I’ve been known to frequently trumpet the virtues of underappreciated Nashville pop. Now Owsley comes along with a major label debut that should help shove that city’s great pop music out of the closet. With the album’s new wave undertones, shades of XTC, Elvis Costello and Joe Jackson, and infectious melodies, Owsley has gotten a good start coming out of the gate. “Oh No The Radio” complains of the dreck on commercial radio, mainly because you can’t escape it and get away from bad songs. With it’s tongue-in-cheek lyrics, off-kilter melody, and staccato vocals, I’m immediately reminded of early XTC. Fans of Ben Folds Five and Fl. Oz. will also dig this keyboard-driven power pop.
Sarah Sharpe’s #6 pick
Beatles revival pop at its finest, this is sweet and wistful rock. The solid back beats are guaranteed to start heads bobbing. The distortion that creeps into the vocals and guitars lends the tunes a touch of good-boy-trying-to-rebel swing.