Thursday, December 31, 2009

the twee pop soul of 2009, pt. 2: the more none more twee mixtape

Part two of the NMT's looking back at 2009 mixtape is filled with the same kind of sweet goodness that reminds me of why I like pop music, indie pop of this nature specifically. Every song here has the kind of hooks, tunes and melodies that make for great pop, but there is an underlying warmth and soul to them that you might not find quite so easily elsewhere. I don't say this to be some kind of indie pop elitist, I mean Drake's So Far Gone is probably my favortite record of the year, for pete's sake. I really just say it because when I listened to each one of these songs for the first (and tenth) time I was both flooded with nostalgia and overwhelmed with that new love feeling all at once. It's a weird but totally awesmoe sensation, and it's something I'll keep chasing until the end. I hope you find something here that gives you that same kind of feeling. If not, maybe you'll like something on Vol. 3.....

The Brunettes - "Red Rollerskates"
Lake Heartbeat - "Mystery"
Fitness Forever - "Monica"
Pants Yell! -"Someone Loves You"
Tender Trap - "Fireworks"
The Pocketbooks - "Footsteps"
The Drums - "Let's Go Surfing"
Veronica Falls - "Found Love in a Graveyard"
Lacrosse - "We Are Kids"
The Blanche Hudson Weekend - "Crying Shame"
The Voluntary Butler Scheme - "FFFoolish"
Internet Forever - "Break Bones"
The Pastels & Tenniscoats - "Boats"
The Crayon Fields - "All the Pleasures of the World"
The Online Romance - "Ladybug, Don't Smile"

Pants Yell! are so excited that you can DL it here!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

the twee pop soul of 2009, pt. 1: the none more twee mixtape

It's getting near the end of the year and looking back, I realize it's been a very good year for indie pop. AGAIN! Seems like a good time to put a playlist together of some of the songs that made me catch my breath, lose my shit, and totally go crushy like a silly kid. From the smoothed out sounds of the Clientele and Giorgio Tuma to the fuzzed sugar of Big Troubles, the precisely arranged loveliness of Lucky Soul to the ramshackle preciousness of Get Back Guinozzi!, these songs are the soundtrack to my 2009. Well, part one of it anyway.

The Magic Kids - "Hey Boy"
Afternoon Naps - "Catholic School"
Lucky Soul - "Whoa Billy
Al, Marc & Sandy - "Mike"
Cola Jet Set - "El Sueño de mi Vida"
Giorgio Tuma - "Let's Make the Stevens Cake!!!
Summer Cats - "In June"
Burning Hearts - "I Lost My Colour Vision"
Big Troubles - "Freudian Slips"
Bricolage - "Turn U Over"
The Clientele - "I Wonder Who We Are"
Sambassadeur - "Days"
Camera Obscura - "French Navy" (live on BBC 6 Music)
Get Back Guinozzi - "Where Are You"
Liechtenstein - "Postcard"

Get the mix HERE!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

second summer jamz: cineplexx - mejor (copacabana mix)

The temp is balmy today and I'm in the mood for some laid back and lovely la la las's. Thanks to Spain's excellent Cineplexx, I was able to find exactly the right thing. This track comes from a recent collection of tracks released by Cherry Red called Nuevahola. I need to track it down ASAP!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

warding off the cold with sweetheart autumn jams

I don't know about you but round here the leaves are turned all shades of red and seem about ready to plunge to earth. The nights are getting colder, the wind is starting to bite and the sun isn't doing much of that warming thing we like so well. I guess once the leaves fall and we can go crunching through them hand in hand, then we'll have something good to report. Until then how about some perfectly autumnal songs to warm our hearts and extremities.

Safe Home - "Me & the Bees"
I know of no song more qualified to raise lowered temperatures just enough to gently melt the oncoming frost than the Softies' "Me & the Bees" and this cover by Safe Home (who used to be half of the Nightblooms) almost, almost, almost tops the original.

The Young Tradition - "California Morning"
This stunningly rich and toasty warm song is heated up by liberal use of 12-string guitars and the sweet vocals of Brent Kenji (who was in the much-missed Fairways.) Dude could sing just about anything and make it sound like birds and angels and stuff, when he has a tune this good it's pretty magical.

The Orange Peels - "California Blue"
I guess the cold has me longing for someplace warm like California. Or at least a track that sounds like the early 2000's US equivalent of Prefab Sprout or the Trashcan Sinatras. This record it comes from (Circling the Sun) is probably the highlight of Allen Clapp's long career as an indie popper. He's done plenty of cool stuff so that means it's a good, good record.

The Autumn Defense - "The World (Will Soon Turn Our Way)"
The best defense against autumn is a good offense. Try swelling strings, the drums from "Everybody's Talking", a voice as inviting as that dude out of America who didn't sound like Neil Young, and heartstring-plucking vocal harmonies. (Man, you have to have vocal harmonies! Don't forget!!) If you do it all just right like these guys did, you just might make it, Cookie.

Richard Davies - "Stars"
He was one half of Cardinal, leader of the Moles, made some really fine solo albums for Sub Pop and Kindercore and now he's doing nothing as far as i can tell. Sucks big time - I miss you RD! This lovely song has the kind of chorus that makes your throat swell up a little the first time you hear it, so simple (just the word "stars" repeated over and over) but so powerful. Most of his stuff was a little off-kilter and for lack of a better word "psychedelic" (geez, I feel like a tool for having just said that...) but this cuts through the weirdness and kicks you in the heart.

Note: Songs not sold separately - Must be DL'd in a bunch here.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

more summer jams of summer

Summer is feeling pretty over. For example, saw my breath last night when I was out walking around. Dammit! I'm not ready for autumn jams of the autumn yet. Are you? Let's pretend the summer will never end. Let's pretend the sun will warm our golden skin and bleach our hair blond all year round. Let's pretend the jangle and chirp of summer jams will ring in our ears forever. Let's rock it out (gently) one last time for the sun, the heat and the carefree nonsense of summer before the chill of autumn turns our blood to icy tears.

The Crêpes - "What Else"

Jim Reid & Sister Vanilla - "Song for a Secret"

Toro Y Moi - "Blessa"

Rubies - "Diamonds on Fire" (Pyramid Dub Version by Sorcerer)

Friday, August 28, 2009

beauty jamz

(cross-posted from start small)

Yes, this is really happening right now!

Summer is ending and it is wonderful. Hop in a canoe and fly a kite...but before you do, strap this nifty tune by Strega to your lugs.

Strega are a sweet little indie pop group from New York. Naturally! I mean, really, would I post anything other than pop perfection?

(A: No, I would not.)

They sound like candy flowers and circus peanuts and teenage anticipation. Summer is ending and we are all about it, yes!

mp3: Strega: You Will Kiss Her

Monday, August 24, 2009

none more summer playlist

Summer has been a non-stop blast around NMT headquarters this year. I just haven't felt the need to break up the fun by posting anything. Until now, I guess. See, I've been collecting a decent sized archive of summer jams of the pop variety this year and I think it's only fair to make sure both of you have heard the best of them. Plz mix and match with your favorite cool beverage while partaking in a friendly game of croquet.

Lake Heartbeat - "Mystery"

Al, Marc & Sandy - "Mike"

The Crayon Fields - "All the Pleasures of the World"

Computer Perfection - "Able Archer"

The Online Romance - "Ladybug, Don't Smile"

The Magic Kids - "Good to Me"

Lacrosse - "We Are Kids"

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

juniper moon - sólo una sonrisa

old skool Elefant is teh titz!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

fitness forever - mondo fitness

ELEFANT!!! VALDERRAMA!!! FITNESS!!! It's all coming together this summer in a big way!!!

Friday, June 12, 2009

ever heard of los fresones rebeldes?

I hadn't! (Margaret had though. She made the thrilling initial discovery!) They are really good. I guess their guitar player is now in Cola Jet Set, which is probably why that band is so good! Here's a couple videos by this lost and lamented Spanish pop band:

Hear more here!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

the lodger - i think i need you

smart looking lads and lass making smart pop jams. what could be better?

from new single on Elefant.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

beach party?

Every time I get to thinking that there could never be a girl group-y sounding song I couldn't love, I remember Donna Loren's cringe-inducing "It Only Hurts When I Cry" from that cinematic masterpiece Beach Blanket Bingo. Sheesh, it's so bad it even made Deadhead cry..oh, wait, he's chopping onions! Hilarious....

Can it please be summer soon?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

weekend - summerdays & woman's eyes

Alison Statton! So good, so sweet. Listening to "Summerdays" is like drinking a tall glass of sunshine. No, it's more like taking an orange, slicing it in half and squeezing it directly into your face. Hmm, would that even be pleasurable?

Go here for more on Alison.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

camera obscura - let's get out of this country

Now this is how you make a video! No make-up, no models, no locales. Just the band being sweet and simple. Nice shots of their gear, Tracyanne looks great, lovely luggage too. I want to be in this band!!

Of course, I'm still super stoked for the new album. Despite the not awesome nature of the "French Navy" video, it's still a beautiful song. That part where she sings"ooh" in the middle makes my knees all weak.

Friday, March 6, 2009

friday night giddy as ducks quick mix

Big Audio Dynamite - "Rush"
YMCK - "Starlight"
La Casa Azul - "Cerca De Shibuya"
Air France - "Collapsing at Your Doorstep"
The Avalanches - "A Different Feeling" (Paperclip People Remix)
Checkmate - "Disco Groove"
Exile - "Your Summer Song"
Rubies - "I Feel Electric"

or here.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

sunday night deep cutz dance party

It may not be the best night of the week for a dance party but sometimes you have to just say funkit up, junkit up, and dance, girl!

Alvin Stardust - "My Coo Ca Choo"
Hacienda - "She's Got a Hold on Me"
The Voluntary Butler Scheme - "FFFoolish"
The Nitty Sextette - "Nitty Boo Boo"
Higamos Hogamos - "B'aby"
Thieves Like Us - "Drugs In My Body"
Jens Lekman - "Sipping On The Sweet Nectar (Bogdan Irkük's Love Nectar Mix)"
Glass Candy - "Geto Boys"

Or junkit

Monday, February 23, 2009

Sunday, February 22, 2009

sunday morning disco jamz

How about some laid-back sunday morning disco jamz for the whole crew?

Donny Osmond - I Can't Put My Finger On It
Kid Creole & the Coconuts - Double On Back
Universal Robot Band - Dance and Shake Your Tamborine
The Cansecos - Raised by Wolves
Lou Courtney - What Do You Want Me to Do
Rainbow Team - Dreaming
Weldon Irvine - We Gettin' Down
Diego Bernal - Velcro Flow

Monday, February 16, 2009

the shop assistants - i don't want to be friends with you

Hey Vivian Girls - call me when you have a song this awesmoe.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

pastel collision - wherever you go, take me with you

This long distance dedication goes out to my sweetheart. Save a valentine kiss for me!

I totally forgot about Pastel Collision. They aren't half bad.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

quick mix - sisters are forever

This quick mix goes out to all the ladies here tonight! We've been batting some pretty heavy theory around today at NMT (like kittens and a ball of yarn we are) but when it comes down to it, it's all about the music for me. Not the branding, the genre-fication or the marketing plan. None of that silly junk! It only matters that the singer and song join together perfectly in that amazing way that can melt you from a mile away. These singers and these songs do the trick quite nicely. I can almost feel my fingers for the first time all day even!

Bobby Baby - "Bobby"
Camera Obscura - "Last Song"
Aislers Set - "Long Division (Peel Session)"
Wendy & Bonnie - "You Keep Hanging Up on My Mind"
The Nightblooms - "Never Dream At All"
The Royalettes - "Blue Summer"
A Sunny Day In Glasgow - "Hugs & Kisses (Theme From A Sunny Day In Glasgow)"
El Perro Del Mar - "Somebody's Baby"

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

the songs that made me twee: nrbq - i want you bad

NRBQ is a very weird band and my feelings about them are complicated. Sometimes they bug me because they are so jazz-y and out to lunch, sometimes they leave me cold because they have chops. Geez, chops are the worst! Once in a great while though, they pull the most amazing sweetheart pop songs out of their wigs and it makes me think that they could have been one of the great pop bands ever if they had been content to stay away from the outer space jazz and down home boogie. "I Want You Bad" is the song that makes me love them, misgivings and all. The melody is so warm, the vocals so yearning and heartbreakingly open-hearted that even the very clever guitar solos don't spoil the party. I wish there was a video of them doing the song in their hairy, scary heyday of the mid-70's. The best I can do is to ask you to please listen to this song, it'll put a smile on your face and calm your midnight fever. It's working wonders for me right now...

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

sweetheart mp3's: the motifs, mapc

(cross-posted from start small)

Please become a fan of the Motifs. I have a feeling that they need more listeners stateside. They sound like a gentle mish-mash of the Pastels, Birdie, the Owls, and the Charade. Something like that. Breezy Australian pop for frosty nights and summertime hearts:

(mp3) Diagonal -- The Motifs

(mp3) Tell Me More -- The Motifs

(mp3) Backwards -- The Motifs

My love for the Math and Physics Club is as pure as the driven snow. It is my contention that "April Showers" is one of their best songs ever. You'll have to visit the band's MySpace profile in order to hear it, however. Enjoy this stuff in the meantime:

(mp3) Darling Please Come Home -- Math and Physics Club

(mp3) Baby I'm Yours -- Math and Physics Club

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

betty and the werewolves - euston station

Betty and the Werewolves have got a lot going for them
Great band name. Great fashion sense. Great record label. Great song that makes me think of a cuddly Comet Gain or a brasher Lung Leg. In other words...pure awesmoeness! The video is pretty hott stuff too.