The 20 best songs from the last two weeks. Lots of retro influences this time round, the sixties, seventies, eighties and nineties featuring heavily on psych-pop, baroque pop, power pop, post-punk, electronic pop and indie rock. None of these tracks are mere pastiche though, as always the quality of the songwriting is high and melody is favoured over dissonance. There’s a lot to love here, I reckon.
Okkervil River ‘White’
Okkervil River’s new record The Silver Gymnasium is a concept album conceived as a tribute to pre-adolescence and inspired by frontman Will Sheff’s own mid-80s late-childhood in the town of Meriden, New Hampshire. It’s so good I’m top-and-tailing this latest playlist with two of its tracks.
Courtney Barnett ‘Avant Gardener’
Rising Melbourne slack popper Courtney Barnett has slowly been building herself an impressive reputation here in Australia (check out her and the Hoodoo Gurus’ Dave Faulkner covering the Died Pretty’s ‘Everybody Moves’. Clearly a fan of that early Velvet Underground chug, this is a song about trying to pass off a panic attack as anaphylaxis.
Frankie Rose ‘Street of Dreams’
The return of New York indie-pop Zelig Frankie Rose (a founder member of Dum Dum Girls, Vivian Girls, and Crystal Stilts) finds her coming over a bit early 80s / gothtronica. This is from her forthcoming third solo album Herein Wild, due out in early October on Fat Possum .
Household ‘A New Leaf’
All female post-punk from Brooklyn.
Kevin Morby ‘Miles, Miles, Miles’
We’ve featured a few tracks from The Babies and Woods here over the last 18 months. The aesthetic and quality of the songwriting appeals to us. Kevin Morby is a key member of both those groups and carries over those melodic and 60s influences over to his forthcoming debut solo album, Harlem River due out in November on Woodsist.
September Girls ‘Ships’
All female reverb heavy, gothy noise pop band from Dublin, drawing inspiration from Phil Spector, The Cure, My Bloody Valentine and Jesus and Mary Chain.
All Dogs ‘Lovesong’
Columbus, Ohio female fronted indie rock. This is one of six equally great songs from their debut, available on bandcamp for just $1.
Tony Molina ‘Breakin’ Up’
San Francisco hardcore veteran surprised many with his debut solo album Dissed and Dismissed, an record of short songs that sounded not unlike J Mascis playing with Teenage Fanclub. This sub-90 seconds track is taken from his forthcoming six tracks EP for Matador (due out in October) and takes the 70s power pop influences to the next level
The Dirtbombs ‘Girl On The Carousel’
Detroit genre-melding garage rockers The Dirtbombs finally release their long promised bubblegum pop album this month, entitled Ooey Gooey Chewy Ka-blooey! (September 17th, In The Red Records). This track is at the more baroque end of the spectrum and features some rather nice oboe, dripping in sixties loveliness.
Casimer & Casimir ‘O Sweet Joe Pye’
Chicago-via-Detroit, uncle and nephew outfit Casimer Pascal and Vincent Casimir craft catchy, lush, sixties influenced melodic indie pop
[Casimer & Casimir]
Palehound ‘Pet Carrot’
90s style indie rock from 19 year old Yonkers resident Ellen Kempner.
The Blow ‘From The Future’
Second track of Off-kilter electronic pop from long gestating second album by Portland duo of Khaela Maricich and Melissa Dyne.
Son Lux ‘Lost It To Trying’
Classically trained multi-instrumentalist Ryan Lott, aka Son Lux, has collaborated with a wide variety of artists. He was one of the s’s along with Serengeti and Sufjan Stevens in the s/s/s project (whose ‘Museum’ was featured back on ITP #4). Here, the baroque electronic pop certainly bears a resemblance to Sufjan’s busier pieces. This is from his forthcoming Lanterns album, due out at the end of October.
Keep Shelly in Athens ‘Flyaway’
This Greek electronic dreampop band’s ‘Recollection’ was featured a couple of months back on ITP #38. This time round, they are less dreamy, more blissed out but equally as captivating.
[Keep Shelly in Athens]
Some Minor Noise ‘Coffers’
Dark, lo-fi, dancefloor electropop from Toronto duo.
[Some Minor Noise ]
Gap Dream ‘Shine Your Love’
Cleveland’s Gabe Fulvimar has previously featured twice here with his Gap Dream project. First way back in February 2012 with the Hypnotic 60s-indebted psych-pop of ‘Scary Dennis’ (ITP #3.1) and 1 months ago with the slowed down fuzzy electronic new wave glam rock stomp of ‘Generator’. This one splits the difference between the two, baroque and melodic, 60s indebted with synthetic horns.
Paul McCartney ‘New’
After the unnecessary detour of Kisses on the Bottom, Macca returns with Mark Ronson at the controls with the title track of his new album.
Zachary Cale ‘Wayward Son’
Folky guitar picking from Brooklyn-via-Louisiana type.
Okkervil River ‘Stay Young’
As promised, the second track from the 80s referencing The Silver Gymnasium.