Ready, Set, Go! Hundreds and Hundreds and Hundreds More New Songs and Artists Have Been Added to the Pure Pop Radio Playlist. Let the Tunes Play!

Alan Haber's Pure Pop RadioSo here’s the scoop: We’ve been adding new music to the Pure Pop Radio playlist for the last couple of months–all sorts of melodic pop from new and heritage artists; songs with sent-from-heaven hooks and harmonies that are pretty much guaranteed to put a big smile on your face.

Let’s get right down to it. Here are just some of the new songs and artists now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio. This is but a quick sprinkle of what we have in store for your ears. You’ll be reading about all of our recent adds to the playlist over the next few weeks. Sit back, relax, and start singing along.

michael carpenter the big radioMichael Carpenter | The Big Radio To say that Aussie Michael Carpenter has been a major force in helping to shape the sound of melodic pop music would be barely scratching the surface of the run of his estimable achievements. Michael’s first album, released by Not Lame in 1999, was called Baby; it featured a dozen songs that, like a well-orchestrated fireworks display in the summer sky, showed how it was done if one wanted to do it well. Sixteen years later, The Big Radio, an explosive, musical fireworks display, an all-consuming expression of passion fueled by skill and a keen sense of purpose, is here and nothing, really, has changed.

Which is the kind of good news one wants when hitting the play button on what will surely wind up being one of the best power pop albums of the year–power being the operative word. It’s impossible to not feel the electricity in every note of The Big Radio’s opening salvo, the vigilant, energized, take-no-prisoners number, “Don’t Open that Door,” which announces itself with a flip-flopping, upside-and-then-down rolling drum call-to-arms that feeds directly into a classically-styled, electric guitar-fueled blast of melodic wonder and manages to pack a half-hour’s punch into just over three minutes of playing time.

michael carpenter photoThese 14 songs, from the propulsive, runaway train that is “I’ve Been Lovin’ You,” to the catchy, medium tempo nugget, “The Little Blue Box,” and “Too Late,” a rubbery, determined, slowish burner of a rocker sliced and diced with Keith Richards-y electric guitar flourishes, The Big Radio is nothing less than exactly what you would expect to get when Michael Carpenter shows up at your door with a new album. Turn ‘er up and let your power pop flag fly.

Of course, we’re playing all of these songs in rotation, and they are: “Don’t Open that Door,” “She’s in Love With Herself,” “Blind,” “I Kissed that Girl,” “I’ve Been Lovin’ You,” “Father,” “The Only One,” “The Little Blue Box,” “Chrissie Hynde,” “Run Away,” “Too Late,” “Never Be the One,” “Never Know You,” and “Place in Our World.”

It’s a pleasure and a privilege to welcome Michael Carpenter back.

andy reed relayAndy Reed | Relay Vol. 1 Andy Reed, multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter, recording artist, producer, engineer and yeah, probably that too, steps out from behind his An American Underdog moniker for five songs worth of pretty near perfect pop. Coupling four originals (one written with Donny Brown, whose songs are playing in rotation here on Pure Pop Radio) with a lovely cover of Sloan’s “I Love a Long Goodbye,” the master music craftsman produces pure delights aplenty. The first focus track, an insanely catchy, melodic gem, “Dreaming of the West Coast,” is but one of the wonders on offer; the gorgeous ballad, “Love is Gone,” marries a luscious melody to a beautiful, fluid chord structure. We’re playing the songs mentioned here, plus “Waves” and “Darlin’, You Don’t Know.” Absolutely essential listening, and we can’t wait for more.

duncan faure 4Duncan Faure | 4 For more than four decades, from Rabbitt to the Bay City Rollers and through to his solo career, Duncan Faure has been a popular tunesmith and a master of the pop song. It’s only fitting that Duncan’s latest release is titled 4. We’re playing the following songs in rotation, all catchy, joyous and full of life: “Back to the Day,” “Lies and Promises,” and “The Day that I Found Love.” The mark of a great pop song is how strong the pull is to hit the repeat button and play it again. Guess how strong the pull is here.

paul starling the wild wolfPaul Starling | The Wild Wolf According to his blog, Paul Starling is a left-handed bass and guitar player and a right-handed drummer (make of that what you will), whose favorite male singer is Paul McCartney (which guarantees him an invitation to Thanksgiving dinner) and whose favorite food is clam chowder (which is apropos of nothing but interesting nonetheless). He is also a member of Anchor and Bear, a quite wonderful group whose album, Ahoy!, is currently playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio. What’s more, he curates, using his real name, Brian Bringelson, a fine and quite dandy deejay show called Needle Meets Vinyl, which airs here on Wednesday nights at 8 pm ET.

All dressed up in his Paul Starling clothes, this talented artist is currently watching his latest long player, The Wild Wolf, climb to the top of the pops. Well, we certainly love it here at Pure Pop Radio. We love not only the music, which is quite catchy and full of hooks and heart, but also the lyrics, every set of them creatively poised to listeners to ponder. Consider the title song, for example, as near as we can tell the story of a lover who takes, doesn’t give back and slinks off into the night without regret. Plus, she may be less than the sum of her parts: “She’s been kissing all the boys without a raincoat/Seems her reasons lack the water, sink and won’t float.” Another of our favorites, the vaguely mid-1960s-flavored stomper, “Tarantula,” about a love affair pulling apart from itself, also makes the grade with us.

In addition to the two aforementioned songs, we’re also playing the rest of the album in rotation: “Boots,” “Seance,” “Endless Waiting,” “Midnight Turns Into Day,” “Seven,” “Middle of Darkness,” “Waiting,” “Broken Bones,” “EP Foster,” and “Giving Up the Ghost.” We love them all, and we bet you will too.

Well, it’s time to get back to work. We’ll be reporting on more of the new music added to the Pure Pop Radio playlist throughout the next few weeks. We’ve added hundreds and hundreds more of the finest melodic pop songs being crafted and released by the top recording artists you know and love. Keep listening to Pure Pop Radio; simply click on one of the listen links below and sing along if you know the words.

purepoplogoAlan 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 Spongetones, the Nines, Kurt Baker, 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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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

Our New Music Explosion Continues and Our First Annual Favorite Records of the Year: Stars of ’14 Feature is Eight Days Away

i-love-music2014 has without question turned out to be a particularly great year for melodic pop music, and as in many previous years, the last few weeks have been top-loaded with sterling releases that prove that any time is a great time for great tunes.

We begin winding up the year with another list of artists and songs just added to the Pure Pop Radio playlist. This time around we feature a couple of our favorites, two artists new to our air, and a surprise track pairing a pop star from across the decades with a new pop star, whose group made a bubblegum smash just two years ago. So let’s get our program off and running, shall we? (Check below for a note about where we’re going next.)

the-rubinoosThe Rubinoos | 45 Just released, this latest album from the melodic pop band’s melodic pop band is a master class in songwriting and performing that should be at the top of your holiday gift-giving lists. We think 45 is the Rubinoos’ best album, which is really saying something. More than anything, the group’s harmonies–always a shining hallmark of their sound–are better than ever, and Jon Rubin remains one of music’s greatest vocalists, regardless of genre. The group’s a cappella (with percussion) version of Lou Christie’s “Rhapsody in the Rain” is one of the standout tracks released by any band this or any other year. Donning the melodic skin of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, it’s nothing less than breathtaking. The doo-wop-meets-early rock ‘n’ roll tribute to Richard Berry’s classic “Louie Louie,” “I Love Louie Louie,” is a smile-inducing tip o’ the hat to the pleasures of the passion of a song that’s been misunderstood for decades. And the upbeat bopper, “Countdown to Love,” sounds like something right out of Paul Revere and the Raiders’ playbook. With great, crisp, clear sound and passion to spare, 45 is one of this year’s finest platters, and we’re playing the whole thing in rotation: “Run Mascara Run,” “Graveyard Shift,” “I Love Louie Louie,” “Does Suzie Like Boys,” “Countdown to Love,” “What More Can You Ask of a Friend,” “Party Insurance,” “You Are Here,” “Rhapsody in the Rain,” “That Thing You Do,” “Kangaroo Court,” “All It Takes,” and “She’s Driving Me Crazy.”

secret-powers-6Secret Powers | 6 Montana’s own power pop magicians are back with their sixth long-player, a delectable collection of–let’s not be shy about it–instantly enjoyable pop songs with surprising turns and the kind of melodies that only come from seasoned, natural talents. Ryan “Shmedly” Maynes and crew have outdone themselves with nine brilliant slices of smile-inducing pop that exhibit more than a hint of Jeff Lynne in their DNA. From the ELO-ish “Spare Parts” to the opener, “Bitter Sun,” with its lovely choral section, and the Stiff label echoes of “The Way the Story Goes,” this is the hot pop potato of the moment. We’re playing the entire album in rotation: all of the aforementioned tracks, plus “Palarium,” “Reservoir,” “She’s Electrical,” “Paula Brown,” “New Moon,” and “Ready to Get Old and Die.” A wonderful, late year surprise.

Myracle Brah | The Peach EP Imagine our complete surprise to find that one of the first bands wmyracle-brahe played religiously on the old, weekly Pure Pop Radio show had released a brand new EP, a fantastic quartet of recordings that does no less than restore your faith in the power of power pop (we’re playing all of them in rotation). Andy Bopp and crew have come up a clear winner with the Big Star-influenced “Sleeping in My Car”; the mid-tempo ballad “Alicent in Time” (complete with great harmonies); ” the psych-pop instrumental “Red Eye #2”; and a lively, lovely cover of the Troggs’ “With a Girl Like You.” We’re playing all four songs in rotation. Side note: Bopp has released a solo EP called Time to Rock that pays tribute, in glorious one-track-mono, to the early days of rock. End-of-the-year presents for music fans everywhere!

tony-and-vernTony Valentino featuring Vern Shank of the Cherry Drops | “I Believe, I Believe” Here is another late-year surprise, pairing an original member of the Standells with Vern Shank from the Cherry Drops, whose 2012 debut, Everything’s Groovy, continues to be a Pure Pop Radio favorite. Valentino plays guitar, bass and sings backup vocals on “I Believe, I Believe,” while Shank sings the lead and harmony vocal. Garage rock-meets-bubblegum in this modern day classic track, which is currently spinning in rotation on Pure Pop Radio. A real treasure! (That’s Tony on the left and Vern on the right in the picture. All hail rock ‘n’ roll!)

deadbeat-poetsDeadbeat Poets | Hallelujah Anyway The latest, just-released long-player from Deadbeat Poets glistens with a wide variety of pop ‘n’ roll tunes that position them at the top of the beat-meets-melody ladder. We’re playing eight great songs from this exciting record: “Baby Doll,” “Love Is On the Right Beat,” “Getting Over You,” “Johnny Sincere,” “A Dark-Haired Girl in Piccadilly Circus,” “The Bag I’m In,” “There Ain’t No One But You,” and “Falling Without Annette.” A terrific record all the way through.

john-hunter-phillipsJohn Hunter Phillips | John Hunter Phillips and the Hurricane Beach Band Here’s the best Beach Boys album released in 2014, from a man who’s not actually in the Beach Boys, but has sung on stage with the band. A tremendous singer who understands and can inhabit the Beach Boys sound like no one else in recent memory, Phillips has recorded a wonderful album full of Boys of Summer-esque songs, from the glorious, harmony-filled “Darlene” to the clever and catchy tribute to the individual Beach Boys, “Dennis, Carl, Alan, Brian, Bruce and Mike (and David)” that features outta site harmonies and a great melody. The limited, deluxe edition of this album includes a second CD jam-packed with alternate versions of the songs, including a number of a cappella takes that will blow your mind in all directions. We’re playing 15 tunes, including “Stay in Kaneohe,” “Back in Hawaii,” “Backseat Driver,” “Darlene,” “I Don’t Feel Bad Anymore,” “The Girl in the Rearview Mirror (2014 Driving Version),” “The Ghost of Hurricane Beach,” “If We Ever Need a Super Man,” “Not So Fast,” “You Can’t Do It Alone,” “I’ll Get Right Back to You” (a duet with Pure Pop Radio favorite, Dana Countryman), “Dennis, Carl, Alan, Brian, Bruce and Mike (and David),” Back in Hawaii (a cappella),” “Backseat Driver (a cappella),” and “Love’s Song.” Superb.

robert-crenshaw-2Robert Crenshaw | Atheist Christmas Hot on the heels of adding to our playlist the whole of Robert’s new album, Friends, Family and Neighbors, we’re adding three songs from his 2012 EP. You’ll have to wait until our second annual Christmas Extravaganza, beginning at noon ET on Christmas Eve day, to hear the title cut, but the second, third and fourth tracks are now spinning in rotation, and they’re typically wonderful: “Breakdown in the Passing Lane,” “23 1/2 Degrees,” and Neil Young’s “Don’t Let it Bring You Down.” We’re happy to be playing so many treasures from Robert on Pure Pop Radio.

bell-gardensBell Gardens | Slow Dawns for Lost Conclusions Another just-released album makes its way to the Pure Pop Radio playlist. We’re playing three beautiful, passionate numbers that will wash over you with a peaceful, easy feeling: “Sail,” “She’s Stuck in the Endless Loop of Her Decline,” and “Take Us Away.”

Duncan Faure | Machine from the Other Side We’ll have more coming duncan-faurefrom the great Duncan Faure in the near future, but for now dig four wonderful pop songs that put the spotlight on Duncan, a pounding, percussive piano, and a decidedly strong, early Elton John influence: “Billy in the Big Band,” “Hullo Baby,” “Leaves,” and “England Doesn’t Sleep.” Great stuff.

That’s it for today. As hinted above, we’ll be taking a bit more than a week off while Alan undergoes and recuperates from surgery. We’ll be back on Tuesday, November 18 with our first annual Favorite Records of the Year: Stars of ’14 feature. See you then! And, while we’re gone, keep listening to Pure Pop Radio (listening links below).

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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