Alan Haber's Pure Pop Radio is the archive for the premiere website that covered the melodic pop scene with in-depth reviews of new and reissued recordings, and a wide variety of features. We are now closed for new activity.
The latest and greatest pure, melodic pop hits are streaming on Pure Pop Radio, but hurry–you have only until August 25 to bop to the catchiest beats in town!
What’s new and now playing in rotation on Alan Haber’s Pure Pop Radio? “California Moon,” Fernando Perdomo’s new single, featuring Pat Sansone (Wilco, Autumn Defense), is top of the pops, as are four standout, propulsive tunes from the Turnback’s soon-to-be-released album, Spinning the Earth in Reverse.
Speaking of spinning, the Jangle Band’s new single, featuring the Byrdsian “The Guy Who Used to Care,” is playing in hot rotation, as are new songs from Azwel’s latest long player, Phantasmagoria, and new releases from Scott Brookman, Yani Martinelli and Friends; Lannie Flowers (another in his growing line of free songs being released prior to Lannie’s new album coming due in the fall); and McPherson Grant, whose debut album features the Klaatu-ish tune “The Marvelous and Mysterious Adventures of Sir Ollie and His Ox,” supported percussively by Klaatu’s Terry Draper.
New songs from Optiganally Yours, Tsar’s Jeff Whalen, George Usher and Lisa Burns, Michael Slawter, Jeffrey Foskett and Jeff Larson, Sean Solo, Miami Dan and the Hayes Street Band, Farrington, Wilkerson, Tony Valentino, and many more of your favorite artists are also being featured in these last 11 days of broadcasting.
Remember that we will be active as active can be here on the Pure Pop Radio website, even though Pure Pop Radio will be going off the air on August 25. So fire up your Internet radio receptacle, groove to the pop tunes, and we’ll see you on the air.
Pure Pop Radio plays the greatest melodic pop music from across the decades, 24 hours a day (until August 25). Listen by clicking on the Live365 Listen Now button at left. Hear us once and you’ll be a listener for life. Join us, won’t you? You’ll be glad you did!
The days are bulging with great new songs and albums and artists, so here’s another list of what’s spinning for the first time on Pure Pop Radio–days four and five of our Springtime New Music Explosion combined into one. Let’s start with another incredible long player that’s sure to be a favorite of yours, and yours too. Here is Alan’s review.
Radio Days | Back in the Day You know how it was when you were younger, when the mere hint of a new album from one of your favorite bands put a smile on your face that stayed there until you held the album in your hands, and then stayed there still? That’s how we feel about Radio Days. The band’s new album, set for release on April 23, is their best yet, a great collection of pop and rock and roll that is nothing less than their crowning achievement thus far, and that’s really saying something.
The band’s first record as a trio, Back in the Day was basically recorded live in their sound man’s basement; you can feel the energy dripping off the walls, as if the songs were being played in the original Cavern Club in Liverpool. There is an immediacy to the playing and an emotional intensity in the vocal delivery and instrumental backing. The harmonies are grand. Most of all, there is a strong sense of commitment to making a great album, which is what Radio Days has done.
The sprightly, decidedly Merseybeat-styled opener, “Why Don’t You Love Me Anymore,” conjures images of fans gathered close to the stage, moving this way and that to the beat, almost crying for the joy of the song as wild guitar figures and percussion play to the groove. It’s a spectacular opening number.
There is so much to love here. The energetic, beat-driven “I’m in Love With You”shows off the group’s mastery of the melodic pop form while incorporating both upbeat and somewhat subdued passages. “Back in the Day,” another top-notch upbeat pop song, celebrates the spirit of Badfinger, Raspberries, the Who, and the Knack, and wedges in a sly little key change about two-thirds of the way through. “Smash this Party,” a smart pop-rocker, actually sounds like it could have been recorded by late-period Klaatu.
More wonders abound on this album, like “Subway Station Girl,” with its bopping rhythm and rocking guitar solos played in the early rock ‘n’ roll style (think Buddy Holly); and a mid-tempo ballad, “Betta (Are You Feeling Better?),” that wouldn’t have felt out of place on the Beatles’ A Hard Day’s Night album. The rest, well, we’ll leave for you to discover for yourselves.
On April 1, we’ll be adding all of the songs on Back in the Day to our playlist: “Why Don’t You Love Me Anymore,” “Rock and Roll Night,” “You Won’t Fool Me Twice,” “Back in the Day,” “Your Words,” “I’m in Love with You,” “You Bring Me Down,” “Out of the Shade,” “Subway Station Girl,” “Best Friend,” “Deep Blue Eyes,” “Smash this Party,” “Never Gonna Make It,” and “Betta.” Prepare to smile.
– Alan Haber
The Jangle Band | Edge of a Dream The band members (Pure Pop Radio favorite Joe Algeri among them) may be spread across Australia, but they come together to forge a solid pop sound on their debut album. Whether they’re dressed in pure pop clothes for the lovely and catchy mid-tempo title song, Byrds-ing it up in the Roger McGuinn-ish “Love You Too” (which includes a beautiful, rubbery vocal line in the chorus and kicks off with a “Be My Baby” drum beat, which seems to be the thing in pop this year), or slowing down to ballad pace with the pretty “Exile on Murray Street,” the Jangle Band is on the case with an album’s worth of catchy delights, beautifully sung and played. We’re playing the aforementioned songs, plus “282,” “It Won’t Break,” “Let Me Breathe,” “This Soul is Not for Sale,” and “Kill the Lovers.” Nice going, guys.
Damien Binder – A New World Sydney, Australia’s Damien Binder is today’s second artist in the spotlight from down under. He fits in well here at Pure Pop Radio, seeing as how his album is co-produced by Michael Carpenter and features Kylie Whitney on backing vocals. Binder’s vocals are strong and expressive, and the playing is exquisite. There is a Byrds-ian edge to “A New World” and “Breaking Beyond Me” (and there you have today’s second Byrds reference); “I Won’t Let You Down Again” has an Abbey Road-period Lennon quality about it; and “What You Call Your Own” is an upbeat pop song with a country sheen. We’re playing these songs in rotation. Welcome, Damien Binder, to Pure Pop Radio.
Solarflairs | “Spirit of Johnny” Memphis, Tennessee’s Solarflairs, fronted by bass player Elisabeth Eickhoff, who also handles lead vocals, hits big right out of the gate with this powerful mid-tempo ballad, a catchy number with great vocal harmonies in the choruses. An understated U2 guitar approach (really) adds an interesting and effective layer to the proceedings. Good work; we look forward to the next release.
Cait Brennan | Debutante This stylistically-diverse debut has been greeted with open arms for good reason–it’s remarkably assured and full of life. “Once Upon a Nevermind” and “Madame Pompadour” are pure pop delights, and “I Want You Back” hits with an amped-up mix of Buddy Holly and Elvis Costello nods and Brennan’s urgent, spitfire lead vocal. The torch song vibe of “Showman” is driven by slightly ghost-like keyboards and churchly organ. We’re playing these songs, and “All in Love is Fair” and “Underworld.” Great stuff.
Stereo Tiger | Performing Songs Stereo Tiger’s latest release, an EP containing five covers of favorite tunes, hits the proverbial bullseye, which is not a surprise around these parts. The band pays tribute to the mighty Beach Boys classic, “Don’t Worry Baby”; bows to the majesty of Badfinger’s “No Matter What”; swoons to Elliot Smith’s “Pretty Ugly (Before)”; and pops out, Paul McCartney-esque style, with Sloan’s “C’mon C’mon (We’re Gonna Get it Started).” Silky smooth pop vocals and ace musicianship abound. This is free at Bandcamp. Snap it up, would be our suggestion. And, of course, listen to these songs here on Pure Pop Radio.
Red Cabin | White Morning Hailing from New York’s Long Island, Jonathan Foster turns in a fine album full of beautiful songs, including the somber, melodic “Fade into You,” the dreamlike “The Look,” and the straight-ahead soft poppy “Dead Man’s Stare.” Like the aforementioned Stereo Tiger release, it’s free at Bandcamp. Enjoy, in rotation, here.
The Alloy Six | “Each Night” These Stockholm, Sweden-based popsters play through a beat-driven, energy-filled number, now playing in rotation. We’re happy to join Jonas, Johan, Staffan, Ola, Per and Mathias on their musical journey.
Jeff Larson | “February Passing Through” We continue to bow to the talents of Jeff Larson, who we’ve been playing for around 18 years on the various incarnations of Pure Pop Radio. This pretty song, with Jeff’s plaintive vocal up front and close, is another feather in his cap, a lovely number that will stay with you through frequent listens. Now playing in rotation.
Michael Kroll | Clamourous This veteran musician plays in a bluesy rock style, singing with a hint of a softened growl in his voice. “Allegiance” is one such number, but the artist paints with other colors, too, as someone who studied the songs of the Beatles might do. “The Light” is a catchy pop song with one foot in the ’60s folk movement; “Young” is the kind of considered ballad ’70s singer-songwriters would have included in the repertoires. “Blue” is a lively, upbeat, catchy song that more than hints at what Kroll would sound like in concert. Now playing in rotation.
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That’s five days of our Springtime New Music Explosion rolled into four–a pretty neat trick, don’t you think? Now, it’s your turn to listen to the above-mentioned songs and 8,500 more playing in rotation on your home for the greatest melodic pop music from the ’60s to today…Pure Pop Radio. Enjoy!
Two weeks ago, Pure Pop Radio brought you the world radio premiere of Pop 4’s luscious, melodic gem, “Don’t You Be Like That.” Tonight at 8 pm ET, we’re bringing you not one, but two premieres: “Wake Up, Mary,” a charming, bouncy tune from Brandon Schott’s new, forthcoming album, Crayons and Angels; and another jangly, hooky, Byrdsian number from the aptly-named Jangle Band, which counts Pure Pop Radio favorite Joe Algeri amongst its members.
First up at 8 pm ET: Brandon Schott’s “Wake Up, Mary,” a bouncy, clap along song that could sit comfortably alongside Simon and Garfunkel’s “Cecilia.” Opening with the steady sound of a ticking alarm clock that suddenly goes off as the rise-and-shine wake up jingle artfully pans across the stereo sound field and gives way to acoustic guitars and percussion, the singer signals the day’s beginning with guarded optimism: “Wake up, Mary/The night is done/There’s so much more for us out in the sun/We’ve been sleeping for too long my dear/And if we stay too long we’ll settle here.”
Not simply a song about waking up and getting the day started, “Wake Up, Mary” is about rehabilitating a perhaps slightly stale relationship; it’s about getting in the car and driving to greener pastures for a new start and growing the weary bones of a union that holds so much promise. “Can’t hide it any longer,” the singer intones. “My spirit’s falling under/Maybe we should wake up, Mary.” The song ends with a cacophony of sound–the rush of cymbals, the sound of birds cooing, the outdoors watching over the souls of the earth. This is a grand musical achievement–just one example of the treasures awaiting you when Crayons and Angels is released. (Connect with Brandon Schott on his Facebook page by clicking here.)
Immediately following Brandon’s “Wake Up, Mary,” we have the worldwide radio premiere of the Jangle Band’s melodic, Byrdsian wonder, “Love You Too.” Following a drum intro echoing the glory of the immortal “Be My Baby,” guitars, organ, bass and drums signal in the instantly memorable, seductive melody in the first verses and middle eight, which leads to the golden chorus, a joyous celebration of everything that captures the fans of melodic pop music. All this and some groovy Beatlesque vocal harmonies at 3:14. Sweet. (Connect with the Jangle Band on their Facebook page by clicking here.)
We’re thrilled to be bringing you these worldwide radio premieres! Enjoy both of these great songs, and look out for more from the artists. The release of Brandon Schott’s Crayons and Angels is imminent; the Jangle Band’s “Love You Too” is slated for release later this year.
Alan Haber’s Pure Pop Radio is the original 24-hour-a-day Internet radio station playing the greatest melodic pop music from the ’60s through today. Featuring the great heritage bands, such as the Beatles and the Beach Boys, and contemporary artists carrying on the melodic tradition, from the Legal Matters and Bill Lloyd to Cloud Eleven, Jamie & Steve and Dana Countryman, the station is supported by a comprehensive website featuring station updates, reviews and articles touching on the wonders of melody, harmony and downright catchy songs.
Welcome to day three of Pure Pop Radio’s New Music Explosion! We hope you’ve been enjoying the new songs and artists we’ve been adding this week to our playlist. It’s time to unveil another list of newly added treasures now spinning in rotation. Without further ado, let’s see what’s in store today! We know you’re going to say…”Wow!”
The Jangle Band | “Kill the Lovers” and “This Soul is Not For Sale” They were initially called the Jangle Brothers and were formed to play a couple of gigs this past April in Perth, Australia. That was supposed to be the long and the short of it. And then, fate intervened: the Jangle Brothers suddenly became the Jangle Band, a jangly and poppy and bright and shiny and catchy real live thing, with not one but two sets of members spread across both sides of Australia. It’s a story, alright, which we can get around to at a later date. For now, though, all you need to know is the debut single from the band, coupling a pair of tracks with a whole lot of jangle on their minds, is nothing less than the two greatest Byrds songs the Byrds never wrote or performed. Plus, it is one of the top releases of this year. Pure Pop Radio favorite Joe Algeri is one of the janglers present; you probably need not know more than that. Both songs are now playing in rotation. In a word…well, a made-up word: jangle-riffic. Killer.
Zombie Garden Club | Zombie Garden Club Surprise! It’s another heavy hitting slab of genius rock ‘n’ pop ‘n’ roll from Bongo Boy Records–another killer, in-your-face, slamming, aching, take-no-prisoners kind of album full of vim, vigor, vitamins and God knows what else. And speaking of “what else”… holy cow…this is something else…entirely something else and fresh and free and you’d better get out of the way, kids, if you know what’s good for you! Chief Clubber Johnny Douglas, from Canada and now making musical hay in Nashville, is a breath of cool, fresh air on an album sporting dynamically sounding tracks embodying different styles that thrill, many of which have been used on television shows like Showtime’s Shameless. There’s gold in these hills, folks. We’re spinning six cool numbers as a sneak preview of the upcoming release, including the jazz-pop of “Diamond Daze,” “Call It Love,” “One Step, Two Steps, Three Steps Gone,” “Boom,” “Hey Little School Girl,” and the lovely, anthemic “Calling Andromeda.” Killer diller.
Gary Frenay | File Under Pop Vocal The award for Truest Album Title of 2015 goes, without hesitation, to the Flashcubes’ Gary Frenay, whose solo collection of ultra-catchy pop songs is one of the pure pop delights of the year. Nothing less than a master class in melody and hooks, the album features famous guests playing along, from Gary’s son, Nick, and Maura and Pete Kennedy to Marshall Crenshaw and Flashcubes Arty Lenin and Tommy Allen, who also produced and mixed. From the opener, a made-for-radio, should-be-zooming-up-the-charts-with-a-bullet charmer, “Blue Topaz,” to “Luckiest Man,” a gorgeous love song that will melt your heart, this is the kind of album that melodic pop music fans will cherish. We’re playing eight songs in rotation, all top-notch numbers: the previously mentioned tracks, and “Forgot How Good Love Feels,” “Our Eyes Have Voices,” “It’s Like Heaven” (all Beach Boys-y, with George Harrison-esque slide guitar–a Brian Wilson co-write), “We Could Be Brothers,” “You’re Only Hurting Yourself,” and “Everything But Love.” The answer to the question, “Do you have any albums that will demonstrate what it is you love about pop music?”, is “Gary Frenay’s File Under Pop Vocal.”
Luzer | Come On Mandy EP, Fake Ass Rock Star EP, Greatest Hits, and Reset If Pure Pop Radio had an all-star team, Timmy Sean would be head something-or-other. He’d be right there on the front lines, for sure. Timmy’s current project, Songs of the Week, offers up a new recording of a past release of his or a new song, even. Studio and live. Before Songs of the Week, there was Timmy’s solo career and, before that, the band Luzer. Luzer’s music is somewhat harder edged than Timmy’s current output, but no less tuneful or wonderful. We’ve cherry-picked some choice nuggets from Luzer’s catalog, all of which are now spinning in rotation. From the Come On Mandy EP, we’re playing the title track (which appeared in a different version back in January as part of the Songs of the Week project) and the poppy, upbeat “Give Me a Sign.” From the Fake Ass Rock Star EP: the synth-soaked popper “Send Me a Photograph” and the not-quite-a-power-ballad “Eighteen.” We’re playing the acoustic ballad “In the End (The Acoustic Song)” from Greatest Hits. And from Reset, we’re playing the rocking popper “I Want You to Know,” the upbeat pop song “When She Cries,” and “Hey Jodie,” revived for the Songs of the Week project. Pure Pop Radio, we guess, is the official Timmy Sean radio station, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
Willie Wisely | Cassettarcana Comprising four-track recordings made from 1982 onwards, Cassettarcana is a must-have for Wisely aficionados, a group of like-minded folks we are absolutely comfortable hobnobbing about with. We’re spinning four wonderful tracks: “Real,” the cowboy-folk-blueser “Glued for Breakin’,” “Mule,” and “Two Charcoal Hearts,” a great song that appeared on Willie’s 1997 album, Turbosherbert. Simply wonderful.
Finchey | MurmurationsRobbie Burley is a little bit folk, a singer-songwriter, a popster–one of those guys who stirs the influences pot and comes out with a finely-tuned mix that purposefully reflects his own musical outlook. Producer Dave Ody (Mothboxer) gets the best out of Burley, who’s already got the goods, you should know. Performed with gusto by Burley, Ody and Pat Davidson, the songs on Murmurations are catchy nuggets, carefully constructed and quite simply fantastic. We’re playing, in rotation, seven songs from this album: the toe-tapper “Devil Put a Spell on You,” and “She Loves Me,” “Must Have Been an Omen,” “Snowed Last Night,” “Warrior,” “Eyes Closed,” and “Red Robin,” the last of which is a mighty pretty number, with gorgeous background vocals and majestic atmosphere. Quite grand, all of it.
Strangely Alright | “I See the Sun” We were first hipped to the music of Regan Lane back in 2004, when we got hold of his solo album, ICU in Dandylions. These days, Regan is behind the group Strangely Alright; we’ve been playing tracks from their album, The Time Machine is Broken; their new song is a marathon pop-rock-gospel number, immensely catchy and fine as fine can be. “I See the Sun” is now playing in rotation.
Tommy Sistak | “You Can Have Your Way With Me” In the same groovy pure pop/sixties/seventies/Merseybeat/catchy-as-all-get-out bag as the songs we’re playing from Tommy’s Short Songs album, “You Can Have Your Way With Me” is instantly memorable…one of those songs you’ll not be surprised to be singing to yourself at three o’clock in the morning. Now playing in rotation, naturally.
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That’s a wrap on day three of Pure Pop Radio’s New Music Explosion. We’ll be back tomorrow with yet another list of great songs and artists newly-added to our playlist. Stick with us…the best is yet to come!