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Screen Shot 2018-11-14 at 11.09.51 PM.pngIt’s melody central today on Around the Dial. The station appears to be just stuck on hooks. But that’s OK.

Screen Shot 2018-11-14 at 11.10.44 PMJust getting around to raving about last spring’s hottest poprock release, Starbelly’s Four. I’ve raved about Starbelly member Cliff Hillis’ catalogue before but I have to say, there is nothing like putting a whole bunch of really talented guys together to get even more amazing results. As an album, Four is a strong hook-filled jaunt clearly influenced by the Beatles, solo McCartney, Squeeze and all those others great melodic groups, with a few surprises. I’m digging the low key melodic swing of “Lay Low” and the staccato groove of “Yes, I Love Her Again” with it’s great lead lines and background vocals. “Emily Says” sounds very mid-period Squeeze to me. “Jesus Freak” starts very pop psychedelic Beatles but then throws in a Billy Joel melodic twist in the verses while “Antidote” I swear is a great lost Aimee Mann deep cut.

Yes I’ll Love Her AgainJesus FreakAntidote

Screen Shot 2018-11-14 at 11.12.11 PMSeems everybody is loving Bill Lloyd’s new record Working the Long Game and I am no exception. I’ve really liked the few songs I stumbled on from his past work and only just figured out he was one half of the amazing country pop duo Foster and Lloyd! But this new album is something else, solid all the way through. “Satellite” is the killer hit single material, at least on my poprock radio station. It’s got the chorus that hooks you in and keeps you waiting for it to come around again. “What Time Won’t Heal” has a very cool late 1960s folk pop vibe. The album also clearly channels some Elvis Costello-isms on “Til the Day that I Break Down” and “Interrupted” while “Miracle Mile” and “Shinning” had me feeling very Marshall Crenshaw. And then “Yesterday” is just brilliant rocked up pop in a Matthew Sweet sort of way. All this name-dropping is just my way of saying, this guy’s got the poprock goods.

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Screen Shot 2018-11-14 at 11.13.22 PMLast up a band I discovered commuting between Toronto and Peterborough, Ontario in 2005, Van Go. “Dear You” (from that year’s Pop Your Heart Out LP) just grabbed me like a good ear worm should. But after that I lost track of the band. That is, until their record company alerted me to the release of their latest full length release, Everybody Loves You When You’re Gone. I’m happy to report they’ve still got it! Things kicked off well with “I Wish I Could Be Grateful,” the obvious single with a great melodic hook in the chorus. It’s also great news that the band’s distinctive and addictive vocal attack is still in evidence here, particularly on tracks like “Miles Away” and “Tell Us How You Really Feel.” Title track “Everybody Loves You When You’re Gone” is also a winner melodically, while still delivered with some rocking muscle.

Starbelly, Bill Lloyd and Van Go are all deserving of your aural and financial attention. You know the drill.