Pure Pop YearEnders: Jason Cooley

I’m Jason Cooley and I play guitar and sing in Blue Button.

Other things I liked:

Battles – “La Di Da Di”
Thee Oh Sees – “Mutilator Defeated At Last”
Dan Deacon – “Gliss Riffer”
Scharpling & Wurster – “Best Of The Best Show”
Unwound – “No Energy”

Pure Pop YearEnders: Nathaniel Lewis

Here’s a full list of my fav albums. good job, 2015, you made me proud!!!!! best year a dad could ask for!!!!!

1) Jamie xx – In Colour
2) Kendrick Lamar – TPAB
3) JLin – Dark Energy
4) Arca – Mutant
5) Bjørk – Vulnicura
6) Grimes – Art Angels
7) Disasterpeace – It Follows OST
8) Kuedo – Assertion of a Surrounding Presence
9) Vince Staples – Summertime ’06
10)Oneohtrix Point Never – Garden of Delete
11)Anthony Naples – Body Pill
12)Floating Points – Elania
13)Drake – If You’re Reading This, It’s Too Late
14)Jeff Bridges – SLeep Tapes
15)Rafael Anton Insari – A Fragile Geonetry

Pure Pop YearEnders: Stan Payne

I am a music lover who grew up with old school rock music from the 50’s to present. Not to boast, but my music collection keeps growing every time I shop for decent CD’s and vinyl at independent record stores including Pure Pop Records. I relate to most of the music I listen to. They are autobiographical and are soundtracks to my life. Anyway, the albums I chose above are what I think are the best music of the year that you probably wouldn’t hear anywhere else, but your local independent record store.

On The Horizon: Lower Dens – Escape From Evil

As an aesthetic reservoir, the ’80s continue to feed an abundance of nostalgia, from the American highway fantasies of the War on Drugs to Twin Shadow’s boy-meets-girl melodramas. Inhabiting characters from the past can lend a singer a certain gravitas; unburdened by modern irony, big emotions play bigger on a decades-old frame. But few artists have seized that retrospection as an opportunity to flip the power dynamics that governed pop culture 30 years ago. For Lower Dens, a neon palette serves as fertile ground for subversion. Hunter absorbs the range of gendered feeling from Billy Idol to Bonnie Tyler, emerging as a bandleader capable of flipping effortlessly between extremes of masculine aggression and feminine yearning. Read the full review on Pitchfork


$12.49 CD
$17.99 Vinyl

On The Horizon: Laura Marling – Short Movie

When last interviewed for this newspaper in 2013, Laura Marling talked about retiring from the music industry. She was 23 and her feet hadn’t touched the ground since her astonishingly self-possessed debut album, Alas I Cannot Swim, was released in 2008. Three albums later she was being hailed as the greatest songwriter of her generation. But she was exhausted and took off for America, where she did indeed give up music for a while. For two years she wandered and applied for jobs in coffee shops. She hung out with “mysterious, fleeting people”: cult members, addicts, hippies and professional vagrants.

When Marling picked up her guitar again, the queen of the nu-folk scene channelled that strange and desperate energy by going electric. It’s a powerful evolution. It takes a rare rock guitarist to remind us that electricity is a potentially dangerous natural force but Marling’s new sound evokes the strange dark thrill of low skies before a storm. At times it sounds more like she’s plugged her guitar into a brooding thunder cloud than a man-made socket. Read the full review on The Telegraph

 

$12.49 CD

$22.99 Vinyl

Recommended New Releases: Will Butler, Enslaved, Broadcast

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Will Butler – Policy
‘Policy’’s eight genre-hopping, multi-instrumental tracks clearly illustrate Will’s obvious talent and versatility as a songwriter. The upbeat, sing-as-though-your-life-depends-on-it guitar pop of ‘Take My Side’, ‘What I Want’ and gospel-esque closer ‘Witness’ is closest to what would be expected of him as a solo artist. But the deep, lamenting piano ballads, ‘Finish What I Started’ and ‘Sing To Me’, as well as the more experimental, 80s synth efforts, ‘Anna’ and ‘Something’s Coming’ reveal a very different, much darker side to the otherwise infectiously enthusiastic character he channels onstage. Read the full review on DIY Magazine

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Broadcast – Entire Discography reissued on Vinyl
Warp has announced plans to reissue the entire Broadcast discography including their four original albums: 2000’s The Noise Made By People, 2003’s Haha Sound, 2005’s Tender Buttons, and finally 2009’s Broadcast and the Focus Group Investigate Witch Cults Of The Radio Age. In addition to those they will also release 1997’s Work And Non Work, which compiled all their early singles and EPs as well as 2006’s odds and sods double album, The Future Crayon. Read the full story on FACT

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Enslaved – In Times
The opening seconds of “Thurisaz Dreaming” are possibly the fastest and most chaotic introduction to any album in Enslaved’s massive discography. While the opener of In Times progresses like most of their recent cuts, it eventually gives way to one of their most atmospheric and dreamlike outros to date. Even thirteen releases in, they’re not afraid to continue pushing the musical boundaries of progressive rock, psychedelia, and experimental music under an extreme metal backdrop. Recent releases have had varying amounts of black metal influence, but In Times subverts expectations by being their most varied and diverse release since 2001’s Monumension. Despite having arguably reached their peak with 2010’s Axioma Ethica Odini, Enslaved continue to prove that progressing is more important than attempting to repeat past successes.Read the full review on Sputnik Music

Recommended New Releases: Purity Ring, Tuxedo, Brandi Carlile

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Purity Ring – Another Eternity
After creating Shrines across a geographic void, the duo actually sat in a room together to compose this opus, the back and forth between the two yielding a more clear-eyed sound and vision. This is the group’s singer-songwriter album (as much as an electronic duo can make a singer-songwriter record), personal but rooted in traditional song structures that build to big, distinct choruses. Where Shrines was an album built on rounded edges, Another Eternity is all right angles. Read the full review on Exclaim!

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Tuxedo – Tuxedo
Tuxedo is a duo comprised of modern soulster Mayer Hawthorne and hip-hop producer Jake One. The collaboration began with an exchange of mixtapes almost a decade ago. Realizing that they shared an affinity for the kind of string-laden R&B and disco artists such as Change, Kleer, and Chic favored in the late ’70s and early ’80s, Hawthorne and Jake One decided to create an album of original material under the Tuxedo moniker. Read the full review on No Echo

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Brandi Carlisle – Firewatcher’s Daughter
The album starts like a house afire: Carlile totally nails the vocal on the gospel influenced “Wherever is Your Heart,” and this one makes you realize just how good she is. When she sings, you’re a believer. She’ll have you singing along on the infectious “The Thing I Regret” with its chorus “Let them roll over me /let them roll over me.”

One of the album’s highlights is “The Eye,” a song penned by Tim Hanseroth, which is very stripped down and nearly a cappella, featuring little more than acoustic guitar and the lovely harmonies of the trio. You can hear Brandi’s country music and Fleetwood Mac influences on this one. Carlile and company performed this one in The Current studio late last year, and Brandi declared, “It’s my favorite song on the album, probably my favorite song ever.” Read the full reivew on The Current