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Apr 062014
 

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Faithful readers will be aware that Power of Pop has been around for some time, so let’s take a journey back in time via Spotify to discovered the hidden gems of the last decade or so, shall we? Climb on board!

DON MCGLASHANWarm Hand (Arch Hill)
www.donmcglashan.com

Best known for his work with seminal New Zealand band the Mutton Birds, singer-songwriter McGlashan finally delivered his debut solo album in 2006. A record of shimmering guitars, deep instrumentation and thoughtful lyricism, Warm Hand is a potent statement of artistic intent.

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Apr 052014
 

19805cts

NINETEEN EIGHTY

A transitional year for me. I welcomed the new decade as a National Serviceman having enlisted on Boxing Day, 1979. But more importantly, my musical tastes were changing as well, significantly. Sometime in 1978, I had been exposed to punk when a JC friend played to my friends & I, the Sex PistolsAnarchy in the UK LP (banned in Singapore but smuggled in for good measure) and to be honest I was unimpressed. For a pop-rock lover weaned on The Beatles, Deep Purple, Queen, Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin, the Sex Pistols seemed dumb and barbaric!

That said, by 1980 I had begun to cotton on to the post-punk movement and had already started listening to the pioneering new bands of that era, which seemed far removed from the old-school rockers of my relative youth. Fueled by the noises made by rock mags like NME, Sounds & Melody Maker, I had started to abandon the old bands (as irrelevant) and had ‘embraced’ the future of rock. 

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Mar 262014
 

BOB 

PERFECT PUSSYSay Yes To Love

A beautiful noise is what punk quartet Perfect Pussy makes on its debut full-length. Deliberately lo-fi with singer Meredith Graves spitting out the barely discernible lyrics over the cacophony, there is something disarmingly honest about this edgy sound. Sure, it’s hard to tell what Graves is singing most of the time, yet it all come across as compelling. Recommended!

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Mar 242014
 

Electrico is back in the saddle and recently posted sneak peeks of new material over at their official Soundcloud page. Three songs – “With You”, “Live in the Night” and “Easy Go” – are reminiscent of the band’s early days, chock full of melodic hooks and powerpop vibes. The band has promised a new release later this year. Personally, I can’t wait. Check them out!

BLURB-O-RAMA

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Mar 182014
 

BOB

Screen shot 2014-03-18 at PM 02.29.55

WE ARE SCIENTISTSTV en Français

Probably one shining example of how fun modern indie pop can be in the right hands. This Brooklyn duo has been going for a decade now and from the evidence here, it seems like they have got the balance right! Infectious melodies, danceable rhythms & pop smarts throughout. Surely this has got to be one of the better albums of 2014. Recommended.

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Feb 212014
 

Quirky, edgy & poppy – what a great combo for a band! The music of offbeat Montreal-based trio Each Other doesn’t make for easy pigeon-holing although I personally discerned Pavement, XTC, Pixies, Talking Heads et al in their reference points. Which is awesome of course! Debut album coming out in March. In the meantime, check out the music released so far!

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Feb 142014
 

Singer-songwriter Sam Page does a great job at evoking the alt-rock of the 80s with nods to The Replacements, Dinosaur Jr, Long Ryders and The Dream Syndicate evident in his country-folk-powerpop amalgam. This new single keeps the fires burnin’ for all of us who remember that era fondly.

Official Site

 

THE LONG AND WINDING ROAD

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Feb 082014
 

#alpacablues will be released on 15th February at Bandcamp for US$1 and will be available at that price for a month. Thereafter, the EP will be available at all good digital platforms for the full price (i.e. US$4.00) In the meantime, this is the world premiere of “I Want What I Can’t Have”. Enjoy…

Cover artwork by Andy Yang http://andyyangillustrates.wordpress.com/

Feb 062014
 

As some of you probably know, every day I sift through a mountain of emails (slightly exaggerated but you get the point) from artists, bands, labels and publicists seeking to be featured on the ol’ humble Power of Pop. What does get my attention are references – not the kind you put in a job resume – but more like: what does the music sound like? Then of course, when I click on the streaming link, it bloody well better sound like the bands/artist you referenced. Heh.

So… The Duke of Norfolk. Cool name. And cooler references – the Decemberists, Avett Brothers and Sufjan Stevens. And… I clicked on the streaming link and I was impressed. Country-folk music that is authentic, heart-warming and fun – all excellent characteristics. So check him out, will ya? Hope to get a review up here or at TODAY pretty soon. In the meantime…

http://thedukeofnorfolk.com/
http://thedukeofnorfolk.bandcamp.com/
https://soundcloud.com/thedukeofnorfolk
https://www.facebook.com/thedukeofnorfolk
https://twitter.com/thdukeofnorfolk
http://www.youtube.com/dukeofnorfolkthe

PoP RECOMMENDS: BIBIO

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Jan 312014
 

BIBIO 

Psychedelic flourishes. Alt-folk quirkiness. Excellent mix between technology and organic sounds. Welcome to the modus oprandi of Bibio!

Watch the trippy video for “Dye the Water Green” below.

Michael Robinson (Director) - To me the video for “Dye The Water Green” held a certain identifiable quality linked with a sense of possibility and exploration – when there is a new place to go, another bend around the corner to uncover, or a different vista coming into view.

Off Bibio’s 2013 album, Silver Wilkinson. Listen below via Spotify.

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BLURB-O-RAMA

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Jan 302014
 

BOB

Time to make Blurb-O-Rama about the best of the month’s album releases methinks. So, here we are at the end of January 2014 already and here are some of the new albums you should check out. 

DAVID CROSBYCroz

First album of new material in two decades – David Crosby, the legendary troubadour collaborates with his son, James Raymond, Mark Knopfler and Wynton Marsalis, to deliver a quality release filled with sophisticated compositions that finds Crosby in good form. Bedded nicely in a jazzy folk style reminiscent of the glory days of CSN, Croz is an essential listening pleasure for true blue fans of classic rock.

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DISCOVERED @ SPOTIFY

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Jan 282014
 

Fusion or jazz fusion or jazz rock is a ‘genre’ that came out of jazz musicians being influenced rock n’ roll music in the late 60s and early 70s. Even more impenetrable than progressive rock (which at least had song melodies and lyrical concepts), fusion concentrated very much on virtuosity and improvisation and thus is sometimes difficult to understand. So, here is an introduction of sorts to the ‘genre’ – hope it helps…

… still there’s more …

DISCOVERED @ SPOTIFY

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Jan 192014
 

Sound of Contact

It’s 2014 but that doesn’t mean we can’t still be listening to music from 2013 we might have missed. Especially if said music has nothing whatsoever to do with hipster indie pop. That’s where Spotify comes in handy…

SOUND OF CONTACTDimensionaut

Fronted by Simon Collins (scion of Phil), Sound of Contact is first rate neo-prog that recalls post-Gabriel Genesis, for the most obvious reasons. Dimensionaut is an eminently listenable for prog rock fans who like a high quotient of pop elements in their diet.

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DISCOVERED @ SPOTIFY

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Jan 082014
 

Stephen Malkmus

2014 means new albums. Listen at Spotify!

STEPHEN MALKMUS & THE JICKSWig Out at Jagbags

Ex-Pavement frontman, Malkmus returns with a brand new solo LP. Idiosyncratic songs with quirky arrangements but never lacking in memorable tunes.

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DISCOVERED @ SPOTIFY

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Jan 072014
 

The Flower Kings

Neo-prog. Progressive metal. These are the descendants of the first wave of progressive rock that flowered in the 70s. Check ‘em out at Spotify.

THE FLOWER KINGSDesolation Rose

Hailing from Sweden, The Flower Kings have been making symphonic rock (echoing the sound of Yes, Genesis and King Crimson) since 1994.

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DISCOVERED @ SPOTIFY

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Dec 302013
 

The Parson Red Heads

Part two of our recommended 2013 listening list from music currently streaming at Spotify.

The Parson Red HeadsOrb Weaver

Probably one the bands that come closest to the spirit and vibe of 90s alt-country (viz. Son Volt, The Jayhawks, Wilco), The Parson Red Heads released one of the most 60s-evoking albums this year.

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DISCOVERED @ SPOTIFY

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Dec 292013
 

Besnard Lakes!

As promised, here is the first part of a list of recommended listening of 2013 releases that you have access to on Spotify! Enjoy…

Besnard LakesUntil In Excess, the Imperceptible UFO

Have been loving this Montreal band for a while now, and music fans should take them seriously as an alternative to fellow countrymen Arcade Fire. Their gorgeous mix of Pink Floyd meets mid-60s Beach Boys is enthralling. “Specter” is one of my songs of the year.

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2013: THE YEAR IN MUSIC

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Dec 282013
 

DaftPunk

Was 2013 a good year for popular music? It all depends on your definition of a ‘good year’. I believe that since the end of the 90s, the decline in the quality of popular music being written and recorded has been alarming. Compared to the previous 40 years, it’s fair to say that much of the popular music that has come out of the new millennium has been – with some exceptions, of course – largely forgettable.

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TUBEWATCH

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Dec 142013
 

HOUSE OF CARDS SEASON 2 OFFICIAL TRAILER

Netflix is an on-demand video streaming web service – an online version of the video rental store, one might say. In 2011, the service announced that it was venturing into original programming as well and the first series – House of Cards – a political drama adapted from the UK series of the same name & starring Kevin Spacey, was a resounding success.

Well, here comes Season 2 and based on the official trailer, it looks like the series is upping the ante in delivering shady political shenanigans as the Machiavellian politician Frank Underwood is now a heartbeat away from the Presidency of the USA but obviously has to work hard (and smart) to keep all his dirty secrets under wraps.

Take a look – the entire series drops at Netflix on 14th February next year!

HOSTESS CLUB WEEKENDER

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Dec 132013
 

HCW7_poster_roughs

Tickets now on sale for next year’s much anticipated Hostess Club Weekender in February over here.

To set the tone, here is a video of the intriguing duo that is Buke and Gase

… and listen to one of the essential albums of 2013, General Dome!

…still there’s more…