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Indie Pop / Experimental Pop / Electro-Pop

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John Foxx And The Maths
Interplay

More serious business coming my way. This time it's a collaboration between John Foxx (Ultravox) and producer Benge (synth power nerd) who are going all out with the analogue synths on 'Interplay'. There's a lot of boring nerd talk in the press release about how the album was recorded and what was used to achieve the desired results but today th...view item »

Adventure
Lesser Known

Adventure is the work of Baltimore resident and Wham City associate Benny Boeldt. Not familiar with his 2008 self-titled debut but from what I've heard of 'Lesser Known' I'm confident that this lad's got the skills. Boeldt looks to 80's music and video game culture for his influences and, as a result, 'Lesser Known' sounds like a retro-futurist ...view item »

Danielson
Best Of Gloucester County

Those who stumbled across the trailer for 'A Family Movie'  - a 2006 film about the ongoing multi limbed sprawl known as 'Danielson Famile' would have seen leader Daniel Smith performing in front of baffled onlookers dressed as a tree. They would have also been aware of the slightly disarming religious undertones to their ...view item »

Lake
Giving and Receiving

While not as musically interesting as Lake's other releases, this album's lyrics have a little more occasional bite to them as well as a bit more humour. There are not a lot of surprises on this album if you've already listened to the band, but it is nonetheless a nice addition to their previous works, offering more enjoyable lo-fi odes to bette...view item »

The Human League
Credo

Credo is not The Human League's best work but it is also not their worst. It falls somewhere in the middle. At first listen, I did not like Credo, but with repeated listening, I began to hear the hooks. The production isn't nearly top notch as Secrets is, but it isn't horrendous. This is a great album from Human League, more modern but matured. ...view item »

Erland & The Carnival
Nightingale

I know these have been kicking about for ages but I think this is the first time I've actually heard them. They're better than I thought they'd be! Way better actually. I mean, apparently the first album was Paul Weller's album of the year.. Not exactly the kind of accolade which generally gets me sprinting to the turntable but now I can see tha...view item »

Broadcast and The Focus Group
Investigate Witch Cults Of The Radio Age

For the last couple of days I've had the phrase 'all circles vanish' reverberating around my mind and it's all the fault of Broadcast and The Focus Group Investigate Witch Cults of the Radio Age, in which our titular heroes form like Voltron to produce a postmodern take on classically British psychedelic sounds, from Wicker Man-esque acid folk t...view item »

Starfucker
Reptilians

Band leader Josh Hodges has stated that he wanted to see how big a band could get with a name like “Starfucker”. With the release of the group’s third album Reptilians we could hopefully see them achieve more fame than Hodges though. Reptilians continues with the synth/pop musings that Starfucker are oh so good at producing. Le...view item »

First Love, Last Rites
First Love, Last Rites

Whats in a name? Well a lot actually. These lot have a terrible one that immediately puts you off but I suppose My Bloody Valentine could take some getting used to (more of them later). But put the needle on the record and this thing is pretty impressive, yeah the first track isn't up to much and yes its hugely derivative but be patient there's ...view item »

Mirrors
Lights and Offerings

I happened across Mirrors by accident, listening to an indie label's online station. On Lights and Offerings there isn't a song I would skip over on a long drive and that is saying something. The music builds and swirls and takes you on a ride, while keeping your feet tapping, and your heart happy. It's old school and new school in the best poss...view item »

Disconcerts
Human Figure In Motion/Chance Remark

Disconcerts are without a doubt my favorite new band, and this is a good example of why. The strange, post beat drumming, the spoken word vocals hiding just below the surface... it has it all. ...view item »

John Foxx & Louis Gordon
Crash and Burn (Deluxe Edition)

The John Foxx of the first Ultravox! record, of the mid-1970s, and the earlier Tiger Lily recordings, is fully present here; the vocal delivery, the music/arrangements, sound and the lyrics still send chills up this spine. The album's one weak spot is the odd "Ray 1/Ray 2" which sounds like the Silicon Teens all growed up. Why it's on this album...view item »

Vvolves
Vvolves EP

Apparently Ant used to "get given" all the Welsh bands because he "understood them" more. This was always amusing as he'd sit in his little chair, head in hands, trying to make sense of some feeble jangly dirge with wet lyrics whilst we all rolled around laughing. This may have only happened once or twice but it was so funny it may well have hap...view item »

The Go! Team
Rolling Blackouts

We rinsed the hell out of that first Go! Team album in this office. I used to love to DJ with that Huddle Formation tune especially, what a party banger that was! I dunno how often their exclamation mark gets used, I keep forgetting they've got one! They've a third album outnow, I never even heard the second installment! Look how I keep on s...view item »

Jason Urick
Husbands

Husbands shows off more of the beauty in Jason Urick's cold ambient leanings. His solo debut under his own name after work with WZT Hearts, it's an attempt at creating accessible "pop" music in a framework of droning fog. Further proof of Baltimore's thriving experimental scenes and the strangely affectionate sounds that can come f...view item »

James Blake
James Blake

Oh shit, I got the man of the year, I better be goddamn respectful! That Klavierwerk EP was definitely a masterstroke in post-club dynamism & stunning downtempo bliss. I'm thoroughly loving some of the musical tricks he employs on this, his much-heralded eponymous debut. He makes very interesting moves in the "beats department", playing outs...view item »

The Phoenix Foundation
Buffalo

Fuck, this is mellow as. Not one to lift your flagging insomniac mind-body (dis)construct in the mid-afternoon but quite nice nonetheless with its gently driving, lightly psych-prog flavoured indie pop-rock shizzle. I feel like I used too many hyphens there but never-mind. It's a sunny-sounding (COCK!), expansively produced record from start to ...view item »

Various
Cold Waves And Minimal Electronics Vol. 1

Attention those that have been busting moves to 'The Minimal Wave Tapes' compilation on Stones Throw. Angular Recordings have a super smart collection out that digs up a load of old 80's gear in a similar vein. You may well be familiar with a few of the names on here like Absolute Body Control and The Neon Judgement. Oh yeah I'm totally digging thi...view item »

Fujiya & Miyagi
Ventriloquizzing

I am a huge fan of Fujiya & Miyagi's breakout compilation, Transparent Things, and though Lightbulbs managed to push the band in a slightly new direction, it lacked the tight songwriting and general groove of its predecessor. Stylistically, this album is less varied than Lightbulbs, lacking that record's softer side, but the new songs simply...view item »

Sun Airway
Nocturne of Crystal Exploded Chandelier

Philadelphia debut from former members of the A-Sides. Light and breezy, their sound is similar on all the tracks. I don't mean that in a bad way, such as Gary Puckett and the Union Gap. The music is ambient and makes for great mood music. The vocals are fairly well drowned out by the music, that it might as well not be there as it serves more o...view item »

The Internal Tulips
Mislead Into A Field By A Deformed Deer

This is the work of Brad Laner (Electric Company/ Personal Electronics/ Savage Republic) and Alex Graham (Lexaunculpt/ Medicine). This is basically an experimental pop record inspired by the Beach Boys and The Beatles with added laptop trickery. It really does work as they use the technology really well, not over doing things but adding that extra ...view item »

Coasting
Coasting

Another cover that fools, rollerskates would suggest something more upbeat and danceable, what you get is three minutes of fizzing, fuzzy fun with a slightly gloomy edge. The guitars recall Interpol, the drums Jesus and Mary Chain era Gillespie but the overall feel is closer to Black Tambourine, Shop Assistants or any female fronted noisy indie ...view item »

The Magnetic Fields
Get Lost

Not quite as dark, and therefore not quite as affecting, as The Charm of the Highway Strip, Get Lost is still a worthy release that needs to be heard. There are some jaw-dropping moments of brilliance ("Why I Cry", "Love is Lighter Than Air", "The Dreaming Moon"), but there are also a couple of sub-par (for Stephin Merritt, at least) tunes such ...view item »

Outer Limits Recordings
Julie

Sam Mehran a.k.a. Sam Meringue returns with another dose of Outer Limits Recordings fun. 'Julie' is Meringue's British power pop ballad that dwells on dramatic themes of love/suicide/reincarnation etc. By comparison to previous O.L.R. releases this effort is very much consistent with the concept of a proper pop song, featuring coherent vocals an...view item »

Banjo or Freakout
105 / Dead In The Snow

This single from Banjo or Freakout is like being rocked to sleep by Hightower from Police Academy. It's gentle yet oddly stoic. It can also throw pigskins at you and catching it will propel you through a wall. It reminds me of Grandaddy. It's psychedelic and quite folky and it doesn't do anything offensive enough to make you hate it. It also has...view item »

Eux Autres
Broken Bow

The Larimer siblings third LP has more of a flourish about it than earlier recordings, adding a touch of professionalism to the band's bouncy, sixties styled indiepop with dashing results. Heather's vocal contributions as ever steal the show, with single 'You're Alight' packing an emotional punch, the insistent repeated title and cascading piano...view item »

Shrag
Life! Death! Pizes!

Shrag's debut album proper (following an earlier singles collection) is largely composed of scabrous post-punk pop, leavened by singer Helen King's infectious yelping vocals and her imaginative literary wordplay. The lyric sheet is one of the most important parts of any Shrag record (attention, downloaders), where the full nuances of King's inte...view item »

Black Math
Phantom Power

When I first laid my Melton Mobray pies (eyes) on this LP I totally thought I was going to be dragged kicking and screaming into the darkest bowels of mans domain. It looked as much fun as a weekend hanging out with Quentin Wilson and an industrial sized bucket of Swarfega. Thankfully it isn't. This three piece do have a dark sound that does hav...view item »

Gary Wilson
Electric Endicott

This is, I think his strongest collection of songs yet. The album flits back and forth between jazzy avant garde piano tunes against a floating rhythm but the pop tunes are just magnificent. Very loudly mixed bass but flawless lines... that trademark 'Gary sound' is present. Based on this, I hope he doesn't stop making new ones. Not many people kno...view item »

Casiotone for the Painfully Alone
Vs Children

Casiotone for the painfully alone is the work of singer/songwriter Owen Ashworth and 'Vs. children' is his fifth studio album proper. The first thing I notice is the suspicious absence of Casio keyboards on the record. In fact I'm not hearing any electronic keyboard tones, what's up with that? I'm confused? Okay, so he's still tinkling the ivories ...view item »

Small Black
New Chain

I'm 38. My mum and dad are extremely proud I've lasted this long. I'm still bang up to date though - have just checked my Twitters and am listening to 'chillwave'. This is a movement of groups who sound like the best of the 1980's tail end of Yacht Rock put through some kind of digitized blender. I had a stand up row with a friend (aged 43) abou...view item »

Belle and Sebastian
Write About Love

They really are a silly bunch aren't they? They have one of the most distinctive singers in the world yet the opener is sung (albeit adeptly) by someone else. Eventually Stuart Murdoch makes an appearance half way through but its too late, the song is reasonably good but it could be anyone. Things don't improve too much by track 2 with its ...view item »

Runaround Kids
No Dreams / Falling Into Better hands

The Runaround Kids really look like kids, little guys starting out in the world... One of them is even pictured on the sleeve with a broken leg which he probably incurred skateboarding or partaking in a dance-off or whatever it is kids do before they start drinking and wasting their lives on work and casual observation. 'No Dreams' reminds me of...view item »

Chief
Modern Rituals

Very good songs, skilfully crafted, and pleasing harmonies. The album's closing song, "Night and Day" is one that will really hook you and not let go. Overall, this is not exactly the "70s rock" influence that I had heard about, but you'll find plenty of very good songs that could fit in almost any recent era of modern rock. The music sometimes ...view item »

Drums Of Death
Generation Hexed

Drums of Death's debut, Generation Hexed, starts with the harmonic chorus of "Karaoke" before plunging into the chanting rock-synth pop hybrid of "Science & Reason," which sounds as if it would right at home on the DFA label. The synths at the start of "Won't Be Long" seem to have been beamed in from an early 90s rave, while the piano of "Lo...view item »

Of Montreal
False Priest

When did Of Montreal get so big? I'm not entirely sure what happened to make 'em as popular. It can't just be that the sister of Beyonce is a big fan. There's got to be more to it than that? well if you plunder the depths of their back catalogue you'll find some choice morsels (including the single I released knocking on 10 years ago which was s...view item »

Housse De Racket
Forty Love (Bonus Remix Edition)

Most of the songs have a very similar sound; you've heard one, you've heard them all. There isn't a lot of variation and the music becomes a bit repetitive after a while. This is the sort of album I imagine most people would either love or hate. If you like the sound, then this is going to be two hours of sonic fun. If you don't, then the music wil...view item »

M.I.A.
MAYA

Just got back from a festival on Monday & was totally elated yet utterly fried. All I wanted to do was have a cuppa & aimlessly watch clips on YouTube. Stumbled somehow onto a page chocka with promo clips for MIA's previous hit singles, got to 'Paper Planes' & after a minute just started sobbing with amazement at how good she is. Wel...view item »

Clubfeet
Gold On Gold

I heard a remix of Edge of Extremes 2 years ago. I was impressed with the track recently and decided to look them up. I found that the album with the original track from 2010 is really a beautiful melodic sensitive album full of beautiful electro-pop and laid back almost quasi day disco tracks. They remind me of Poolside, Yeasayer, Capital citie...view item »

Paul Collins
King of Power Pop!

Do not judge and album by its cover. Yes, the cover to this is little better than early '90s clip art but the music is much better. Paul Collins has quite a musical CV. He was in The Nerves, the band that did the original version of "Hanging On The Telephone". He was in The Breakaways, who were famous-ish for their song "Walking Out On Love" and...view item »

Matthew Dear
Black City

The first time I clocked this record was actually by Matthew Dear I was shocked. I've not heard him do this dark experimental pop stuff before. It's a sort of blend of synth/ electro pop with some funky basslines and catchy hooks and some darker disco elements. A few of the tracks feel sorta sleazy and although there is a little dancefloor appea...view item »

PVT
Church With No Magic

Now these Aussie's return with a snappily abbreviated moniker & some considerably stronger songs than before. Formerly named Pivot, they've hit upon that hinterland between ambient electronica, post-rock, prog soundtrack & even sleazy 70's electro-rock such as Suicide (or Gazza Numan!). The ideas on this new album veer between the antiqu...view item »

Light Pollution
Apparitions

Light Pollution are a four piece rock band from Chicago who dabble in a modern form of indie rock, encapsulating elements of psychedelia, Indie pop and, to a lesser extent, Chillwave and other such post modern genres. In essence they are a well produced and fairly bankable sounding indie indie. Their press release compares them to Animal Collect...view item »

Battle
The Longest Time

Ant here with the latest 7" on the highly collectable Transgressive imprint. It's been a wee while since we had anything from Battle. 'The Longest Time' has moments that remind me of a less Oasis sounding Kasabian. It's catchier than a dose of clamidia at the indie disco. This comes in hand printed sleeve. By that I mean the sleeve actually ha...view item »

Agent Simple
Shaking An Egg

More indie! Good lord! Gothenberg's Agent Simple are up for perusal now with their 'Shaking an Egg' 7" EP. Now this is really cool. Nice sing-song girly lyrics with a bittersweet content, joyous kitchen sink percussion, maracas, whistling, that lovely old shambling, chiming guitar that Half Man Half Biscuit used to deliver. The second track ha...view item »

Pioneers
Out Of Here

Sometimes I really can't be arsed reviewing indie records. There's too many of them that are woefully average. Most of the tunes I buy these days are predominantly electronic. That's not cos I've gone off guitars. Perish the thought! I've never listened to Pixies as much in my life. The thrill hasn't gone of hearing an original & s...view item »

Mystery Jets
Serotonin

Apparently this old producer duffer called Chris Thomas has been roped in to make Mystery Jets 3rd album sound all uber-flash & proper rockin' and that. He was the man behind 'Anarchy in the UK', something which he probably bolds in uppercase on his CV. It was a pretty mighty sounding record. 33 fucking years ago. 'Serotonin' is a varied sou...view item »

Saloon
If We Meet In The Future

Todays indie stars just don't seem to have the same brazen disregard for fashion sense & drug laws. Saloon are either named after a nice family sized car of somewhere you get your hair done if yer a lady. Or even a drinking hole in the old wild west like in them John Wayne films. 'If We Meet In The...view item »

The S-1 Committee
Ref. #: 13.841

Now the S-1 Committee with their debut album REF.#13.841. The vocals are recorded in the toilet school of reverb and dominate the mix making it sound a bit psychedelic like Jesus and the Mary Chain. It's a pretty DIY album which touches on cheeky pop disguised beneath a wave of atonal vocals that struggle to hit the right notes. If I was Simon Cowe...view item »

Patrick Kelleher
You Look Colder – Remixes

I recall reviewing the original album from this very seat, almost a year ago. I must say back then I wouldn't have imagined a set of remixes being released as I'm really unsure how that sort of material lends itself to the process. Although I guess that depends which remixers are on board. I'm only familiar with a few of these folks: Skinny Wolv...view item »

Beach House
Teen Dream

Silky dream pop duo Beach House combine subliminal guitar melodies with flickering programmed drums into closely knotted pop songs that wrap up around the listener. Teen Dream is a high watermark of their career, a quietly massive record that feels at once widescreen and whispered....view item »

Hexicon
The Blossom Sighs

These guys are friends with Moustache of Insanity which makes them good guys in my book. Hexicon are a good time twee indie pop outfit. That means they've got the light touch you'd expect whilst knowing their way around a simple, beautiful pop ditty. They have more than likely got a soft spot for The Beach Boys, classic girl groups, foppish indi...view item »

Grovesnor
Soft Return

On Soft Return, an enjoyable homage to light rock and blue eyed soul of the early 80s, Grovesnor offers an album's worth of 80s romantic comedy soundtrack singles which his band skillfully delivers with authenticity, often besting the material of source inspiration. The deal-breaker for many listeners will be the cheese factor. The artist can't hel...view item »

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