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The New Life

Girls Names

The New Life 12" vinyl

Now expanded to a four piece with a more progressive and expansive sound, Girls Names' new single The New Life clocks in at over 7 minutes and takes you on a journey that mirrors the feelings of a band living and working in economy stricken Northern Ireland - the perfect soundtrack of the bleakness to where they exist. The B-side is a mesmerizing, dubbed-out JD Twitch Optimo remix of the single.

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Northern Lights

Allo Darlin'

The superbly jangly "Northern Lights" is the third single to be taken from Allo Darlin's excellent second album Europe. Written about a New Year's Eve spent in Sweden the song somehow manages to imbue a wintery scene with a sweet breath of sunshine as Elizabeth Morris' voice rings out clear as a bell and Paul Rain's guitar melodies shine brightly. It's backed by "Golden Age," a B-side which seems to exist simply to prove that Allo Darlin' have super-catchy melodic pop gems to burn. All copies pressed on orange vinyl.

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Catch Your Cold

Evans The Death

Evans The Death are back with this ace new single, truly on the the highlights on an album that's full of them. Insanely catchy and bursting with youthful energy, "Catch Your Cold" is the kind of tune that makes you realize that there is still plenty of joy to be found in good old guitar pop. Look out too for B-side "Crying Song" for which the band persuaded comedian Stewart Lee to sob uncontrollably over their rambunctious musical backing. All copies on white vinyl with a cool silver-embossed sleeve.

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Girls Names/Weird Dreams split

various artists

Fantastic split featuring two non-album tunes from these exciting young bands. With "A Troubled See" Girls Names continue the evolution of their sound into something leaner and darker, charting a course between early Echo & The Bunnymen and David Bowie's Low. Weird Dreams' contribution "House of Secrets" is a perfect match - a slow-burning, sinister lullaby, buoyed by an insistent and spidery guitar line. Their next album should be VERY interesting indeed!

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A January Moon

The June Brides

We are absolutely thrilled to herald the return of these UK pop legends, helmed by the inimitable Mr Phil Wilson. The June Bride's 80s heyday produced some of the finest pop records of the era, and we're happy to say that with this new single they pick right up where they left off. "A January Moon" is as fine a pop record as we'll hear all year, bristling with melody and sharp pop smarts. Welcome back!

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Europe

Allo Darlin'

Europe 7"

The second single from Allo Darlin's superb second album is none other than the title track, Europe. It's lovely celebration of togetherness and band unity in the face of the tedium and hard graft of life on the road. The B-side is an alternative version of the song Some People Say, recording during the mostly abandoned original album recording sessions in Manchester. It's a slower version than the album version, and is quite beautiful.

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OneTwoThreeFour

Black Tambourine

Never say never! To commemorate and help finance their Spring 2012 reunion, Black Tambourine decided to do some recording, and this tribute to one of their favorite inspirations, Ramones, is the result. Four great tunes spread across two 7" vinyl records, this EP is a fine addition to the band's catalog. A lot of thought went into these interpretations, each one bearing the band's unique stamp. From the chaotic noise-pop blur of "I Want You Around" to the dreamy version of "I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend", OneTwoThreeFour, these songs could have fit in perfectly on any of Black Tambourine's original records. Featuring guest backing vocals from Linda Smith, Rose Melberg, Dee Dee from Dum Dum Girls and Jenny Robbins from Honeymoon Diary.

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Backstreet Pages

English Singles

Excellent four song debut from this great Sacramento band. Containing members of bands like The Bananas, Ski Instructors, Bright Ideas and Nar, this is some top-notch DIY pop that will scratch that TVPs/McTells/Cause Co-Motion! itch just fine. With added flavor provided by angular 12-string guitar leads, English Singles have been described as a cross between Buzzcocks and Razorcuts and we concur. Top quality.

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Totally True

Violens

Absolutely gorgeous pop from this Brooklyn three-piece whose music eludes classification, expertly blending percussive guitar work and silky harmonies in a way reminiscent of 90s sonic pop forebears like Pale Saints, Lush, McCarthy and The Chameleons. The lovely vocals on "Totally True" have an almost 60s feel; their debt to such soft-rock touchstones as The Association and Sagittarius is one of the many unique elements of Violens' sound. The non-album b-side "Something Falling" is a dreamy ballad marked by an effectively spare production, sweeping synths and the band's trademark harmonies.

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Winnifred

Roommates

Totally fantastic power-pop from Ben Cook Aka Young Guv (Fucked Up, Marvelous Darlings, The Bitters) and Marvelous Mark Fosco (Marvelous Darlings). Four smash shits that wouldn't sound out of place on any great mix tape from 1977, 1987 or even 2012. Radio hits in some weird parallel universe where The Raspberries are on Midnight Special every week and Bram Tchaikovsky is still in The Records.

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Telling Lies

Evans The Death

This great young band draw as much from the lyrical dexterity of Morrissey and Jarvis Cocker as they do from the scuzzed-up melodic exuberance of early My Bloody Valentine and The Pixies. This great single is taken from their forthcoming album is a perfect introduction to their distinctively brash brand of smart, energetic pop. Includes a lovely non-LP b-side in the original version of "Morning Voice."

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Capricornia

Allo Darlin'

The first single from the eagerly anticipated second album from Allo Darlin' entitled Europe, Capricornia is a lovely bit of jangle-pop that rides in with a country-inflected lilt and ends with an impressive bit of guitar squall. In between you get all the melodic beauty that we've come to expect from Allo Darlin', a master class in how to write a proper pop tune. "When You Were Mine" on the flip side is no mere b-side -- it's an excellent folky tune of love lost that's sure to pull the heartstrings.

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Know Me

Frankie Rose

Know Me 7"

The first single from Frankie's new album Interstellar. It's a gorgeous piece of widescreen pop, dreamy and driving at the same time. The clean, big hooks bring to mind the best of mid-80s pop -- Smiths, New Order -- without sacrificing any of Frankie's unique melodic style. Le Chev's remix on the flip side is pure 2012 - a slow-motion house burner with a tropical vibe and atmosphere to spare. Turn it up and drift away.

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Single Payer Class War

Manatee

Oakland's mysterious Manatee are back, following up their "Indecision" single with this sharp blast of punk energy. Where that last single flirted with power-pop and late Replacements melodic rock inflected with shoegaze sonics, this single is straight up punk rock. Two songs, three chords, four minutes.

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She Smiles For Pictures

Big Troubles

The second single from Romantic Comedy. Featuring lead vocals from Ian, "She Smiles For Pictures" is a gorgeous piece of power-pop, fueled by ringing guitars, an earworm of a guitar lead and Luka & Sam's propulsive rhythm section. 2:53 of pop perfection. On The flip, "Polyommatus Blue" is a gem that recalls the lost mid-period Creation pop of groups like 18 Wheeler and pre-Screamadelica Primal Scream, and is exclusive to this single.

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Revelations

Devon Williams

"Revelations" is the latest single from Devon Williams' excellent Euphoria album. A gorgeous piece of summertime soft pop, "Revelations" brings to mind a studio meeting of Brian Wilson and Curt Boettcher, with it's soaring harmonies, strings and woodwinds. The bonus track to this digital-only single is Violens' remix of "Tower of Thought," is a note-perfect slice of 1992-style breakbeat hardcore, sounding for all the world like a lost classic on XL or Moving Shadow.

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Black Saturday

Girls Names

A superb taster for Girls Names' forthcoming second album. Black Saturday is a great example of where the band is heading. The guitars are more subdued now, sharing sonic space with a gorgeously melodic bassline and subtle synths. Clearly in tune with contemporaries like Beach Fossils and Wild Nothing, Girls Names bring their own very distinctive song-writing vision to the forefront here.

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Something About You

Terry Malts

Second single from this great SF punk band. All three songs on "Something About You" are full of fuzzy/crunchy riffs, galloping drums and sing-along vocal hooks. Mashing up the best bits from such stellar forebears as The Undertones, Buzzcocks and Descendents, Terry Malts haven't forgotten that one of the key elements of punk has always been FUN.

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now viewing: singles
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