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Thursday, Aug 26, 2010
by PopMatters Staff
Christmas' gritty, pop noise headlines the latest K Singles Zip-Pak releasing this week.

Earlier this summer K Records unveiled the innovative K Singles Zip-Pak, wherein subscribers receive new MP3 singles via e-mail each week for just $35.00 for a yearly subscription. In addition to new tunes from K artists, the series also includes “exclusive mixes, bonus songs and live documents”. In the end, subscribers wind up with hundreds of new tunes in a year that they couldn’t get anywhere else and all for a bargain price that goes straight to the artists and the label and cuts out the middleman.


Today we have the pleasure of offering PopMatters readers these two songs from Christmas that will be among the tunes mailed out to subscribers this evening. Olympia Washington’s Christmas formed out of a trip to Poland taken by Emily Beanblossom (vocals, keys) and Pat Scott-Walsh (guitar). Chatting in a bar there, they concocted their plan for a gritty, noise band with pop underpinnings. “Dog Problems” and “It’s Only an Ocean”, which features Calvin Johnson, will be appearing on a February 2011 7-inch single along with “Namiot” and a remix of “Namiot” by Johnson. If you like what you hear, check out the band at one of their upcoming dates (after the jump) and sign up for the Zip-Pack subscription.


[Subscribe to the K Singles Zip-Pak]



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Wednesday, Aug 25, 2010
by PopMatters Staff
Lost features nine new tunes, including the opener "City Meets the Stars", that continues to display the Lovetones' love of psychedelic jangle pop rooted in the '60s and influenced by the Byrds, the Beatles and the Moody Blues.

The Lovetones’ Matthew Tow has been playing in Brian Jonestown Massacre since 2003, all the while keeping his own band chugging through five albums. That fifth release is Lost, dropping 28 September on Planting Seeds Records. The group’s 2009 record, Dimensions, garnered an 8 from PopMatters, with Sarah Moore talking about how the Aussie band “brings a down-under haze to psychedelic pop mindful of the 1960s.” Lost features nine new tunes, including the opener “City Meets the Stars”, that continues to display the Lovetones’ love of psychedelic jangle pop rooted in the ‘60s and influenced by the Byrds, the Beatles and the Moody Blues.



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Wednesday, Aug 25, 2010
by PopMatters Staff
The original take on "Louise" from Oakland's Grand Lake is a rocking tune, while this new interpretation is pastoral and folky, a thorough re-working.

Caleb Nichols, formerly of Oakland’s Port O’Brien has collaborated with Jameson Swanagon on and off for the past 15 years. It took Swanagon’s return to the Bay Area from Boston to solidify their musical partnership in Grand Lake. The band’s debut, Blood Sea Dream, came out this Tuesday. The band is planning a free, new supplemental release called Soft Lake, releasing soon, that will include more minimalistic takes on songs from Blood Sea Dream as well as few new tunes. “Louise (I Live in a Fantasy)” appears on the earlier album, but here we have the free download premiere of the new take on the tune that will soon appear on Soft Lake. The original is a rocking tune, while this new interpretation is pastoral and folky, a thorough re-working.



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Tuesday, Aug 24, 2010
by PopMatters Staff
"What I hope I have achieved is to match the lyricism of classical music with the inherent poetry of Arabic, I wanted to continue the exploration of grounds covered with Ana Hina."

Natacha Atlas returns next month with her latest album blending Middle Eastern, African and European sounds. Mounqaliba features new songs written in classical Arabic by Atlas and collaborator Samy Bishai, who learned violin from Russians and Armenians in Egypt. Atlas’ multicultural background—half Moroccan/Egyptian/Palestinian and half British and largely raised in Belgium—plays out in her genre bending music with its appreciation of Western electronic music and pop alongside a thorough grounding in Arabic musical traditions.


For the new record, Altas had ambitious intentions: “What I hope I have achieved is to match the lyricism of classical music with the inherent poetry of Arabic, I wanted to continue the exploration of grounds covered with Ana Hina. Through the juxtaposition of western classical string sections with traditional Arabic instruments, classical Arabic poetry against abstract impressionism, traditional Arabic percussion with smoky jazz kits… To create a melange of ideas and examined opposites. What I attempt to convey is a sense of reversal… Reversal of the state of society, reversal in our political and belief systems, reversal of spirituality in favour of materialism.”


Mounqaliba will release 21 September via Six Degrees Records and today we have the pleasure of premiering “Makaan”.



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Monday, Aug 23, 2010
by PopMatters Staff

Paris’ Revolver—yes, named after the iconic Beatles album—drop their new album on US shores tomorrow. Music for a While was produced by Julien Delfaud (Phoenix, Herman Dune) and evokes the summery ‘60s pop of Simon & Garfunkel and occasionally the Beach Boys. Interestingly, the band also cites English composers Henry Purcell and Benjamin Britten as influences on their music and this album in particular, especially as they aim to create a chamber pop of sorts with the harmonic complexity of classical music. Catch up with Revolver in the US this fall as they make an appearance at Los Angeles’ OhhLaLA Festival, which runs from 30 September through 2 October. In advance of tomorrow’s album release, we’re proud to present the premiere of the demo version of “Do You Have a Gun”.



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