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.
For your wonderful Wednesday, we’ve got a short and sweet, but no less wild and wooly stack of wax–a triumphant trio of platters that matter!–to roll out to your ears. Without any further ado, let’s get to it!
New and currently spinning in rotation on Pure Pop Radio (more coming tomorrow):
Ryan Allen and His Extra Arms | Heart String Soul With this exhilarating followup to 2011’s Ryan Allen and His Extra Arms, Ryan and his arms prove that they’re no longer the best kept secret in power pop. Heart String Soul has enough oomph and pomp and confidence to blow the doors off your grandma’s shack in the woods. It’s a heck of a record and a heck of an achievement and, heck, we’ll just have to add six great tracks to the Pure Pop Radio playlist, including the pure pop confection “Keep Me Around,” the blistering power pop anthem “Looking Forward to Looking Back,” and the made-for radio, straight-ahead pop of “Should Be Me.” Also now playing in rotation: “Born Radical,” “Not Hanging Out,” and the sensitive ballad that closes the album, “Bonded by Blood.” Destined to be a favorite with many a pop fan, Heart String Souldrops March 25. It’s pretty great.
Jonathan Rundman | Jonathan Rundman Just last Wednesday, we added tracks from Jonathan Rundman’s new album, Look Up. Here we are again with tracks from Jonathan’s 2011 self-titled release, a compilation of various tracks recorded between 2000 and 2010. A few are remixed from earlier album appearances and a few are previously unreleased, but most will be familiar to Rundmaniacs (to coin a phrase). All told, the 20 songs included here kind of sum up the various forms of pop out there in the world today. Rundman’s a master craftsman, for sure. We’ve added 10 tunes: “Smart Girls,” “Librarian,” “Surgical Precision,” “581,” “I Thought You Were Mine,” the sorta-kinda absurdity-meets-tenderness vibe of “Dialysis Carpool,” “Kuortane,” “The Serious Kind,” “You Never Last Where You Land,” and “If You Have a Question.” Fine work from a mighty fine pop purveyor. Dig this now.
Gretchen’s Wheel | Fragile State Lindsay Murray combines facility in both pop and rock music on this captivating album stacked tall with great, powerful songs that really resonate. Aided by Posie Ken Stringfellow, who plays various instruments and sings backing vocals, and drummer Ira Elliot, Fragile State is represented on Pure Pop Radio by two standout tracks: “Second to Last” and “My Lullaby.”
As we said above, short and sweet, but no less grand. Be back here tomorrow for more new adds to the Pure Pop Radio playlist.
There are songs and there are songs–in the here and now, we’re so digging the Davenports’ new one, “Don’t Be Mad at Me,” currently spinning in our rotation, that it’s getting in the way of our getting any work done. That’s a good thing, by the way. It’s like the new Beatles record has landed and, as the fade recedes, we start it up again and get into the gorgeous melody; the inventive, caressing harmonies; and that rockin’ guitar solo at the end. Pure bliss.
That’s what a great pop song does when all of the stars line up perfectly above: it takes you away or, more accurately, it reels you inside of itself and, in an instant, you’re there. Read our review here, if you missed it.
Meanwhile, “Don’t Be Mad at Me” isn’t the only song making us smile and thank the heavens that we’re in this business of writing about and broadcasting the greatest melodic pop music in the universe. Yes, it’s New Music Tuesday, and we’ve got a whole lot of great things to make you smile.
We begin as we dash and pray for surf, so to speak, with two releases each from masters of the Beach Boys form–folks who know how to craft the kind of sounds that make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up and shout, “Now that’s my kind of music!”
The Dukes of Surf | The Dukes of Surf and Surf, Love and Rock ‘n Roll JP, Fish and Jimmy, riding the crest of an infectious musical wave from their Honolulu, Hawaii base, are wowing us with their take on harmony-drenched, Beach Boys-styled songs with a dash of Chuck Berry and the Archies thrown in for good measure. Their top-notch albums are surfing home runs; fans of John Hunter Phillips (see below), Dana Countryman and Dave Caruso, themselves prime purveyors of melodic musical masterpieces, will find a whole lot to love here. So grab your surfboards, leave the hodads behind, and tune in to Pure Pop Radio to hear, in rotation, 15 songs from a group we’ve quickly grown to cherish: “Surf, Love and Rock ‘n Roll,” “Surfin’ in Hawaii,” “Coconuts,” “Fallin’ in Love,” “Baby Don’t Say Goodnight,” “Leilanai,” “Surf Crazy” (from Surf, Love and Rock ‘n Roll); “Waikiki,” “Island Girls,” “Heavy Duty Chevy,” “Doo-Bee-Doo,” “Summer of Love,” “Daydream,” “Shooby Doop Baby,” and “Sukiyaki” (from The Dukes of Surf). Surf’s up on Pure Pop Radio! Bonus: We’ve also added the very cool and catchy track, “Oli Oli Sun,” recorded for travel services company JTB Hawaii’s Oli Oli buses. Sweet!
John Hunter Phillips | It’s About Time and Diamonds on the Beach In 2014, John Hunter Phillips released what we called “the best Beach Boys album…from a man who’s not actually in the Beach Boys, but has sung on stage with the band.” That’s really all you need to know, other than we’ve got John’s two, earlier albums in hand and we’ve added a total of 17 songs from them to our playlist. As with the Dukes of Surf, John trades in Boys of Summer-styled tunes with rich harmonies, great melodies and a love for the kind of music that makes people smile all over the world. The new additions to our playlist include originals and covers: “You’re Never Alone,” “The Girl In the Rear-View Mirror,” “You Need a Mess of Help to Stand Alone,” “Heaven,” “Don’t Worry, Baby,” “Darlin’,” “Their Hearts Were Full of Spring,” “Let It Shine,” and “The Laughter of Your Voice” (from It’s About Time); “Do It Again,” “Labaina Aloha,” “Susie Cincinnati,” “God Only Knows,” “Marcella,” “Keepin’ the Summer Alive,” Rockin’ All Over the World,” and “Sail On Sailor” (from Diamonds on the Beach).
We go from the beach to the sunny shores of Austin, Texas for our next group of newly-added-to-the-playlist gems…
Kaliyo One of our absolutely favorite artists, Andrea Perry, whose latest album 4 was released in 2013 and is currently in rotation on our air, teamed up with singer and songwriter Sarah Sharp in October 2010. Together, they have written more than 50 wonderful, super melodic songs that were used in TV shows and ad campaigns. And now you can hear them too, as part of our ever-growing rotation of melodic pop songs living and breathing in the universe. From the Motown pop vibe of the vibrant “Drive” to the mid-tempo balladry of the gorgeous “Life is Perfect,” we predict you will be entranced. The great songs now being heard on Pure Pop Radio: “I’ll Be Yours,” “Life is Perfect,” “Maybe Someday,” “Deep Girl,” “Drive,” “Here We Go Again,” “If You Come Over,” “Let It Flow,” “Pieces,” “Shine,” “The One U Love 2 Love,” and “Trapeze.” Simply beautiful.
Adam Walsh | “Gentle on My Mind,” “Old Time River Man,” and “Rainy Day Woman” Talent quite obviously runs in the Walsh family. Adam Walsh is the nephew of Thomas Walsh, who fronts one of Pure Pop Radio’s favorite groups, Pugwash. Adam is mighty talented, as evidenced by the three tracks he recorded himself this month in his home studio. Acoustic guitars, banjo and that golden voice make these songs come alive. “Gentle on My Mind” was, of course, a big hit for Glen Campbell; “Old Time River Man” was written and recorded by John Hartford; and “Rainy Day Woman” was written and recorded by Waylon Jennings. Adam injects a pop sensibility into his versions of these classic songs; we’re proud to be featuring them in rotation. More please, and sooner than later.
New Sincerity Works | 44 Mike Tittel, who plays drums for our longtime musical pal Roger Klug’s Power Trio, comes out of the gate swinging with a great set of songs that “showcases pop melodies that meet Americana and ’80s new wave music in a raw, emotional mashup,” according to New Sincerity Works’ website. That works for us, but we’d want to add that these songs are infused with a strong sense of honesty, too. And, we should mention, Mike sounds like a distant cousin of Alex Chilton. So, curl up with the power pop of “American Beauty Works,” the driving force of the insistent, melodic “Nowhere Ohio,” and five more top-flight songs now playing in rotation: “Desperate,” “Photographs,” “Drunk for Nothing,” “Less Me, Less You,” and “The Next Time.” Power pop for now people, we declare.
Mark Britton | Odds and Sodd Set the melodic pop pot on the stove, stir in dashes of the Beatles, Harry Nilsson, Randy Newman and Eric Carmen and you get the wonderful songs of Mark Britton. We’ve added a half-dozen delightful numbersto our playlist: the Beatles-ish “Hearts and Minds,” the Nilsson-esque “Sally Ann” and “Dear Rosa,” and three more captivating tunes: “Let’s Get Famous,” “Long Live Memory Lane,” and “Family Guy.” We’re thrilled to be acquainted and in big time love with Mark’s music. You, we predict, will be too.
Mary Caroline | Life on Earth Here’s a sweet surprise from Yellowknife in Canada’s Northwest Territories: Mary Caroline’s Life on Earth, a marvelous debut album that was waxed at Catherine North Studios in Hamilton, Ontario this past summer. According to Mary’s Bandcamp page, the album “is rooted in folk genre, with predominate acoustic guitar undertones, but ties in pop influences, such as synths, percussion and electric guitar leads.” That about covers it although, as you might expect, we hear the pop elements above all others. Mary’s voice is a beautiful, inviting instrument and her songs are golden. Prepare to greet these songs with open arms: “Such a Liar,” “Falling,” “Life on Earth,” “Songs of Winter,” and “Full Moon.”
That’s all for today. A terrific bunch of new adds to the playlist, we say, and we bet you will say the same. More new playlist adds coming later this week. Simply click on one of the Listen links below to hear the great melodic pop music we’ve got playing 24 hours a day on Pure Pop Radio.
As a wintry mix of this and that falls outside of the spacious Pure Pop Radio headquarters, we declare that of all the things we do here, adding new music to the playlist is our favorite task…job one, if truth be known. We’ve been busy, as usual, listening to new songs from favorite, heritage artists and new and upcoming folks with a guitar, keyboard and something to sing at the ready. Here’s some more of what we’ve debuted on the air during the past couple of days:
Jonathan Rundman | Look Up For his first album of new songs in a decade, Jonathan Rundman let his guitars gather dust in the corner and took to a dizzying array of keyboards for a dazzling selection of songs supported by great players, including a number of slam-bang cameos from Parthenon Huxley and Brent Bourgeois, among others. Songs like the straight-ahead power pop of the jaunty “Prioritize Us” and “Northbound Traffic” to the early Simon and Garfunkel vibe of the gentle “Second Shelf Down” and the punchy, melodic closer, “No More Old Times,” Rundman scores big. Always, the singer’s gentle voice is up front and guiding these songs home. A welcome return for one of pop’s great talents, and an early candidate for best of the year honors. In addition to the aforementioned songs, we’re playing the following tunes in rotation: “The Science of Rockets,” “Helicopters of Love,” “Painter,” and “Home Unknown.”
The Blood Rush Hour | And Then.. The Unthinkable Happened… Wales psychotherapist and musician Robert DeStefano returns with his fellow band members to unleash a grand, elegant sophomore effort, the follow up to 2012’s Shrink. Think 10cc for the digital age. The songs range from a toe-tapping 10cc/Jose Feliciano/Jethro Tull melange (the gorgeous, upbeat “Too Hard to Put Right,” with a short, shocking, Godley and Creme background vocal insert) to the charging pop of “Mr. Wonderful.” In between, you get the strings-fueled, medium-paced pop-rocker “Dancing by Yourself,” about accounting for your decisions in life (“The verdict is open/And you’ll only know when/You tire of dancing by yourself”), and a melodically charged, horns-fueled song about deception, “I Never Lied to You” (“I’ve always been open and honest, frank and transparent/Forthright and true/With fingers crossed I state categorically/I never lied to you”). We’re spinning nine songs in total, including those we’ve just mentioned. The others? “Ad Astra per Aspera,” “Run to the Roundhouse,” “(The Day I Finally) Stopped the War,” “A Song that Some Sing,” and “I See Something.” Another candidate for best of the year honors. Whew! We’re off and running this year, aren’t we?
Seth Timbs | “Center of Attention” and “The Only Pretty Girl in Town.” After five albums with the group Fluid Ounces and other musical pursuits, Nashville’s Seth Timbs turns his attention to a single of his own, comprising the catchy, beat-driven “Center of Attention” (featuring a surprise left rhythmic turn about halfway through), and the romantic tale of the girl who may just get away, “The Only Pretty Girl in Town.” A pretty pair, now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio.
The Moog | “So You Wanna Be in Love” Budapest, Hungary’s the Moog have released a driving slice of catchy pop in advance of the band’s upcoming EP release. “So You Wanna Be in Love” burrows its deep hook into your brain upon first listen, with a chorus that should help to propel this band forward, building on previous releases and tours here in America and abroad. We look forward to hearing the new EP; in the meantime, dig this cool tune.
Matthew Shacallis | Reach the Stars Only 21 years old, Sydney, Australia’s Matthew Shacallis originally started this collection as a university recording project. Now that the cat’s out of the bag, it’s becoming much more than that. It’s certainly caught our attention. From the jangly pop of “Nothing to Show” and the hit-worthy “Summer Sun” to the John Lennon ballad vibe of “Reach the Stars,” this is top shelf all the way. Welcome to Pure Pop Radio, Matthew. These songs are now spinning in rotation.
That’s it for today…just a taste of what’s new and now spinning in rotation at your home for the greatest melodic pop in the universe, Pure Pop Radio. Check back tomorrow for more new adds to our playlist!
You say you want more new music added to the Pure Pop Radio playlist? We’re only too happy to accommodate! Let’s get right to it, shall we? Here are more of the new songs and artists that are now shaking the walls in rotation here at our sumptuous broadcasting headquarters:
Michael Carpenter | “The Only One” Longtime Pure Pop Radio top fave Michael Carpenter returns with an instant classic track, a taster for his upcoming long player that may drop as early as May. It’s a great song–a great performance–that kicks in with a sumptuous Rolling Stones rocking vibe and settles into a typically catchy pop groove with great background vocal harmonies, a killer melody, and joy to spare. This is one you won’t want to miss; it’s now playing in rotation for you to enjoy, and enjoy it you most certainly will.
The Wind | Re-Wind We love it when old favorites come together again and make more beautiful music. For their first album in three decades, Lane Steinberg, Steven Katz, and Steve Burdick have teamed up with pop maestro David Grahame, who co-produced and mixed, for an album featuring the much-loved band’s unique blend of pop goodness. From the easy sixties soul pop of “Baby, I Can Take a Punch” and the Buddy Holly-meets-modern pure pop vibe of “Fight Like a Girl” to the breathless piano-led pop of “Weak Spot” and the straight-ahead melodic joys of the mid-tempo ballad “Yes and No,” Re-Wind is a major triumph and one heck of a kick-start to the year. We’ve added all of the aforementioned numbers, plus “Can’t Find the Words,” “Just Play Along,” “Let Me Show You How It’s Done,” “There’s a Clamoring,” “Think On Your Feet,” and “Unattainable.” Glorious.
Graham Alexander | Repeat Deceiver We’ve already reviewed this phenomenal album (read that here), so anything we add will just drive the point home with more fervor. Well, okay…why not? As we wrote, “(Graham Alexander has) upped his game considerably for a powerful pop and roll tour de force that dazzles every step of the way.” Enough said. We’ve added eight tunes to the Pure Pop Radio playlist: the title song, “Romeo Blue,” “Games,” “Two Ships Passing in the Night,” “Third Wheel,” “People are Only Sorry When They’re Caught,” “Total Cartography,” and “Wait in the Rain.” A great album through and through, and proof that this is an artist that will continue to deliver the goods for many years to come.
Mothboxer | We’re All Out of Our Minds EP It seems like kind of just yesterday that we proclaimed Mothboxer’s Sand and the Rain to be one of our favorite albums of 2014 (it was this past November 18 to be exact; read our review here). Hot on the heels of that momentous record comes this EP, featuring perhaps our favorite song on Sand, “We’re All Out of Our Minds.” Three new recordings make their debut here, and we’re spinning them all because, well, they’re great and chief ‘boxer Dave Ody is making every note count these days and, well, we think they’re pretty great. Now spinning in rotation are “One Day at a Time,” “I’m Working” (featuring Finchey, Ody’s wonderful side project), and “Laughing Out Loud. Classics all, of course.
Jay Stansfield | Birth and Death Pure Pop Radio favorite Jay Stansfield’s latest album is another typically adventurous collection of songs concerned with the human condition. Delivered with Jay’s usual attention to classic song construction, these songs are valuable additions to a growing and vital catalog. We’ve added three songs to the Pure Pop Radio playlist: the gorgeous “Sex on My Mind,” with its welcome Pink Floyd overtones; the relaxed, poppy vibe of “Superman Thief,” with its McCartney-esque up-and-down bass line; and “The Sadness,” a folky, hymn-like, emotional wonder. Welcome back, Jay.
The Martinets | Rock and Roll Will Probably Never Die There is probably no probably about it, but these guys have their eye on the prize, so we think it’s all going to be good. Nestled somewhere between Rolling Stones swagger and sixties pop, the Martinets load up the guitar buzz with melody-infused attacks on the senses. Perfect for practicing air guitar, for sure. We’ve added five songs: “Good Friends For,” “I Know Where I’m Going,” “Good Times to Come,” “Places You Go,” and “If We’re Going Down.” Rock and pop and roll…one of our favorite combinations.
Little Boy Jr | Here’s Your Hat, What’s Your Hurry? and “Tell Me” Thanks to old friend Francesc Sole for the tip on this wonderful pop band from Chicago, who write and perform catchy songs that demand repeat listens. These guys, with a little 1950s flash and a decidedly sixties-ish approach, know how to write a sturdy hook, and they know how to deliver them to your ears. We’ve added seven tasty tracks from their latest album, released last February: “Perhaps, Annie,” “Full of Lies,” “Don’t Forget,” “Let Me Bleed,” “Mine,” “Dead Radio,” and “Blame.” We’ve also added one track from the band’s 2012 single, the energetic pop number, “Tell Me.” Both the album and single are free downloads on Bandcamp. Head right over and get ’em.
The LSB Experience | Flashbacks Just over a month ago, we added tracks from this Netherlands trio’s wonderful album, The Experience. At the beginning of this past December, we wrote that “Fans of exquisite vocal harmony matched with genuinely catchy songs will embrace the LSB Experience with a great big hug of love.” We stand by that assessment, and present a half-dozen examples of how this trio’s approach makes a bunch of well-known songs from other artists their own. You’ll hear the band cover “Helplessly Hoping,” “Shower the People,” “You Can Close Your Eyes,” “Our House,” “You’ve Got a Friend,” and “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes,” and there won’t be a dry eye in the house. Just gorgeous.
Kylie Hughes | Calipopicana Pop, dipped in a gloriously happy glaze, is the name of the game on this lovingly produced EP, capturing the essence of Southern California pop and answering the musical question: What would the Beach Boys sound like in 2015 if the lead singer was a female? The hooks run deep in these delightful, harmony-drenched songs. There’s some supreme ear candy happening here. We’re playing four of Kylie’s very cool tunes, co-writes with the likes of John “Fin” Finseth of the Tearaways, and Brent Bourgeois from Bourgeois-Tagg: “Calipopicana,” “Short Skirts,” “Dream Dream Dream,” and “Leave ’em Wanting More.” That last song title really says it all: More please, and real soon!
We hope you enjoy the latest adds to the Pure Pop Radio playlist, now playing in rotation. We’ve got lots more coming up next week. Don’t miss a single note!
We check in this Friday afternoon with a super-cool two-fer (plus one) add to the Pure Pop Radio playlist. Be like our cool pal pictured above and marvel at today’s tuneful treasures:
The Hangabouts | Illustrated Bird Remixed and remastered from a previous digital-only release, and sporting a previously-unheard song recorded at the original album sessions, the Hangabouts’ Illustrated Bird delivers some truly catchy songs in which the band members, John Lowry and Greg Addington, are obviously invested (new member Chip Saam oversaw this re-release project). You’ll hear influences from far (America) to wide (The Lilac Time, the Red Button and the Byrds) that help to bring some infectious melodies to life. We’ve added eight songs: “Roman Forum,” “Cut Down,” “Love Nothing,” “Illustrated Bird,” “She Hates You,” “Missing in Action,” “Forest for the Trees,” and “Go to Sleep.” Dreamy.
Vanilla | “Hold Me Like a Grudge” The latest song unveiled along the way toward the release of Vanilla’s forthcoming blockbuster album, “Hold Me Like a Grudge” is perhaps the ultimate “It’s her fault!” tune and another sterling example of the kind of top-notch songcraft being practiced by Jayson Jarmon and his pals. When Vanilla 2.0 is released, you’re going to be blown away. (Thanks to Jayson for this radio edit.)
The Rip Off Artists | The Intercontinental From Nick Pipitone and Peter Batchelder comes their second album as the Rip Off Artists. The Intercontinental is a collection of good old fashioned pop songs sporting catchy melodies and deep hooks, which makes it the kind of fare that Pure Pop Radio listeners crave. Dig the six songs we’ve added to our playlist: the cleverly titled “Inside the Actor’s Studio Apartment,” “Mr. Right and Mrs. Right,” “Worst Case Scenario,” “The Tennis Instructor,” “Bachelor of Arts,” and “The Day that I Disappeared.”
We’ll be back next week with more adds to our playlist, possibly a review, and who knows what else? See you then!
We continue to beef up our ever-growing playlist (5,400 songs and counting) with more new artists and songs. You know our motto: All the music that’s fit to…add! And have we got some cool new tunes for you today? Indeed we do, and here they are…the latest music playing in rotation:
Bill Lloyd | Reset2014 We gave a rave review to Bill Lloyd’s super-great 2014 interpretation of his 1994 classic, Set to Pop (read it here). This quite wonderful look back, within which the entire original album is recreated with remakes and early and live takes, is now available to the masses, so give a big group hug to the latest release from one of music’s top innovators and musical journeymen. We’re playing all 17 songs in rotation: “I Went Electric” (remake), “This is Where I Belong” (remake), “Trampoline” (early mix), “In the Line of Fire” (remake), “I Know What You are Thinking” (live), “Forget About Us” (remake), “Alright” (early recording–never before released), “The Man Who Knew Too Much” (remake), “Niagara Falls” (live), “In a Perfect World” (remake), “The S.W.A.T. Team of Love” (live), “A Beautiful Lie” (remake), “Channeling the King” (remake), “Out of the Picture” (remake), “Anything Less than Love” (early mix), “Forget About Us” (early recording–never before released), and “Niagara Falls” (live at the Bluebird). Not to be missed.
David Myhr | “Vänta inte på mig” (“Don’t Wait for Me”) Ever since his work with the merry Merrymakers began gracing our airwaves, we’ve been playing just about everything David Myhr puts out. This song, which will be heard during the upcoming romantic comedy, Micke and Veronica, releasing in Sweden this Christmas, will also be part of the film’s soundtrack. David has released this song as a single; we predict it will be a huge hit. It would have fit snugly on David’s album Soundshine. It’s another wonderful, catchy, melodic number as only David can write and record, and we’re now playing it in rotation on Pure Pop Radio. Now, that’s cause for celebration!
Various Artists | Twilley Won’t Mind Another of Zero Hour Records’ fabulous compilations currently making the rounds amongst pop fans worldwide is this humdinger of a disc, a tribute to the great Dwight Twilley, whose new album, Always, is now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio. Twilley Won’t Mind gathers together 23 covers of beloved songs from artists you know and love, and some who will be new to you. This is another fine example of the compiler’s art and should be at home in everyone’s collection of great pop music. We’ve added 11 tracks to our playlist: Honeychain, “I’m on Fire”; Donovan’s Brain (featuring Bobby Sutliff), “Sincerely”; Matt Keating, “TV”; Sitcom Neighbor, “Release Me”; Popdudes, “Baby Let’s Cruise”; Michael Carpenter, “Here She Comes”; Lannie Flowers, “That I Remember”; Jared Lekites, “Trying to Find My Baby”; Esa Linna and Neverheard, “Twilley Don’t Mind”; The Bottle Kids, “Chance to Get Away”; and Chris Silagyi, “Shark (In the Dark).” Another Zero Hour classic.
The Pengwins | “If U Want 2” Plus The second in a quite regal series of box sets culling together various tracks from the Pengwins’ rich history presents “If U Want 2,” “Look Around” and “Betty and Johnny,” upbeat power pop classics all. A fourth track, “If U Want 2 (Abbey Road Rage Version)” appears on the CD that comes in the box with a colored vinyl 45, a guitar pick and all sorts of other goodies. The first three? We’re playing them in rotation as we type these words. The Pengwins rule!
Mitchell Adam Johnson | Half Moon Lane From another favorite Pure Pop Radio band, Spencer McGillicutty, comes that group’s Mitchell Adam Johnson with a solo EP that is right up our melodic music alley. Half Moon Lane finds Mitchell in similar, McGillicutty-esque territory with four sterling examlpes of mid-tempo and ballad-style pop. We’re playing all of them: “Anyone Else,” “The Closing Door,” “Round and Around,” and “Abbey Brown.” Lovely. Brian Lindsay | The Monkey, the Tango and the Boogaloo We’re playing two hard-charging (well, as hard-charging as Pure Pop Radio gets) songs from Brian Lindsay’s new album: “Long Shot” (dig the decidedly Beatlesque ending!) and “Charley.” Tuneful and hot on the beat.
Tim Anthony | “Never Enough” and “What’s It to You” Tim Anthony returns with two typically melodic pop numbers: the jangly “What’s It to You” and the upbeat “Never Enough.” We’re pleased as punch to be playing them in rotation on Pure Pop Radio.
Not bad for a Tuesday, eh? We’ve got more new adds on the way. Keep a close eye on this very website for the latest new artists and songs joining the Pure Pop Radio playlist. And thanks for listening (and reading these updates!).
Hey! It’s the weekend! The weekend’s here! You know what that means, right? It means that week two of Pure Pop Radio’s New Music Explosion is rolling into the weekend and week three, day number nine is merely days away.
Today is day eight, and we’ve got a typically diverse and exciting lineup of new adds to the Pure Pop Radio playlist to lay out for you. Let’s get started!
Various Artists | Pop Power from the Garage – Australian Power Pop * 74-86 We’ve been digging the very sweet, new releases from Australia’s Zero Hour Records. This one shares the basic approach that previous compilations of Australian power pop have taken over the last, many years, although this time around the focus is on the years 1974-1986. This mighty fine collection dishes up 22 great tracks. Of course, we’ve chosen the poppier ones to add to our playlist, and they are: Beathoven – “Do You Remember the Time,” The Clones – “Tired of Hiding,” Lee Cutelle – “You’ve Got the Power Over Me,” Heroes – “Baby’s Had a Taste,” Riffs – “I’m Not Just Another Boy,” The Prefects – “Wait Until Midnight,” Young Homebuyers – “Boyfriend,” and the Eighty Eights – “What Would Your Mother Say.” Your mother would say “Spin ’em if you’ve got ’em!” Listen for these very cool tracks now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio.
The Lost Boys | Answers On a Postcard and Not ‘Arf It’s…The Lost Boys This Southampton, England foursome puts their guitars up front where they belong and turns out track after track of catchy, melodic pop music. We’ve taken tracks from Answers On a Postcard and Not ‘Arf It’s…The Lost Boys and added them to our playlist. Listen for “Broken Story,” “From Love to Hate,” “Flowers,” “In My Sleep,” and “Crazy for You (I Guess that I’m).” Great melodies, singing and playing…what more can you ask for?
Johnny Popstar and the Luv Explosion | Whining and Crying and A Day at the Beach A great pop band, with perhaps a smattering of punk aesthetic and influences from across decades of catchy songs, Johnny Popstar and the Luv Explosion is a real find. We hear the Turtles, the Archies, the Dave Clark Five and a host of other sixties and seventies bands bouncing around in this clever mix of sounds. This is the kind of music you might have heard on the radio way back in the day. Heck, it’s music you should be hearing on the radio today. And you will, because a total of 10 Popstar tunes are now spinning in rotation on Pure Pop Radio, including “Daphne Blake,” “Karen Palangi,” “A Day at the Beach,” “Dr. Wiggley,” “Oh Valerie (I Really Hate Your Boyfriend),” “We Could Get Along,” “Oh Louise,” “Social Status Crisis,” “Fit to Be Tied,” and “Don’t Ban the Wolfman.” And yes, “Daphne Blake” is indeed a shout-out to Scooby Doo’s own. Great stuff.
mylittlebrother | If We Never Came Down As perfect as a beautiful day in the country or a clear, wondrous night under the stars, mylittlebrother is a wonderful British band that specializes in lovely, clever, insanely catchy pop songs that capture the imaginations of listeners. Entrancing melodies, gorgeous harmonies and a sense of humanity makes this album the find of the year. We’ve added seven songs to our playlist: “Lovers of Life, Unite!,” “NoseDive,” “Gold,” “My Hypocritical Friend,” “If We Never Came Down,” “Slow Dance,” and “Profiterolls.” Sort of reminiscent, in spirit, of the Wilson Hospital’s equally lovely, lone album. Truly special and quite magical.
The Solicitors | Blank Check We’re probably the first pop radio entity to have played the Solicitors. Well, we’re at least one of the first. In any case, we were way early spinning tracks from one of Australia’s greatest pop ‘n’ roll bands working today. Lee Jones’ catchy songs, performed with great gusto and made for radio play, are aces all around. The band’s debut album is one of the classic releases of this or any other year. Sounding like a lost act on the Stiff label, the Solicitors make great pop ‘n’ roll music and this album is proof. Several of the tracks here are previously released, and we’ve been playing them for awhile; we’ve now added “If You Let Me Hold You,” “I Need You More,” “For This Evening’s Entertainment,” “(You Should See the) Look On Your Face,” “I Love Your Love,” “My Secret is Safe With Me,” and “Goodbye.” It hardly ever gets better than this.
Kurt Baker – Brand New B-Sides The pop and roll of Kurt Baker is as intoxicating today as it was on his very first release. If anything, Kurt elevates his craft ever higher with each new record. With producer and engineer extraordinaire Wyatt Funderburk at his side, there are no limits to what Kurt can achieve. This latest release, composed of songs that didn’t make 2012’s Brand New Beat album–some of which were released as bonus tracks in France and Japan–is a collection that, quite rightly, sets the bar even higher for future records, so good are the 10 songs included here. We’ve added seven to our playlist: “Emma Stone,” “Since You’ve Been On My Mind,” “What’s that Got to Do with Rock ‘n’ Roll,” “On the Run,” “I’ve Tried Everything,” “Think It Over,” and “So It Goes.” Pure pop with a rockin’ beat, served up by a master.
The Singles | Four Tracks Recorded around 1980 at Unique Recorders in New York City, these four catchy songs pop along like old friends. Great melodies and strong hooks ensure repeat plays. Here’s what we’re now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio:”It’s All My Fault,” “Leave that Girl Alone,” “Off and Running,” and “We’re Not Kids Anymore.” Tony, who sang lead and background vocals and played some bass, was joined in the studio by Les Fradkin, Rich Tuske, Marty Shapiro, JP Patterson and Joe Servello. Fradkin produced “It’s All My Fault” and “Off and Running.” Prepare to smile and tap along with the tunes.
My Brother Woody | Football Musings Set to Music You can now add to the (however slowly) growing pop sports sub-genre begun by The Duckworth Lewis Method, who sing about cricket, My Brother Woody’s album, which concerns itself with football (or, I believe in this case, soccer). We are, as usual, confused about the meaning of sports words in different parts of the world, but we do know our pop music, and this is pop music of the first order. Some fetching melodies and deep hooks propel these great songs into the consciousness. We’re spinning four songs in rotation: “50p Head,” “Panini Sticker Album Blues (1987),” “Bouncebackability,” and “The A-Z of Football.”
The Cry | Dangerous Game (US Edition) This isn’t the Cry’s first dance in the pop music arena, but it is their first full-length release here in the United States. This US version of Dangerous Game cobbles together 13 songs that have previously been released in Europe and Asia, plus a new track, “Last Thing that I Do,” a relatively sensitive, mid-tempo ballad with great guitar work that is rather unlike their usual upbeat, more rocking material. Fast or slow, this is a great band that deserves your time and attention. “Last Thing that I Do,” along with a host of other great tracks, is now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio.
Winterpills | Echolalia Nine years on from their first, self-titled album, Winterpills returns with a collection of cover songs. But this is not your father’s cover songs album: This isn’t a collection of versions of chart smashes and wedding band favorites. Nick Drake, Jules Shear, XTC and other lesser-known artists get the call here, along with such new-to-the scene groups as the Beatles, Beck and Buddy Holly. The sum total of Echolalia‘s parts is an album that belongs to Winterpills and plays like a song cycle composed of like-minded compositions. We’re playing six re-imagined, emotional, newly shaped songs: Sharon Van Etten’s “One Day,” Jules Shear’s “Open Your Eyes,” Matthew Sweet’s “We’re the Same,” Damien Jurado’s “Museum of Flight,” XTC’s “Train Running Low on Soul Coal,” and Mark Mulcahy’s “A World Away from this One.” A great record.
And so we come to the end of our second week of postings about new music added to the Pure Pop Radio playlist. On tap, we’ve got another week’s worth of very cool releases joining the more than 5,300 other classic tunes on the air; all the fun starts next Tuesday, October 28. We’ve also got a very special review for you, and news of something to look out for here on the Pure Pop Radio website in November. So, stay tuned!
We quite simply can not be stopped! It’s day seven of the Pure Pop Radio New Music Explosion and, yes, you betcha, we’re not even close to being done. We’re now into phase two (it’s top secret!) of our adding frenzy, which will continue tomorrow and into next week and beyond. We couldn’t stop even if we tried!
Let’s dig in, shall we?
Here Comes the Reign Again: The Second British Invasion We’ve now added the 19 songs we’ve been playing from this great compilation, sans producer Andrew Curry’s spoken introductions, which may return at a later date. The second British Invasion is alive on Pure Pop Radio! Here’s what you will hear, in rotation: An American Underdog – “Things Can Only Get Better,” Big-Box Store – “Kids in America,” Bleu – “Dont You Forget About Me,” Chris Collingwood – “Life in a Northern Town,” Cliff Hillis – “Wouldn’t it Be Good,” David Mead – “Save a Prayer,” Eric Barao – “Tainted Love,” Eytan Mirsky and Alyson Greenfield – “No One is to Blame,” Jim Boggia and Pete Donnelly – “Good Two Shoes,” Kelly Jones – “Something About You,” Linus of Hollywood – “Every Time You Go Away,” Mike Viola – “Everybody Wants to Rule the World,” Minky Starshine – “True,” People on Vacation – “Cruel Summer,” Taylor Locke – Dancing with Myself,” The Corner Laughers – “Our House,” The Davenports – “Freedom,” The Nines – “Life’s What You Make It,” and The Wellingtons – “Only You.” We think it’s safe to say that this nifty package will be under some decorated trees this coming December.
The Jigsaw Seen | Old Man Reverb This veteran band’s latest album is a solid collection of upbeat pop and roll and ballads, heavy on the guitars and emotive vocals. Amongst these classic tunes, you’ll even find a song that could very well serve as the soundtrack to a classic western film! All of these eight songs are now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: “Idiots with Guitars,” “Die Laughing,” “Understand,” “Madame Whirligig,” “Hercules and Sylvia,” “Your Mind is Like Mine,” “Abide,” and “Grief Rehearsal.” Very cool.
Jeff Thomas’ All-Volunteer Army | “The Devil Wants Your Self Control” This extremely cool song from the great Jeff Thomas and crew opens up with a dead-on, Al Kooper-era Blood, Sweat and Tears vibe and immediately segues into an upbeat rock groove as if it were hitched to a speeding locomotive. Chicago-esque horn stabs lead this energetic slice of pop ‘n’ roll to the finish line. Funky, rocky, poppy and all that, this is more proof, as if more proof were needed, that Jeff Thomas is… cool.
Ron Flynt and the Bluehearts | Big Blue Heart This 2014 reissue of Ron’s 2000 album with the Bluehearts adds two must-have bonus tracks to the mix, making it a must-buy for fans. We’ve been playing a couple of tracks from this album since it was first released, and have taken the opportunity to add a few more this time around. We’ve also added one of the bonus tracks, a great song called “Go to the Window for Kenee.” We’re also playing, in rotation, “Holding On,” “I See Blue,” “Northern Town,” “River Road,” “True Love,” and “Darkness.”
The Above | Waterbury Street From the rockingest borough of New York City come the beat-riffic sounds of the Above, whose second album was released this past June. The dozen nuggets on Waterbury Street evoke the spirit and the sound of early- to mid-sixites British R&B-inflected pop. A swinging time is guaranteed for all. We’ve added six energy-filled tracks to our playlist, including “Coming Around,” “Do You Have a Healthy Mind,” “Goons,” “You Make it Real,” “Do What You Wanna Do,” and “Broken Soul.” Now get on the dance floor and groove!
The Airwaves | Release Sweden’s own Airwaves specializes in original, ABBA-riffic, and catchy, seventies-sounding songs that really get under your skin. We’ve added three tracks to the Pure Pop Radio playlist: the mid-tempo charmer “Famous,” the powerful “Miracle,” and the ABBA tribute, “Hey You Ring Me Tonight,” which includes a fair share of ABBA references in the lyrics. Pretty fun.
Jesse Rimler | Four Songs Drawing on a wide range of influence, from pop standards to Harry Nilsson and, most especially, Randy Newman, California singer-songwriter Jesse Rimler writes and performs beautiful songs full of inspiration and pure joy. He’s released only four so far, but each one of them is a gem and points toward a growing catalog full of similar treasures. We’re playing everything Jesse has released: “Secret Password,” “My Elevator Story,” “How We Lost Her,” and “Sylvia’s Dream.” We can’t wait for the next treasure to surface.
Various Artists | It Was 50 Years Ago Today – A Tribute to the Beatles, Vol. 4 Through his Bullseye Records of Canada imprint, label chief Jaimie Vernon has quietly been releasing a series of tributes to everybody’s favorite Fab Four. We’ve been playing tracks from every volume and now, with volume four in house, we’re continuing the tradition. We’ve added seven versions of classic Beatles songs to our playlist. Here’s how our selections play out: Atomic Tracktor: “Revolution,” Dee Long: “Across the Universe,” Fergus Hambleton: “And I Love Her,” Michael Carpener: “If I Needed Someone,” Steve Lawrenson: “Yes It Is,” the Wackers: “She Loves You,” and Walter Clevenger: “I Will.”
Declan Snowden | Getting My Hopes Up From Galway, Ireland and now based in Dublin, Declan Snowden’s EP–available for free on Bandcamp–revels in the kind of pop we greet with open arms here at Pure Pop Radio. The joyous “Believe in Me” and the gorgeous, heartfelt ballad “I’ll Never Be Your Man” are now playing in rotation. We’re pleased to make your acquaintance, Declan.
With day seven of our New Music Explosion in the books, we have only to look forward to day eight, and that’s happening tomorrow. Be back here around noon ET and see what kind of surprises we’ve cooked up to lead you into your popping weekend!
Welcome to week two, day number six of Pure Pop Radio’s New Music Explosion! You already know we’re adding hundreds and hundreds of songs to our playlist, and you probably want to know what’s new today, so here we go. Let’s get right to it!
The Nines | Nine Lives The Nines have always held a treasured spot on our playlist, going back as far as the old, weekly Pure Pop Radio show. We were excited to learn that a new, live release was coming out. Not surprisingly, we were blown away by the songs included, the great vocals and those melodies–those incredible melodies! Steve Eggers and company deliver the goods, as always. We’ve added eight tracks from this top-flight album as proof: “Diana,” “Melanie,” “Falling Down,” “Virginia,” “Queen of the County,” “Marigold,” “Average Joe,” and “Goodnight My Love.”
The Corner Laughers | “Martha (Cincinnati, 1914)” The b-side of the great song “Midsommar,” already playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio, joins its a-side compatriot on the air, which is as it should be. According to the Laughers, “Martha (c.1885—September 1, 1914) was the last known living Passenger Pigeon; she was named “Martha” in honor of the first First Lady Martha Washington.” “Martha” is an upbeat charmer, sung with harmonic gusto by the golden-voiced Karla Kane. And, in answer to your question, this is how it’s done. Now playing in rotation.
Chris Richards and the Subtractions | Decayed–Ten Years of Harmony and Song It would take at least a mile’s worth of real estate to roll out Chris Richards’ credits, so we’ll settle for a reminder that Chris is one-third of the wonderful super group the Legal Matters. And here’s a fact of all matters: He is, for sure, one of pop music’s greatest talents, whose more recent albums are the source for all but two of the tracks on this lively and entertaining look back at what has come before (two tracks are specific to this release, one of which we’re now spinning on Pure Pop Radio). Our picks to click, now playing in rotation, are: “Consolation,” “Don’t Do Anything Tonight,” “And Suddenly,” “Gracefully,” and “In a Sense” (the aforementioned new song we’re spinning). Chris and his kick-you-know-what band make stuff happen. Boom!
Tamas Wells | On the Volatility of the Mind Melbourne, Australia’s Tamas Wells has long been a Pure Pop Radio favorite. We think On the Volatility of the Mind is Tamas’ best album yet. His musical voice, 11 beautiful songs, melodies that make you weak at the knees, a folk-pop stance and immaculate production are collective proof. We’ve added five excellent songs to the playlist, which are now playing in rotation: “A Riddle,” “I Don’t Know Why She Burned Up All Those Greylead Drawings,” “A Snake Bit at the Quarry,” “The Treason at Henderson’s Pier,” and “An Appendix.”
Aerial | Why Don’t They Teach Heartbreak at School From Aberdeen, Scotland comes the trio known as Aerial. Their second album comes a baker’s dozen years after their debut and proves the old adage that good things come to those who wait. Pure pop, power pop, melodic pop–all flavors, in fact, of pop are in full bloom on this glorious album, certainly one of the best of this year. Hooks abound. We’ve added to the playlist 10 of the 12 songs on School, and they are the title cut, “Japanese Dancer,” “Every Word You Say,” “Great Teenager,” “Madeline It’s Me,” “More than Alcohol,” “Dear Anna,” “Go With You,” “Formative Years,” and “Wave Goodbye to Scotland.” Great stuff.
Jeffrey Dean Foster | The Arrow We’ve had songs from Jeffrey Dean Foster’s last album, Million Star Hotel, playing in rotation since it came out nine years ago. Now comes a new album called The Arrow, which is another feather in the cap of this ultra-talented music man. Jeffrey, who put time in with the Right Profile and the Pinetops before setting on a solo path, sings and plays his heart out, overseen by producers including none other than Mitch Easter and Don Dixon. The music might best be described as pop washed with a slightly southern glow. But, mostly, it’s catchy music by a musician who writes catchy songs that sing. We’ve added seven songs to the Pure Pop Radio playlist: “When You Break,” “Morningside,” “The Sun Will Shine Again,” “Young Tigers Disappear,” “Jigsaw Man,” “Hang My Head on You,” and the title cut.
The Most | Moderation in Moderation, Auto-Destructive Art, and Resistance is Useless Retro (sixties) pop in a contemporary mood by way of a great band from Sweden is now spinning in rotation on Pure Pop Radio. The Most bring the beat and melodies to every song on their various releases. We’ve added songs from three of the band’s EPs and their full-length, Auto-Destructive Art, from 2013: “Bad Girl,” “I Got You,” “Really Good,” “I Don’t Want it,” “So Wrong,” “Spiderman,” “Little Girl,” “Easy When You’re Down,” and “The Action.” These tracks collectively deliver a rockin’ and poppin’ good time.
Sir Video | Light Years A very cool and fun side project from popster Timmy Sean, whose songs we have been playing on Pure Pop Radio for a while. Light Years is sorta, kinda dance pop with a melodic pop sensibility. What’s more, it’s infectious and it will put a big smile on your face. How do we know? We’re smiling right now! We’ve added to the playlist four songs from this wonderful EP, including two versions of the title cut–one a soulful, light dance number and the other a gentle acoustic remake. We’re also spinning, in rotation, “(Oh No!) They’re on the Radio” and “Take My Breath Away.”
The Simple Carnival | “Tornado” The Simple Carnival’s recent release, a typically-gentle tune with a lovely melody, is another jewel of a song included in the group’s music video movie, Smitten 3D, currently in production. The Simple Carnival’s Jeff Boller has become quite a star in the 3D video movie world. We’re happy to say we knew him when. Listen for “Tornado,” now playing in rotation. Another long time Pure Pop Radio favorite.
Randell Kirsch | “Smoke is Spreading” A typically catchy pop confection from the legendary Randell Kirsch, from 1990. Randell has probably worked with more top-flight artists than most people can count, from the Beach Boys and the Cowsills to Jan and Dean and Papa Doo Run Run and beyond. Randell is a master of melody, and we simply can not wait until he graces us with a new album. Randell? Over to you!
Day six is now complete. We’ve got more New Music Explosion adds for you tomorrow, so don’t forget to check back for the list. Thanks for reading, and thanks, as always, for listening to Pure Pop Radio!