New & featured releases, updated April 22nd, 2022

Kids On A Crime Spree "Fall In Love Not In Line"

[LP » $17.00] [CD » $9.00] [cassette » $6.00] [more info]
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.


Artsick "Fingers Crossed"

[LP » $17.00] [CD » $9.00] [cassette » $6.00] [more info]
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.


Papercuts "Parallel Universe Blues"

[LP » $16.00] [CD » $9.00] [more info]
Parallel Universe Blues

Papercuts Parallel Universe Blues LP/CD

Papercuts' new album "Parallel Universe Blues" has a sound that is intimate and close, nicely balancing the sonic concerns of the last few Papercuts records: perfect Spectorian pop songs echoed down through The Velvet Underground, LA's Paisley Underground, Spiritualized and The Jesus and Mary Chain. Songs like "Laughing Man," "How To Quit Smoking," "Sing To Me Candy" and "Clean Living" are all gorgeous, melodic gems, never sacrificing song-writing for atmospherics and bringing to mind late night/rainy day albums like "Darklands" and "Chelsea Girl." "Parallel Universe Blues" is a triumph and points to more great things in the future from Quever and Papercuts.


The Reds, Pinks and Purples "Uncommon Weather"

[LP » $17.00] [CD » $9.00] [more info]
Uncommon Weather

The Reds, Pinks and Purples Uncommon Weather LP/CD

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.


Jeanines "Jeanines"

[LP » $17.00] [CD » $9.00] [more info]
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.


The Umbrellas "The Umbrellas"

[LP » $17.00] [CD » $9.00] [more info]
The Umbrellas

The Umbrellas The Umbrellas LP/CD

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.


Peel Dream Magazine "Moral Panics"

[12" vinyl » $15.00] [more info]
Moral Panics

Peel Dream Magazine Moral Panics 12" vinyl

NYC's Peel Dream Magazine dazzled listeners with their recent release "Agitprop Alterna," a smart album that draws from a wide set of post-punk, shoegaze and indiepop influences but still has an assured, unique sound. Now they're following up with "Moral Panics," a companion EP that features unreleased songs from the "Agitprop Alterna" sessions. Far from being outtakes, these are all songs that stand strong on their own, and gathered together function as a useful corollary to the album. Songs like "New Culture," "Verfremdungseffekt" and "Life At The Movies" continue Peel Dream's investigations into those frought areas where art, culture and commerce meet. Bristling with both ideas and solid tunes, the EP as a whole comprises a crucial piece of the band's discography.


Peel Dream Magazine "Agitprop Alterna "

[LP » $17.00] [CD » $9.00] [more info]
Agitprop Alterna

Peel Dream Magazine Agitprop Alterna LP/CD

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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