This is the age of beautiful music, this age of international reach. This is the age of 3 am Google searches for the latest, hottest and most melodic songs from more than capable artists who play all manner of instruments: guitars, keyboards, drums, washboards, horns and the like. This is the age of wonder and enlightenment and satisfying our collective conscious need for melodies that shine, hooks that run deep, and harmonies that ring brightly and soundly and satisfy our souls.
We feel very lucky to be able to bring you these sounds of our age, created by master magicians poised to fill the world with hope and majesty and a song or songs that make the hairs on our necks stand up on end. Here, we’re picking up from where we left off yesterday and celebrating day two of our special Pure Pop Radio Melodic Pop Songs Explosion, and exploding these songs are, right in front of our ears.
Here are more artists and songs that are now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio, top-flight examples all of the art of melodic pop.
The Legal Matters – The Legal Matters. When master musical magicians Andy Reed, Chris Richards and Keith Klingensmith settled comfortably in the Reed Recording Company’s studio in Bay City, Michigan, they connected like old hands of the art do and crafted 10 songs that sparkled before them–songs that would ultimately sparkle before listeners all around the world. Supported by ace drummer Cody Marecek and guitarist extraordinaire Nick Piunti, who not long ago released his own melodic pop long player to great acclaim, the trio of friends picked up their guitars and applied a little lucky grease to the act of creating classic, harmony-rich tunes that will last a lifetime. And so they have released their work, the kind of gift from above that comes along only when the time is right, and the time–this time– is most assuredly right. We have plucked the lot of these hall-of-fame-worthy songs for the Pure Pop Radio playlist, all of which are now spinning in rotation. The songs? Listen for “Rite of Spring,” which could and should function as this group’s calling card: just listen to the harmonies that grace this wonderful, Teenage Fanclub kind of side; “It’s Not What I Say,” “Before We Get It Right,” “Outer Space,” “We Were Enemies,” “Stubborn,” “Have You Changed Your Mind?,” “The Legend of Walter Wright,” “Mary Anne,” and “So Long Sunny Days.” Dig them all like the treasures they are.
The Dowling Poole – Bleak Strategies. When we interviewed Willie Dowling somewhere around a year ago, Willie had recently disbanded his incredibly talented group, Jackdaw 4. Willie mentioned that he was in the very early days of a project with music man Jon Poole. Just about a year later, Willie and Jon have released the fruits of their labors, an absolute corker of a disc that will surprise and delight and propel you from your seat in a surprising and delightful way. The album is called Bleak Strategies and it instantly takes its rightful place as one of the best albums of this year. Influenced by all manner of bands that came before, from the Beatles to the Kinks to Jackdaw 4 to 10cc to XTC and Frank Zappa, this collection is top of the pops and full of sudden, surprising and rightly-positioned left hand turns that turn these songs into clever monuments of glory. We’ve added eight tunes to the Pure Pop Radio playlist, and they are: “The Sun is Mine,” “A Kiss on the Ocean,” “Hey Stranger,” “Paper, Scissors, Stone,” “Empires, Buildings and Acquisitions,” “Getting a License,” “Clean,” and “Saving it All for a Saturday.” Pretty fantastic, then and now, Shirley, bestow upon the Dowling Poole a place on some of those best of the year lists that will soon pop up and be heard. Simply smashing stuff.
The Rubinoos and Radio Days – Split 7-inch. Any time either the Rubinoos or Radio Days releases new material, we here at Pure Pop Radio pretty much jump for joy. It is a sight to behold, let us tell you. Anyway, both of these much-loved bands have put their heads together and each has released a pair of songs within the grooves of an old-fashioned and still-vital slab of vinyl. We’re presenting a great song that is an exciting preview of a forthcoming album from the Rubinoos, a wonderful song called “All It Takes.” We’ve also added the pair of songs from Radio Days: a great cover of the Rubinoos’ “Hurts Too Much” and a new Radio Days tune, “Let’s Move On.” Get this one for your own self. You might think of getting two copies–it’s not unlikely that the grooves on the first one will wear out. A great release, now spinning in rotation on your home for the melodic pop hits, Pure Pop Radio.
Also added to the Pure Pop Radio playlist this week:
* Ali Ingle – “The Locker.” Ali Ingle continues to shine brightly with his wonderful ballad, “The Locker.” Sporting rather clever lyrics, this is one of those songs that must be repeated instantly when it ends. Prepare to hope that Ali scores big with this and future releases and takes his rightful place in the music marketplace.
* Joey C. Jones and the Bubble Gum Orchestra – “Hey Jadey Girl.” Sweetly dipped in a sugary sauce and delivered with a tip of the hat to the Electric Light Orchestra, “Hey Jadey Girl” harkens back to a simpler time when the radio stations of the long-ago day were spinning songs that were all about the hook, and all about the fun of it all. We’re proud and pleased to play this one in rotation for you all. More, if you will.
* The J-Pegs – Mister Sunshine. Just about equal parts mid-sixties harmony, garage rock and jangle, the J-Pegs play through an EP’s worth of classic songs that will set up shop in your inner consciousness. Prepare to rally around such gorgeous creations as the ultra-melodic “Pigeons and Church Bells and Butterflies”; the short and sweet Robert Zimmerman nod, “Hey Robert”; the upbeat, just slightly countrified “Castles by the Sea”; and a song that echoes early sides by the Association with a bit of a dip in the garage rock pool, “Little Details.” They’re all spinning in rotation as we type on Pure Pop Radio. A real find.
* Scott Brookman – Special Session for Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation. A few months into production of our popular melodic pop talk show, Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation, we started asking our guests if they would like to contribute some specially-recorded-for-In Conversation songs. We’ve had a great response in this regard. Our long-time DIY popster friend Scott Brookman delivered a delectable two-fer: a short song intended to entice listeners to add his latest album, Smellicopter, to their collections, and a wonderfully-delivered version of one of Smellicopter’s best songs, “Very Anne.” We present them to you within our rotation and urge you to seek out any and all of Scott’s creations. A splendid time is guaranteed and all that, you know.
* South Rail – Stars EP. South Rail is one of our favorite groups and, what do you know, they’re a hop, skip and a jump from Pure Pop Radio headquarters. We’ve been playing their songs for awhile now, and are pleased as punch to present to you four dynamite songs from their new, Don Was-produced EP, Stars. On Pure Pop Radio, you will hear the pure pop pleasures of “Be that Way Again,” the gorgeous creation that is the country-tinged “On My Way,” the wonderful upbeat treasure “Moss and Stone,” and the country-pop pleasures of “Wide Eyed Smile.” Next, a full length, pretty please?
* Phyllis Johnson – “Mr. Callahan.” We can’t think of an artist we’d like to see release a whole bunch of tunes–preferably within the confines of a gold-plated long-player–than Phyllis Johnson, whose way with a melody is second to none. Here is a shining example of Phyllis’s talents coming together to serve the song, and this is a song, alright. It’s a great song, in fact, and we’re pleased to present its sixties-echoing charms on Pure Pop Radio. Phyllis has managed to soak up more great song forms than most of us have forgotten. Her talents are limitless. Charm us with more, Phyllis.
* The Corner Laughers. “Midsommar.” A rather tasty taster before this much-loved group releases its new album in a few months, “Midsommar” is a typically catchy number with glorious harmonies, a lovely melody, and a reminder that a song can cure all ills. Written and sung by the magical Karla Kane, this is real deal time–a song for the middle of summer, for the beginning of fall or the snowy winter or the welcome to flowers spring. Take a bow, Corner Laughers.
More to come tomorrow. Surely two weeks of adds to the Pure Pop Radio playlist must constitute some kind of mention in the Guinness Book, right?