Thursday, April 29, 2010

Two for Thursday, 4/29/10

Phil Ayoub-Arrivals and Departures. One of the very first discs I featured on this site a little over four years ago was Phil Ayoub's debut disc Schoolbus Window Paper Heart, and he's finally caught up to us with the followup, Arrivals and Departures. The disc's name comes from the fact most of the songs were written while Ayoub was traveling, but it's not some woe-goes-the-traveling-musician album. Instead, it's the kind of bright, radio-friendly pop/rock Ayoub gave us the first time around, once again produced by David Gray sideman Tim Bradshaw. Standouts include "The Bearded Lady", which brings Limbeck to mind; "Get Out (Live a Little, Love a Lot)", one of the catchiest odes to getting out and seeing live music ever written; the gorgeous nostalgia-for-the-70s ballad "Basement"; and the midtempo gem "Flowers at Work". Also of note is the rave-up "Bad Habits", in which Ayoub channels Ike Reilly. Ayoub's an artist deserving of a wider audience, and here's hoping Arrivals and Departures marks his arrival.

CD Baby | MySpace | iTunes

Graydon-Graydon. A little over a year ago I called your attention to a pair of excellent EPs from an LA artist named Matt Miller. Since then, Miller has formed the band Graydon, and their debut full-length is a power pop delight. "You + Me" is a killer opener, reminiscent of Locksley; "What Can You Do" uses slide guitar and horns to conjure up a sound that could be described as George Harrison meets The Format; the piano-based "Anytime at All" sounds like an Oasis/Jack's Mannequin teamup, and "Running Back to Me" has a bit of Jellyfish about it. Managing the feat of sounding classic yet modern, Graydon should be a force to reckon with in the power pop community.

CD Baby | MySpace | iTunes

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