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Jeanines

Jeanines

Jeanines LP/CD

Brooklyn's Jeanines specialize in short bursts of energetic but melancholy minor-key pop. With influences that run deep into the most crucial tributaries of DIY pop — Television Personalities, Marine Girls, early Pastels, Dolly Mixture — they've crafted a style that is as individual as it is just plain pleasurable. Jeanines specialize in 60s-meet-80s melodies that combine with timeless guitar jangle in a way that recalls the UK's C86/C88 era, when smart young bands crafted perfect pop gems enlivened by the inspiration of punk. Clearly, with 16 great songs included, there is a lot at work here on this standout debut album. Jeanines have been compared to such cult pop icons as Black Tambourine and more recent acts like Veronica Falls and Girl Ray, but their dark, modal melodies and pensive, philosophical lyrics ensure them a place of their own in today's crowded but boisterously healthy DIY pop scene.

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Seventeen Seconds

Frankie Rose

Synthesizing wide-ranging influences, Frankie Rose has crafted a distinctive musical voice that echoes some of the best post-punk and 80s pop while still sounding totally fresh. It was in this spirit that Frankie covered The Cure's "Seventeen Seconds" for Turntable Kitchen's Sounds Delicious series. Here's Frankie on the challenge of tackling this album: "Since I already think it's a perfect record, I tried not to reinterpret too much and stick to similar sounds as the original, but with a twist. Working on it with Jorge Elbrecht was a dream, because he's the only person who’s as deep of a Cure fan as I am! And he's a damn wizard!" Frankie and Jorge have created something quite special, paying tribute to this classic album while still putting their own contemporary stamp on the songs.

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Ripe For Anarchy

Business of Dreams

Helmed by Terry Malts/Smokescreens/Magic Bullets member Corey Cunningham, Business of Dreams eschews the punk/indie guitar approach of those bands for something softer and less guitar-focused. Hearkening back to the mid-80s melding of synths and indiepop, Business of Dreams' 2017 eponymous debut was an unexpected pleasure that topped many savvy listeners' year-end lists. With his new album "Ripe For Anarchy," Cunningham has honed the songwriting with an eye towards regret, existence, and perseverance. The mantra here is this: it’s time to let go. "The album is about living in the moment, shedding neurosis, and the desire to discard the general societal malaise we’ve been roped into." The lush tunes abound with references to The Go-Betweens, The Smiths and The Field Mice -- beautiful melodies underpinning songs about the wounded, the lonely and the mournful. Perfect, timeless pop.

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Parallel Universe Blues

Papercuts

Papercuts' new album "Parallel Universe Blues" has a sound that is intimate and close, nicely balancing the sonic concerns of the last few Papercuts records: perfect Spectorian pop songs echoed down through The Velvet Underground, LA's Paisley Underground, Spiritualized and The Jesus and Mary Chain. Songs like "Laughing Man," "How To Quit Smoking," "Sing To Me Candy" and "Clean Living" are all gorgeous, melodic gems, never sacrificing song-writing for atmospherics and bringing to mind late night/rainy day albums like "Darklands" and "Chelsea Girl." "Parallel Universe Blues" is a triumph and points to more great things in the future from Quever and Papercuts.

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Modern Meta Physic

Peel Dream Magazine

Joe Stevens' NYC-based project Peel Dream Magazine is highly evocative of a certain strain of independent music -- a gentle, fuzzy psychedelia, recalling the best of early Stereolab, Lilys and other shaggy haired kids with a penchant for a hypnotic bit of mod-ish lo-fi pop. Written and recorded over a four-week period in the fall of 2017, Peel Dream Magazine's debut album "Modern Meta Physic" fixates on the New Age universe of the Catskills region of New York, an esoteric milieu steeped in Far East philosophy, Native American tradition and mid-century modern cool. Tunes like "Qi Velocity" and "Due to Advances in Modern Tourism" percolate and hum, leading you down a sonic path with markers as varied as Broadcast, Neu!, Steve Reich & Grouper.

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Hands In The Till: The Complete John Peel Sessions

The Wolfhounds

At the peak of media attention over the NME's C86 cassette, The Wolfhounds recorded three four-song sessions for the BBC's legendary John Peel Show between March 1986 and January 1987, capturing all the excitement and youthful exuberance of a band just catching the public imagination. With an energy born of sweaty, rammed gigs in London pubs and a willful experimentation nurtured in suburban bedrooms and garages away from watchful eyes, The Wolfhounds blasted their raw live sound straight to tape with little in the way of overdubs or the more considered studio polish of their excellent albums. Every song from these sessions is now gathered together on Hands In The Till, making a surprisingly coherent whole despite the heady disorganized thrust of the times and a couple of line-up changes in the meantime. More wiry and angular than most of their C86 peers, The Wolfhounds had more in common with The Fall than The Byrds, and Hands In The Till shows them at their caustic best.

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Kill The Lights

Tony Molina

With his brilliant new album "Kill The Lights," West Bay native Tony Molina continues his artistic evolution, steadily moving away from raging Weezer/Teenage Fanclub-style power-pop nuggets fueled by shredding guitar pyrotechnics and Tony's ironclad DIY HC roots to mostly acoustic arrangements that owe as much to "Horizontal"-era Bee Gees and the Fanclub's mellower moments as they do to Georges Harrison and Martin. From the Byrds-y opener "Nothing I Can Say" to the subtly wrenching "Wrong Town" and the gorgeous folk-picking of "Now That She's Gone" we hear Tony synthesizing his influences with great skill and intention These classic folk and pop styles are being employed in the service of stellar songs and universal lyrical truths, reflecting a dedication to craft combined with an intense commitment to self-expression that transcends simplistic genre boundaries and is totally true to Tony's DIY punk roots.

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Used To Yesterday

Smokescreens

LA's Smokescreens began as a couple of pals (Chris Rosi from Plateaus, Corey Cunningham from Terry Malts) paying tribute to the seminal 80s sounds of New Zealand's Flying Nun label and has grown to be so much more. Since their self-titled 2017 the band has expanded to a four piece and honed their tunes with constant SoCal gigging. Their new album "Used To Yesterday" continues Smokescreen’s zeal for New Zealand pop but also incorporates influences from the more melodic side of Messthetics-era DIY pop and expands into classic indie pop territory, a natural fit for the Slumberland Records roster. From the NZ-meets-Athens GA single "The Lost Song" through the 12-string driven "Waiting For The Summer" to the Paisley Underground-tinged closer "Falling Down," Smokescreens really excel in the quality of their songwriting and their ability to incorporate a disparate set of influences while still forging their own sound and identity.

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Aloha Hola

D.A. Stern

Aloha Hola LP/CD

D.A. Stern, the solo project of David Aaron Stern, is the musical amalgamation of crossword puzzle obsession, backgammon playing, and working as a recording engineer at Beastie Boy Adam Yauch's (aka MCA) studio. Stern's laid back, tongue-in-cheek lyrics effortlessly complement his dreamy pop rock arrangements of dense guitars and swirling organs. The music of D.A. Stern, who is more inspired by filmmakers Albert Brooks and Mel Brooks than any songwriter, could be compared to contemporaries Deerhunter, Real Estate and Yo La Tengo but with the timelessness of Paul Westerberg or the classicist bent of Harry Nilsson. "Aloha Hola" is Stern's debut and it's an assured set of classic pop songs that flirt with folk-pop, power-pop and indiepop while remaining comfortably outside of easy genre categorization. Stern's songwriting talent is in ample evidence on earworm singles like "Am I Ever On Your Mind?" and "Bluedgenes," packed with smart lyrics, chiming guitars and indelible hooks.

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Could It Be Different?

The Spook School

Glasgow's The Spook School are like indiepop super heroes, conjuring up some of the most infectious pop tunes we've heard in years, rocking crowds around the world, smashing at the gender binary while grappling with obstacles personal and political -- and having a marvelous time while doing it. Could It Be Different?, the band's third long-player, is a collaborative album of personal storytelling that works through life's hardships with positivity — even at their most beaten down, The Spook School manage to find hope, free of naivety. It's a record full of the insecurities and anxiety that arrive after self-awareness, in learning something new and potentially frightening about yourself. But at it's heart is joy — there's no desolation on the LP, because The Spook School manage to find light in moments of darkness. Why cry when you can dance?

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Cage Tropical

Frankie Rose

After 2013's "Hereinwild" Frankie Rose relocated to Los Angeles for what turned out to be a journey of frustration, setbacks and ultimately artistic rejuvenation as Frankie moved back to Brooklyn and hit the studio with renewed vigor and purpose. The result of this existential odyssey is Cage Tropical, Frankie’s 4th album. It is awash with vintage synths, painterly effects pedals, upside-down atmosphere and reverberating vocals. It evokes a new wave paranormality of sorts that drifts beyond the songs themselves. From with the shimmery, cinematic and percussive sparkling of the album’s opening track "Love in Rockets" to the motorik groove of first single "Trouble" to the epic closer "Decontrol," Cage Tropical is a bold and beautiful statement of purpose from an artist who is once again 100% in control of her music. Mysterious but focused, it is personal redemption turned into fine art.

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Foxhole

The Proper Ornaments

Foxhole LP/CD

Proper Ornaments is the project of James Hoare (Ultimate Painting, Veronica Falls) and Max Oscarnold (Toy, Pink Flames). Their chance meeting blossomed into an epicurean riot of luminous highs and cold, dismal crashes that conversely produced music that was very well ordered and faintly angelic. While 2014's "Wooden Head" was fuzzy and driving, on "Foxhole" they've sliced away a whole stratum of their sound, removing some distortion and lowering the frequency of plectrum strokes to allow more nuanced, piano-led ideas to emerge. The mood is dreamlike and pastoral, poetic and warmly expressive. Reference points of Velvet Underground and The Jesus & Mary Chain only tell part of the story - there is a cracked, wasted depth to "Foxhole" that draws you deep into the album's soundworld. Crucial.

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Wordless Wonder

Real Numbers

Finally! We're excited to bring you the brilliant debut album from this Minneapolis band whose string of excellent singles and EPs have been staples on the SLR turntable. Well-crafted crash-pop is the order of the day, with echoes of such greats at Television Personalities, The McTells and Cause Co-Motion adding historical color to these great songs. Wordless Wonder's ten tunes are brief and perfectly-formed, benefitting from thoughtful production that expands the band's DIY approach into rich new areas. Cut at 45rpm for maximum oomph, this great album is guaranteed to take a stake out a permanent spot in your "now playing" pile.

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Lost At The Party

Terry Malts

Our punk heroes Terry Malts are back with their third album and it's their boldest pop statement yet. There's always been a melodic core to the Malts sound, but this time around the band has decided to focus on it, using enhanced studio techniques to emphasize the POP. The band's influences have always included flavors like the Flying Nun sound and classic power-pop, and now they put their augmented sonic palette in the service of some of their strongest tunes yet. It's still plenty punk, but also their most sophisticated outing yet.

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Continental Drift

various artists

Continental Drift LP/CD/cassette

Four great bands, two great labels and two continents meet on this stellar mini-LP. Frequent collaborators Slumberland Records and Fortuna POP! team up to bring you "Continental Drift," a smashing eight song sampler of some of the finest pop out there in 2016. Featuring new songs from Mercury Girls, The Spook School, Tigercats and Wildhoney, "Continental Drift," is a stellar survey of the state of independent pop in all its colors: tuneful, noisy, passionate and above all FUN.

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Wolves of Want

Bent Shapes

Bent Shapes' second album sees them taking their angular, literate indie rock in bold directions. Catchier, tougher and more focused then their debut, Wolves of Want marries smart songwriting to infectious, energetic playing and comes out a winner. With echoes of everyone from The Feelies to The Wedding Present and Unrest, this Boston band knows their history but also knows how to write great tunes, and this is a taut, expertly-written album that is at once personal and universal, reinvigorating indie rock with fresh relevance.

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Spilt Milk

Pete Astor

"Spilt Milk" is the brand new album from indie auteur Pete Astor, previously of The Loft, The Weather Prophets, and other esteemed acts. It was recorded onto 1/2 inch tape at the home studio of James Hoare of Ultimate Painting, The Proper Ornaments and Veronica Falls, with James playing guitar, bass, drums, keyboards and singing backing vocals. "He was", says Astor, "an amazing band." Other contributions came from members of Astor's live band, with Pam Berry (Black Tambourine, Withered Hand) supplying vocals, Jack Hayter (Hefner) on pedal steel, Alison Cotton (The Left Outsides) on viola, and Robin Christian (Male Bonding) and Susan Milanovic (Feathers) on drums.
 
The album has all the hallmarks of a future Pete Astor classic, drawing together key strands and tributaries of his work over the years, blending intuitive songwriting, acute lyrics and incisive melodies. After many years making more experimental, electronic music Astor has come full circle to the sound that made his name.

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All Odds End

The Mantles

All Odds End LP/CD

The Bay Area's finest folk/pop/psych/garage band returns with "All Odds End," another understated, marvelously-textured guitar pop album featuring a tweaked line-up that now includes the swirling keyboards of Carly Putnam and the rock-solid bass of Matt Bullimore. "All Odds End" is full of folky, garagey flavors that echo the Paisley Underground and the best of New Zealand's underground pop. The lovely, sympathetic production by Jason Quever (Papercuts, The Donkeys, Elisa Ambroglio) only serves to underline the timeless nature of the tunes, songs that are at once familiar and fresh and place The Mantles into a category all their own.

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