Need Gift Ideas for the Melodic Pop Fans In Your Life? For You? We’ve Got ’em, All This Week

By Alan Haber – Pure Pop Radio

We are now officially in the 2018 holiday gift giving season. I know…it seems like only yesterday, blah blah blah… Well, it does, but here we are again, faced with making those decisions that, year after year, are just plain hard to make.

Well, we’re here to make it all easier for you. We’re here to help you to choose gifts for the melodic pop fans in your lives (and for yourself). Relax. Below, you’ll find  new reviews of new 2018 releases, in-depth as always, along with links that will take you to the very websites from which you can purchase them. You’ll also find links to previously posted reviews of albums you should consider.

Be with us every day this week. There’s a whole lot of gold out there from which to choose the perfect melodic pop presents for your friends and loved ones. Let’s get started.

Mikah Wilson | Sunshine Grooves
(You are the Cosmos, Burger Records, 2018)
A real find, Los Angeles’s Mikah Wilson pretty much defines the state of sunshine pop in 2018. Let’s just say that if your jam is 1960s Beach Boys, Curt Boettcher, current sensations the Wrecking Two and their like-minded compatriots, this will be your jam, too. Comprising “Sunshine Grooves” and the two songs contained on the “Sweet Jules” single (“Sweet Jules” and “Look at the Way”), this is the soft-pop EP of the moment. Don’t miss it.

black box Where to Get It: You are the Cosmos, Bandcamp

Various Artists | White Lace and Promises: The Songs of Paul Williams
(Curry Cuts, 2018)

Curry Cuts’ loving tribute to singer, songwriter and all-around entertainer guy Paul Williams, White Lace and Promises, releases on December 7 in digital form and around a week or so later in physical form and on streaming platforms. I’ve already sung its virtues here, where I waxed poetic about some of the tracks. I’ve now heard the entire megillah, so it seems prudent for me to wax poetic some more.

It’s obvious, to me at least, that the artists who have signed on to Andrew Curry’s latest tribute harbor a great affection for Paul Williams’ work; each of the 23 tracks here functions as a great big hug, a happy thank you to the artist for doing what he does so very well.

Here are some of my favorites, standout tracks all:
* “Someday Man.” Zach Jones turns in an affectionate, somewhat faster version than Paul Williams’ cut
* “You and Me Against the World.” Lisa Mychols ramps up the tempo on this classic. The harmonies and electric guitars really shine
* “Rainy Days and Mondays.” Cliff Hillis sings this lovely song, made famous by Karen and Richard Carpenter, solo
* “I Won’t Last a Day Without You.” Chris Price gives the Carpenters’ version a bit of a run for its money, turning in a lead vocal that is sincere and without question his best yet
* “You Give a Little Love.” This song from famed film Bugsy Malone gets a joyous Broadway kind of treatment from the Corner Laughers’ Karla Kane, and it’s fabulous
* “An Old Fashioned Love Song.” Cait Brennan turns one of Paul Williams’ greatest songs into a deeply-felt, alternative romp, centered around Cait’s intense, emotional vocal

“You know you’re gonna be remembered for the things that you say and do,” Karla Kane sings as part of “You Give a Little Love.” Wise words that have deep meaning. The world is going to remember the great works of musical art that Paul Williams and his collaborators have given to the world; here, 23 artists have paid homage to that art, and we, the world’s listeners, are the grateful recipients. White Lace and Promises: The Songs of Paul Williams is essential listening.

black box Where to Get It: Releases December 7 in digital form and about a week later in physical form and on streaming platforms; you can pre-order on Curry Cuts’ Bandcamp page

Karla Kane | “Goodguy Sun” b/w “Sisters of the Pollen”
(Big Stir, 2018)
Bkarla kane - sisters of the pollen coverkarla-kane-goodguy-sun-coverig Stir Records, helmed by good guy Rex Broome and good gal Christina Bulbenko from the Armoires, have set into motion a series of delicious digital singles with this double-sided wonder from the Corner Laughers’ Karla Kane, whose 2017 folk-pop solo album, King’s Daughters Home for Incurables, was a big spinner on Pure Pop Radio.

“Goodguy Sun,” written by Cleaners from Venus’s Martin Newell, is a charmingly melodic, very British mid-tempo ballad with the Bye Bye Blackbirds’ Bradley Skaught playing alongside usual fellow travelers Khoi Huyhn and KC Bowman (Gina Sperindle contributes lovely vocal harmony). Kane’s “Sisters of the Pollen,” a mesmerizing folk-pop pearl recorded with husband Huyhn, closes out with an a cappella workout and the actual sound of bees doing their business. Delicious.

black box Where to Get It: Bandcamp, Big Stir Records

Irwin | Ride On (2018)
Jamie and Steve’s Jamie Hoover worked with Bill Irwin, from late-1980s-1990s Georgia pop-rockers Impulse Ride, to produce this tasty EP, pairing four new tracks with two previously unreleased Impulse Ride tracks from 1994. The new tracks, mostly mid-tempo, tuneful slices of pop, were written by Irwin and Hoover and feature both on a variety of instruments. Of the new songs, “King,” a soulful Beatlesque power ballad with Paul McCartney-inspired bass and an indelible melody, and “Georgia Peach,” an easygoing sway of an Americana-soaked pop song with a lovely, joyous melody, are tops.

black box Where to Get It: CD Baby, Amazon

Kenny Herbert | “I’m Growing Old With You” (2018)
Kenny Herbert’s charming pop confections were a mainstay of my playlists throughout Pure Pop Radio’s 23-year history. I continue to be enthralled by everything Kenny adds to his considerable, collectible catalog. His latest release is a typically melodic, uptempo love song, inspired by Caroline, the love of his life. It has a lovely Bobby Goldsboro-meets-Gallagher and Lyle vibe about it. It’s one of those very special recordings that just makes you feel good to be alive.

Here’s a live take on this wonderful song:

Where to Get It: iTunes

More Great 2018 Releases, Perfect for Gift Giving

We’ve reviewed many terrific 2018 releases, any of which would make great gifts for the melodic pop fans in your life. Here are just a few (click on the links to read our reviews and then add the releases to your shopping list):

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Alan Haber’s Pure Pop Radio is the premiere website covering the melodic pop scene with in-depth reviews of new and reissued recordings, and a wide variety of features. We’ve been around since the first weekly Pure Pop Radio shows, which began broadcasting in 1995 and ended this past August. Welcome to your number one home for coverage of the greatest melodic pop music in the universe from the ’60s to today. Happy holidays!

 

Reviews | 10.31.18: Vegas With Randolph’s Fourth Full-Length Serving, Legs & Luggage

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Vegas With Randolph | Legs & Luggage (2018)

On the Occasion of a Fourth Helping of Vegas With Randolph

vegas with randolph legs and luggage coverFive years ago, a whoop-de-do was set into motion at Northern Virginia’s Jammin’ Java to celebrate the release of Vegas With Randolph’s third album, Rings Around the Sun. The musicians approached, instruments in hand, songs in mind and set up straight across the bandstand; only the drummer, tucked away a bit behind the conga line, was in his own space. He lorded over his high-hat and snare with his toms leering from front to right. And then, he set the beat and the band was set into motion, calling patrons to the stage.

Now, mind you, this scenario doesn’t occur very often, because the lads of Vegas With Randolph, anchored outside of Washington, D.C. by songwriters John Ratts and Eric Kern, who were childhood pals and still are joined at the hip and their guitars and writing songs, as they always have, when they’re not tending to their own families and day jobs, don’t play out or release new albums very often, although their fans, many and plenty, wish that they would.

The lads of Vegas With Randolph, known sometimes by the swinging three-letter calling card VWR, choose to concentrate on recording albums, the fourth of which, Legs & Luggage, has been released. VWR released its first album in 2008, and this is 2018, which means that they have been assembling tuneage for 10 years. You might say their output does not constitute an avalanche, and you’d be right, but the weight of that output is strong and sure, so you’d probably be best not concerning yourself with geology.

Legs & Luggage is VWR’s best album yet. It is a marvel. This is a new-phase Vegas With Randolph album that thunders across the plains with harder-edged chutzpah than their previous releases. The guitars are louder and the sound is more aggressive. The sound is more purposeful, but just as catchy and fun as always.

vegas with randolph legs and luggage blue image“We wanted to kind of rock a little bit on this album,” says John. This is clearly an understatement of some kind, but make no mistake—Vegas With Randolph is a band that has recorded, for this new album, songs with flashy hooks just as they have done all along. This time around, though, there is perhaps a little more oomph spitting out of the band’s engine. This new-phase VWR is a well-oiled and rocking machine.

That the aforementioned oomph, in part, powers the songwriting team of John and Eric is a given, but so does the assembled co-conspirator contingent that plays along with them, skillfully and dutifully, helping the co-pilots steer the ship (a mixed metaphor, I know). Brock Harris’s lyrical guitars and Andy Hamburger’s thundering drums and percussion are essential ingredients in VWR’s new songs—indeed, the songs would not be as alive without them—but the heart and soul of it all may well belong to their bass player, the late and very much missed Dan Aylestock.

vegas with randolph dan ayelstock

Dan Aylestock

Passionate and warm and committed to the music always, Dan passed away last year from liver cancer. A founding member of VWR, he played bass on nearly every one of the songs on each of the band’s releases. These songs on these albums beat with the heart of a player who knew instinctively how to ring emotion out of every note as he traversed up and down the fretboard.

“He would take his time to craft unique parts for every song,” says Eric. “He was always prepared. He was always ready to go.” Just listen to Dan’s work on this album. You will feel his intensity, which manifests itself in any number of ways—with driving force, as on the pounding “She’s an Intellectual,” punching bass notes as one-half of the redoubtable VWR rhythm section, or with sensitivity, in the intro to “I Have You,” and during that ballad’s stronger, more forceful sections.

Dan is right there on this album, which is dedicated to him. Dan is there, and so are the other players, so powerful and electric that their intensity could keep the lights on in a big city for weeks on end. Set the breathless “You Could Say Yes” into motion, propulsive and beat-driven, with fierce drumming, Dan’s pumping bass, and all those guitars keeping the catchy melody afloat, and you’ll see—no, you’ll hear what I mean.

It’s not just the sound of this thing, it’s the words sung sweetly, confidently, meaningfully and powerfully all the way through, telling stories of a scholarly seductress (“She’s An Intellectual”), completely fulfilling forever love (“I Have You”), and riding the roller coaster of love even though it might tug back (“Jacob”). Then, there’s “Three Red Hooks,” presenting the power of music as a metaphor for confident performance with perhaps this album’s most creative lyrics (“Rock steady/Kick it like Eddie/Didn’t know if he meant Van Halen or Vedder/But whatever/While we’re together/We’d better turn it up loud/And kick it on out”).

The songs that make up this fourth Vegas With Randolph album, that present the case for this band being the band of the moment, a band that has come into its own because the songwriters and the players believe in the value of their work more than ever before, are only part of the VWR equation; the way that the songs are written, and how the band performs them, is the rest of it.

“You want a song to be meaningful,” says John. “You want the music to be so catchy that you want to hear it again. You want the lyrics to touch you enough that you want to hear the song again. We’re trying to make people happy. We’re trying to be memorable.”

Employing the talents of Fountains of Wayne’s Jody Porter (on “Chick Fighter”) and Texas popster Lannie Flowers, who cowrote and plays on the lively rocker “The Weekend’s Coming,” certainly helps to make this album memorable. And rocking.

vegas with randolph cd artwork legs and luggage

There will be more Vegas With Randolph recordings after Legs & Luggage; there are more songs, around a dozen of them, in various states of dress, all of which are sparked with the magic of Dan Aylestock’s bass (“The notes he played will have a long sustain,” the band says in Legs & Luggage’s CD booklet). And perhaps, in addition to at least a festive release show for this album, there will be more live performances to come, designed to show people what this band can do in person.

I’ve been there; I’ve seen what this band can do on stage, and I’ve seen how the band members relate to their audience, and each other. I’ve felt the presence of these individual talents, coming together for a common purpose; I’ve seen their faces light up as the music plays and draws people close to them. I’ve felt the warmth and humanity in their songs.

This album is titled Legs & Luggage because the songs are largely about transitioning from one thing to another, about taking chances, about moving on from here to there—about transporting emotion packed neatly, or otherwise, in virtual compartments. Legs & Luggage functions as a bridge to the next chapter in Vegas With Randolph’s life; how that reality will manifest itself is unknown at present. But manifest itself it will.

(The preceding review appears, in a slightly different form, as the liner notes to Vegas With Randolph’s Legs & Luggage)

black box Where to Get It: Bandcamp, iTunes, Amazon

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Alan Haber’s Pure Pop Radio is the premiere website covering the melodic pop scene with in-depth reviews of new and reissued recordings, and a wide variety of features. The 24-hour Pure Pop Radio stream, which ran from 2013 to August 25, 2018, succeeded the weekly Pure Pop Radio show, which began in 1995. Welcome to your number one home for coverage of the greatest melodic pop music in the universe from the ’60s to today.

New on Pure Pop Radio 03-01-17: Vegas With Randolph, Terry Draper, The Del Zorros, The Squires of the Subterrain, and More

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Spins and Reviews | 03.01.17
By Alan Haber – Pure Pop Radio

Today’s batch of reviews features a preview of a new song from Pure Pop Radio favorites Vegas With Randolph, new releases from a trio of prolific melodic popsters, and much more…

vegas with randolph women in airportsVegas With Randolph | “Women in Airports”
Departing from Fountains of Wayne National Airport, Vegas With Randolph flies the friendly skies with this eminently catchy boarding pass of a song that happily charts a sweet flight path for these Washington, D.C. popsters. Captains of the pop industry, VWR is in full pop song mode with a look at love in all the airborne places, starting on the ground and looking up to 30,000 feet in the air.

The clever, observational lyric stipulates the narrator’s love for females in airports, no matter where they may come from or what their relationship status might be: “Women in airports/Are perfect for me.” But there is at least a small measure of concern in this well-appointed lyric: “I know she has baggage/But does she have baggage?” In fact, he seems quite content and self-assured: “We’ll hit cruising altitude and see/The best is yet to be.”

Are airports the choice spot for companionship in the ’10s? The narrator seems convinced. “I would really like to take you/On the greatest trip you’ve ever seen (so snap your seat belt),” he sings. “Find that sunny place inside your dreams (clouds are fading)/As we pry into the skies of possibility/We will smash the past in our jet stream/The best is yet to be.”

“Women in Airports” is a great Vegas With Randolph song, a pop and roll track sweetened by a gooey, catchy center. Fly in lots of guitars, popping percussion, and great vocals, and you have a classic number that will stay with you as you negotiate your future flight path. Get your ticket today!

black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio

black box Where to Get It: Bandcamp

terry draper - if i only had a brain graphicTerry Draper | “If I Only Had a Brain”
The former Klaatu member’s creative juices have been flowing fairly regularly of late, which makes us very, very happy. Releasing, since 2014, two full albums–Searching and When the World Was Young–and a retrospective of unreleased material, Window on the World: The Lost 80’s Tapes, Terry has been busy, and he shows no signs of stopping. He’s recorded a treasured number from The Wizard of Oz, the ultimate “what if” song. Terry’s whimsical arrangement is pure sugary heaven. Fun fact, according to Wikipedia: “Originally written by (Harold) Arlen and (E.Y.) Harburg as ‘I’m Hanging On to You’ for the 1937 Broadway musical Hooray for What!, the song was ultimately dropped from that show, and when the pair was later hired to do the songs for (The Wizard of) Oz, Harburg simply wrote new lyrics to the tune.” Purchase immediately? The Scarecrow would probably say “Gosh, it would be awful pleasin’,” and we wholeheartedly agree.

black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio

black box Where to Get It: iTunes, Amazon

the del zorros prudenceThe Del Zorros | “Prudence”
Speaking of continually flowing creative juices, there’s also something in the water over at Casa de Del Zorro. Monty and Stede’s latest is an immensely satisfying tribute to the magic of The Beatles, an easygoing shuffle, in the rhythmic, melodic and lyrical senses. Weaving a bevy of Beatles song titles and melodies into three minutes of Del Zorros charm, the brothers wink along with you and ask that you only sway to the feel and smile. Clueing you into all of the so-that’s-where-that-comes-froms would mean you’d miss out on some of all of the fun, so we’ll only put the spotlight on “Do You Want to Know a Secret,” “I’m Happy Just to Dance with You,” and “Please Please Me.” Oh, and there’s a touch of “Sugar, Sugar” in here, too. Sweet!

black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio

black box Where to Get It: CD Baby

scot sax grooved pavementScot Sax | “Busy Bee”
Another pretty prolific popster, this one out of Nashville, is beating the drum for pop and roll, with a healthy smidge of soul blended into the mix. We go back a long way with Scot Sax’s music–songs from his time with Wanderlust and Bachelor Number One continue to play in rotation on our air. We’re also playing songs from Scot’s recent releases; his duo album with wife Suzie, Our Album Doesn’t Like You Either, is another Pure Pop Radio favorite playlist add. From Scot’s current collection, Grooved Pavement, comes this fun, soul-pop confection, a singalongable, clapalongable earworm that is a joy from first note to last. Get busy, and bee-lieve!

black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio

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

geno and the jukebox hipster coffee shopGeno and the Jukebox | “(Kicked Outta the) Hipster Coffee Shop”
Gene Pompilio, formerly of New Jersey’s prime pop outfit Cosmic Avenger, which also counted his brother John as a member, returns to Pure Pop Radio with a lighthearted, smiling workhorse of a pop song, another mirthful number that will put a smile on your face. There are lots more of these just-over-two-minute-long creations on Gene’s Soundcloud page. Go get ’em!

black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio

black box Where to Get It: Soundcloud

the squires of the subterrain slightly radio activeThe Squires of the Subterrain | “Slightly Radio Active”
The Squire (aka Chris Earl) returns to Pure Pop Radio and the world-at-large with the first, powerhouse track off of his upcoming album, Slightly Radio Active. A rather straightforward (for the Squire, at least) pop and roll workout, “Slightly Radio Active” features a guitar line somewhat reminiscent of the Beatles, and the Squire’s usual joie de vivre. And a lot of guitars. Stomp along with the Squire.

black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio

black box Where to Get It: The Squires of the Subterrain website

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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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New on Pure Pop Radio 8.31.16

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Spins and Reviews | 8.31.16 | by Alan Haber

We’re playing these, and many thousands more, in rotation…

ryan allen and his extra arms basement punkRyan Allen and His Extra Arms | Basement Punk For his third album as the multi-instrumentalist with more upper limbs than a normal person would know what to do with, Ryan Allen rolls through eleven supercharged sides, plucking at guitar and bass strings, covering the circumference of keyboards, and bashing the bejeezus out of drum parts. In other words, it’s another exciting showcase for the amazing Mr. Allen, who is featured prominently on Nick Piunti’s new album. This album, out September 30, takes charge with strong melodies and ace playing and never lets up. “Gimmie Some More” kicks out a popped-up jam with lots of guitars and a sweet riff; “People Factory” is equally strong, and “Everything (In Moderation)” is a mid-tempo, melodic gem that closes out the proceedings. Mixed and mastered by Pure Pop Radio favorite Andy Reed, this one’s what we used to, and still do, call a keeper.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: “Chasing a Song,” “Mal n’ Ange,” “Gimme Sum More,” “People Factory,” “Gorgeous with Guitars,” and “Everything (In Moderation).”
black box When and Where to Get It: September 30 at Kool Kat Musik and Bandcamp.

vegas with randolph free your soulVegas With Randolph | “Free Your Soul” Our favorite Washington, D.C.-area popsters ramp up the electric guitars for a balls-to-the-wall rocker driven by runaway drums, plucking bass and the usual catchy melody. This tale of giving into the positive side of the eternal equation (“Sometimes it’s best to just let go/So free your soul”) will most certainly get you out of bed in the morning. Another VWR winner.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio.
black box When and Where to Get It: Bandcamp.

kenny herbert 3 bridgesKenny Herbert | “3 Bridges Queensferry Crossing” This typically lovely song from Kenny Herbert, about the three Forth bridges in Scotland, is a hearty tale and well worth reading about (click here for the full story). “3 Bridges Queensferry Crossing” celebrates the bridges, and as Kenny says, “the people who built it and the new Queensferry Crossing which is opening May 2017.” The song’s cover illustration depicts Kenny’s wife’s grandfather David Rendall who, Kenny points out, “worked on the Forth Rail Bridge for 30 years as the bridge carpenter until 1969. Davie’s father Thomas Rendall also worked on the bridge from 1903; he was a painter and lamplighter.” A little history and a lot of melody make for a heartwarming experience.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio.
black box Where to Get It: iTunes.

poppermost kelly green sundayPoppermost | “Kelly Green Sunday” The first new song from Alex Oliver, Roy Rendahl and Debbie Sanchez in two years is a welcome treat, an acoustic melding of southern California and uptempo folk influences emanating a kind of warm hootenanny atmosphere and sending out a message of old-fashioned love (“Oh Kelly Green, every time you think of me/Please keep Sunday just for you and me”). Joyous.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio.
black box Where to Get It: Bandcamp.

orbis maxOrbis Max | “Lonely,” “I Call Your Name,” “All of Me,” and songs from Orbis Max and Friends Beginning their shared trek playing covers back in 1973 in Poway, California, the group’s various members have connected in the here and now via the Internet to record their own songs. New members Dennis George, Rod Bennett and Bruce Walker have joined original Maxers such as Craig Carlstrom and Don Baake to release Orbix Max and Friends, a vibrant collection of catchy numbers like the upbeat, poppy “You May be the One” and “Don’t Tell Me It’s Over.” The group’s latest song, not on the album, is “Lonely,” a horn-infused Stax-meets-Motown soul-pop slice of joy. Two other songs, also not on Orbix Max and Friends, are choice covers of the Beatles’ “I Call Your Name,” and the old jazz standard “All of Me.” Fun stuff.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: From Orbis Max and Friends: “Standing Next to You,” “You May be the One,” “Glad She Found Me,” “Without You,” “Don’t Tell Me It’s Over,” and “Start All Over Again.” Tracks not on the album: “I Call Your Name” and “All of Me.”
black box Where to Get It: CD Baby and iTunes.

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More New Music is Flowing on Pure Pop Radio

Hot on the heels of yesterday’s list of new songs and artists added to our playlist, we’ve slotted in more classic sounds now being heard in rotation. Care to peruse? Go, cat…go!

vegas with randolph three red hooksVegas With Randolph | “Three Red Hooks” This Washington, DC-area pop powerhouse’s latest song, a lively ode to rocking steady and having a great night, namechecks a trio of rock ‘n’ roll Eddies–Van Halen, Vedder and Money–and is a mighty tasty treat. “Three Red Hooks” is a delightful, hooky bubblegum charmer with crunchy, screaming electric guitar lines that’s happily reminiscent of the Sweet’s “Little Willy” and the catchy sound of the Rubinoos. Kicking off with a percussion stomp that owes a debt to the Supremes’ “Where Did Our Love Go,’ “Three Red Hooks” hits the sweet spot that tingles and glows inside every fan of melodic pop. It kick starts that oh-so-wonderful feeling–the unmistakable slambang explosion of sheer joy that only the right combination of musical notes can achieve. Now playing in rotation, this may well be Vegas With Randolph’s most delightful waxing yet.

bertling noise laboratories 5Bertling Noise Laboratories | “Talking In Your Sleep” Nick Bertling is like the quintessential, shaggy-haired musical mad scientist ensconced in his secret lair stocked full of instruments that shake, rattle and roll. Just look at him, stage left. Our guess is Nick doesn’t get much sleep, because here he is with a rocking cover of the Romantics’ hit “Talking In Your Sleep.” Hopefully he can get some shuteye while this cool cover plays in rotation!

trip wireTrip Wire | “Long Days Gone” and “Winter Song” Just out from this San Francisco band is a terrific new double A-side single pairing “Long Days Gone,” a catchy, uptempo power pop number, with a pretty midtempo, string-laden ballad. These songs leave us wanting more, so you know…get to it, boys.

 

the tonellisThe Tonellis | “I Know You” We were delighted to receive an email from the Tonellis’ Robert Stoppenbach, who subsequently responded to our query about any new material the band might have by sending this lovely midtempo ballad, co-written by Robert and Scott Palmiter. Sounding like the second cousin to any number of songs recorded by the group Venice, “I Know You” sports an easygoing vibe, punctuated by fiddle and mandolin parts that shine. Now playing in rotation.

That’s all for today. More new songs and artists next week. Join the fun by clicking on one of the listen links below to hear nearly 8,300 songs now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio. Enjoy!

purepoplogoAlan 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 Spongetones, the Nines, Kurt Baker, 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.

Listen to Pure Pop Radio on the go using your Android and iOS devices! Download Our Mobile App.

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

New Music? We’ve Added Lots!

Alan Haber's Pure Pop RadioPerhaps our most favorite thing to do, other than write about great melodic pop music, is to add it to our playlist. We’ll soon hop, skip and jump over the 8,200 tracks mark, on our way to 9,000 and beyond. Won’t that be fun!

Meanwhile, as we work toward clearing those goalposts, we’ve added a slew of new songs and artists to our original 24-hour-a-day mix of the greatest pop in the universe. We’ve got the most variety of any radio station anywhere, incorporating both current and heritage artists from the ’60s to the right here and right now. You’ll love what you’ll hear, and that’s the Pure Pop Radio guarantee!

Here is some of what’s new on our air (check back next week for more):

terry draperTerry Draper | Searching We gave a rave review to this album just about a week ago (you can read what Alan wrote here). We called Searching the first great album of 2016, and for good reason. The level of musicianship and, yes, showmanship evident across this new body of work is something to behold. We’ve added the entire album to the playlist because, really, what else could we have done? The songs, splendid and tuneful and creative and everything else under the sun, are now playing in rotation.

kevin martinKevin Martin | Future Friends This sterling follow-up to 2012’s Throwback Pop is even better than anyone could have hoped for, which is to say that these new songs show just how melodic pop is done right. Hooks and delicious melodies abound. Replayability is assured. We’ve added eight of the 10 songs to our playlist: “Not Gonna Let It Go,” “Castles in the Sand,” “I’m Doing Fine,” “Up In a Cloud,” “The Unknown,” “Diamonds,” and our favorite one-two punch: the upbeat, hit bound “Julia” and “Goodbye,” a lovely, heartbreaking, beautifully arranged song about loss. This is the real deal, destined to be one of our favorite records of this year.

tiny volcanoTiny Volcano | Tiny Volcano Scott McPherson more than dabbles in a deep paintbox full of melodic pop projects including Pop 4, Sproutless, Liar’s Club and this group, whose 2003 debut has just been remastered anew by the maestro himself. Is it going too far to say that these songs, all poppy and catchy and all the rest of it all, have been reborn? We don’t think so. Tracks like the crunchy, guitar-filled “Mary Goes Around,” the Merseybeat nod “You Wanna Go,” the dreamy waltz “Building a Bridge (Out of Water),” and the country-ish bopper “Ten Nights in a Row” dazzle, but they’re only some of this album’s classic numbers. In addition to these tracks, we’re playing “Loaded Gun,” “Wonderful Sun,” and “Summer Solstice,” an affectionate Beach Boys audio sculpture. Remastered and reborn? You bet.

electric starsThe Electric Stars | “Loaded With Regrets” and “The Only Lover Left Alive” Jason Edge and crew debut two explosive new songs that will be part of the Electric Stars’ forthcoming album. “Loaded With Regrets” is a Rolling Stones-styled (a la “Wild Horses”) tearjerker; “The Only Lover Left Alive” rocks and rolls with T. Rex flavor (and an instrumental section dipped in dynamic international mystery). Both are now playing in rotation.

4PAN1TThe Last Conspirators | Hold that Thought Forever New York State pop-rockers The Last Conspirators’s fourth album takes charge with muscular songs, written by singer Tim Livingston and guitarist Nick Bisanz, that demand attention. We’re playing four tracks in rotation, all surging with crunchy guitars, great hooks and Livingston’s urgent vocals: “Perfect Lovers in a Complicated World,” “Fortune Teller,” “Russian Eyes,” and “Two Days in May,” a powerful ballad. Now playing in rotation and thrilling music lovers worldwide.

cheap trickCheap Trick | “No Direction Home” The first song released from the band’s upcoming album, enticingly titled Bang Zoom Crazy… Hello, is a typically engaging pop rocker with one of those, what do you call them…hooky chorus things? Yeah, that’ll work. Album number 17 sees release on April 1.

 

anton barbeauAnton Barbeau | Magic Act We go way back with this always surprising, innovative and wholly original musician–almost to Pure Pop Radio’s beginnings in the mid-1990s. Anton’s latest is perhaps his strongest long player yet–a vital collection of pop numbers designed to get your attention and make you sing along. We’re playing four songs in rotation from this forthcoming release: “High Noon,” the very Anton titled “Sit Your Leggy Down,” “Swindon” (about as close to a folk song as Anton gets), and the very Bowie-esque “Milk Churn in the Morning.” It’s always great to have new Ant music to play on the air.

the surfin' burritosThe Surfin Burritos | “King of the Party” and “Devil’s Newsletter” From Spain comes a pair of early rock ‘n’ roll rave-ups that will get you up on the dance floor pronto. Breathless and breathing fire, both “King of the Party” and “Devil’s Newsletter” spew sharp beats and toothy melodies. And then there’s that band name. If our burrito went surfin’ off our plate, we’d probably worry. But there’s no need to worry here. Dance the night away.

one like son uglyOne Like Son | Ugly And now for another top-flight collection from pop rockers One Like Son. There’s something for everyone here, such as a decidedly Tom Petty-esque vibe in the pretty “Midwest Summer Nights.” A strumming ukelele and beautifully arranged strings lie at the heart of the lovely “The Song You’ll Never Hear.” We’re playing these numbers in rotation, plus “Stella,” a country-flavored song with familiar-sounding guitar strumming that wouldn’t have been out of place on a Big Star album; “Lie to Me (One More Time),” an assured blast of Americana; “Tonight,” an acoustic charmer; and “Goodnight Sunshine,” a slow burner of a rock tune. Stephen Poff, take a bow, will you?

vegas with randolph the comeback kidVegas With Randolph | “The Comeback Kid” The latest great tune from the songwriting team of John Ratts and Eric Kern is a typically catchy slice of melodic pop that starts off pretty and gentle and quickly ponies up with a power pop urgency that drives the rest of the song. Vegas With Randolph keeps getting better; Washington, DC’s pop kings are riding high.

the del zorros step away from my heartThe Del Zorros | “Step Away from My Heart” Our love for the music of the Del Zorros knows no bounds. Monte and Stede can sing to us any old time. This new song, not part of the duo’s latest, greatest album, Wilmington, is a determined, tuneful, horn-adorned Stax-ian shuffle that really pleases. Now playing in rotation, of course.

*     *     *     *     *

That’s it for today. We’ve got more new music adds to report–lots more, in fact, and we’ll be bringing you another list of them next week. Until then, why not click on one of the listen links below and hear what we’ve got in store for you!

purepoplogoAlan 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 Spongetones, the Nines, Kurt Baker, 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.

Listen to Pure Pop Radio on the go using your Android and iOS devices! Download Our Mobile App.

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