, just before I was ready to push “publish” on this post, so I have only listened once, but it sounds great! She’s a unique lyric writer, and the songs are lovely, as usual. My favourite is so far the catchy pop song “Turn left” and the upbeat “You and I”. This will be played over and over again on my stereo this weekend. (Spotify)
Listen to most of the songs from this list on Spotify: