Archives for posts with tag: Veronica Falls

MelenasMelenas are a guitar/ bass/ keyboards/drums band from Pamplona, Spain and “Mentiras” (which translates as “Lies”) is from their fabulous self-titled debut album of jangling psychedelic garage rock which is well worth exploring in detail… and then buying.

While some will hear the spirit of Look Blue Go Purple in that robustly rhythmic guitar strum, it reminds me more of the perpetual nervousness of The Feelies’ guitar sound. In recent years the only other band I can recall to evoke those same touchstones so well was Veronica Falls, who also shared a fondness for driving songs along with a heavy floor tom beat as Melenas do.

However, the songs here are also just as likely to evoke the spirit of the classic late 1960’s era of proto-psych-pop garage-rock fuzz, jangle and melody (as compiled on the “Pebbles” and “Nuggets” LP series) as they are any possible ’80’s influence. There’s a lot going on; from simple propulsive drums to a solid mesh of rapidly strummed 12 string guitar, soaring vocal melodies with layered backing vocals and a winning way with keyboard flourishes providing the sonic icing on Melenas’ psychedelic pop-tart.



Patience is a new project from Veronica Falls guitarist and songwriter Roxanne Clifford and “The Pressure” here is from a new – and already sold out -7″ single.

Synth pop may seem far from the traditional jangling guitar pop of Veronica Falls, and even further from Roxanne’s other stellar side projects like DIY-recorded Toy Love covers band Baggy Attitude.

But the heart of “The Pressure” is still POP and the song has the kind of structure, feel and of course vocal delivery that is from the same emotional landscape as the best Veronica Falls’ songs.

By that I mean the underlying sense of unease beneath the surface here. A tension, or anxiety about things left unresolved:

“My friends tell me you asked for me/ The world could end before we agree”

Although the limited edition (300) 7″ released on Glasgow label Night School Records is sold out you can still buy the single as a download.   Night School Records is also home to the hellishly wonderful new album by Ela Orleans, which PopLib introduced a few months ago, so it’s a label to keep an eye on.

Baggy Attitude
I was in Too Tone Records today annoying Tony asking him to play bits of a 1975 Steve Hackett solo LP to remind myself why I should not, EVER, feel tempted to purchase it for ‘nostalgia’ sake.

But I did buy a double Country Joe & The Fish LP for nostalgia sake.

I also bought a new 7″ flexi disc in a pink folded paper sleeve by a two-piece called Baggy Attitude that I had never heard of. Tony thrust it in my hands and said I might like it. Wacky Wacko was the label. $10.

It was two Toy Love songs – ‘Don’t Ask Me’ and ‘Swimming Pool’ – performed by two mysterious women in the cover photo who were only described by their initials J.D.S. & R.M.C.

I had no idea who Baggy Attitude were or what it would be like but I figured anyone who knows about Toy Love and appreciates the songs enough to want to cover them will have the right kind of garage DIY gunk in their veins to do it justice.

I brought it home and played it and it was perfect. Really just exactly what I’d hoped it would be. Reverb-drenched guitar & voice & some minimal percussion. Plus the flexi was fairly substantial and the sound quality was decent. A bargain.

The internet has revealed Baggy Attitude to be Jess from soon-to-be-favourite San Francisco band Brilliant Colors and Roxanne from one of my favourite UK bands Veronica Falls.. It all falls into place…

So…. if you are in Dunedin get down to Too Tone and grab one of these quickly before I get the lot. And if not in Dunedin… get it from Wacky Wacko here.
Baggy Attitude disc

'Proteus' by Astro Children

‘Proteus’ by Astro Children

This is not a best of 2013 list, just the albums I played and enjoyed the most in 2013. As is the custom in such lists I have ranked these in order which more or less means the closer to 1 they are the more I played and enjoyed them. Simple…

There is no science in this. Nor is there any particular claim to artistic merit, but feel free to read whatever you want into the rankings (and omissions) – it’s more fun that way!

(If I’ve written something here about the album during the year there will be a link to that.)

So… PopLib’s Top 10 Favourite Albums of 2013 were:

10 – Inside a Replica City – Strange Harvest (self-released)
9 – Pearl Mystic by Hookworms (Gringo Records)
8 – A Pebble & A Paper Crane by Kane Strang (self-released)
7 – Plumes by Ginnels (Tenorio Cotobade)
6 – Tumult in Clouds by Ela Orleans (Clandestine)
5 – The Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas by Courtney Barnett (Milk!)
4 – Slow Summits by The Pastels (Domino)
3 – Waiting for Something to Happen by Veronica Falls (Slumberland/ Bella Union)
2 – II by Unknown Mortal Orchestra (Jagjaguwar)
1 – Proteus by Astro Children (Muzai Records)

Astro Children at the Kings Arms in Auckland, December 2013. Photo by Ben Howe from

Astro Children at the Kings Arms in Auckland, December 2013. Photo by Ben Howe from

[I think ‘Tumult in Clouds’ by Ela Orleans was first released in 2012. I heard it mid 2013 and it is set for re-issue in 2014 (the original Clandestine pressing sold out). For the purpose of this list I’m treating this timeless double LP classic as a 2013 release.]

Other contenders – Calendar Days by Dick Diver, Any Port in a Storm by Scott & Charlene’s Wedding, Tussle by Day Ravies, The Man who Died in his Boat by Grouper, Floating Coffin by Thee Oh Sees, The Flower Lane by Ducktails, Victoria & Jacob by Victoria & Jacob, The Argument by Grant Hart.

The only reasons these albums didn’t burst into the Top 10 are (1) The Top 10 is only 10 and it is already full and (2) I haven’t had as much time to listen to these yet as the others so they are ‘less played’ so far (but not necessarily less enjoyed when they were played).

The album by Victoria & Jacob arrived just before Christmas (from the wonderful Where It’s At Is Where You Are (WIAIWYA) label in the UK). It’s a cracker. If you want to like CHVRCHES but just can’t get past the sugary sheen of their electro-pop or the gratuitous use of “V” in their name, then I recommend the Victoria & Jacob album as a much better exploration of that genre. It’s electronic pop, with beautiful vocals and big beats. But it’s also a bit darker, heavier and somehow dreamier than CHVRCHES & much more satisfying as a result. There’s a slight reminder of early Cocteau Twins and an even bigger reminder of 90s Scottish electro-dreampop outfit One Dove (both favourites here) and I have enjoyed the Victoria & Jacob album a lot in the short time I’ve been playing it.