We’ve applied an extra coat of protective dancing fever polish to our dance floor since I was in touch on Tuesday; we’re ready to go with another round of new artists and music added to the Pure Pop Radio playlist during our Swinging New Music Dance Party! Our dancers (including, we hope, you) are ready to shake this virtual building to its foundation, so here we go!
Swinging Spins and Reviews | 8.4.16 | by Alan Haber
Vanilla | “Be Not Coy”
A Pure Pop Radio Thursday Exclusive
Robert Herrick, born in 1591 and never married, was a vicar and a poet whose gaze was trained, for the most part, on themes that were pastoral in nature. One of his works, a short poem entitled To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time, was partial inspiration for Jayson Jarmon’s potent song.
Herrick’s poem offers sage advice that has been passed down through the ages and is as valuable and wise today as it ever was: “Gather ye rosebuds while ye may.” Don’t let opportunity pass you by; grab the brass ring before somebody else does. Reap the rewards that life offers to you while you can.
Struck by Herrick’s words and by his meaning, and by the barrage of music industry passings this year, Jayson set about writing this song, which arrived fully formed, words and music and sentiment. “I was reflecting on all of the losses in the music business thus far this year,” he says. “A lot of the great ones have passed and every week in 2016 seems like a new wave of sad news washing up on the beach.
“So I found myself out in the desert a while back in southern California at the Joshua Tree Inn, where Gram Parsons died…decades ago.” And then, seemingly in a flash, with sadness for the fallen and inspiration afoot, “Be Not Coy” came into being, initially as an acoustic guitar take and then as a fully-formed track, fleshed out by Jayson’s band members.
The title of this song comes from a line in Herrick’s poem: “Then be not coy, but use your time…” According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, coy can mean shy, which in this case is apropos and appropriate, for shyness, practiced at the crossroads where decisions call for brisk and brave action, hardly has any place. Or shouldn’t.
So Jayson’s song, affecting and hopeful, proffers its message while dressed in folk-poppy clothes, with Eric Robert’s Hammond B3 and Sean Gaffney’s lyrical electric guitar providing powerful accents along the way. And the seductive melody, ultimately joyous and hopeful, is a panacea for people who maybe can’t take charge of a situation and commit to gathering the rosebuds placed before them.
“Be Not Coy” provides a nice counterpoint to Vanilla’s other songs. The direction the band takes when crafting new tracks, building surprises and stylistic detours into each one, is a large part of what makes the songs so attractive. Being coy, or simply unable to embrace such artistry, never comes into the mix when listeners are presented with one of Vanilla’s new creations. This one, like all the others, and perhaps even more so than some of the others, is a joyous listening experience, and it’s playing here on Pure Pop Radio as a Thursday Exclusive, and then into the future. Be not coy…and get it for your own tomorrow.
Playing exclusively today on Pure Pop Radio, and tomorrow and into the future in rotation.
When and Where to Get It: Tomorrow, on Bandcamp
Erik Voeks | “Your Condition” b/w “Reasons”
The August entry in Erik’s current run of single releases is another standout double a-side, this time pairing “Your Condition,” a Big Star (with a smattering of Rolling Stones sauce sprinkled on top) homage with “Reasons,” a pretty ballad about sealing one’s fate as far as the pearly gates are concerned (“You’ve been around this cloud one too many times/And the elevator man’s resigned”). Erik handled all the instrument playing and singing, except for the drumming and percussion thumping, which were handled expertly by Patrick Hawley. The run of hits after hits after still more hits continues.
Now playing on Pure Pop Radio: “Your Condition” and “Reasons”
Where to Get It: Bandcamp
The Bangles | Ladies and Gentlemen… The Bangles!
As it’s the heart of baseball season, I see no reason to hold back on the oft-used phrase: Omnivore Records’ collection of Bangles vault rarities from the 1980s is an explosive out-of-the-park home run. From early recordings of the group as the Bangs to demos, live tracks and other rarities, this is a Bangles fan’s early Christmas present, previously available only as a download. All killer and no filler, indeed.
Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: “Getting Out of Hand” (The Bangs), “Call on Me” (The Bangs), “The Real World,” “I’m in Line,” “Mary Street,” “Outside Chance,” “No Mag Commercial.”
Where to Get It: Amazon
Champagne | Beach Closed
The follow-up to 2005’s ready, steady, go! finds Spain’s pop quartet delivering another top-flight collection of melodic gems, from the upbeat popper “Where is Barbara Ann?,” the beginning of which recalls the opening to the Wonders’ “That Thing You Do,” to the gentle ballad “Hawaii” and the upbeat, catchy “Plastic Feelings.” A fun listen.
Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: “It’s Alright,” “Where is Barbara Ann?,” “Welcome to the World,” “Plastic Feelings,” and “Hawaii.”
Where to Get It: Bandcamp
Freeholm Wilson | Children of June
London one-man-bander Wilson straddles the line between retro and contemporary with this debut album, a mix of upbeat and ballad numbers always stressing melody and hooks. Among the top tracks here are the powerful “Run Back to Me,” that somehow, to me, evokes the Rooftop Singers’ “Walk Right In,” and the harmonica-ized, hint-of-Americana instrumental “Shelly’s Colours.” A plethora of pleasures, to be sure.
Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: “Be There,” “State Lines,” “Shelly’s Colours,” “Run Back to Me,” and “Long Way Home.”
Where to Get It: Bandcamp
Tobbe and His Teenage Tantrums | “Don’t”
The Theme Music conclave on Facebook continues to provide Tobbe Petersson, Keith Klingensmith and crew with golden opportunities to record classic-sounding melodic pop songs; this sweet, very ’60s-sounding tune, written by Torbjorn “Tobbe” Petersson, sung by Keith, and played by Tobbe (guitars, keyboards, background vocals), Lee Wiggins (drums, percussion), and Teresa Cowles (bass and background vocals) is the latest. If there’s a best-kept-but-not-really-so-secret weapon in pop music, it’s got to be Tobbe. Essential, as usual.
Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio.
Where to Get It: Not currently available for purchase.
Alan Haber’s Pure Pop Radio is the original 24-hour Internet radio station playing the greatest melodic pop music from the ’60s to today. From the Beatles to the Monkees, the Posies, McPherson Grant, the Connection and the New Trocaderos, we play the hits and a whole lot more. Tune in by clicking on one of the listen links below.
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