bears: greater lakes

Bears - Perfect Girl
Bears - The City Still
Bears - The City Still (Low in the Sky remix)

“I found the perfect girl, pretty as can be. I guess just not perfect for me.”

It took me approximately fifteen plays to truly listen to the lyrics of “Perfect Girl”. I’m not proud of this. But, but, but… On the surface level, it’s such an inoffensive, peppy indie-pop jam! If you’re not actually paying attention—which one might be prone to do whilst casually listening in their cubicle—you might fall victim to the song’s deceptively joyful vibe and carefree, Beach Boys-esque melodies.

BearsGreater Lakes works, overall, because it’s a mostly depressing album that only sounds depressing half of the time. Well, less than half of the time. Though you might hit the doldrums hard on “Don’t Wait”, “I Don’t Have You on My Mind” and “I Can’t Make Things Right”, each is followed by something significantly more upbeat (including closing track “Until The Very End”, one of the album’s lone moment of genuine happiness).

The beauty of Greater Lakes is that it’s whatever you make of it. You can turn it on and soak in every single emotion, or simply bop and sway to the music. From the unapologetic hermits’ anthem “More Left Out” to the instant dance party of “From Good to Bad”, this is an album that takes you on a journey. That isn’t always the case in today’s current musical climate. Kudos to Bears for achieving this.

Photo credit: Jersey Knitter

jordan bolton: love was always cruel…

Jordan Bolton - Love Was Always Cruel, It Just Wasn't Cruel To Me
Jordan Bolton - Black And Grey

Manchester’s Jordan Bolton makes indie-pop with an adult contemporary sensibility. That opening statement may sound like a backhanded compliment (or a downright insult if you’re super snobbish), but it’s an accurate description for his catchy, highly-hummable tunes. They sound like classics from the late nineties or early aughts. After a few listens, you almost feel like you’ve known these songs forever.

I kept thinking of Jack Johnson‘s “Flake” every time I listened to “Black And Grey”, while Bolton’s latest release “Love Was Always Cruel, It Just Wasn’t Cruel To Me” gives me a bit of a Joseph Arthur vibe. You can decide for yourself whether these comparisons are in any way accurate. Most likely, they are not! But at least I got you to listen to Jordan Bolton, and (hopefully) you will love it.

y la bamba: court the storm

Y La Bamba - Squawk

Good news! Y La Bamba is giving away their latest release Court The Storm for free. Bad news! It’s only available until 11:59pm PST, so you’re shit out of luck if you came across this post after today, March 1st. Thankfully, you should still be able to download the album’s lead single “Squawk” above, and stream one of the band’s favorite tracks “Ponce Pilato” below.

Did either of those strike your fancy? Fantastic! To claim your free copy of Court The Storm, follow @YLaBamba on Twitter and send out the following tweet: “Follow @YLaBamba and retweet this to get the new album #courtthestorm feat @NekoCase for free. exp 11:59pm PST Listen: http://snd.sc/AhS8ik

Oops! I probably should have mentioned earlier that indie goddess Neko Case is a featured guest on the album’s title track. You can listen to it below. Of course, before you do so, please take note of the following tweet from Neko Case: “Just so you know @ylabamba are THE BALLS.”

THE BALLS! That is all. Thank you for your time, dearest readers.

Photo credit: Ingrid Renan