I heard a few worthy albums and emerging talent toward the years end that deserves some attention even though it’s not strictly power pop. Here are some groups you might want to check out.
V Sparks “Biscuits and Tea” EP
Mix togther equal parts of Mika and T. Rex and you get the baroque styled glam that is the known as V Sparks. This is an excellent, short EP that crackles with energy and over the top pomp with the opener “On My Arm” and the thematic title track which fans of Bryan Scary and Queen would flock to easily. Best of all it’s FREE through Noisetrade – so spread the wealth!MySpace
The Stagehands “The Silent City “
The musical drama show Glee
was pretty popular last year and this production is a pretty good comparable effort, although not power pop. Stagehands is not just a band, but also a theatrical production which combines the sound and storytelling of Broadway with the power and excitement of rock. They do make use of plenty guitars and beats for songs like “Sailor Man, Sailor Man” and “The Threat.” It’s got something for everyone, and you can name your price on Bandcamp.MySpace
Rocket To The Moon “On Your Side”
One of the better emerging young bands I’ve heard recently, this debut is full of fine pop tracks. Hailing from Braintree, Massachusetts this emo quartet is lifted by lead singer Nick Santino’s vocals. “Mr. Right” and “Annabelle” have an almost innocent teen pop feel that those Jonas guys lack. The standout for me was the mid-tempo country pop of “On A Lonely Night” and the ballad “Like We Used To” is a song that’ll make the teen girls swoon. Otherwise the album isn’t that cohesive and feels like a collection of singles and genre experiments (“Sometimes”). If you liked PushPlay
this will fit in to your music mix nicely.MySpace
Breakers Broken “Reset” EP
Something really different here – a mix of dance funk and indie pop from this Chicago outfit. Vocalist Tim Yamaya almost channels Michael Jackson for “Last Man On The Planet” and the beats and bass work are very catchy here. Not everything here sticks, but it does enough and the great instrumental work (like in “The Climb”) is just mesmerizing. It does create a powerful soundscape of genres fused together and why not give it a shot? Get a FREE sample download here.
The band name is pulled from frontwoman and songwriter Leslie Moruza Dripps. Again this is considered more indie-jazz influenced piano pop, but it’s a treat for listeners who dug Clare and The Reasons
last month. It’s Leslie’s compelling vocal and melodic gifts that make the opener “Lonely Heart Road” a winner. The arrangements are sparse, with plucking strings and piano, so you can concentrate on the lyric and melody. Other highlights include the see-saw rhythm of “Psychic Soy” and the folksy percussion of “Bad Man.” The vocals get layered on “Garden In The Sand” and it’s almost a Renaissance-style waltz. Much of the album’s tone is somber, but it’s not all serious, as “Penny” is a bouncy pop gem here. Clearly better than most jazz pop out there, but I wonder how Moruza would fair with a fuller orchestral treatment. Maybe the next album…MySpace
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