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Indie Pop / Experimental Pop / Electro-Pop

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We Are Scientists

This time around the boys from Brooklyn come out with a masterful album, after the off-kilter Brain Thrust Mastery. Barbara combines the catchy punk-pop of With Love and Squalor with the pop 80's style they went for in their second album. Along for the ride is new drummer (and former Razorlight member) Andy Burrows. I'm not sure if the inclusion of...view item »

The Soft City
The Soft City

Missed Comet Gain last week, they were supporting The Clean in Brighton & I was ignorantly stuffing my chops with Tapas round the corner. Gutted! At least this Soft City CD may relieve the edge of disappointment clouding my brittle heart. I think it's summat to do with a CG member (Phil Sutton) and they're from NYC I believe. Comprising...view item »

Lily Allen
It's Not Me, It's You

The best fucking album ever made.................................................................................................. ...view item »

The Divine Comedy
Bang Goes The Knighthood

......"My Lovely Lovely Horse..riding through the field...where are you going with your fetlocks blowing in the wind..." These are probably my favourite lyrics by Neil Hannon. But with the new Divine Comedy album kissing my city earholes I might have to re-asses my ideas. The guy in my opinion is quite a genius and his merry band of musicians ar...view item »

Wounded Lion
Wounded Lion

Once I heard the first couple of tracks of this I played it all the way through, remembering "Hungry?" and finding "Creatures" much the same, but there is another vocalist and they stretched out a little more on the jammy areas. If a song like "Psycho Killer" drives you up a wall, go look at American Idol for some inspiration. If the cacophony of "...view item »

The Complete Short Stories
One Blank Channel

I like them big books of complete short stories. I'm dipping in and out of this chocka H.G. Wells one at the moment and it's well satisfying. If you're into your indie rock you'll find this single pretty satisfying too, I'm sure. I like this; there's something about the sweet, poppy female vocals combined with a slightly symphonic overall feel and ...view item »

Palm Springs
The Hope That Kills You

Don't know much about Palm Springs but it's obvious on first listen that these dudes ply their trade in emotive, sentimental and timeless pop music. Musically it's all rousing crescendos and heavy string arrangements which make for a sweeping, majestic selection of songs reminiscent of Tindersticks, Belle & Sebastian and Cranebuilders among oth...view item »

Beach House

Mingus would wish he was here to review the Beach House 'Devotion' CD. In his absence I'll give it a whirl... Okay this is sophisticated late night lounge pop that makes me think I'd get the best out of it wearing a polo neck in candle light with a fag in one of those big cigarette holders and a smoking jacket. The lads are comparing this dreamy or...view item »

Clare And The Reasons

There's a wonderful variety of lyrical and musical material here, mixing soft rock, pop, blues, cowboy songs, the Beatles, Beach Boys, even a moment of Ravel! Clare Manchon writes subtle, witty, and often poignant songs featuring sweet melodies and interesting harmonic structures...view item »

Los Campesinos
We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed

Ah, Los Campesinos!. Early birds of the 2000s NME heartbreak-tweecore indie scene, their success with university freshers up and down the country was all but sealed. 2008’s We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed, albeit a subradar piece knocked out half a year after the previous album, contained many a fan hit of its own...view item »

Magic Chairs

4AD are hoovering up everyone these days. After a few albums on the Leaf label Danish pop sensation Efterklang are ready to release they're new pop opus 'Magic Chairs' into your face and associated areas. They're a band I've quite liked over the year... never massively but I've always thought they were pretty good and they had something about ...view item »

White Hinterland

The first song "Icarus" was in a Revlon commercial "Just Bitten" and was in the movie "It's a Funny Story" and in addition it was the song used on Project Runway. From the appeal of that song I checked out the album it's from. I am not disappointed really. Just underwhelmed. I had hoped all the songs were as good as Icarus, but they do not move ...view item »

Two Door Cinema Club
Tourist History

Tourist History starts off with a blast in "Cigarettes in the Theatre", full of crafty guitar interplay. The first thing that will strike you, though, is that lead singer Alex Trimble sounds just like, and I do mean *just like*, Ben Gibbard. In fact, "Do You Want It All?" truly sounds like this is DCFC, not TDCC, and I mean this as a compliment ...view item »

American Gong

Haven't heard owt from Quasi in a while. Originally consisting of Sam Coomes and Janet Weiss, they have in recent years enlisted the skills of Joanna Bolme of Stephen Malkmus's The Jicks on bass. Nowadays they seem to ply a trade in classic americana infused indie rock...and they do it really well too. Mixing scuzzy rock influences with poppier App...view item »

Paul Vickers And The Leg
Itchy Grumble

This is Paul Vickers' unique way of a rock opera & with some fresh original ideas it works out well. The story is about Itchy Grumble who became immortal after he drank the tears of a witch. As always Paul creates fine melodies & rhythms out of all the mayhem, & sees him generally moving further away from the DOTR footprint. There is...view item »

Alkaline Trio
This Addiction

This album is very polished and sounds very good (the mastering); however, the hooks and lyrics did not meet my expectations. This album is the A3's softer approach to music in general, and this may be a purposeful reason why it lacks emotional depth. All the songs have a smooth melody, which is fine if that is what you expect when you purchase ...view item »

Farmer Dave Scher
Flash Forward To The Good Times

This album is really something to behold! True passionate indie psychedelic folk surf grooves from a cosmic sound farmer. Its like Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Incredible String Band, the Beach Boys and early Bob Marley blended and served in a glowing space cocktail on the perfect beach with the Girl from Ipanema walking by. It's not slick,...view item »

The Camel's Back

Psapp I really like. They're on their 3rd album now, I think, and it's another move forward sonically. They've started to really indulge themselves with the calypso/lounge/jazz side of things, no longer sounding like a lady-led Tunng. This new album 'The Camel's Back' starts with the sexy, swinging 'I Want That' which I could see setting the scene ...view item »

The Bon Bon Club
Sex On Fire

The Bon Bon Club had a single out a while back on Thee SPC. Their 2nd single has just landed on an offshoot of Angular Records called Rare Breed records. It's a cute 3" CD with a postcard packaged in a pink and white stripey paper bag which immediately made me want a quarter of Yorkshire Mixture....been a while. If you're not familiar with the...view item »

Vampire Weekend

Onto Vampire Weekend with their highly anticipated opus Contra. Loads of folks waiting on this one. I wasn't hugely impressed by the first album though there was a couple of good tunes on it. But after hearing Cousins we were pretty much all interested in hearing this new album. On first listen it didn't do very much for us though. The single is by...view item »

Home Is Where The Hearth Is

Moonkat- 7" on Purr. Highly decent lady fronted indie with Monochrome Set guitar bits in, a top tunes. Like a British Sleater Kinney but probably better and considerably less whiny.... Also there's a track on the B side called My english teacher is a Mogwai Fan. Home Is Where ...view item »

Screaming Mimi
Dorothy Millette / Bumblebee

On the same label Phantom Power we have SCREAMING MIMI. Phil's spouting bands again Throwing Muses, The Specials, Long Blondes. Its a slinky sultry female fronted sound with a 50's retro undertone. B-side is driven by a driving bass like a car chase. Former Normans single of the week winners these lot and...view item »

Rosie Oddie And The Odd Squad
Cola Coka

Rosie Oddie sounds like she's been toking on a big helium balloon at first but then my ears adjust and I get used to the pitch... 'Cola Coka' is the debut of her band Rosie Oddie And The Odd Squad. It sounds like it could be a bit of an anthem at indie disco's across the country with its lyrics that diss the London band scene. Especially with the c...view item »

Warning Heat Ray!
Spit It Out/ Life Less Ordinary

Warning! Heat Ray! have floated in on a raft traversing the rivers of blood with a tune dealing with immigration and all that business. On the 50th anniversary of the Notting Hill riots, 'Spit it Out' comes at almost the pace of a ballad with a sparse electronic backing that reminds Phil of Locust (not the ones in funny costumes) and me of some Scr...view item »

The Spills
I'm Scared I Might/ Faux Pas Ha Hs

Returning back to earth The Spills have a new single out and its grunge-tastic (or grunge-azing or some other weak pun). It uses the "quiet-loud-quiet-loud" template to great effect,and has some rather tasty hooks, a bit like Mike Tyson without the assault charges. The musicianship's tight, the production's economical and the covers got a...view item »

No Going Back/ Friend (demo)

Rough Trade are keeping busy these days releasing a bunch of stuff that is so far removed from the great records they used to be involved with that it makes me wanna weep. No cut and paste covers and d.i.y pressing here just smooth UK R&B courtesy of Rox. Don't no much about the artist but the tune stinks of Amy Winehouse, Little Boots and Duff...view item »

Findo Gask
One Eight Zero

Findo Gask are a new one on me so I'm hoping this 'One Eight Zero' 7" might be the start of an adventure. Now it's started and the only adventure it's taking me on is up Mt. What the Fuck Can I Say About This. Erm.. It's nice enough indie pop stuff that sounds quite a lot like later Simian. I wouldn't have known that myself, I had to cheat and...view item »

The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart
Higher Than The Stars EP

The new The Pains of Being Pure At Heart isn't very hardcore, which is a shame..... The good news is that they've finally come up with a different piece of cover art to adorn there growing output of singles. 'Higher Than the Stars' is another strong indie pop single from these highly tipped Brooklyn cutie's. It's a classically dreamy pop number wit...view item »

Everybody Come Outside!

The Pomegranates second full release shows the band maturing with fuller, more developed songwriting. Their sound is similar to the first release, which is somewhere between the Afro beats of Vampire Weekend and the melodic experimentation of Los Campesinos. This is very good indie rock. Interesting narrative across this release, which deserves ...view item »

Has My Heart Gone To Sleep?

Plastillina have their first ever compilation CD entitled 'Has My Heart Gone To Sleep?' If you're familiar with this Peruvian label then you'll know that their sound is pretty much indie pop to the core. The disc boasts 14 tracks from Twig, Stars In A Coma, The Bridal Shop, The Occasional Flickers, Sodacaffe, Amida, Annemarie, The Life Companion, H...view item »

The Clientele
Bonfires On The Heath

The Clientele LP is dead good. It has a real sophisticated sound to it. The 12 tracks on this baby (!) cover a lot of emotional ground. It sounds like an autumn with the love of your life. Track 6 is my favorite, a really urgent sounding song called Sketches. I don't know what its about though..I think its about painting..with your momma. The sound...view item »

J Kriste (Master of Disguise)
This Is The Alternative

J.Kriste (Master of disguise) is the solo project of Lefteris Moumtzis from Cypriot bands Snakecharmer and experimental funk project Miraculous Mandarin Trio. He sings about things like love and being high. Phillip is distracting me here by showing me a new Hymen boxset in a wooden box...Drool. Okay ...view item »

Dirty Projectors
Bitte Orca

Brooklyn seems to be an eternal hotspot for quality bands and ambitious releases, this most certainly applies to Dirty Projectors whose new L.P 'Bitter orca' is chocker with confidence and crazy ideas. At first it makes me think of YES due to the sweet dynamics and wild vocal arrangements. To an extent it sounds like Led Zeppelin but no-one in the ...view item »

The Temper Trap

Here is a re-issue of the debut LP from widescreen Aussies the Temper Trap. The album first showcased the soaring falsetto voice of singer Dougy Mandagi which glides across the atmospheric arena rock and places the band somewhere between Radiohead and U2. White/blue/black splatter vinyl re-...view item »

Strike the Colours
Seven Roads

Why does every female singer under the age of 30 sound like either Joanna Newsom or one of the girls from Cocorosie? Ok not all of them but a lot of them. It's so affected, especially when done by people who are UK residents. Here comes another albeit not the worst or most obvious example I've heard. Its a CD by Strike the Colours who on first glan...view item »

Jamie T
Kings & Queens

I had heard "The Man's Machine" on the radio and instantly fell in love. It took a while for me to find the song, but when I did I sought out Kings & Queens right away. Like "The Man's Machine", I fell in love with this album... and all of Jamie T. I loved the album from the beats in "Sticks N' Stones" to the calming effect of "Jilly Armeen"...view item »

Summer Of Hate

With a touch of Suicide, a dash of Velvet Underground, and, given the band's name, Echo & the Bunnymen: ingredients for a post-punk set that brings the duo and their drum machine (not named Echo?) into a revival of alternative rock's darker, but not dreadful, attitudes. I think this is a record that can appeal equally to angsty teens who mig...view item »

Noah And The Whale
The First Days of Spring

Now this is an LP that knows how to drag you through a break-up. Charlie Fink’s pained and delicate vocals combined with warbling violins make you want to check right back into heartbreak hotel. I guess the record's producer Emery Dobyns (Patti Smith, Antony & The Johnsons) knows the language of nostalgia pretty well. A decade after it...view item »

Tack Till
Would That It Were EP

Tack Till is some guy from Friendly Fires and the main guy from Wax Stag. If all of that didn't seem like the chap is incredibly busy enough here he is under his Tack Till guise on the Years Without Art label. It's a nice little ditty this one... I guess it's instrumental tinkly post rock if I'm to undertake the task of pigeonholing. It reminds me ...view item »

Upper Air

Bowerbirds are one of those bands i can't really write about particularly well but i'll give it a try, for you guys/gals. 'Upper Air' sees Bowerbirds really getting into their stride with their take on Americana and traditional folk songwriting. It reminds me of the early days of Songs:Ohio but with a much more polished approach to both the arrange...view item »


Discovery is a collaboration between Wes Miles (the frontman of Ra Ra Riot) and Rostam Batmanglij (the keyboardist of Vampire Weekend). Their fruitful sessions together, led to the side project's first full length simply titled "LP". "LP" is glitzy, effervescent, and rife with high-spirited synth riffs and beats. In addition, Discovery utilise a...view item »

Sunset Rubdown

This was my introduction to Sunset Rubdown and I can say that it is everything I liked about Wolf Parade if not more. The edgy lyrics and heavy driving/wailing guitars are all there in addition to what I think are more creative and unique lyrics and songwriting. The last three tracks on this album were probably my favourites (they grow on you ea...view item »

Oh Minnows
Might EP

There's a splurge of releases out on the Young & Lost Club label at the mo. Here's one by Oh Minnows which starts of sounding like Mister Mister before it lunges into a male fronted Cocteaus. Big cheesy sythns over some massive echoey drums with a big epic chorus. It's all very 1985 which is making me feel young again and anything which makes m...view item »

The Hepburns
Trojan Hearse

The Hepburns is the brainchild of Guitar/vocalist Matt Jones whose band seem to have been around along time. I'm sure they had some stuff out years ago but i've not heard much from them until this appeared on my desk. For those of you in the know The Hepburns make very intelligent, sophisticated pop music with constant references to literary greats...view item »

My Electric Family

Ms. Alpers explores densely layered psychedelic soundscapes drowned in a drone of extensive electronics. For reference, think The Sugarcubes meets Joe Meek filtered through a Radio Shack TRS-80. On My Electric Family, Alpers meshes the light with the dark resulting in an off kiltered listening experience. Heavy songs brush against lighter fare a...view item »

St. Vincent

I'm getting into a habit of ignoring top debut albums and 'getting it' on the 2nd album. I did it with Bat For Lashes (who I stalked on Youtube for a good hour or 2 last night... The 'What's a Girl To Do' video is top!) and I'm doing it again with St Vincent. I thought the last single was excellent and the album has been played a few times in ...view item »

Pop Levi
Police $ign/Ferrifying (for Kenneth Anger)

Okay so I'm gonna brave the Pop Levi 'Police $ign' 7" as I think I've forgotton what he sounds like... Oh yeah it's good times rock n roll. Brian pipes up something about Yeah Yeah Yeahs. I think we all concur that this is probably the best thing he's done. It's kinda raw garagey rawk that although aint my cup of tea I dare say I'd be bobbing ...view item »


89 is the sum of many musical parts welded together in idiosyncratic style by New York musical maverick, producer and drummer Chad Curlow. Comparisons to Pharrell and Beck, although partly justified, also do him a disservice as his sound occupies it's own unique corner of the sonic spectrum defying easy categorisation and I for one like it quite...view item »

Oracular Spectacular

Some bands have it from the start, MGMT is one of those bands. You'd be hard-pressed to find someone who hasn't heard the electro-funk groove of "Electric Feel" or, even if you don't know it by name, the keyboard hook of "Kids" is guaranteed to get stuck in your heard for hours. 'Oracular Spectacular' could be called a pop classic but it's an al...view item »

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