Matthew Shacallis-Reach the Stars. Aussie power popper Matthew Shacallis has crafted an impressive debut EP, recalling another power popper with the name Matthew S., Mr. Sweet. "Summer Sun" is melodic bliss, buoyed by Shacallis' Brendan Benson-esque vocals, "Tell Me Girl" recalls his "Sweet" namesake as it wouldn't have sounded out of place on Girlfriend, and "Do You Love Me" has a Zombies vibe. Easily one of the top EPs of 2014, and you can count on seeing this in next week's year-end lists.
The Ships-The Summer of Our Lives. From Australia we travel to Spain, from The Ships sail with another impressive debut. This full-length evokes The Posies and Teenage Fanclub. Standout tracks include the jangly "Want", the uptempo "Second Hand Store" "Hipster"(in which they don't want of any them at their shows) and the relentless "Julia". Spain has always had a healthy power pop scene, and these guys are making it proud.
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The Jeanies-The Jeanies. Rounding out our trio of top-notch debuts is Brooklyn's The Jeanies, who traffic in a more old-school power pop sound reminiscent of Dwight Twilley and The Plimsouls. "I Seen Her Dance" is a rocking gem that will get you in the mood right off the bat, "It's For You" could have been an AM radio hit from the 70s, and "Believe Me Jenny" sounds a decade earlier, almost like a lost La's track. As long as artists like the three featured today keep emerging, power pop will continue to be in good hands.