Scott Mannion

Here’s another PopLib’s  send as a gift tip for the month. We’ve missed several days of send as a gift new music tips but I hope you have used those days wisely to search out your own selections on Bandcamp. We resume now with the welcome return of Scott Mannion, who runs Lil’ Chief Records and was once part of the fabulous Tokey Tones.

“Your Kinda Love” was released earlier this year and features Clara Viñals, a name you may recognise from the new Jonathon Bree single (also on Lil’ Chief Records).

This is recommended to send as a gift to lovers of finely crafted bittersweet pop, and fans of The Tokey Tones. However, with lines like “there’s something beautiful about the way you lie” be careful who you send it to. Sometimes people take song lyrics very personally.

Alternatively, try the latest single “Not Exactly Deep” just released last week:

 

 

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Violet Swells

Here’s PopLib’s 10th send as a gift tip for the month, featuring “Gravity Wins Again” from the album 7000 The pick of Hobart Independent bands by ultra-psychedelic astral adventurers Violet Swells.

“Gravity Wins” again is from the second of the two great compilation albums of bands from Hobart, Tasmania, Australia.  It may orbit in a similar far distant planetary system to the music of early Tame Impala perhaps, but classic psychedelic pop sound of the Violet Swells recording here suits the music far better than the saturated crunch of a typical Kevin Parker production.

Recommended to send as a gift to your most psychedelic friends, as is their glorious 2017 mini-album “There’s No Time Like Eternity”.

 

Glass VaultsHere’s PopLib’s 9th send as a gift tip for the month, featuring “Brooklyn” from the album “The New Happy” by Wellington smooth psychedelic funk outfit Glass Vaults.

Glass Vaults deliver one of the year’s great earworm singalong choruses in “Brooklyn”. It’s even better performed live to a room full of people singing along.

The vibe here on The New Happy” is a very clean and clear minimal style of bright flouro funky psychedelic hook-laden synth-pop with phat synth bass and some wobbly keyboard sounds.  Think Prince’s “Around the World in a Day” with New Zealand accents.

Recommended to send as a gift to lovers of funky synth-pop dance music.

nhung-nguyenHere’s PopLib’s 8th send as a gift tip for the month, featuring “For June (Forever Summer)” from the EP “For June” by Hanoi, Vietnam based sound artist Nhung Nguyen:

“For June (Forever Summer)”, with its glorious combination of field recordings of birdsong mingling with other-worldly hypnotic chiming, is a great way to escape the noise and stress of the world for a moment. Or play it on a loop and let that moment last forever. The whole EP is a perfect survival capsule of ambient soundscapes… as is the entire Bandcamp catalogue from this artist.

Recommended to send as a gift to anyone who needs a break from the madness for a bit. That’s all of us isn’t it?

Sachet_Portion Control_TVfireHere’s PopLib’s 7th send as a gift tip for the month, featuring “Tinnitus” from Sachet’s beaut “Portion Control” album, self released on their Strange Pursuits label earlier this year:

The album by these Sydney, Australia descendants of the band Day Ravies, is crammed with inventive, hyperactive lo-fi melodic guitar pop.

Recommended for anyone and everyone.

Shayne OffsiderHere’s PopLib’s 6th send as a gift tip for the month, featuring “Waiting Game” from Shayne P. Carter’s “Offsider” album.

Never one to rest in a comfortable spot musically speaking, proficient guitarist Carter (Bored Games, Doublehappys, Straitjacket Fits, Dimmer) set himself the challenge of mastering the piano. His approach is similar to his instinctive approach to the guitar – as much about sound, propulsion, atmosphere, and tension as it is about melody.

This song, and the whole “Offsider” album is recommended for anyone into seriously good, original, adventurous pop or rock music, for the person who annoys you by playing Scott Walker records too often and who you wish had something else to fixate on, and for that friend or relative who always goes on about the heyday of Flying Nun Records but stopped buying new music many years ago.

soccer practise_2017Here’s PopLib’s 5th send as a gift tip for the month, featuring “Cold Hard Surfaces”,  a track from the just-released and wonderfully adventurous debut album by Auckland experimental electronic-soul-pop 4 piece SoccerPractise.

You may be wondering what the hell the genre hybridisation of “experimental electronic soul-pop” means. Well, this song – and the whole album – is full of twitchy, glitchy rhythms, deep sub-bass and sampled sound layers.

So, it is ‘experimental’ in the sense that it’s taking risks, straying beyond what’s tried and true in electronic music, in soul and in pop, by creating unusual new beats and combining sounds in different, unexpected ways – particularly the fusion of twangy reverb guitars with danceable musique-concrete style sampled sound beats & electronica.

It’s definitely soulful with those fine vocals from Geneva Alexander-Marsters, and it’s very accessible and radio friendly (if not exactly mainstream commercial radio-friendly, but that’s another story in NZ).

SoccerPractise is recommended to send as a gift to the cool people in your life, for those who like pop but think it all sounds the same these days, and for lovers of Te Reo Maori too. Given the regular appearance of Te Reo Maori, one of NZ’s official languages, throughout the album it’s also a great gift for any bigots in your family.  They’ll be singing along to Haere Mai E Tama before they realise what’s happening.