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maxresdefaultAsylums “Joy in a Small Wage” Perhaps a bit more rock than pop with this entry, Asylums are a wonderfully weird, politically astute new band out of southern England. Nobody can seem to agree just how to describe their sound – ‘indie fuzz pop’, ‘Britpop meets punk’ – but one commentator added The Monkees as a possible reference point, which might be more apt than is sonically apparent. Asylums do seem to channel the televised spontaneity of the latter group but, of course, the difference is that they are doing it for real. Unwilling to wait for record deals, they just went out and recorded things themselves, created their own label (Cool Things Records), and somehow got their DIY singles into steady rotation on BBC1. I find some of their stuff a bit too punky for my tastes but the single “Joy in a Small Wage” is driven by a strong electric guitar hook and a cool vocal, drenched in reverb.

 Asylums webpage

Heyrocco “First Song” Heyrocco are a group of post-teenagers from South Carolina who channel an Eighties indie sound like old pros. “First Song” features a lurching vocal over a rock solid backing that drops in and out between verses and chorus. The song is taken from the band’s debut album, Teenage Movie Soundtrack. Heyrocco Tumblr

Grouplove “No Drama Queen” Meanwhile, Grouplove’s “No Drama Queen” is actually taken from a real teenage movie soundtrack, Paper Towns. Grouplove broke out on the charts with their 2011 album Never Trust a Happy Song but have struggled to match their early success, despite releasing consistently good material. This soundtrack contribution is no exception. The song kicks off in low gear but quickly builds into a fist-waving anthemic chorus. The song begins after a brief movie montage plugging the film. Grouplove website