Thursday, April 22, 2010

Two for Thursday, 4/22/10

Secret Powers-Lies and Fairy Tales. If someone told me back in the late summer of 2008 that a new power pop band would emerge and have three great discs out by the spring of 2010, I'd be skeptical. But damned if Shmedley & crew are back with their third disc in about 18 months that's a must-listen. For those unfamiliar, Secret Powers is led by Ryan "Shmedly" Maynes and they serve up high-grade Jellyfish/ELO-influenced pop. Lies and Fairy Tales is no exception. "Orange Trees" was the best track on their previous release, and here things stay in the citrus family with the leadoff track "Tangerine", a hooky number that closes with a "na na na na" refrain and is downright infectious. The hits just keep on coming: "I'm So in Love" is a bouncy Beatlesque bit, "Riding the Shark" (as opposed to jumping it, which these guys are far from doing) is a manic rocker that doesn't quit, while the trippy piano-based "Cows" is udderly delightful. And don't overlook "Opening Band", a wry look at the music biz. I look forward to their next disc, and glad I probably won't have to wait too long. (By the way, they've finally embraced digital distribution, so I can embed from Lala and give you an iTunes link. Now they just need to get the first two available that way.)

CD Baby | MySpace | iTunes

Knit Delicate-Fulton Hill. As anyone who's read this blog for more than a little while knows, I'm a sucker for bands that can mix power pop and alt-country. And this band from Wisconsin sure knows how to weave a pop tune with a slight twang, as they follow up Pressed, their debut and one of 2007's more overlooked gems. Sounding like the Gary Louris-led version of The Jayhawks mixed in with a little Rich McCulley, they even mix in a little Big Star on the opener "Really Shouldn't Say Those Things" and the brilliant "When I See You". Other standouts include "Love is Not Democracy" and the pop sheen of "Had a Chance", in which they channel America. And they love punny references as much as I do, otherwise they wouldn't have a track called "Spin Cycle" on the disc.

CD Baby | MySpace | iTunes

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