I mostly write about new music but all the time I’m discovering great tunes I somehow missed when they first came out. Some were successful on release but many missed connecting with an audience. So let’s take five and crack open the time capsule to give these tunes another shot at stardom.
Charlatans frontman Tim Burgess has had his share of success and even put out a fab new solo album just this past year. But today we’re reaching back to 2003 for his first solo album I Believe to spin “Oh My Corazon,” a delightful bit of jaunty poprock. Reminds me a little of Brendon Benson in its overall pop texture and textbook hooks.
Described as ‘garage rock hedonists’ by some, I hear a smoother sound from Columbus, Ohio band Dirty Girls, at least listening to their ‘free to download’ 2011 EP Yoko No No. This is perhaps a more rudimentary version of Guster-style melodic rock and roll with a bit of Sugar Ray thrown in. The whole EP is great but right now I’m digging “Overblown” with its low-key jangle and dynamic vocal punch.
New York City’s Valley Lodge have been particularly successful getting their tunes on TV shows and it’s easy to hear why. Their songs have an immediately embraceable quality, a sonic sharpness in the mix of vocals and guitar hooks. But check out the classic sound on “Hey” from their 2005 self-titled debut. This one screams maximum rotation hit single to me, so ear-worm right out of the gate.
Tracking down info on The Squirrels single “Hey You” is not easy. This band is not the legendary Seattle group but they might be connected to screenwriter/filmmaker/actor Victor Colicchio’s 1970s punk group The Dead Squirrels. In any event, I love the song’s strong retro vibe, DIY feel and Merseybeat structure. iTunes clocks the song as 2013 but I suspect that is just a re-release date for a much older song, like 1977-78-ish.
The Rosquettes hail from Seville, Spain and they’ve got a great 1960s rock and roll sound that vibes all the great acts – the Kinks, the Beatles, a bit of the Monkees, Love – you get the picture. So far I’ve found thee EPs and an album on Bandcamp, with three available for nada dinero. All the albums have great artwork, equal parts pop art and spaghetti western. And the guitar hooks – they are just outta sight on tracks like “Branches” and “Shaker Pack” (both from We Could Have Been Bigger Than …) and Mr. Farmer (from First Covers). I was tempted to feature “Hard to be Sam Bell” from the most recent release Edible Incredible! but in the end I was hypnotized by the more gritty “A House is Not a Motel.” For melodic rocking out in a most 1960s way, check these guys out.
Time is an illusion, all our yesterdays are today, and yesteryear’s singles could be hits today. Why not take a moment to appreciate these time capsule treats in the here and now. You’ll be glad you did.