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Regarding the Davenports’ tremendous new power pop number, “Leanne,” now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio, the following is mostly speculation. Well, it’s mostly speculation on my part, weighed down by many questions. A wigged-out, sneaky electric guitar riff, followed by a quickly-rendered, handclap-adorned bridge, leads into the first verse of this catchy, sneaky, almost anti-love song, and we’re off to the races.
For one thing: Is the dirty drip that’s referenced up top in the song a leaky faucet filling a sink with shmutzy water, deposits on a drip pan, or something else entirely? “In the spring we lunged for the dirty, dirty drip,” one half of the relationship spouts. “I kicked out your heel to make you, make you trip.” Question answered, then: The “dirty, dirty drip” is just the thing, the thing that this guy uses as an excuse to make his lady friend see the floor tiles up close and personal.
It’s a playful yet quite possibly tenuous relationship, one that survives the allegorical wrestling move detailed in the lyrics’ second verse: “After the final slat of sun/The violet volley cartwheel run/You held me on a mat of Monday mowings.” When the sun sets on Sunday night, and the last, partial rays peek through the vertical blind slats, closed but not totally, and the sky fades into a violet hue, it all comes out–the this and that and yes, that again, that she’s held in ever so tightly since the last time she mowed you down, and it all comes out on Monday morning in the shreds of emotion as if they were the product of a lawn mower’s chopped grass shards.
“I called you Buttercup,” the boyfriend lays out as a kind of gesture, “I called you Buttercup, Leanne/But now, now I just call you, call you Leanne.” Because the cute-as-a-button nickname that relates back to the time when isn’t realistic anymore as the couple sheds their outer skin and reveals their collective, inner sleeve. “…now I just call you, call you Leanne.”
And then there’s the standoff: “Then we swarmed around each others’ stares like bugs/And we sat securely in our mugs.” Sizing up the considerable situation, the two lovebirds find themselves in excelsis, boiling as the temperature rises higher and higher still, each relegating their ids to their respective corners, pushing and pulling and pushing and pulling again, still, not willing to budge.
“Then,” the guy sings, “we ate to excess after that/And we stole the others’ turn at bat,” because, well, one can only disagree on the same punctuated point so much. “And we said we should grow old and fat together…” Because, well, that’s their love: fiery one minute, I-love-you-lots-and-lots-with-strings-astride-but-make-no-mistake-about-it, we’re meant to be.
“I called you Buttercup,” the guy sings. “I called you Buttercup.” But now, in the springtime of our lives, I call you who you are: my love, my life, my Leanne. All the while, crunchy guitars, a steady 4/4 beat, and a determined bass guitar lead the way through the romance of two people obviously meant for each other.
“Sing along whether you’re a lover, brokenhearted, or some place in between,” say the Davenports. Sounds about right.
Happy Valentine’s Day.
by Alan Haber
Swoon with “Leanne,” playing as part of your Valentine’s Day soundtrack. Pick it up here.
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 Park 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 (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 (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 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 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 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 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 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?
The 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 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!
This is the age of beautiful music, this age of international reach. This is the age of 3 am Google searches for the latest, hottest and most melodic songs from more than capable artists who play all manner of instruments: guitars, keyboards, drums, washboards, horns and the like. This is the age of wonder and enlightenment and satisfying our collective conscious need for melodies that shine, hooks that run deep, and harmonies that ring brightly and soundly and satisfy our souls.
We feel very lucky to be able to bring you these sounds of our age, created by master magicians poised to fill the world with hope and majesty and a song or songs that make the hairs on our necks stand up on end. Here, we’re picking up from where we left off yesterday and celebrating day two of our special Pure Pop Radio Melodic Pop Songs Explosion, and exploding these songs are, right in front of our ears.
Here are more artists and songs that are now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio, top-flight examples all of the art of melodic pop.
The Legal Matters – The Legal Matters. When master musical magicians Andy Reed, Chris Richards and Keith Klingensmith settled comfortably in the Reed Recording Company’s studio in Bay City, Michigan, they connected like old hands of the art do and crafted 10 songs that sparkled before them–songs that would ultimately sparkle before listeners all around the world. Supported by ace drummer Cody Marecek and guitarist extraordinaire Nick Piunti, who not long ago released his own melodic pop long player to great acclaim, the trio of friends picked up their guitars and applied a little lucky grease to the act of creating classic, harmony-rich tunes that will last a lifetime. And so they have released their work, the kind of gift from above that comes along only when the time is right, and the time–this time– is most assuredly right. We have plucked the lot of these hall-of-fame-worthy songs for the Pure Pop Radio playlist, all of which are now spinning in rotation. The songs? Listen for “Rite of Spring,” which could and should function as this group’s calling card: just listen to the harmonies that grace this wonderful, Teenage Fanclub kind of side; “It’s Not What I Say,” “Before We Get It Right,” “Outer Space,” “We Were Enemies,” “Stubborn,” “Have You Changed Your Mind?,” “The Legend of Walter Wright,” “Mary Anne,” and “So Long Sunny Days.” Dig them all like the treasures they are.
The Dowling Poole – Bleak Strategies. When we interviewed Willie Dowling somewhere around a year ago, Willie had recently disbanded his incredibly talented group, Jackdaw 4. Willie mentioned that he was in the very early days of a project with music man Jon Poole. Just about a year later, Willie and Jon have released the fruits of their labors, an absolute corker of a disc that will surprise and delight and propel you from your seat in a surprising and delightful way. The album is called Bleak Strategies and it instantly takes its rightful place as one of the best albums of this year. Influenced by all manner of bands that came before, from the Beatles to the Kinks to Jackdaw 4 to 10cc to XTC and Frank Zappa, this collection is top of the pops and full of sudden, surprising and rightly-positioned left hand turns that turn these songs into clever monuments of glory. We’ve added eight tunes to the Pure Pop Radio playlist, and they are: “The Sun is Mine,” “A Kiss on the Ocean,” “Hey Stranger,” “Paper, Scissors, Stone,” “Empires, Buildings and Acquisitions,” “Getting a License,” “Clean,” and “Saving it All for a Saturday.” Pretty fantastic, then and now, Shirley, bestow upon the Dowling Poole a place on some of those best of the year lists that will soon pop up and be heard. Simply smashing stuff.
The Rubinoos and Radio Days – Split 7-inch. Any time either the Rubinoos or Radio Days releases new material, we here at Pure Pop Radio pretty much jump for joy. It is a sight to behold, let us tell you. Anyway, both of these much-loved bands have put their heads together and each has released a pair of songs within the grooves of an old-fashioned and still-vital slab of vinyl. We’re presenting a great song that is an exciting preview of a forthcoming album from the Rubinoos, a wonderful song called “All It Takes.” We’ve also added the pair of songs from Radio Days: a great cover of the Rubinoos’ “Hurts Too Much” and a new Radio Days tune, “Let’s Move On.” Get this one for your own self. You might think of getting two copies–it’s not unlikely that the grooves on the first one will wear out. A great release, now spinning in rotation on your home for the melodic pop hits, Pure Pop Radio.
Also added to the Pure Pop Radio playlist this week:
* Ali Ingle – “The Locker.” Ali Ingle continues to shine brightly with his wonderful ballad, “The Locker.” Sporting rather clever lyrics, this is one of those songs that must be repeated instantly when it ends. Prepare to hope that Ali scores big with this and future releases and takes his rightful place in the music marketplace.
* Joey C. Jones and the Bubble Gum Orchestra – “Hey Jadey Girl.” Sweetly dipped in a sugary sauce and delivered with a tip of the hat to the Electric Light Orchestra, “Hey Jadey Girl” harkens back to a simpler time when the radio stations of the long-ago day were spinning songs that were all about the hook, and all about the fun of it all. We’re proud and pleased to play this one in rotation for you all. More, if you will.
* The J-Pegs – Mister Sunshine. Just about equal parts mid-sixties harmony, garage rock and jangle, the J-Pegs play through an EP’s worth of classic songs that will set up shop in your inner consciousness. Prepare to rally around such gorgeous creations as the ultra-melodic “Pigeons and Church Bells and Butterflies”; the short and sweet Robert Zimmerman nod, “Hey Robert”; the upbeat, just slightly countrified “Castles by the Sea”; and a song that echoes early sides by the Association with a bit of a dip in the garage rock pool, “Little Details.” They’re all spinning in rotation as we type on Pure Pop Radio. A real find.
* Scott Brookman – Special Session for Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation. A few months into production of our popular melodic pop talk show, Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation, we started asking our guests if they would like to contribute some specially-recorded-for-In Conversation songs. We’ve had a great response in this regard. Our long-time DIY popster friend Scott Brookman delivered a delectable two-fer: a short song intended to entice listeners to add his latest album, Smellicopter, to their collections, and a wonderfully-delivered version of one of Smellicopter’s best songs, “Very Anne.” We present them to you within our rotation and urge you to seek out any and all of Scott’s creations. A splendid time is guaranteed and all that, you know.
* South Rail – Stars EP. South Rail is one of our favorite groups and, what do you know, they’re a hop, skip and a jump from Pure Pop Radio headquarters. We’ve been playing their songs for awhile now, and are pleased as punch to present to you four dynamite songs from their new, Don Was-produced EP, Stars. On Pure Pop Radio, you will hear the pure pop pleasures of “Be that Way Again,” the gorgeous creation that is the country-tinged “On My Way,” the wonderful upbeat treasure “Moss and Stone,” and the country-pop pleasures of “Wide Eyed Smile.” Next, a full length, pretty please?
* Phyllis Johnson – “Mr. Callahan.” We can’t think of an artist we’d like to see release a whole bunch of tunes–preferably within the confines of a gold-plated long-player–than Phyllis Johnson, whose way with a melody is second to none. Here is a shining example of Phyllis’s talents coming together to serve the song, and this is a song, alright. It’s a great song, in fact, and we’re pleased to present its sixties-echoing charms on Pure Pop Radio. Phyllis has managed to soak up more great song forms than most of us have forgotten. Her talents are limitless. Charm us with more, Phyllis.
* The Corner Laughers. “Midsommar.” A rather tasty taster before this much-loved group releases its new album in a few months, “Midsommar” is a typically catchy number with glorious harmonies, a lovely melody, and a reminder that a song can cure all ills. Written and sung by the magical Karla Kane, this is real deal time–a song for the middle of summer, for the beginning of fall or the snowy winter or the welcome to flowers spring. Take a bow, Corner Laughers.
More to come tomorrow. Surely two weeks of adds to the Pure Pop Radio playlist must constitute some kind of mention in the Guinness Book, right?
It’s time to rejoice! Set your Internet radio devices on stun, ’cause we’re setting off five days worth of melodic pop fireworks next week on Pure Pop Radio. Beginning next Monday, June 30, and continuing through next Friday, July 4, we’re adding new songs to the Pure Pop Radio playlist each and every day. We’re practically bursting at the seams with great new sounds that we can’t wait to bring to your ears!
We’ll be posting here on the Pure Pop Radio website every day, listing the newly-added tunes with glee. We can’t wait for you and you and you too to find out what’s been cooking in the Pure Pop Radio music laboratory.
The amount of new music waiting to be added to the Pure Pop Radio playlist has been mounting up, so we thought it was time to get those cool songs playing on the radio! And indeed we did just that. We’ve added 94 songs by 25 great artists. Here’s the rundown:
* Marshall Holland. Marshall was kind enough to send us his 2010 album, Don’t Jettison the Memories, which we love along with his latest release, And the Etceteras, which has been playing on our air for awhile. We’ve added the following fine songs from Memories: “Damage Control” and “Moored as Before.”
* Toxic Melons. We were already playing a bunch of songs from this great group’s upcoming album, Bus Therapy. We’ve now added another: “Let Me Sleep.” But that’s not all. We’ve also added a couple of songs from the Melons’ previous releases: “Diffidence,” from International Accident; and “Tomorrow” from Melon Jam.
* Spencer McGillicutty. We’ve loved this wonderful group’s previous releases and have been spinning tunes from them for a long time. Spencer McGillicutty’s third album, from 2012, All the Happy People, somehow escaped our gaze, but we’ve got it now, and have added nearly the entire melodically-charged album to our playlist. The songs: “That Makes Two of Us,” “Tell,” “Regards,” “It’s Not Over,” “Up Half the Night,” “How it Goes,” “Magic Cash Machine,” “Waltz #3,” “1944 (Think of Me),” “June,” and “You Haunt Me.” We’ve also added three tracks that don’t belong to a specific record: “Baby, Don’t Go,” “Used to Think,” and “Wish I Was Your Girl.” If there’s a group that deserves to be at the top of the charts, it’s these guys. Seek them out and buy all of their wares. You won’t be sorry.
* Jeff Litman. Jeff has long been a Pure Pop Radio favorite. His latest release is a 2014 remix of “Debutante,” and it’s really great.
* Willie Wisely. Another Pure Pop Radio favorite, Willie has just released a “re-imagined” version of his song “No Surprise,” and, no surprise, we’ve got it for you.
* B and Not B. Before David Ricardo got the Zags together, he was in this quirky pop-rock band. We were blown away by B and Not B, so we added an even dozen of their tracks to the playlist. From the self-titled album: “The Benefits of Friendship,” “Traffic Jam of Stars,” “Unlucky Break,” “The Notes Within,” and “I Forgot.” From Colors, Shapes and Lines: “I Get Mired,” “Build You a Castle,” “Mars,” and “Hands in Fists.” From Tomorrow Never Comes: “Not Quite Early,” “Earth” and “Hurry Home.” This is great stuff. Check B and Not B out on Bandcamp.
* The Zags. And, of course, we had to add some Zags tracks to the playlist. Here are two: “Red-Eyed Dawn” and “Tattoo.”
* The Farewell Drifters. Produced by pop legend Neilson Hubbard, these guys bring the melody home in a big way. We’ve added three songs to the playlist from the band’s album Tomorrow Forever: “Brother,” “Coming Home,” and “To Feel Alive.” Great stuff.
* Jeremy Messersmith. We’ve long been big fans of this wonderful songwriter and performer. We think his new album, Heart Murmurs, is his best release yet. We’ve got five songs from this platter that most certainly matters: “It’s Only Dancing,” “Steve,” “Ghost,” “I Want to Be Your One Night Stand,” and “Someday, Someone.” We would be surprised if this album doesn’t wind up on a lot of best-of lists this year. And about “Steve”…it’s one of the most affecting songs we’ve heard in a very long time.
* Nick Batterham. Nick’s upcoming album, Lucky Cat, on Australia’s Popboomerang Records, releases on March 1. We think you’re going to like it a lot. We’ve got three songs for you: “Make it Through this Long,” “Liar,” and “What are You Waiting For.”
* Identical Suns. We’ve added the group’s wonderful new song, “Yesterday Ended at Midnight.” Check out the great melody. We look forward to more wonderful tunes.
* Marc and the Plattitudes. These three cleverly-done Beatles covers come from Marc Platt’s 2009 album, The Real Me. We love Beatles covers at Pure Pop Radio. We’re happy to be able to bring these to you. They’re fab!
* Matt Kabus. Matt came to us through Marc Platt. Matt is the real deal. He has quite the way around a great melody and a hooky hook. We think you’ll dig him. We’ve got four songs for you: “In My Head,” “Could I Say,” “Piece of My Heart,” and “Wide Awake.” There will be more from Matt soon.
* The New Mendicants. Featuring Joe Pernice (Pernice Brothers) and Norman Blake (Teenage Fanclub), this wonderful album, Into the Lime, will hit home for all fans of melodic pop music. We’ve added four songs to the playlist: “Cruel Annette,” “Shouting Match,” “High On the Skyline,” and “Out of the Lime.”
* Kevin Martin. Kevin is another one of our favorite artists. He will soon be releasing a new album, Future Friends, and we’ve got one song from it as a very cool teaser: “Overrated.”
* Shake Some Action. Seattle’s Shake Some Action will release its fifth, and arguably best, album, Catch the Sun, at the beginning of March. We predict you will be blown away by these great songs. We’ve got seven in advance of the album’s release: “Colors Exploding,” “Between My Dreams,” “Fall into the Sky,” “Never Want to Lose Again,” “Come and Get It,” “Sketches of Spain,” and “Underground.”
* The Bamboo Trading Company. This great group, which counts Randell Kirsch, Matt Jardine, and Miami Dan Yoe amongst its members, has followed up its self-titled album with an EP called Shrewd Awakening. We’ve added the title cut.
* Magic Brothers. Woody, the drummer for Madness, and his younger brother Nick are Magic Brothers. Their fine, fine album The Magic Line is represented now on Pure Pop Radio by the songs “Always Be With You” and “Sunshine.”
* Matt Hires. From Tampa, Florida, Matt Hires is an exciting find–this second album, This World Won’t Last Forever, But Tonight We Can Pretend is a great collection of pop-rock tunes. We’ve got four of them for you: “Forever,” “The Sound of Falling in Love,” “Over You,” and “Miles Past Midnight.”
* The Autumn Defense. This wonderful band’s latest album, Fifth, will be hugged tightly by fans of melodic pop music. We’ve got five great songs for you: “None of this Will Matter,” “This Thing that I’ve Found,” “Calling Your Name,” “Under the Wheel,” “Things on My Mind.”
* Stephen Bishop. One our all-time favorite writers and singers, Stephen Bishop has just released his latest album, Be Here Then. It’s another great collection of Bishop standards, impeccable in every way. We’re playing five songs: “Pretty Baby,” “Rescue You,” “Vacant,” “Cry of the Broken Hearted,” and “Loveless.”
* Katey Laurel. Ever since we found Katey’s music many years ago, we’ve been big fans. She’s just released her new album, Periscope, and it’s her best yet. Full of great, melodic songs, Periscope is top of the pops. We’re spinning five songs: “The Optimist,” “All the Way Home,” “Periscope,” “Thanks for Loving Me,” and “Beautiful World.”
* Scott’s Garage. This Richmond, Virginia-based group makes a great pop-rock sound. We’re spinning four cool songs: “She Means Everything,” “Some Day Some Way,” “Somewhere in My Dreams,” and “Wait Too Long.”
*The Grip Weeds. It’s possible that you may have missed this song, as it was released as a bonus track to go along with the group’s latest album, Inner Grooves, which we’ve been spinning on Pure Pop Radio for awhile. “I Believe (Uncut Version)” is essential Grip Weeds.
That’s it for this go-around! We hope you enjoy these great numbers, now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio. More song adds coming soon! Thanks for listening!