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.
Weekly adds of new and new-to-you pop music keep our melody-infused engine running at peak power. Why, in just the past few weeks, we’ve made Pure Pop Radio a groovier place to hang out with instant classics from:
The Amplifier Heads, whose new concept album, Music for Abandoned Amusement Parks, raises the stakes for top honors in this year’s best-of crop with a variety of beautifully arranged songs. Here is one of our favorites, now playing in rotation:
Phyllis Johnson, whose groovy (there’s that word again) new song, “Someday,” a chewy slice of bubblegummy sunshine pop, celebrates the sunny feelings of summer with maybe the most infectious and catchy groove in recent memory. Click on the video below for proof:
Timmy Sean, a long-standing Pure Pop Radio favorite, who’s been releasing tremendous, well-crafted and supremely catchy songs from his long-awaited, forthcoming album, A Tale from the Other Side (set to release this November 13). The latest, the poppy triumph “She’s a Monster,” complete with a clever Beach Boys nod, will make you wish that release day for Timmy’s new long-player was a bit more imminent than it actually is.
All of the above are now playing in rotation on our air. Of course, we’ve added more instant classic tracks to our ever-growing playlist, including a powerful, new remix of “All You Ever Wanted,” a song from Ray Paul’sWhimsicality album; a powerful version of the Genesis classic, “Follow You Follow Me,” from The American Professionals, and tracks from Joe Giddings’ upcoming, flavorful collection, Better from Here, being released by Kool Kat Musik. More on all of these tantalizing slices of pop music to come.
Why not tune in to Pure Pop Radio and enjoy your most satisfying mix of melodic pop music on the internet? Simply click on the player below, and don’t forget to save it to your desktop and tablet.
Alan Haber’s Pure Pop Radio is the premier website covering the melodic pop scene with in-depth reviews of new and reissued recordings, and a wide variety of features.
Pure Pop Radio brings the greatest melodic pop music in the universe to your waiting ears, 24 hours a day.
We’re just getting started reporting on all of the new songs and artists we’re adding to the Pure Pop Radio playlist. Today’s mega-post follows yesterday’s exciting list of hot new numbers we’re featuring as part of our hand-picked 8,600-strong rotation.
Let’s get to today’s array of top-flight tunes.
Gleeson | Curse My Lucky Stars Whether or not it was their intention, the members of Austin, Texas band Gleeson have made their White Album. Here it is, a sparkling collection of songs varied in approach and tone that makes a case for melodic pop being the genre of the moment. Encompassing beautiful balladry, art-pop, rock and retro charm, Curse My Lucky Stars is a marvel.
It would be a disservice to listeners to touch on every joyous surprise within these grooves, so I’ll touch on just a few to whet your appetite. “Lollygagged” combines a Randy Newman-like arrangement with Paul McCartney melodicism for a superlative listening experience. “Troll Day,” this album’s first single, pushes electric guitar stabs with a new-waveish melodic attack, eventually settling on a old-fashioned rock motif. And the incredible, adventurous “Milton Bradley Bible” washes the proceedings with a Godley and Creme approach and enough musical ideas to get a hundred songs off the ground.
Real strings and horns, of which not enough can be said in these days of electronic impersonation, and the throw-everyone-off-course marching band anthem “The Gleeson Victory March,” plus these wonderful, imaginative songs, all add up to a listening experience that will likely be unequaled for the rest of this year. Unless it is, of course, but you need not worry: Gleeson will be here to catch your fall.
Within these grooves, unparalleled excellence abounds, and we’ve got nine examples of it playing in rotation: “What’s Going On,” “Troll Day,” “Lollygagged,” “With My Motive Gone,” “Something New,” “Monte Siesta,” “The Size of Empathy,” “Seasons,” and “Milton Bradley’s Bible.”
What an album!
– Alan Haber
Timmy Sean | “My Jaded Love” After a year’s worth of new recordings that lit up the sky in 2015, master musician Timmy Sean returns with the first of 25-plus new numbers in 2016–roughly half of last year’s output. Amazing. And, to use a well-worn baseball metaphor, this first song, a Hall and Oates seventies-styled slice of soulful pop, hits the proverbial it out of the park. Listen especially for a truly lovely bridge toward the end, the way that Timmy varies the lead vocal line as the song plays out, and a brief, wisp of an a cappella burst that, taken together, prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that this man, as he was in 2015, is the musician to watch and listen to in 2016. Simply irresistible.
Family Values | Time Stands Still Small packages are filled with great things. In this case, Norway’s Family Values, working with producer Tom Dahl (Caddy), offers up an EP housing a quartet of ultra-catchy songs reminiscent of Teenage Fanclub and the Merrymakers. “Paris Syndrome,” “Take Some Time Now, Carolina,” “Time Stands Still,” and “Watch the Sunrise” are all top of the pops here at Pure Pop Radio. Wonderful.
7Horse | Livin’ in a Bitch of a World Rising from the ashes of Pure Pop Radio fave Dada, Joie Calio and Phil Leavitt now trade in a similar musical mindset. Their music is a mix of rock and roll and pop. The pair’s keen sense of melody and song structure are always placed center stage. Our playlist is now adorned with four songs from this album: “Two Stroke Machine,” “One Week,” “Drift,” and “She’s So Rock and Roll,” a beat-driven, guitar-fueled rave-up that could have been big on FM radio in the ’70s. Sweet.
Adam Walsh – “Wish You Were Here” Pure Pop Radio favorite Adam Walsh continues to turn out delectable takes on songs he loves; his version of Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here” turns this tune into a folk-rock testament with Adam’s always-commanding voice up front where it belongs. We continue to be nothing less than knocked out by the quality of this man’s output.
The Looking | Lead Me to the Water Americana, yes, but wrapped in a country-pop wrapper and perfect for Pure Pop Radio. Led by Indiana-born Todd Carter, these songs are catchy numbers played with passion. Carter listened to Syd Barrett’s “Dark Globe,” Husker Du and the Circle Jerks and wound up embracing country music on the way to crafting this wonderful album. We’re playing six songs in rotation: “Not Your Friend”; “Clouds”; “You and Me”; “Bone to Pick,” an orchestrated gem; “Burning Doves,” and the title track. Great stuff.
Solarflairs | “Carnival” Elisabeth Eickhoff’s Memphis, Tennessee outfit Solarflairs returns to Pure Pop Radio just three weeks after we added the group’s “Spirit of Johnny” to our playlist. We’re happy to bring you this teriffic new song, an upbeat number with a great melody and spirit, as part of our rotation.
Hartley Mandel | “Brother of Mine” Co-written by Hartley and Klaatu’s Terry Draper, “Brother of Mine” is a nostalgic, personal song inspired by Hartley’s late brother. The song’s beautiful melody and Hartleys vocals carry the day. A lovely track, produced by Terry, who also plays the instruments, now in rotation.
That’s a wrap on today’s tour of some of the latest new songs and artists added to the Pure Pop Radio playlist. Still more coming tomorrow. Until then, why not click on one of the listen links below and hear some of the greatest melodic pop music in the world, spanning six decades of joy. Pure Pop Radio is the place to be!
The second-to-last entry in Timmy Sean’s yearlong Songs of the Week project is a bittersweet Christmas number that ranks among the series’ very best.
“It Doesn’t Feel Like Christmas” tugs at the heartstrings as it tells the story of love that’s missing, which casts a pall over a person’s holiday celebration. Gorgeous vocal harmonies and a rubbery acoustic guitar line around 2:40 make this song sing. It’s quite a beautiful specimen.
Timmy says: “All the way back in the mid 00’s, my old bandmate in LUZER, Chris Volk, had a demo of a song that he was calling ‘Ooh La La.’ I tried to get him to bring it into the band, but I couldn’t convince him. So instead, I just stole the intro of his song and put it onto a Christmas original song I was working on. That song was called ‘It Doesn’t Feel Like Christmas’ and was originally released on the LUZER Yule Rock EP. I was never happy with my vocal performance on that version, though. I was fighting a cold, but we had a deadline to get the recording done in time for a holiday show we had planned.
“So in 2012, I re-recorded the song to release as a Timmy Sean single. As it turns out, history has repeated itself a bit. I had planned a completely different Christmas song to release this week, but again, the winter cold strikes again and I’m without much of a voice. The situation got me thinking back to those Yule Rock sessions, and reminded me that I always thought the song would work well ‘unplugged.’ So I laid some new acoustic guitars and keys in, remixed it from the ground up, and here is a brand new stripped down mix of ‘It Doesn’t Feel Like Christmas,’ written by yours truly and Mr. Chris Volk.” Beautiful.
You can add the acoustic version of “It Doesn’t Feel Like Christmas” to your Songs of the Week collection by clicking here. To get all of Timmy’s music, click here.
With only two weeks left to go in Timmy Sean’s yearlong Songs of the Week project, we look back at the last four songs and, well, there’s at least a couple of tears in each of our eyes because we’d really like it if this would just go on and on. Yeah, that’s probably not going to happen, but wouldn’t it be nice?
Week 47’s Song of the Week is a powerful, live version of Sir Video’s “Bottle of Wine,” recorded at the band’s first live show this past October 21st. This incredible take features the off-the-charts drumming of Punky Balfour, who wins the award, hands down. This song was followed by Week’s 48’s tender power ballad, “Your Sorry,” which Timmy points out is not “You’re Sorry”: “…yes, the ‘Your’ is not a mistake.”
For Week 49, Timmy handled all of the instruments for a percussively poppy version of Brian Wilson’s “Merry Christmas, Baby” that sounds as if it were inspired by both Slade and Status Quo. Timmy says: “Not to be confused with the other ‘Merry Christmas Baby’ covered by Chuck Berry, Otis Redding, B.B. King, Elvis Presley, Bruce Springsteen…and on and on…THIS is the version written by Mr. Brian Wilson as featured on the 1964 classic Beach Boys Christmas album.
“I did a version of ‘Little Saint Nick’ with LUZER on our Yule Rock EP. At the time, it was a close call between covering that song or this one. ‘Little Saint Nick’ won out, and I’ve been itching to lay down an arrangement of this ever since.”
Week 50’s spirited, reverent cover of John Lennon’s “Instant Karma,” is a live version recorded at New York City’s Bitter End on Lennon’s birthday last year. Timmy says: “To mark the tragic anniversary of losing John 35 years ago, I decided to release this Song of the Week a couple days early.
“We recorded this at the legendary NYC club The Bitter End when Timmy Sean and the Celebrities played there last year on John Lennon’s birthday. I jumped back to the drums for this one and we brought up special guests Brian Mahoney and Jay Swanson from the Mahoney Brothers.” Brian Mahoney takes the lead vocal on this iconic song.
There are but two Songs of the Week left for Timmy Sean to share with the world. Stay tuned!
You can add Sir Video’s live version of “Bottle of Wine” to your Songs of the Week collection by clicking here. “Your Sorry” can be yours by clicking here. To get “Merry Christmas, Baby,” click here; for the live version of “Instant Karma,” click here. To get all of Timmy’s music, click here.
For the 46th entry in his ongoing Songs of the Week project, Timmy Sean has stuffed Jellyfish’s classic “Bye, Bye, Bye” into an amped-up blender, set the dial to mondo puree, and lined his studio walls with protective sheets to catch his crazy clown-car-of-a-cover before it makes its way out into the world.
For one thing, Timmy’s version of “Bye, Bye, Bye,” originally recorded under the name the Celebrities in 2007 for a Jellyfish tribute on Burning Sky Records, is about 30 seconds shorter than the original version. What’s more, the circus-y vibe of the original track is played up in this version, and a bit of Rudy Vallee-esque whimsy is now present. And, as you may (or may not) expect, there’s more than a smattering of Brian May guitar oomph running throughout the proceedings.
Yeah, this is a wild track. Timmy says: “When we disbanded LUZER in 2007, several years before I formed Timmy Sean and the Celebrities, 3/4 of LUZER briefly formed a new band under the name the Celebrities. During that period, we got asked to record a song for a Jellyfish tribute album named Sensory Lullabies. Jellyfish hit a little before my time, so I really only discovered them from people (OFTEN) telling us that we sounded like them. By the time we were asked to jump on the tribute album though, I had been made a fan, and immediately snatched up ‘Bye, Bye, Bye.’
“Though it was released on Burning Sky Records back at the end of the last decade, I realised I never released this on my own, and decided to do some remixing now that I know a hair more about recording than I did then. So enough of my yackin’–originally from the 1993 Jellyfish album SpiltMilk, here is the brand new remixed version of ‘Bye, Bye, Bye’ by the 2007 edition of the Celebrities…featuring yours truly on all the instruments and vocals.”
You can add Timmy Sean’s wild version of Jellyfish’s “Bye, Bye, Bye” to your Songs of the Week collection by clicking here. To get all of Timmy’s music, click here.
As Timmy Sean’s explosive Songs of the Week project heads into its sunset days, we welcome this week’s entry, a powerful (what else?) cover of Huey Lewis and the News’ “The Power of Love,” delivered on stage by Timmy’s side band, Sir Video.
Recorded on October 21, 2015 (Back to the Future Day!) at the Swing House in Los Angeles, “The Power of Love” is driven by a great horn chart, delivered with gusto by Jon Manness (on trumpet) and the Mahoney Brothers’ Brian Mahoney on saxophone. There were, in fact, nine musicians playing their hearts out during this live debut of Sir Video–let’s give them a spirited round of applause: Frankie Pedano (keyboards/vocals), Alex Schneiderman (guitar/vocals), Ramage Jacobs (guitar), Jon Reshard (bass), Punky Balfour (drums), Art Webb (keyboards), and the aforementioned Jon Manness on trumpet and Brian Mahoney on the sax. Oh, and there’s one more player… let’s see… right: Timmy Sean on vocals and guitar!
There’s more to come in Timmy Sean’s Songs of the Week project; stay tuned right here for your weekly report on the latest tunes coming your way. To add “The Power of Love” to your collection, click here. To add any of the other Songs of the Week that you may have missed, click here.
It’s hard to believe, believe it or not, that as of right now, Timmy Sean is 44 weeks into his immensely satisfying Songs of the Week project, which has brought fans new songs, demos, live tracks, previews of Timmy’s new band, Sir Video, and much more. This leaves only eight more songs to serve up to fans before the next musical challenges thrust Timmy into high gear for the melodic treats he’ll unveil in 2016.
Owing to continuing medical issues, we’ve been silent on the Timmy Sean front of late, which is not to say we haven’t been listening to the new entries in the Songs of the Week project. We have. Now, though, it’s time to report on them and get up to date.
Week 39’s Song of the Week is a rarity in the ongoing canon–it was written by Fred Maurer, a friend of Timmy’s buddy Joe Bucaro. Of “Bring Your Love,” Timmy says “I originally was going to cover it with a bit of [a] ‘That Thing You Do’ feel, but after Joe suggested giving it a bit of a ‘If Your Mother Has Her Way’ vibe from my Noisewater album, it became more of a mashup of Ben Folds and McCartney…funny how those two seem to always rear their whimsical heads into my songwriting.” This is one of our favorite Songs of the Week–certainly a McCartney/Folds mashup, heavy on the whimsy and adorned with a lovely Brian May-style guitar solo and a big showbiz ending, topped with a decidedly Beatle-esque treat. And all of this comes at you in 2:15. Amazing.
For week 40, Timmy revived a song that originally came to light during the LUZER era. Timmy says: “We originally tracked this song for the Reset album, though when I realized my pronunciation of ‘Aishiteru’ (Japanese for love) was wrong, I abandoned the song.” Timmy adds that the song came up the next year, but he “decided to rework the melody and completely start from scratch on the lyrics. It became the song ‘Give Me a Sign,’ included on the Come On Mandy EP.” It’s a catchy, breezy number, with prominent electric piano and Timmy’s relatively soft vocal.
The first single from the new Sir Video EP, also the title track, “Young as the Night,” was the star attraction song for week 41. A funky dance number, driven by an electronic presence, a propulsive percussion track and an assured Michael Jackon Thriller-era influence–not to mention a catchy chorus, “Young as the Night” is a bit of a different specimen than we’re used to from Timmy, but no less huggable. This is another side of a great artist that is a big part of the Pure Pop Radio playlist.
Week 42’s Song of the Week was featured in a full band version back on July 23; this time around, “This Magic,” a Sir Video number, is presented in an acoustic take, which puts added emphasis on the lovely melody and Timmy’s strong vocal. “This is one of the first songs that I wrote for the Sir Video project right after LUZER split in 2007,” Timmy says. “Though I love the full studio version, I do really like pulling away all of the frills on this one as I feel it really stands nicely on [its] own with just acoustic guitar and vocals.” We heartily agree.
A Sir Video preview was the function of week 43’s Song of the Week. “Bottle of Wine” is from the Young as the Night EP. Another dance number with a punctuated, soulful rhythm guitar part, this song sounds like a second or third cousin to one of ELO’s more upbeat tunes. Of course, melody is king, but bring your dancing shoes! The latest Song of the Week is another Sir Video number from the EP; “Take It Off” is a rock and roll rumble of a tune, with another great melody and catchy chorus.
That brings us up to date, and we aim to keep it that way from here on out. To add to your collection any of the songs talked about on this page, or any of the Songs of the Week that you may have missed, click here. This year’s Timmy Sean library will be amongst your most treasured music purchases in 2015.
As Timmy Sean mentions in his notes for this week’s entry in his ongoing Songs of the Week project, his first offering after “a month of Beatles covers, a live track, and an acoustic version of a Sir Video [song]” is “a brand new original…well, brand new for anyone outside of the members of my old band LUZER.”
Timmy says: “We workshopped this tune a little bit back in 2006 under the name ‘Too Late,’ and even attempted to record it, but I was never really happy with how the final product was turning out. I always loved the chords and the chorus, but felt like the lyrics and arrangement needed a complete overhaul. So this week, I did just that. I built it from the ground up using all new lyrics and a new verse melody, and I’m finally really happy with it.
“Fighting a bit of a cold this week, I was worried my voice would be a bit too torn up to sing, but I was determined to get this one done in time for Thursday. In fact, in the end, I think the hoarseness gave me just a hint of that great Don Henley raspiness, which actually fit the vibe of this tune pretty well.
“Here is the song once known as ‘Too Late’ (not to be confused with an upcoming Song of the Week by essentially the same name), but now and forever known as ‘Been So Down.'”
“Been So Down” is one of our favorite Songs of the Week thus far–a seventies-styled pop-rocker with an entrancing melody, the great chord structure Timmy makes note of, and a typically strong vocal, despite the artist’s cold. Plus, there’s a pair of contrasting mood guitar solos that take the song to another level entirely. It’s another top-notch tune that makes us smile and thank our good fortune for being a witness to such great music.
You can add Timmy Sean’s “Been So Down” to your Songs of the Week collection by clicking here. To get all of Timmy’s music, click here.
If you’ve been following along with us this year and digging Timmy Sean’s Songs of the Week project, you’re well aware of Sir Video, the artist’s side band that’s about to make a big splash in the pop waters.
This week’s Song of the Week is a solo, acoustic version of a number that appeared on the 2014 EP from Sir Video, Light Years. It’s light and breezy and it’s another hit for listeners who crave Timmy’s sound. Close your eyes, picture an island setting with the wind blowing calmly and the sound of serene waters surrounding you, and you’ve got the idea. As usual, there’s a lot of activity going on, surrounding the music. Here’s Timmy to bring you up to date:
“After years in the works, today I am announcing the debut show from my new band Sir Video. Since the project has a bit of a ‘retro-futuristic’ vibe to it, what better day to launch it than the DISTANT DAY IN THE FUTURE that Marty McFly travels to in Back to the Future: Part II…October 21, 2015.
“We are renting out the premier Stage 1 at Swing House Studios in Los Angeles to throw a Back to the Future-themed party, which will also serve as a release show for our new digital EP, Young as the Night, which, combined with the tracks from last year’s Light Years EP, will be available as a limited edition CD as EP I / EP II.
“Which brings me to this week’s song. To celebrate the launch of the new project, I will be featuring a few Sir Video related tunes leading up to the show and EP release. The first of these is a ‘Timmy Sean’ solo acoustic version of a song first featured on 2014’s Light Years EP, entitled ‘Take My Breath Away.’ If you are a subscriber you will receive this as part of your subscription, but for this week only, I am also offering this track completely for FREE to anyone. So feel free to share it on Facebook or Twitter, and for those of you in Los Angeles, RSVP to BTTFparty@gmail.com for free admission (and free beer!) to our debut show on 10/21/15!”
Timmy Sean’s acoustic version of the Sir Video tune “Take My Breath Away” is a free download; click here to add it to your collection. To get all of Timmy’s music, click here.