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Chime School

Chime School

Chime School LP/CD

Chime School is the project of San Francisco musician Andy Pastalaniec. Charmed by 80s indie and its 60s forbearers, Andy cut his teeth as a drummer with SF groups Pink Films, Cruel Summer, and Seablite; now he has come out from behind the kit to write and record his own material. The aptly named Chime School pays homage to the formative jangle of The Byrds by way of early Primal Scream and The Springfields; the production and pop sensibility of the Biff Bang Pow and The Razorcuts; and the spirit of great singles labels like Creation, Postcard and Sarah. From the dreamy album opener "Wait Your Turn" to the driving jangle of singles "Taking Time To Tell You" and "It's True" we can see that we're in the presence of a very talented writer indeed, someone with a lifetime's worth of pop fandom just waiting to burst out in song. Expected to ship on or before the November 5th release date.

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The Umbrellas

The Umbrellas

Joining a long line of SF bay area indie bands, The Umbrellas are sure to dazzle with their new self-titled debut album. Classic indiepop influences abound, from The Byrds to Orange Juice, The Pastels, Comet Gain and Belle & Sebastian, along with a noticeable garage-pop/Paisley Underground flavor that is a hallmark of San Francisco's best bands. Lead-off single "She Buys Herself Flowers" introduces us to a band that's both intimately conversant with indiepop history but also unburdened by it, a group with the song-crafting chops and spirit to take familiar elements and create for themselves a fresh new sound. The album goes from strength to strength, studded with pop gems like "Near You," "Lonely" and "Pictures" -- tunes that sound like classics from the first listen, as timeless and elemental as all great pop.

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I'd Rather Astral Project

The Reds, Pinks and Purples

Glenn Donaldson has really seized the moment with his new project The Reds, Pinks & Purples. A long-standing fixture on San Francisco's DIY indie scene, Glenn has concentrated his efforts lately on making downcast perfect with The RPPs and people are listening. He's so prolific that "I'd Rather Astral Project" and "Work It Out While You Can" were originally released as a limited edition bonus 7", but the songs are 100% top quality pop in the classic Cherry Red/Flying Nun/early Creation vein and hence more than worthy of a wider airing. These gorgeous, melancholic and melodic tunes are both an ideal addendum to "Uncommon Weather" and a terrific intro to the project for newcomers. Brilliant, as always.

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Uncommon Weather

The Reds, Pinks and Purples

From the many musical lives of artist Glenn Donaldson emerges The Reds, Pinks and Purples, a project that sifts out the purest elements of pop music and in the process chronicles the point of view of an assiduous songwriter. His new album "Uncommon Weather" is both an elusive portrait of San Francisco -- during one of its fluctuations as an untenable place for musicians and artists -- and also a self-portrait of a songwriter who has dispatched another treasured collection of timeless sounding DIY-pop songs. Self-recorded and mostly self-performed, the music on "Uncommon Weather" continuously reckons with the influence of The Television Personalities' Dan Treacy, as well as The Cleaners From Venus, Blueboy, East River Pipe, and the Cherry Red and Flying Nun labels. Beautiful, mysterious and rather perfect pop.

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Brighter Then

Real Numbers

Brighter Then 12" vinyl

Following on from 2016's "Wordless Wonder" album, Minneapolis' Real Numbers are back with a brand new EP entitled "Brighter Then." Recorded over winter 2019/2020, the EP shows the band journeying deeper into straight-up indiepop than ever before. Where "Wordless Wonder" partook in lo-fi post-punk DIY pop thrills, "Brighter Then" revels in the more sophisticated sounds of the late 80s and nails it. The smart songs and crisp production echo Sarah Records favorites like The Wake and Brighter; while never straying too far from their scrappy DIY roots, Real Numbers have broadened their sound with assurance, and fans of Felt and the Field Mice will be pleased with the results.

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Moral Panics

Peel Dream Magazine

Moral Panics 12" vinyl

NYC's Peel Dream Magazine dazzled listeners with their recent release "Agitprop Alterna," a smart album that draws from a wide set of post-punk, shoegaze and indiepop influences but still has an assured, unique sound. Now they're following up with "Moral Panics," a companion EP that features unreleased songs from the "Agitprop Alterna" sessions. Far from being outtakes, these are all songs that stand strong on their own, and gathered together function as a useful corollary to the album. Songs like "New Culture," "Verfremdungseffekt" and "Life At The Movies" continue Peel Dream's investigations into those frought areas where art, culture and commerce meet. Bristling with both ideas and solid tunes, the EP as a whole comprises a crucial piece of the band's discography.

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Erik

Flowers

Erik 7"

Formed in London in 2012, Flowers have released two albums and an increasingly assured string of singles of beautiful, effecting pop with echoes of C86 indie, post-punk pop, shoegaze, 90s 4AD and even early Slumberland Records. Far more than just a sum of their influences, they've dazzled pop fans around the world with their distinctively spiky songs and Rachel Kennedy's thrilling, ethereal vocals. "Erik" is their first single since 2017. Written about their wayward pet hamster, it's a lovely tune that wouldn't sound out of place on a Belly or Breeders record, a prime piece of the grungy, fuzzy pop that Flowers are so expert at creating. This single is part of the SLR30 Singles Series; while supplies last you can get a color vinyl version with a series subscription. More info and subscription links on the SLR30 Singles Series info page.

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Personal Computing

Neutrals

Neutrals are a punk band from the San Francisco Bay Area, channeling a wide range of '70s and '80s punk, post-punk, and indie-pop influences. Their debut album "Kebab Disco" came out in 2019 on Emotional Response Records and garnered universal acclaim as "an excellent collection of terse melodies, unique storytelling, and scraping pop. (AllMusic)". "Personal Computing" b/w "In The Future" is their new single and has the distinction of being the final entry in our SLR30 Singles Series. Both sides were recorded just before the COVID-19 lockdown began and share a bittersweet nostalgia for an imagined rose-tinted future that never was. The mood of thwarted utopian dreams feels all too appropriate right now and the tense, angular songs on this single are an ideal soundtrack for this unsettled moment. This single is part of the SLR30 Singles Series; while supplies last you can get a color vinyl version with a series subscription. More info and subscription links on the SLR30 Singles Series info page.

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A Strange Dream

Smokescreens

Following up their well-received 2018 album Used To Yesterday LA's Smokecreens are back with the excellent new record A Strange Dream. Produced by David Kilgour from NZ legends The Clean, "A Strange Dream" shows a band at the peak of it's talents, ably blending influences like The Go-Betweens, UK DIY indie and pop, and of course Flying Nun into a compelling, compulsive album. From the jaunty pop of opener "Fork In The Road" to the rocking "Streets of Despair" and the dreamy "On and On" this is a record that clearly shows a band that knows it's way around a timeless guitar riff and aching pop melody. Gorgeous ballads like "Nighttime Skies" and "I Love Only You" add a new depth to Smokescreens' sound, and the cover of Scrotum Poles' DIY classic "Pick The Cats Eyes Out" is perfect, and perfectly fun. A future classic.

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After School Special

Lunchbox

Lunchbox's Tim Brown and Donna McKean have been making records for two decades, inspired by 1960s/70s AM-radio pop and TV show theme music, punk, C86, and mod à la the Creation and the Jam. "After School Special" finds them at the height of their powers of songcraft and performance. From the shimmering opener "Dream Parade" to the horn-driven mod-pop of "Hide and Seek" and the haunting male-female vocal stylings of the title track and album closer, the textures shift while the unity of artistic vision remains. Catchy as hell and beautifully packaged, this is Lunchbox at their very best.

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A Tear In The Fabric

Devon Williams

Over three albums under his own name, Devon Williams has honed a trademark blend of power pop, folk rock, and jangle pop, anchored by his distinctive melodic gifts. After a six-year break, he returns with A Tear In The Fabric: 12 songs driven by a lilting dreaminess, rock-solid songcraft, and unerring hooks. Reference points might include artists like Tommy Keene, The Church and Felt, but Williams is very much his own writer.

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You And I

Pale Lights

Across two albums and a clutch of in-demand singles Pale Lights have established themselves as exemplary exponents of a classic style of pop that aligns with them groups like Felt, The Go-Betweens, and just about all of the best bands from the Flying Nun and Creation catalogs. "You And I" is their contribution to our SLR30 Singles Series and it's a lovely way to spend three minutes and twelve seconds. Sporting an indelible melody and some very fine guitar strum 'n' jangle, it is the sort of tune that 7" singles were invented. By the time Gary Olson's trumpet comes in at the mid-way point you know that you're in the presence of greatness.

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All The Things

Odd Hope

Oakland musician Tim Tinderholt has experimented with various jangle/punk bands for years and now with Odd Hope he's venturing from the garage to share his sharp DIY pop with the world. "All The Things" evokes early Television Personalities punch, filtered through a Ray Davies-style croon and leavened with a distinct bit of Flying Nun flavor. It's perfect pop, accomplishing more in its brisk two minutes than a lot of songs can manage in twice the time. On the other side we find "What's Your Part Of It?" -- a jangly rocker with cutting melodies and a measured lyricism that further marks Odd Hope as a project to keep a close eye (and ears) on. This single is part of the SLR30 Singles Series.

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Agitprop Alterna

Peel Dream Magazine

Peel Dream Magazine is the musical vehicle for NYC's Joe Stevens, who launched the band in 2018 with the critically acclaimed album Modern Meta Physic, a mysterious, liminal tribute to the hazy end of ‘90s dream-pop that found its place on numerous "Best of 2018" lists. Now Peel Dream are back with Agitprop Alterna, an album that pays homage to the fuzzy, mod-ish pop of acts like My Bloody Valentine and early Stereolab, but it's also indebted to stateside bands like Yo La Tengo and Rocketship that were cut from a similar cloth. Agitprop Alterna finds Stevens deepening the connection between the existential and the interpretive first explored on Modern Meta Physic. It is a rejection of manipulation in all its forms and a buzzsaw against complacency; it's a rare trick to agitate without being obvious, and perhaps that makes Agitprop Alterna the most Peel Dream Magazine-like statement yet.

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Hotrod Hotel

East Village

East Village are one of the great lost bands. From their mid-80s roots as Episode Four to their late-80s heyday with a string of now highly sought-after singles and EPs on labels like Sub Aqua, Heavenly and Summershine, East Village forged a brilliant, classic sound that resonated with contemporaries like the Flying Nun and Creation label bands, but also hearkened back to 60s influences like The Byrds, Dylan and Velvet Underground. Hotrod Hotel is a selection from the band's remarkable singles and is presented here for the first time on vinyl, packaged in a heavy, 60s-style album jacket with a 4-page insert featuring rare band pics and liner notes by Jon Dale.

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Singles 1986-1991

The Springfields

When it comes to indiepop, few names are as respected as Ric Menck and Paul Chastain and their project The Springfields. Taking their cues from influences like The Byrds and The Hollies they created a sound that was as jangly and melodic as their inspirations, but marked by a unique songwriting voice, excellent tunes, and sterling arrangements. This comp collects the 5 singles they released on Sarah, Picture Book, Summershine and Seminal Twang and adds one extra tune, here on vinyl for the first time. From the Paisley Underground-aligned opener "This Perfect Day" through the perfect pop of songs like "Sunflower" and a clutch of savvy covers, The Springfields created a compact, flawless catalog that more than justifies its legendary status and this timely reissue.

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Extended Leave

Lake Ruth

Lake Ruth was formed in 2015 by multi-instrumentalist Hewson Chen of The New Lines, drummer Matt Schulz (Holy Fuck, Enon, SAVAK) and vocalist Allison Brice (The Eighteenth Day of May, The Silver Abduction). Inspired by 1960's sonic experimentation, baroque psychedelia, library obscurities, vintage pop noir, Giallo soundtracks, kraut and jazz, Lake Ruth creates intriguing and unique music rich with multilayered instrumentation, propulsive rhythms and atmospheric vocals. This double-A side single is their latest music and perhaps the sharpest, most incisive example of their deep, thought-provoking pop yet. Mysterious and melodic, both sides ably demonstrate why Lake Ruth are one of the most interesting bands out there today. This single is part of the SLR30 Singles Series; while supplies last you can get a color vinyl version with a series subscription. More info and subscription links on the SLR30 Singles Series info page.

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Faces

Failed Flowers

Faces 7"

Formed in 2014 during a summer spent obsessing about Sarah Records, Michigan band Failed Flowers are a shadowy group, evoking elements of C86, indie, pop and shoegaze. The current line-up coalesced in 2015 around guitarist/singers Anna Burch and Fred Thomas, bassist Erin Davis and drummer Miles Haney. "Faces" is the first song Anna brought to the band, a wash of guitars and vocal harmonies that are somehow both quick and casual. "Broken Screen" was described as "The Strokes in a bar fight" seconds after the lead vocals were put to tape, and the song zips along nervously with just that energy. One half jumpy, self-conscious punk and one half Flying Nun-esque grey skies pop and all Failed Flowers. This single is part of the SLR30 Singles Series; while supplies last you can get a color vinyl version with a series subscription. More info and subscription links on the SLR30 Singles Series info page.

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now viewing: singles
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