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Playlists with album links on Spinitron.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

All kinds of great new music this week.  Enjoy!

12:00pm
super furry animals - juxtaposed with u
the wild swans - english electric lightning
kero kero bonito - wherever you go (UK)
tantrum - passed by (Indonesia)
wallflower - summer's end getaway (Japan)
love dance - safe sounds (Norway)
12:20pm
picnic - forget yourself through the beauty (Estonia)
a novel resort - everything we ever hoped for (Denmark)
alpaca sports - a million times (invisible twin remix) (Sweden)
red sleeping beauty - just for fun (alpaca sports cover) (Sweden)
12:40pm
the bilinda butchers - it's not over till we're dead
when nalda became punk - song for carrie mathison (Spain)
violens - when to let go
moscow club - turn groove sounds on
sunny summer day - in summertime (feat. cris miller)
asteroids galaxy tour - heart attack
1:00pm
Band À Part - el chico del norte (Spain)
the yearning - why's she making those eyes at you?
obedient wives club - summerloove (Singapore)
mocca - you (Indonesia)
la casa azul - la polinesia meridional (Spain)
helen love - shy girl
1:23pm Surf Set
el ray - circus monkey
phantom 309 - motor oil (instrobeat)
terry and the renegades - live drive
dick dale & the del-tones - banzai washout
1:35pm
azure blue - time is on our side
the hobbes fanclub - love from the stars
males - pre roll
attic lights - gabrielle
paradise - endless wave
the go! team - secretary song
northern portrait - The Münchhausen in Me (Denmark)
slow beach - lover, lover (Japan)
2:00pm
snowbird - all wishes are ghosts
silver screen - more than you and i
english singles - ordinary girls
shop assistants - seems to be
talulah gosh - looking for a rainbow
2:20pm
primal scream - velocity girl
the minders - i've been wondering
from bubblegum to sky - some kind of fantastic
rocketship - kisses are promises
sambassadeur - final say (Sweden)
pelle carlberg - i love you, you imbecile (Sweden)
the fireworks - runaround
2:40pm
minks - margot
dream diary - bird in my garden
the aislers set - the way to market station
real estate - talking backwards
the clouds - tranquil
the blanche hudson weekend - love is a poison

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Happyoblivion Best Albums (LPs or EPs) of 2013

It's complete!  Yes, the full write-up on the 10 best albums overall (LPs & EPs) for 2013.  These are bands that really made good music from top to bottom.  I also reviewed the top 10 singles or tracks that were just superb on their own (which is a separate category from this one, encompassing entire albums).  Check out this top 10 album list at the KTUH radioblog or just read the list below! 

The Happyoblivion Best Albums (LPs or EPs) of 2013

Completing our best of list for 2013, here are the 10 best albums overall–that means no filler, and all great stuff for the whole album.  Tune in to the Happyoblivion show every Saturday 12-3pm for the very best in indie pop music!       
          
Beach Vacation - Maritime  10) Beach Vacation: Maritime [EP]. What a nice surprise this was, a band named Beach Vacation sneaking in with summery sounds from Oak Harbor, Washington.  Their 4-song EP release was superb and does  a great job of conjuring up a wonderful flowing sound that is perfect for any sort of vacation near the ocean.  The band proclaims to be influenced by Craft Spells and the Radio Dept. and it definitely shows in their sound, though they sound most like Wild Nothing on the poppier side of things.  “Escape” is a wonderfully jangly tune with lots of hummable riffs and melodies, while the standout track “Washington Weather” is just a wonderfully perfect carefree gem.  http://beachvacation.bandcamp.com/album/maritime-ep

Club 8 - Above the City 9) Club 8: Above the City [LP].  At first glance of the CD in my hands, austere cover art underneath the jewel case reflecting the lights above.  I had fallen in love many years ago with their album “The Friend I Once Had,” which had many repeated spins in my CD player back then.  Club 8 had morphed and changed some from that first love, but I still had high hopes with each new release.  So, with trepidation, I placed this CD into the player, and listened…  At first, I was not sure if I was again enamored.  But then I listened again, and again, and again.  And there it was, that self-same spark that had been there with our first love, and still burning warmly through the Swedish winters.  Best played with the lights dimmed and cool breeze in the air, “Above the City” is another wonderfully layered album from Club 8.  Yes, it takes a gradual crescendo through the first half of the album to get to the standout tracks “A Small Piece of Heaven” and “I’m Not Gonna Grow Old,” but you are rewarded for your patience, as you should be on a fully imagined cohesive album.    https://soundcloud.com/labrador-records/sets/club-8-above-the-city-1

Tullycraft8) Tullycraft: Lost In Light Rotation [LP].  Unabashedly twee and back as good as ever, Tullycraft is one of my favorite bands and they definitely do not disappoint with their latest LP release.  From beginning to end, it is everything we’ve come to expect from Tullycraft, so no surprises, but no one else does it as well as Tullycraft in being themselves.  Highlights include their title track “Lost in Light Rotation,” “Westchester Turnabouts,” and “Agincourt,” but really, every single tune on the album is a singable, danceable (in the hop-around head-bobbing way), short (2-3 minute) gem of pure indie pop goodness!  https://soundcloud.com/fortuna-pop/tullycraft-lost-in-light

the fin. 7) The fin. Glowing Red On The Shore [EP]. This 4 piece band from Kobe, Japan, don’t sound at all like they are from Japan.  Instead they channel that electronic new wave sound with layered vocals that would fit alongside Joy Division and New Order, though ultimately more positive-leaning and hopeful in mood and lyrics.  Maybe mixed in with some Pains of Being Pure at Heart would round out their sound.  This EP release features songs that I have played on repeat many times over and never tired of, such as “Circle on the Snows,” “Float Away,” and ‘Misty Forest,” are my favorites, but they are all so excellent.  The information on this new band is rather limited, but check them out!  http://70.xmbs.jp/fin/?in=ok

When Nalda Became Punk6) When Nalda Became Punk – A Farewell to Youth [LP].  A very cute band from Spain, initially started by Elena Sestelo as just “Nalda” in 2006 and really gathering momentum when Roberto Cibeira joined the band and they recorded tracks for this debut LP “A Farewell to Youth.”  My favorites are “When It’ll Come,” and “Summer, You And Me.”  Unabashedly true indie pop with melodic guitars, happy synthesizers, cheerful drums, and the wonderful vocals from Elena with maybe just a hint of edginess (ala the Muffs), When Nalda Became Punk’s album is a high-energy party with no let down at all.  http://www.shelflife.com/catalogue/LIFE097.html

The Very Most 5) The Very Most—Just a Pup [EP].  Everyone’s favorite indie pop band from Idaho is at it again!  This prolific band led by Jeremy Jensen has been pumping out all kinds of great songs, and this most recent EP includes the special collaborative gem between the Very Most and singer Liz Hunt from the School.  Not only is it two of my favorite bands coming together as one, but to heap up the goodness even more, they decide to cover one of the most singable songs of all time, Tom Jones’ “It’s Not Unusual.”  This Welsh-Idahoan combination is just too superb to miss.  Could we just have Liz Hunt sing every song known to mankind?  And the rest of the EP is just as wonderful, covering the breadth and strength of this band in just 4 songs.  “We Don’t Have Any Cuts to Waste” is one of my other favorite tracks and lyrically twisting and linear at the same time, while driving things along with a catchy hooks and melodies—this is the Very Most at it’s very best! http://theverymost.bandcamp.com/album/just-a-pup

Camera Obscura 4) Camera Obscura: Desire Lines [LP].  As I’ve mentioned on my show, I’ve been accused of blindly liking anything that Camera Obscura produces.  Well, we all have our favorite things in life, and yes, Camera Obscura appeals to me in just the right way.  Another one of those albums that gets better with each listen, “Desire Lines” meets all expectations of upbeat indie pop songs with the yearning vocals of Tracyanne Campbell along with the more melancholy and contemplative tunes for just the right balance.  I won’t tell you my favorite tracks, because it changes all the time since they are all so good.  Our Glaswegian friends have indeed done it again. https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/desire-lines/id632666540?ign-mpt=uo%3D4

Slow Beach 3) Slow Beach – Lover, Lover [EP]. This 6-song EP release is from a new Japanese indie-pop group that comprises Dai Ogasawara, the founder Ano(t)raks (who brought you such great Japanese bands as Post Modern Team and the Paellas) and producer Kai Takahashi, Yuriko Ohno (keyboard), and Keito Taguchi (bass).  I highlighted this group in November and they have not disappointed at all. The title track “Lover,Lover” is an awesome catchy song by Slow Beach.  Various parts catch snippets from the 60s evoke images of early Beach Boys. They are not really slow, but there is a nice relaxed feeling to their songs, and definitely the beach tropical feel that they are trying to evoke.  “Lover, Lover” is a singable, hummable delight! http://anotraks.bandcamp.com/album/lover-lover

Lost Tapes 2) Lost tapes—War in the Netherlands [EP].  Lost Tapes are a Spanish duo that plays perfect indie-pop with those always desirable jangly guitars.   Pau Rocao (of La Habitación Roja) and RJ Sinclair (lead singer of Tokyo Sex Destruction) have gotten together to produce this 4-song EP.  The title track, “War in the Netherlands” is the standout and has a Teenage Fanclub feel to it, while “Come With Me” slides over to a Jesus & Mary Chain vibe.  Hoping we hear more from them!  http://www.eardrumspop.com/2013/05/14/epop035-lost-tapes/

Silver Screen 1) Silver Screen – When You and I Were Very Young [LP]. This is my favorite album of 2013! Silver Screen is a project of Cris Miller from Los Angeles.  He has collaborated with Sunny Summer Day (Indonesia) and Some Gorgeous Accident (Philippines) in the past couple years.  This album from Plastilina Records (based in Peru) is just perfect indie pop at its best!  This is the sweet sun-soaked soundtrack to your cheerful summer day cruising around the island.  Jangly guitars, handclaps, layered vocals, it’s all the pinnacle of indie pop perfection.  The first track that had me singing and tapping along was “Really No Wonder,” and other highlights include “Mercy” and “A Little More Each Day.”  You might have missed this treasure of indie pop goodness released in April 2013, but give it a listen and you won’t be disappointed!
https://plastilinarecords.bandcamp.com/album/when-you-and-i-were-very-young

Thanks so much for listening and reading!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Happyoblivion Top 10 singles or random tracks of 2013

Here we go into more detail on the Happyoblivion Best of 2013 lists. First up, these are 2013’s top 10 singles or random tracks (songs that came from albums that were good, but not stellar enough to be a top 10 album of 2013). I will post up the 10 best overall albums of 2013 (aka the consistently best LPs and EPs from beginning to end, with no filler or weak songs) next week!

10) Summer heart—Beat Of Your Heart [single]. On the show I played Summer Heart’s 2012 release “I Wanna Go,” when I meant to play ‘Beat of Your Heart,” which was released in 2013. In any case, I can safely say that many people, including me, dug both tracks with equal fervor. This the moniker of David Alexander, who hails from Sweden, and evokes that relaxed feeling that is indicative of many synthesizer-based summer tunes. http://summerheart.bandcamp.com/album/beat-of-your-heart-single
9) Gypsy and the cat—Bloom [LP—The Late Blue]. This Australian band surprisingly snuck up on me with their LP release, “The Late Blue.” I might have prejudged the name and album cover and thought I was getting some folk music. But what amazement when my ears picked up just wonderful pop tunes coming from the speakers. Shame on me for not knowing about this band earlier, who has had success in their home country. They’ve harnessed a little bit of new wave feel to progressive pop rock and have been compared favorably to MGMT. The gem of the album is the track “Bloom,” a definite hum-along tune. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3d2a5xpCgw
8) Washed out – All I Know [LP—Paracosm] This is the sophomore album from Washed Out, the artistic nom de plume for Ernest Greene. Pretty much following in the tracks of the first album “Within And Without,” we hear more of the chillwave sound. “All I Know,” along with “It All Feels Right” and “Falling Back” are highlights of this solid album. Washed Out has achieved significant commercial success in the U.S., so you’ll likely hear these tunes alongside your favorite Toro Y Moi songs at the hip clothing stores in the mall. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pFGdSLVwTVE
7) The yearning – Still In Love [LP—Still In Love] Reminiscent of bands such as the School (both are on the Elefant label), the Yearning hit that sweet 60s pop sound. Maddie Dobie is the lead singer with the wondrous voice, and was only 15 at the inception of the band in 2012. This was one of Tracyanne Campbell’s (of Camera Obscura) favorite tracks of the year as well. The title track from their LP release is quite the pleasant gem! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f8hceokDpUE
6) Obedient wives club—Murder Kill Baby [EP-- Murder Kill Baby] Out of Singapore, this is another female-fronted band with that wonderful 60s sweet pop sound that Phil Spector would love. Instantly sing-along-able songs of heartfelt longing, the title track of the EP hits all the right notes. Oh, and the band’s name is ironically adopted from a real-life organization that tells wives to be submissive to their husbands; happily, this band is here to espouse just the opposite, and the world is much better for it. https://soundcloud.com/obedientwivesclub/murder-kill-baby
5) Paradise—Stars Shine Bright [single] Hailing from London, Paradise continues to create buzz with their cheerful, danceable tracks. Tony Harewood and Joseph Marshall comprise the duo, and the echoey chillwave vibrance infuses the tune. It’s the cheerfully layers of guitar haze on top of swaying synthesizer in the perfect delicate balance that carries us all upwards and puts a smile on our faces. https://soundcloud.com/paradiselovesyou/stars-shine-bright
4) Wild Nothing—Ride [Empty Estate EP]. Jack Tatum continues to bring us excellent tracks as the one man band that is Wild Nothing. Though not as consistently excellent as his two full length albums, this EP is still not bad. However, the EP does seem to wander a bit more, and it suffers from comparison to the stellar LPs. Clearly for me, the standout track on this EP is “Ride,” a pleasurable track that definitely has been played many times over this past year. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nn2JzYPlfCk
3) Alpaca sports – telephone [single]. Pure indie pop goodness! “Let’s go somewhere, let’s go somewhere alone” is part of the lyrics and really this is just pure wonderful indie-pop at its cheeriest. Happy melodies and vocals are all part and parcel of the great twee music from Swedish band Alpaca Sports, who are on a roll and set to release a full length album in 2014. There is stiff competition, but they might very well be my favorite Swedish pop band, and that is certainly saying a lot. https://soundcloud.com/alpaca-sports/alpaca-sports-lets-go
2) Northern portrait—The Young And Hopefuls [Various Artists - A Sunday Matinée CD] What I said two months ago still stands true, and every bit of music from this Danish indie pop band is like a delicious morsel that I want to savor but can’t help but gobble up so quickly it is gone before I realize. This track can be found off of the Matinee Records compilation release “A Sunday Matinée,” which has many other great tunes on it from bands such as Strawberry Whiplash, Bart & Friends, and the Math & Physics Club. This track from Northern Portrait is a superb teaser after their excellent debut LP “Criminal Art Lovers.” Northern Portrait are like a less melancholy and more upbeat version of the vaunted Smiths/Morrisey sound that many enjoy. Their lyrics are also quite insightful, though sometimes the melodious sound and delicious hooks are deceptively cheerful enough to cause you to sing along without realizing it. At the end of the song, singer Stefan Larsen croons, “We have no social ambitions; as we don’t care about the rest.” https://soundcloud.com/matinee-recordings/northern-portrait-the-young
1) Teen runnings – Sightseeing [single]. Tokyo’s own Teen Runnings, formerly known as Friends, is back with a killer track that is one of my favorites for 2014. The guitar hooks and somewhat tropical sound combined with hopeful yet eerily ominous lyrics create the subversive contrast of happy and melancholy that speaks to creative indie types such as you and me: “See the towns, see their darker sides. There's no paradise that you hope to be.” With a clearer, more focused sound on this song, they really hit it on all cylinders, delivering a singable, hummable, head bobbing song that is simply indie pop perfection. https://soundcloud.com/teen-runnings/sightseeing-demo

Saturday, January 18, 2014

All kinds of good stuff for you this week.  And despite having intermittent internet access for the past few weeks, I was able to post up the write ups on the Happyoblivion Best Singles or Random Tracks of 2013 on the KTUH blog.   These are 2013’s top 10 singles or random tracks (songs that came from albums that were good, but not stellar enough to be a top 10 album of 2013). Working on getting the write up done for the 10 best overall albums of 2013 by next week.  If you missed either show, they are still available for download using the link at the top of this page.

Here is today's playlist.  Thanks for tuning in!

12:00pm
super furry animals - juxtaposed with u
red sleeping beauty - pop song (Sweden)
acid house kings - would you say stop?
mccarthy - governing takes brains
dutch barn - heart in the middle
the wake - carbrain
12:20pm
meishi smile - like
alpaca sports - telephone (pale spectres remix)
pale spectres - better than love
making marks - hard to be good
one thousand violins - halcyon days
flowers - when you lie
12:40pm
math and physics club - we're not lost
school - clouds aside (Sweden)
the smittens - half my heart beats
the felt tips - backwards born (Scotland)
papa topo - meteoritos en hawaii (Spain)
afraid of stairs - i lit up (Thailand)
1:00pm 
finnmark! - considering a move to Sweden
nous non plus - j'en ai marre (had enough)
pocketbooks - harbour lights
stereolab - heavy denim
the very most - idaho, america in 2049
the hit parade - you didn't love me then
1:23pm Surf Set
bounty hunters - echo express
the knights - tale of a 280 pound shoe salesman
bay of pigs - retribution
urban surf kings - moguls
the surfites - space mover
1:36pm
niva - forest view (azure blue remix)
golden teardrops - i think it's supposed to rain tonight
making marks - bruises (Norway)
when nalda became punk - song for carrie mathison
lost tapes - poetry dates (Spain)
even as we speak - goes so slow
the hi-life companion - your forest bed
2:00pm
best coast ~ crying (roy orbison cover) "fade away" [jewel city]
dum dum girls - lost boys and girls club
the yearning - heart beats a little bit faster
attic lights - hit and miss
Band À Part - ¿Qué Tal Copycat? (Spain)
helen love - day-glo dreams
2:20pm
obedient wives club - razor wire love song (Singapore)
perfect little circles - secret touches
lake ~ do you recall "the world is real" [k]
washed out ~ it all feels right "paracosm" [sub pop]
cut copy ~ take me higher "Free Your Mind" [Loma Vista]
2:40pm
the soup dragons - lovegod (dub)
the jesus & mary chain - rollercoaster
ride - let's get lost
lush - 500
love dance - bergen, again (Norway)

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Ah yes, it's 2014, as much as we would like to deny the passage of time, it's inevitable, so let's get it going!  Very soon, I will also post the best of 2013 detailed rundown.  Thanks for tuning in!  

12:00pm
super furry animals - juxtaposed with u
the sun days - you can't make me make up my mind (Sweden)
happydeadmen - life inside a frame
tesco chainstore mascara - tomorrow (2014 remix)
lake ~ perfect fit "the world is real" [k]
the yearning - eyes of a movie star
12:20pm
pizzicato five - the world's spinning at 45 RPM
the pale fountains - you'll start a war
best coast ~ sunny adventure "fade away" [jewel city]
silver screen - a little more each day
northern portrait - new favourite moment
dum dum girls ~ lost boys and girls club "too true" [sub pop]
12:40pm
slow beach - slow down (Japan)
tokyo ska paradise orchestra - light
Band À Part - Franny Y Tú (Spain)
la casa azul - la vida tranquila (Spain)
1:00pm
der englische garten - der wind, das gras, die sonne (Germany)
the fireworks - runaround
the birthday kiss - starting to come back to life
in the white - may you die (Japan)
Family - Viaje A Los Sueños Polares (Spain)
obedient wives club - summerloove (Singapore)
1:20pm Surf Set
the surfites - surfville (Sweden)
the majestics - big noise from makaha
the reverb syndicate - the martini cluster
the anacondas - the guns of brixton
beach boys - surfin' safari
1:35pm
surfer blood - voyager reprise (another summer of love remix)
cults ~ shine a light "static" [Columbia]
cut copy ~ in memory capsule "Free Your Mind" [Loma Vista]
still corners - beatcity
washed out ~ it all feels right "paracosm" [sub pop]
helen love - teenage soap opera
when nalda became punk - when nalda became punk
2:00pm
the very most - scotland
the pastels - come to the dance (Scotland)
teenage fanclub - winter (Scotland)
belle & sebastian - you're just a baby (Scotland)
camera obscura ~ new year's resolution “desire lines” [4ad] (Scotland)
2:20pm
cocteau twins - elle megalast burls forever (Scotland)
vaselines - son of a gun (Scotland)
the trash can sinatras - only tongue can tell (Scotland)
bmx bandits - take me to heaven (Scotland)
attic lights - mona lisa (Scotland)
2:40pm
the popguns - can't ignore the train
finnmark! - just can't win
perfect little circles - the keyboard song
brilliant colors - value lines
beulah - gravity's bringing us down
the secret history - johnny nightmare

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Playlist with top tracks of 2013--we will have 10 best random tracks, and then the 10 best albums of the year in the 2 o'clock hour! Plus, there will be a special edition writeup for the KTUH blog soon afterwards, so stay tuned!!!

12:00pm
saturday looks good to me - invisible friend
flowers - when you lie
boyish - pleasant girl song
camera2 - this is not a sad song
the french pop dream - eurostar, the musical
the moments - midnight escape
post modern team - fade away (Japan)
12:20pm
the ballet - turn you
bubblegum lemonade - she brings the sunshine
jappers - settle down (Japan)
azure blue - willows and pines (Sweden)
night flowers - single beds
melted toys - observations
der englische garten - philoma bar (Germany)
12:40pm
fireflies - just pretend
the choo choo trains - after school fun
the gentle isolation - sea horses (Philippines)
pale spectres - didn't know where to go
dolphingull - my secret hills forever (Japan)
dream boys - born yesterday
1:00pm
grand resort - endless
astrolab - grey and fall (Indonesia)
helen love - we are all the lo-fi kids
secretly french - vacances en paris (Sweden)
tenderfist - social club (Malaysia)
arctic flow - you never will
1:20pm
picnic - in this cold (Estonia)
summer project - stay asleep (Thailand)
attic lights - stay before you leave
mood rings - minor slaloms
kisses - funny heartbeat
1kisses - funny heartbeat
1:40pm: Top 10 singles and random tracks of 2013
10) summer heart - i wanna go
9) gypsy and the cat - bloom
8) washed out ~ all i know "paracosm" [sub pop]
7) the yearning - everybody knows (i'm still in love with you)
6) obedient wives club - murder kill baby (Singapore)
2:00pm
5) paradise - stars shine bright
4) wild nothing - ride
3) alpaca sports - telephone (Sweden)
2) northern portrait - the young and hopefuls (Denmark)
1) teen runnings - sightseeing (Japan)
2:20pm: Top 10 LPs or EPs of 2013
10) beach vacation - washington weather
9) club 8 ~ a small piece of heaven "above the city" [labrador]
8) tullycraft ~ lost in light rotation "lost in light rotation" [magic marker & fortuna pop!]
7) the fin. - circle on the snows (Japan)
6) when nalda became punk - when it'll come (Spain)
5) the very most (feat. liz hunt) - it's not unusual
2:40pm
4) camera obscura ~ every weekday “desire lines” [4ad]
3) slow beach - lover lover (Japan)
2) lost tapes - war in the netherlands (Spain)
1) silver screen - really no wonder
Bonus songs
it happens - train goes down (Japan)
jens lekman - olivia and maddy

Friday, January 3, 2014

In anticipation of the top tracks for 2013, here is a repost of from the KTUH blog of recent Happyoblivion Top Tracks

Happyoblivion Top Tracks

Mild-Mannered DJ Bryan here to give you some of the top indie pop tracks and releases!  These are some of the songs and albums I just can’t shake, so the best thing to do is turn up the volume    and enjoy them as much as possible.

Slow Beach_Artwork  Slow beach – Lover, Lover (6 song EP release)
Slow Beach is a new indie-pop group from Japan.  Dai Ogasawara, the founder Ano(t)raks (who brought you such great Japanese bands as Post Modern Team and the Paellas) has collaborated with producer Kai Takahashi, Yuriko Ohno (keyboard), and Keito Taguchi (bass).
The title track “Lover,Lover” is an awesome catchy song by Slow Beach.  Various parts catch snippets from the 60s evoke images of early Beach Boys. They are not really slow, but there is a nice relaxed feeling to their songs, and definitely the beach tropical feel that they are trying to evoke.  “Lover, Lover” is a singable, hummable delight!
Aloha!  Their second track is entitled “Hawaii”!  Now, we know folks from Japan have quite the love affair with our fair islands in the middle of the Pacific.  On “Hawaii,” Slow Beach tends a bit more ethereal with the vocals and pulls in something more of a Caribbean feel with the steel drums.  Perhaps not specifically a song that evokes Hawaii, but more of a general feel of a tropical island. Sipping an ice cold drink on the beach would be apropos with this song..
Track 3 is “Slow Down,” and it has more of a chill vibe with the floating vocals and a soft electrosynth bed to whisk you along.  Close your eyes and lie down, feet towards the wind and let yourself be swept upwards with this wonderfully nice track.
Motel,” the fourth track, has a bit more of a groove and upbeat dance feel to it.  Heavy on the synthesizers and almost a Stevie Wonder-like feel to some of the extended synthesizer bits.  Not a bad thing, and definitely good head-bobbing music as you cruise around late at night.  The guitar and bass work well to support the synth-focus, and groove you out at the end.
Run Away” is the fifth track on the release, and mourns the end of a relationship.  The lyrics are quite straightforward, a little melancholy, but the melody is relaxed and comfortable, like a chaise lounge.  Of course, as always, it is always darkest before the dawn, which leads us logically into our final song on the release.
The greatest contrast is with their last track “Surfin’ Today.”  Dropping the synthesizer and instead backing with a straightforward piano plus guitar and bass, they sound most authentic here, again pulling a little bit of the Beach Boys influence along with the C86 sound.  It is a brighter and happier sound as well, and serves as a wonderful cherry on top of the superbly creamy and delicious first EP release.
I am definitely looking forward to future releases from this excellent Japanese indie-pop outfit.  In the meantime, you can find them online and listen in as much as you like:
http://anotraks.bandcamp.com/album/lover-lover

Here are another 6 tracks that have been tickling my ear and might be of keen interest to you:

northernportrait Northern Portrait – The Young and the Hopefuls
Popular Danish indie-pop band the Northern Portrait have a new track on the Matinee Records compilation release “A Sunday Matinée.”  This is a superb teaser after their excellent debut LP “Criminal Art Lovers.”  Northern Portrait are like a less melancholy and more upbeat version of the vaunted Smiths/Morrisey sound that many enjoy.  Their lyrics are also quite insightful, though sometimes the melodious sound and delicious hooks are deceptively cheerful enough to cause you to sing along without realizing it.  At the end of the song, singer Stefan Larsen croons, “We have no social ambitions; as we don’t care about the rest.”
https://soundcloud.com/matinee-recordings/northern-portrait-the-young
the fin.  The fin. – Without Excuse
Pretty much everything from this 4 member band from Kobe, Japan, has been superb.  The latest track from them, “Without Excuse,” continues in the band’s upbeat and uptempo brand of synth-based music with creative vocals.  Yes, that is correct, their name is lower case with a period after it.  Bandmates are Uchino Yuto (lead vocals), Odagaki Ryosuke (guitar), Miyasako Hideyuki (bass), and Shibano Koji (drums).  They have the requisite Beatles-like hairstyles, as well as the lyrical range to go along with the nice melodies and reliable percussion.  “Without Excuse” has takes you on a partly sunny and breezy musical journey.
https://soundcloud.com/user745587/without-excuse
Alpaca Sports 3 Alpaca Sports – Let’s Go Somewhere
Oh yes! “Let’s go somewhere, let’s go somewhere alone” is part of the lyrics and really this is just pure wonderful indie-pop at its cheeriest.  Happy melodies and vocals are all part and parcel of the great twee music from Swedish band Alpaca Sports. This is the latest single from them, and they are also currently touring Japan.  In fact, they just played with Japanese band Wallflower, which we will talk about next!
https://soundcloud.com/alpaca-sports/alpaca-sports-lets-go
Wallflower (fan art by Ray Kimu)Wallflower – Dreamy Days
Hailing from Osaka, Japan, Wallflower has been bringing their combination of dreamy pop vocals combined with jangly guitars and positive emotions since 2010.  Back in 2012 they were invited to tour with the Pains of Being Pure at Heart, and comparisons have not stopped.  A Japanese version of the Pains of Being Pure at Heart?  Indeed, this is pure indiepop gold!  “Dreamy Days” has the nice wispy sound that follows you around like a shiny helium balloon, so you won’t help but smile when listening.
https://soundcloud.com/fastcut/dreamy-days
Beach Vacation Beach Vacation – Escape
Would you think a band named Beach Vacation would be from the Pacific Northwest?  Well, despite that incongruity in perception, this band from Oak Harbor, Washington, does a great job of conjuring up a wonderful flowing sound that is perfect for any sort of vacation near the ocean.  They proclaim to be influenced by Craft Spells and the Radio Dept. and it definitely shows in their sound.  “Escape” is a wonderfully jangly tune with lots of hummable riffs and melodies.  Yet despite its initial impression of lightness, this song definitely has staying power.  Lovely on all levels!
https://soundcloud.com/beach-vacation/escape-1
Super Furry Animals – Juxtaposed With U
This is the introduction song to each Happyoblivion show.  Quite accessible, yet sneakily subversive, this is the setup for the Happyoblivion show—easy to listen melodies and harmonies, but sometimes with that undercurrent of irony and lyrical dissonance.  For this song, some key lyrics are “Over-priced unreal estate, surreal estate; The highest price they’ve hit to date, creating new divides and tension. You’ve got to tolerate all those people that you hate…”  If you have never watched the video before, I highly recommend it!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3jw7u4f-Ujg

See you on Saturday afternoon, 12-3pm, on the Happyoblivion Show!