Sometimes you hear things you are know are ‘top of the charts’ freaking fantastic. Some songs are more of a slow burn. Others just conjure up something familiar and fun. Today’s collection runs this gamut of urgency, subtlety, and familiarity.
TUNS are a do-not-delay, go straight-to-download recommendation. From its opening chugging riff, “Mind Over Matter” grips you in an expectation of the power pop glory to come with some surprising departures from the genre, like the delicious drawn-out ‘ooh’ vocals and the measured but still raunchy solo guitar motif that appears briefly after the first chorus. This tiny nugget of poprock gold will have to do for the time being as a full album from this Canadian supergroup (which includes members of Sloan, Super Friendz, and Inbreds) won’t drop until the end of the summer. If their June show at the Garrison in Toronto was anything to go by, the album will be stunner. Mind Over Matter
Sam Weber’s new album, Valentina Nevada, is finally out and it rivals his debut in its range and melodic charms. “Good Love” draws on the piano side of Weber’s songwriting talents, a rollicking tune with a bit of slow swing. Weber manages to combine a country-rock vibe with a solid poprock chorus, with some nice guitar and vocal flourishes.
Norway’s Family Values have some serious 1986 time-warp issues going on with their recently released single, “Paris Syndrome.” A bit of Athens, Georgia poprock, perhaps a splash of Kelowna’s Grapes of Wrath: I mean, what’s not to love? There’s not much else to find from this band, with this single featured on their four song EP Time Stands Still and a previous EP from 2015 (jokingly titled Greatest Hits) that has a charmingly less-polished, 1980s-Aztec-Camera sort-of sound.
Just in time for Father’s Day, the enormously talented Pete Yorn released this homage to fathering, perhaps his own, maybe anyone’s. This free-flowing poprock tune has shades of Teenage Fanclub or Sloan, in Yorn’s typically subtle style: tuneful, without hitting you over the head with it. This song does not appear on Yorn’s just released (and amazing) Arranging Time album.My Father
In the old days, we had to write fan letters on actual paper using actual pens. Now you can easily visit TUNS, Sam Weber, Family Values and Pete Yorn on the internet to find out what they’re doing and where to get their music.