New & featured releases, updated December 2, 2021

The Reds, Pinks and Purples "Uncommon Weather"

[LP » $16.00] [CD » $9.00] [more info]
Uncommon Weather

The Reds, Pinks and Purples Uncommon Weather LP/CD

From the many musical lives of artist Glenn Donaldson emerges The Reds, Pinks and Purples, a project that sifts out the purest elements of pop music and in the process chronicles the point of view of an assiduous songwriter. His new album "Uncommon Weather" is both an elusive portrait of San Francisco -- during one of its fluctuations as an untenable place for musicians and artists -- and also a self-portrait of a songwriter who has dispatched another treasured collection of timeless sounding DIY-pop songs. Self-recorded and mostly self-performed, the music on "Uncommon Weather" continuously reckons with the influence of The Television Personalities' Dan Treacy, as well as The Cleaners From Venus, Blueboy, East River Pipe, and the Cherry Red and Flying Nun labels. Beautiful, mysterious and rather perfect pop.


The Reds, Pinks and Purples "I'd Rather Astral Project"

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I'd Rather Astral Project

The Reds, Pinks and Purples I'd Rather Astral Project

Glenn Donaldson has really seized the moment with his new project The Reds, Pinks & Purples. A long-standing fixture on San Francisco's DIY indie scene, Glenn has concentrated his efforts lately on making downcast perfect with The RPPs and people are listening. He's so prolific that "I'd Rather Astral Project" and "Work It Out While You Can" were originally released as a limited edition bonus 7", but the songs are 100% top quality pop in the classic Cherry Red/Flying Nun/early Creation vein and hence more than worthy of a wider airing. These gorgeous, melancholic and melodic tunes are both an ideal addendum to "Uncommon Weather" and a terrific intro to the project for newcomers. Brilliant, as always.


The Umbrellas "The Umbrellas"

[CD » $9.00] [cassette » $6.00] [more info]
The Umbrellas

The Umbrellas The Umbrellas CD/cassette

Joining a long line of SF bay area indie bands, The Umbrellas are sure to dazzle with their new self-titled debut album. Classic indiepop influences abound, from The Byrds to Orange Juice, The Pastels, Comet Gain and Belle & Sebastian, along with a noticeable garage-pop/Paisley Underground flavor that is a hallmark of San Francisco's best bands. Lead-off single "She Buys Herself Flowers" introduces us to a band that's both intimately conversant with indiepop history but also unburdened by it, a group with the song-crafting chops and spirit to take familiar elements and create for themselves a fresh new sound. The album goes from strength to strength, studded with pop gems like "Near You," "Lonely" and "Pictures" -- tunes that sound like classics from the first listen, as timeless and elemental as all great pop.


Tony Molina "Confront The Truth"

[12" vinyl » $14.00] [more info]
Confront The Truth

Tony Molina Confront The Truth 12" vinyl

We've all been waiting WAY too long for a new Tony Molina record, and this here eight song EP delivers in spades. Leaving the guitar crunch behind, Tony spotlights his formidable songwriting with spare, mostly acoustic arrangements that owe as much to early Bee Gees and Teenage Fanclub's mellower moments as they do to Georges Harrison and Martin. The sadness of this music has precedents in pop's past indeed, but in these songs you hear exactly what Tony found in those influences that shaped his experience -- years upon years of focus and isolation in developing his guitar and writing skills to speak to these truths. The main difference here is that where Tony's previous works felt casual and easy to digest, here we feel the full weight of his emotional needs pressed against the gentlest and most careful music of his career. The record's coda, a highlight reel of Thin Lizzy's "Banshee," indicates that the Tony you knew is still in there, but the game has changed, and the rules are entirely his own. Tony Molina is in complete control of his own destiny, and we should all care about where he's going.


Neutrals "Personal Computing"

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Personal Computing

Neutrals Personal Computing

Neutrals are a punk band from the San Francisco Bay Area, channeling a wide range of '70s and '80s punk, post-punk, and indie-pop influences. Their debut album "Kebab Disco" came out in 2019 on Emotional Response Records and garnered universal acclaim as "an excellent collection of terse melodies, unique storytelling, and scraping pop. (AllMusic)". "Personal Computing" b/w "In The Future" is their new single and has the distinction of being the final entry in our SLR30 Singles Series. Both sides were recorded just before the COVID-19 lockdown began and share a bittersweet nostalgia for an imagined rose-tinted future that never was. The mood of thwarted utopian dreams feels all too appropriate right now and the tense, angular songs on this single are an ideal soundtrack for this unsettled moment. This single is part of the SLR30 Singles Series; while supplies last you can get a color vinyl version with a series subscription. More info and subscription links on the SLR30 Singles Series info page.


Peel Dream Magazine "Agitprop Alterna "

[LP » $16.00] [CD » $9.00] [more info]
Agitprop Alterna

Peel Dream Magazine Agitprop Alterna LP/CD

Peel Dream Magazine is the musical vehicle for NYC's Joe Stevens, who launched the band in 2018 with the critically acclaimed album Modern Meta Physic, a mysterious, liminal tribute to the hazy end of ‘90s dream-pop that found its place on numerous "Best of 2018" lists. Now Peel Dream are back with Agitprop Alterna, an album that pays homage to the fuzzy, mod-ish pop of acts like My Bloody Valentine and early Stereolab, but it's also indebted to stateside bands like Yo La Tengo and Rocketship that were cut from a similar cloth. Agitprop Alterna finds Stevens deepening the connection between the existential and the interpretive first explored on Modern Meta Physic. It is a rejection of manipulation in all its forms and a buzzsaw against complacency; it's a rare trick to agitate without being obvious, and perhaps that makes Agitprop Alterna the most Peel Dream Magazine-like statement yet.


 

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