Tommy Lorente and The Y Axes

Tommy Lorente “Un cruel manque de tendresse”
It’s rare I hear a power pop musician from France, but Tommy Lorente is a genuine talent. Coming across like a French version of Kurt Baker, the album title translates to “A severe lack of tenderness,” and it bursts forth with a great opener “Ma Dose de Toi.” A little bit of Elvis Costello and Rockpile go a long way to making this a fun listen.

The caveat is that the entire album is sung in French, but even if you don’t comprendre les mots you’ll enjoy the hand clapping, toe tapping “Mirabelle” and sweet strums of “Quelque Part.”  Another highlight is “Katerine,” with its catchy main guitar riff and cowbell beat. No duds here and the production is clean with heavy percussion and horns underneath those riffs. Highly Recommended.

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The Y Axes “Sunglasses and Solar Flairs”
San Francisco Y Axes fall along the lines of ’90s indie pop, so fans of The Primitives or The Sugarcubes will enjoy the bright vocals of lead singer Alexi Belchere on the opening track “Sunglasses.” The lush synth textures mixed with sharp rhythm guitar on “Nothing With You” make this a highlight. But my favorite track here is “Green To Gold” with its textured dance beats and layered chorus.

A little of the Y Axes goes a long way, so more generic tracks like “Loop Machine” and “Rivers” don’t stick despite the slick production work. “Chemicals” is an almost-hit, with its anthem-like chorus that rescues the song. “Artax” is another notable guitar/synth combo with Alexi’s chirping vocal. Give it a try for only $5 on Bandcamp.