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Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Various - Big Stir (Power Pop And More At CIA (The First Year)

I wrote about my envy of Los Angeles's Big Stir monthly event here. Since then things have gathered apace. There are plans for a tour in the UK and Sweden in conjunction with appearances at IPO in Liverpool and Sweden this year.

The Big Stir compilation from last year, the quality of all 22 bands is exemplary, it's a disc that I return to almost daily. The compilation is available to buy at Ray's excellent Kool Kat site here.

I could feature any of the 22 artists in this review. Due to the rarity of many of the tracks, the availability of streaming links and the fact that I will feature all 22 as new releases occur, means that I've limited my choices to six. Any of these artists are worthy of your support.

Brandon Schott writes and performs great gravitas pop. Lyrically excellent with great hooks, these songs are real mood lifters. Following on from 2015's superb Crayons And Angels, one of my favourite albums of that year, Brandon has recently released a pause point compilation, (Revisited). You can listen to and buy that compilation here. You can find out more about Brandon here.

Fernando Perdomo has developed a glowing reputation as a singer songwriter and producer. Initially with the excellent Dreaming In Stereo and onto solo excellence. His last album, Voyeurs, was released last year and was the first album recorded utilising Facebook Live. His band album from 2004, This Can Be You has just been made available. Both can be listened to and bought here. You can find out more about Fernando here.

Rob Bonfiglio is noted for his work with Wilson Phillips and more importantly for his time in Wanderlust in the mid 90's with Scot Sax. Wanderlust were one of the great lost Power Pop bands and their reunion for 2012's Record Time delighted this writer.

Rob's solo career has continued that excellence. His work reminds me a lot of Jason Falkner, a compliment, I do not hand out lightly. His 2014 album, Freeway is a stormer and you can listen to and buy that here. You can listen to and buy Wanderlust albums here.

Plasticsoul are currently recording a new album, The Girl Of Many Tribes that can be pre-ordered here. Their 2009 album. Peacock Swagger remains a favourite of mine, very reminiscent of Cotton Mather and that can still be bought here.

Band Leader, Steven Wilson is heavily involved with Big Stir and all that it is trying to acomplish.

The Armoires are responsible for the wonderful Incidental Lightshow album from last year. A great slab of west coast harmonies via twin vocalists Rex Broome amd Christina Bulbenko. The hints of Psych on that album make it an album I return to regularly.

Rex and Christina are also the people behinf the magnificent Big Stir Project, both this album and the monthly showcase. You can listen to and buy that album here and find out more about the band here.

Los Angeles's The Living Dolls are a newer band to these ears and they are right up my street. It may be how UK influenced they appear or my love of Psych Pop, but whatever it is, I love what they are doing.

You can listen to more from the band here. Four of the songs are available as free downloads.

You can find out more about the Big Stir Compilation here.

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