New & featured releases, updated May 17th, 2024

The Umbrellas "Fairweather Friend"

[LP » $20.00] [CD » $9.00] [more info]
Fairweather Friend

The Umbrellas Fairweather Friend LP/CD

Channeling sold gold influences like The Pastels, Comet Gain, Orange Juice and The Aislers Set, The Umbrellas represent the fertile San Francisco Bay Area scene at its most pop-tastic. "Fairweather Friend" follows-up their surprise-hit 2021 debut in fine fashion, featuring sterling songwriting and arranging, bigger and more nuanced production, and terrific, assured vocals all around. The Umbrellas have swung for the fences with this new album and it's a bold, beautifully-executed success.


Torrey "Torrey"

[LP » $19.00] [CD » $9.00] [more info]
Torrey

Torrey Torrey LP/CD

SF Bay Area textural pop group Torrey delve deep into a translucent dreamworld on their self-titled sophomore album. Bending classic shoegaze, rainy day indie rock sounds, and 90s alt rock flair into more intricate forms, the band uses these guitar-forward songs to shape-shift between gentle drifting and noisy breakthroughs. Some touchstones might include Lush, Drop Nineteens, Cocteau Twins and The Breeders, but Torrey have a deft grasp of their craft and a forward-thinking studio approach that places them very much in the NOW.


Lightheaded "Good Good Great!"

[cassette » $7.00] [more info]
Good Good Great!

Lightheaded Good Good Great! cassette

New Jersey's Lightheaded have conjured, through some mysterious alchemy, a distinctive flavor of pop that draws as much from 60s Brill Building, garage-pop and folk-pop as it does from the DIY indie explosion of the 80s/early 90s. Their debut EP "Good Good Great!" shows that band core Cynthia and Stephen are clearly students of pop in all its permutations, but they wear their influences lightly -- a typical Lightheaded song could have been released in 1966 or 1986, but in fact sounds just right in 2023! The sound has just right amount of elemental murk, drawing to mind a mythical collab between Phil Spector and Curt Boettcher's Sagittarius, working their way through the Goffin & King songbook.


East Village "Hotrod Hotel"

[LP » $22.00] [more info]
Hotrod Hotel

East Village Hotrod Hotel LP

East Village are one of the great lost bands. From their mid-80s roots as Episode Four to their late-80s heyday with a string of now highly sought-after singles and EPs on labels like Sub Aqua, Heavenly and Summershine, East Village forged a brilliant, classic sound that resonated with contemporaries like the Flying Nun and Creation label bands, but also hearkened back to 60s influences like The Byrds, Dylan and Velvet Underground. Hotrod Hotel is a selection from the band's remarkable singles and is presented here for the first time on vinyl, packaged in a heavy, 60s-style album jacket with a 4-page insert featuring rare band pics and liner notes by Jon Dale.


Blue Ocean "Fertile State"

[LP » $20.00] [CD » $9.00] [more info]
Fertile State

Blue Ocean Fertile State LP/CD

Oakland CA's Blue Ocean blend elements of shoegaze, pop, noise rock and electronics, striking a precarious balance between noise and melody that recalls forebears like Disco Inferno, Bark Psychosis and Flying Saucer Attack. "Fertile State" shows the band at their noisy best. Reverberating guitars swirl around what is at it's heart a lovely pop song, erupting into peels of feedback a la early Jesus & Mary Chain. It's a bracing, intoxicatingly fresh take on noisy pop from a band to watch.


Tony Jay "Perfect Worlds"

[LP » $19.00] [cassette » $7.00] [more info]
Perfect Worlds

Tony Jay Perfect Worlds LP/cassette

"Perfect Worlds," the newest album by San Francisco's mysterious lo-fi pop legend Tony Jay, delivers an intimate record of thirteen dreamy, assured arrangements that further cements Tony Jay's status as a dejected crooner of the quotidian par excellence. Drawing inspiration from failed relationships, lack of sleep, a bicycle injury, and depression, Tony Jay (helmed by SF scene mainstay Michael Ramos) pairs catchy melodies and hushed vocals with ethereal instrumental tracks.


 

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