The laundromat I’ve been going to for the past couple of years has a small glass jar on their counter filled with those brilliant, awesome Red Bird soft mints. For some reason I’m always a little embarrassed to take them. Not sure why, though I’ve narrowed it down to my fear of being judged for my brazen love of candy and the fact that it seems like such an uncontrollable kid thing to do ( “ooh, free candy”). And so I usually wait until whoever is ringing me up to turn their back and, as quietly as possible, remove the lid of the jar and grab a few. This week as I walked in to pick up my laundry, the eternally friendly older lady behind the counter greeted me with a smile and immediately grabbed a big bag of mints from under the counter and started refilling the jar. She exclaimed “here, look !”. She then pulled out several fistfuls from the bag and told me to hold out my hands . She then bestowed upon me a generous quantity of mints ( check out my haul in pic above). I’d been found out…or maybe they’d always known it was me emptying that mint jar every week. The end result is that I can now walk in and openly grab mints from the jar and I no longer need to live in secrecy or fear of being judged because, you know, it’s too late. It’s the simple shit in life right ? Okay, so gonna pretend I’m paying that kind gesture forward by offering you some ludicrously wonderful pop music within the latest Weekly New Wonders. You can listen on Soundcloud or Spotify but please note the lists are ever so slightly different ( just a couple of tracks) as not all songs are available on both services at the time of this writing. Check out both if you don’t want to miss anything.
Here’s something weird: this is the second review in a week where there’ll be a reference to a Motels song. Utterly coincidental I swear but yes, also weird. “Button Up” is a world weary pocket anthem where the daily grind of existence wrestles with life long dreams in a slow death match. The whole thing feels like it’s teetering on the precipice, full of tension and the feeling that things are about to tip over the edge at any second…which kinda brought to mind the aforementioned Motels old 1979 cult classic “Total Control”, another song living on that same knife edge. Point is it’s beautiful to the core. Cape Francis is Kevin Olken Henthorn and the album from which this is drawn, “Deep Water” is out in March and if it’s anything like his ridiculously fine full length from 2017 “Falling Into Pieces”, well, then we’re about to be blessed. Know what, have a listen to that below just because…beautiful.
BIB KIDS walked into Ed Zed’s domain & he’ll never be the same, please allow him to explain…
Anxiety is a feeling with which I’m intimately familiar. This is not necessarily a negative thing, as I honestly doubt I’d be able to function without it. Sometimes though, I’m whipped into a veritable lather of irrational anxiety when I consider that a certain beloved band out there amidst the teeming masses might never have crossed my path at all. (Like the state of being dead, I suppose one could argue that you wouldn’t know what you were missing, but that’s beside the point.)
Last night, on a chance recommendation I heard Auckland’s phenomenal BIB KIDS for the first time, and by god, that anxiety went into overdrive.
The duo’s new single ‘100 degrees’ is a deliciously menacing shock of avant-pop that bristles with energy, compelling the humble listener to rise to its feet in an immediate hangman’s dance.
A trance-y synth swirls in a foreboding vortex around an electronic beat that sounds pleasingly like it’s being played by an actual human as opposed to having merely been programmed by one.
This sets the scene for Tash van Schaardenburg’s magnificently insouciant vocal, slowly ratcheting up the track’s muggy tension with lines like ‘suns down, moons up / forecast says its rain / I feel the weather shifting / I feel my mind gone drifting / let’s talk about locality and this eventuality / when we go home just you and me / we’ll change the seasons in my sheets’.
This is strange, serrated pop at its very best. Stop what you’re doing, buy it now on Bandcamp, and look out for a BIB KIDS EP ‘Gimp Software’, released in March.
Do not miss it. End transmission.
For the entirety of the 80’s, Madonna made pristinely wonderful pop records, and in some cases absolutely perfect ones ( “Into the Groove”, “Angel”). “Goner”, the latest offering from Katie Iannitello’s latest project Beauty Queen is as if the bridge in “True Blue” became a whole song. It’s a lo-fi, straight up crying in the bathroom pop song that no matter where you ultimately hear it sounds like it’s emanating from an old car radio. There are distant traces of The Motels 1982 drama pop hit “Take the L” lurking inside of it as well and it’s a totally angelic thing.
This here is the first installment of Weekly New Wonders for 2019, the best new music we’ve heard over the past week. No long winded explanation to offer other than all of these have been on repeat and are extremely fine in a myriad of ways. Hope you find something to love, love, love. You can listen on Spotify or Soundcloud but please note the playlists are slightly different as not all songs are available on both services.
Hear it on Soundcloud:
Hear it on Spotify:
This is the last Weekly New Wonders Playlist of 2018. A final handful to run over the credits…and then we’ll start again next week with the first gang of what’ll probably be hundreds of super fine songs that’ll be launched into the world in 2019. Am I allowed to say these are especially handsome because they totally are. Onward…
p.s. you can listen on Spotify or Soundcloud but please note there is one song that is only on Soundcloud as of this writing ( and it’s worth hearing) !
Hear it on Soundcloud:
Hear it on Spotify:
“Pass the Hours” glides seamlessly across the horizon, anchored by a fat, almost New Order-y bass line, and is lifted skyward by one heavenly ass falsetto on the chorus. It’s all very swoon- worthy. My age’ll show here but I can hear the ghost vibe of brilliant eighties UK soulsters Imagination lurking within this as well which is an undeniably rare and lovely thing.
Brandon Hoogenboom’s main gig is as a member of tuneful and sweet band, Set Sail, but he’s now ventured out into the solo universe and sounds ridiculously good doing it. “Habit” is a heavy, string laden futuristic marriage of late sixties Beach Boys and Raspberries front man Eric Carmen’s solo seventies era sound, features some lush harmonizing, and a coda of fat crying guitar and is seriously kind of gorgeous.
Thousands of songs were released into the world this year. Here are our 66 favorites.
I know what you’re thinking. Oh no, not another one. The barrage of “Best of the Year” lists is making you sick. You think they are boring and are all filled with the same predictable choices. And… I see your point. You’d think with the thousands upon thousands of songs that get released every year there would be more variation. And okay, while there are a few things that we can universally agree were GOOD this past year, like say the boygenius EP, or Tierra Whack’s “Whack World”, the contents of these lists can appear kind of samey after you’ve perused a handful, especially from the bigger online publications. Yes. That is true. I agree with you…but I live in hope. No matter how samey they seem to get after even reading through 2 or 3, I am one of those people who takes the time to do it anyway. Not just so I can talk shiz about why a particular record should or shouldn’t be there ( mostly the latter), but also because maybe, just maybe, I’ll stumble upon something I haven’t heard before. There’s usually at least one exceptional oddball lurking amongst the familiar picks on these lists…but okay, wouldn’t it be way cooler if we lived in a world where these lists didn’t look anything like one another? One where there was no consensus on what was “good”? Where all the picks were all as weird, personal and WTF as they could possibly be? Imagine how deep the discovery rabbit hole could get then. Okay, that is probably an f-ing insane nerd thing to say, but we’ve gotta follow our hearts around here. And with that as our driving force, here is the official PICKING UP ROCKS 2018 SONGS OF THE YEAR LIST. It contains 66 heart-swellingly beautiful songs, each of which has been at the top of the charts here at PuR at some point over the past 12 months, which is to say they aren’t in any particular order. Also the “66” has nothing to do with Satan. It’s just that 100 songs always feels like way too much and whittling the list down to 50 proved to be an impossible task. Or maybe it was Satan being a wise guy, it’s been that kind of a year. Anyway I truly hope you find it weird and maybe wonderful and that you stumble upon a song you have a deranged yet passionate affair with or at least discover an artist who gets you.
And THANKS to all these wonderful artists for all of these kick ass beautiful songs. Don’t stop. And THANKS to you for reading this far now or at any point during 2018. You are all songs of the year. THANK YOU.
Hear it on Soundcloud:
Hear it on Spotify:
Please note while each list is 66 glorious songs long, they are slightly different as not all songs are available on both streaming services ( just a few !)…which means you should check out both so you don’t miss anything !
We are working hard over here to put together our BEST SONGS OF THE YEAR PLAYLIST but that won’t get in the way of calling out the latest and greatest in new stuff…okay that is a lie, it totally did which is why there hasn’t been a Weekly New Wonders Playlist for the past couple of weeks. As a result this one here is pretty overfed and so it may require both the commute to and from work, and/or the entire wash and dry cycle to listen to in it’s entirety…but I swear it’s worth it as features some exceptional pop music, promise. And with that here it is…you can listen on Spotify or Soundcloud and please note, lists are slightly different as not all songs are available on each service, so take a peek at both so you don’t miss anything.
Soundcloud is here :
Spotify is here: