Mark Maze – Uncomfortable Truths

Self-described ‘urban electric pop’ singer-songwriter Mark Maze grew up in a rough neighborhood on the fringes of Leicester, England, and his experiences there spurred him to focus on bettering his life.  He was influenced by artists who pushed the idea that anything was possible and, holding onto that idea, he joined a 6-member R’n’B vocal group … [Read more...]

Exclusive Album Stream of Made Of Stars by Strata Florida (Louise Trehy of 1990s 4AD duo Swallow)

Louise Trehy is back at long last with a spectacular new album that channels the dreamy bliss and noisy distortion of the best of the 1990s U.K. dream-pop and shoegazer bands.  Fans of Kate Bush, Liz Fraser/Cocteau Twins, B’linda Butcher/My Bloody Valentine, Miki Berenyi/Emma Anderson/Lush, and Toni Halliday/Curve will not only be enthralled … [Read more...]

Little Boots – Nocturnes

While Nocturnes doesn’t have the immediate impact or supremely sticky quality of Little Boots’, AKA Victoria Hesketh's, high-caliber dance-pop debut, Hands, it does display a slow-growing (Or is that glowing?) charm that rings true to the album’s muted title.  After the excitement of the glossy, cosmopolitan Hands, it was expected, or at least … [Read more...]

Short Takes on 3 EPs

Blood Red Shoes – Water EP http://v2music.com/ http://www.bloodredshoes.co.uk/ Laura-Mary and Steven muddy the waters with a harder, fuzzed-out sound on their latest EP, an emphatic nod to hard rock and garage rock styles.  The inherent exuberance and defiance found on their earlier output is bogged down on Water by a sludgy sonic brew … [Read more...]

Sarah Cracknell – Lipslide reissue

This past autumn saw the re-release of Saint Etienne chanteuse Sarah Cracknell’s 1997 solo album Lipslide in a 2-disc format.  The first CD contains the remastered (and reordered) tracks from the original album, while the second CD adds on various demos and previously unreleased material.  Sarah’s solo work is very much in line with Saint Etienne’s … [Read more...]

Interview with Pete Wiggs of Saint Etienne

  Hello Pete!  I’m absolutely delighted to have this opportunity to ask you a few questions about your spectacularly poptastic recent album Music and Words by Saint Etienne that has been out on Heavenly since May.  It’s a concept album and the ultimate fan love letter to pop music, where you hit the highlights of the soundtrack of our … [Read more...]

Garbage – Not Your Kind Of People

Shirley Manson and the guys (Well, the illustrious Butch Vig, and Duke Erikson and Steve Marker) have rebooted after a 7-year break with Not Your Kind Of People. Released in May on their own record label STUNVOLUME, it plays like ‘Garbage Version 3.0’ with songs that recall, but still hold their own against, the band’s self-titled debut and … [Read more...]

Short Takes on 3 Albums

Maribel – Reveries  Splendour  https://www.facebook.com/maribelband  On the second and aptly-titled album from Norway’s dream-rockers Maribel, the band has toned down the rock element in favor of a drawn out, diaphanous atmosphere that pervades every song.  The initial falling-star- film-noir-reverb-guitar, soporific splendor turns into … [Read more...]

Q&A with Birds & Batteries

  Hey there, Mike! It’s so great to connect with you over your band’s recent 4th studio album, Stray Light, which is out on Eightmaps. It’s an engaging album of tuneful, synth-leaning pop that shines a light on your sweet ‘n’ elastic vocals and cogent lyrics. Can you go into who is in the band these days? Thank you so much! Likewise. … [Read more...]

Saint Etienne – “I’ve Got Your Music” video

British nouveau-retro electronic-pop trio Saint Etienne is back after a 7-year hiatus with its 8th studio album, the descriptively bland, but aptly titled Words and Music by Saint Etienne.  Released in May on Heavenly Records, this concept album of melodic dance-pop and fleet disco beats contains lyrics that read like pages from an ultimate pop … [Read more...]