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Friday, Apr 18, 2014
by PopMatters Staff
British singer Shirin brings glampop back front and center, but she can rock too and sounds like the next in the line of great UK dancepop divas.

Shirin‘s debut release is the EP Good Girls Always Surrender and “Take a Bullet” is the first single. The tune is a real dancefloor filler with bangin’ beats and powerful vocals.


Shirin says, “the writing process for ‘Take a Bullet’ happened so quickly for me. I remember sitting in the studio with Michael Stockwell and he had this guitar riff playing round and round, which is the opening riff for the song, and I was thinking ‘this feels like a real movie soundtrack song.’ I had all these images playing out in my mind like I was in a Western film sitting in a saloon, and then the chorus kicks in and it’s like a brawl is happening. It felt really epic and the first like that came to me was “Bang, Bang, Bang Honey, shot you down, down.”


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Wednesday, Apr 16, 2014
by PopMatters Staff
Today we have the pleasure of sharing with you an exclusive live performance of Royal Canoe's "Button Fumbla".

Royal Canoe tells us about the production of the video and the aesthetics that drove its creation. “With the ‘Button Fumbla’ video, we wanted all of the production value of a music video without having to lip-sync or lose the spontaneous, vibrant quality of a live performance. We enlisted the help once again of our good friend and frequent collaborator, Mike Maryniuk to direct. He created a “Fortress of Solitude” with sparkling stalagmites, plexiglass mountains and multiple live projections. The Ronnettes from the Future make a cameo.” Sounds groovy and here you go…


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Wednesday, Apr 16, 2014
by PopMatters Staff
Facing a brief crisis where they thought they may have reached the end as a band, Smoke Fairies emerge with a new album, better than ever and with a renewed focus on the craft of songwriting.

Between 2012 and now, Britain’s Smoke Fairies have gone back to the drawing board, re-assessing their writing techniques. “We scrapped lyrics right from the start if they were too flowery,” says Jessica Davies. “Unless the lyric really got to the point and said something, it got cut.” Katherine Blamire concurs: “As songwriters, I feel we’re really starting to sum things up properly, to nail them down. For me, it was a testament to how long we’ve been together that we could just say to each other ‘that’s shit.’ There really was no ego on this record.”


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Friday, Apr 11, 2014
Wooden Wand's James Jackson Toth releases his new album, Farmer's Corner, in May on Fire Records

Farmer’s Corner, the upcoming record from James Jackson Toth’s project Wooden Wand, is also the first self-produced record in the Wooden Wand catalog. No wonder, then, Toth sounds so much at home, so much like himself on this record. Nowhere is that clearer than on excellent album opener “Alpha Dawn”. It’s a guitar-and-voice number, built around dusty acoustic and the sweet croak of Toth’s voice, but it’s also surrounded by melting textures, stringed instruments and atmospheric hues that spread this lonesome sound out into something larger than it seems. The song, and the record as a whole, is sparer than recent Wooden Wand records like Blood Oaths of the New Blues and Wooden Wand & the World War IV, but it’s got a similar bittersweet expansion to it. For an artist always fitfully changing, Toth seems to have found a sonic home on these past few records, and that uneasy comfort is clear on “Alpha Dawn”. And yet, even when he finds home, Toth is still restless and wandering in fruitful ways.


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Thursday, Apr 10, 2014
by PopMatters Staff
The result of long-lost half-brothers collaborating together, Young Boy's Other Summers is a delicate dream-pop album that beams with an uncommon sense of camaraderie.

Young Boy consists of long-lost half-brothers Alessandro Baris and Joseph Desler Costa (from L’Altra), who collaborated by sending music between Italy and the U.S. after connecting up with one another. Made in 2013 when Baris and Costa met up in person in Italy, Other Summers bears the traces of an intuitive camaraderie as the brothers thread pensive vocals, refined synths, and patient guitar lines together into delicate dream-pop compositions.


Streaming exclusively on PopMatters, Young Boy’s Other Summers is out now via Saint Marie Records.



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