Vitsa Blue and its garage power pop sound has been featured before, now the band has a new collection of FREE holiday music. My fave on this EP is “A ’90s Kind of Christmas” with plenty of references to that era, like the lyric “We’ll sing lots of Weezer songs this Christmas.”
‘Welcome Christmas Time’ is a free song recorded by Red Cabin (aka Jonathan Foster) included on a Christmas Compilation from the Powerpop Academy (JAPAN).
The JAC (aka Joe Algeri) delivers a free Christmas single from down under.
The Bishop’s Daredevil Stunt Club “Don’t Buy This Record”
The Bishop’s Daredevil Stunt Club gives us real sweet EP, it features a variety of styles from the angular alt. rock synths of “Have You Met You” to the bright riffs of the anthemic “Succumb To The Blues.” Clearly the band likes to indulge with longer jams but what is interesting here is the 5-minute long “Just Drive” where the first minute is clearly inspired by the theme of the show Stranger Things. My favorite here is “The Sweetest Song” with a whistling bridge to a catchy chorus. And its a FREE Download — this is so good it’s scary!
Vista Blue “October Days (and October Nights!)”
Vista Blue is back in time for Halloween. The Blue boys give us a real treat in a series of fuzz drenched songs based on horror movie locations, like the Beach Boys inspired “Crystal Lake” and “Trick ‘r Treat.” Also enjoy the Ramones-like “Haddonfield Memorial.” Bonus points if you can name the movies these locations are from. This is also a FREE Download — no tricks here, just a power pop treat!
Jim Eyles “Propeller”
New Jersey based artist Jim Eyles delivers a raw rock and roller “It Takes Too Long” and his take on “Slow Down Fast” makes use of a catchy bass riff. While Eyles vocals are a bit rough, producer Steve Butler (Smash Palace) adds some brilliant guitar work on “You Should Know Better” and the reverb rhythms of “For The World.” Overall a fine introduction to Jim Eyles, and a great addition to your playlist.
Jared Lekites is back as The Lunar Laugh with a new singe “Work In Progress” and its got great catchy melody. Jared never disappoints, so get this one!
Long island native Jonathan Foster is back with a new Red Cabin EP. “Willow Tree” and “Falling Apart” are solid pop gems. Its a FREE download so add it to your playlist.
German musician Kai Danzberg has many influences from disco, modern pop to powerpop and “Time Machine” is clearly influenced by ELO. Some hit potential is definitely here, listen also to “You Keep Turning.”
Okay London native Melanie Crew is NOT power pop, but she’s got a calm sweet voice. She’s actually had songs receive airplay on the BBC. If you want to just chill out this is the FREE download for you.
David Myhr(The Merrymakers) has a new single “Spellbound” that I promoted on Facebook a few days ago. It’s a very ELO-inspired track that is featured in a Swedish movie “Flykten till Framtiden.” Looking forward to more Myhr! Get it on iTunes
Talk Show Host – Like the pop punk of Green Day? Then enjoy this fast paced band from Toronto. Band is described as “Two recovering punks and an indie rocker walk into a bar.” FREE download (no drink minimum).
Richard Cummins – Yet another Beatles cover album, with an emphasis on McCartney’s work and some of his solo stuff. very well done and a FREE download. Hey Beatle tribute bands, he may be available!
And since Macca “taught him to play,” he wrote an original song about that too.
Music Video Spotlight
The Anderson Council’s Facebook exclusive video for “Magical” from their newest CD Assorted Colours. We review it here.
Pop Maestro Seth Swirsky is back with his third solo album Circles and Squares and right away on “Shine,” as we enter through a world of piano chords, Beach Boys harmonies and you are transported to musical bliss. The intro leads seamlessly into the title track “Circles and Squares” which is a swirling McCartneyesque melody that becomes a folk ballad midway through. “Far Away” is one of the best songs here, with an ELO-styled structure and its sweeping orchestration. “Trying To Keep It Simple” is the emotional heart of the album where he just intones “I’m trying to keep it simple. I don’t have to be a Beatle.” Indeed Seth just has to be himself to shine, as the majority of the songs are gentle romantic musings from “Belong” to the ballad “I Think Of Her.”
Strong Nilsson and McCartney vibes are visible in each composition with no filler here. “Let’s Move To Spain” has a intimate party atmosphere, and “Table” marries the Rickenbacker riffs to an easy going melody with a description of “his mess.” But as the song “I Don’t Have Anything (If I Don’t Have You”)” tells us, all his stuff (baseballs, gold records) means nothing without his love. Overall an adult soft pop triumph and a easy contender for best album of 2016. Don’t miss it.
This third EP for the Detroit duo of Gordon Smith and Allison Young is one of the best this season. “Stay Inside” has a poppy bounce and strum that recalls Juice Newton, plus a great cover of The Sunrays “I Live For The Sun.” And “Fall Back” is a gorgeous tune where you can almost feel the leaves changing color in the melody. The harmonies are solid and the songs are short, catchy and memorable. Not a single dud — highly recommended. And best of all its a FREE download — so pick it up now!