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Thursday, Feb 26, 2015
The Brooklyn duo Bob and Martha came together "an explosive firework of creativity and kittens". One spin of their newest tune, "We Leave", makes it evident that description is no exaggeration.

Bob and Martha are not actually Bob and Martha; the actual names of the duo are Aparna Muralidharan and Dan Bonsignore. According to their press materials, they both met and starting recording music in “an explosive firework of creativity and kittens”. Upon listening to Bob and Martha’s new EP, Middle Babies, it becomes clear that description is no mere use of adorkable rhetoric. Especially on tracks like “We Leave”, which you can exclusively stream below, the band’s brand of lo-fi, charming pop more than lives up to the image of a firework of kittens. Add this up with the animal costumes the group wears on the cover of Middle Babies and you’ve got yourself one twee pop outfit with a sense of humor and childlike wonder about their music.


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Thursday, Feb 26, 2015
Smoky and nocturnal, the title track off of the New York City-based Allies for Everyone's Bunker EP is a sharp blend of catchiness and moodiness.

Synth-pop bands are a dime a dozen these days—hell, maybe even less than a dime at this point. One might say that the Brooklyn/New York City synth and indie scene has hit its economies of scale moment, if it hadn’t done so already. For that reason, when an artist or band pulls off a particularly memorably catchy take on synth-pop, it’s hard not to notice. Such is the case for Allies for Everyone, a project by the New York City musician Brian Suarez, whose new EP Bunker displays both pop smarts and the textural prettiness that many bands of his ilk fall far short of. The EP’s title cut particularly stands out; with a great hook, an earwormy three-note ostinato, and layers upon layers of atmospheric synths, it’s a track that does what good synth-pop should do.


“Bunker” now has an equally atmospheric music video to accompany it, featuring plenty of smoky visuals that enhance the already distinct nighttime mood of the tune.


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Thursday, Feb 26, 2015
The newest tune by this pop collective features contributions from the recently departed Small Faces member Ian McLagan.

Going on strong for over 20 years now, the pop collective the Minus 5, helmed by Scott McCaughey, has been crafting solid pop tunes in the vein of classic ‘70s rock and pop. The word “collective” here is not purely rhetorical; part of what makes the Minus 5 distinctive is that they bring on new players for each new recording, a fact that remains true on their newest studio affair, Dungeon Golds.


Below you can stream the audio of the album track “In the Ground”, which features the recently departed Ian McLagan, of the legendary Small Faces fame.


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Thursday, Feb 26, 2015
Electric piano classes up the melodic indie rock of the Brooklyn outfit Looms, as captured on their newest track "Sunshine".

“Just imagine if Wilco and Coldplay had a baby adopted by Radiohead”, says Looms when describing themselves on their website. Perhaps this is an apt description, but Looms use one thing that those bands (or really any bands) use rarely enough: Fender Rhodes. This most revered of electric keyboards is a time-proven way to class up a song or, in the case of “Sunshine”, give it a swanky, lounge-ready mood. In addition to being a pleasant, relaxed listen, the loose playing of “Sunshine” makes it ripe for reinterpretation and expansion, fitting given the group’s improvisational chops in a live setting.


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Wednesday, Feb 25, 2015
The penultimate installment of PopMatters's six-week series on the UK sibling trio the Rua zeroes in on "Into the Crowd", one of the edgier numbers on the trio's forthcoming LP Essence.

The all-sibling trio called the Rua, comprised of 22-year old Roseanna Brown (voice and guitar), 24-year old Alanna Brown (piano and backing vocals) and 19-year old Jonathan Brown (violin, guitar, vocals and backing vocals), has already caused a splash in its native United Kingdom with its debut album, Essence. With that LP about to see its United States release, the Rua are offering listeners a chance to go behind the scenes of the making of the music on a track-by-track basis. The Rua’s knack for gripping melodies, in addition to their background in classical training, make them a rising talent to keep an eye out for.


There’s only one week left after this installment of PopMatters‘s six-week series on Essence. This week, the band explains a bit about the track “Into the Crowd”, which Jonathan describes as one of the “edgier” moments on the record.


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