Posts Tagged ‘jigsaw’

Eureka California / Witching Waves / halfsour at Radio Nowhere

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Halfsour at Whisperin and Hollerin

Half Sour are a faux-naive indie-pop outfit, straight outta Boston and from the sound of it. They are more North end rather than Southies it seems. When the opening blast of What Your Waiting jumps out of the speakers at you, it suggests this album is full of rather urgent sounding songs. Grump, the second track, even manages to sound like the guitars are mimicking a siren at the end of the song which is pretty neat

Chartreuse Rec Room almost sounds like they want to walk over Boston Common on the wrong day as instead of the normal assorted drug dealers and hippes etc they find some real straight folks to have a go at them. But then this real fuzzy guitar comes in to take my mind off imagined scenarios for the song.

i.k. is probably the song that most hints at the band’s roots, starting out sounding like a Guided By Voices covers band as it’s a cool indie power-pop, catchy as all hell song with a great guitar bit that twists at the right parts of your brain in time for everyone to scream “Whoa Oh!” a few times. Sensitive Rugby? They must be mistaken as I never played in a sensitive rugby match growing up and this song isn’t that sensitive either with its clattering guitars and almost J Mascis-style lazy vocals in places.

Pleasantly Whelmed has some great backing vocals to lift the song from being another indie blank and reminds me a bit of being a bit slanted but not too enchanted. Porch Sittin’ does remind me a bit of sitting in Newton Highlands on a porch reading Nietszche back in 1986. I’m back wondering what I’m doing in this big old house as the singer goes on about a supernova that I could have seen at night from the window.

Employees Must Wash Hands is the sort of song that might make you reach for the hibi scrub and get clean in a hail of guitars. Pop Art Pop Tart is a great song title and the poppy indie that goes with it is almost like Lush. It’s a cool song for sure. Topsider thankfully has nothing to do with the band of that name but instead sound like, well, Girls Against Boys.

Adult Friday just seemed to breeze past a bit too easily. Mood Monster, meanwhile, seems to be a rant at someone’s parents for not letting them wear black. Ha, as if any of us have ever had that argument! The album then closes with Fake Sandwich which is a noisy rant about a sandwich that lacks enough filling to be a real sandwich, if y’follow my drift.


Animal Daydream at Whisperin and Hollerin

This is the latest single from Animal Daydream is the sort of single you’d expect to be released in early summer as it is so bright and breezy it can’t be about the dark winters of the bands Gothenburg home.

The 7″ single plays at 33 RPM but thankfully I spotted that before dropping the needle on it to hear Citrus burst out of the speakers as a Breezy neo-Psychedelic pop song for a summers day to take you down to the cool waters of one of the many lakes surrounding Gothenburg that has a very laid back instrumental interlude like the pine trees are rustling in the hills above you.

Sun (Turnaround) probably has more meaning in a city where you may only see it for a couple of hours a day and this slice of Byrdsian summer psych pop should put a smile on your face as you dream of all sorts of Aquavit cocktails to make with the fruits and spices on the single sleeve.

The B-side of the ep starts with All That You Can Give the sort of song that sounds like fellow Gothenburgers Hillman Lighthouse fused and refracted through a cracked Kaleidoscope of The Association crossed with Super Furry animals it’s ripe to be heard on a hot summers day while eating Lingonberry ice cream.

The ep closes with the almost chamber psych pop of In My Room that has a very cool vibe that is like the High Llamas without the metronome playing in the background a really nice song.

This single is well worth finding and should be a big summer hit find out more at


Animal Daydream at When You Motor Away

About a year ago we featured the Easy Pleasures EP, the debut recording by Gothenburg, Sweden guitar pop duoAnimal Daydream (link).  Our only complaint was that at four songs, we were left wanting more.  A year later, Daniel Fridlund Brandt and Alexander Wahl have sought to resolve our concerns with the Citrus EP, four more tracks of the kind of music that never goes out of style in my house.  What Animal Daydream does so well is absorb classic influences such as west coast jangle pop, Glasgow power pop, and ’70s soft rock and then reinterpret it in their own style.

The title track is a glorious tune that could be a jam between the Byrds and Fleetwood Mac.  “Sun (turn around)” would do Teenage Fanclub proud.  There is a Fleet Foxes vibe to “All That You Can Give”.   The closer, “In My Room”, wraps it up with a uptempo dream pop tune.  Overall, there is so much sunshine in the melodies and harmonies that I’m tempted to wear sunglasses when I play this record.

Citrus EP is out tomorrow, January 29, via Jigsaw Records as a digital download or on vinyl.  See the Bandcamp links below.  I expect that digital retailers are an option as well.


Animal Daydream at Fear and Loathing

I remember being a little kid, agitated and bored in the backseat of our family station wagon. I was young enough not to be in school but old enough to be aware of what was around me. I would have to ride along with my mom to pick my dad up from his job. It felt like it was always gray, always cold, and everything just stood still, nothing to look forward to in the near future. I just witnessed people looking miserable, doing their daily routines and it depressed the hell out of me. Why the fuck would I want to be an adult? What a drag! What a serious fucking drag. I would escape into my head while sitting restlessly in the car, listening to the softer rock featured on AM Radio at the time. I would dream of places that had nonstop sunshine, full moons every night, and people who talked to each other about exciting things.

The radio was a friend that gave this dreary atmosphere a mysterious soundtrack, made-for-television movies about teen runaways made me feel like I possibly had a chance to go somewhere else. Those last words from the lost souls of the lost late 1970s haunted me in the early 1980s. The luminous sullenness of Fleetwood Mac, Gary Wright, and America held a darker meaning. It was the sound of neighborhood couples having affairs, going to strange parties, and losing their way in an impromptu sexual revolution.

Animal Daydream’s Citrus EP takes the soft strains of dark feelings and polishes them with a charismatic college-rock blade. The opening track “Citrus” lifts off immediately, with a contagious cocaine fluidity. The abundant harmonies and vibrant strumming bring to mind the retro daze of Fleet Foxes. The Brian Wilson bliss of “Sun (Turn Around)” has a nice touch of psychedelic expansiveness that beams into the ultraviolet buzz. “All That You Can Give” keeps the blissful flow moving along with a slight detour into folk rock balladry. Closing out this four-track collection of retro softer rock eccentricity is the choice cut, “In My Room”. This track has a serene and wired aloofness that eerily echoes the vibes of the Love classic, Forever Changes. If you’re looking for something different, then look this way.


Halfsour at Three Imaginary Girls

The folks at Seattle record label (and record store) Jigsaw Records bring us Tuesday Night Live – the debut album by Halfsour. The Boston trio’s brand of indie-pop comes from the other side of the tracks, where “cute and precious” is overpowered by fast-paced, retro jangle and fearless, yet catchy, melodies.

I immediately fell for their candid guitar+drum cocktail as they mix early Wedding Present relentless spunk (especially on “Topsider”) with a slight nod to The Knack’s “My Sharona” (on “Porch Sitting”) and traces of  lovely, enveloping guitar that Curve would be particularly proud of in “IK.”

“Pop Art Pop Tart” is a perfect sub-genre term for their sound and my favorite song on the album – it’s relentless and determined. It is a wall of DIY guitar jangle that is paired well with“No Culture Icons” by The Thermals (be still my heart).

Click through for an album stream!


Animal Daydream at Bloodbuzzed

We move North to Gothenburg to meet Daniel Fridlund Brandt and Alexander Wahl, a very enigmatic duo that appeared on the scene in 2014. They have released two EPs to date, both out thanks to the always reliable Jigsaw Records, first debut ‘Easy Pleasures‘ in January 2015 and now, exactly a year later, ‘Citrus‘. Eight majestic tunes of psych-pop and sunshine pop, recalling The Byrds, the joyous side of CSNY and, looking forward in time, the poppier side of our dear Teenage Fanclub. Harmonies, chiming guitars and the smoothiest vibes from a band fated to make you smile. A pure delight.


Halfsour at Clicky Clicky Music Blog

We suppose there might be some quibbling, especially as how one defines “big” or “Boston” has some bearing on the matter, but it seems indisputable anyway that the first big Boston album of 2016 comes courtesy of Halfsour. The trio’s terrific debut long-player Tuesday Night Live, which streets next week, boasts scads of brisk tunes fizzing with hooks. The first preview track “Porch Sittin” presented a hardscrabble garage sound a laParquet Courts, but the great strength of the set is its variety of approaches to power-pop (emphasized by the traded-off lead or doubled-up vocals from Zoe and Matt). An outsized melody, caffeinated strumming and explosively boxy snare conspire to make set highlight “Pop Art Pop Tart” a breathless banger. The song careens from verse to pre-chorus to chorus, marrying scritchy guitar chords to just enough jangle to conjure thoughts of Peter Buck. The swinging hip-shaker “Pleasantly Whelmed” also shines brightly, and hints perhaps at Halfsour’s purported small-g genesis as a Guided By Voices cover band. The verse of the slow-burning, syncopated “I.K.” recycles the classic Beatles “Ticket To Ride” riff, and bursts its seams coming out of a manic chorus with an angular guitar solo that buzzes like a fridge. There’s just a lot to like. Tuesday Night Live will be released in a limited edition of 300 LPs and (virtually) unlimited CDs by Jigsaw Records Jan. 29; pre-order the set right here. In addition, Baltimore-based Nebraskan Coast is doing a run of cassettes for Tuesday Night Live, so watch this link for availability, quantity, color, etc.; the label has also done tapes for Princess Reason and Wildhoney, in case you were wondering. Halfsour previously released via Ride The Snake a dandy of a split EP with Boston luminaries Reports in late 2014, which you can purchase from Jigsaw right here.


Halfsour at Impose

Boston, Massachusetts denizens of the DIY community Halfsour are about to release their debut album Tuesday Night Live January 29 through Jigsaw Records & Nebraskan Coast on cassette. Rumored to have once been a Guided By Voices cover group; Zoë, Ian, & Matt follow-up their Reports 12″ split EP from Ride The Snake Records with something that would inspire both Robert Pollard and the shamble-core crowd to tighten-up their own sound sets of sensitive slacker pop.

Taking jangle cues from your post-punk obscure heroes and unloved & abandoned 80s idols on songs like “What You’re Waiting”, “Sensitive Rugby”, “Porch Sittin’”, and more; Halfsour today presents the world premiere of their b/w 16mm video for “IK” made by Peaches from the Barbazons, introducing the video with the following statement from the band:

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Halfsour at Collapse Board

Say you’ve gone out to see a gig in a new town. You’ve arrived early, as is your custom, but already people are crowding the couches and milling in bunches. You don’t know any of these people. Your legs lock as you stand at the threshold, scanning for somewhere unobtrusive to sit.

Twenty minutes crawl by. A prime table up front, the book you brought, and the beverage you’re nursing (I can’t order your drink for ya, geez) have done nothing to calm your jittery nerves. Two guys and a girl set up on stage, cutting up and joking with each other.

So they begin. And they start with this:

Click through for a track stream!