It’s a smaller bakers dozen of a list this time around. However, in between the middle trying to win the annual social media ‘just look how cute and wacky my perfect family is’ competition, with their pictures of matching family Xmas outfits and sleeping grandfathers being given Xmas bauble earrings, these musicisans were fulfilling their duty to the musical world in general and offering us some great music.
If only to reward them for being able to selflessly stop themselves revelling for a few hours in the the sheer brilliance of the above Xmas outfit / Grandad wackyness, please reward them with some social media love or a purchase of their music !!!
*I would love to chat all day, but I need to peel my alcoholic, middle class mum out of her Xmas outfit and poor enough sobering coffee inside her so that we can visit my sister in the rehab centre and drive past the house of the brother who has not spoken to us for 14 years…at least we got the Grandad bauble-earrings picture though !*
* I made all of this up as I exercised the poetic licence (lies) of a blogmaster to illustrate a point.
Track: Crater South Side From: Strange Flora (EP) Label: Backlight Records Out: Now
Dark and dense beauty, that could be open to accusations of country slide guitar proliferance if it was not so incredibly stunning. I am really not sure how anyone will truly describe this sound, so it is probably just best not to worry about such things and simply let the sounds of this New York duo wash through you.
Did You Die
Track: Into You From: Diamond Heights (EP) Label: self released Out: Now
Vancouver based act who gravitate towards the more lucid end of shoegaze vocals and mix these with jangled riffs that flutter between genuine melodies and chiming resonance. This act could be all things to everyone who like the dreamier side of gaze.
Track: Respire From: Infinite Lions (album) Label: self released Out: Now
Pleasingly difficult to assign a definitive genre too, this New York based musical collective / track, feels like the darkest version of The Lightning Seeds sound mixed with layers of subtle fuzz and dream-pop. A truly beguiling juxtaposition led by the husband and wife team of Nerissa and Lito Vales.
Track: Does it Bother You From: Does It Bother You (single) Label: self released Out: Now
Unusual, but incredibly compelling mix of post punk and dream-pop, that somehow manages to sound so precise despite the multi-layered musical attack and sense of lyrical existentialism / desperation. One of those tracks that you just cannot help becoming fully engrossed in.
Track: Spotlight From: When I Do, With The Polaroids, Fade (album) Label: Percolator Records Out: Now
Beautiful, jangly lo-fi, that swathes Elliott Smith tuneful melancolia with the best that left field Australiana has to offer. This Jared C. Edwards project presents some of the best guitar pop of the year.
Track: Back to Me From: Bystander (album) Label: Osborne Again Out: Album out 12.02.21
This Melbourne based act are never shy to adventure and excel in all manner of musical nuances. This, the flyer single from their 6th album, sees them perfect the most melodic cod-Americana sound you are ever likely to hear!
Track: Never Ending Memories From: Ordinary Films (EP) Label: Self released Out: Now
Sumptious dream-gaze from a Mexican five piece who seem to be able increase the beauty quotient with every subseqent release. After three wonderful EP’s in under two years, they just need to release a full length to ‘really arrive’.
Smoking Monkey Band
Track: Lucy From: Lucy (single) Label: Self released Out: Now
A Little Barrie / Reef style juxtaposition of blues inflected rock and all manner of psyche persuasions. It’s the muscular end of the guitar spectrum, but with enough melodic intent to keep us jangle-pop fans engaged.
Track: Fade From: Fade (single) Label: self released Out: Now
The jangliest sound of late 80s post-punk. Imagine an intensely pretty Joy Division where chiming riffs were more important than desolation…
Track: Something Sweet From: Candy (EP) Label: self released Out: Now
Lying somewhere equi-distant between slacker-pop, Charlie Duda style melodies and a sight propensity towards fuzz. Whatever ground lies between all of this is fully claimed by this Ryan Pickard solo project.
Track: Viale Bramante From: Viale Bramante (single) Label: self released Out: Now
William Tyler has recently restored my love for the whole ‘just a man and his guitar’ thing…and just like Tyler, Brahm invites you to imagine a 1000 words that could accompany such wonderful musicianship. Dark + headphones music.
Track: Bonsai From: Bonsai (single) Label: Backlight Records Out: Now
Imagine Tame Impala refusing to be engulfed by plumes of fluffy weirdness. What’s left is the gorgeous sun dappled, woozy, melodic intent of this Wes Eisenhauer bedroom-pop project.
Track: Houseplant From: Vague Days (single) Label: Poor Posture Recs Out: Now
Downtempo lo-fi, that excels in squeezing jangled beauty out of a pervading sense of downtrodden. It is acts like these that make a constant check on bedroom-pop so worthwhile.