New Tunes for Pure Pop Radio’s Swinging New Music Dance Party | 8.5.16

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Swinging Spins and Reviews | 8.5.16 | by Alan Haber

We fold up our well-worn dance floor as our Swinging New Music Dance Party comes to a close. We hope you enjoyed all of the new music we’ve added to our playlist, all of it now spinning in rotation.

In case you missed the reviews we posted this week, you can read them all below. They’re preceded by a new review of a terrific new compilation, the Mahoney Brothers’ Rarities Vol. 1, put together with heart and soul by one of our favorite singer/songwriter/performers, Timmy Sean.

Have a great weekend, and we’ll see you back here next week, with a big Tuesday announcement you won’t want to miss!

the mahoney brothersThe Mahoney Brothers | Rarities Vol. 1
Meet Timmy Sean, one of the hardest working folks in show business, what with his duties at the heart of Sir Video, Timmy Sean and the Celebrities, and his Noisewater Records imprint. Speaking of which, this fun and tuneful compilation is just out and, what, you haven’t been acquainted with the Mahoney Brothers? Let me make some introductions: The Mahoney Brothers stars Timmy’s father and his father’s two brothers, with around 30 other members in the lineup at one time or another. They’ve been performing their Beatles tribute show since 1977; a show called Jukebox Heroes Live!, which presents tributes to a wide variety of artists including Buddy Holly, the Beach Boys and Elvis Presley, has been around since the late 1980s.

Where does Timmy fit into all of this? When he was domiciled on the east coast, he performed full time in Jukebox Heroes Live! and every so often filled in as “Ringo” in the Beatles show. When Timmy moved to the left coast, Pure Pop Radio favorite Nick Bertling settled into the drum chair for Jukebox shows, but then he moved and…

It’s a tale of first class entertainment that has now been commemorated by this Rarities Vol. 1 collection, which mixes original songs and choice covers. It’s a great way to get a solid overview of what the Mahoney Brothers do. I dig it big time, especially the fantastic cover of the Beach Boys’ “Don’t Worry Baby,” which puts deep harmony stacks in the spotlight–really, all of the vocals are peerless and the cover is lovely.

Also rocking your stereo are solid covers of a trio of Beatles tunes: “Boys,” all fierce and pounding and, thanks to a recent remix, filling the room with crystal clear thrills; “I’ll Get You,” played live in 2003 in South Bend, Indiana, oh yeah; and “Strawberry Fields Forever,” performed live in Atlantic City in 2004 to an adoring audience that gets every nuance, beautifully and lovingly performed by the Brothers. And there’s more, of course–much more and you will love it all like I do.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: “Someday,” “Boys,” “Too Late for Love,” “Strawberry Fields Forever,” “Don’t Worry Baby,” and “I’ll Get You.”
black box When and Where to Get It: Bandcamp

And now, in case you missed our other reviews of new music being added to the Pure Pop Radio playlist during this week’s exciting Swinging New Music Dance Party, here they are–19 in total, all great releases you can hear in rotation on our air and in your homes:

vanilla be not coy coverVanilla | “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.

vanilla be not coy photo 1vanilla be not coy photo 2“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.
black box Playing exclusively today on Pure Pop Radio, and tomorrow and into the future in rotation.
black box When and Where to Get It: Bandcamp

erik voeks reasons your conditionErik 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.
black box Now playing on Pure Pop Radio: “Your Condition” and “Reasons”
black box Where to Get It: Bandcamp

Tthe bangleshe 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.
black box 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.”
black box Where to Get It: Amazon

champagne beach closedChampagne | 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.”
black box Where to Get It: Bandcamp

freeholm wilsonFreeholm 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.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: “Be There,” “State Lines,” “Shelly’s Colours,” “Run Back to Me,” and “Long Way Home.”
black box Where to Get It: Bandcamp

tobbe and the teenage tantrums smallTobbe 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.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio.
black box Where to Get It: Not currently available for purchase.

dirty watertony valentino 5Tony ‘n’ the Recruiters | “Dirty Water”
The Standells’ classic “Dirty Water” sizzled into the number 11 spot on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart in July of 1966. It’s still sizzling today, this story of dirty water and curfews and women and, yes, Boston, spoken/sung/snarled by Dick Dodd over one of the great, meaty, down-and-dirty guitar riffs of all time. Guitarist Tony Valentino is still at it–still spreading the dirty gospel by playing the song live and by waxing a brand-new recording of it that sizzles like the original so a whole new generation and older fans, too, can get down and dirty with it in the context of today’s skewed world. This new version, produced by Tony and sung with pumped up passion by Steve Loizos, is lit up at a faster pace, chugging through the last measure of the chorus with a thrilling, ascending chord pattern, and it’s all to get the pressure rising, which it does and which it should. This track won’t calm anyone down, but it’s not supposed to. Take a bow, Tony; we’ll all wade through that dirty water with you anytime.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio.
black box Connect with Tony Valentino on Facebook 

bent van looy pyjama daysBent Van Looy | Pyjama Days
Bent Van Looy, based in Paris, France and a member of the band Das Pop, released his first solo album, Round the Bend, produced by Jason Falkner, in 2013. This top-notch follow-up, released this past March, is a lovely collection of sweet-sounding catchy melodies sung with assured style. Every song sparkles; every song will make you smile, from the upbeat pop number “My Escape,” beautifully arranged with little Beach Boys vocal flourishes weaved in; “Mr. Fletcher’s Song,” a melodic mid-tempo ballad that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Randy Newman album, and the sumptuous title track, a three-minute genius construct, nicely orchestrated and adorned with a smile-inducing whistle. The next time a friend asks what’s new–what’s good–you can point to this artist, to this album, and tell them it’s not just good…it’s great.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: “30 Days Without Sun,” “1000 Deaths,” “Downtown Train,” “High and Dry,” “Mr. Fletcher’s Song,” “My Escape,” “Pyjama Days,” “Sink or Swim,” and “Wind is Blowing.”
black box Where to Get It: Bandcamp

drums and wires uk 2drums and wires ukDrums and Wires UK | “All the Things” and “I Should Have Known”
Ex-Squire bassist Jonathan Bicknell’s current project will be releasing, later this year, a concept album titled Ups, Downs and Merry Go Rounds,  which concerns itself with the trials and tribulations of life. Until then, we have this smashing single pairing a couple of power popping classics. Performed with gusto and infused with strong melodies and passionate playing, I’m sufficiently jazzed for the album’s arrival.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio.
black box Where to Get It: iTunes

corey landis therapy dogCorey Landis | Therapy Dog
The precursor to Corey Landis and the Attacks, added to our playlist this past Wednesday, is a different beast all around, but no less vital. More of a personal approach informs these songs, three of which are now playing in rotation: the emotional waltz “Poltergeist,” the equally emotional title  track, and the punchy, quirky “Airport.” Corey Landis is one of my favorite, recent discoveries.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: “Poltergeist,” “Therapy Dog,” and “Airport.”
black box Where to Get It: Bandcamp

the del zorros yes i want youThe Del Zorros | “Yes I Want You (We’re Gonna be Married)”
Lance and Leigh Bowser’s latest is a sweet, pretty paean to love, love, love. It’s the same old story with the Del Zorros–infectious melodies, top-flight songcraft, and the ability to push the right, catchy buttons each and every time. Why, oh why, can’t these guys release a new song every day, ’cause that would suit me just fine.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio.
black box Where to Get It: CD Baby

the recreationsThe Recreations | “Swing Together”
Update: My pal Scott McPherson (Tiny Volcano, Pop 4, McPherson Grant) turned me on to this amazing track, and I reviewed it in early May. I’d like to echo and expand on my earlier rave: Fronted by pop visionary Yohei, this is a vital mix of soft pop, Burt Bacharach, Jellyfish, swing and jazz that comes together as a wholly unique creation you will never forget. A true kitchen-sink production. You’ll be singing this one to yourself for a month after hearing it. From Tokyo to your waiting ears.
Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio.
black box Where to Listen to It (Other than Pure Pop Radio):
Soundcloud (This song is not yet available for purchase.)

TYIFinal2Nick Piunti | “One Hit Wonder” (from the forthcoming album, Trust Your Instincts)
Michigan musician Piunti hits all the melodic marks with this catchy slice of pop perfection, a three-minute pearl of a tune pairing a sweet, catchy melody with an introspective lyric about trying to make it big in the music business. Piunti was a smart, thoughtful lyricist from the start of his career; the words that power this song’s message are among his best. “Burned out, before it began/If it was destined to be then we stuck to the plan,” he sings at the top of the tune, the second half of the couplet particularly telling and dripping with foreshadowed insight. “Over our heads, it was out of our hands, it was gone.” Yet, the song’s narrator doesn’t clue the listener in on where he is in the present tense. Did he carry on with trying to tackle the top of the chart despite his downbeat experience, or did he switch career paths? It’s all quite the cautionary tale and interesting given the upward trajectory of Piunti’s career and his acceptance by fans in the pop community. From the soon-to-be-released album Trust Your Instincts, Piunti’s third solo long player, “One Hit Wonder” is fantabulous.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio.
black box Where to Get It: Trust Your Instincts is due to be released on JEM Records on September 9.

mimi bettinis music soundsMimi Betinis | Music Sounds
An incredible, vivid, quite alive offering of melodic treasures populates this glorious album, without question one of this year’s best releases. Every song is a wonderfully realized pop confection, particularly three that hit the hooky bullseye: “Say the Word,” “She Wants You,” which surreptitiously recalls the famed intro to the Ronettes’ “Be My Baby” in the intro, and “Summer Love,” a warm love letter and look back to a seasonal romance (that, perhaps unknowingly, taps the sound of 10cc member Eric Stewart’s guitar playing in the solo). A pure pop masterpiece that will spin in your orbit for years to come.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: “Corrina,” “Listen to Me Boy,” “Palm of Her Hand,” “Say the Word,” “She Wants You,” “Sound the Alarm,” “Summer Love,” and “This Girl.”
black box Where to Get It: The Pop Music Sounds Store

brandon schott revisitedBrandon Schott | (Revisited)
Another monumental release from this California wonder, whose eyes and ears are fixed on his next proper record, the follow-up to the impressive Crayons and Angels, this generous sampler aims to offer fans something to ponder while they wait for their next Schott of classic pop. They’ll be busy, to be sure; this magical mélange of outtakes, remixes, b-sides and the like contains 14 strong slices of peerless pop. The stripped-down, poppy version of “Simple Life,” a track off the Golden State album, is one such nugget; the inspired take on the Beach Boys’ “God Only Knows,” complete with tabla and sitar for a decidedly world music feel, and the amazing “Yellow Bird,” a gushingly pretty charity single from 2011 sung with and co-written by Brandon’s friend Amy Petty, also lead this impressive pack, but “Full Circle Round (Acoustic Mix #13),” a previously unheard version of a song from 13 Satellites, spotlights some particularly winsome Beach Boys harmony wizardry and garners its own huzzahs. Peerless, really.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: “Now,” “Carousel (Revisited),” “God Only Know,” “Simple Life,” “Ballad of El Goodo,” “Full Circle Round (Acoustic Mix #13),” “Delight,” “Yellow Bird,” and “Strawberry Fields Forever.”
black box Where to Get It: Bandcamp

the armoiresThe Armoires | Incidental Lightshow
Coloring their comfortably eclectic sound with aural swatches of English folk and psychedelia and American pop and rock, the Armoires hit upon a decidedly different presentation that is at once surprising and wholly absorbing. Witness the mystic wash of the folk-poppy “Wire Girl,” which, in a ghostlike manner, recalls the opening to Chicago’s “Wishing You Were Here,” the psych-fueled, engrossing rocker “Doubtful Sound,” and “Live and Direct,” a folk-rocker that shares sensibilities with the English group Ruby Blue. The band’s story is multilayered and deep (see link); the music that they make is deeply satisfying.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: “Double Blades,” “Doubtful Sound,” “Fort Ashby,” “Live and Direct,” and “Wire Girl.”
black box Where to Get It: CDBaby

the melbourne divideVarious Artists | The Melbourne Divide
A fine sampler released to commemorate a showcase for the Popboomerang record label during the Leaps and Bounds Music Festival, held July 9 at the Yarra Hotel in Abbotsford, a suburb of Melbourne, Australia. Compiled by Popboomerang’s chief Scott Thurling, one of the great champions of Australian pop music, this eight-song grouping collects nine superb songs from two guitar-pop bands from the ’90s, Oscarlima and Jericho, and an otherwise-unavailable (as of this writing) song from the Wellingtons, among other pearls. With melody at the core of these offerings, pop fans can’t go wrong with this disc, available for as little as zero dollars (see link for details).
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: Oscarlima, “Penny Dreadful”; The Wellingtons, “The End of the Summer”; Bryan Estepa and the Tempe Two, “Object of My Disaffection”; Tim Reid, “Small Black Box”; Adrian Whitehead, “Spector’s Dead; and Danny McDonald, “The Melbourne Divide.”
black box Where to Get It: Bandcamp

the cherry bluestorms see no evilThe Cherry Bluestorms | “See No Evil” and “Dear Prudence”
A hard-charging pop-rocker with a great hook, driven by a strong drum track and Deborah Gee’s Chrissie Hynde-timbered  vocal, pairs up with a moody, psych-infused version of the Beatles’ “Dear Prudence” on a vinyl single that offers up a download card and a skewed Beatles A Hard Day’s Night/Brady Bunch-styled picture sleeve. Essential.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio.
black box Where to Get It: The Cherry Bluestorms’ website.

VistavieChardRy | “Les Femmes Sont Courbes” and “Vis Ta Vie”
French singer ChardRy, also known as Richard Verlan, delivers a delicate, orchestrated ballad (“Les Femmes Sont Courbes”) and a catchy, medium-tempo pop song (“Vis Ta Vie”) to great effect, both perfect for the wide-ranging playlist brought to you 24 hours a day by Pure Pop Radio.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio.
black box Connect with ChardRy on Facebook

alan-mic-zeeAlan 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.

Listen to Pure Pop Radio on the go using your Android and iOS devices! Download Our Mobile App.

Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber's Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes

Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber’s Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes

New Tunes for Pure Pop Radio’s Swinging New Music Dance Party | 8.1.16

dance party

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Dance the day (and the night) away all this week during Pure Pop Radio’s Swinging New Music Dance Party. Here are only some of the new artists and songs that have been added to our playlist, all now playing in rotation! (Note that our specialty shows are taking a break this week; they’ll return the week of August 8.)

Swinging Spins and Reviews | 8.1.16 | by Alan Haber

TYIFinal2Nick Piunti | “One Hit Wonder” (from the forthcoming album, Trust Your Instincts)
Michigan musician Piunti hits all the melodic marks with this catchy slice of pop perfection, a three-minute pearl of a tune pairing a sweet, catchy melody with an introspective lyric about trying to make it big in the music business. Piunti was a smart, thoughtful lyricist from the start of his career; the words that power this song’s message are among his best. “Burned out, before it began/If it was destined to be then we stuck to the plan,” he sings at the top of the tune, the second half of the couplet particularly telling and dripping with foreshadowed insight. “Over our heads, it was out of our hands, it was gone.” Yet, the song’s narrator doesn’t clue the listener in on where he is in the present tense. Did he carry on with trying to tackle the top of the chart despite his downbeat experience, or did he switch career paths? It’s all quite the cautionary tale and interesting given the upward trajectory of Piunti’s career and his acceptance by fans in the pop community. From the soon-to-be-released album Trust Your Instincts, Piunti’s third solo long player, “One Hit Wonder” is fantabulous.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio.
black box Where to Get It: Trust Your Instincts is due to be released on JEM Records on September 9.

mimi bettinis music soundsMimi Betinis | Music Sounds
An incredible, vivid, quite alive offering of melodic treasures populates this glorious album, without question one of this year’s best releases. Every song is a wonderfully realized pop confection, particularly three that hit the hooky bullseye: “Say the Word,” “She Wants You,” which surreptitiously recalls the famed intro to the Ronettes’ “Be My Baby” in the intro, and “Summer Love,” a warm love letter and look back to a seasonal romance (that, perhaps unknowingly, taps the sound of 10cc member Eric Stewart’s guitar playing in the solo). A pure pop masterpiece that will spin in your orbit for years to come.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: “Corrina,” “Listen to Me Boy,” “Palm of Her Hand,” “Say the Word,” “She Wants You,” “Sound the Alarm,” “Summer Love,” and “This Girl.”
black box Where to Get It: The Pop Music Sounds Store

brandon schott revisitedBrandon Schott | (Revisited)
Another monumental release from this California wonder, whose eyes and ears are fixed on his next proper record, the follow-up to the impressive Crayons and Angels, this generous sampler aims to offer fans something to ponder while they wait for their next Schott of classic pop. They’ll be busy, to be sure; this magical mélange of outtakes, remixes, b-sides and the like contains 14 strong slices of peerless pop. The stripped-down, poppy version of “Simple Life,” a track off the Golden State album, is one such nugget; the inspired take on the Beach Boys’ “God Only Knows,” complete with tabla and sitar for a decidedly world music feel, and the amazing “Yellow Bird,” a gushingly pretty charity single from 2011 sung with and co-written by Brandon’s friend Amy Petty, also lead this impressive pack, but “Full Circle Round (Acoustic Mix #13),” a previously unheard version of a song from 13 Satellites, spotlights some particularly winsome Beach Boys harmony wizardry and garners its own huzzahs. Peerless, really.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: “Now,” “Carousel (Revisited),” “God Only Know,” “Simple Life,” “Ballad of El Goodo,” “Full Circle Round (Acoustic Mix #13),” “Delight,” “Yellow Bird,” and “Strawberry Fields Forever.”
black box Where to Get It: Bandcamp

the armoiresThe Armoires | Incidental Lightshow
Coloring their comfortably eclectic sound with aural swatches of English folk and psychedelia and American pop and rock, the Armoires hit upon a decidedly different presentation that is at once surprising and wholly absorbing. Witness the mystic wash of the folk-poppy “Wire Girl,” which, in a ghostlike manner, recalls the opening to Chicago’s “Wishing You Were Here,” the psych-fueled, engrossing rocker “Doubtful Sound,” and “Live and Direct,” a folk-rocker that shares sensibilities with the English group Ruby Blue. The band’s story is multilayered and deep (see link); the music that they make is deeply satisfying.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: “Double Blades,” “Doubtful Sound,” “Fort Ashby,” “Live and Direct,” and “Wire Girl.”
black box Where to Get It: CDBaby

the melbourne divideVarious Artists | The Melbourne Divide
A fine sampler released to commemorate a showcase for the Popboomerang record label during the Leaps and Bounds Music Festival, held July 9 at the Yarra Hotel in Abbotsford, a suburb of Melbourne, Australia. Compiled by Popboomerang’s chief Scott Thurling, one of the great champions of Australian pop music, this eight-song grouping collects nine superb songs from two guitar-pop bands from the ’90s, Oscarlima and Jericho, and an otherwise-unavailable (as of this writing) song from the Wellingtons, among other pearls. With melody at the core of these offerings, pop fans can’t go wrong with this disc, available for as little as zero dollars (see link for details).
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: Oscarlima, “Penny Dreadful”; The Wellingtons, “The End of the Summer”; Bryan Estepa and the Tempe Two, “Object of My Disaffection”; Tim Reid, “Small Black Box”; Adrian Whitehead, “Spector’s Dead; and Danny McDonald, “The Melbourne Divide.”
black box Where to Get It: Bandcamp

the cherry bluestorms see no evilThe Cherry Bluestorms | “See No Evil” and “Dear Prudence”
A hard-charging pop-rocker with a great hook, driven by a strong drum track and Deborah Gee’s Chrissie Hynde-timbered  vocal, pairs up with a moody, psych-infused version of the Beatles’ “Dear Prudence” on a vinyl single that offers up a download card and a skewed Beatles A Hard Day’s Night/Brady Bunch-styled picture sleeve. Essential.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio.
black box Where to Get It: The Cherry Bluestorms’ website.

VistavieChardRy | “Les Femmes Sont Courbes” and “Vis Ta Vie”
French singer ChardRy, also known as Richard Verlan, delivers a delicate, orchestrated ballad (“Les Femmes Sont Courbes”) and a catchy, medium-tempo pop song (“Vis Ta Vie”) to great effect, both perfect for the wide-ranging playlist brought to you 24 hours a day by Pure Pop Radio.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio.
black box Connect with ChardRy on Facebook

More new music added to our playlist for our Swinging New Music Dance Party coming tomorrow!

alan-mic-zeeAlan 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.

Listen to Pure Pop Radio on the go using your Android and iOS devices! Download Our Mobile App.

Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber's Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes

Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber’s Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes

A Beautiful Noise

Magical new albums from Brandon Schott, Pop 4 and Vanilla make beautiful noise

Review by Alan Haber

keep calm beautiful noise“It’s a beautiful noise/And it’s a sound that I love/And it fits me as well/As a hand in a glove/Yes it does, yes it does,” Neil Diamond sings on the title song from his 1976 album. These are wise words from a well-known tunesmith–a prophecy that is fulfilled every time a songwriter puts pen to paper and crafts a song out of creative clay. Like a seed planted in the soil, a fully-realized idea spins into a form made from the coming together of a melody, words grown into lyrical lines, and choruses and bridges fashioned as strips of gold.

Songwriters work in mysterious ways. How does the spark of an idea flower into a fully-formed entity? Where do ideas even come from? How does the magic work?

It is all this side of mystical, the songwriting process; anyone who has knowledge of how it all comes together holds in his or her palm the secret of life, for art is the soul of life, and if you can sing along and you maybe know the words, you’re a rich person indeed.

This year’s crop of melodic pop recordings clearly and distinctly demonstrates that the magic works when the right person is holding the pen and the ideas are finely honed because their creativity knows no bounds and because they know how a song works. They know this in their bones. And when their bones rattle after they’ve put their pens down and their song is ready to be heard, the magic is working like a charm.

This summer’s crop of melodic pop recordings, of songs exuding considerable skill and charm, constitutes the best of the best in a year teeming with such accomplishment. The latest records from Brandon Schott and Vanilla, and the debut record from supergroup Pop 4, share a facility for this kind of flash. These records are among the best of the year–towering achievements all. You can dance to them, if you like, negotiating the two-step or the moonwalk, if that’s what moves you.

A Triumphant Stroll

brandon schott

Brandon Schott

brandon schott crayons and angelsBrandon Schott’s masterful Crayons and Angels, the follow-up to 2011’s studio album 13 Satellites, and this past March’s intimate Dandelion (Live at the Treatment Room: January 10, 2008), is more than a flash of magic–it is by far Brandon’s best, most fully-realized record, a triumphant stroll through the creative pastures that subsist in the fields of the heart. Working with a broad textural palette and with his eyes and ears wide open to varied influence, he creates a three-dimensional song cycle that dazzles.

The stage is set by the gentle, windswept instrumental “Dandelion,” a quite peaceful mix of ambient sound, delicate instrumentation and a brief wash of glowing harmony. A calm trance of sorts, it allows all manner of song forms to follow, from the Nilsson-esque core of the entrancing “Verdugo Park,” which erupts at its midpoint with the spirit of a Van Dyke Parks-inspired burst of energy, to the upbeat, poppy “Seeing You in Stereo,” its flowing construction giving way to a lovely melody and a peppy Beach Boys-styled bridge with less than a minute left to go.

Because influence plays a large part in these proceedings, it’s no surprise that “Wake Up, Mary,” a song that had its world premiere on Pure Pop Radio this past July 28th, is a bouncy, clap along number that could sit comfortably alongside Simon and Garfunkel’s “Cecilia.” Brandon’s song pits the yin against the yang, an honored pop music tradition: the song is about getting in the car and driving to greener pastures for a new start and growing the weary bones of a union that holds so much promise.

Crayons and Angels plays as if it were conceived as a complete work that’s best experienced in one sitting, played straight through for maximum effect. Which is not to say that mixing up the song order won’t yield similar results. Either way, this is an album full of beautiful, inspired, even spiritual work. It is magical and it is one of this year’s best records.

Something In the Water

washington stateOut Washington State way, there is something most certainly percolating in the H2O. How else to explain the creative strokes being struck by Scott McPherson, one-fourth of this year’s pop supergroup Pop 4, and Jayson Jarmon, flavorful songwriter at the helm of the tasty group, Vanilla.

Scott and Jayson weave in and out of each other’s projects; both are members of the group Liar’s Club, and Scott appears on the latest Vanilla record, along with Pop 4’s Kirk Adams. Andrea Perry, another member of Pop 4, is featured prominently on the series of delicious Prefab Sprout tributes that Scott has put out (a new one is in the works). And KC Bowman, pop music’s ultimate secret weapon, is a veteran of groups such as the Corner Laughers and Agony Aunts.(Deep breath!)

pop 4Pop 4’s debut album, Summer, proves that great talents, working together, create great art. It really should come as no surprise that talents of this caliber will ostensibly bring their A game to the recording table. In the case of Pop 4’s quartet of musical masters, that means melodies and harmonies and hooks exhibiting the highest of pedigrees. Every track is a delight; every single note is perfectly placed and sung.

Perhaps the track that points most broadly to this group’s strengths is the gorgeous, mid-tempo ballad “Don’t Be Like That,” a luscious mid-tempo song painted with a harmony-soaked brush and the sweetest, most seductive melody this side of a bear bottle full of honey. You could also point to tracks like the melodic “Lover’s Limbo,” possibly the finest song that XTC’s Andy Partridge never wrote, as representative of Summer’s treasures. Or you could put forth the ultra-catchy “Einstein and Sunshine,” which will more than ably satisfy the desires of Jeff Lynne fans until the next ELO album comes out (dig the fluid string arrangement and, well, the rest of it).

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The members of Pop 4: (clockwise) Kirk Adams, Andrea Perry, KC Bowman and Scott McPherson

Since all of these songs are top-notch, you might think that it would be difficult to pick the album’s centerpiece, but it’s not hard at all. Scott’s waltz for the afflicted, “Tour for the Brokenhearted,” succeeds mightily if you just take the music and the arrangement into consideration. This track is the total package, the obvious star attraction. “Welcome to the tour for the world’s brokenhearted/Careful, watch your step/Have respect for the departed,” Scott sings. “String lay on the ground/The ties that bind to be found here/Duets turn into solos/For reasons we can’t know.”

Gee whiz, this song will break your heart. The awfully pretty melody–the sweet–plays beneath the sour, but the point of the lyric, at least as far as I can fathom, is that the brokenhearted will live their lives in a kind of tilted Möbius strip unless they are able to find their way out of the morass. In fact, the final words sung here hint at that possibility: “This concludes our tour through that door/Is where you started.” Beautifully sung by Scott and punctuated by tight bass stabs played by Andrea, “Tour for the Brokenhearted” is this year’s most emotional ballad and a truly great creation. As are all of the songs on this hall-of-fame record, a breath of fresh air in the second half of 2015’s summer season.

Tasty Vanilla

jayson jarmon

Jayson Jarmon

vanilla 2.0

Vanilla 2.0

Vanilla’s second album, cleverly titled 2.0, comes nearly a full decade after the band’s first release. What exactly have Jayson Jarmon and company been doing since 2006? It doesn’t matter because, for 2.0, Jayson has sculpted 11 songs covering various subject matter, songs that are simply stuffed with imagination to spare. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you won’t want the Vanilla experience to end.

Where to start? Well, “Hold Me Like a Grudge” begins as a classically-styled, acoustic ballad and quickly morphs into a classic pop-rock number about a relationship gone horribly wrong. “The Angel of Swain’s Lane” is an old-fashioned folk song, beautifully arranged, about a lonely angel trying to break through to a lost soul. “The Angel of Swain’s Lane/Is crying out in vain/For someone departed/Forlorn, broken-hearted/A figure of pity and pain…/The Angel is crying again.” It’s a spectacular series of images, and a wonderful song.

vanilla 2.0 zippyElsewhere, the subject matter is decidedly more lighthearted. In fact, in two songs paired one after the other, monkeys figure prominently. Yes, monkeys. Well, more so in one song than the other. In the sprightly jump of a tune, “South Tacoma Way,” a favored locale of Jayson’s is celebrated: According to the author, the song is “A 1930s period piece celebrating the virtues of my hometown’s most, eh, remarkable street. It features coffee pot-shaped buildings, a legendary lowland gorilla, seedy watering holes, and a glimpse into that area’s special indomitable spirit.”

In other words, monkeys, who pretty much dominate the outlandish, hysterical happenings recounted in the off-the-charts, wild and wacky and totally hysterical “Monkeypox!” With tongue planted so firmly in cheek it would take a pair of cranes operated by Superman to pull it out, the song is the musical equivalent of the old joke about the guy who goes to the doctor and says “Doc, it hurts when I go like that,” and the doctor tells him not to go like that.

“Monkeypox!” puts forth a be-careful-what-you-wish-for kind of scenario, where there’s always something worse behind the curtain, although that may be okay. “My baby wanted cancer/She smiled when she heard the Doctor’s answer/Monkeypox, she’s got Monkeypox…,” goes one verse. “My baby wanted SARS/Just like one of your Hollywood stars/Monkeypox, she’s got Monkeypox…,” goes another. “Monkeypox, she’s got monkeypox/And she feels…fine,” goes still another, which feeds into a familiar Beatles riff, and so it goes in the story of the dreaded Monkeypox.

2.0 closes out with a spirited cover of the Raspberries’ “Go All the Way” in which the electric guitars are ramped up just a bit, and a radio edit of “Hold Me Like a Grudge,” which makes the song safe for the kiddies who might be listening to Pure Pop Radio (argh, those dreaded curse words!).

Jayson, along with multi-instrumentalist Sean Gaffney, drummer Dana Sims, and a host of guest vocalists and players, has turned in a spectacular show with this album, which gathers together tracks released in the neighborhood of once a month on Vanilla’s Bandcamp page. All gathered up in album form, 2.0 is a marvel, full of imagination and wit. Bravo.

It’s a (Collective) Beautiful Noise

This has been a great year for melodic pop music so far, and with five months left to go before the ball drops on New Years Eve, it’s not unlikely that the riches will keep on coming. Which is good for you and me and you too. For now, though, Brandon Schott, Pop 4 and Vanilla are tops of the pops. All of the tracks from all three of their albums are now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio. All three albums come highly recommended. All three will put a big smile on your face. And all three make some beautiful noise.

purepoplogoNow playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: From Brandon Schott’s Crayons and Angels: “Dandelion,” “Henry,” “Verdugo Park,” “Cerulean Seas,” “Pacific Blue,” “Every Little Song,” “Riot Act,” “Better Version of Me,” “Slow Down,” “Sunglow,” “Seeing You in Stereo,” “Dear Daisy,” “Wake Up, Mary,” “Wisteria,” “The 19th Floor,” “Dandelion Rain,” “Verdugo Park (Part II),” and “Sweet Adolyne.”

Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: From Pop 4’s Summer: “Beautiful,” “Blow Wind Blow,” “Einstein and Sunshine,” “What’s It Gonna Be Like,” “Don’t You Be Like That,” “Jaded,” “I’m So Jealous,” “Miserably Pursuing Happiness,” “Juliane Irish,” “Straight to My Head,” “You’re No Aimee Mann,” “Lover’s Limbo,” “You Love Me,” “Tour for the Brokenhearted,” and “Dust.”

Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: From Vanilla’s 2.0: “Victim of the Rhyme,” “Hai Karate Girls,” “Perfect Year,” “Alcoholiday,” “The Curtain Coming Down,” “The Angel of Swain’s Lane,” “Twilight,” “Hold Me Like a Grudge,” “Monkeypox!,” “South Tacoma Way,” “Catherine the Grating,” “Go All the Way,” and “Hold Me Like a Grudge (radio edit)”

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Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber's Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes

Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber’s Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes

Tonight at 8 pm ET: Pure Pop Radio Worldwide Premieres from Brandon Schott and the Jangle Band

purepoplogoTwo weeks ago, Pure Pop Radio brought you the world radio premiere of Pop 4’s luscious, melodic gem, “Don’t You Be Like That.” Tonight at 8 pm ET, we’re bringing you not one, but two premieres: “Wake Up, Mary,” a charming, bouncy tune from Brandon Schott’s new, forthcoming album, Crayons and Angels; and another jangly, hooky, Byrdsian number from the aptly-named Jangle Band, which counts Pure Pop Radio favorite Joe Algeri amongst its members.

brandon schott crayons and angelsFirst up at 8 pm ET: Brandon Schott’s “Wake Up, Mary,” a bouncy, clap along song that could sit comfortably alongside Simon and Garfunkel’s “Cecilia.” Opening with the steady sound of a ticking alarm clock that suddenly goes off as the rise-and-shine wake up jingle artfully pans across the stereo sound field and gives way to acoustic guitars and percussion, the singer signals the day’s beginning with guarded optimism: “Wake up, Mary/The night is done/There’s so much more for us out in the sun/We’ve been sleeping for too long my dear/And if we stay too long we’ll settle here.”

Not simply a song about waking up and getting the day started, “Wake Up, Mary” is about rehabilitating a perhaps slightly stale relationship; it’s about getting in the car and driving to greener pastures for a new start and growing the weary bones of a union that holds so much promise. “Can’t hide it any longer,” the singer intones. “My spirit’s falling under/Maybe we should wake up, Mary.” The song ends with a cacophony of sound–the rush of cymbals, the sound of birds cooing, the outdoors watching over the souls of the earth. This is a grand musical achievement–just one example of the treasures awaiting you when Crayons and Angels is released. (Connect with Brandon Schott on his Facebook page by clicking here.)

jangle band picksImmediately following Brandon’s “Wake Up, Mary,” we have the worldwide radio premiere of the Jangle Band’s melodic, Byrdsian wonder, “Love You Too.” Following a drum intro echoing the glory of the immortal “Be My Baby,” guitars, organ, bass and drums signal in the instantly memorable, seductive melody in the first verses and middle eight, which leads to the golden chorus, a joyous celebration of everything that captures the fans of melodic pop music. All this and some groovy Beatlesque vocal harmonies at 3:14. Sweet. (Connect with the Jangle Band on their Facebook page by clicking here.)

We’re thrilled to be bringing you these worldwide radio premieres! Enjoy both of these great songs, and look out for more from the artists. The release of Brandon Schott’s Crayons and Angels is imminent; the Jangle Band’s “Love You Too” is slated for release later this year.

Alan Haber’s Pure Pop Radio is the original 24-hour-a-day Internet radio station playing the greatest melodic pop music from the ’60s through today. Featuring the great heritage bands, such as the Beatles and the Beach Boys, and contemporary artists carrying on the melodic tradition, from the Legal Matters and Bill Lloyd to Cloud Eleven, Jamie & Steve and Dana Countryman, the station is supported by a comprehensive website featuring station updates, reviews and articles touching on the wonders of melody, harmony and downright catchy songs.

Listen to Pure Pop Radio on the go using your Android and iOS devices! Download Our Mobile App.

Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber's Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes

Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber’s Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes

Looking for New Music? Jump On In…The Water’s Fine! Pure Pop Radio’s Big Week of Summer Fun Is Making Melodic Waves All Over the World!

music at the beachPure Pop Radio’s Big Week of Summer Fun is here! We hope you’re having the swellest time imaginable at the beach, having a picnic with friends and family, and listening to all of the new music we’ve just added to our playlist.

Summer means fun, and we’ve got lots of it now spinning in rotation on our air. How about we run down a list of some of the new songs and artists we’ve just added? We’ve got a baker’s dozen for you today, and more coming this Thursday. Sounds like a plan!

So, here we go!

brandon schott crayons and angelsBrandon Schott | “Every Little Song (Featuring Kelly Jones)” The first focus track from Pure Pop Radio favorite Brandon Schott’s forthcoming, fifth album, Crayons and Angels, is a bittersweet rumination on the healing power of music that glows in the face of emotional darkness. Brandon’s pretty melody and sensitive vocal, made all the more magical by singer Kelly Jones’ lovely, atmospheric vocal harmonies and a short, beautifully-realized instrumental section struck with Brian Wilson finesse, take charge and deliver a truly affecting song that will haunt your heart. “There’s no escape from being pulled under her spell/And when my spirit’s dry, there’s water in the well/Reflecting light for all the darkness I have held,” Brandon sings of his faithful muse, always by his side in good times and bad and always his safety net. This is a truly special song from an album that will fill your soul with hope and strength. Releasing August 4, Crayons and Angels will prove to be one of this year’s best albums. We can’t wait to spin all of it for you.

pop 4Pop 4 | “Don’t You Be Like That” Another album that will, we predict, land on more than a few of this year’s best-of lists, is Summer, the debut release from melodic pop supergroup Pop 4. Both supergroup and, well, super, Pop 4 brings together the considerable talents of Liar’s Club’s Scott McPherson; the great singer and songwriter Andrea Perry; the Corner Laughers’ not-so-secret weapon KC Bowman; and Vanilla’s Kirk Adams for a virtual master class in pure pop songwriting and performance. The mid-tempo ballad “Don’t You Be Like That,” presented as an exclusive to Pure Pop Radio listeners (it debuts at 8 pm ET tomorrow night, Tuesday, July 14–set your alarm clocks), is painted with a harmony-soaked brush. Featuring lead vocals from Andrea, Kirk and Scott, a middle-eight sent from nowhere less than heaven, and a subtle, George Harrison-esque electric guitar run, this is one of the catchiest songs we’ve heard in ages. Don’t miss Summer when it drops later this summer which, by the way, is now officially our favorite season of this year.

secret friend sleeperSecret Friend | “Blue Sky” and “I Don’t Know You” Steven Fox, recording as Secret Friend along with such luminaries as Willie Wisely, Kelly Jones, and Linus of Hollywood, burst onto the worldwide pop stage with Time Machine, a set of straight-ahead melodic, hook-filled songs just after the calendar flipped on 2013. Secret Friend’s second album, Sleeper, which releases on August 14, is somewhat of a different beast, in that the soundscapes are a bit more expansive, electronic, and somewhat less compact, which is to say that the overall package may be somewhat different even as the songs remain as catchy and affecting as ever. The original lineup is back and joined this time around by the Nines’ Steve Eggers and Kurt Baker producer, and pop artist extraordinaire, Wyatt Funderburk. The first two songs, released ahead of the album’s late-summer bow, are terrific, creative numbers fueled by top-flight imagination and skill: “Blue Sky” is a perfect summer song, sung with typical finesse by Jones alongside a bopping beat and atmospheric instrumental passages. “I Don’t Know You” finds Funderburk tenderly delivering another luscious melody atop a decidedly Jeff Lynne-styled base that fades out with an atmospheric instrumental passage. We were delighted with these songs; we were also delighted with the other eight numbers that comprise this album, a good and important step forward on Fox’s musical journey. We love this album, another sure candidate for best-of the year honors.

one like sonOne Like Son | Classic Stephen Poff’s most varied set of songs yet grace this new release that brings the power and softer side of pop and roll for a terrific listening experience. The rocking opener, “As Seen on TV,” kicks the proceedings off with a crunchy guitar riff and powerful drumming. The slower, but no less rocking “Five Good Years,” is another keeper. And our favorite track, “Summer Days,” is an acoustic toe-tapper with a marvelous melody and strong, sensitive vocals. We’re playing these songs in rotation, plus “Down to Hollywood,” “Holidays,” and “They Know I’m Right.” And that’s the situation with this album–it’s right as rain.

FADdigipak.inddThe Fad | The Now Sound Power pop smarts fueled this terrific Philadelphia band, influenced without question by the British Invasion, during the early-to-mid-1980s. Despite their obvious chops and great, catchy songs, circumstance played with their fate (an ill-suited producer mucked with the tracks on their six-song, 12-inch EP). Kool Kat Musik has rescued that EP and added an additional six tracks, classics that will absolutely slay listeners upon first hearing. We’ve added a half-dozen numbers to our lineup, including “Where the Colors Are,” “Countdown,” “Genie,” “Broken Hearts,” “Fad Twist” (a blazing, Merseybeat instrumental that will transform your living room into a swinging dance floor), and “The Swing’s the Thing” (speaking of swing). A classic release from the archives that makes the grade and then some.

orange humble bandThe Orange Humble Band | Depressing Beauty This third album from Daryl Mather’s sterling collective follows on from 2001’s Humblin’ (Across America) with a pair of Posies, Big Star’s drummer, and super producer Mitch Easter in tow, forming a powerful core of visionary musicians in the service of a grand musical calling. This sturdy, hour-long set mixes balladry and uptempo songs, some co-written with such all-star guests as Dwight Twilley and Posie Jon Auer, for a melodic and lyrically-strong experience that stands as a towering achievement. From the lively, horn infused pop-rocker “Get Straight Down” to the pretty testament to love’s power, “Sowannadoit,” and the gorgeous “Emma Amanda,” about love in the face of sadness, these 15 songs shine. We’ve added 11 numbers to our playlist: the aforementioned songs, plus “You Close Your Eyes,” “The Girl Without a Home,” “Ain’t Tougher than Me,” “Our Beautiful Selves,” “If That’s What You Want,” “Oughta Feel Ashamed, “Upon Cindy’s Will,” and “Something Goin’ On.” Extra points for putting together a great, visual package with stunning artwork and full credits. A great album.

maraudersMarauders | The Strasbourg Tapes Hailing from Strasbourg, France, Marauders incorporate a romping mix of power pop and garage styles into their songs, propelled by a steady beat laced with great, harmony vocals. We’re playing three of the four songs on this smashing EP: “Different from the Crowd,” “Too Late to Delete,” and “Give It a Try.” Fans of early Who will love these spirited numbers. Count us among the band’s fans.

the sandwitchesThe Sandwitches | Our Toast This alluring San Francisco trio, new to Pure Pop Radio, is apparently splitting up; on the basis of this wonderful album, that’s sad news. Reminiscent of the Roches, the Sandwitches are a wonderful addition to our playlist; their lovely harmonies and songs are, well, quite lovely. We’re now playing, in rotation, the lively, whimsical “Sunny Side,” “Miggy,” and the country-garage mashup, “Wickerman Mambo.” These ladies sing like songbirds.


the jenny pilots tiny piecesthe jenny pilots i wouldn't change a thingThe Jenny Pilots | “I Wouldn’t Change a Thing” and “Tiny Pieces”
 Late of the New Jersey power poppers Soul Engines, Mark Nuzzi, Joe Furnari and Gino Scelza have been reborn as the Jenny Pilots. The band’s initial offering is a pair of terrific pop numbers–the uptempo, catchy charmer “I Wouldn’t Change a Thing,” and “Tiny Pieces,” an equally catchy uptempo song with a deep hook and great vocals. If this were American Bandstand, we’d give both songs a 10 (because you can dance to and sing along with them, of course). Great stuff.

optional front cover2Susan James | Sea Glass For her sixth album, Los Angeles’ Susan James worked with the High Llamas’ Sean O’Hagan, who contributed string and instrument arrangements, to realize the inner beauty of her wonderful new melodic pop songs. James’ lovely, smooth-as-silk vocals, coupled with creative instrumentation, draw listeners in for a most rewarding musical experience. We’re playing, in rotation, five songs: “Poseidon’s Daughter,” “Awful Lot,” the pure poppy “Hey Julianne,” “Truth or Consequence,” and the sizzling and soothing “Tell Me Cosmo.” New to Pure Pop Radio, we have a feeling Susan James is here to stay.

mark helmMark Helm | Everything’s OK It’s been around 14 years since we were first exposed to the wonderful music of Mark Helm. Now, his album, previously released on the Not Lame label, resurfaces as a digital release with six bonus tracks. For whatever reason, Mark has been absent from Pure Pop Radio’s playlist until this very moment. We’ve just added seven songs: original album tracks “Galaxy of Cars,” “Haircut,” “Lemons Limes and Flying Saucers,” “Aeroplanes and Radiosignals,” and “Sweet Dreams Baby,” and two of the six bonus tracks: “Shopping List,” and a cover of the Beach Boys’ “God Only Knows.” Here’s hoping for a new album. Mark?

the pengwinsThe Pengwins | Vol. 3 This is the third in a series of box sets coupling a new track with older selections from this seminal power pop band that dates back to 1972 (they reformed in 2005). The current band tackles the Flamin’ Groovies’ still-awesome “Shake Some Action” with sweetened power pop aplomb (and a hint of Badfinger); “Suicide,” and Lannie Flowers’ “What You Gonna Do?”, are power popping archive selections. Like its two predecessors, Vol. 3 comes in a box with both a 45 vinyl single and CD counterpart (“Suicide” appears only on the CD), and a range of collectible goodies including an orange Pengwins 45 adapter, a nifty bottle opener in the shape of a guitar, and a baseball card highlighting Alan Petsche’s history with the band. This creatively-realized box set is an absolutely essential element of any self-respecting power pop collection.

twin withinTwin Within | Horizontal Lines Part of the fun of curating Pure Pop Radio’s playlist is being contacted by musical entities as good as the duo of Steve McKay and Alex Samaras. Sprinkled with the DNA of soft-pop kings like the Free Design and Simon and Garfunkel, Twin Within’s music grabs hold of your imagination as the duo delivers their melodic gems, sung with voices bathed in gold. “Bernie” is a perfect example of this duo’s attention to exquisite detail; “Night Danger” hits with a softly aggressive instrumental track that is tempered by a brief, vocal harmony stretch that is quite powerful. “We Talk” is a song that wouldn’t have been out of place on the Association’s first album, combining beat with a beautiful, lively melody. And “Veryard ’78” pops along softly with an enticing melody. We’re playing the entire album: the previously mentioned songs, and “Tunnel to the Reservation,” “Faraway Car Ride,” “Night Danger,” “Two Within,” and “As Always.” We couldn’t be happier to be spinning the music of great artists such as Twin Within.

*     *     *     *     *

That’s it for today. Enjoy these new songs and artists that we’ve added to the Pure Pop Radio playlist, and come back this Thursday for more. It’s our Big Week of Summer Fun, and we’re having a ball! Click on one of the listen links below to hear more than 7,000 songs playing in rotation on your original, 24-hour-a-day home for the greatest pop in the universe!

Listen to Pure Pop Radio on the go using your Android and iOS devices! Download Our Mobile App.

Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber's Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes

Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber’s Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes

Come On, Get Happy! We’ve Added More New Songs and Artists to the Pure Pop Radio Playlist! It’s New Music Thursday!

smile-2Bringing you songs and artists new to the Pure Pop Radio playlist is our favorite thing to do in the whole wide world. We sure do know the feeling that hits you when you read about and then hear something that makes you smile–something that raises the hair on the back of your neck and makes you tap your toes, or dance the night or the early afternoon away, or take up air guitar or air piano or air celesta. In some measure, and this is a well know truth–in some measure what you hear changes your life, and when that happens, well, we’ve done our job.

So here is some more music that’s currently spinning in rotation–music that will make you happy!

popboomerang-records-100Popboomerang Records | (PB:100) Popboomerang Records’ Scott Thurling knows how to throw a party. He’s celebrating the 99th record released by his company with a gala, 100th musical extravaganza–a two-CD set stocked deep with specially-recorded and previously-unreleased tracks from his label’s artists and friends. (PB:100) features 32 smashing songs from a diverse roster of artists. Job well done: we’ve added 11 great numbers to the playlist, including the Solicitors’ quirky “His Robe” and Kelly’s Heels’ “Popboomerang,” a catchy, upbeat label-history-in-song that celebrates Scott’s longstanding brief of exposing great sounds to music lovers all over the world. The aforementioned songs are now playing in rotation, along with the Killjoys’ “Marching Out of Time,” Danny McDonald’s “The Melbourne Divide,” The Little Murders’ “Kings Cross Dawning,” Central Rain’s “What a Day,” Tim Reid’s “In the Dark,” D. Rogers’ “Don’t Smile ’til Easter,” Mick Thomas’ “Mermaid Song,” Lazybirds’ “Slinky Skanky,” and Jona Byron’s “Sun Daughter.” (PB:100) drops April 1; pick up a copy and help support a worthy independent record label.

spencer-albeeSpencer Albee | Mistakes Were Made Get ready for a wild blast of cool air that will toss you across your living room, through your front door, and to the far side of your yard. Spencer Albee’s hall-of-fame worthy album, Mistakes Were Made, will thrill you, delight you, and make you beg for more. A multi-instrumental wonder, Spencer dons all manner of pop music masks: uptempo balladeer in the harmony rich title song; straight-ahead popster in “So Bad”; infectious, retro, late-period Beach Boys funster in the delectable “Put Your Sweatshirt On”; and pure popster in the melodic love song, “This Will Be Our Year.” The sumptuous tip of the hat to the late ’50s/early ’60s, the catchy “I Don’t Know,” and the four-on-the-floor rhythm happy joy of “One 2 Three” are more highlights. So is the jaunty, clapalongable “Hold Me Close,” and ditto for the heartbreaking piano spencer-albee-photoinstrumental, “Something Something Heartbreak.” Well, we could go on, and we will at a later date, but for now… we swear on a stack of pop album classics that this is the real deal. We’re playing almost all of these incredible songs: “Mistakes Were Made,” “So Bad,” “Put Your Sweatshirt On,” “I Don’t Know,” “One 2 Three,” “This Will Be Our Year,” “Why am I a Fool,” “Something Something Heartbreak,” “So Long,” “Please Come Home,” “Skulls,” “Love is Not Enough,” It’s Not the End of the World,” and “Hold Me Close.” A sure bet for best of 2015 honors. In a few words, this is so very grand and, in just one word…wow! Get this for your very own when it drops on May 1. Come on, get Spencer!

brandon-schott-dandelionBrandon Schott | Dandelion (Live at the Treatment Room, January 10, 2008) Recorded in a friend’s studio as a way of sketching out songs for his next album, Brandon Schott laid his emotions on the line. He was in the eighth week of a 12-week-long chemotherapy treatment. “I wanted to get these songs down in the moment, as it was happening,” Brandon says. Some of the songs were later re-recorded for his record Dandelion. As heard on this heartfelt album, these songs, sung with simple accompaniment, may be the singer-songwriter’s most revealing collection yet. Records like this don’t come along every day; we wanted to be sure to play some of these songs in rotation so listeners could experience their majesty. We eagerly await Brandon’s new studio record, coming soon; until then, spin this recording as a reminder of how wonderful an artist Brandon is. We’ve added nearly the entire album to our playlist: “It’s Alright (Baby Blue),” “Unknown,” “Falling Forward,” “Four Winds,” “Fire Season,” “Toward the Sun,” “Blue Star Highway,” “All Will Be Well,” and “The Last Swan.” [One hundred percent of the proceeds from the sale of this album are being donated to Gilda’s Club NYC, an organization that supports, educates and empowers cancer patients and their families.]

the-davenports-away-from-meThe Davenports | “Five Steps ’15” and “Away from Me” This latest release from Scott Klass and the Davenports, a true double a-side single, pairs a newly-arranged and remixed version of “Five Steps,” which originally appeared on the group’s debut album Speaking of the Davenports and continues to be part of the A&E network show, Intervention, with the brand-new song, “Away from Me.” Full of slightly obtuse imagery and the usual mastery of language, “Away from Me”‘s lyrics make a case for disconnection. Yin meets and overpowers yang: “There’s a heart around a number on the paper in the case/In a glove compartment–chaos by the seat loved out of place/With a boy beside the window with an answer in your face/Smiling as he drives away from me.” And, yang meets and topples over yin: “Every mile up in the air/Every masterful win–I’d burn it to cinders/To be tangled up in your hair/Sturdy inside September.” The song starts out as sort of a lazy country and western number, but the slightly ominous-sounding strings cast a pall over the proceedings. Scott’s sturdy yet rubbery vocal in the chorus creates added tension even as it carries forward as a beautiful expression of melody. It’s another superb song in a long line of superb Davenports songs, and we’re now playing it, along with “Five Steps ’15,” in rotation.

vanilla-catherineVanilla | “Katherine the Grating” Variety is the chief spice in Jayson Jarmon and company’s rack, as evidenced by the new, twelfth song released as part of the growing album-to-come, Vanilla 2.0. A bouncing snare drum leads into a lively, show-type catchy tune, all surface smiles and virtue with a darker purpose afoot: a girl leaves her baby’s care in her guy’s hands. She vamooses. She’s a no remorse kind of gal: “Why oh why did the rabbit die?/Leaving me up to my eyes in diapers.” She isn’t called Katherine the Grating for nothing. When Jayson is finished with Vanilla 2.0, expect and, well, demand that it winds up on every best of 2015 list known to man…or Katherine. Awesome.

jared-lekites-fiveJared Lekites | Five Separate Lives We’re always thrilled to bring new music from Jared Lekites to your waiting ears. This time around, Jared has released a single featuring two songs written for the soundtrack of the movie, You’re Killing Me. “Five Separate Lives” is a bouncy pop song with a great melody; a lovely middle-eight; and a great, catchy chorus. “And It’s Over,” a chronicle of a broken relationship, is a marvel of a number with soaring vocal harmonies and a luscious melody. Of course, we’re playing both of these songs in rotation. Next up: Jared’s upcoming album with Connor Anderson, billed under the name the Lunar Laugh. We can’t wait.

miss-tessMiss Tess and the Talkbacks | “One Match Fire” We’d never heard of Miss Tess and the Talkbacks prior to bumping into this joyous and masterful country-rock number, being released on Record Store Day this coming April 18. Until you can hold this limited edition 7-inch in your hot little hands, you can hear it playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio. It’s a great number, another don’t miss track, without a doubt.

quakers-on-probationQuakers on Probation | Love and Distance Pop and rock and roll and a dash of contemporary spice are at the heart of this band from the Pacific Northwest. Their songs are atmospheric and catchy and we’re spinning five from this terrific album: “Cosmic Crawl,” “The Honorable Mention,” “Love and Distance,” “Story of Your Life,” and “Out of the Blue.” Great stuff.

A strong lineup of artists and songs, wouldn’t you say? We’ve got more treasures coming up next week. Keep listening to Pure Pop Radio for the greatest melodic pop from the ’60s to today!

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Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber's Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes

Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber’s Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes

Pure Pop Radio’s New Music Explosion Rolls On! It’s Day Number Three, and We’re Still Just Getting Started!

Pure Pop Radio is committed to bringing you the latest and greatest melodic pop music from your favorite recording artists and artists who will quickly become your favorite recording artists. We scour the globe for the coolest sounds around.

This week, and in the weeks to come, we’re adding many hundreds of new songs to the Pure Pop Radio playlist. We’ve already told you about a good number of songs and artist’s we’ve introduced to our airwaves. Here’s a bunch more:

Brandon Schott | Verdugo Parkbrandon-verdugo-park-cover Brandon Schott’s latest taster for his upcoming album, provisionally titled Crayons and Angels, is a phenomenal three-song collection featuring two songs that will be unavailable elsewhere. That alone is reason enough to jump on this masterful creation. These two tracks–a lightly-psychedelic instrumental called “Lapiz Lazuli” that takes its inspiration from the Beatles’ “Tomorrow Never Knows” and runs wild with it; and a delightful cover of Robert and Richard Sherman’s lovely 1962 soundtrack song, “Castaway”–are classics in their own right. But the main draw here is the title cut, a delectable mix of Brian Wilson and Harry Nilsson-esque melody and inspiration that is beyond the heights that inspiration usually takes you. We’re playing all three of these songs in rotation. We can’t wait for you to hear them.

Dave Caruso's Cardboard Vegas RoundaboutDave Caruso (Part One) | Cardboard Vegas Roundabout We raved about Dave’s miracle of an album a few weeks ago, and rightly so: it’s one of the best releases of this or any year. This is what you get when a talented multi-instrumentalist puts pen to paper and crafts songs that not only pay homage to his musical heroes but also incorporate his own, unique way of drawing out a melody and topping it off with words that tell a commanding story. From the Beach Boys homage (also sporting a dash of Carpenters spice), “Champion,” to the astounding, tight harmony singing that kicks off and populates the beautiful “I’ve Tried to Write You,” this is an album that, as Paul McCartney once sang, is warm and beautiful. We’re playing five songs in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: the aforementioned “Champion” and “I’ve Tried to Write You,” “The Art of Erica,” “It’s a Great Day for the Angels,” and “Shelter.”Dave Caruso's Elizabeth Parker EP

Dave Caruso (Part Two) | Elizabeth Parker Before releasing Cardboard Vegas Roundabout, Dave recorded an EP that is just as captivating. We’re playing four songs in rotation: the title track, “I Can’t Be On Time,” “If I Died Today,” and “Letter to My Ex.” A double dose of Dave Caruso will do you good!

swan-diveSwan Dive | Soundtrack to Me and You The art of song that sweeps you off your feet with marvelous melody and peerless songwriting is practiced on Swan Dive’s 10th album, Soundtrack to Me and You. Molly Felder’s sent-from-heaven-above vocals bring Bill DeMain’s wonderful songs (co-written with Kelly Jones and Mike Viola, amongst others) to life, and what a great life it is. From the Buddy Holly-meets-Everly Brothers vibe of “Good Things” to the breezy, free and easy mid-tempo ballad “Sweet Summer Fling,” this is as good as pop music gets. We love this album so much that we’ve added all of the songs to the Pure Pop Radio playlist: “Sweet Summer Fling,” “Flipside of Loving You,” “Soundtrack to Me and You,” “Star Crossed Lover,” “Missing,” “I Can See What’s Coming,” “Brief Interlude,” “Slim Willie Dunn and the Gin Bottle Four,” “Wrong Number” and “Good Things.” Wonderful stuff.

andy-reed-oddities-and-entitiesAndy Reed | Oddities and Entities Much-loved musician, producer and engineer Andy Reed, who moonlights as one-third of the much-loved band the Legal Matters and records under the band name An American Underdog, has a long history as a maker of fine records. This history is reflected in the grooves of this enticing, catchall collection of 22 previously-released and unreleased gems. From the pure pop pleasures of “Smile, Look and Listen” and “The Ballad of…” to the gorgeous, beautifully sung and played “Crazy Things,” there’s no end to the pleasures on offer. We’re happily playing the aforementioned songs, plus “Make Up Your Mind,” “Always on the Run,” “Summertime,” “The Criminal,” “Novacaine,” “Your Reign is Over,” “Extraordinary Boy” and “Beautiful Dreamer,” in rotation.

lisa-mychols-3Lisa Mychols 3 | Lisa Mychols 3 Resting comfortably somewhere between the sound of her last record, Above, Beyond and In Between, and, say, an early Who album, Lisa Mychols 3 blasts a half-dozen sweaty workouts in just over 17 power-punched minutes. As is always the case with Lisa, melody is king, but so too are the ace riffs and killer guitar work. We’re playing the entire EP in rotation: “Back to the Truth,” “Bruce Foxton,” “Ready for Action,” “Right on Time,” “Story in Your Mind,” and “The Fool.” This collection will not be denied!

party-boatParty Boat | “Little Fish” and “Don’t Stress” Charming, melodic pop music is a big part of Pure Pop Radio’s broadcast day. We’re proud to bring you these two songs from the four-piece band Party Boat. With echoes of sixties and seventies song conventions, and a strong sense of melody, these guys are a collective to watch.

pat-walshPat Walsh | Three Ukelele Songs Pat Walsh is a longtime favorite of Pure Pop Radio. We eagerly wait for and play something from just about everything he records. When we found out that Pat had waxed some songs based around one of our favorite instruments, the ukelele, we did that dance that one does when one is deliriously happy. We’ve got three uke tunes playing in rotation that Pat recorded with the help of his co-producer and musical cohort, Billy Gewin: “Blackberry Morning,” “Right Time,” and “Someone’s Waiting.” We’re on Team Pat and we’re working along with his other fans to make him a household name. Join us, won’t you?

sunchymesThe Sunchymes | Through My Eyes Recording as the Sunchymes, Aaron Hemmington’s music is, according to his Facebook page, a “summery fusion of power pop and psychedelia.” We concur, and we bring you a pair of recent tracks to hear in rotation: the “Summer 2014 mix” of “Through My Eyes,” and a cool version of the Beatles classic, “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.” Wonderful!

ali-ingleAli Ingle | The Good for Nothing Demos We’ve been following this young British singer-songwriter for some time, and we like what we hear. Here are four demos that point to even bigger, melodic work to come: “First Punch,” “Paris,” “Leaving Home,” and “Sit this One Out.” This lovely quartet of tunes can be downloaded for free on Ali’s Soundcloud page.

So that’s day three of Pure Pop Radio’s New Music Explosion. We’ve got so much more new music to report to you–stay tuned to the Pure Pop Radio website and, of course, Pure Pop Radio for much, much more. Happy listening!

Click here to download our app for listening on the go with Android and iOS devices!

Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber's Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes

Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber’s Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes