So the South African government decided that a third of us could go back to work after a 7 week ‘hiatus’.
So off I went, actually quite excited to put the shirt and tie back on again, get a little kiss ta ta from my lady-wife and trundle off to the office with my face masked up like a dandy highwayman. I even put up with being sprayed/sanitised 19 times per metre by grumpy security men in full face visor riot gear every time I dared to step foot out of my office.
Of course, after a day or two of being scowled at by my boss (I wonder if vicious scowls can defeat my masked defences and transmit COVID-19 due to there sheer nastiness) I was missing the days of being at home, listening to excessive music and giggling at the conspiracy theorist Facebook nutters, who, with plainly too much time on their hands, had convinced themselves that the Corona Virus was in fact just a ruse for the various Governments of the world to impose communism upon us.
Thankfully the following music still got to me despite my ‘work incarceration’. As such I implore you to back any of the following artists that appeal to you with any spare shekels that the world’s quest for Communism has not already removed from your bank accounst to swell state coffers and/or give them as much social media love as possible, before the Commies take that way from you as well !
Street Hockey Champ
Track: Another Day in Paradise From: Another Day in Paradise (single) Label: Self released Out: Now
Describing themselves in various social media as either ‘twang rock’ or ‘soft rock / twang-pop, this Seattle 4-piece seem prone to the sort of self-deprecation that their music certainly does not deserve…one of my favourite singles of the year so far!
Track: The Bargain From: Cold Bedrooms (album) Label: Self released Out: Now
Falling somewhere between Foliage style dream-pop textures and the more jangle-gazed inflections of The BV’s, this Toronto based duo have no real right to be so beautifully accomplished on a debut!
Track: Ricky From: Postromantic (EP) Label: Fallen Tree Records Out: Now
Equal parts Banshees post-punk sprawl and Britpop chanteuse’ strength (think Elastica / Republica), this Toronto based act represent the best of the modern jangly post-punk sound.
Track: World From: World (single) Label: Self released Out: Now
The Spotify bio describes their aesthetic as ‘creates a collage of sounds encompassing shoegaze, post-rock, psych-rock and late 90’s indie’. All of this is spot on…although I would have added ‘Elefant style jangle’ into the mix as well, just for good measure.
A truly great juxtaposition of sound, from this Ontario based four-piece.
Track: People Are Changing From: People Are Changing (single) Label: Self released Out: Now
Moonguys style production and washed out vocal delivery, married to an aesthetic that is ultimately content to build ambience out of jangled riffs, Oakey is an understated act that has the potential to excite fans of both alt-pop and jangle pop genre’s.
Alex The Astronaut
Track: Lost From: The Theory of Absolutely Nothing (album) Label: Nettwerk Out: Album out in August 2020
The folk-pop inflections of Courtney Barnett mixed with that slight sense of dreamy Poppongene leftfield. Sydney based Alex The Astronaut (Alexandra Lynn) has that hard to replicate knack of making every song sound as if she has penned it solely for your personal attention.
Track: I’m A Loser From: I’m A Loser (single) Label: Self released Out: Now
Essentially mixing psych-rock and that baggy essence of World of Twist style 1990’s. Multi-instrumentalist Phil Danyew takes his Elephant Castle solo project back to the most righteous of retro sounds.
Gold Star Gold Star
Track: If You Only Knew From: Introducing…Gold Star Gold Star (album) Label: Earth Libraries Out: Later in the year
Coursing rich, Alpine Subs style 60’s melodies, through the swirling indie distance of a Lemon Twigs style band, this duo consisting of Adam Miller and Adam Obermeier, evoke all manner of jangly indie folk precious….another winner for an Earth Libraries label that is becoming increasingly essential.
Track: Here Comes The Sun #1 (radio edit) From: Here Comes The Sun #1 (single) Label: The Future Sound of Stockholm Out: Now
I am nothing if not consistent in my pleasures. This Stockholm based act easily gave me aural pleasure with their 60’s sunshine pop melodies coursing through subtle modern psyche. A truly beautiful aesthetic.
A Festival, A Parade
Track: Big Screen TV From: Big Screen TV (single) Label: Self released Out: Now
Huge, euphoric aesthetic from a Newcastle, UK based foursome who add jangly, fuzz laden bombast, to their RVG style theatre. Indie rock at it’s finest.
Track: Tunnel Vision From: Tunnel Vision (single) Label: Self released Out: Now
Mid 90’s The Verve style indie, mixed with all the jangly propensitites that fuzz/gaze laden acts like Slowdive conveyed. Many bands have tried with this essence of late, however the two singles released in 2020 by this LA based show these new kids have the potentail to be the best around.
Track: Burn My Fingers From: Burn My Fingers (single) Label: Self released Out: Now
Wake in June style jangled vibrancy, wrapped in that slight air of melancholy that suggest at a slight nod to late 80’s, anglophile post-punk. For a sophomore single this is a truly accomplished sound from the solo project of Vinny Ball.
Track: The Waves From: The Waves (single) Label: Self released Out: Now
All sun laden hooks, psychedelic suggestion and lusicious 60’s melodies, Liverpool based Ali Horn adds to the city’s pop tradition.
Track: Love From: Love (single) Label: Self released Out: Now
Equal parts Tracey Thorn and Alice Phoebe Lou (in her ‘She’ guise) this German / Austrian duo have the potential to inject beautiful, new, jangly breath into minimalist art pop.
Track: Every New Mistake From: Every New Mistake (single) Label: Self released Out: Now
Evoking aural comparison to Murmur era R.E.M, this Turin, Italy based foursome provide a surprisng source of the most ‘proper’ of college rock.
West Coast Music Club
Track: If I Had A Dream From: All That I Wanted (EP) Label: 72 RPM Records Out: Now
Weaving fuzz-pop inferences through the janglier end of all things college rock and power-pop, this frequently (personnel) changing, Martin Adams led collaborative have produced their best yet.
Wild Cat Strike
Track: Swamp From: Mustard Colured Years (single) Label: Small Pond Recordings Out: Now
Beguiling mix of leftfield Pavement style jangle and the post rock inflections of Modest Mouse, layered under the leftfield vocal style that Conor Oberst rejected when he becase trendy. This is a track that drags you deep into full engagement.