Something Less EP - Zone Out
Blissful dream pop from Melbourne starlets. Released on Osborne Again
in a fine debut year for the label. Super sweet harmonies and glittering guitars make for the most lovely of pop listening experiences, Something Less
and This Place
are shining gems while What’s Missing?
is a warm pulse slower, Ashley Bundang’s words evoking a lovely floating sensation amidst the songs gentle rhythm. A charming EP of pretty guitar pop, straight and simple.
Salad Boys - Salad Boys
Christchurch blokes bring the mad laconic guitar pop. Eight nicely affected tunes that reflect on urban living and romantic disorientation. My Uniform
has a reassuring stoner feel, slacking along just behind the pace. Songs like Dream Date
have got more punch, banging along with a great nervous energy. Ace guitar noise contrasts the sweet pop moments. Clever songs that are distinctly of a NZ origin, recalling many great Flying Nun bands. Terribly enjoyable garage pop.
Tomorrow, Tomorrow - Campfires
Stellar LP from Portland’s Jeff Walls, released on the great Fire Talk
. Such a terrific combination of ebullient joy and melancholic reflection in these songs. Simple Things
as anthemic as a song can be at 2:13. Coping with day to day life. Coping with change. Celebrating the beautiful. The Lighted Avenues
another highlight, full of beautifully crafted imagery and sunny guitars. Wells is a wonderful songwriter, distilling heavy ideas into memorable pop gems. Trademark super lo-fi production always gives me the feeling his is the room, singing songs directly to you. Personal and so very likeable, this was my favourite pop album of the year.
Parking Lots - Ermine Coat
“Ten songs about telethon, shoes, magnolia and neil young’s hearse.”
Ermine Coat turns out a fine set of slow melting lo-fi pop. Oblique lyrics and oblique sounds that give off something of an opiate feel. Pleasing pop crackles through hazy distortion while noisy instrumentation introduces itself and departs, moments of clarity offset with an unsettling uncertainty. Stay Ugly
both a lovely sentiment and excellent slug of subversive noise pop, recalling very early Beck Hansen. Eternal Mcdonalds
perhaps strangest moment, seemingly a recording of being smuggled through a drive-through in the boot of a car. Gets loud at times and gazes off into dark places, though always retains an understated pop feel. Inventive lo-fi that has much to offer in its curious nuances.
A History Of Hygiene - The Stevens
Long awaited 24 track triumph from Melbourne four piece, released on Chapter Music
. Puts the hooks in from the get go and doesn’t let up, a wonderful Australian guitar pop album. Couple it with the 7” released last year also
and you have enough pop goodness to sustain a lifetime. A great live band too, their album launch at The Tote was a definite gig going high point in 2013. Like Campfires, these are songs that offer much more than their short duration indicates. Some of the years most insistent ear worms, do not be off put by their sometimes dark subject matter - give yourself over to the irresistible pop charms of Scared Of Other Men
, Worse Everyday
or Skeleton Vs. Silicon
. Resistance is futile.
You should also check out…
I Love You... - Oh, Yoko
We’re Not Köping - Finnmark!
Night Bus - The Ancients