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Strike Up the Band and Jump for Joy! Day Two of Pure Pop Radio’s New Music Explosion is Here!

yeah!Nearly every day brings a new discovery or a visit from an old musical friend. Here at Pure Pop Radio headquarters, we bathe ourselves in the great melodies coming from all manner of studios from California to Cebu City. We always smile and tap our feet as the latest and greatest songs play in our humble studio. “Spin that one again!”, we often exclaim. “Spin that one again and let’s dance!”

You might want to dance and jump for joy when you hear what we’ve just added to the Pure Pop Radio playlist. We’ve got a ton of new, magical sounds spinning in rotation for you; let’s get to them, shall we?

surf-school-dropouts-coverSurf School Dropouts | Second Nature These harmony happy lads from Copenhagen, Denmark have delivered what will surely be your soundtrack for the upcoming summer season: 14 luscious, melody-soaked warm weather anthems that can lift your spirits high any time of the year. We particularly want to hug songs like the jaunty “Coastline Cruisin’,” a harmony-drenched Jan and Dean and Beach Boys-vibed celebration; the pretty love song “Sarah,” a singalong number that recalls the best of the folk group sounds being heard just before folk turned into folk-rock; the wonderful, harmony showcase, “Ebb and Flow,” which would have fit perfectly on any of the Beach Boys’ mid-period albums; and the joyous, peppered-with-Motown-flavor “Wonderful Ride.” We previously added “Wonderful Ride” as an exclusive to Pure Pop Radio; we’ve now also added “Coastline Crusin'” and “Sarah,” and six other future classics: “Should Have Known Better,” “Where Have You Gone,” “California,” “This Morning,” “Interlude (Summer Rain),” and “Summer Rain.” Fans of the sound of sixties California and Matt Tyson will love these songs. We sure do.

jay-gonzalezJay Gonzalez | The Bitter Suite Drive-By Truckers multi-instrumentalist Jay Gonzalez steps into pure pop mode with this fantastic song cycle that powers itself with rock punch and a whole lot of heart. Sporting lovely melodies and a seventies sensibility, these five songs make a strong impression and practically guarantee a spot on this year’s best-of lists. We’ve added the whole lot: “Light Side of the Leaves,” “Grey Matter,” “Almond Eyes,” “Shenorock Lane,” and a song with the title of the year, “&$%@#!.” Produced by Jay and Chris Grehan (who also mixed). Quite brilliant, really.

ringo-starr-postcardsRingo Starr | Postcards from Paradise Not that anyone needs reminding, but the beat in the Beatles came from the man who made drum fills an art, a drummer whose influence on music continues to be felt more than five decades after he first picked up a pair of drum sticks. Without his innate ability to make his drums sing with three-dimensional feel, backbeat, regardless of genre, would have developed in a completely different way. Ringo’s 18th studio album continues his tradition of recording with musical pals and letting the beat speak for itself. Postcards from Paradise is a treat–from the nostalgia-filled, melodic “Rory and the Hurricanes,” a fun trip down memory lane to the time when Ringo played with Rory Storm and his band, to the clever title song written with Todd Rundgren, which packs a bevy of Beatles song titles into the lyrics, and the rockin’, cymbal heavy “Touch and Go,” this is a treasure for both Ringo and Beatles fans. Oh, the rest of you, too. We’re playing the previously-mentioned songs and “Right Side of the Road,” “Not Looking Back,” and “Let Love Lead.” Very cool.

tommy-sistak-yeahTtommy-sistak-short-songsommy Sistak | “Yeah She Said So” and Short Songs Well, here’s what’s cooking: A new song and a new album and together they’re the holy grail of whoa-listen-to-that records that only sound like they were recorded in the poppin’ 1960s. Tommy Sistak’s individual love letters to our favorite era for catchy tunes are short–mostly two minutes and change–and sweet…oh, how they are sweet! Broadly speaking, Tommy’s drawing from the sounds of British invasion bands (Beatles, check) and vocal acts such as the Everly Brothers for a catchy and oh-so-charming half hour’s worth of lovingly-crafted and performed pop music that, and we’re saying this more often than in recent times, belongs in every pop fan’s collection and should, without question, be on a whole lot of best-of lists this year. The new song, “Yeah She Said So,” released in late March, is a crowd-pleasing pop-rocker blaring a combination of thunderous drums and vocal harmonies. We’re playing the entire Short Songs collection, as you might figure: “And So It Goes,” “Be Good,” “In So Many Ways,” “Just Like Before,” “Let Her Go,” “Never Want to Be Blue,” “Ordinary Words,” “Ordinary Words (Unplugged),” “Seems Like You’re There,” “Think About Me,” “Whisper In Your Night,” and “You’ll Come My Way.” Here is your go-to, retro masterpiece for 2015.

the-difficult-strangerThe Difficult Stranger | High School Lover We added the nearly-perfect pop song, “Fall In Love With You,” last October. The full-length longplayer is now here; you may consider us quite charmed. Michael Anthony Curan, Eboi Oca Ponce and Glenn Alonzo play an infectious brand of pure- and punk-pop that’s sure to please one and all. In addition to “Fall In Love With You,” we’re now playing “Her High School Lover,” “Honey,” and “Pawn Shop Heart.” Expect this album to explode all over the pop universe.

the-direct-hitsThe Direct Hits | Here, There or Anywhere: 23 Mod Pop Classics 1982-1986 The much desired gene that points to ’60s and ’70s songwriting sensibilities is quite evident in the work of the short-lived band, the Direct Hits. The Hits packed a lot of quality into their relatively miniscule output–single sides and two albums–and should be known to any melodic pop fan worth his or her salt. If you’ve never heard of this band, you will by listening to Pure Pop Radio, where we’re playing 10 songs in rotation: “Modesty Blaise,” “English Girls,” “The Old Curiosity Shop,” “My Back Pages,” “Miranda Berkley,” “I Started Counting,” “She’s Not Herself Today,” “Last Time I Saw the Sunrise,” “Heat and Sun,” and “Christina.” Prepare to fall in love with a band that was in love with some very cool retro sounds.

smile-factoryThe Smile Factory | “There She Is” Sounding like it came from the jangly, poppy sixties, the Smile Factory’s super-catchy “There She Is” is the perfect earworm for any season. It’s one of those songs that you want to play again and again, and again. Written by Bill Shaouy and performed by (take a well-deserved bow, folks) Bill (lead vocal and keyboard), Brandi Ediss (backing vocals), Keith Klingensmith (backing vocals), Torbjörn Petersson (all guitars), Kyle Richards (bass), and Lee Wiggins (drums), this is a cheery confection and we’re all better off with it in our lives. More please, and sooner than later, if you will.

barry-holdship-jessebarry-holdship-ruff-traxBarry Holdship | Ruff Trax and The Jesse Garon Project Barry Holdship’s two albums of musical riches run the gamut from lovely, mid-tempo ’60s pastiche (“A Fractured Lullaby” from Ruff Trax) to Jerry Lee Lewis and Elvis early rock ‘n’ roll (“Hang Me Out to Dry” from The Jesse Garon Project). In between, there is a Buddy Holly nod (with Roy Orbison overtones) (“Everybody’s Dreamin'” from The Jesse Garon Project) and a gospely slow dance, hold-her-tight number (“Give Your Heart to Me” from Ruff Trax). We’re playing the aforementioned songs in rotation, along with “Where to Go from Here,” “Stuck in Time,” “Nothing Means More than This,” and “Here With Me” (from Ruff Trax); and “All I Really Want,” “Tell Me What You See,” “Words of Wisdom,” “Twist of Faith,” and “It Hurts to Be that Way” (from The Jesse Garon Project). Throughout, Barry’s strong, expressive vocals lead the way. We’re glad to have Barry Holdship on Pure Pop Radio.

the-yearningThe Yearning | Dreamboats and Lemonade The only thing you will wonder, listening to the Yearning’s extremely wonderful 2014 album, is why you didn’t know about them earlier on in your music loving life. New to Pure Pop Radio, this band’s retro sound hearkens back to the romantic feel of pop music from the sixties. Every song here is top flight; in particular, the glorious girl group pastiche, “How Will I Know,” is so right on you’ll swear it’s a long-lost artifact written by some Brill Building scribe. “Lemonade,” another girl group-esque tune, swims along on a current infused with charm (and borrows from the sound of ABBA). And “When I Was Your Baby” is a nostalgic ballad, looking back to a love affair now lost. From the accomplished vocals of Maddie Dobie to the inspired work of Joe Moore and other talented craftspeople, the Yearning goes directly to the upper class on Pure Pop Radio’s list of Records We Can Not Do Without. We’re playing, in rotation, the songs we’ve just mentioned and “Dreamboat,” “It’s You That I Want,” “Never Learn to Cry,” and “Tomorrow Night.” Retro and proud of it. A fantastic, truly fantastic record.

omdOrchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark | “Locomotion” We always looked at this band, more commonly known as OMD, as a pop band, although we’d bet we could run into a lot of people who might disagree. Nevertheless, we stand by our contention, and offer this poppy number from the band’s Junk Culture album as proof. Catchy, with a decidedly Paul McCartney-esque traveling bass line and an infectious melody (not to mention a nifty beat), “Locomotion” is just the first addition of an OMD track to our playlist. Many more to come. “Secret,” anyone? Yep, that one’s on its way.

jimmy-webbThe Songs of Jimmy Webb – Tunesmith Speaking of proof, this 2003 compilation offers a case, as if he needed it, that Jimmy Webb is an American treasure–a writer of classic songs that have informed our culture for decades. We’ve added a trio of numbers from this release; more will be added soon. Listen for Strawberry Children’s “Love Years Coming,” the 5th Dimension’s smash hit, “Up, Up and Away,” and Glen Campbell’s genius recording of “Galveston.”

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How is that for day two of our New Music Explosion? Pretty explosive, huh? We hope you enjoy all of the new songs and artists we’ve added to the Pure Pop Radio playlist in the past couple of days. And remember…there are more than 6,500 other tunes playing in rotation. You’re sure to love every one of them! Simply click on one of the listen links below and sing along if you know the words! We’re Pure Pop Radio, the original 24-hour-a-day melodic pop music radio station on the Internet. We never close!

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Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber's Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes

Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber’s Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes

Pure Pop Radio’s New Music Explosion, Day 2: Kaboom Redux!

day-2Welcome to Day Two of Pure Pop Radio’s New Music Explosion, or, as it’s also known, Another Day in the Life of the Ever-Growing Playlist!

We’ve already added hundreds of new songs to Internet radio’s biggest, deepest and most varied collection of melodic pop songs, and we’re not done. We will, in fact, be adding even more tunes over the coming weeks. We’ve got lots of surprises in store, so keep checking back for the latest rundown.

Let’s put the spotlight on some of the latest and greatest songs and artists to be added to our playlist. Today’s gallery? Glad you asked. Here we go:

maxi-dunnMaxi Dunn | “Perfect Sorrow” We literally just got this song in last night. A quick spin, and another spin after that, and we were moved to get this on the air right away. We’ve loved Maxi’s music so much (her last album was a hit on the air) and we’re always thrilled to hear something new from her. The first fruit of her recent recording labors is this fantastic song and production, an imaginative burst of creativity that has more than a bit of Kate Bush in its DNA. Add in a great melody and vocal interplay that is really quite impressive and you’ve got another classic from one of pop music’s brightest stars. It’s now playing in rotation. You’re going to love it.

vegas-girl-holding-outVegas with Randolph | “The Girl Holding Out for Me.” The first song from our local, Washington D.C. musical cousins’ upcoming album is a typically catchy, power popping number blessed with an intoxicating melody, superior musicianship (loud guitars, plugged-into-the-wall drums and other really cool stuff), sumptuous harmonies and that certain something that always makes Vegas with Randolph’s songs pop. We’re thrilled to have this tune in rotation. Tune in for it and keep an ear out while listening to Pure Pop Radio for lots of other songs from Vegas with Randolph’s ever-growing catalog.

pop 2Dana Countryman | Pop 2! The Exploding Musical Mind of Dana Countryman Even if we weren’t in love with the sweet pop sounds of the early 1970s–even if our hearts weren’t married to such classic, melodic songs as Edison Lighthouse’s “Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes),” the Partridge Family’s “I Think I Love You,” and Gallery’s “Nice to Be with You”–we would be in love, love, love with Dana Countryman’s music. If 2014 were 1972, all would be right with the world. All is right with Dana’s wonderful, just-released album. We’ve added seven songs to our playlist: “Baby, I’ll Be Your Star,” “The Summer I Turned Seventeen,” “Good Radio Day,” “And Suddenly, Love Just Happened,” “Just Look into My Eyes,” “How to Make It In Hollywood,” and “You’re My Heart and Soul.” They’re now spinning in rotation, and Pure Pop Radio sounds all the better for it.

mothboxerMothboxer | Sand and the Rain This British band, led by the wonderful songwriter and performer Dave Ody, continues to amaze with pop songs crafted with care, heart and a boatload of talent. This fourth long-player–Mothboxer’s best yet–is overflowing with great songs. We liked them so much that we decided to add all of them to the playlist. And they are: “One and Only,” “Looking Out for Summer,” “In the Morning,” “We’re All Out of Our Minds,” “Everything’s Changed,” “Stop,” “Sand and the Rain,” “Take Me Down,” “On Your Side,” and “All that I Want.” One of the best releases of 2014, for sure. [Bonus: We’ve also added terrific covers of two songs that Mothboxer has recorded. They’ve put their considerable stamp on two classic pop songs: Brian Wilson’s “God Only Knows” and Tears for Fears’ “Head Over Heels.” Beautiful.]

vanilla-2.0Vanilla | “The Angel of Swain’s Lane” The sixth song from Vanilla’s upcoming, musically diverse album 2.0 (one song a month (give or take) will be released until the record is complete) is, according to head flavor Jayson Jarmon, “a 19th-Century style waltz about a famously overgrown, haunted cemetery in London. Nice early autumn Halloween fare.” And this being mid-October, well, pretty timely. Sung with deep emotion and old world style by Carl Funk, the song’s first verse sets the stage: “The Angel of Swain’s Lane is calling me again/She shines through the railings/And sycamores wailing/ A figure of pity and pain/The Angel is crying again.” Short and sweet and full of three-dimensional atmosphere, this is quite unlike anything you’ve heard in pop music this year. Or years, even. Truly outstanding all around, and now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio.

difficult-strangerThe Difficult Stranger | “Fall in Love with You” Direct from Cebu City in the Philippines comes this quite accomplished three-piece band fronted by the talented Michael Anthony Curran, who wrote and sings this classically-styled slice of power pop. Melodically rich and quite singalongable, we think you’ll look forward to this band’s next release. We know we will.

nick-piuntiNick Piunti | “Time Machine” Nick Piunti, who just this past May released a great pop album called 13 in My Head, has already released a new song destined for his next album, which he decrees will not be called 14 in My Head. Sort of an anti-walking-down-memory-lane song, “Time Machine” is a humdinger of an upbeat power pop number with loud guitars, an awesome riff, great harmonies and an intoxicating melody. Now playing in rotation, this is another great song from a great talent.

Michael Oliver

Michael Oliver

Michael Oliver and the Sacred Band | “Sabina” This song, which we reviewed here on the Pure Pop Radio website, is “an expertly crafted, lovely, mid-tempo ballad–a heartstring tugger about loss, about sensory memory, about love, about life.” That’s what we said in our review. We also said this: “Michael says the song is about a cat or life. Yes and yes.” All of these words are still true. Slated to appear on Michael’s upcoming album, now being recorded, “Sabina” is one of those must-hear songs…meaning you must hear it one thousand times. It’s that good. Listen for it playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio.

smiling-manGrahame Steinberg | “Mr. Pitchfork” A bonus track associated with the third collaboration between pop music stalwarts David Grahame and Lane Steinberg, “Mr. Pitchfork” is a relatively short, catchy song about the perils of getting involved with the Devil. Don’t, would be the operative suggestion. A cool little number.

bobbleheadsThe Bobbleheads | Make Yourself Happy On the group’s website, it is stated that the Bobbleheads “have been delighting audiences with their songs of playful yet adult elementary-school infused pop.” We rather think that this is pop music for all ages–music that is fun to listen to and enjoy. But, go on, bring the kids along. We’ve added to the playlist five lively songs from the band’s latest album: “Prove Yourself,” “Mean Girls,” “Get That,” “Turn the Radio On (The Perfect Song),” and “Sofa.” They’re pretty cool, even for adult elementary school.

secret-friendSecret Friend | Sleeper | “Orbital” Coming up on two years ago, Steven Fox released a gorgeous collection of melodic pop songs on a most wonderful album called Time Machine. The first song from Secret Friend’s early 2015 album, Sleeper, is a quite different beast, about as 360-degree a turn as you might think possible. A seductive arrangement, anchored in a sea of electronic instrumentation a la OMD, gives way to a Pink Floydian sad, yet hopeful, piano riff, a serene melody and a deftly-played acoustic guitar. It’s not really pop, per se, but it’s awfully intriguing and quite memorable and anything from Steven Fox is a must-listen in our book. Different? Yes. Pure Pop Radio worthy? Definitely. And it’s now playing in rotation.

That’s it for day two of Pure Pop Radio’s New Music Explosion. And we’re just getting started! Tune in to this site tomorrow for more adds to our playlist. And thanks, as always, for listening!

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Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber's Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes

Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber’s Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes