Archives for posts with tag: best of 2015

Jay Some Untitled

Way back in March PopLib featured “Forget About It Kid” by Jay Som/ Melina Duterte, raving (just a little bit) about its Cure-inspired chorus guitar and synth wash with a nod in the direction of 80’s post-punk.

There’s now a whole album of heart-melting DIY perfect pop from this young Californian musician. “Peach Boy” is the opening track on this collection titled, well, “Untitled”.

“Untitled” – which Melina describes as “A collection of finished & unfinished songs written/recorded/and mixed from March 2014 – October 2015” – contains song after song combining perfect underground melodic pop songwriting sensibilities with sometimes exotic instrumental arrangements.

Whereas “Forget About It Kid” seemed to take its cue from The Cure and 80s post-punk (as filtered through the prism of a Californian teenager’s mind 30 years later) “Untitled” widens and deepens that palette of sonic influences to include “dad rock” (according to the tags on the album’s Bandcamp page at least), ’90’s shoegaze and beyond.

It’s gorgeous, adventurous, nuanced alternative pop, written, performed, recorded and mixed with preternatural understanding of how this kind of music should sound.

Treat yourself & be generous on the “name your price” Bandcamp album purchase. It’s almost Christmas after all.





Here’s the second unnecessary list from the mid-way point in PopLib’s year of music discovery 2015. This one is PopLib’s favourite 5 songs posted so far this year.

OK, it’s actually 6 songs, but the two songs sharing 5th equal on this list total just over 3 minutes together. Anyway, these are the songs played the most, loved the most so far in 2015. Pretty simple…

5 = Jim Nothing – Raleigh Arena

Christchurch 4-track portastudio cassette tape mangler Jim Nothing encapsulates the spirit of fuzzy lo-fi guitar pop in 1 minute and 18 seconds with “Raleigh Arena” from his “Zig Zag Blues” cassette.

5 = Shunkan – Our Names

The first single in advance of a debut album due later in 2015, “Our Names” is a different sounding Shunkan to the name we were first introduced to a year ago via the self-recorded cassette EP “Honey, Milk & Blood” and the following electronica excursions on シュンカン I . The Shunkan of “Our Names” is now a 5-piece band (one of the best live bands around the south of NZ at the moment) and the song a stirring 2-minute fuzz-pop anthem full of melodic hooks.

4. Jay Som/ Melina Duterte – Forget About It Kid

From that Cure-inspired chorus guitar to the epic chiming guitar parts and synth wash, the combination of elements of 80’s post-punk with dreamy synth-pop gives this fine song by young Californian Melina Duterte (also going under the name Jay Som) depth and substance.

3. Ego – Moon

These Sydney youngsters have delivered an unlikely space-rock anthem that sounds contemporary while also unwittingly recreating some 70’s style soft-rock magic through those reverb-washed harmony vocals. Supple, under-stated drumming and earworm guitar melodies give a hint of a band with much potential.

2. Birdation – Hen’s Teeth

Within the murky overblown distortion and submerged vocals of “Hen’s Teeth” lurks a brilliant song. But the structural murk itself contributes so much to the mood struck here. Hard to believe something as massive sounding as this is performed live by just one person. But anyone who has seen Hope Robertson play as Birdation (or in her many other guitarist guises) knows what she can conjure with a jumble of pedals, ancient drum-machine and sundry electronic devices, including the unexpected sonic properties of an e-cigarette.

1. Day Ravies – Under the Lamp

The whole “Under The Lamp” EP – and the 7″ single preceding it – is wonderful. Can’t stop playing it. Every song is a favourite but “Under The Lamp” is just so perfect. The sonic churn and swoop of the guitar evokes My Bloody Valentine, but the vocal melody would shine on a Broadcast album and the whole thing is wrapped up in a Stereolab-esque keyboard swirl, without sounding derivative of any of these bands. A second Day Ravies album is out in July. Can’t wait.