Why Bonnie “Practice”

Out of Austin and into your heart, Why Bonnie offer up some homespun wisdom in this  faded pop snapshot. A laid back groove enveloped in gently chiming guitar, and featuring one sweet little chorus, Why Bonnie remind us there’s no wasted time, it’s all practice. This is off the new EP ‘In Water” and it is exceptionally handsome. It’s also reminiscent of a wonderful sleeper from back in 2004 by A Girl Called Eddy which we are gonna recommend as well ( see below).

While we’re here, might as well share another track off the aforementioned EP, the jangling and sentimental “Made of Paper” which is also pretty fine:

And if you feel like going back in time, check out A Girl Called Eddy for more glorious chime:


Weekly New Wonders Playlist !


Welcome to this week’s New Wonders. We’ve been inundated with cool stuff this year, no doubt about it. Gonna write about/single out a couple of these tracks in next day or so, but in the meantime, indulge in everything. You can listen on Soundcloud and/or Spotify: we’ve got you covered. Live it up…

Soundcloud :


Johann Johannsson 1969-2018


I discovered Johann Johannsson by complete accident. It was 2008, and I was working in the buying department at Virgin Megastore in New York City. We’d just gotten the usual box of promotional cds, and forthcoming releases. And I did the usual thing, putting them on one after the other, mechanically listening for anything with sales potential and all that. One of those cds was Johann’s Fordlandia. It blew my mind. It obliterated everything I’d played before it. It was classical, but it wasn’t classical music. It was as melodic as pop, but it wasn’t pop music. All I knew was that I couldn’t wait to get it home and hear it on headphones.

I excitedly told my co-worker Marvin about this new discovery and upon hearing it, he too became completely obsessed . We soon embarked on a mission to hear/own everything Johann had released; it was absolute love. And so when his first U.S. tour was announced in 2009, including a date at Le Poisson Rouge in NYC, we had no choice: we had to be there.

It was June 25, 2009, a gloomy, rain-sodden and humid evening. While standing in line to get in, to finally see Johann, the door guy offhandedly mentioned to me that Michael Jackson had died. This was staggering and shocking, and at that moment impossible to fully absorb. And now I was about to go into this dark room and hear Johann Johannsson play some of the saddest, most epic music on the planet. Music, that more often than not, I’d tended to use to soundtrack the darkest of times.

It was a pretty weird emotional experience. Thinking about Michael, and my own internal rubbish simultaneously while listening to this otherworldly sound.

The show was brilliant and just cemented how important Johann and his music were going to be to me, for what I knew would be a long time to come.

Marvin and I were now officially “fan girl & boy” keeping tabs on releases and collecting Johann catalogue in all formats. And in keeping with our mania, went to see him again at LPR in 2010. In the lobby was a small merch table. And in the empty lobby, behind the merch table was Johann himself. Looking shy and unassuming. There he was trying to make change for me after I’d bought a cd. “You know I’m going to ask you to sign this now”, I smiled at him, and again he shyly smiled back and obliged. And then he went onstage and conducted and played the most beautiful and heart-wrenching music you’re ever going to hear.


I only realize now how fortunate we were to experience him at that time in such a small place.

And so Johann died today. Only 48 years old. And I’m writing this only having heard about it like 20 minutes ago. Just crying…because this guy was such a genius and so incredibly gifted, and created music that’ll be beautiful for as long as the earth is turning.

There’s so much to recommend but for the sake of brevity, wanted to share a little homemade “best of” playlist below to get you better acquainted if you haven’t explored his work. It’s pretty subjective of course, as in it doesn’t feature any of the mega film soundtracks Johann has done over the past few years, but I think it’s his best stuff; it will all take you somewhere far away. What a genius.


Weekly New Wonders Playlist !

Screenshot 2018-02-03 23.50.51

Here are the new playlists (plus a bonus pin-up of super hot D.Bowie just because)! Lotta stuff, like a whole lot, and sigh, we are just spoiled for choice right now. Anyway, it’s the usual drill: there are 2 playlists, Soundcloud and Spotify and as of this writing the Soundcloud list has a few more songs because they are not yet on Spotify…but you can’t go wrong either way. Boys keep swinging, boys always work it out….

Soundcloud Playlist:

Spotify Playlist:

When You Hear This Song : “Hey There Lonely Girl”


Andy Moreno talks on the song that saved her soul and everything else, Eddie Holman’s 1969 classic Hey There Lonely Girl.

As a pre-tween heading into what I could only imagine at the time as a very bleak future, I fantasized romantic notions of suicide or dying a tragic death.  Not all the time but too often, and these thoughts became an ongoing comfort food for my mind, to help me move through dim periods.  It doesn’t sound healthy now but I argue that in a sad way, it was a clever use of the tools in my box.  While I completely embraced the highs and beauty of most music, I probably stayed much too long swimming in darker sounds. Because of this though, I did gain a huge appreciation for the power of a single song, of how a chord change or vocal intonation could change the room, and thereby my entire world.

Before I became entrenched in the wailing rock guitars of the 70’s, I synched cosmically with the soul music that saturated Midwest radio. All their sad, orchestral chords and falsetto voices, where old souls like mine could find respite. The Chi-lites. The Delfonics. The Motown Sound. A playground for a young girl’s melancholy.  Love songs to my own already weakened spirit. And I distinctly remember listening to Eddie Holman’s “Hey There Lonely Girl”. Maybe that was the first time I fully understood the scope and depth of a song’s reach. It took me years to develop an intelligent understanding of lyrics and meanings of songs and at that age, honestly, I could only feel them as a whole, the mood a certain one could bring, how it could put a salve right on the wound or drive a dagger in it.

The introduction to that song was such a bare and gentle stage to place my emptiness.  And this kind stranger promising to make it all better.  It’s a little deep for a kid but goes to show just how resilient and rooted we are as humans.

The new feelings these sweet soul songs ignited made me feel so much more alive than I was able to muster on my own. “Lonely Girl” broke the numbness and from that point on I became addicted. This music was so powerful. It had the ability to move me up or down and I would never forget or ignore that.

I won’t say I came out the other end of a depressed youth. I reside more in a side door alcove.  The main thing is I stay among the living and no longer glamorize destruction of any sort. The good life that music feeds me is one of the main reasons I choose to keep on keepin’ on to this day.

Scuba Dvala “Anthill”

As cringeworthy words go, “dreamy” is right up there. There’s no way to use it without sounding like love-starved fangirl/woman since it’s primary usage is in front of the name of some heartthrob ( or even more cringeworthy, within it, Dr. McDreamy anyone?), but there’s no other way to say it: this song is a dreamy heartthrob. It’s delicate, pretty, sweetly introspective, undeniably in need of an embrace, and is highlighted by a recurring synth line that resembles a tiny choir ( the ending is straight out of 10cc’s “I’m Not in Love”, which of course is the dreamiest song in history). “You pinched me, said wake up, that my misery glows through my skin and makeup”…yes, totally dreamy.

TH Da Freak “Thickhead”

Okay for a couple of seconds this caused Locals H’s 1996 hit “Bound for the Floor” to re-enter my consciousness ( honestly, the title of that song should be officially changed to “The Copacetic Song” at this point, since that’s what everyone calls it because no one can ever remember the real title…including me, I had to look it up). Anyway, it kind of sounded like that, until it didn’t. The melody made a hairpin turn, and everything started to swirl and make me dizzy. The vocal is literally an echo and is nearly smothered by a woozy, whining, power-pop guitar. There are “oohs” and “ahhhhhs”…and it’s just, well it could make you sigh and truly forget the world for a minute ( especially if you play it loud). It’s off the forthcoming album, “The Hood”, which is out in 2 weeks, and this is a blessed omen i.e. judging by this, sounds like it’s gonna be good.



Soccer Mommy “Cool”

This is everywhere today but it’s just so damn good that I really wanted to feature it here. Wrapped in the sunniest of chorus’s, and fattest of chords, “Cool” makes judgement, desire, and jealousy sound pretty damn heavenly. It’s as melodically gorgeous and incisive as anything off babe/genius Juliana Hatfield’s early 90’s albums ( she who specialized in this kind of sound and sentiment back in the day), which is a real achievement, I’m telling you. After about 2 1/2 minutes, the whole song literally melts  and passes out in the sun. Perfect. Debut album lands in March, and yes, it will be very,very good.

And hey, here’s a some completely awesome Juliana Hatfield circa 1992 to play next 🙂


Spike Vincent “Life in the Dust”

It takes mere seconds for this lush, jangling freight train to get rolling, and once it does it just don’t stop. In other words, it’s very easy to envision 100’s of bobbing heads absolutely losing their shiz to “Life in the Dust”. Spike’s sweet and anxious vocal lands somewhere between Jeffrey Lee Pierce of wonderful 80’s renegades Gun Club, and Tom Verlaine of Television: it’s as muscular as the guitar it thunders along with, never wavering, just crushing. The debut album is out in February and okay, gonna say it, forgive me, but play it loud.

James Bakian “Know You”

As of this writing Londoner James Bakian is 14 years old. And hearing how accomplished and pop music perceptive “Know You” is will probably make you want to go back in time and confront your lazy 14 year old self and say, “why couldn’t you be as focused and ridiculously creative as James ? You disappoint me. Get out of here, I can’t even look at you”. Anyway, the song itself is sparse and skeletal and has a bit of a demo-ish quality to it i.e. it’s basically a heartbeat with James’s angelic and fluttery falsetto floating on top. It’s also in possession of a really handsome hook and, I’m telling you now, is better than anything on the last Sam Smith album. Nice one James.