New on Pure Pop Radio 9.6.16

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Spins and Reviews | 9.6.16 | by Alan Haber

peter lacey seaside hideawayPeter Lacey | “Seaside Hideaway” Single
Hot on the heels of his latest album, New Way Lane, released this past May, the British pop troubadour releases a jolly summer single with the ska-riffic title track the top drawer. Short and sweet and happy to make your acquaintance, it’s joined by the gentle reggae rhythms-meet-Beach Boys song “Sea Quester Bay”; you can just imagine the comforting winds swaying around you. Lovely to have more melodic Lacey to comfort our souls during these last, warm days of September.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio.
black box Where to Get It: 

twice rhymesundial symphony todaySundial Symphony | “Merri Goes Round,” “Today is Just Like You,” and “Looking for Sunsets (In the Early Morning)”
Cheery bubblegum pop seems to be in rather short supply these days, so thank yous all around to pop’s all-purpose friend Robbie Rist and Don Frankel, who comprise the dynamic duo Sundial Symphony. All three songs could have been waxed by Ron Dante and the Archies (this is quite possibly already happening in an alternate, chewy universe). Kudos to Paul Levinson, who wrote “Today is Just Like You” solo and “Looking for Sunsets (In the Early Morning)” and “Merri Goes Round” with Ed Fox, for these melodic wonders. As a special bonus, we’re playing the slightly less-than-chewy original versions of “Today” and “Looking,” taken from Paul’s 1972 album, Twice Upon a Rhyme. Sweet.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: “Merri Goes Round,” “Today is Just Like You” (Sundial Symphony and original 1972 versions), and “Looking for Sunsets (In the Early Morning)” (Sundial Symphony and original 1972 versions).
black box Where to Get It: iTunes

duggy degs ep coverDuggy Degs | Another Good Thought Brighton, England musician Duggy Degs marries melody to thought on these expressive numbers, with the upbeat title track quite catchy and bathed in brightly experimental shadings. “Bringing the Family Home” is a sixties-sounding balladic, orchestrated composition, jazzy in spots. Heavier still, “Meltdown” rocks determinedly as if Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson were on board with his magic flute. Top notch.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: “Bringing the Family Home,” “Meltdown,” and the title song.
black box Where to Get It: from September 15

the recreations smile againThe Recreations | “Smile Again” For his second appearance on Pure Pop Radio, and all the way from Tokyo, Japan, comes pop visionary Yohei with another unique stretch of pop real estate, this time covering the circumference of a meeting-of-the-minds between sixties pop melody and contemporary vocal stylings. Plus a bit of alt-esque shading.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio.

the big believe pay for soupThe Big Believe | “Pay for Soup” Amanda Thompson, readying a Big Believe album for release in the upcoming fall, offers up a catchy summer kind of song, a light and airy number with a sweet vocal and a hooky chorus. This may well be my favorite Amanda song yet. It may well be yours, too.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio.

More tomorrow.

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New Tunes for Pure Pop Radio’s Swinging New Music Dance Party | 8.5.16

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Swinging Spins and Reviews | 8.5.16 | by Alan Haber

We fold up our well-worn dance floor as our Swinging New Music Dance Party comes to a close. We hope you enjoyed all of the new music we’ve added to our playlist, all of it now spinning in rotation.

In case you missed the reviews we posted this week, you can read them all below. They’re preceded by a new review of a terrific new compilation, the Mahoney Brothers’ Rarities Vol. 1, put together with heart and soul by one of our favorite singer/songwriter/performers, Timmy Sean.

Have a great weekend, and we’ll see you back here next week, with a big Tuesday announcement you won’t want to miss!

the mahoney brothersThe Mahoney Brothers | Rarities Vol. 1
Meet Timmy Sean, one of the hardest working folks in show business, what with his duties at the heart of Sir Video, Timmy Sean and the Celebrities, and his Noisewater Records imprint. Speaking of which, this fun and tuneful compilation is just out and, what, you haven’t been acquainted with the Mahoney Brothers? Let me make some introductions: The Mahoney Brothers stars Timmy’s father and his father’s two brothers, with around 30 other members in the lineup at one time or another. They’ve been performing their Beatles tribute show since 1977; a show called Jukebox Heroes Live!, which presents tributes to a wide variety of artists including Buddy Holly, the Beach Boys and Elvis Presley, has been around since the late 1980s.

Where does Timmy fit into all of this? When he was domiciled on the east coast, he performed full time in Jukebox Heroes Live! and every so often filled in as “Ringo” in the Beatles show. When Timmy moved to the left coast, Pure Pop Radio favorite Nick Bertling settled into the drum chair for Jukebox shows, but then he moved and…

It’s a tale of first class entertainment that has now been commemorated by this Rarities Vol. 1 collection, which mixes original songs and choice covers. It’s a great way to get a solid overview of what the Mahoney Brothers do. I dig it big time, especially the fantastic cover of the Beach Boys’ “Don’t Worry Baby,” which puts deep harmony stacks in the spotlight–really, all of the vocals are peerless and the cover is lovely.

Also rocking your stereo are solid covers of a trio of Beatles tunes: “Boys,” all fierce and pounding and, thanks to a recent remix, filling the room with crystal clear thrills; “I’ll Get You,” played live in 2003 in South Bend, Indiana, oh yeah; and “Strawberry Fields Forever,” performed live in Atlantic City in 2004 to an adoring audience that gets every nuance, beautifully and lovingly performed by the Brothers. And there’s more, of course–much more and you will love it all like I do.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: “Someday,” “Boys,” “Too Late for Love,” “Strawberry Fields Forever,” “Don’t Worry Baby,” and “I’ll Get You.”
black box When and Where to Get It: Bandcamp

And now, in case you missed our other reviews of new music being added to the Pure Pop Radio playlist during this week’s exciting Swinging New Music Dance Party, here they are–19 in total, all great releases you can hear in rotation on our air and in your homes:

vanilla be not coy coverVanilla | “Be Not Coy”
A Pure Pop Radio Thursday Exclusive 
Robert Herrick, born in 1591 and never married, was a vicar and a poet whose gaze was trained, for the most part, on themes that were pastoral in nature. One of his works, a short poem entitled To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time, was partial inspiration for Jayson Jarmon’s potent song.

Herrick’s poem offers sage advice that has been passed down through the ages and is as valuable and wise today as it ever was: “Gather ye rosebuds while ye may.” Don’t let opportunity pass you by; grab the brass ring before somebody else does. Reap the rewards that life offers to you while you can.

Struck by Herrick’s words and by his meaning, and by the barrage of music industry passings this year, Jayson set about writing this song, which arrived fully formed, words and music and sentiment. “I was reflecting on all of the losses in the music business thus far this year,” he says. “A lot of the great ones have passed and every week in 2016 seems like a new wave of sad news washing up on the beach.

vanilla be not coy photo 1vanilla be not coy photo 2“So I found myself out in the desert a while back in southern California at the Joshua Tree Inn, where Gram Parsons died…decades ago.” And then, seemingly in a flash, with sadness for the fallen and inspiration afoot, “Be Not Coy” came into being, initially as an acoustic guitar take and then as a fully-formed track, fleshed out by Jayson’s band members.

The title of this song comes from a line in Herrick’s poem: “Then be not coy, but use your time…” According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, coy can mean shy, which in this case is apropos and appropriate, for shyness, practiced at the crossroads where decisions call for brisk and brave action, hardly has any place. Or shouldn’t.

So Jayson’s song, affecting and hopeful, proffers its message while dressed in folk-poppy clothes, with Eric Robert’s Hammond B3 and Sean Gaffney’s lyrical electric guitar providing powerful accents along the way. And the seductive melody, ultimately joyous and hopeful, is a panacea for people who maybe can’t take charge of a situation and commit to gathering the rosebuds placed before them.

“Be Not Coy” provides a nice counterpoint to Vanilla’s other songs. The direction the band takes when crafting new tracks, building surprises and stylistic detours into each one, is a large part of what makes the songs so attractive. Being coy, or simply unable to embrace such artistry, never comes into the mix when listeners are presented with one of Vanilla’s new creations. This one, like all the others, and perhaps even more so than some of the others, is a joyous listening experience, and it’s playing here on Pure Pop Radio as a Thursday Exclusive, and then into the future. Be not coy…and get it for your own tomorrow.
black box Playing exclusively today on Pure Pop Radio, and tomorrow and into the future in rotation.
black box When and Where to Get It: Bandcamp

erik voeks reasons your conditionErik Voeks | “Your Condition” b/w “Reasons”
The August entry in Erik’s current run of single releases is another standout double a-side, this time pairing “Your Condition,” a Big Star (with a smattering of Rolling Stones sauce sprinkled on top) homage with “Reasons,” a pretty ballad about sealing one’s fate as far as the pearly gates are concerned (“You’ve been around this cloud one too many times/And the elevator man’s resigned”). Erik handled all the instrument playing and singing, except for the drumming and percussion thumping, which were handled expertly by Patrick Hawley. The run of hits after hits after still more hits continues.
black box Now playing on Pure Pop Radio: “Your Condition” and “Reasons”
black box Where to Get It: Bandcamp

Tthe bangleshe Bangles | Ladies and Gentlemen… The Bangles!
As it’s the heart of baseball season, I see no reason to hold back on the oft-used phrase: Omnivore Records’ collection of Bangles vault rarities from the 1980s is an explosive out-of-the-park home run. From early recordings of the group as the Bangs to demos, live tracks and other rarities, this is a Bangles fan’s early Christmas present, previously available only as a download. All killer and no filler, indeed.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: “Getting Out of Hand” (The Bangs), “Call on Me” (The Bangs), “The Real World,” “I’m in Line,” “Mary Street,” “Outside Chance,” “No Mag Commercial.”
black box Where to Get It: Amazon

champagne beach closedChampagne | Beach Closed
The follow-up to 2005’s ready, steady, go! finds Spain’s pop quartet delivering another top-flight collection of melodic gems, from the upbeat popper “Where is Barbara Ann?,” the beginning of which recalls the opening to the Wonders’ “That Thing You Do,” to the gentle ballad “Hawaii” and the upbeat, catchy “Plastic Feelings.” A fun listen.
Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: “It’s Alright,” “Where is Barbara Ann?,” “Welcome to the World,” “Plastic Feelings,” and “Hawaii.”
black box Where to Get It: Bandcamp

freeholm wilsonFreeholm Wilson | Children of June
London one-man-bander Wilson straddles the line between retro and contemporary with this debut album, a mix of upbeat and ballad numbers always stressing melody and hooks. Among the top tracks here are the powerful “Run Back to Me,” that somehow, to me, evokes the Rooftop Singers’ “Walk Right In,” and the harmonica-ized, hint-of-Americana instrumental “Shelly’s Colours.” A plethora of pleasures, to be sure.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: “Be There,” “State Lines,” “Shelly’s Colours,” “Run Back to Me,” and “Long Way Home.”
black box Where to Get It: Bandcamp

tobbe and the teenage tantrums smallTobbe and His Teenage Tantrums | “Don’t”
The Theme Music conclave on Facebook continues to provide Tobbe Petersson, Keith Klingensmith and crew with golden opportunities to record classic-sounding melodic pop songs; this sweet, very ’60s-sounding tune, written by Torbjorn “Tobbe” Petersson, sung by Keith, and played by Tobbe (guitars, keyboards, background vocals), Lee Wiggins (drums, percussion), and Teresa Cowles (bass and background vocals) is the latest. If there’s a best-kept-but-not-really-so-secret weapon in pop music, it’s got to be Tobbe. Essential, as usual.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio.
black box Where to Get It: Not currently available for purchase.

dirty watertony valentino 5Tony ‘n’ the Recruiters | “Dirty Water”
The Standells’ classic “Dirty Water” sizzled into the number 11 spot on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart in July of 1966. It’s still sizzling today, this story of dirty water and curfews and women and, yes, Boston, spoken/sung/snarled by Dick Dodd over one of the great, meaty, down-and-dirty guitar riffs of all time. Guitarist Tony Valentino is still at it–still spreading the dirty gospel by playing the song live and by waxing a brand-new recording of it that sizzles like the original so a whole new generation and older fans, too, can get down and dirty with it in the context of today’s skewed world. This new version, produced by Tony and sung with pumped up passion by Steve Loizos, is lit up at a faster pace, chugging through the last measure of the chorus with a thrilling, ascending chord pattern, and it’s all to get the pressure rising, which it does and which it should. This track won’t calm anyone down, but it’s not supposed to. Take a bow, Tony; we’ll all wade through that dirty water with you anytime.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio.
black box Connect with Tony Valentino on Facebook 

bent van looy pyjama daysBent Van Looy | Pyjama Days
Bent Van Looy, based in Paris, France and a member of the band Das Pop, released his first solo album, Round the Bend, produced by Jason Falkner, in 2013. This top-notch follow-up, released this past March, is a lovely collection of sweet-sounding catchy melodies sung with assured style. Every song sparkles; every song will make you smile, from the upbeat pop number “My Escape,” beautifully arranged with little Beach Boys vocal flourishes weaved in; “Mr. Fletcher’s Song,” a melodic mid-tempo ballad that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Randy Newman album, and the sumptuous title track, a three-minute genius construct, nicely orchestrated and adorned with a smile-inducing whistle. The next time a friend asks what’s new–what’s good–you can point to this artist, to this album, and tell them it’s not just good…it’s great.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: “30 Days Without Sun,” “1000 Deaths,” “Downtown Train,” “High and Dry,” “Mr. Fletcher’s Song,” “My Escape,” “Pyjama Days,” “Sink or Swim,” and “Wind is Blowing.”
black box Where to Get It: Bandcamp

drums and wires uk 2drums and wires ukDrums and Wires UK | “All the Things” and “I Should Have Known”
Ex-Squire bassist Jonathan Bicknell’s current project will be releasing, later this year, a concept album titled Ups, Downs and Merry Go Rounds,  which concerns itself with the trials and tribulations of life. Until then, we have this smashing single pairing a couple of power popping classics. Performed with gusto and infused with strong melodies and passionate playing, I’m sufficiently jazzed for the album’s arrival.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio.
black box Where to Get It: iTunes

corey landis therapy dogCorey Landis | Therapy Dog
The precursor to Corey Landis and the Attacks, added to our playlist this past Wednesday, is a different beast all around, but no less vital. More of a personal approach informs these songs, three of which are now playing in rotation: the emotional waltz “Poltergeist,” the equally emotional title  track, and the punchy, quirky “Airport.” Corey Landis is one of my favorite, recent discoveries.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: “Poltergeist,” “Therapy Dog,” and “Airport.”
black box Where to Get It: Bandcamp

the del zorros yes i want youThe Del Zorros | “Yes I Want You (We’re Gonna be Married)”
Lance and Leigh Bowser’s latest is a sweet, pretty paean to love, love, love. It’s the same old story with the Del Zorros–infectious melodies, top-flight songcraft, and the ability to push the right, catchy buttons each and every time. Why, oh why, can’t these guys release a new song every day, ’cause that would suit me just fine.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio.
black box Where to Get It: CD Baby

the recreationsThe Recreations | “Swing Together”
Update: My pal Scott McPherson (Tiny Volcano, Pop 4, McPherson Grant) turned me on to this amazing track, and I reviewed it in early May. I’d like to echo and expand on my earlier rave: Fronted by pop visionary Yohei, this is a vital mix of soft pop, Burt Bacharach, Jellyfish, swing and jazz that comes together as a wholly unique creation you will never forget. A true kitchen-sink production. You’ll be singing this one to yourself for a month after hearing it. From Tokyo to your waiting ears.
Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio.
black box Where to Listen to It (Other than Pure Pop Radio):
Soundcloud (This song is not yet available for purchase.)

TYIFinal2Nick Piunti | “One Hit Wonder” (from the forthcoming album, Trust Your Instincts)
Michigan musician Piunti hits all the melodic marks with this catchy slice of pop perfection, a three-minute pearl of a tune pairing a sweet, catchy melody with an introspective lyric about trying to make it big in the music business. Piunti was a smart, thoughtful lyricist from the start of his career; the words that power this song’s message are among his best. “Burned out, before it began/If it was destined to be then we stuck to the plan,” he sings at the top of the tune, the second half of the couplet particularly telling and dripping with foreshadowed insight. “Over our heads, it was out of our hands, it was gone.” Yet, the song’s narrator doesn’t clue the listener in on where he is in the present tense. Did he carry on with trying to tackle the top of the chart despite his downbeat experience, or did he switch career paths? It’s all quite the cautionary tale and interesting given the upward trajectory of Piunti’s career and his acceptance by fans in the pop community. From the soon-to-be-released album Trust Your Instincts, Piunti’s third solo long player, “One Hit Wonder” is fantabulous.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio.
black box Where to Get It: Trust Your Instincts is due to be released on JEM Records on September 9.

mimi bettinis music soundsMimi Betinis | Music Sounds
An incredible, vivid, quite alive offering of melodic treasures populates this glorious album, without question one of this year’s best releases. Every song is a wonderfully realized pop confection, particularly three that hit the hooky bullseye: “Say the Word,” “She Wants You,” which surreptitiously recalls the famed intro to the Ronettes’ “Be My Baby” in the intro, and “Summer Love,” a warm love letter and look back to a seasonal romance (that, perhaps unknowingly, taps the sound of 10cc member Eric Stewart’s guitar playing in the solo). A pure pop masterpiece that will spin in your orbit for years to come.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: “Corrina,” “Listen to Me Boy,” “Palm of Her Hand,” “Say the Word,” “She Wants You,” “Sound the Alarm,” “Summer Love,” and “This Girl.”
black box Where to Get It: The Pop Music Sounds Store

brandon schott revisitedBrandon Schott | (Revisited)
Another monumental release from this California wonder, whose eyes and ears are fixed on his next proper record, the follow-up to the impressive Crayons and Angels, this generous sampler aims to offer fans something to ponder while they wait for their next Schott of classic pop. They’ll be busy, to be sure; this magical mélange of outtakes, remixes, b-sides and the like contains 14 strong slices of peerless pop. The stripped-down, poppy version of “Simple Life,” a track off the Golden State album, is one such nugget; the inspired take on the Beach Boys’ “God Only Knows,” complete with tabla and sitar for a decidedly world music feel, and the amazing “Yellow Bird,” a gushingly pretty charity single from 2011 sung with and co-written by Brandon’s friend Amy Petty, also lead this impressive pack, but “Full Circle Round (Acoustic Mix #13),” a previously unheard version of a song from 13 Satellites, spotlights some particularly winsome Beach Boys harmony wizardry and garners its own huzzahs. Peerless, really.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: “Now,” “Carousel (Revisited),” “God Only Know,” “Simple Life,” “Ballad of El Goodo,” “Full Circle Round (Acoustic Mix #13),” “Delight,” “Yellow Bird,” and “Strawberry Fields Forever.”
black box Where to Get It: Bandcamp

the armoiresThe Armoires | Incidental Lightshow
Coloring their comfortably eclectic sound with aural swatches of English folk and psychedelia and American pop and rock, the Armoires hit upon a decidedly different presentation that is at once surprising and wholly absorbing. Witness the mystic wash of the folk-poppy “Wire Girl,” which, in a ghostlike manner, recalls the opening to Chicago’s “Wishing You Were Here,” the psych-fueled, engrossing rocker “Doubtful Sound,” and “Live and Direct,” a folk-rocker that shares sensibilities with the English group Ruby Blue. The band’s story is multilayered and deep (see link); the music that they make is deeply satisfying.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: “Double Blades,” “Doubtful Sound,” “Fort Ashby,” “Live and Direct,” and “Wire Girl.”
black box Where to Get It: CDBaby

the melbourne divideVarious Artists | The Melbourne Divide
A fine sampler released to commemorate a showcase for the Popboomerang record label during the Leaps and Bounds Music Festival, held July 9 at the Yarra Hotel in Abbotsford, a suburb of Melbourne, Australia. Compiled by Popboomerang’s chief Scott Thurling, one of the great champions of Australian pop music, this eight-song grouping collects nine superb songs from two guitar-pop bands from the ’90s, Oscarlima and Jericho, and an otherwise-unavailable (as of this writing) song from the Wellingtons, among other pearls. With melody at the core of these offerings, pop fans can’t go wrong with this disc, available for as little as zero dollars (see link for details).
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: Oscarlima, “Penny Dreadful”; The Wellingtons, “The End of the Summer”; Bryan Estepa and the Tempe Two, “Object of My Disaffection”; Tim Reid, “Small Black Box”; Adrian Whitehead, “Spector’s Dead; and Danny McDonald, “The Melbourne Divide.”
black box Where to Get It: Bandcamp

the cherry bluestorms see no evilThe Cherry Bluestorms | “See No Evil” and “Dear Prudence”
A hard-charging pop-rocker with a great hook, driven by a strong drum track and Deborah Gee’s Chrissie Hynde-timbered  vocal, pairs up with a moody, psych-infused version of the Beatles’ “Dear Prudence” on a vinyl single that offers up a download card and a skewed Beatles A Hard Day’s Night/Brady Bunch-styled picture sleeve. Essential.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio.
black box Where to Get It: The Cherry Bluestorms’ website.

VistavieChardRy | “Les Femmes Sont Courbes” and “Vis Ta Vie”
French singer ChardRy, also known as Richard Verlan, delivers a delicate, orchestrated ballad (“Les Femmes Sont Courbes”) and a catchy, medium-tempo pop song (“Vis Ta Vie”) to great effect, both perfect for the wide-ranging playlist brought to you 24 hours a day by Pure Pop Radio.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio.
black box Connect with ChardRy on Facebook

alan-mic-zeeAlan Haber’s Pure Pop Radio is the original 24-hour Internet radio station playing the greatest melodic pop music from the ’60s to today. From the Beatles to the Monkees, the Posies, McPherson Grant, the Connection and the New Trocaderos, we play the hits and a whole lot more. Tune in by clicking on one of the listen links below.

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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

We’re Groovin’ to the Tunes on a Wednesday! It’s Day Two of Pure Pop Radio’s Four-Day New Music Songfest!

alan-mic-zIt’s a good day–a very good day–that fills your heart with lovely melodic sounds from today’s top melodic pop artists. That day–that very good day– is today…day two of Pure Pop Radio’s Four-Day New Music Songfest.

What do we have on tap for you today? Which new songs and artists are we tapping our feet to? Following on from yesterday’s mix of the Monkees, Mark Lindsay and Susan Cowsill, the Posies, McPherson/Grant, Joe Giddings, Sundown, Hector and the Leaves, and Matt Duncan, we’re posied…uh, poised to serve up another rundown of great music we’re now playing in rotation on the air.

Here we go. We lead off with a couple of releases that will be hogging our air time and nestling comfortably in your CD players and on your turntables…

explorers clubThe Explorers Club | Together Aspiring harmony singers, here is your virtual textbook, a collection of songs imbued with the spirit of the best of the Beach Boys, the Four Freshman, the Association and other time-honored practitioners of the art. Here are songs that are beautiful and beautifully sung, lovely and lovelier still.

Jason Brewer, Wyatt Funderburk, Paul Runyon,  Kyle Polk and Mike Williamson are the right people in the right place at just the right time, serving up delicious melodic constructs that are as soulful as they are true. From the southern California harmony- and sun-soaked sound of “California’s Callin’ Ya” to the Four Freshmen-meets-“Graduation Day”-by-way-of-Les Paul ballad “Perfect Day,” Together invites listeners to bathe in the beauty of harmony-filled dreams.

We’re playing all of the following songs in rotation: “”California’s Callin’ Ya,” “Once in a While,” “Be Around,” “Gold Winds,” “Perfect Day,” “Quietly,” “My Friend,” “No Strings Attached,” “Don’t Waster Her Time,” and “Before I’m Gone,” the album’s penultimate number that sings a sweet a cappella close. Delicious.

winterpills love songsView More: | Love Songs We’ve been playing this Massachusetts band’s seventh album over and over for days on end, living with the songs’ emotions and sensibilities as if they were our own. These songs get under your skin; they become you in some celestial kind of way. You are frankly powerless to regress from their charms.

These songs function on many different levels, even as they share a single attribute that defines them as part of a whole: the vocals of songwriter Philip Price and his wife, guitarist and keyboard player Flora Reed, are the glue that holds these proceedings together–the glue that gives them life. Consider “Wanderer White,” a rolling, rhythmic song about a fall from grace, in which Philip takes the lower notes and Flora the higher ones. Or “Freeze Your Light,” which starts off as if in church with a slight, ghostly choral singsong and becomes a folk-into-pop number with a delectable chorus buoyed by the same low-and-high vocals.

The poppy bopper and should-be-hit-bound “Celia Johnson” turns the tables with Philip initially taking the high vocal part and Flora following closely. A trumpet and coronet serenade add to the song’s beauty; a lovely, echoed piano part comes in for a beautiful coda. The album closer, the gospel-tinged ballad “It Will All Come Back to You, with appropriate harmony vocal stacks and a tender trumpet solo, is all manner of charm and emotion–even when it amps up the pace and volume towards the end.

The album package is a marvel of grace and intelligent design, with its highly striking cover and Edward Gorey-styled illustration in the foldout of the digipak. And in these days of streaming and downloads overtaking physical media as the music delivery method of choice for so many, a striking package is something to behold and treasure.

Winterpills’ Love Songs is so good, we’ve added six songs to our playlist: “A New England Deluge,” “Bringing Down the Body Count,” “Freeze Your Light,” “It Will All Come Back to You,” “Wanderer White,” and the catchy and hit worthy “Celia Johnson.” This album is a keeper and will be for years to come.

peter lacey new way lanePeter Lacey | “Jonny and the Aspirations” This lively, horn-shaded, Stax-ian rumination on the price of success, or lack thereof, in the music business marks a new chapter in the evolution of Peter Lacey the recording artist. With nary a Beach Boys or folk nod within earshot, “Jonny and the Aspirations” wouldn’t have sounded out of place following Elton John’s “Bennie and the Jets” on Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. Peter’s new album, New Way Lane, is only days away; we can’t wait to hear what that album has in store for our, and your, ears. Now playing in rotation, naturally.

gretchen's wheel coverGretchen’s Wheel | Behind the Curtain Nashville-based Lindsay Murray’s second project as Gretchen’s Wheel is a meaty, inspired collection of songs imbued with powerful emotion. Sounding like a musical cousin to Aimee Mann, Lindsay sings with conviction and spirit on songs like the poppy, mid-tempo ballad “The Good Things” and the waiting-to-be-a-hit-single smash, “Try to Make It.” Catchy melodies and intelligent songwriting abound. We’re playing six songs in rotation: “Invisible Thief,” “Younger Every Year,” “The Good Things,” “Live Through You,” “Vapors,” and “Try to Make It.” Good going, Lindsay.

nerf herder rockinghamNerf Herder | Rockingham Geek rockers Parry Gripp, Steve Sherlock, Linus of Hollywood and Ben Pringle take no prisoners with their fifth album, full of in-your-face pop-punk, most of which is not aimed squarely at our rather less-than-punky playlist. Nevertheless, we’ve added three groovy songs punctuated with pop culture references and a whole lot of fun: “The Girl Who Listened to Rush,” “Allie Goertz,” and “We Opened for Weezer.”

tin toy carsTin Toy Cars | Falling, Rust and Bones And now for something sorta, kinda totally different from the usual Pure Pop Radio fare: a mandolin-fronted, pop-washed Americana band from Las Vegas. The band’s website makes its brief clear: “With mandolin, violin, banjo, guitar and upright bass, one might expect bluegrass or something with an old time slant, but add the compositional drumming of Aaron Guidry (Cirque du Soleil), and a songwriting approach more in line with Paul Simon than Bill Monroe, and a new image begins to emerge.” Indeed. The songs we’re playing in rotation–“Not for Nothing,” “Addicted to You,” “Desert Dogs,” and “Down on the Bowery” (a gypsy-folk bopper sounding like an otherworldly Roches)–are your entree to this band’s enticing, inviting sound. We dig it.

tobbe keith artTorbjorn Petersson and Keith Klingensmith | “Open Up Your Eyes” Indie pop stalwarts Torbjorn Petersson and Keith Klingensmith, the latter a member of the much-loved Legal Matters, turn in a delicious cover of a song by Stereo Tiger. If you look up the word “catchy” in the dictionary, this song will undoubtedly play. Harmonies, melody, and top-flight vocals propel this one into your hearts. Now playing in rotation.

laurie biaginiLaurie Biagini | “Stranger in the Mirror” This welcome return to recording finds this Vancouver, British Columbia popster in top form, delivering an infectious shuffle of a tune centered around a strong, catchy melody. Business as usual, as it turns out. Glorious.

strangely alright shake itStrangely Alright | “Shake It” Regan Lane and crew shake the floorboards with this propulsive, beat-driven pop-rocker. Electric guitars blaze and strong, committed vocals carry the melody along. There is enough energy in this recording to power Las Vegas on a really hot day. Nice.

the recreationsThe Recreations | “Swing Together” Thanks to Pop 4’s Scott McPherson for hipping us to this inventive slice of pure pop from Tokyo’s the Recreations. Fronted by pop visionary Yohei, this is a vital mix of soft pop, Burt Bacharach, Jellyfish, swing and jazz that comes together as a wholly unique creation you will never forget. More to come, but for now this one’s in rotation. Enjoy.

adam walsh 2Adam Walsh | “Calico Skies” Here we go again: another fantastic cover from the immensely talented Adam Walsh, whose taste in music is eclipsed only by his own prowess. In Adam’s capable hands, Paul McCartney’s lovely “Calico Skies” gets a slightly sped-up reading, no less emotional than the original. Keep ’em coming, Adam.

preoccupied pipers maydayPreoccupied Pipers |”Mayday” We’ve said, many times, that KC Bowman, he of Pop 4, Agony Aunts, and the Corner Laughers, is the hardest working man in show business, because he’s also got this Preoccupied Pipers project through which he every-so-often releases such catchy nuggets as this uptempo pop-rocker, which clocks in at 1:47 (that’s minutes, not hours), which is Roger Miller territory, but this is not “King of the Road” or “England Swings,” so make of that what you will. In any case, you’ll love this kicker of a tune. Whew.

You might think we’ve run out of gas for today, but we haven’t. We’ve got to stop somewhere and leave some nuggets for tomorrow. So, tomorrow, we will have another run of reviews of the latest songs added to our playlist. See you then!

alan-mic-zeeAlan Haber’s Pure Pop Radio is the original 24-hour Internet radio station playing the greatest melodic pop music from the ’60s to today. From the Beatles to the Monkees, the Posies, McPherson Grant, the Connection and the New Trocaderos, we play the hits and a whole lot more. Tune in by clicking on one of the listen links below.

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