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They Only Wanted Your Soul

The Reds, Pinks and Purples

Limited edition reissue of a very scarce 4 song EP, now expanded to mini-LP length with the addition of six bonus songs. Recorded around the same time as the songs that went on to comprise the beloved "Uncommon Weather" album, "They Only Wanted Your Soul" contains some of the best examples of Glenn Donaldson's melancholy but wry take on indie pop. It has songs about record shopping, religion, worker's rights, dysfunctional holidays, and of course heartbreak, sung over a maze of shimmering fuzzy guitars and drum machine beats -- an essential chapter of the Reds, Pinks & Purples story.

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Pad

Peel Dream Magazine

Pad Ltd Edition LP/LP/CD

Joe Stevens' Peel Dream Magazine project has dazzled savvy listeners for the last several years with its tuneful yet hypnotic synthesis of post-punk, shoegaze, 60s pop and motorik kosmische grooves. Now Stevens is back with "Pad," a new, conceptual album which draws on influences from baroque pop to Bossa Nova, folk and mid-century orchestral, from Burt Bacharach-era 60s pop to first wave homemade post-punk. First single "Pad" is a perfect introduction to what the album is all about, all finger-snapping cool, groovy flute and sumptuous harmonies; a whispering sigh of a love song. Like the album it lends its name to, "Pad" is conceptually playful and sensuously subterranean, blurring the line between blithe escapism and pointed subversion. The limited edition mail order-only edition includes a bonus 4-song 7" EP.

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Don't Wait For A Sign

Jeanines

Jeanines' 2019 self-titled debut was an indiepop tour-de-force that drew from a deep set of DIY pop influences, garnering attention from well beyond the international pop underground. Now they're back with "Don't Wait For A Sign," and it's a real gem. With the band now divided geographically and touched by the isolation and uncertainty of the pandemic, Jeanines' new album is deeper and a bit darker than their debut. The folk influences feel more pronounced, at times recalling early Fairport Convention or Vashti Bunyan as much as indiepop touchstones like Dear Nora, The Aislers Set, and the many bands of Pam Berry. Second albums can be tricky, but with "Don't Wait For A Sign” Jeanines ably manage to build on their terrific debut with well-honed songwriting, singular melodies, and unerringly sympathetic production.

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Past Life Regression

Papercuts

Jason Quever has been releasing timeless dream pop as Papercuts since 2004; his new album "Past Life Regression" is a journey into the dreamier reaches of psychedelic folk-pop that digs deep into influences as wide-ranging as The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band, Spiritualized, Echo & The Bunnymen, Leonard Cohen and late 60s pop of various flavors. Jason's songcraft, arranging and production are immaculate as always, reflecting his broad experience and enlivened by his move back home to the San Francisco Bay Area. It's remarkable that after more than 15 years he's writing his best songs and in "Past Life Regression" has made his finest record. Gorgeous, perfectly constructed chamber pop for the very unusual times we're living through.

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Summer At Land's End

The Reds, Pinks and Purples

"Summer at Land's End" is the 4th LP from The Reds, Pinks & Purples, Glenn Donaldson's solo kitchen pop "band." Since 2019 The Reds, Pinks & Purples has built an obsessive, ever-growing following by combining a vinyl-oriented release schedule with regular drops of new songs on Bandcamp. 2021's "Uncommon Weather" was something of a breakthrough and now Donaldson is back with the brilliantly ambitious "Summer At Land's End." Like the blossoming flower-themed sleeve might imply, it's bursting with heart-ripped-open vocals, ringing guitars, and warm reverberations. As before, "Land's End" contains plenty of concise indie-pop songs, but it also expands into hazier acoustic sounds and some extended mood pieces. You might hear '80s and '90s influences in the echoing guitars, but more so you might hear melodies and words that resonate deep down in some mysterious, transcendent space.

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Fingers Crossed

Artsick

Fingers Crossed LP/CD/cassette

Artsick was formed in June 2018 when Christina Riley (of NorCal band Burnt Palms) teamed up with Mario Hernandez (Kids On A Crime Spree, Ciao Bella) on drums and Donna McKean (Lunchbox, Hard Left) on bass. Following up their terrific 2018 7" single they are now back with their debut album "Fingers Crossed," a thrilling, compelling and downright fun record that surveys a vast swathe of indie and indiepop history, from DIY progenitors like Dolly Mixture through the punkier side of C86 (think Talulah Gosh, Fat Tulips) to the 90s K Records-centered International Pop Underground and straight through more recent exemplars like Vivian Girls and Colleen Green. Christina says that she was "always been drawn to fuzzy guitars, melodies with emotion and songs with urgency" and that is readily apparent on every moment of this excellent album.

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Fall In Love Not In Line

Kids On A Crime Spree

Fall In Love Not In Line LP/CD/cassette

Oakland, CA's Kids On A Crime Spree have spent the last decade crafting a compact discography that shows a deep love of 60s Brill Building songwriting, 70s power-pop, bubblegum glam/pop, the Ramones and of course Phil Spector's legendary productions. "Fall In Love Not In Line" is the band's first full album and it's a corker. Head Kid Mario Hernandez -- along with drummer Becky Barron, and guitarist Bill Evans -- sought to move even farther from their influences, and the thick, rich sound that the band has put to tape (analog, of course) shows more warmth and some darker textures than in previous efforts; more shifting of tempos and melodies; a unity of purpose that can only come from years of playing together and listening to each other. The result is thoroughly modern power-pop that wears it's love of the classics lightly, finding new paths through familiar territory.

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Chime School

Chime School

Chime School CD/cassette

Chime School is the project of San Francisco musician Andy Pastalaniec. Charmed by 80s indie and its 60s forbearers, Andy cut his teeth as a drummer with SF groups Pink Films, Cruel Summer, and Seablite; now he has come out from behind the kit to write and record his own material. The aptly named Chime School pays homage to the formative jangle of The Byrds by way of early Primal Scream and The Springfields; the production and pop sensibility of the Biff Bang Pow! and Razorcuts; and the spirit of great singles labels like Creation, Postcard and Sarah. From the dreamy album opener "Wait Your Turn" to the driving jangle of singles "Taking Time To Tell You" and "It's True" we can see that we're in the presence of a very talented writer indeed, someone with a lifetime's worth of pop fandom just waiting to burst out in song.

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The Umbrellas

The Umbrellas

The Umbrellas LP/CD/cassette

Joining a long line of SF bay area indie bands, The Umbrellas are sure to dazzle with their new self-titled debut album. Classic indiepop influences abound, from The Byrds to Orange Juice, The Pastels, Comet Gain and Belle & Sebastian, along with a noticeable garage-pop/Paisley Underground flavor that is a hallmark of San Francisco's best bands. Lead-off single "She Buys Herself Flowers" introduces us to a band that's both intimately conversant with indiepop history but also unburdened by it, a group with the song-crafting chops and spirit to take familiar elements and create for themselves a fresh new sound. The album goes from strength to strength, studded with pop gems like "Near You," "Lonely" and "Pictures" -- tunes that sound like classics from the first listen, as timeless and elemental as all great pop.

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Uncommon Weather

The Reds, Pinks and Purples

From the many musical lives of artist Glenn Donaldson emerges The Reds, Pinks and Purples, a project that sifts out the purest elements of pop music and in the process chronicles the point of view of an assiduous songwriter. His new album "Uncommon Weather" is both an elusive portrait of San Francisco -- during one of its fluctuations as an untenable place for musicians and artists -- and also a self-portrait of a songwriter who has dispatched another treasured collection of timeless sounding DIY-pop songs. Self-recorded and mostly self-performed, the music on "Uncommon Weather" continuously reckons with the influence of The Television Personalities' Dan Treacy, as well as The Cleaners From Venus, Blueboy, East River Pipe, and the Cherry Red and Flying Nun labels. Beautiful, mysterious and rather perfect pop.

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A Strange Dream

Smokescreens

Following up their well-received 2018 album Used To Yesterday LA's Smokecreens are back with the excellent new record A Strange Dream. Produced by David Kilgour from NZ legends The Clean, "A Strange Dream" shows a band at the peak of it's talents, ably blending influences like The Go-Betweens, UK DIY indie and pop, and of course Flying Nun into a compelling, compulsive album. From the jaunty pop of opener "Fork In The Road" to the rocking "Streets of Despair" and the dreamy "On and On" this is a record that clearly shows a band that knows it's way around a timeless guitar riff and aching pop melody. Gorgeous ballads like "Nighttime Skies" and "I Love Only You" add a new depth to Smokescreens' sound, and the cover of Scrotum Poles' DIY classic "Pick The Cats Eyes Out" is perfect, and perfectly fun. A future classic.

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After School Special

Lunchbox

Lunchbox's Tim Brown and Donna McKean have been making records for two decades, inspired by 1960s/70s AM-radio pop and TV show theme music, punk, C86, and mod à la the Creation and the Jam. "After School Special" finds them at the height of their powers of songcraft and performance. From the shimmering opener "Dream Parade" to the horn-driven mod-pop of "Hide and Seek" and the haunting male-female vocal stylings of the title track and album closer, the textures shift while the unity of artistic vision remains. Catchy as hell and beautifully packaged, this is Lunchbox at their very best.

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A Tear In The Fabric

Devon Williams

Over three albums under his own name, Devon Williams has honed a trademark blend of power pop, folk rock, and jangle pop, anchored by his distinctive melodic gifts. After a six-year break, he returns with A Tear In The Fabric: 12 songs driven by a lilting dreaminess, rock-solid songcraft, and unerring hooks. Reference points might include artists like Tommy Keene, The Church and Felt, but Williams is very much his own writer.

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Agitprop Alterna

Peel Dream Magazine

Agitprop Alterna CD/cassette/LP

Peel Dream Magazine is the musical vehicle for NYC's Joe Stevens, who launched the band in 2018 with the critically acclaimed album Modern Meta Physic, a mysterious, liminal tribute to the hazy end of '90s dream-pop that found its place on numerous "Best of 2018" lists. Now Peel Dream are back with Agitprop Alterna, an album that pays homage to the fuzzy, mod-ish pop of acts like My Bloody Valentine and early Stereolab, but it's also indebted to stateside bands like Yo La Tengo and Rocketship that were cut from a similar cloth. Agitprop Alterna finds Stevens deepening the connection between the existential and the interpretive first explored on Modern Meta Physic. It is a rejection of manipulation in all its forms and a buzzsaw against complacency; it's a rare trick to agitate without being obvious, and perhaps that makes Agitprop Alterna the most Peel Dream Magazine-like statement yet.

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Hotrod Hotel

East Village

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.

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Singles 1986-1991

The Springfields

When it comes to indiepop, few names are as respected as Ric Menck and Paul Chastain and their project The Springfields. Taking their cues from influences like The Byrds and The Hollies they created a sound that was as jangly and melodic as their inspirations, but marked by a unique songwriting voice, excellent tunes, and sterling arrangements. This comp collects the 5 singles they released on Sarah, Picture Book, Summershine and Seminal Twang and adds one extra tune, here on vinyl for the first time. From the Paisley Underground-aligned opener "This Perfect Day" through the perfect pop of songs like "Sunflower" and a clutch of savvy covers, The Springfields created a compact, flawless catalog that more than justifies its legendary status and this timely reissue.

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Jeanines

Jeanines

Jeanines LP/CD

Brooklyn's Jeanines specialize in short bursts of energetic but melancholy minor-key pop. With influences that run deep into the most crucial tributaries of DIY pop — Television Personalities, Marine Girls, early Pastels, Dolly Mixture — they've crafted a style that is as individual as it is just plain pleasurable. Jeanines specialize in 60s-meet-80s melodies that combine with timeless guitar jangle in a way that recalls the UK's C86/C88 era, when smart young bands crafted perfect pop gems enlivened by the inspiration of punk. Clearly, with 16 great songs included, there is a lot at work here on this standout debut album. Jeanines have been compared to such cult pop icons as Black Tambourine and more recent acts like Veronica Falls and Girl Ray, but their dark, modal melodies and pensive, philosophical lyrics ensure them a place of their own in today's crowded but boisterously healthy DIY pop scene.

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Seventeen Seconds

Frankie Rose

Synthesizing wide-ranging influences, Frankie Rose has crafted a distinctive musical voice that echoes some of the best post-punk and 80s pop while still sounding totally fresh. It was in this spirit that Frankie covered The Cure's "Seventeen Seconds" for Turntable Kitchen's Sounds Delicious series. Here's Frankie on the challenge of tackling this album: "Since I already think it's a perfect record, I tried not to reinterpret too much and stick to similar sounds as the original, but with a twist. Working on it with Jorge Elbrecht was a dream, because he's the only person who's as deep of a Cure fan as I am! And he's a damn wizard!" Frankie and Jorge have created something quite special, paying tribute to this classic album while still putting their own contemporary stamp on the songs.

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