There is no particular theme to this post’s trio of songs, though each selection has a distinct sound that sets it apart. Starting with some Canadian content, Ontario native Matthew Barber typically runs the gamut of breathy guitar folk to straight up bar room rock and roll, but on “Blue Forever” it is the hypnotic piano hook that drives the song, later aided by some understated, echo-y electric guitar.
Simple Kid is the moniker for Irish multi-instrumentalist/producer Ciarán McFeely. After making some waves with his punk band, The Young Offenders, McFeely stripped things down to a solo project, initially recorded on a home multi-track cassette recorder. “Staring at the Sun,” from his 2004 album 1, kicks off with a distinctive guitar hook, with the rest of the song channeling a great Beck-like vibe. Sadly, after his equally interesting 2007 album 2, Simple Kid largely disappeared.
Staring at the Sun
New Zealand’s Strange Babes round things out with a blissful, retro-sixties pop gem, “Come Back Around,” featuring chime-y guitars and killer organ fill that follows the chorus. They are not going to win any awards for lip-synching but the video here shows a band that is reverent without being derivative of the poprock psychedelic scene.