Monday, April 29, 2019

Late April Roundup.

Sofa City Sweetheart-Super(b) Exitos. Since we last checked in on Juan Antonio Lopez's Sofa City Sweetheart (looks at calendar, keeps flipping) in 2008, he's had a couple of sporadic releases in that time but Super(b) Exitos, his latest, is clearly his best and most cohesive effort since the debut EP. The frame of reference for his sound remains to me Elliott Smith at his most Beatlesque, and opener "The Same Old Song (You Were Always on My Mind)" has the kind of bouncy melody and ethereal vocals as Smith circa XO and the "la-la-la" refrain coupled with a nice guitar solo makes this track one of 2019's best to date. "Stanley Waited" is the kind of character miniature that the Kinks specialized in, and "Gwen" is another midtempo number which evokes Smith. Other standouts include lead single "Stop the Thinking" which channels Apples in Stereo, the bright pop of "In This Lifetime" and the lovely "Song for Alex". Lopez says in the release notes that the album is "his life's work" and the overall quality here reflects that and makes it a year-end list contender.


The Top Boost-Dreaming EP. These guys from Vancouver caught my ear with their 2016 debut EP, and they've followed that up with three new tracks here that I'm calling an EP since it's not a single from an album (for the pedantic, they call it an EP on their Bandcamp page but iTunes refers to it as a single). The title track is a wonderful, jangly tune that features background vocals from - you guessed it - Roger Joseph Manning Jr, the man who's everywhere these days. "I'll Be There" is an old-school pop tune with a waltz signature, and "She Will Stay" is the most "power pop" of the three tracks. With only seven total tracks released in three years, they apparently value quality over quantity and when the EPs are this good, who am I to argue?


Oscar Tango-Choice Morsels EP. No, this isn't a release from a dude named Oscar Tango, nor is it someone with the initials "O.T." using the NATO phonetic alphabet. Instead, it's four rocking tracks from Toronto's Ryan Farley that have a classic power pop sound. "London Station" has a catchy "but you can't get over that" chorus that recalls fellow Canadians Sloan, and "Harbour Lights" has a chorus that reminds me of Jay Ferguson's "Thunder Island" for some reason.



Solid Booking said...


Really cool blog.

I couldn't see a private message option so do delete if inappropriate but we're a powerpop band from London who just released a new single and you might like it given the content of your blog. If you've got a sec we would really appreciate a listen.

Cheers/Thanks/all the best


Shriner said...

All three of these were really really good. Thanks for pointing them out!