Alan Haber's Pure Pop Radio is the premier website covering the melodic pop scene with in-depth reviews of new and new-to-you releases. Pure Pop Radio plays the greatest melodic pop in the universe 24 hours a day.
The first of two weeks of brand-new Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation twofers pairs a melodic pop master from Scotland with a classic popster from Canada for a fun ride full of great talk and wonderful music. It all begins next Monday night at 8 pm ET with an hour-long talk with Pure Pop Radio favorite Kenny Herbert.
Kenny’s new album, Forever and Beyond, is a gorgeous, romantic song cycle inspired by Caroline, the love of Kenny’s life. The 14 songs on offer, encompassing 1950s, 1930s and modern melodic pop vibes, are tremendously affecting, beautifully drawn snapshots of a happy existence. The Edinburgh, Scotland native talks to Alan Haber about the album’s origins, the involvement of Pilot’s David Paton, and offers up a tour of his musical life. You won’t be surprised to find that the Beatles figure rather prominently in his thinking.
We’ve been besotted with Kenny’s music for some time now; we’re thrilled to have him as a guest on In Conversation, kicking off this special two-week run of twofer broadcasts. Tune in next Monday, May 30, at 8 pm ET and prepare to be thoroughly charmed.
The following night–next Tuesday, May 31, at 8 pm ET–Klaatu’s John Woloschuk returns to Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation to talk to Alan about 14 of his favorite pop songs from years gone by. John is a virtual encyclopedia of pop music, armed with facts and figures and love for some of the greatest songs of the pop era.
Join John as he spins the Hollies’ “Bus Stop,” the Kinks’ “A Well Respected Man,” Donovan’s “Hurdy Gurdy Man,” a pair of Beatles classics, and a whole lot more. You won’t want to miss this two-hour explosion of pop history with this amazing songwriter and performer, whose songs “Sub Rosa Subway” and “Hope” are only two of the classic numbers of his that are adored by fans around the world.
So: Kenny Herbert sits behind the microphone on the first of two Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation episodes next Monday night, May 30, at 8 pm ET, and Klaatu’s John Woloschuk spins the hits, and talks about them, next Tuesday night, May 31, at 8 pm ET. Not a bad start to your musical week!
But that’s not all! Mark your calendars for June 6 and 7, when another In Conversation twofer puts the spotlight on a long-standing pop music maven and one of our favorite singer-songwriters, who is currently crafting his next release.
See you on the radio!
Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation, the premiere melodic pop interview program hosted by Alan Haber, airs Tuesday nights at 8 pm ET. Archived, podcast versions of interviews are posted on the In Conversation PodOmatic podcast page; click here to listen to shows previously broadcast on Pure Pop Radio.
We’ve got two spectacular additions to our playlist today, and they couldn’t be any more different from each other if they tried. First up, Kenny Herbert’s fantastic Forever & Beyond. Here is Alan’s review:
Kenny Herbert | Forever & Beyond “And there was love, love, love, love/Anyone could see that there was love/Love all over me,”sang Danny Wilson in their song “The Second Summer of Love,” and truer words have never been spoken, for love, love, love, love is what there is, what lives within us, what shines above and around us, what makes us whole.
Veteran musician and songwriter Kenny Herbert, with pals Rab Howat and Pilot’s David Paton in tow, is all about love on his fabulous new album, Forever and Beyond. These 14 romantic songs, inspired by Caroline, the love of Kenny’s life, are tremendously affecting, beautifully drawn snapshots of a happy existence. Throughout, Kenny’s emotional vocals shine.
From the 1930s-styled shuffle of “My All Time Love,” which glistens with a beautifully-played, spare and jazzy guitar solo, and the 1950s vibe of “My Favourite Everything,” which features gorgeous background vocal harmonies, to the lovely mid-tempo ballad “This Lovin’ Feelin'” and the upbeat, hit-worthy, toe-tapping ode to the effect that the Beatles have had on us all,”It’s All Good,” this is a spectacular, lovingly realized collection–a fine assemblage that will do no less than charm listeners worldwide.
Produced by David Paton, Forever and Beyond is the romantic, melodic pop music album to beat this year. We’re playing all 14 songs in rotation: “Forever and Beyond (Our Wedding Song),” “It’s a Wonderful Life,” “Queensferry Girl,” “You,” “This Lovin’ Feelin’,” “It’s All Good,” “Waving to Trains,” “Caroline,” “My Favourite Everything,” “My All Time Love,” “Falling,” “Nobody But You,” “Paradise Falls,” and “Love Very Much (Live Demo).” Love, love, love, love this album.
– Alan Haber
And here is our second new add to the playlist for today:
Euro Trash | “Mature” From Norway comes a band with much promise, as evidenced by their new single, “Mature.” This power-popping number is all about the guitars, and the guitars, too; the singalong chorus and the infectious melody and harmonies are powerful and the song is hooky indeed. The whole thing gets under your skin lickety-split. So, of course, we’re playing this one in rotation. (Thanks to Caddy’s Tom Dahl for tipping this one our way.)
That’s it for this week’s look at some of the new songs and artists newly playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio. More next week. Meanwhile, why not check out our 24-hour stream by clicking on one of the listen links below. Pure Pop Radio is playing the soundtrack of your lives!
Things are hopping here at the spacious, newly-fake-wooded-floored Pure Pop Radio headquarters, and by hopping we mean we’re having to hop over things that are in the way, that have been put there by the team of flooring professionals that just installed a new not-carpet surface to walk on. Well, that was something to live through for two days this past weekend, and then there’s the cleanup! Whoa!
And through the events of the past few days, which are hitting up against the start of television and radio broadcasts of Washington Nationals spring training baseball games–spring is springing, for sure–we’ve been listening to and adding to and reveling in a whole lot of new music that has been added to the ever-growing Pure Pop Radio playlist.
Here’s some of what we’ve just added to our 24-hour rotation (tons more new music coming next week!):
The Foreign Films | The Record Collector (Side Four) It occurs to us that there must be as many style paths floating around in Bill Majoros’ brain as there are Real Facts printed underneath Snapple bottle caps, and the evidence, it seems, is clear on the fourth side of the master’s upcoming double-record set. Bill has been releasing this album one side at a time; this time around, the songs are perhaps a bit more soulful and fit together like a tightly-knit glove.
Here’s the rundown on the latest six songs from the Films, all of which are now spinning in rotation: “Aloha Blue Sky,” a tempting slice of Philly soul buoyed by rock ‘n’ roll spirit; “Falling Like a Star,” a John Lennon-esque number with an air of mystery; “Time Disappears (La Lune de L’amour),” a gospelized ballad; “Dream Another Dream,” another Lennon nod, this time in ’50s “Starting Over” mode; “Sunset by the Sea,” a breezy ballad dressed in Steely Dan comfort clothes by way of “Rikki Don’t Lose that Number” and Van Dyke Parks-ish marimba and steel drums accents; and “Letter to Our Future Selves,” a winning pop song by way of Jim Croce and Paul McCartney (surely the inspiring duo of the year so far), with a touch of Pure Pop Radio favorites Muller and Patton thrown in for good measure (Bill, meet Muller and Patton).
If the Foreign Films’ The Record Collector doesn’t wind up in voluminous top 10 lists this year, we’ll eat the hat we don’t wear. Seriously…this is great.
The Longplayer Orchestra | “All in the City” It’s been six years since we came across one of the most refreshing, exciting and, most of all, fun albums we’d heard in ages–the debut long player by Longplayer, subsequently to be called The Longplayer Orchestra. Comprising Goran Hjertstedt, Ulf Holmberg, and Ian Haugland, who was Goran’s partner in the glorious Brains Beat Beauty, the LPO has released the first track off the forthcoming album, Memory Lane, and it’s the usual LPO fare: fun, lively, tuneful, hooky and just vaguely ELO-ish (well, maybe more than vaguely). LPO’s music gives us great pleasure; we can’t wait for the full album. Great, great, great.
The Del Zorros | “Step Away from My Heart,””Hold You All Night Long (Dream Little Dreamer),””The Henrietta,” and “Downton Abbey (Let’s Go)” “Come on down to the shining river; it goes on and on and winds forever,” Lance and Leigh Bowser (aka Monty and Stede Del Zorro) sing rather romantically in the lovely, satiny “The Henrietta,” a song from last fall’s glorious Del Zorros long player, Wilmington, now a single release that just gets under your skin like the best things you love. And speaking of love, “Hold You All Night Long (Dream Little Dreamer)” is a song that you will, you know, love–a soulful strutter of epic proportions, if epic, in this case, is the feeling you get dancing with the one you love, ever so close. “Step Away from My Heart” is a Staxian stomper, perfect for the dance floor, and “Downton Abbey (Let’s Go)” is a timely sendoff for the popular PBS program that just concluded its loving run. Monty and Stede are doing great work, and we’re proud to be featuring it on Pure Pop Radio.
James Patrick | “Pet Your Stereo” and “Rabbit Hole Blues” Look no further than the short and sweet power-packed nugget “Pet Your Stereo” that’s shooting straight out of the glam-pop well for your Marc Bolan-y fix. From James Patrick’s upcoming album (think April), this is a sizzler–a groovy contemporary stomper oozing replayability for maximum enjoyment. And, as good as “Pet Your Stereo” is, “Rabbit Hole Blues” might just be even better. A Todd Rundgren-esque song with just as much Paul McCartney DNA sprinkled on top, with three fairly distinct parts, it’s a pure pop winner. Great stuff.
Phyllis Johnson | “30 Trips Around the Sun” Gee whiz, Phyllis Johnson…when are you going to make the album that’s sure to blaze around the sun and swoop up a grand, adoring, worldwide audience for your beautiful music? Here is Phyllis’ latest modern classic, a delicious channeling of Aimee Mann-esque mid-tempo balladry that hooks you upon first listen. Lovely.
Dion and Paul Simon | “New York is My Home” Who doesn’t stop in his or her tracks to soak in a new song from the great musical poet of New York, whose streets resonate with his legacy? Dion’s new song, sung with another Big Apple poet, Paul Simon, is a gorgeous, soulful love letter to the city that remains a most vibrant, shining star. Terrific.
Kenny Herbert | “Forever and Beyond,” “You,” and “It’s a Wonderful Life” We continue to swoon to the sounds of one of our favorite singer-songwriters, who we’ve been playing on the air for quite a long while. Kenny’s new album, Forever and Beyond, is set for April release and we can’t wait. We’ve got a trio of love songs for you, in advance of the release–the title track, arranged for acoustic guitar and understated orchestration, and a beautifully sung charmer; the oh-so-pretty “You”; and “It’s a Wonderful Life,” a love letter to Frank Capra’s classic film that also points to having a wonderful life in the here and now. We can’t wait for the full album.
Kyle Vincent | “Narita (Tokyo Girl)” and “Whatever Happened to Fun” Here’s a real springtime treat, slightly in advance of the season. “Narita (Tokyo Girl)” is a wonderfully catchy, upbeat pop song with a great, catchy melody; “Whatever Happened to Fun” is a fun, new recording of the classic song released by Kyle’s former band, Candy, in 1985. It’s always great to have new Kyle Vincent songs to play on the radio.
Linda Perhacs – “The Dancer” This intoxicating, atmospheric number, co-produced by Fernando Perdomo and Wilco’s Pat Sansone, is alive and vital; it will presumably be included on the artist’s next album, only her third since 1970. You won’t be able to get this song out of your head. Gorgeous.
The April Family | “1943” Michael Carpenter, Casey Atkins and Kylie Whitney, whose 2014 album, Something About Ghosts, was one of our favorite records of that year, come together to deliver a swampy, soulful (there’s that word again) track that bubbles with emotion and fury. Factor in the amazing Kylie vocal and you’ve got a track that makes you want to hear more. Superb.
Tom Shaner | I Hate to See Your Spirit Fade Perhaps more on the folk and blues sides of life’s musical equation than pop, Tom Shaner’s songs exude a certain seductive energy that is all in there, emotionally speaking. A protege of Jeff Buckley, Tom logged time in New York City band Industrial Tepee. We’re playing seven great songs from this superb album, including “New York City is Paradise #2,” “Tide of Love” “Vanessa the Vegan Murderess,” “Your Complication Soul,” “When the Devil Comes Callin’,” “I Can’t Be the One,” and “Wandering Heart.” A beautiful, soulful record.
Velasco | “I Can’t Surf” Decidedly sitting on the pop side of the musical fence, this singer-songwriter out of Paris (the one in France) follows up his two EPs and four singles with a sweet-sounding, upbeat, catchy song set to a relaxed surf beat. Love, love, love it. Welcome Giuseppe Velasco to Pure Pop Radio.
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There you go: just some of the latest adds to the Pure Pop Radio playlist. And, as usual, we’re just getting started! Be with us next week for more runs through some of the latest songs and artists we’ve started playing in rotation. Until then, why not click on one of the listen links below and tune into the greatest melodic pop music in the universe!
Welcome to another round of new songs and artists that have been added to the Pure Pop Radio playlist. We know you’re going to love what we’ve got in store!
Here are the latest additions:
The Lunar Laugh | Apollo Last Wednesday, we added this album’s title song to our playlist. Of “Apollo,” we said it’s a “lovely slice of pure, melodic pop…” We say the same thing about the rest of the songs that Connor Anderson and Jared Lekites have written for this melodic masterpiece. Not only will you love the originals, but you’ll hug tightly the cover of Mike Nesmith’s “Some of Shelly’s Blues,” which Jared has been performing live since 2008. We’re playing nearly every song: “Man Against Man,” “Winsome,” “Apollo,” “On the Road,” “When I’m Alone,” “Bottom of the World,” “The Way I Roll,” and “Some of Shelly’s Blues.” Pretty spectacular, folks.
Kenny Herbert | “My Favourite Everything” With a vibe that harkens back to to the sound of the fabulous fifties and early sixties, Pure Pop Radio favorite Kenny Herbert delivers another in a series of standout tracks stacked high with catchy melodies and joy. Glorious background vocals and a groovy guitar solo are but two highlights in the soundfield of this great number. Cheers, Kenny–you’ve waxed another winner.
Pseudonym | Revolving Door So here is this week’s find: a fine and fit-as-a-fiddle outfit featuring Paul Desjarlais “and other real or imaginary people,” according to Paul, who ought to know, we guess. In any case, it’s pretty great stuff, these songs, full of great melodies and playing and vocals. The whole shooting match, in fact. We’re playing “Long Goodbyes,” “Better,” “Fill Up the Sky,” “Elevator,” “Caught on Fire,” “Idora Ave,” a cover of the great Paul Simon song, “The Only Living Boy in New York,” and “Want You More.” Speaking of “more,” that’s what we want.
Gail George | The Barrio Sessions with Early Times This intimate, relaxed album from 2014 features the lovely songs and vocals of Gail George, who recorded in New York’s East Harlem. We love the soft-sounding vibe of three entries: “Nobody’s Friend,” “Walk Away,” and “You Are There,” which we are now playing in rotation.
Dana Countryman | “Thrill Me (2015 Remix)” This sparkling remix of a great song from Dana’s smash 2013 album, The Incredible, Fantastic Retro Pop World of Dana Countryman, features the artist playing piano, bass, guitars, drums, percussion, and horns; dig, too, the groovy electric guitar work from Klaatu’s Dee Long, and luscious vocals all around. Mastered by Rick Fisher at RFI Mastering in Seattle, this is, well, masterful.
Adam Walsh and Colm Gavin | “Pancho and Lefty” Here’s a fine, tuneful cover of Townes Van Zandt’s classic song from the always-wonderful Adam Walsh and fellow musician Colm Gavin. We love the melodic guitar work, and the vocals are pretty terrific, too. Now playing in rotation.
That’s it for today–short and sweet and lovely all around. We’ll be back soon with more new songs and artists added to the Pure Pop Radio playlist. Until then, click on one of the listen links below and take in the sounds of the greatest melodic pop music in the universe!
Hello and welcome, friends, to the show that never ends, and for good reason! It’s week number two, cumulative day five of Pure Pop Radio’s New Music Explosion. We’ve added many hundreds of new songs by your favorite artists and artists new to you. We’re still packing quite a punch. Can you say “Pow!”?
We’ve added rockin’, poppin’ fast-, slow- and medium-paced numbers that will make you smile, laugh, cry and even, perhaps, think. But most of all, we’ve enriched all of our lives with the sound of singable, danceable melodic pop music.
Here are some more tunes and artists we’ve added to the Pure Pop Radio playlist and, remember, there’s more coming every day this week:
Cliff Hillis | Song Machine We suspect that Cliff Hillis is, deep down, an old, musical soul. His songs come straight from the heart and, in a particularly stylish, old-fashioned way, they come to you as old friends. They feel right. They glisten with craft and feeling. The seven songs on Cliff’s particularly grand new EP are among his best yet, and we’re spinning all of them in rotation, from the lovely, opening, mid-tempo, atmospheric examination of fractured identity, “Dashboard,” to “Goodnight Sunlight,” in which the night washes away the gangly day. This is an astounding collection of songs we all will wish we could have written. Also spinning: “Could You Be the Enemy,” “Hang On to the Moment,” “Just One More,” “Tonight,” and “Turn On a Dime.”
The Foreign Films | The Record Collector The musical magician, Bill Majoros, has quietly been recording a four-sided opus up in Canada he calls The Record Collector. He’s releasing one side at a time, at which point he’ll join the four corners of his world into one seamless long player. Side Two is currently out there–five songs that bode well for the next side that will soon be a tangible reality. From side two, we’ve added four tracks to the Pure Pop Radio playlist: the upbeat, rock number “Broken Dreamers”; “Land of 1000 Goodbyes,” a sixties pastiche mixing James Bond melodies, classical flourishes, catchy, pure pop choruses and hints of the Beach Boys; “State of the Art,” a modern power pop tune with sixties overtones; and “Teardrop Town,” sporting spooky echoes of the Eagles’ “One of These Nights” and more James Bondian touches. Very cool, very fun, and all playing now, in rotation.
Yorktown Lads | Songs About Girls and Other Disasters This promising trio, led by sparkle*jets u.k. and Popdudes veteran Michael Simmons, makes melodic pop music magic on their debut album, which boasts endearingly catchy songs like the Lovin’ Spoonful-esque “Sick of Me” and the pure poppy, ELO vibe of “When You’re Famous.” Yorktown Lads are all about the hook, and there’s enough hooks here to fill a very large tackle box. We’ve added seven songs to our playlist: “Something to Write About,” “La La,” “Rewind,” “Home,” “Stairway to Heather,” and the above mentioned pair of classics.
Martin Gordon | Include Me Out Martin Gordon has a long history in the music biz, with stops along the way that include membership in Sparks and Radio Stars and production work galore. Still an artist in his own right, his latest album is a marvel. He lands somewhere between Ray Davies and another Martin with the surname Newell. Both pop and rock with captivating melodies run through Gordon’s veins, and ears around the world are all the better for it. We’ve added a half-dozen songs to our playlist: “Gotta Go Green,” “Stanley Green,” “Nobody Went to the Moon,” “Still Not Lovin’,” “Include Me Out,” and “Girls from the Country.”
Steve Dawson | An Introduction to Steve Dawson of Dolly Varden We’ve been playing songs from Dolly Varden on Pure Pop Radio for a while. A wonderful collection of songs from songwriter Steve Dawson, crafted for his solo career and for the band, have been brought together by Noisetrade as a sampler of sorts–one that shows this masterful songwriter and performer’s range. From the standards-worthy, emotional, soulful mid-tempo ballad, “Love is a Blessing,” to the melody-infused, Squeeze-like charmer, “Preaching to the Choir,” Dawson proves himself to be as good as it gets. We’re spinning, in rotation, the two aforementioned songs and five others: “Del Mar, 1976,” “I’m the One I Despise,” “Long Overdue,” “Obsidian,” and “Today She Found the Way to Break My Heart.”
The Campbell Apartment | Sundogs This veteran band’s upcoming EP is a great showcase for some fine melodic pop music. From this collection, we especially enjoyed the delicious and quite catchy “Love of My Life” and the straight-ahead pop of the upbeat “Something in the Way.” We’re spinning both of these songs in rotation on Pure Pop Radio. We think you’ll enjoy them immensely.
Fernando Perdomo | Warm Originally from Miami Beach, Fernando Perdomo is a talented melody man whose first album, Warm, was released in May. At home with both ballady and upbeat pop numbers, Ferando channels Prefab Sprout on the lovely “Girl With a Record Collection,” and tells the story of a couple whose life together is in the moment and perhaps etched in the darkness of a darkroom in “Photographers in Love.” We’re playing these two songs, and four more, in rotation: “Home is Wherever You Are,” “California Moon,” “This Too Shall Pass,” and “On Sunday Morning.”
Dan Markell | “Carried Away” It’s been a long time since we first played music from Dan Markell’s album Big Ideas on the old, weekly Pure Pop Radio show on WEBR–nearly 15 years ago, in fact. We’re quite happy to have a new track from Dan to spin–an upbeat tune with horns and cool acoustic guitar figures with the usual hook that grabs you and doesn’t let go. Welcome back, Dan.
Kenny Herbert | “Caroline” One of our favorite songwriters and performers since the old Herbert and Howat days, Kenny is back with a new, heartfelt ballad that tugs at the heart strings, and in itself is a virtual master class in writing songs for the ages. It’s now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio.
Livingstone Daisies | Waiting On the Last Minute One of the sweetest gifts to come from Australia in many a moon, the Livingstone Daisies are back with an eight-song long player packed tight with straight-ahead pop and roll, great melodies and the promise of a long career ahead of them. The epic “Pistol Pete,” which begins with an a cappella choir that will send shivers up your spine, is the centerpiece here, and we’re playing it, along with two other songs, in rotation: “Around Here” and “Risking It All.”
Well, there you have it: Another day, another 10 examples of some of the best melodic pop music out there and now spinning in rotation on Pure Pop Radio, along with more than 5,200 other songs you will cherish and love. Be back here tomorrow for another list of some of the latest adds to our playlist, and keep listening to Pure Pop Radio by clicking on one of the handy listen links below. Thanks!