Another New Release Round-Up: June 2020

Been checking out a lot of new music lately; here are a few quick takes.

Jetstream Pony are a UK band that's released a few terrific singles over the past couple years (they lured me in with a fizzy little cover of "Don't Fear The Reaper"). Their self-titled debut reaches back to late 80s/early 90s shoegaze, buzzing guitars and sweet vocals, though with a little more jangle and a little less feedback. Think Lush and the Darling Buds crossed with the Sundays, women-helmed noise-pop with hooks aplently.  Buy it at Bandcamp.

Second full-length from art-pop band Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever. While their prior work was a little more straight indie pop, this one has a slightly jazzier groove throughout, like they've been mixing some Sea & Cake in with their LMNOP, a cavalcade of baroque sunshine pop. Jangly guitars and intriguing melodies, calling to mind afternoons on the beach after a few glasses of wine, shimmering and bright but with hooks just skewed enough to avoid slipping into the background. Buy it at Bandcamp.

Already talked about 2nd Grade's wonderfully sprawling power pop opus last week, but just in case you missed it...

Dan Lyons's SubSurbia is joyously eccentric Britpop, touches of Blur or Pulp tinged with more colorful whimsy a la Television Personalities or Monochrome Set or Cleaners From Venus. Occasionally upbeat and perky, more often slipping into languid dreaminess. Buy it at Bandcamp.

Third full-length outing for all-women Madrid-based indie rockers Hinds, and simply comparing the colorful cover of The Prettiest Curse to the drunken slumber-party photos of the prior releases gives a good indication that they are moving beyond the lo-fi roots into something much more polished. But it's hardly slick, the distorted vocals and skewed post-punk guitars keeping this far afield from straight pop, more like the cool girls from school trying to rework their Pavement and Go! Team records into something fresh. Buy it at Bandcamp

Elephant Stone are a Canadian modern psychedelic band. Not too familiar with their prior work, but Hollow grabbed my attention on first listen, melodic psyche-pop with a colorful, sonically rich palette, but never straying far from highly tuneful indie pop. I read somewhere it's a concept album; haven't put that together yet, but the songs are entrancing on their own. Buy it at Bandcamp.

Ok, enough for now. On a parting note, here's my running playlist of music that's caught my attention so far this year:


  1. It's your stalker Ion once again! Good to see a shout out/write up for Jetstream Pony's wonderful debut. It's a terrific record made by terrific people (I'm friends with 3/4 of the band on Facebook). Hope they come through California one of these days. Have you heard their cover of "Yellow Pills" by 20/20? Pretty sweet. Also enjoying the R.B.C.F record, though I'm not FB friends with anyone in the band. I've still only given it a cursory listen, but you know I'll be back for more! Still need to check out the other two records -- especially looking forward to hearing new stuff from the Hinds. Also really liked the 2020 mix. Anyone who needs evidence that there's still great music being made needs to hear this mix. Amazing that both X and Wire are still making music worth hearing after more than 40 years .


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