Midway and Buried in Records- Part 2

Welcome to day two of the half year round-up. Giddy-up! Here are the next set of seven records from the first half of this year that I think deserve your attention. It’s kind of an eclectic bunch but in at least one warped world they go quite well together.

Myron

Myron & E – Broadway (Stones Throw)

It seems like it’s been ages since those first couple Myron & E singles came out. I had nearly lost hope of them ever releasing an album, but the wait was worth it. Broadway is more than worth the wait, evoking Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On which is no easy feat. The Motor city may be bankrupt, but its soul legacy keeps paying dividends.  Top notch stuff.

stream: Myron & E – They Don’t Know

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Daughn Gibson – Me Moan (Sub Pop)

Part of Me Moan sounds like Gibson grew up with the Stuart Copeland and Stan Ridgway song Don’t Box Me In on repeat. The other part sees Gibson reading from the same book as Dan Bejar was on Destroyer’s Kaputt. Both parts consist of lush and sweeping 80’s inspired pop from a unique voice.

Stream: Daughn Gibson – The Pisgee Nest

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Universe People – Go To the Sun (Little Black Cloud)

Descending from the Intelligence family tree, this Seattle trio fronted by Australian ex-pat Jo Claxton deliver serrated pop that teases and caresses before puncturing skin.  This very sharp record deserves way more attention than it has received, because it’s pretty damn brilliant and would look fine next to your Intelligence, Fall and Dolly Mixture records.

stream: Universe People – Druids

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Girls Names – The New Life (Slumberland)

The new life sounds like dark era Cure (Seventeen Seconds, Faith, and Pornography) without being too obvious. It  didn’t immediately grab me, but its hypnotic bass and vocals has made gradually overcome my conscious and now The New Life is my go-to record when the need often comes to zone out into the horizon which is quite often.

Stream: Girls Names – Drawing Lines

oogaboogas
Ooga Boogas – Ooga Boogas (Aarght!)

Ooga Boogas have not left their garage roots, but the garage has been remodeled or converted rather. The record walks the line between ECSR and Total Control and sidesteps into Velvet UndergroundTubeway Army, the Fall,  Modern Lovers and the Soft Boys territories.

stream: Ooga Boogas – A Night to Remember

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House of Love – She Paints Words In Red (Cherry Red)

House of Love guitarist Terry Bickers acrimoniously left the band during the recording of the band’s second album. Since then he mad ammends with HOL frontman Guy Chadwich and they made a reunion record Days Run Away back in 2005. It was ok. Eight years later they’ve record a follow up that is immediate, elegant and while not quite reaching the heights of their debut it feels like they’ve recaptured the fire that blazed in their creative partnership.

stream: House of Love – Holy River

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Jacco Gardner – Cabinet of Curiosities (Trouble In Mind)

Dutch wunderkind pulls out all the psychedelic stops on his debut album. Amazing harmonies done to the backing of exquisite chamber pop backing. If you ever thought that the Left Bank sounded too effeminate and that Syd Barrett was too zany Gardner strikes just right balance.

stream: Jacco Gardner – The One Eyed King

Somebody Give the Lord a Handclap

Moose ...reissued! Actually let’s give Cherry Red a handclap for reissuing Mooses first album …XYZ.  It’s no secret about this blog’s love of the band Moose, but it is a little known (actually unknown) fact that I was this close to naming this blog Theme From Ace Conroy, a b-side to the Moose single Little Bird. I thought better of it, but only because the Finest Kiss has a better ring to it. A while back I did a short interview with Russel Yates where he mentioned a best of that was in the works, but there was no hint of reissuing the band’s amazing debut album at the time. Back in 1992 when the album originally came out on Virgin subsidiary Hut records it was hands down my favorite record of the year.  The album received good reviews on its release, but got labeled with a country tag that seemed to turn the kids off to what was a former shoegaze band.  The direction of …XYZ was only hinted at in the initial trilogy of EP’s (Jack, Cool Breeze & Reprise) that preceded the album, and to some people it was too much of a 180 degree turn for such a young band that they seemed to shed fans overnight .  The good reviews were more than warranted though, it was a beautifully constructed album with guitars, strings, brass,  and whistling.  I remember thinking that having Mitch Easter (Let’s Active) to produce the album seemed like an odd choice, but after hearing the record and the new direction in their sound I realized what a brilliant decision it was. According to the liner notes Mitch Easter worked on the record in his birthday suit, though he decided to put some clothes on to mix the record.  This album easily ranks up in my top ten of all time.

The new Cherry Red edition contains bonus tracks like all reissues should.  The bonus tracks cherry pick the best songs from the three ep’s that preceded the album, but unfortunately leave out the b-sides from the Little Bird single (the only single released from the album) and the limited edition 7 inch that came with initial copies of the vinyl version.  The 7 inch contained two covers, Colourbox‘s The Moon Is Blue and Gordon Lightfoot’s Early Mornin’ Rain.  It’s kind of a shame that the b-sides on the reissue aren’t totally comprehensive, but just having this unheralded classic back in print for anyone who may have missed it the first time around is a massive feat in and of itself!

mp3: Moose – Little Bird (Are You Happy In Your Cage)? – The drop dead perfect single from the album. mp3: Moose – Theme from Ace Conroy – b-side to Little Bird and the song that nearly named this blog. mp3: Moose – The Moon is Blue – Colourbox cover that appeared on a 7 inch that accompanied initial copies of the …XYZ vinyl. Buy the record from Cherry Red.