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Thursday, Dec 12, 2013
On “Rome”, Birmingham, Alabama's Through the Sparks conjures up a mighty indie-rock groove, something with the swagger of Spoon when it's strutting its stuff

Through the Sparks might bill itself as Birmingham, Alabama’s answer to Big Star, but the veteran group’s archival track “Rome”—featured on the upcoming rarities collection Invisible Kids—offers up a more exuberant vibe to go with intuitive power-pop hooks. On “Rome”, premiering here on PopMatters, Through the Sparks conjures up a mighty indie-rock groove, something with the swagger of Spoon when Britt Daniel and co. are strutting their stuff. Invisible Kids is due for release on 21 January 2014 on Skybucket.


 


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Friday, Dec 6, 2013
The captivating visuals for Superhuman Happiness' "Second Heart" video convey the group's rich, layered sound.

The aptly named party-music supergroup Superhuman Happiness returns with a video for the track “Second Heart” from its debut full-length Hands. Conceived and directed by Tatiana McCabe, the creative, captivating visuals, which combine stop-motion animation and green-screen video compositing, help to convey a rich, layered sound that’s both carefully composed and vibrantly natural. Superhuman Happiness is currently in the studio working on new music, and bandleader Stuart Bogie will be sitting in with the horn section on Arcade Fire’s 2014 tour.


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Wednesday, Dec 4, 2013
by PopMatters Staff
New York's PT Walkley offers up an album of pure pop heaven... with horns.

PT Walkley‘s songs emerge as fully-formed catchy pop nuggets with hooks galore. Power pop, ‘70s pop, and soul combine in the songs from Shoulders, releasing February 18th. Walkley has serious musical chops having worked with myriad styles over the years. He even has a deep love of the blues. Shoulders plays very much as a song cycle, one based around an emotional year in which Walkley’s son was born and his best friend passed away. This is classic stuff, easy to love from the first few notes… and honestly you had me the second those Stax-esque horns first appeared.



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Tuesday, Dec 3, 2013
by PopMatters Staff
Austin's Gina Chavez is a multi-ethnic Latin pop songstress, blending the sounds of the Americas in new and intriguing ways.

On her new album up.rooted, Gina Chavez traverses many Latin forms, including cumbia and bossa nova, merging them with the singer-songwriter aesthetic of major influences such as Patty Griffin and Ani DiFranco. The result is genre stew that is a perfect representation of what “Americana” really means. In other words, Americana is about more than the US, as it’s really the indigenous roots music of the Americas and it’s multi-ethnic to the bone. Chavez‘s many fans supported the production of up.rooted through a highly successful Kickstarter campaign that allowed her to bring on some major Austin talent as players on the record, including Adrian Quesada and David Pulkingham on guitars; Glenn Fukunaga on bass; the Grupo Fantasma Horns; the Tosca String Quartet; and Michael Ramos on keys and accordion.


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Tuesday, Dec 3, 2013
by PopMatters Staff
LGBT popsters Hi Fashion return with a new EP and a NSFW holiday-themed video.

Hi Fashion specialize in dance pop aimed squarely at the clubs and their frenetic dancefloors. The group’s new EP You Are Gorgeous is now available and full of club bangers and Hi Fashion will be playing SXSW this spring. So let’s all get a little “queer” and dig the new tune “Freak Yr Halls (At the Office Part-ay)”.


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