Posts Tagged ‘jigsaw’

Half Sour at Innocent Words

As the legend goes, Halfsour started out as a Guided By Voices cover band. Well, you can sort of hear it if you squint your ears. But this coed trio from Boston actually reminds one a lot of the harder-edged indie pop bands of the late ’90s/early ’00s, specifically New Grenada (of whom they are a dead-ringer) and Wolfie (and its many off-shoots, such as the Like Young and National Splits). Halfsour songs are generally short and punchy – only a few times do they pass the three-minute mark, blasting you with catchy guitar melodies and bratty boy/girl vocals.

Following up a short-run demo tape and a split 12″ EP with Reports on Ride The Snake Records, ‘Tuesday Night Live’ (Jigsaw Records) is Halfsour’s debut album, and it certainly shows a lot of promise – definitely a band to watch out for!

The Story Behind “Sensitive Rugby”

“So there was this one time that Ian (drummer) and his girlfriend Chrissy had to kill a bunch of time in Somerville, so they went to some weird Irish bar. It was completely empty when they got there, but then filled up pretty much immediately with what ended up being the Irish Hurling champion team (who Ian remembers as being from Cork). They all watched the match at the bar and then at the end of the game there was an announcer with a microphone who called each player up one at a time to congratulate them. The rest of the bar made a tunnel that they had to run down in order to get to the announcer in some weird surreal football-esque format. That is where the song “Sensitive Rugby” came from.

“Sensitive Rugby” was the first song Halfsour wrote with Ian on vocals. Ian wrote the lyrics five minutes before recording them after having played the song for months without any. The vocals were recorded 30 minutes after Ian ate maybe 15 latkes and about a week before Ian moved to California for four months.”

Check out these first single and album lead in track “Sensitive Rugby” exclusivley


Halfsour at Mad Mackerel

As the legend goes, halfsour started out as a Guided By Voices cover band but now boast a much harder edge to their sound.

Later this month they will release their debut album titled tuesday night live. it is an album where the songs are generally short and punchy – only a few times do they pass the three-minute mark – blasting you with catchy guitar melodies and bratty vocals. It’s music to have bottle rocket wars to, to throw a party in a back garden shed, to have a demolition bicycle derby, to throw rocks at trains to, to try to throw keys up into a tree to get stuck to, music that just calls out for fun and abandon.

Listen to Porch Sittin here.


Halfsour at With Guitars



Animal Daydream at Mad Mackerel

Hailing from Gothenburg, Sweden, Animal Daydream are a duo offering songs that are reminiscent of later Teenage Fanclub and Fleet Foxes, but also borrow liberally from the sound of ’70s soft rock, particularly Fleetwood Mac and CSNY, with their strong vocal harmonies and overall smooth, almost slick production.

New EP, Citrus is released at the end of this month and this is the excellent title track.


Postal Blue at Whisperin and Hollerin

This is the second Postal Blue album in a mere 18 year existence and so must signal a revival of shoegazing dream pop in their home country of Brazil. Yes, Brazilian shoegazers will be all over the airwaves next year at the Olympics I’m sure. Anyway, this album is out on the super cool Jigsaw Records.

It opens with gentle jangler Bitterness Is Sweet which sort of reminds me of early Belle and Sebastian and a bit of Josef K. I Always Knew is a continuance of that sort of style with a good dollop of Sarah Records thrown in. It’s carefully layered and the vocals seems to remain in a cool monotone as they tell the story of love betrayed again.

Still Blue seems to uses some wonderful background vocals to interweave with an organ that really is very Belle and Sebastian trying to be the Pastels; cool, laid back and very intricate musically. Isn’t It Funny opens with almost a military two step being beaten out on the drums before the brass and guitars all come in and take us on a cool journey of the sort Sean O’Hagan likes to take. It’s all very sophisticated and laid back.

Shape Of Your Life is the closest they come to a samba beat and it’s miles away from that really, but it has a more urgent feel to it with some cool jangly guitars. On and On has nothing whatsoever to do with Ariston but keeps the jangles coming, sweeping through like they have been listening to Broomtree by Downy Mildew and Belle and Sebastian’s debut and tried to fuse them together. It also seems to add layer upon layer of sound and all sorts of things going on that repeated listening will start to unfurl.

Does It Really Matter? Well does it? I guess it does as this is back in High Llamas-type territory with a cool jangly undertow. If You’re So Different isn’t that different to the rest of this album: sort of Pastels meets High Llamas with great jangly bits in it and loads of layers to the sound.

One Day is the most mournful track. It’s stripped back with Violins and egg shakers and it’s a lovely song. The album then closes with The Last Goodbye which, every time, leaves me singing a Downy Mildew song in my head which kind of says it might be a bit close in places but is no straight rip off: just another great shoegazing song.

This is a cool album and anyone who likes the bands referenced in this review will like this album and, let’s face it, we all need some Brazilian shoe gazing in our lives, don’t we? A perfect alternative soundtrack to next year’s Olympics.


Postal Blue at El Planeta Amarillo

Segundo álbum de este maravilloso grupo de indiepop de guitarras de Brasil, que en realidad es el sobrenombre tras el que se esconde un apasionado del pop, Adriano do Couto. Aunque POSTAL BLUE se originó como cuarteto en 1998, ahora es un proyecto individual. Ha publicado varios EPs en los sellos indies más laureados del planeta, como Shelflife, Humblebee, Drive-In, Cloudberry o Dufflecoat, aunque álbumes sólo tenía publicado uno hasta la fecha, ‘International breeze’ (Shelflife, 2004), por lo que este ‘Of love & other affections’ es su segundo trabajo, que llega once años después de su debut. POSTAL BLUE siguen gozando de un sonido muy próximo al sonido de bandas de Sarah Records como THE ORCHIDS, BLUEBOY, SECRET SHINE o THE FIELD MICE. Son diez fantásticas canciones de melodías radiantes y llenas de inspiración, con deliciosos estribillos cargados de nostalgia, canciones que de haber sido compuestas hace veinticinco años, habrían sido referencias seguras de Sarah Records, y es que al escuchar la música de POSTAL BLUE me vienen a la cabeza tantas bandas del gran sello de Bristol! Esos fraseos de guitarras cristalinas, esos ritmos jangly y la voz aterciopelada de Adriano, una mezcla mágica que me recuerda también a bandas de ahora como THE FELT TIPS, NORTHERN PORTRAIT o BUBBLEGUM LEMONADE. El comienzo de “Still blue” me recuerda a otra de mis bandas favoritas, STEREOLAB. Y es que las canciones se nutren de exquisitas influencias desde el primer segundo hasta el último. En este disco han colaborado Sandra Humphrey (MATH AND PHYSICS CLUB) al violín, y Shelley Jane y Marc Elston en tareas vocales; todo lo demás se lo ha guisado y se lo ha comido el propio Adriano. La producción del álbum es brillante, lo que realza aún más estos 35 minutos y diez joyas del mejor indiepop que se hace hoy en día.


Postal Blue at Bloodbuzzed

Hailing from Brasilia, Brazil, today I’m happy to bring you the story of Adriano do Couto, the man behind one of the best records of 2015. The project started out in 1998, as a full-fledged quartet on search of the perfect pop tune (Byrds, Smiths, Go-Betweens). American label Drive-In Records quickly reached them to release theirself-titled debut EP released in 2000, with our dearShelflife Records coming second to release sophomore EP ‘Weather Sensitive‘ two years later. In 2004 arrived debut LP ‘International Breeze‘, with the band shifting their sound from guitar indiepop to a subdued and adventurous bossanova-infused folk pop. Another EP, the moody and sung in Portuguese ‘Road to happiness‘ came next in 2006 on Canadian label Humblebee Recordings. But then the band entered into a hiatus that became final, so singer and lead songwriter Adriano, keeping Postal Blue‘s name, released a 3″ single on Cloudberry Records in 2008 and a 7″ as part of the Dufflecoat / Jigsaw Singles Club co-release. Finally, at the end of past November, after 11 years, the band’s sophomore album ‘Of Love & Other Affections‘ arrived via Jigsaw. Gorgeous indiepop from start to finish, dreamiest, melancholic, elegant, classic, always arresting. Been a long way, but the reward is priceless.


Postal Blue at Linear Tracking Lives

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Postal Blue at El Planeta Amarillo



Postal Blue at Dagger Zine

Wow, this was certainly a pleasant. I’d always really liked this Brazilian indie pop band and have previous releases by them on the Shelflife and Drive In labels. I believe the last we heard from them was on a Cloudberry Records release in 200 (in 2006 he also released the Road to Happiness ep on the Humblebee label). Also, when I say them I mean him as Postal Blue is basically a one man show from Adriano do Couto (though on a few songs he does get help on violin and a few folks help out on backing vocals as well). The sound is real breezy and jangly, but melancholy as well and will definitely appeal to fans of bands on the Sarah label (I definitely hear some Field Mice influence in the songs). Even the song titles reflect longing: “Bitterness is Sweet,” “Does It Really Matter” and “The Last Goodbye” are all odes to a certain someone. In addition to those cuts do Couto clocks in with some real gems here in “On and On,” “Still Blue” and “I Always Knew.” 10 songs in 35 minutes and no filler. I say give him whatever keeps Bobby Wratten going and demand a new Postal Blue record by the end of 2016!