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FORTUNA POP!

Bearsuit return with an off-the-wall pop masterpiece and a fierce new sound incorporating dirty synths, urgent guitars and infectious beats. Produced by Gareth Parton (The Go! Team, Breeders, Foals) the 12-track long-player heralds a fierce new sound for the band, who have swapped violins, flutes and horns for dirty synths, urgent guitars and infectious beats in the light of a dramatic line-up change. The polished disco-synth debut single "Please Don’t Take Him Back" was playlisted on BBC 6Music , as well as being hotly tipped in the music press including Artrocker & Clash. Weeks later and their second release "A Train Wreck" was rated an NME Top 10 Download. The band lead into 2011 having secured a profile slot at the SXSW festival in Texas for Huw Stephens’ Radio 1 showcase.

"The Phantom Forest" is laden with dance-floor fillers, killer beats and brazen melodies. It will keep you dancing until all the booze is drunk, with a birdsong finale to serenade your dawn-walk home. But lurking beneath, a more sinister and melancholy thread weaves the 12 tracks together. Beset by their own dangers, Bearsuit have survived to make the best album of their career. With a new rhythm section on board they have reinvigorated their sound - punctuating the songs with more urgency, but without losing their pop sensibilities and unaffected charm.

Based in Norwich, the band now consists of Iain Ross on guitar and keyboards, Lisa Horton on keyboards, and Jan Robertson on guitar and keyboards, with new recruits Charlene Katuwawala on bass and keyboards and Joe Naylor on drums. All 5 sing.


Karl Smith

Kites

    30 years after strumming his first guitar on the steps of his childhood home in Bangladesh, Karl Smith, the voice and songwriter of Sodastream, is set to release his debut solo album, Kites. Recorded and mixed in Karl’s basement studio while preparing for fatherhood, Kites captures the heady excitement, nervous energy and intermittent panic of the time. Kicking things off with lead single 'I Want You', a wonky little ode to love in the modern world, Karl will be showcasing songs on stages, radio stations and work computers across the country over the coming months.

    Born in New Zealand, raised in Bangladesh and schooled in India, Karl ended up in Perth where he began playing music. After garnering a swag of WAMI awards and JJJ airplay with local outfit, Thermos Cardy, the band unexpectedly split. Soon after, Karl formed Sodastream and moved to Melbourne. Following the release of their second EP, they toured Europe on the back of support from eminent UK DJ, John Peel and subsequently signed with Tugboat Records / Rough Trade. Fast forward a few years and now, with 12 albums in the bag and countless tours through Europe, USA, Japan and Australia under his belt, Karl Smith’s debut record, Kites, feels like both lucky 13 and number one.

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    Ltd LP Info: Deluxe Heavyweight Vinyl LP with MP3 Download (Limited to 500).

    Martha return with their second album. Produced again by MJ from Hookworms, the album explores the difficulties in staying political, staying passionate and staying punk over the course of eleven expertly crafted pop songs. Hailing from Pity Me near Durham, Martha play energetic, impassioned power pop with intricate vocal interplay and lush four-part harmonies, informed by 90s indie rock and contemporary garage punk. The band is comprised of J. Cairns (guitar), Daniel Ellis (guitar), Naomi Griffin (bass), and Nathan Stephens Griffin (drums). All four members sing and write the songs. Daniel and Nathan also play in Onsind, while Naomi also plays in No Ditching.

    Their debut album “Courting Strong” came out in 2014 and was included in NPR's top 50 albums of that year, winning them the epithet “One of Britain's best rock bands”. If the band’s first album, 'Courting Strong', was about punks growing up, then 'Blisters In The Pit Of My Heart' is about grown-ups staying punk. It's an album about trying to stay creative and passionate and making the most of everything in spite of the many obstacles that get in the way. It's about finding strength and solace in friendships, love, and taking motivation from the people in your life who really inspire you. Taking inspiration from such likely and unlikely sources as The Replacements, Heart, Billy Bragg, Thin Lizzy, Cheap Trick, The Go-Gos and Radiator Hospital, the album bursts into life with “Christine”, “a love song filtered through the messiness of anxiety and night terror” that takes inspiration from “Threads”, the British TV drama of the 1980s about nuclear war, and is followed by the rousing “Chekhov's Hangnail”, with backing vocals from Ellis Jones of Trust Fund. The catchy “Precarious (The Supermarket Song)” finds romance in the washing powder aisle, while “Goldman’s Detective Agency” shows the band’s playful side as they re-imagine 19th century anarchist Emma Goldman as a private eye vanquishing corrupt cops and politicians.

    Nearly every song here is a potential single, from the infectious “Do Whatever” and “11:45, Legless In Brandon” to outsider anthem “The Awkward Ones” and the Billy Bragg / Coronation Street-referencing “Curly and Raquel”. The album concludes with “St Paul's (Westerberg Comprehensive)”, a song about being caught up in the toxic culture of a Catholic comprehensive school. “It’s for the kids who had the guts to be queer at school and for those who didn’t figure themselves out until they got out of school.

    The Proper Ornaments

    Wooden Head

      THIS IS A RECORD STORE DAY 2017 EXCLUSIVE, LIMITED TO ONE PER PERSON.

      Repress of the second album which has been out of print for a long time. 500 copies only. Mining the rich territories of The Velvet Underground and The Beach Boys, their debut album proper "Wooden Head" features fourteen thrillingly taut and melodic pop songs with a deep, dark undercurrent. Comprised of Argentinian Max Claps and James Hoare (also of Veronica Falls) – who both sing and write the songs – and joined by Daniel Nellis (bass) and Robert Syme (drums), the band have already shared stages with the likes of Real Estate, Woods, Crystal Stilts, Toy and Metronomy. Maximo Claps arrived in London in 2008 on a one-way ticket from Buenos Aires, aided by former Rolling Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham. Oldham had produced a record by Claps' Argentinian band of the time but the group had fallen apart in a mess of drugs and acrimony and Claps' family were attempting to intervene by sending him to a mental hospital. The only option seemed to be to flee the country. As Claps recalls, "The day before flying to the UK I got run over by a car and had to escape hospital in order to make it so I arrived with bandages and my head all stitched up." A few weeks later Max walked into the vintage clothes shop where James Hoare sat behind the counter reading a book on The Velvet Underground, and attempted to cause a diversion while his kleptomaniac girlfriend stole a pair of boots. “She didn't steal them in the end,” says Max. “They weren't her size”. However, the shop assistant and the would-be accomplice bonded over a mutual love of the Velvets, Love, Felt and West Coast pop and began writing together, taking their name from a song by the pioneering soft psych band The Free Design. In 2010 they released their first single, "Recalling", following it up with a five-song EP for London label No Pain in Pop. In 2013 Lo Recordings released all their output to date on a collection titled "Waiting for the Summer", followed by the single “First Step Out” in February 2014. Their new album was recorded at a studio in Hackney, as well as at home in their old flat in Whitechapel on a broken 8-track reel-to-reel bought off eBay from an angry guy who threatened to shoot them and chop off their balls when they attempted to return it - a terrifying experience for a pair of skinny indie boys. Taking inspiration from Berlin-era Lou Reed, Jesus and Mary Chain’s “Darklands”, The Television Personalities and West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band, the songs are breezy and easy on the ear, with sublime harmonies and chiming Byrdsian guitar, but with a darker twist and a pervasive air of melancholy. Stand-out tracks include the beautiful but sad “Summer’s Gone” (about mental illness), “Magazine” (an upbeat number written from the perspective of a bullet in the barrel of a gun) and “You’ll See” (about how when you die you’ll see everyone you know, all there lined up in a row). With "Wooden Head", The Proper Ornaments prove that it is still possible to create an album of pure pop perfection. Max's girlfriend may not have stolen the boots, but The Proper Ornaments are about to steal your heart.

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      Coloured LP Info: Mean mr mustard coloured vinyl.

      Spilt Milk is the brand new album from indie auteur Pete Astor (The Loft, The Weather Prophets). It was recorded onto ½ inch tape at the home studio of James Hoare of Ultimate Painting, The Proper Ornaments and Veronica Falls, with James playing guitar, bass, drums, keyboards and singing backing vocals. “He was”, says Astor, “an amazing band.” Other contributions came from members of Astor's live band, with Pam Berry (Black Tambourine, Withered Hand) supplying vocals, Jack Hayter (Hefner) on pedal steel, Alison Cotton (The Left Outsides) on viola, and Robin Christian (Male Bonding) and Susan Milanovic (Feathers) on drums.

      The album has all the hallmarks of a future Pete Astor classic, drawing together key strands and tributaries of his work over the years, blending intuitive songwriting, acute lyrics and incisive melodies. After many years making more experimental, electronic music Astor has come full circle to the sound that made his name. From the opening track “Really Something” to the recent single “Mr Music” (a favourite of Marc Riley and Gideon Coe on BBC 6 music) the album’s re-connects Astor’s bespoke guitar pop with his long-standing embrace of The Velvet Underground’s musical DNA. Other standout tracks include “My Right Hand”, a hymn to everyone’s best friend, with guest appearances from Tony Hancock, Marvin Gaye, Philip Larkin and a host of ex-girlfriends; the slow burning drama of “The Getting There” recalling the atmospheres of Astor’s 80s kindred spirits, The Go-Betweens. Also, there is the wry drive of “Very Good Lock”, summed up by Astor as “a description of an injurious medical condition that often affects the male of the species”.

      Elsewhere there are the gorgeous harmonies of the grown up country lament “Good Enough”, which wouldn’t be out of place on one of George Jones’ most heartbroken albums. Spilt Milk is part of a continuum: from Astor’s beginnings with The Loft and The Weather Prophets on Creation Records in the 1980s, via his solo work through the 1990s and his more left field albums with The Wisdom of Harry and Ellis Island Sound on Matador Records, Heavenly and Peacefrog, through to his return to solo work with the Songbox album in 2012.

      Rival groups will be disappointed to learn that this record is a further experiment in combining hyper-melodic pop music with sonic violence. Officials have confirmed that the album contains a record number of hooks, traces of nut and elements of jangle pop, British hardcore punk, atonal music, screaming and drone organs. Yet they have issued warnings of "a marriage of radical politics with peanut butter spread". One authorised statement reads: “Weighing in at a concise 25 minutes, the album hurtles through its ten songs, each one a succinct, powerful gem.”

      The album was recorded by MJ from Hookworms, with the aim of heightening the group's "pop" & "aggressive" elements to excessive and hitherto unrecorded levels. As songwriter Owen Williams explains: “We tried to make it shorter, more economical and attempted to pack as many hooks and screams in as quickly possible in order to avoid short changing the consumer or wasting their time. Lyrically it’s more obtuse and surreal but also attempts to mock trad masculine rock themes whenever things do get more lucid. But sometimes musically we embrace them by doing embarrassing guitar solos. I'm not sure how much else I'm at liberty to say but one thing I will disclose is that the record is a response to threats posed by rival groups." The record has also seen the group explore new and potentially dangerous lyrical territory.

      Opener Last Year is reportedly about experiencing personal tragedy and the occult in a waterpark and a pizza restaurant. Yet Jamie (Luvver) is a straightforward pop song about having a crush on someone named Jamie, queer literature and Welsh public transport. These tracks are followed by the incredibly catchy Honestly Do Yr Worst, a song about espionage, rival groups and the radical possibilities of peanut butter spread. Speaking confidentially, one official confirms that “The sixth track, I Don't Wanna Relax, is yet another hook-filled potential single. This is swiftly followed by Jerome (Liar), a fan favorite based on a subversive folk tale.”

      On Separate Bedrooms, the group cover a song by Bristol DIY act Black Terror (now performing as “Cup Winners' Cup”), a group known for their attention to melody. The penultimate track is the “crushing, sparkling” Psykick Espionage, a song about telepathy and the occult in rock’n’roll, and “the first time I ate an avocado”. The record is brought to a close by Hey! I Wanna Be Your Best Friend, a heartwarming number about radical friendship and Thin Lizzy appreciation. Under media interrogation, guitarist George Nicholls confesses to the themes of the record: “It’s about radical politics, fancying people and espionage. The first record was more about violence and revenge fantasy, whereas this one is more about peanut butter."

      Comprised of Alanna McArdle (vocals), Owen Williams (guitar), Max Warren (bass), George Nicholls (guitar & organ) and David Sandford (drums). Their debut album Weird Sister took the world by storm when it was released in 2013, and went on to win the 2014 Welsh Music Prize. Overwhelming press support saw glowing, hysterical reviews across the board with particular interest from media outlets 'Pitchfork' and 'the NME'. 

      'Cursing The Sea', the debut album from Ireland’s September Girls, is a dark kaleidoscope of echoey drums, buzzsaw bass, angular guitars and reverb-drenched vocals that blends garage rock and post-punk to extraordinary effect. Named after a Big Star song via The Bangles, September Girls are comprised of Paula (Bass/Vocals), Caoimhe (Guitar/Vocals), Lauren (Keys/Vocals), Jessie (Guitar/Vocals) and Sarah (Drums). Drawing inspiration from the likes of Phil Spector, The Velvet Underground, The Cure, My Bloody Valentine and The Jesus And Mary Chain, the five-piece play reverb-soaked noise-pop of the finest order, with distant layered harmonies, swirling organ and distorted guitars once described as "sounds from a transistor radio abandoned in a rural cinema."

      Formed in Dublin in 2011, the band quickly recorded some demos and began booking gigs in Ireland and the UK, before releasing a handful of well-received limited edition singles on various cassette and 7” labels around the world, most recently on the Haus of PINS cassette label run by their kindred spirits PINS, with whom the band have also toured. This release, for the song “Ships”, gave the band their biggest press to date, with a glowing review on Pitchfork. With four different songwriters and singers, each song begins with a secret life of its own, only to be unified by the distortion-drenched harmonies and hazy pop stylings of the band, songs that often seem to be of a sunny disposition taking on a darker, more sinister edge.

      First single proper “Heartbeats” is a tale of unrequited love and betrayal, awash with fuzzy guitars, ethereal female vocals and entrancing melodies and underpinned by a hurt that catches the back of your throat, while the remarkable pop song that is “Green Eyed” has the protagonist trapped in a relationship with someone untrustworthy. Elsewhere “Sister” deals with the thorny subject of rape and victim-blaming in society over an insistent, urgent backing. Title track Cursing the Sea is an ode to long distance heartache and an apt title for the album, with many of the songs dealing with distance, insecurity and inner turmoil, and alluding to an overall sense of being adrift. In keeping with this, the band chose the setting of a beach at night for the artwork, hoping to capture that same unsettled feeling. Whirling around in a tornado of fuzz, dazzling harmonies, disarming lyrics and dizzying excitement, Cursing the Sea is awash with enough attitude and great songs to see September Girls safely to shore.

      “"Ships" takes their fuzzy garage pop and colors it several shades darker, resulting in an ominous amphetamine-fueled dirge full of screeching guitars, metronomic basslines, and cooly detached vocals. The Girls' pare down their sound to its steely core on "Ships", using angular guitar work to sharpen their sunniest melodies to a bleeding point, making this the most thrilling music they've released in their short existence.” (Pitchfork)

      Thrilling Cardiff-based noisepop five-piece Joanna Gruesome will be releasing their terrific debut album Weird Sister via Fortuna POP! (Europe) and Slumberland (USA) in September.

      Brimming with irresistible pop melodies and spiked with dissonant fuzzy jangle, their songs are shot through with loud discordant feedback and super-fast, hardcore punk drumbeats. This album sees their first foray away from recording in a living room to a proper studio under the guidance of producer MJ of the much lauded Hookworms. Kicking it against sexism and homophobia, nothing is off-limits, drawing inspiration from DIY scenes such as Riot Grrrl/noisepop/C86 /K-Records as well as post hardcore like Drive Like Jehu/Converge and the art rock of The Velvet Underground and My Bloody Valentine, Joanna Gruesome offer a staggeringly diverse album, unexpectedly quiet and surprisingly loud.

      Joanna Gruesome comprise Alanna on vocals, Owen on guitar, Max on bass, George on guitar and Dave on drums. They all met in an anger management counselling group. During the course they were told that writing, making music, dancing or painting could relieve tension and help reduce feelings of anger. One initiative involved a project where they were assigned a group to compose and perform a song in front of other members. Initially they found each other infuriating but gradually acknowledged their musical chemistry and decided to continue with the band outside the therapy group. Most of the album was written during a month long stay in a seedy west Brighton hotel (now closed down) called The Hell House. The residents were pretty strange, kept attempting occult rituals/using Ouija boards etc and many of the songs were written to distract from the weirdness.

      Heartwrenching and exhilarating in equal measure, these are not cheerful songs. Awash with nods to mental illness and the dark recesses of the mind, the record is littered with references to the devil or zombies and allusions to comic books. “Secret Surprise”, in which mental illness takes a physical form and is fought using razor blades. Or “Anti-Parent Cowboy Killers”, which is about stealing a scooter and driving it into the ocean when you should be in school LEARNING. Or “Sugarcrush”, about spending a summer burning knitwear. They have built-up a phenomenal live reputation, blending obnoxiously loud guitars and the occasional band uniform, with a high energy performance dispersed with quieter reflection, boy/girl vocals and teenage angst.

      STAFF COMMENTS

      Ryan says: An incredible debut from Cardiff based Joanna Gruesome. Fantastic indie-pop full of hooks and tucked away in there is everything you need from fuzzy pop melodies to hardcore blastbeats.

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      LP Info: Red and Black haze vinyl.

      LP includes MP3 Download Code.

      I Blame Society is the third album from New York trio The Ballet and their first for new label Fortuna POP! Unashamedly “sissy” and explicitly queer, The Ballet marry the DIY queer ethos of the Hidden Cameras with the wry poeticism of The Magnetic Fields to create literate, infectious pop gems.

      I Blame Society is a continuation of the lyrical themes and songwriting style found in the band’s two previous self-released albums (Mattachine! [2006] and Bear Life! [2009]), though with slightly pared down arrangements and a nuanced production, which highlights songwriter Greg Goldberg’s strengths. Inspired by Stephin Merritt’s body of work, Goldberg draws from an array of pop artists and periods, from 60’s bubblegum to 80’s synthpop and 90’s indiepop, fusing these in sophisticated and novel ways which rewards repeat listening.

      Avoiding autobiographical or confessional modes, Goldberg nonetheless mines his own psychological constitution and intellectual interests to craft songs whose overt musical prettiness is often contrasted by a dark and complex subtext. I Blame Society addresses a number of queer themes, offering a nuanced and refreshing perspective on contemporary queer issues, subtly balancing queer melancholy with self-deprecating humour and stubborn utopianism. While some queer musicians shy away from articulating a connection between their sexuality and musicianship, The Ballet have often contended the opposite: that they are “a bunch of queers who just happen to be in a band.”

      Formed in 2005 by Greg Goldberg and Craig Willse (who are both professors and met whilst at graduate school) with Marina Miranda (who they met at a party), The Ballet are still going strong after eight years of pop magic, retaining their original line-up. That’s not to say they haven’t gone through some line-up changes over the years. Acquired bandmates Ginger Brooks Takahashi and Michael O'Neill left in 2007 to join JD Sampson in MEN. Indiepop luminaries such as Linton from The Aislers Set and Ramesh from Voxtrot have also made guest appearances on previous albums, as have Kaki King and Scott Matthew.

      The darlings of the UK’s indiepop scene, Allo Darlin’ 2nd album Europe follows on from their critically acclaimed and hugely successful self-titled debut. The London-based four-piece – led by Australian songbird Elizabeth Morris, with guitarist Paul Rains, Bill Botting on the bass and Michael Collins on drums – create perfect, sophisticated pop gems and know how to put on a joyous, effervescent, fun-filled live show. Having built up an intensely loyal and ever-increasing fanbase, Allo Darlin’s reputation has developed at its own pace, from just one girl strumming a ukulele to headlining London’s Scala and touring all over the world. In their brief lifetime they have toured the USA four times, sold out tours across the UK, embarked on an epic five-week European tour and played shows across the United States. The band have been strongly supported by BBC 6music, recording several sessions including one at the BBC’s prestigious Maida Vale Studios as Steve Lamacq’s personal choice for BBC Introducing. Their self-titled debut was released to universal acclaim with plaudits including being named No. 2 record of the year by online retailer eMusic and a glowing 1,200 word essay by legendary Go-Between Mr. Robert Forster in the Australian critical magazine The Monthly.

      Achingly personal, incredibly poignant and familiar all at once, Elizabeth Morris’ songwriting has deepened and developed since their debut, although they’ve lost none of their ability to create sophisticated, intelligent pop music with an uplifting, joyous feel. There’s a sense though that the feel of the new record, Europe, reflects the changes in the world since their debut in 2009 – with riots and protests across the globe and a deepening feeling of gloom, a carefree album didn’t seem appropriate. Singer Elizabeth Morris explains: “I wanted to make beautiful songs and end up with a beautiful album, not necessarily an album full of three minute pop songs… the songs have an awareness of a darker place but end up coming out the other side.”

      Europe is chock full of memorable songs including the first single "Capricornia", which conjures up the bleached sunlight of summer in the area from which Elizabeth hails in Australia. Then there’s the title track and next single "Europe", a celebration of the togetherness that pulled the band through a disastrous tour of the continent last year, when noxious fumes in their tour van nearly put paid to them altogether. There’s the epic “Still Young”, the song that their friends The Wave Pictures refer to as their “Born To Run”, the wonderful "Northern Lights" about spending New Year's Eve in Sweden and “Wonderland“, the last song written for the album and one of the band’s favourites. Perhaps the two best songs on the album are the ballads. If Elizabeth describes the extraordinary "Tallulah" as "probably the best song I've written", then “Some People Say” runs it close for sheer, heartfelt emotion.


      Fearlessly passionate and fiercely intelligent, Comet Gain return with their finest album to date. With production by Edwyn Collins and Ryan Jarman of The Cribs. Led by songwriter David Feck, Comet Gain have released a string of critically acclaimed records on Kill Rock Stars, Track & Field and What’s Your Rupture establishing the band as one of the most fearlessly passionate and fiercely intelligent British bands around. The current line up comprises David Charlie Feck (vocals, guitar), ex-Huggy Bear bassist Jon Slade (guitar), Rachel Evans (vocals), Kay Ishikawa (bass), ex-Morrissey/The Meteors drummer Woodie Taylor (percussion), Anne Laure Guillain (keyboards), and Ben Phillipson of The Eighteenth Day Of May (guitar).

      Unapologetically literate and emotional, Comet Gain seek out inspiration as much in the music of girl-group era pop, heartfelt Americana, British post-punk, and 60s psychedelia, as in the words and images of the beat poets and in the cinema of both the British and French new-wave of the late 50 and early 60s. From Goffin and King, The Modern Lovers, The Seeds, Dylan, The Impressions, Big Star, Julian Cope, and the Flying Nun and Creation labels, to Kerouac, Pynchon, Shelagh Delaney, and Godard. The aesthetic they have made their own has chimed with and galvanized a slew of iconic bands and musicians; from artists like The Make-Up, The Yummy Fur, Jens Lekman, and Herman Dune, to a younger generation of DIY musicians like The Cribs, Let’s Wrestle, Male Bonding, Love Is All, Veronica Falls, and Crystal Stilts, Comet Gain’s influence remains a traceable and tangible thing.

      "Howl Of The Lonely Crowd" represents the fruition of the affection with which Comet Gain are held: further production work was undertaken by Brian O’Shaughnessy (My Bloody Valentine, Primal Scream) and Alasdair Maclean of The Clientele, who also contributed guitar. With added input from Matthew Sawyer (The Ghosts), Helen King (Shrag), and a blast of Terry Edwards’ legendary trumpet on the rousing mod anthem “The Weekend Dreams”. On this record, with the patronage of their esteemed friends, acolytes and collaborators, we find one of the most treasured and exhilarating British bands around in full realization of their creative capacities.

      For Fans Of: The Beatles, The Stones, The Monkees, The Velvet Underground, Nuggets, Pocketbooks, The School, Still Flyin’. Revolver, Nevermind The Bollocks & Definitely Maybe - The Loves new LP "...Love You" is shorter than all of these AND it's got a member of the Velvet Underground as the voice of Jesus on it!

      Formed in Cardiff in 2000, The Loves released their debut single on Radio One DJ Huw Stephens’ Boobytrap Singles Club in May 2001. Their second album on "Technicolor" was made Album Of The Week in The Sunday Times. The band recorded four Peel sessions and have recorded nearly as many again for Marc Riley on BBC 6music. This, The Love’s final LP before they call time on ten years at the top on Valentine’s Day 2011, was recorded at Soup Studios underneath East London’s Duke Of Uke shop, as were their last two albums "Technicolour" and "Three". It was mixed and mastered by Rob Jones of The Voluntary Butler Scheme fame and is as shiny a pop record you will hear this year. Spector-ish lead single “December Boy” has a wall of backing vocals from Emma Hall of Pocketbooks and former Love (now head of The School) Liz Hunt. It was playlisted on BBC Radio 2 after winning Radcliffe & Maconie’s Track Of The Week.

      Elswehere Nathaniel Mayer’s 1966 soul single “I Want Love and Affection (Not The House Of Correction)” gets a Loves overhauling and made into a Merseybeat thing, while “O! My Gawd” features Mindy from the American group Still Flyin’ on vocals in what is The Loves version of hip-hop. The Stones-y ballad “I Lost My Doll To Rock’n’Roll” and the Led Zeppelin rock of “King Kong Blues” show a harder side to the band. Doug Yule from The Velvet Underground is the voice of Jesus’ answer-phone on “It’s…The End Of The World” to which producer Simon Trought contributes the Brian May harmony guitar solo at the end of the song. The LP closes with a cover of comedian Jake Yapp’s “The Very Stars Were Meant For Us”. This is The Loves’ final LP because…just because.

      For Fans Of: Abba, Chic, Studio 54, Philly Soul. The Pipettes have never your typical pop band and now they’re back to remind us why. "Call Me" is the second single to be taken from their forthcoming and eagerly anticipated second album "Earth Vs The Pipettes" which looks set to see them build on the staggering success of their 2007 debut. This single sees the now London-based six-piece in full-on power pop overdrive. "Call Me" has as catchy a refrain as anything we have heard so far from The Pipettes, which is really saying something, given their knack for serving up slices of utterly infectious pop perfection.

      Hot on the heels of the band's ebullient comeback "Stop The Music" ('the sort of chorus that makes you go a bit wobbly and misty-eyed' - Popjustice) this disco-tinged follow up is undeniable proof that there’s something different about the Pipettes.Thanks to a change of line-up and a hop, skip and jump into 2010, they’ve reinvented themselves as a big shiny pop group, leaving behind the realm of the three female harmony girl-group and moving towards the sounds of Chic-inspired seventies disco and eighties chart music.

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      Ltd 7" Info: Limited blue vinyl single.

      Tender Trap are now a proper girl-group! In contrast with earlier Tender Trap, which had a more electronic bent, the newly revitalized 'Trap has stronger links to the pop lineage of its founder members; Amelia Fletcher and Rob Pursey were in influential indiepop originals and John Peel favourites Talulah Gosh and Heavenly, who released records on such indiepop labels as Sarah Records, K and Stephen Pastel’s 53rd and 3rd. Neither Talulah Gosh nor Heavenly (Amelia's previous bands) had this much vocal harmony going on. With two extra girl voices (from new guitarist Elizabeth Morris of Allo Darlin' and new drummer Katrina Dixon) the band now combines the harmonies, oohs, ahs and sha-la-las of classic girl-pop with the stripped down beats and dirty guitars of the Shop Assistants and The Vaselines.

      Following their albums "Film Molecules" and "6 Billion People", Fortuna Pop! bring us "Dansette Dansette", the band's excellent third album. Bristling with crunchy guitars and effortlessly catchy tunes, "Dansette Dansette" is ample proof of why Amelia and Rob's bands have been such a huge influence on today's generation of pop bands. Revered by today's revitalized indie-pop scene, their records are floor-fillers at indie dance clubs and their influence can be heard in bands such as Los Campesinos! (who namecheck Fletcher in their song "International Tweexcore Underground"), The Pains of Being Pure at Heart and Dum Dum Girls (who asked Tender Trap to support them at a recent London gig). Even US rockers The Hold Steady reference Heavenly in the title track of their new album Heaven is Whenever.

      "Dansette Dansette" kicks of the record in fine fashion, morse feedback bleeps leading into a melodic ode to the bedroom record player. Being the first single from the album, "Do You Want A Boyfriend?" is a perfect chunk of pop, but it's not as innocent as it seems - it celebrates the girl-pop phenomenon, but deconstructs it too. "Girls With Guns" and "2 To The N" are more punk-inspired, hearkening back to Amelia's Talulah Gosh roots. Slower tunes like "Suddenly" and "Counting The Hours" give plenty of room for Amelia's vocal interplay with Elizabeth and Katrina, and "Capital L" wraps up the album in epic fashion, a tambourine-driven slow-dance which builds to a glorious crescendo.


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