You might now him as Baron Longfellow—or just Longfellow—but no matter the name changes he’s undergone, Andy Kim (né Andrew Youakim) has never shed his distinctive songwriting voice. Having been active in the music world since the early ‘60s, Kim has a musical pedigree that is beyond reproach. Most famously, he cut the number one 1974 single “Rock Me Gently”, as well as the classic Archies tune “Sugar, Sugar”. It’s been quite a long time since those years, but Kim hasn’t lost any of his verve, as evinced by his latest studio affair, It’s Decided. For this record, Kim teamed up with Broken Social Scene founding member Kevin Drew, who proved to be a boon to Kim in the recording process. One of the fruits of this artistic union, “Longest Time”, can be streamed below. The track is indicative of Kim’s impressively young-sounding voice and his knack for effervescent melodies.
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When it premiered “The Night Air” last year, Wondering Sound described the Denver band Shady Elders as “the hazy, heavy-lidded beauty of Mazzy Star… cross-wire[d]... with the shady, shadowy balladry of Beach House”. Such is certainly the case for The Night Air EP as a whole, which finds Fox Rodemich’s intoxicating, dusky vocals married to warm and nostalgic guitar parts. Nostalgia is a key operative element in The Night Air‘s title track, the video of which you can stream exclusively below.
Here’s a choice quotation from PopMatters’ review of Arkells’ 2014 LP High Noon: “Arkells… exist solely on a plateau of their own, and that’s what makes them so darn special.” The group’s creativity and pop smarts are on full display both on High Noon and the music video for the album cut “Leather Jacket”. Below, you can watch a video where the group gives you an exclusive look at the making of the video for the song. Spoiler alert: there’s plenty of beer involved.
As one-third of the Missouri trio Water Liars, drummer Andrew Bryant has spent the last three years on the road recording and supporting the band’s successive albums, Phantom Limb, Wyoming, and 2014’s self-titled release. Following a tour in which Water Liars supported the Drive-By Truckers, Bryant returned to his home studio to record a solo album of songs that draw from his experiences of playing more than 400 shows during that stretch. The result: This is the Life, his sixth solo album.
Last fall, PopMatters premiered the track “Pale Hooves”, taken from the Athens, Georgia band Grand Vapids’ new album, Guarantees. Now it’s three months later, and the album has just been released into the world; PopMatters is proud to stream the album in its entirety below. With equal parts driving guitar riffs and catchy hooks, Guarantees is an under-the-radar indie rock LP that, well, should be on everyone’s radar. This is approachable yet somewhat distant rock that draws you in with its melancholy brood—a perfect aural companion to have when the winter skies are still grey.