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 MCGLASHAN – Warm Hand (Arch Hill)
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.
THE FORMAT – Dog Problems (Vanity)
No exaggeration to claim that Dog Problems was the emo generation’s own Pet Sounds, Spilt Milk (Jellyfish’s Roger Manning Jr. contributes to many tracks here) and A Wizard, A True Star. In other words, a pop masterpiece. (Note: Of course, The Format re-formatted subsequently to form FUN.) From 2006.
MR. ENCRYPTO – Secret Identity Crisis (Silent Bugler)
Bruce Gordon (aka Mr Encrypto) wa a welcome addition to the jangle-pop canon (back in 2003) where the ghosts of the Byrds, Buffalo Springfield & the Band were headily evoked. Gordon and co-producer Earle (Sparks) Mankey proved that it is possible to pay tribute to the magical 60s and yet remain creative and relevant.
STEVE WARD – See and Be Seen (Lucky Records)
Ward’s rustic ambitions are fulfilled perfectly as accordions, pedal steels and country inflections made a major impact on the musical palette presented. Thus, songs like the languorous “Down By The River,” the homey “The River Leads Me Home” and the pastoral “Days” & “Flow” will definitely leave a positive impression. From 2003.
WESTERN ELECTRIC – s/t (Gadfly Records)
Back in 1998, Sid Griffin with Western Electric took a conscious step to further progress the evolution of country music in the context of the modern rock perspective by introducing ingredients of trance, trip hop and techno into the stew.
THE THRILLS – So Much For The City (Virgin)
Musically, there is no mistaking the sound of the Beach Boys, Byrds, The Band and of course Gram Parsons in this pleasing debut. In truth, the first half is rather mesmerizing. The opening “Santa Cruz (You’re Not That Far)” intrigues with its varying time signatures, “Big Sur” dazzles with its jaunty vibrancy, “Don’t Steal Our Sun” delights with its Wilsonesque effervescence, “Deckchairs and Cigarettes” touches with its balladic charm and “One Horse Town” rocks with its melodic dynamism. From 2003
… still there’s more …