New on Pure Pop Radio: Caper Clowns, McPherson Grant, Kurt Baker Combo, Pacific Soul Ltd., and More

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Spins and Reviews | 11.16.16 | by Alan Haber alan 5 small

Cacaper-clowns-2per Clowns | The Buca Bus Odense is the third-largest city in Denmark, which is important should you or I be traveling to that country with the desire to visit its largest cities. Another reason to visit Odense would be to soak up the atmosphere that undoubtedly inspired this talented quartet to craft this wonderful melodic pop collection. The highlights are too numerous to mention in toto, but here are a few favorites: “A Tale of Romance and Magnetic Trains,” a pure pop delight of the toe-tapping variety; “Mirror Me,” an uptempo driver which wouldn’t be out of place on a Deacon Blue album; “Sleeping on the Edge of the Rainbow,” a beautiful burst of charming balladry, and “The Significance of Teacups,” wholly McCartney-esque (and ELO-esque with a Brian May-type guitar solo)–an earworm that simply won’t let go. Lovely melodies and harmonies and, well, everything, await your ears. Take a well-deserved bow, Rick Kingo, Peter Højgaard, Christian Højgaard and Skipper Storm; you’ve made one of this year’s most assured collections of musical treasures.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: Nearly the entire album: “Pockets,” “A Tale of Romance and Magnetic Trains,” “All We Ever Do is Run,” “The Significance of Teacups,” “Sleeping on the Edge of the Rainbow,” “A Forest of Letters,” “Mirror Me,” “Dressed in Flaws,” “When I’m Alive,” and “Lizard Heart”
black box When and Where to Get It: iTunes, imusic  Amazon UK (mp3 download). Listen on Spotify

mcpherson-grant-big-picture-people-2McPherson Grant | “Big Picture People” Hot off the presses and just emerged from the so-top-secret-you-need-two-passwords-to-get-in laboratory where magic, naturally, sprouts eternal, comes “Big Picture People,” maybe the catchiest earworm yet from the dynamic duo of Scott McPherson and Jamie Grant. With a determined piano opening topped with percussion effects that manages to sweetly recall two Paul McCartney tunes–“Tomorrow” and “Silly Love Songs”–this is the catchy thing of the moment. The lyrics incorporate allusions to McPherson Grant’s song titles and, with tongue planted firmly in cheek, point to the not-actually-nailed-down release date for their forthcoming album (“The melodies slay/Release date delayed/It’s such a bummer”).

Surprising, lively, catchy, and clever (check out the slightly psychedelic/vaudevillian bridge), you won’t be able to get this song out of your head.

As a special treat, click on the audio transport thingy that follows to hear me discuss this song with Scott, and hear “Big Picture People” in its entirety. Meanwhile, look forward to the forthcoming McPherson Grant album, coming real soon. I know I will.

black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio
black box When and Where to Get It:
Look for “Big Picture People” to appear on the forthcoming McPherson Grant album

kurt-baker-combo-in-orbitKurt Baker Combo | In Orbit His combo at his side, bashing out a wicked run of hard-charging riffs and tunes, Kurt Baker is back with his rocking rhythm guitar and committed Elvis Costello-vibing vocals. The results are, as you would expect and, furthermore, require, breathless and immediate, from the seventies Bad Company-by-way-of-Raspberries “Baby’s Gone Bad” to the very Katrina and the Waves bopper, “Rusty Nail.” Co-produced in Spain by Kurt and Jorge Colldan, and released on Little Steven Van Zandt’s Wicked Cool Records, In Orbit is a pop and roll dream come true.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: “Baby’s Gone Bad,” “Modern Day Rock ‘n’ Roll,” and “Rusty Nail”
black box When and Where to Get It: Kool Kat Musik, Amazon, iTunes

pacific-soul-ltdPacific Soul Ltd. | The Dance Divine Kind of a melting pot of sounds, incorporating pop, soul, and everything seventies, this trio, bringing together the talents of Cockeyed Ghoster Adam Marsland, Teresa Cowles, who, by the way, played legendary bassist Carol Kaye in the Brian Wilson biopic Love and Mercy, and recording artist Norman Kelsey. The “Sugar, Sugar” vibe of the Cowles-sung “We Go High” sits alongside the dance romp “Sunset Golden Love” and the Box Tops-y rocker “Pacific Soul Time”on an album that not only makes you feel the groove, it practically turns it on its catchy head.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: “Pacific Soul Time,” “Road Trip,” “Sunset Golden Love,” “Tomorrow Brings Tonight,” and “We Go High”
black box When and Where to Get It: Karma Frog Records

rob-martinezRob Martinez | New Love Environment Pure, catchy pop crafted in Reseda, California at Adam Marsland’s Karma Frog Studios. Albuquerque, New Mexico popster Martinez works through tasty nuggets that promote replayability and will undoubtedly put smiles on the faces of listeners. There are many highlights, but pushing for the top spot is “Love Life,” a musical love letter to the Partridge Family. Sweet.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: “Hangin’ On the Line,” Hard to Take,”  “Love Life,” “and “When She Comes to Town,” another Partridge in the pop tree
black box When and Where to Get It: Karma Frog Records

tunsTUNS | TUNS What happens when Sloan’s Chris Murphy, Super Friendz and Flashing Light’s Matt Murphy, and the Inbreds’ Mike O’Neill trio it up and let loose their pop smarts? Pop and roll ensues on a driving collection of snappy, upbeat songs that burrow into your subconscious. Top-flight collection bodes well for future releases.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: “Back Among Friends,” “Lonely Life,” “Mind Your Manners,” and “I Can’t Wait Forever”
black box When and Where to Get It: Amazon, Kool Kat Musik, iTunes

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Buckle Up: We Begin the Long Rundown of New Music and Artists Recently Added to the Pure Pop Radio Playlist

purepoplogoA message from Alan Haber:

For the past few months, I have been adding hundreds of new songs and artists to the Pure Pop Radio playlist. For a lot of reasons, most notably ongoing health concerns, I have been unable to report on these adds.

Since time is marching on at a rather rapid pace, and 2015 will be over before you know it, I have decided to simply list the adds with minimal commentary because, otherwise, this task, as important as it is, would never get done. I thank you for your understanding.

So, join with me today by perusing this first in a series of lists of new music and artists recently added to the Pure Pop Radio playlist. All of these artists and songs are wonderful specimens that have contributed to this year being one of the best, if not the best, years for melodic pop music in a very long time. It has been my privilege and honor to preview this music and ultimately make it part of the Pure Pop Radio listening experience.

Without further ado, let’s get to it. Installment number one:

Pete Kennedy | Heart of Gotham The third Kennedys-related release this year puts Pete Kennedy in the spotlight for a glorious song cycle about New York City. We’ve added all but the album-ending reprise of the song “Union Square”: “The Bells Rang,” “Williamsburg Bridge,” “Never Stopped Believin’,” “Unbreakable,” “Rise Above,” “People Like Me,” Harken,” “Asphodel,” Riot in Bushwick,” “New York,” “Gotham Serenade,” and “Union Square.”

The Del Zorros | Wilmington Now playing in rotation are all but two of the stellar songs on the Del Zorros’ wonderful new album, a love letter to Wilmington, North Carolina, the duo’s adopted home town. Stede and Monte sing and play their hearts out on “The Bells of Wilmington,” “Biscuits for Breakfast,” “The Henrietta,” “The Carriage Man,” “Bella’s,” “Halfway to Heaven,” “Orange Street,” “Surfin’ Wrightsville Beach,” “The King of Wilmington,” and “The House on Dawson’s Creek.” A real winner of an album that’s one of the best of the year.

Tommy Sistak | “A Better Time” Since his great Short Songs album appeared, Tommy has released a few additional tracks that prove he is one of the great practitioners of the retro sound. “A Better Time” is a danceable rave-up, as good as anything he has released.

The Dahlmanns | “Girl Band” Speaking of rave-ups, this happy celebration of the girl band-as-“kick-ass rock and roll band” makes us smile and yearn for a nearby dance floor. Plus, it’s a great pop song, and of course we’re playing it in rotation. More Dahlmanns tracks added are noted in an upcoming list.

Adam Walsh | “High Time (at Frisco Bay)” Here is yet another classic track, written and performed by an artist we are quite enamored with. A sort-of seventies-styled, mid-tempo ballad, this one is, as you would expect, a real keeper.

Strangely Alright | “I See the Sun” A recent song from this hard-charging pop group fronted by the great Regan Lane, “I See the Sun” boasts a powerful, hooky chorus and a whole lot of heart.

Silver Ships | “Roads that Lead Us Home” This group, led by Chazz Bessette, has released a single track from their upcoming album. It’s very pop, so singalongable and it will make you smile, so job well done.

Arvidson | Arvidson From Sweden comes this majestic 2001 pop album that we’re thrilled to be playing from stem to stern. Featuring the ultra-catchy power pop number “I Hear a Sound” and 11 other great numbers, this is one of the great finds for us this year. We’re playing “Wake Up,” “I’ll Bear It In Mind,” “Get Well,” “Will Never Know,” “Get In(to) the Car,” “I’d Hate to See You Go,” “Our Days,” “You Caught My Eye,” “Still on the Wrong Side,” “Slide,” “I Hear a Sound,” and “Daffodil.”

Kurt Baker Combo | “Give It Up” It’s no surprise that this is another electric, quite alive number from one of power pop’s top recording artists. One side of a new single (the other side will be noted in a future report), it’s a guaranteed favorite for fans that ends in spectacular fashion with a warmhearted Beatles chord.

Jeri Sykes, Scott McPherson and KC Bowman | “Sweet Talkin’ Woman” Recorded for the Tower of Song Challenge, this slightly-slowed-down cover of the Electric Light Orchestra’s famed song is reworked in the manner of an early rock ‘n’ roll number, kinda sorta, and features Jeri Sykes on most of the instruments (Pop 4’s KC Bowman plays bass and drums, and Pop 4’s Scott McPherson sings). Pretty awesome.

Kontiki Suite | The Greatest Show on Earth The follow-up to this much-loved British band’s 2013 inaugural release, On Sunset Lake, finds Kontiki Suite in fine form, delivering another set of lovely Americana/country songs with a decidedly smooth pop edge. We’re playing nearly all of this album, in rotation: “Bring Our Empire Down,” “My Own Little World,” “Free from Sound,” “Here for You Now,” “Pages of My Mind,” “Keep Up With My Old Self,” “All I Can Say,” and “Years Roll On.”

There is much more to come. We’ll try to report on all of the recent adds to the playlist before Christmas. As we said, there’s a lot of adds to report, which really is a very good thing. Thanks for hanging in there with us.

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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