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Wednesday, June 28, 2006

The Pop Universe Continues To Expand

Headlights (Champaign, IL)
Originally uploaded by silverzephyr.

I’ve been feeling very positive about the quality of releases from new (and old) pop bands I’ve heard lately. I mean, it is SUMMER, the perfect time for basil mojitos, swimmin’, mowin’, meat eatin’ and pop listenin’. Here’s what I’ve been lending an ear too:

*The Headlights - “Kill Them With Kindness” (PolyVinyl) – Got this one in the mail and hadn’t heard anything about them. I stuck it in the player was instantly impressed. I get at least one or two CDs a day and 90% of them suck, so imagine my joy. They’re from the Midwest (Champaign, IL) and remind me of Of Montreal and Broken Social Scene a bit with their melodious approach to gorgeous, orchestral pop. Super catchy!
*Camera Obscura – “Let’s Get Out Of This Country” (Merge) – Glasgow’s Camera Obscura has hit their peak. I’m sure they hated those Belle & Sebastian comparisons in the past but they’ll like this one: Let’s is about 8 billion times better than anything B & S have done in a long time. The 1950’s sensibilities and snarky lyrics make it one of the best records of the year so far.
*1900s- “Plume Delivery” (Parasol) – The 1900s are an “it band” with seven members and lotsa buzz from Chicago. About half this EP is right-on with dazzling harmonies and a baroque folk/pop bent. However, when they let their psych tendencies intrude, things get a little hinky. Still, a nice first run and a band worth keeping your eye on.
*Grizzly Bear – “Yellow House” (Warp) - Beautiful, atmospheric pop that floats like the fluffiest white clouds in the sky.
*Psapp – “The Only Thing I Ever Wanted” (Domino) – Like Solex, Psapp combines an array of electronic noises, samples and beats with female vocals for a jumpy, funky, completely irresistible outcome.
*Hidden Cameras – “Awoo” (Arts & Crafts) – Folky & infectious pop from a Toronto collective of musicians

Did I mention ice cream man chasin’? Chocolate Taco, here I come!

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