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Tuesday, Jul 1, 2014
The driving, garage-rock inspired "Black Pony" by the Nashville-based the Wans is available to stream exclusively on PopMatters.

Later this year, Nashville-based rock outfit the Wans are set to release their new LP, He Said, She Said. Lead singer and guitarist Simon Kerr says of the record, “I’m more proud of this record than anything I’ve done in my life. The songs are all the strongest songs I’ve ever written. The production and sounds are brilliant thanks to our producer, Dave Cobb, and our engineer, John Netti. I can’t forget Vance Powell who mixed it and Ed Spear who was assistant mix engineer. I’ve got pretty high expectation’s for this record and I’m so excited for people to hear it.


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Wednesday, Jun 25, 2014
The simple alt-country of Lines West's music goes a long ways in softening the Connecticut band's intense lyrical explorations, as its new single "Lover" attests.

One of the wonders of music is its ability to soften the impact of intensely personal subject matter through the use of “happy sounding” technique and key signatures. As Chris Thile once said about bluegrass, “If you want to be happy, listen to the music; if you want to be sad, listen to the lyrics.” “Lover”, the latest single from the Bridgeport, Connecticut alt-country duo Lines West, is an ideal example of the tension between affable music and emotionally probing lyrics. The team of John Radzin and Brian Larney behind the Lines West name bring out this classic feature of country and bluegrass music especially on “Lover”. It’s a tune one will likely hum along to, whether or not one notices Radzin’s melancholy self-exploration.


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Wednesday, Jun 25, 2014
Boston rockers We Were Astronauts have a fun new summer jam in the .38 Special-esque "Keep It Together", which should fit cozily on any summer road trip playlists.

The operative word in the band name “We Were Astronauts” is “were”, for the Boston rock quartet that bears the appellation sounds firmly rooted to the earth. Such is definitely the case for “Keep It Together,” a track off of their upcoming recording Artificial Light, which following a successful Kickstarter campaign was recorded in Los Angeles with producer Warren Huart. Rooted in the country-tinged classic rock of groups like .38 Special, “Keep It Together” is as ideal a summer road trip radio tune as there could be.


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Tuesday, Jun 24, 2014
In bringing together the stylings of classic California rock and dusty, melancholic noir, indie rockers Sugarplum Fairies create their own unique vision of Los Angeles in their song "Escondite".

The dusky, shadow-tinged depiction of Los Angeles that is “Escondite”, a track off of the latest Sugarplum Fairies album Godspeed & Silver Linings, brings to mind the infamous opening credits of The Big Lebowski, tumbleweed and all. Yet while the sonic-to-aural comparison is uncanny, there are no bedraggled bowlers or mustachioed narrators here; instead, the echoey vocal of frontwoman Silvia Ryder plays against the gravelly bass vocals of RT Valine, crafting a sonic landscape indebted to ‘70’s California rock. The vision of Los Angeles that Sugarplum Fairies construct throughout Godspeed & Silver Linings, however, is entirely their own.


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Monday, Jun 23, 2014
The deceptively cheery, Zappa-esque ditty "It Doesn't Even Matter", by the Brooklyn chamber pop band Onward Chariots is available to stream exclusively on PopMatters.

“You’d never guess it,” says Ben Morss of the Brooklyn chamber pop outfit Onward Chariots, “but I initially conceived ‘It Doesn’t Even Matter’‘, the band’s latest single, “as the dark, angry, highly bitter cri du coeur of a frustrated songwriter”. One spin of the track, and it is indeed difficult to have the notion in one’s head that it ever began with such intentions. “It Doesn’t Even Matter” positively bleeds of the sunny side of ‘50s and ‘60s pop.


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