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Thursday, 1 June 2023

IDHAS Ten Songs Mix 56

The latest 10 Song Mix is a bit different this week. It does contain some of the usual Pop Rock centric songs, but I've also tried to stretch out a bit and show some of the diversity of what we cover. The result may have resulted in the best mix of songs that has ever been featured. It includes the return of The Lilac Time and one of my favourite bands of the past couple of years, Buddie.

It is just short of 40 minutes and it may be very well be worth setting that time aside to listen to this complete. If you leave part way through, you'll miss things like the 70s Classic Rock of Calico Mantra or the Guitar riff on Slam-Piece.

As well as revealing that new music continues to thrive, it demonstrates how buoyant the Indie scene is. Of course, you will note the return of The Supernaturals. The songs are not placed in the order of preference, just in a way that flows.

 Here is the playlist of the ten songs this week :

01 Fall Awake - Someday

02 Pretty - Food For The Moon

03 Buddie - Game Of Global Consequence

04 Arkavello - Home Sweet Home

05 The Lilac Time - A Makeshift Raft

06 The House Of Jed - Coming Off Pretty

07 Family Worship Center - The South

08 Lexi Noise - Slam-Piece

09 Apache Rose - Cabin Fever

10 Calico Mantra - Insta Clout

IDHAS Ten Songs Mix 56


Wednesday, 31 May 2023

Withered Hand - How To Love


I do like to moan about the UK music scene, born out of frustration with how regional it has become, yet all the majors still think it is about London. So it seems fitting to end May with a triumph from these Brexit battered lands. 

It has been 9 years since the superb New Gods. During that gap, Dan Willson has been battling and eventually going a large way to conquering mental health issues. So How To Love becomes an almost celebratory affair at a life worth living.

This is a real singer songwriter's album, possibly the best you'll hear in a long time. The lyrics and subjects reveal the struggles, but all are surrounded by uplifting joyful arrangements. For the unnitiated on here, Willson's singing voice is soothing, imagine Nick Piunti on his slower songs.

The mix of Pop Rock, Classic Rock and Americana just delights you. Songs are beautifully arranged and performed. Yet on listening to the opener, Feelings, you would be led to believe that you are in for a Power Pop treat. Only the horns give the game away and from there on you are just captivated.

Waking Up is all Van Morrison with its big Rolling Revue arrangement and joyous organ. Misery & Company is also Big Music, but tender acoustic moments also thrill, Crippled Love is aching Americana and Comedown closes the album with lyrics that provoke accompanied by a jangling riff.

Serenity Prayer is all 70s weeping Country / West Coast Rock. Still Quiet Voice is built around a jaunty arrangement, yet still sounds a little Out Of Time R.E.M. Give Myself is Guitar dominated whilst having a foot in happy clappy and what about that twanging riff? How To Love is an absolute Tour De Force.

You can listen to and buy the album here.


Tuesday, 30 May 2023

Star Collector - Attack, Sustain, Decay... Repeat


The introduction of the Listening To This Week weekly playlist was a marked departure for us and its popularity completely surprised us. It has developed an additional new audience, younger Indie audience and in some surprising areas. most notably how much of a Pop Punk following we have. Submissions for LTTW are dominated by that particular genre.

It also seemed to take us away temporarily from the Facebook groups, but we had become a little bored. It seemed to be the same people reviewing and playing the same bands. However, the direction that the likes of S.W. Lauden have shown that there is still hope and that added to a realisation that the best of what we covered are still alive and kicking and producing great albums as proved recently by The Anderson Council.

Our journey from the beginnings of Star Collector to Game Day is covered beautifully by Mick's interview with Vic Wayne here. Game Day deservedly hit the IDHAS Best Of 2021 and was an album that contained much history and happenings in the making. So I did wonder if that intensity could continue into the follow up.

The answer is yes, but there is also added versatility. There is no doubt that there is a lot of influence of The Who here. However where many who try make an album of The Who obvious, here it is more of a vibe, a style, you hear it, but it is an adaption of it, wonderfully so.

Normally in reviews, I tend to leave the best till last, here I'm gonna lead with it. You would expect me to be drawn to the Psych Pop, it is a trademark, but If We Can't Take A Joke is magnificent, a nigh on 7 minute wonder of everything that makes Psych Pop more commercial than you would believe.

It isn't just here that that genre peeps out, The Back Of Your Head goes in a similar direction, again in a melodic, more commercial way. Yet this is much more than an album of one genre. Black And Baby Blue is moody, dying to break out without ever managing it apart from a top notch Guitar solo.

Running Through The Rain as a killer riff somewhere between Alex Lifeson and Billy Duffy, Crashin' could be Free doing UK Glam Rock and Broken Butterflies benefits greatly from the joint vocal with a 70s Classic Pop Rock vibe. There is so much in the latter, it is like three songs in one.

Broken Butterflies and Halfway Home slow the tempo beautifully, particularly the Jangle on the latter, but it is the Rock we are here for to be honest. Beat it To Death is all attitude, great Pop Rock that straddles the decades with a killer solo.

Don't Have To Fold closes the album with a mastery of Power Pop, revealing how catchy the genre can be, yet still have balls. Attack, Sustain, Decay... Repeat is a rockier Star Collector affair, you deserve at least that. Star Collector are a band that keep on giving without ever compromising their integrity. Highly Reccomended!

You can listen to and buy the album here


Heatwaves - Heatwaves #4 EP


The Spanish five piece return with another EP of all together now Indie Pop. Very 60s Girl Group Pop through Mari Wilson, but with the ability to surprise. Don't Say No and Take Back are jaunty pop that allow you to revive your mastery of Hand Jive.

Both set themselves ready for the Summer with great jaunty singalong pop, but there is more to the quintet than meets the eye. It is when they depart from the Bop shoo wop that greater depths are revealed and Nothing New Under The Sun trumps all.

The song's Psych Pop riff underlines a magnificent three minutes. Reminiscent of Suzi Chunk's work with Groovy Uncle, this is pop of the highest quality, beautifully arranged, wonderfully sung and played ,absolutely addictive with a chorus to die for.

Then there is C'est Le Bonheur which nails French Pop's ability to provide an atmosphere like no other country. There is also a splendid keyboard run that befits the pace of the song. There may only be four songs when you yearn for far more, but Heatwaves know what they are doing and do it so well.

You can listen to and buy the 7 Inch EP or download here.


Monday, 29 May 2023

Listening To This Week


Welcome to this week's LTTW playlist. A monster 24 songs this week and possibly the best one of these we've done so far. New music is thriving and this helps prove why.

This weekly fayre is solely for submissions, not the usual stuff that we dig out ourselves. All embeds open in new windows to aid scrolling. Links to the artists will also appear on I Don't Hear A Single Social Media sites over the next 24 hours.

The Misty - Atlas & The Pyramids

Tré Nixon - SUV (Sweet Ultra-Violet Love Machine)

District Title - You Say You'd Like To, You Never Will

The Radio Field - The Version (feat. Robert Stadlober)

Mattias - Paper Checks

Sub Cultures - Red Weather

Borderlines - How Many Hours

Cloud Vincent - Flower Boy

Odds - Fall Guy

The Bullseyes - No Love

Maximilian Thanksalot - So, So Long

Mauger - A Mindless Move (Live at Boma)

Track Five - Crashed My Car

Fragile Creatures - Grandaddy

The Blindfolds - Top of the Heap

Silent Forum - Cat Pose

The Dirty Nil - Blowing Up Things in the Woods

Hangar - You Know

We Are Not Robots - The Darkest Nights Still Glow

MeMe Detroit - Roaring At The Preachers

Gemm - Dizzy

Landing Lights - Over the Bow

Mira Nova - I Don't Need Another Friend. I Already Have Two

Star Matriarch - You're Free (With Me)


Sunday, 28 May 2023

Sunfruits - One Degree


Having looked at the album cover, listening to the opening track would have you believe this is Soft Rock of the girl boy variety. You would be much mistaken as this debut album is nothing at all like that. It does question why the band chose Believe it All as the opener.

But that is the only question I would have as this is magnificent Psych Pop of the highest order and it does by taking Pop Rock one step further. Australian music is on fire at the moment. Every time you hear some great new band they seem to come from Oz and Sunfruits may very well be the best of them.

The most obvious Psych Pop here is the hippy trippy Better Off Dead which is so 1967, it should be on Fruits De Mer. But the title track is a wonderfully pastoral version of the genre that underlines the fact that Psych Pop is not all about Backward Guitars. 

Reeling then heads into Baggy UK late 80s / early 90s Psychotronic. So you've already had three versions of the genre and there is loads more to come. Feeling Fine is a cross between Swinging Sixties Groovy Baby and B52S. with a dollop of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop.

Jasmine is wonderfully Bass Guitar driven, bordering Glam with lots and lots of Flowers. Spiders goes all West Coast 1967 smooth and Hello Future Me is the sort of thing Tame Impala used to be good at before raiding the keyboard cupboard.

End Of The Road is so damn chipper, Tyrannosaurus Rex meets Pink Floyd's Relics with wonderful female harmony vocals. Spiders is a lets do the song right here in a field of buttercups thing. Then there is the awesome acoustic Folk of the closer Warning Signs with the wonderful harmonic vocal arrangement. I could write much more, but just go and buy this beauty. 

You can listen to and buy the album here.


Saturday, 27 May 2023

Real Tears - Whipped Dreams


I am behind both my peers from Faster And Louder and Add To Want List in recommending Real Tears' third album. The Swedish quartet specialise in an area somewhere between Punk Pop and Power Pop and deliver their missives with their heads down and at pace.

12 songs in 22 and a half minutes is Ramones like and this is real say what you want and get off. This almost melodic Garage Rock would possibly be best listened to Live, when you could watch a full 20 song set and be home for Supper.

Whereas, the default song would be an up and at 'em affair, Whipped Dreams is no throw away disposable thing. Ballantine could easily be The Speedways and Grillin' With Granpa is somehere between The Undertones and The Damned.

There are some great Riffs too. Just listen to the one om Fat Thighs And High Sighs. Get Out is great Canvey Island stuff and Satisfy You is ace UK New Wave. Sloppy Sleeper is a wonderful venture into US Garage Rock.

The title track is at least equal to the new wave of US Indie Guitar Pop bands that everyone is raving about. It edges towards Power Pop, but is a bit meatier just like they are. But the stand out song is possibly Beauty And The Yeast which evokes memories of great 60s Beat Pop with a twang dying to get out.

It would be easy to consign Real Tears to another down and dirty melodic guitar band, but there is much more versatility than that. A real wits matches some splendid playing and beautifully constructed short songs. Whipped Dreams is a crackerjack of an album and an absolute joy to listen to.

You can listen to and buy the album here.