Luster “Fall & Forget”

“Fall…”is a woozy synth-pop lament brazenly bathed in a Beach Boys “Pet Sounds” sheen, that also brings to mind Ariel Pink at his absolute sweetest and, gonna get deep here, Paul McCartney’s epic 1971 summer sundown album track “Back Seat of My Car”, which is as high a compliment as we can pay. Lush and desperate and definitely swoon-worthy.


Escapists “Army of One”

An empowering tornado with a million hooks, sounding like a hundred high school marching bands playing at once, where every guitar is turned up to 11, and featuring a vocal that I swear, and I know this’ll sound weird, reminded me of Merrill Garbus of Tuneyards. It all adds up to some truly embraceable melodic noise…and any song whose first line is “I am the patron saint of disappointment” could only be good.

Tracey Thorn “Queen”

Okay, Tracey is telling a story here, but I want to make the obvious out of context reference that everyone will, which is that Tracey is a freakin’ Queen, in that she has been responsible for some truly transcendent pop music over the past 30+ years, and is one of the greatest voices ever…okay sorry… had to do that, I’ll calm down now, it’s just that I really love her…actually in this song, you, me, and all of us are the potential/could’ve been “Queen” in question. A swirling electropop anthem, all about the “what if’s ” in life, or rather, a celebration of that eternal question, “where the hell would I be now if I’d…?”. It’s the theme song for all the mind wrestling and mental grappling we do every day, has a proper pop chorus that sticks to the walls and doesn’t come off, is off her forthcoming album “Record”, out March 2nd, and is pretty glorious.

The Way Out “Rolling Off The Edge”

Had never heard of of these guys, out of Ashland, Nebraska, until a couple of days ago, yet here they are with my current # 1 most played (roughly a gazillion times) track this week. It’s simultaneously dark and infectious, and has a bit of an alternative 90’s vibe, which asserts itself most prominently in Mari Crisler’s vocal: deep, and flat and perfect, and somewhere in between Liz Phair and, on the more recent tip, Ophelia Booth of Bloxx : it’s every bit as powerful as the bed of fat, melodic guitar that gloriously surrounds it.

Weekly New Wonders Playlist !


Welcome to this weeks New Wonders. Yeah, only 2 weeks into January and there are already a whole lotta brilliant things to embrace. And with that, here they are, and just so you know, there are some tracks on Soundcloud that are not yet on Spotify, so to indulge more fully check both lists. Enjoy…

Soundcloud Playlist here:

Spotify here:

Serena Richelle “Rewind”


It sucks to be wrong… and with that please enjoy some truly handsome and soulful angst, regret, hindsight and hopefully erasure, courtesy of Serena Richelle. The vocal here is mighty fine, and the whole feel is reminiscent of a couple of Class A, sad electro tear stained classics from the late 90’s, namely “6 Underground” by Sneaker Pimps, and “Blood Red Tears” by Olive, which is no mean feat.


Willows “It’s Always You” featuring Ran.feri

Come on along as Willows, aka Ariel Rodriguez, takes us on a truly epic journey. “It’s Always You” is a rattling, perilous freight train one minute, and a spare skeletal ballad the next, the last 30 seconds sounding literally like 2 songs playing at once… and good lord, if it doesn’t somehow sound completely glorious. Anyhow, this one is a bit of an all-star game, as in a lot of teams are represented, as in you can’t really attach a singular tag to it : it’s intermittently math, then power pop, then emo ( synth pop even makes a cameo appearance, seriously) and it’s basically all of them pogoing together in the same room. And a nod of praise to the raw and lustrous guest vocal from Ran.feri which lands somewhere between Nothing and Fucked Up, and is just kind of perfect .

Sun Gangs “The Boy Without a Plan”

This is listed as being a demo but who cares because it’s heart on the sleeve gorgeous as is. The vocal is so far up front that with headphones on you may kind of get that chill you do when someone whispers directly into your ear. It weirdly reminded me of the 1981 Rolling Stones classic “Waiting on a Friend”, as it beats with the same melodic heart, and is just as full of resignation, but this “boy” is 100 times more lost, wistful, and earnest, and all kinds of beautiful. And check out the band’s 2017 EP “Stranger” below, for more genuinely fine and promising things.


Johnny Utah “Nvrilyrily”

Short, and sticky, hypnotic and gentle and just pop, pop, pop. I’ve got to stress the sticky here, because once you hear the chorus, be prepared for it to be sleeping on the sofa of your mind for awhile whether you want it to or not. This track is off the new self-titled EP, and know what, gonna include one more from there just because it’s equally sweet and weird and just as good.


Weekly New Wonders Playlists !!


It’s 2018, and already there are some awesomely wondrous pop tunes that have been launched into the world. And we’ll have a whole lotta reviews coming this week as a result. Please though, go on and get a jumpstart by checking out our first playlists of 2018 !

Emphatic Note !! : As of this writing there are a bunch of tracks on Soundcloud that are not yet on Spotify, so please make a point of visiting the Soundcloud playlist so you don’t miss anything: it’s worth it, I swear.

Soundcloud Playlist here:

Spotify here: