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New on Pure Pop Radio 1-26-17 Starring Kelley Ryan, The Simple Carnival, and More

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Spins and Reviews | 1.26.17
Alan Haber – Pure Pop Radio

We continue to add new and new-to-you songs and artists to our playlist; hundreds have made their Pure Pop Radio debut in the last few weeks. Here are just some of the most recent treasures we’re playing in rotation, with lots more to come:

kelley ryan telescope Kelley Ryan | Telescope (2017)
astroPuppees veteran Ryan’s latest long player is a master class effort of melodic proportions. Her luscious compositions are carefully crafted, charming objects of desire that sneak up on you and calmly rock your world. Working with singer Marti Jones; Marti’s husband, veteran musician and producer Don Dixon, who plays bass; and drummer and percussionist Jim Brock, Ryan delivers her usual enticing mix of balladry and radio-friendly should-be-top-of-the-pops creations; “Real Gone Girl,” this album’s catchy, mid-tempo closer, feels like a hit to me, its enticing melody and lovely harmonies memorable and magical. The gentle “Pulling for Romeo,” from which this album gets its title (“You’re at the end of your rope/Don’t need a telescope…”) will make you wonder why all songs aren’t this pretty. What you won’t need to wonder about is how this album fits into the current melodic pop landscape, because I have the answer: It fits like a glove.

black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: “Cigarette,” “Crack in the Sky,” “Passing Through,” “Pulling for Romeo,” “Real Gone Girl,” “Save Me,” “Secret Life,” and “The Broken News”

black box Where to Get It: CD Baby, Amazon, iTunes

the simple carnival smittenThe Simple Carnival | Smitten (2017)
Jeff Boller, resolutely soft pop from head to toe, sang sweetly on his wonderful 2008 album Girls Aliens Food, a one-man-band effort released under the Simple Carnival nom de plume. Featuring the dreamy, first-class earworms “Caitlin’s on the Beach” and “You Jump First,” it followed the 2005 release Menlo Park, a mostly instrumental EP, and Sonic Rescue League Vol. 1, a collection of early odds and ends.

Smitten, Boller’s delicious new Simple Carnival offering, on which the artist is supported by drummer Chris Belin and a bevy of background vocalists, one of whom sings co-lead on the winsome “Lunch for Dinner,” is another winning collection of pretty, catchy songs with a decidedly Eric Carmen-esque air about them. “This is what happens when you are smitten,” Jeff sings during the title track. “This is what happens when you’re in love.” Expect nothing less. Lovely songs, all sporting gorgeous melodies, abound. (By the way, Boller is a filmmaker too, and an award-winning one at that. Read about Smitten 3D by clicking here.)

black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: “A Geek Like Me,” “Elizabeth’s House,” “Everything that Grownups Know,” “Go Away I Like You Too Much,” “Kiss Her You Dummy,” “Lunch for Dinner,” “Smitten,” “That Thing We Got,” and “The Problem with Friends”

black box Where to Get It: The Simple Carnival Shop, Amazon

vegas with randolph complicated 2016Vegas With Randolph | “Ain’t So Complicated” (2016)
One of our favorite bands returns with a typically catchy number about the power of love. The beat is infectious, easy going and breezy, and charming, as are all Vegas With Randolph tracks.

black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio

black box Where to Get It: Bandcamp

wilbur this is wilburWilbur | This is Wilbur (2016)

From Minneapolis, Minnesota comes this lovely four-song EP with a decidedly mid-1960s bent, sounding like a melodic meeting of the minds between the Cyrkle and the Left Banke, particularly on the upbeat, gentle raver “She’s Gone.” The folk-meets-baroque ballad “Perfect Stranger” is a particular highlight, sporting affecting, attractive harmonies and an entrancing melody. Well done.

black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: “This is Sunshine,” “Perfect Stranger,” “Miss Hardy,” and “She’s Gone”

black box Where to Get It: Bandcamp

nezrok strong loveNezrok | “Strong Love” (2017)

Chris Korzen, joined by top-flight musician pals Dennis Diken (The Smithereens), Chris Bolger, and Dave Amels, celebrates his 10th wedding anniversary with this happy mid-tempo testament to love. Cool song. We’re happy to help spread the good feelings.

black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio

black box Where to Get It: Bandcamp

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Wanna Hear Some New Music? We’ve Got Hundreds of New Songs for You to Hear! It’s Day Six of Pure Pop Radio’s New Music Explosion!

celebrationWelcome 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!

nine-lives

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.”

marthaThe 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-richardsChris 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-wellsTamas 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.”

aerialAerial | 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.

the-arrowJeffrey 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-mostThe 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.

light-years-epSir 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.”

simple-carnivalThe 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-kirschRandell 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!

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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

Week Two. Day One. It’s Another Selection of New Adds to the Pure Pop Radio playlist. Dig in!

Hundreds of newly-added songs are now airing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio, and we’ve only just begun. We’re anxious to tell you all about them, so let’s get right to it, shall we? Week two, day one begins…now!

Peter Lacey's Last LeafPeter Lacey – Last Leaf. Lacey’s latest, a song cycle that harkens back to the singer-songwriter’s folk roots, is a tremendous collection and without question one of the best albums released by any artist so far this year. Many miles away from the beach, Last Leaf plays its hand in the circles of everyday, country life: on patches of grass surrounded by sprouting trees, and by the water, on a calmly-stated lake. Lacey’s new songs are about the simpler, and more important, things in life; every element of this album is calm and soothing and powerful. Recorded with precision and heart, songs such as the beautiful “The Woodwind” and the astonishing instrumental “Seven Hills to Hangleton,” which paces itself carefully until a fiddle infused, percussive attack ends the song cold, are acoustic keepers. In addition to these two songs, we’ve added “Right as Rain,” “Harvest Moon,” “Fisherman,” “He is Sleeping,” and “Boy in the Rings of a Tree,” a particular favorite. We are proud to be featuring Lacey’s new songs that enter as a blessed whisper and move on in the manner of a sprite granting wishes to deserving souls. Best of the year material for sure.

The Tangerines' Turn on the LightThe Tangerines – Turn on the Light. An album packed with equal measures of delight and magic, Turn on the Light delights with no less than 16 catchy songs and as many merry melodies, all crafted with care and songwriting prowess. The Tangerines have put together a spirited group of songs laced with chiming guitars that practically demands repeat play. Honestly, we loved this album so much that we were happy to add all of its songs to the Pure Pop Radio playlist. The rundown: “Turn on the Light,” “It’s Alright,” “Once in a Lifetime,” “Girls’ Girls’ World,” “Sitting in the Greenhouse,” “She,” “She’s so Fluffy,” “Everyday a Drama,” “How Does it Feel,” “Don’t Get Lonely,” “Waiting at Her Door,” “Late,” “Heartbeat,” “Up the Country,” “Love You Still,” and “All Through the Years.” This is the Tangerines’ White Album and, not surprisingly, an instant classic. A whole lot of fun awaits you.

Identical SunsIdentical Suns – “Show Me a Sign” and “Common Ground.” We’ve added two more songs from Identical Suns, a band to watch and grow with. “Show Me a Sign” is a soulful number, kicking off with single voice and electric piano, adding harmonies, bass, drums and expressive electric guitar. “Common Ground” is an upbeat, harmony-rich summer song that features out-of-this-world background vocals from the Sonic Executive Sessions’ Christian Phillips. More pearls to come from this spirited group of music makers. We love the Identical Suns.

 

Also playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio this week, and new to the playlist:

* Cool King Chris – “You Can’t Stop It.” While we wait for the highly-anticipated, brand-new EP from this Pure Pop Radio favorite, who not long ago was featured with producer pal Jamie Hoover on Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation, we are able to bring you this musical pearl, produced by Jamie. The moral of this song’s story? Once a movement gathers enough steam, you can’t stop it. A timely lyric from a great singer-songwriter, now playing in rotation.

* The Simple Carnival – “The Problem with Friends.” We are longtime fans of the Simple Carnival. We always hope and pray that the Carnival (aka Pennsylvania’s own Jeff Boller, a most creative fellow) will record a new album of wonderful songs, but Jeff’s attention has lately been on creating 3D moving pictures. We’re happy as can be to be able to share this wonderful song, an easygoing, Bacharach-David-esque tune that even mentions 3D in its lyrics. We’re interested in anything Jeff does, so we hope for more at some point in time. Meanwhile, enjoy “The Problem with Friends.”

* Marc Platt – “I Can’t Hide”, “What a Life” and “Selling Crazy.” This top talent continues to write and record top-flight songs. We’ve got three of them for you: “I Can’t Hide” is a Byrdsian kind of tune, “What a Life” sounds like it was plucked from somewhere around 1966, and “Selling Crazy”? Yeah, about 1966 or so, too. Great stuff, now spinning in rotation on Pure Pop Radio. More to come, soon.

* Lauren O’Hara – Sol. We’ve got two songs from this intriguing EP now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: “No Remission,” a spirited, lovely acoustic song, topped off with a wonderful violin part; and a meaty tune, “Sunday Sun,” powered by our friend Joe Algeri’s drums, bass and organ. Joe also mixed this song and mastered the entire EP. Lauren O’Hara is definitely a talent to follow.

That’s it for today. More tomorrow, of course, and through this second week of our exclusive melodic pop songs explosion. Ka-boom, indeed!

 

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