Monday, December 31, 2007

Our Favorite Free Cloudberry MPthrees!

Check below for contest details!

As I think I've said on several occasions here, Cloudberry Records has been the biggest, strongest, and most consistant driving force for indiepop this year. What Roque did with Cloudberry was just unbelievable – over 70 singles in one year! – it's just amazing. Myself and Tom over at IndieMP3 decided to get together and make a toast to Cloudberry for everything they did this year, and to hope it only continues to get better and better in 2008!

As anyone who's visited the Cloudberry website would know, Roque's got an MP3 from every single release up for download. That means there's over 70 MP3s to listen to on that website – an indiepop dreamland! We decided we would each choose our 10 favorite and compile them into two volumes of what we consider to be the very best of Cloudberry Records. My 10 (Volume One) features some of the best pop songs of the year, with a little fuzz and distortion thrown in for good measure. Tom's picks (Volume Two) can downloaded over at IndieMP3.

BUT WAIT! Before I get to my picks – we decided, hey what's an end of the year toast without some prizes?! So, we've got a bit of a contest to go along with the posts. We will be giving away a total of FIVE copies of the Nothing Matters When We're Dancing EP (Cloud502), which will be available only at a few Pop Nights in the UK and Sweden. So, dear readers from the U.S., this might be your only chance to get a copy! Just leave a comment on this post with your name, email, and maybe your 10 favorite Cloudberry songs if you'd like, and you will be entered into the random drawing! I will be choosing THREE winners from Skatterbrain and Tom will be choosing TWO over at IndieMP3, so leave a comment here and there to increase yor chances! The contest will close on January 4th, so get entering!

Okay, so I must admit, I cheated a bit on my picks; Oh! Custer's "Your Name" and Slow Down Tallahassee's "U R Grace U R" weren't the free ones on the site, but I just HAD TO include them, they were two of my very favorite songs of the year! Okay, so anyway, these are my picks, I hope you enjoy!

Tracklist and Links:
01. Oh! Custer :: Your Name (from Cloud009)
02. Slow Down Tallahassee :: U R Grace U R (from Cloud010)
03. The Airfields :: Yr So Wonderful (from Cloud047)
04. The Pains of Being Pure at Heart :: Orchard of My Eye (from Cloud013)
05. Signed Papercuts :: Only Fools Rush In (from Cloud027)
06. Blind Terry :: The Subtle Art of How to Break A Heart (from Cloud058)
07. The Deirdres :: Hopeless Is The Venue (from Cloud055)
08. Stars In Coma :: Revanche (from Cloud008)
09. Strawberry Story :: Boys (From the Story) (from Cloud065)
10. The Manhattan Love Suicides :: Last Stand (from Cloud062)

DOWNLOAD IT! (.ZIP, 10 MP3s with cover art, 31mb)

Well, I think that's it. It's truly been an incredible year – for indiepop and otherwise – and 2008 seems to be looking even brighter! Happy New Year, everybody!!!

Also, Lost Music, the gig promotion partner of indie mp3 will be putting on a Cloudberry Records gig on at the end of February 2008. Confirmed to date are Pains Of Being Pure At Heart, Strawberry Story, Manhattan Love Suicides and one more to be confirmed. DJ's will be spinning Cloudberry releases only. More details will be posted once the line up is confirmed.

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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Moscow Olympics "Still" 7" out now!

I hope everyone had a Very Merry Christmas! I had a great one and got to be home all week with my family, which was nice. I'm bummed that it's over because I love Christmas and everything that comes with it, but I still have some other fun things to look forward to. For instance – Moscow Olympics' first 7" is finally released on Fraction Discs! I just ordered it moments ago, using my precious Christmas money, and I will be marking the days until it arrives! I mentioned them here, before, if you're unfamilair with them, but if you've heard them already, then you're probably on your way to Fraction Discs to order it! The 7" single features the incrediblely incredible track "Still," with "Talk Like This" on the b-side. Oh, and included with the record is a code that allows you to download the songs in MP3 format – hooray!


Watch this, too, if you want:

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Sunday, December 23, 2007

Lilydale Records!

I tend to not post too often on the weekends, but I was excited enough to make an exeption. Yesterday, by way of MySpace, I came upon the lovely and quaint Lilydale Records! Lilydale is a brand new mailorder indiepop label from Portland, Oregon. They're dedicated to releasing independent pop music as well as all things fantastic – how cute. Their first release comes from a band called Helie and Sunshine, whom I'd never heard of before, but am now completely in love with. Helie and Sunshine's It's All I Can Be EP, is the label's first and only release so far. "It's All I Can Be (Myself)", from the EP, is currently streaming on Lilydale's MySpace page and I've been listening to it over and over for the past couple days. Aside from Helie and Sunshine, the label's roster also includes Glidertone – whom from the looks of it, probably sound pretty shoegazey, but I could be off, who knows. Keep your eyes on Lilydale's cute little website this year, I'm thinking their gonna be doing some pretty great things!

Listen to Helie and Sunshine's fantastic "It's All I Can Be (Myself)" on MySpace!

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Thursday, December 20, 2007

Madison Electric made good songs

On a certain message board I recently expressed my overwhelming love for a little lost band by the name of Madison Electric. I would like to say I knew them back when, and I wish I had some stories I could tell about some show they played in a basement that was really cool, but I cant, because I wasn't there. I just recently – maybe three or four months ago – came upon Madison Electric. I was listening to the French compilation tape Pop Machine (put out by Cowly Owl – and an excellent comp, by the way) and the last track was a song called "Another Autumn." I finally got to it, after listening straight through 26 other songs, and when it was over, I started it over, and listened to it again, and then again, and then I eventually just put it on repeat to save myself the trouble. So, the point is – the song had me, I was taken by it, it had me by the heartstrings. Really tightly. So, as you could imagine, I was in love with Madison Electric. I went into research mode and found a small band page off of the fantastic Pop website where I was delighted to find some more stuff – a 7", another compilation track – it was all very wonderful. Of course I loved every song I downloaded, finding a particular fascination with the song "V-Neck" which appeared on the Drive-In Season 7" comp alongside other pop gems from The Cat's Miaow, The Singing Bush, and The Shapiros. As of now, if I had to pick a favorite track, it would probably still be "V-Neck"; when the organ comes in on the chorus, it's just like , yknow? These songs were some of the best pop songs I'd ever heard, I needed more, so much more! But, that was it. Madison Electric recorded six songs and then called it quits. It brings a tear to my eye, but then again, it might be better this way. So, there's my story, looks like I actually had one. Here's the band's story:

Once upon a time, in a land called ann arbor michigan, there was a band called frisby. in october 1994, frisby opened for boyracer and the ropers in kathleen's basement. a few months later, there were some line-up changes and kathleen, jj, and tim joined the band and the name was changed to madison electric (a name that tim had previously used to record some solo 4-track tunes for a split 7"). after practicing for two weeks and hastily writing some new songs, madison electric played their first show on 3 february 1995 in kathleen's basement (the basement on church street was *the* place to be seen after all!) the show was a success and more offers of shows poured in. unfortunately, when a band has seven members with very different schedules and ideas of how a band should be run, things can be a bit tricky- not to mention that ethan was leaving to go study in england for a year. madison electric was in existence from january thru may of 1995 (though their last show was actually in june), played a grand total of five shows, and wrote a whopping six songs. they did however record before their demise and the outcome can be heard on a couple of 7"s that were released on quiddity and drive-in records.

I want to you to listen to these songs. Please listen to them.

[MP3]: Madison Electric :: Another Autumn (Super Highly Rec'd!!!)
[MP3]: Madison Electric :: V-Neck (Enormously Recommended!!!)

If you go HERE, you can grab the Quiddity 7"
The Quiddity 7" is super good, so get it.

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

"Dead Sound" Again

Sorry to do two Raveonettes posts in a row, but I just found this video and I just really love it and I felt an urge to post it immediately! Hope you like it, too! Sorry!

The Raveonettes on MySpace


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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The Raveonettes: "Dead Sound"

The Raveonette's new record is really really really good.
Every song is just like, wowwwwwwww, yknow?

That's all I have to say about that.
A smooth and pretty hi-res version of the video can be seen here.

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Arctic Circle

Arctic Circle

Arctic Circle are a dreamy indiepop band from the Bristol. I found them on MySpace a few days ago, immediately downloaded all of their songs, and I've been listening to them like crazy since. They've got some weird song titles and they've got a lot of members, but they're super good. Super. Listen to them!

[MP3]: Arctic Circle :: Loofah Mit (Super Recommended!!!)

Listen to (and download) more songs on their MySpace!

P.S. There's about a 97% chance that the podcast will be happening, and it will ideally be co-hosted (though not simultaneously) by myself and a very special and very qualified guest. Keeps your eyes peeled!


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Thursday, December 13, 2007


I'll be resuming normal posting again next Monday, but I wanted to get this posted before the weekend, because – at least on the east coast – we should be getting some snow and ice and other fun winter things! Plus, yknow, Christmas is right around the corner. I've yet to shop or anything, but we did get our Christmas tree decorated last weekend and it's beautiful! Anyway, I hope this mix enhances your holiday spirits. There's lots of good stuff here, some I hope you guys like it! Some of them, The Cat's Miaow track in particular, may not truly be Christmas songs, but they're close enough and too good to leave off. Enjoy and Merry Christmas! and Merry all other holidays, too! :D

[ZIP]: Skatterbrain's Indiepop Christmas (12 MP3s, 73mb)

01 The Pines :: Silver Bells
02 Saturday Looks Good To Me :: Mistletoe
03 The Chesterf!elds :: Holiday Hymn
04 Pete Green :: Everything's Dead Pretty When It Snows
05 Glo-worm :: Holiday
06 Stormclouds :: Cosmic Christmas
07 Summer Cats :: Plastic Christmas Trees
08 Fireflies :: X-mas Song
09 The Cat's Miaow :: Do You Think It Will Snow Tonight?
10 Tuscadero :: Holidays R' Hell
11 Acid House Kings :: Christmas
12 Belle and Sebastian :: O Little Town Of Bethlehem

P.S. I have been tossing around the idea of maybe starting to do some podcasts with commentary and fun stuff, but I thought I'd see if it's something that people would listen to... So, does that sound like something you would be interested in? If so, I guess I may start doing that – its always seemed like it would be really fun.

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Sunday, December 09, 2007

All I ever wanted was to be your spine

Hello Hello Everyone! First of all, thanks muchly for all of your mostly lovely comments on the year-end post. I mentioned doing a "TOP EPs of the YEAR" feature, in addition to the LP one – I may still do that. For now, I will be taking a brief break from the blog, probably until December 16th. I've got loads of work to finish by the end of the semester and exams I've got to study for (but still probably wont, because I procrastinate better than anyone). I'll be in the print studios for upwards of ten hours a day this week, which will undoubtedly leave little time for blogging, so I bid you a short farewell. When I'm back I may try to get in that EP list – and possibly a best songs one, too – if I have the time to. If I don't ever get around to it, know this: The Manhaatan Love Suicides KILLED it this year, they win, THEY JUST WIN OKAY; Liechtenstein put out what was probably my most listened to single of the year; Ringo Deathstarr released the finest shoegaze of the year; and Roque and Cloudberry should win some kind of prize for what they did for indiepop this year. GOODBYE!
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Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Skatterbrain's Top 15 of 2007! Woo! Hey! Alright!

The end is finally here! (Background photo by IdleType)

2007 was an awesome year for indiepop, and for most music in general. I've heard tons upon tons of fantastic stuff this year, but because list making is SO GOSH DARN FUN, I must widdle them all down to a mere fifteen. It was tough, but I feel pretty good about how the list eventually came out. Please leave your comments, as well as your own lists if you got em!!! Happy 2007!

A Careless Lifestyle
[Fraction Discs] [MP3]: Heavy Rotation

If there's one band out there right now absolutely nailing that 1980s Factory Records sound it's Göteborg's own Tillmanns. The Tillmanns lie somewhere between The Stockholm Monsters and The Wake, specifically around the Here Comes Everybody era.

A Smile and A Ribbon
The Boy I Wish I Never Met
[Shelflife] [MP3]: The Boy I Wish I Never Met

The Boy I Wish I Never Met is as cute, concise, and charming as indiepop pop can get, blending the beautiful sounds of 50s and 60s girl groups with the carefree naivete of 90s twee. The record's title track "The Boy I Wish I Never Met" is one of the best pop songs of the year, I think.

The Lodger
[Slumberland] [MP3]: Watching

The release of The Lodger's LP Grown-Ups not only marked the full-lenth debut from Leeds-based, The Lodger, but it was also the first full-length record Slumberland put out since 2003! Grown-Ups is a super-solid Wedding Present influenced indiepop gem, through and through.

The Honeydrips
Here Comes The Future
[Sincerely Yours] [MP3]: (Lack of) Love Will Tear Us Apart

I first heard The Honeydrips at the very beginning of this year, and the single "Lack of) Love Will Tear us Apart" grew on me like moss on a rock(?). I finally heard the LP, Here Comes The Future, a few months later and it's the best baby that Saint Etienne and Felt could've created.

The Royal We
The Royal We
[Geographic] [MP3]: All The Rage

Glasgow's The Royal We are a funny case. They release their debut record, a stunning non-stop indiepop dance party of a record – I might add, and then what do they do? They split up! What the HECK. Lots of winners on here, my personal favorites being "All The Rage" and "Willy."

The Bridal Shop
From Seas
[Self-Released] [MP3]: From Seas

The Bridal Shop's calypso-flavored, dreamy indiepop was almost a weekly staple for me this year. Complete with breathy male and female vocals, jangly guitars, breezy synths, and the always reliable drum machine, From Seas recalled Sarah Records veterans Blueboy and Brighter – as well as the less-old Radio Dept. and Boat Club.

Cats On Fire
The Province Complains
[Marsh-Marigold] [MP3]: The Smell Of An Artist

I don't think I ever mentioned Cats On Fire on the blog at all this year. I really should have. The Province Complains featured a lot of new songs paired with new versions of some tracks from last year's Drawn In The Reins EP, including a superior version of "The Smell of an Artist."

Saturday Looks Good To Me
Fill Up The Room
[K Records] [MP3]: Make A Plan

I've been a huge fan of everything Saturday Looks Good To Me has ever done, and that includes their newest record, Fill Up The Room. Being the obsesser that I am, I would've liked to see more of Betty Barnes on the record, but Fred's the man and I'll love anything he does, period.

Dream On
[Skipping Stones] [MP3]: Dream On

Celestial's debut LP Dream On is a lazy, hazy pop record with the perfect balance of jangle and, of course, shoegazey guitar atmospheres. I ended up putting almost half of the tracks from this record on various mixes I've made throughout the year. It's a damn fine record.

Club 8
The Boy Who Couldn't Stop Dreaming
[Labrador] [MP3]: Leave The North

"Whatever You Want," the first single from The Boy Who Couldn't Stop Dreaming, was the first to grab me, back in May. Then I the LP came and songs like "Heaven" and the incredibly beautiful "Leave The North" snuggled up in my head and stayed there for the rest of the year.

Trembling Blue Stars
The Last Holy Writer
[Elefant Records] [MP3]: Idyllwild

I could say amazing things about this record all day long, but I feel like the stunning mysterious beauty of The Last Holy Writer can be best summed up by these lines from the incredible song, "Idyllwild": "Life was so open then, now it’s closing in / Life was wide open then, now it’s closing in / One by one, we’ve watched our dreams disappearing."

This New Year Will Be For You And Me
[Tapete Records] [MP3]: Sunshiner

Lacrosse is another band I didn't mention much on the blog this year, except for a quick video post the other day. This New Year Will Be For You And Me is basically a flawless indiepop record. It's instantly catchy and you end up knowing the words and singing along after one listen!

Every Scene Needs A Center
[Magic Marker] [MP3]: The Neutron

Tullycraft's new harmony-soaked, behemoth of an indiepop record, Every Scene Needs A Center, lived up to every expectation I could have had for it. Love em or hate em, Tullycraft are indiepop heroes and everyone should know it. I just hope they've got a few more records left in them!

Pants Yell!
Alison Statton
[Soft Abuse] [MP3]: Tried To Be Good

Since hearing becoming addicted to Pants Yell's Recent Drama for the majority of last year, and consequently telling everyone I knew how it was the best record of the year, I had been dying for a new record, a new something, a new anything. Like I've mentioned previously, when I first heard news of original drummer Carly leaving the band, I was genuinely worried; you could even say crushed. They seemed to work together as such a cohesive unit, and I felt like a change could kill the charm forever. Well, upon nervously hearing the new record, Alison Statton, it became pretty evident that they had, infact, NOT lost that charm. It turns out these new sounds on the record like horn solos, waves of strings, and noticeably punchier drumming only add to the charm of a band that has never ever let me down – not even once.

Love Dance
[Marsh-Marigold] [MP3]: Losing Faith

For a band that I knew, seriously, nothing about, Love Dance surprisingly released what has ended up being my number one favorite record of the year. Result, released by the consistantly awesome Marsh-Marigold label in Germany, sounds like it should have been released at least ten years ago. It's easy to say that a record is great from beginning to end right when you hear it, but I've been playing Result for the past six or seven months or so and not only am I not even close to being tired of it, but it seems like the songs keep getting better. From the addictively catchy jangly guitar melodies and handclaps to the glowing synths, and even the occasional dabble in poppy shoegaze, it's just fantastic, period.

A Few Runners Up:
Lucky Soul :: The Great Unwanted [Ruffa Lane Records]*
The State of Samuel :: Here Come The Floods [Humblebee Recordings]
My Teenage Stride :: Ears Like Golden Bats [Becalmed Records]
Vells :: Integretron [Imputor? Records]
Electrelane :: No Shouts, No Calls [Too Pure Records]

* It's entirely possible that this shoud be in the top ten. For some reason it isn't. I don't know why really, let's just call it poor planning... oops. ¯\(º_o)/¯

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Monday, December 03, 2007

Fireflies: "X-Mas Song"

Back in May I posted Fireflies' quite possibly better-than-the-original cover of Air's "Cherry Blossom Girl" with a mention of Music Is My Girlfriend and Lavender Records planning on co-releasing a Fireflies record sometime soon – well, the time is now! The record, titled Goodnight Stars, Goodnight Moon, is 11 tracks of dreamy indiepop that's soft as snow. Though I loved it when I heard it back in the spring, Fireflies' music feels much more appropriate now than it did then. The warmth of the songs, feels much better suited for winter months, and being huddled under a warm blanket, watching the snow come down outside your window. Even more appropriate is the inclusion of "X-Mas Song" – a cute little song about a blizzard and Christmas-time love.

[MP3]: Fireflies :: X-Mas Song (Highly Recommended!!!)

Goodnight Stars, Goodnight Moon is out now on Music Is My Girlfriend, as well as Lavender Records. Go here to find out where you can get it!
Fireflies on MySpace!


Music Is My Girlfriend also happens to be having a great Holiday Sale right now, so if there's anything you've been waiting on, now's the time to grab it all up!

"Like an early christmas gift we’ve a winter sale on our catalouge. This means that we offer you 50% discount on all our releases (apart from Fireflies album). The winter sale prices will be valid to the 31st January 2008."

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