The last in a long line of releases this winter is the debut EP from Cleveland's Heavenly Creatures, and it's a lovely five-song gem! Though current, the band sounds like they were plucked from the Harriet Records '90s catalog, wedged in nicely between similarly female-led bands such as Twig, Pest 5000 and Prickly. That is, this EP is full of catchy pop songs with a bit of an edge both musically and lyrically (see the ode to so-called self-help books in "Blah Blah Blah Amen" and the response to guys' backhanded compliments to female musicians in the opening "Unsolicited Advice").
I've added a bunch of new items this week, including:
After a couple albums under his own name and as the Pinecones, Brent Randall of Toronto is now using the moniker Gentle Brent, but he's still playing many of the instruments on his own (with help from a few friends here and there). A little less orchestral this time around, Brent is leaning more toward jangly powerpop territory - think Harry Nilsson or Paul McCartney meets the Heavy Blinkers, Flashing Lights or even Jigsaw's own Michael Knight. This album has friendly, bouncy AM-styled hits galore, and with eleven of 'em in under half an hour, you'll find lots of wonderful vocal harmonies and the catchiest songs you've heard in a while!
Wrapping up a very busy February for the Jigsaw label is the second album from 31Ø8, a one-man project from London that plays rock music with keen pop sensibilities. That is, these are basically simple pop songs, but everything - guitars, vocals, synth-bass and electronic drums - is covered in a layer of fuzz, sounding like some hybrid of Loop and mid-period Jesus And Mary Chain, while more modern-ish references include Honeyrider and Jigsaw's own American Culture & Super Paradise. Not an easy record to describe, but very easy to get into.
Funny enough, I know very little about this band; my introduction to them was via a song on the best mixtape I've ever had, so it was listened to a million times. Sadly, that particular song isn't on this album, but what we do have here is their fabulous second album, originally released on the band's own Glutton For Punishment label back in 1988 and lovingly reissued by Firestation Records, in a limited pressing of 200! Take the offbeat, timeless, practically genre-less music of the Monochrome Set, and slather it in the most obscure and witty lyrics this side of Alan Jenkins (Deep Freeze Mice, Chrysanthemums, et al), and you've got a very memorable batch of songs!
You can pick up a copy here (on sale, even)! No full stream for this particular album, I'm afraid, but you can hear a couple songs from it below:
Jumping ahead a few catalog numbers to PZL121, today marks the release of the debut from Secret Meadow, a new band from Jakarta, Indonesia, and it's a good case of being able to judge a book by its cover. Much like the sleeve, the songs contained within are simple and catchy, but are also shrouded in a haze (of ambient synths). Imagine the sound and atmosphere of the Cure or Slowdive, but with melodies that rival anything the Radio Dept. have ever written, and mostly upbeat songs with driving rhythms and vocals that are soft yet confident. And the guitars! Oh, the wonderful, jangly guitars... Yes, this is the start of something really big, and we're glad to be able to introduce you to this delightful band!
Next up in our busy winter release schedule is the new project from Davina Shell (of Thee Ahs) and friends, and truth be told, it's really not too different from her previous band. And that's a good thing, because I LOVED Thee Ahs and their brand of pure and simple indiepop with the sweetest vocals - as much as I loved the Fat Tulips back when Sunday Records reigned supreme. Not to insinuate that these songs are all flowers and butterflies - in fact, they're rather darker in tone. Davina wrote all of the songs, but each track on this EP has a different vocalist (including Davina and Sarah, also from Thee Ahs), but they all have a similarly sweet delivery, so it flows together quite well. An all-around beautiful little collection of songs!
You can pick up your copy here!
Four new releases out on Jigsaw this month - say hello to release number one! It's the second album from Lures, a Seattle trio with a classic surfy rock sound, steeped in reverb and all that, only with songs that sound modern, in a similar style as someone like Chris Cohen and Tele Novella. But in between, they'll go and do a surf instrumental or cover Del Shannon's "Runaway". A nicely varied and rich album and it's on sale now here!
Got in a bunch of great releases in the last week, new and old! A quick glance reveals...
All of these - and more - to be found in our new arrivals section!