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“2009 beach-pop was about texture and haze, with artists like Washed Out, Best Coast, and many others spreading lo-fi gauze on otherwise upbeat pop ditties to conjure that sense of sunny abandon that comes with being at the ocean.

You could lump Brooklyn two-piece the Drums in the same category (their upcoming EP is entitled Summertime!) if their approach wasn’t so different from such acts– crystal clear by comparison– and refreshingly devoid of obscuration. With its bright, sparkling melodies, “I Felt Stupid”, a track that doesn’t appear on Summertime!, is a good example of the group’s unabashed pop. Displaying a clear love of new wave and synth-pop, the song bounces along with a giddy energy that plays off its melancholic lyrical content, which addresses the lost love of many summers ago (“Your arms around me seemed to be the only good thing that ever happened to me,” singer Jonathan Pierce laments). But the track is so danceable that it’s hard to worry much about his heartbreak. When the Drums mention the coast (“We can take a walk now, down the to beach… where we’re finally free”), it’s only in passing, more of an idea than a destination, and it seems to drive home the feeling that this music isn’t just for one season of the year.” – p4k track review

air waves

>> Favorite New Band
Air Waves
“Nicole Schneit is an amazing songwriter. The music she writes is like a favorite blanket wrapped around you. Drummer Dave Ferraro complements her songs well. “Shine On” is my current favorite song by them.” -dan deacon

“The Air Waves’ self-titled five song EP is quite simply a lovely collection of melodic tunes, upbeat guitar, and endearing vocals. The album feels earnestly clean and elemental (the band cites clouds and water as influences and it actually comes through). But the Brooklyn based trio embodies more than just a few naturally occurring compounds; their vibe is something along the lines of Beach House and Neil Young with some Pixies thrown in the mix. Overall, the band’s lo-fi rock is musically and lyrically smooth.

Nicole Schneit is a tactile writer; her lyrics inhabit intimacy and linger in the realm of scent, sounds, sleep, and touch. The band’s voice is authentic throughout the album. Tracks like Gems and Kingdom are dreamy and lethargic while Shine On and Lightening are peppy and up beat. Schneit’s songwriting momentum is derived from her ability to sow together a collage of simple statements and small movements into an impression of the story; like a picture painted with watercolors, where the edges and lines are obscured.

The last song entitled Keys is the highlight of the album. The track is smooth upbeat rocker about the inevitable passing of youth and acknowledgment of the trials old age can bring; Schneit declares there is a sound in every sound. Ultimately Air Waves feels like the back track to an over exposed home movie, tripping through muted scenes of running time, a familiar embrace tinged with that delicate melancholy of memory.”

julian lynch   orangeyouglad
tropical, psychedelic, falsetto, lo-fi, experimental-pop, fuzzy folk, organ/synth drones, the psych guitars, wobbly electronics

“As a member of Ducktails, one would no doubt expect a rather wave washed approach to pop to seep into Julian Lynch’s solo work. As such Orange You Glad does trade in a certain gasoline haze that seems to coat much of the Duck’s work as well but Lynch sways further from the sunny veneer of coastal jams that flow from Mondanile’s guitar. Instead Lynch replaces the rays of euphoria with a calm melancholy overcast that feels as comforting as days spent watching rain on window panes from the dry comfort of a favorite chair. Softly psychedelic and bringing a subtle edge of comfort to the lo-fi landscape, Lynch’s songs hit like a feathered hammer just when you need it. Though barbs and edges of gritty guitar occasionally sneak their way through the one cushioning constant is Julian’s honey and heat voice that brings sweet relief every time. A welcome addition to the gauzy stable of summer records piling up on the tails of ’09.”

smith westerns
“their music rides the line between charmingly novice and tunefully infectious. With loosely structured songs that are laid out in modern, disenthralled take on frat rock, they bang out songs that are as fun and as they are disheveled”

“The Smith Westerns are an anomaly: a bunch of garage-rockin’ teens singing about how badly they want to get laid. Sure, it’s a cliché, but the way these guys do it you’d think it was 1965, when romantic yearning over power chords was still fresh and exciting. “Oh girl, I wanna take you home,” lead S-Dub Cullen Omori croons earnestly over a wistfully swaying guitar line. He’s vulnerable, yet confident: young, and with nothing to lose. The idea sums up their existence as a band, too, cranking out songs and having some fun, letting the chips fall where they may.” -p4k Track Review

riyl : wavves, strange boys, ‘twee-fi’


“Plying 1960s Nuggets that belie their age, the Strange Boys quickly inserted themselves in Austin’s garage rock and pop revival…” / “slurred, slacker vocals texturing their classic riffs and rhythms”

“Strange Boys vocalist Ryan Sambol looks and sounds like a little boy. The slurred squeak of his voice bleats unique and quite frankly endearing, and its seeming innocence, along with the local quartet’s youthful looks and thin, noisy sound, invites comparison to another young garage rock band, Black Lips. The Strange Boys don’t possess the Lips’ anarchic punk energy, substituting instead an unconcerned ennui that seems rooted in lazy front-porch blues.” – Austin Chronicle

“The Strange Boys supply the perfect slacker-soul grooves for long nights of awkward shuffling, excessive drinking and desperate sidelong glances at the object of one’s affection.” –

“Their New Album is Quite Possibly The Best Album To Come Out Of Texas in the past decade.
It also may be The Best Album To Come out in 2009. These Guys Have an amazing vision. And Whats Impressive is that they have such command over their sound and they’re still so young. The Lyrics are an amazing breed between Lou Reed and Bob Dylan. The Strange Boys Are Where It’s At. Period” – comment on rollingstone.coms’ “New Favorite Band” (possibly too many Caps?)


“Atlantas’ most talked about acts in the vibrant punk, pop and experimental music scene… These women are real deal feminists, armed with a brash and irreverent sense of humor… Simply put The Coathangers get the party started. They say what they want to say, do what they want to do, and they write songs because they want to have fun… The group s manic pep rally chants morph into the sneering caterwauls of Tonya Harding over simple and powerful rhythmic plods…” -amazon

“The Coathangers keep the back-alley post-punk party going strong on a scratchy, shrieky, foul-mouthed sophomore album, Scramble, their first for Seattle-based Suicide Squeeze.” -p4k

Meredith Franco (bass/vocals) i think i ❤ u… sorry for uploadin ur album, dont let the tall one beat me up…

[link silenced by suicidesqueeze]
The Coathangers – Scramble (Suicide Squeeze, 2009)


“The San Francisco six-piece’s self-titled debut full-length album, strikes a balance between the psych-fried blur of the California sun and an amp-crackling, four-chorded garage basher.”

“Coming from San Francisco’s Castle Face Records (home to Ty Segall, John Dwyer/Oh Sees, and more), it’s gotta be gritty. Thus the few examples of aimless garage rock, though evocative, don’t pack much punch. The real moments of bliss on this debut, and there are many, skew toward tuneful, demented pop, recalling Lou Reed, Roky Erickson, and retro contemporaries like Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti.” –

“…the sound is deceptively sweet when you listen to the lyrics about shady friends, nuclear disasters, and demons in your head. Taking influence from acts ranging from 13th Floor Elevators to Tall Dwarfs and Swell Maps, the band’s lo-fi, lysergic sound is haunting, crossing borders between folk, garage, and slanted pop”

best hits

“Have you ever wondered what would happen if High Places and Dan Deacon had a love child?”
“We first heard Best Hits at a show on April at New York’s Cake Shop where they played alongside fellow freak, dance-electronic outfit dANA. A three-piece (two guys, one girl), Best Hits take the calypso-meets-jungle aesthetic of High Places and adds the increasingly popular 8-bit acid house glitch to create something that is equally at home in both the noise/avant continuum and a straight up glo-stick waving dance party.”

“And just for the record, Best Hits really are a band I am starting to expect to hear many more great things from. The album they’re currently working on promises to be an excellent blend of tape hiss, glitched-up electronics, and, uh, reggaeton. I’m very optimistic.” -Impose Magazine


“Here’s the timeless record for 2009. Electric studio (mostly) recordings from Philadelphia’s Constant Hitmaker. New fans of his last CD will cry into their pillows and accuse him of selling out the bedroom rock scene. The initiated few will know he’s been doing it for years – plugging in with a full on rock band called the Violators and gigging in all corners of Philly. With baritone guitar/bassist Adam Granduciel, rodeo slide and fuzz guitar from Jesse Turbo, and perfect percussion from Mike Zeng, the Violators are Kurt’s Crazy Horse, slugging it out with him when he feels like playing with a full band. Oddly pleasant singing, in-the-red fingerpicking, twisting swells of feedback, totally POUNDING drums, and Krautlike-zen fill both sides of this record. Loud and proud, The Hunchback EP looks right filed next to your Neil, Faust, and Spacemen 3 records.”


“Crocodiles is a two man band featuring Brandon Welchez (Plot to Blow Up the Eiffel Tower, the Prayers) and Charles Rowland (Some Girls, the Prayers). Welchez is the vocalist and programmer, while Rowland plays guitar, keys, and electronic drums. In December 2008, No Age listed a Crocodiles song among their favorite songs of the year, with writeup shortly to follow in Stereogum and” -San Diego Reader

“[Crocodiles are] a great new band from San Diego. This song is a real good kinda early eighties electro punk pop jam. It is super catchy.” – No Age via Stereogum Band to Watch

riyl: wavves, crystal stilts, spaceman3, feedback and distortion

Crocodiles – Summer of Hate (2009)