I had a little trouble deciding on this week’s pick. There are plentiful good 7″s coming out on a regular basis but i’d lost track a little of what was released when. And the summer does seem at least a little quiet.

This week’s highlight was released in July as part of the 100 Club Series featuring London indie pop artists Chorusgirl. The 100 Club Series is a series of singles released by Odd Box Records. Sadly, actual physical records are sold out, but you can still get this single digitally.

This standard single features No Moon on the A side. This catchy, light twee song is quite delightful. It’s a great relaxing song to sit back and enjoy. The B side track Dream On, Baby Blue is also well executed. I actually prefer it. On both sides, the single has an almost shoe gaze backing. It’s a great single and well worth a listen.

I was so impressed with Conspiración Autista when we did our drunk blogging about Chilean music. The thing about it, this was a brand new release. Only 5 days old when we rambled on about how great it was. And it really is that good, so I think it deserves special attention here.

This is a debut release for Conspiración Autista. I tried searching and didn’t see any evidence of a physical release. It appears to be primarily a digital release on bandcamp. So don’t go looking for this in record stores just yet. But be thankful that platforms like bandcamp exist and make it easy for great bands to share great music. And if you run a label, drop these folks a line stat.

The entire 7 track lp is extremely great. The opening track Todas las sirenas en camino al lugar de la emergencia, and yes the track titles are mostly very long, is some peaceful low key post rock. It doesn’t really fully prepare you for the glory to come. But it sets it up quite nicely. And Solanas Maquillada continues the pattern effectively before launching into epic screaming post punk goodness. I’m quite picky about how my singers scream their lyrics and this works quite well for me.

More after the fold…

I really like how Nariz Sangrante switches between an unintelligible full throat scream to a loud, almost yelling, sorta talking thing. Once the tone is set with the first two songs, the rest is just history as they say. I think my favorite track is He visto a Dios: Es una cámara de vigilancia, which translates as “I saw God: A surveillance camera.” Possibly in large part due to the presumably implicit politics of it.

There isn’t a bad track here. And it’s lyrically interesting. I’m glad I got the urge to punch the lyrics to Virgen del Espectáculo into google translate. Here is what I got, some of which is clearly lost in translation, but it’s still pretty great.

Virgin Entertainment, show the contents of the unconscious
under the influence of drugs mystical Andean highlands,
glue for bicycles, live TV,
Wine of liquor stores, coffee police stations.

And here is the music. So listen in and enjoy.

So, I obviously think of music somewhat in terms of vinyl (a product of my age I think). And I do now and then come across vinyl EPs that are released in the 10″ vinyl format or sometimes in other weird formats (such as Deerhoof releasing their latest album in a flexidisc book option). So, roughly once a month we will highlight some unique release. We will obviously highlight it primarily for it’s music, but also maybe make note now and then of interesting experimental releases (such as maybe records made out of urine?).

It’s true we sometimes like our music on the Interstellar Radio Shower loud and screaming oriented, but we also love the power of a lovely synth backed indie pop EP such as Bouquet’s 10″ In a Dream. In a Dream was released in March as a limited edition run of 500 on Folktake Records. Folktale Records is one of my favorite indie folk labels so I think that’s how it initially got my attention.

This is the kind of relaxing music that facilitates the contemplation of one’s life and circumstance. I’ve always been a fan of smartly construct albums and this one does not disappoint there.

The title track In a Dream opens up the EP and it thrusts that contemplation aspect right at you. It’s got a repetitive catchy thing happening. Not the kind that gets you up in dancing (though swaying is plausible). But the kind that facilitates the closing of eyes and the non-sleep kind of dreaming. Lyrically the song reinforces this as it talks about a romantic journey in a dream and the attempt to hold onto it.

Stacks on Stacks builds off of the opening track, elevating the poppy catchiness of our dreaming, contemplating couch state. But it’s Come To Your House that really elevates the indie pop elements. This song is so good and if by this point you are almost in a state of coma-level contemplation, I think this wakes you up and alerts you to the fact that you’ve been lost in contemplation and there are a million wonderful things you can do today.

Over Mountains continues our contemplative trend. A song about loneliness and letting go. It’s just beautiful. Falling closes the album in an appropriately completionist mindset. “I’m falling, falling, still falling.” Listen to the whole EP below.

Melkbelly’s BATB (aka Bathroom at the Beach) is awesome. The 7″ was released on vinyl on July 31 by Chicago outfit Automatic Recordings. This straight up single, available on a limited edition run of vinyl, really rocks.

This is sharp edged noisy pop reminds me a lot of Speedy Ortiz which I coincidentally posted this morning. The short A-side Bathroom at the Beach is quick, catchy and loud. The B-side is a long track with the braggable title Piss Wizard. This song fluctuates from driving and noisy to slow and catchy.

This band does recall Th’ Faith Healers some. I think this music speaks for itself.

This first caught my attention because Min Diesel is a great band name. And the artwork reminded me a bit of something Will Oldham might have done at some point (in another life or something). And the album does not disappoint.

Min Diesel hails from Aberdeen, Scotland. Mince was released on May 11th on Cool Your Jets. I’m a little late becoming aware of this, but 9 copies of the lp are still available so let’s do this now and quickly. This isn’t Will Oldham (who I like). It’s indie rock, straight and simple. And it’s very good.

I feel like this falls somewhere between Pavement and Guided by Voices without sounding remotely like either of them. The opener War Band is a good rocker, but the second song Pagan Pageant is just great. It may be the stripped down parts of that song that recall Guided by Voices. And the alluring guitars that make me think pavement. The last 30 seconds of it gets very math rocky too.

I really do think this album is great. It has parts that remind me of some of my 90s favorite without actually sounding like those bands all that much. Trail of T-Shirts and Kirk Session make me think of Sebadoh. The guitar riff on T-shirts is just great. dB, however, is probably my favorite. It’s got some edge and some fire.

Heading back stateside this week. Today we highlight the Ghost Ease’s “Quit Yer Job.” This is a 4 track 7″ EP that was released on April 24.

The Ghost Ease are a self-labeled grunge band out of Portland, Oregon. The EP starts out with Canine which begins with tilting high end guitar notes that dive into grunge land shortly thereafter. It has that up and down, tilting to loud, thing that I like a lot.

Qwi Mai Yab reminds me a lot of some of the great indie rock from the 1990s. Sound bites and buried, affected vocals. It actually reminds me a lot of Zonic Shockum, an old Philly band from those days. It even has a random pause near the end to fool DJs everywhere into thinking it’s over (hoping that typing this helps me remember that it isn’t over).

XV is very much in the same vein as Qwi Mai Yab but without the vocal effects. I was trying to pinpoint who it reminds me of and I think it’s Th’ Faith Healers. Which is probably the best comparison for this band. And I really love Th’ Faith Healers so this makes a lot of sense.

Bad Girls, which rounds out the EP, brings a different tone with the instrument light intro for this cover of M.I.A.

Overall, this is a great ep with some strong noisy guitar. Each track has a full, tight sound and the tunes are good. Really can’t ask for much more than that.

Last week we started our 7″ highlight series. Today we launch our LP highlights series. Matt and I spend a large amount of time scanning the internet or otherwise searching for new music. We just love music and love discovering new to us stuff. So here in we’ll highlight the best of what we’ve found. It might be something from a band we already love, or a new discovery, but the odds are it’s worth listening to.

I recently picked up the New Sense lp from the Ethical Debating Society in London. The lp was released on June 22nd by Odd Box Records. I posted a song from them on June 29th, but this whole album is excellent and worthy of being highlighted.

From the opening track childs play this album hits you hard and fast. This is a high energy album with a riot grrrl edge on most songs. It’s all carried by some strong pop stylings too. So it is loud and rockin’ and catchy.

The song I posted before, future imperfect, encapsulates the style well. Catchy chorus inter-weaved with a hysterics kind of loudness. But the album isn’t just loud riot grrrl. Mission creep is delightful lo-fi indie rock for example. Cover up is basically indie pop with a Bratmobile edge. OK, so that’s a bit riot grrrl right there. riderrr is an interesting song. It’s got a trumpet or some such and a strong 70s (think joan jett) rock’n roll influence. For what it’s worth, my favorite song is probably creosote ideas. Both the song and the song title are just great.

OK, so i’m guilty of not anticipating that we’d add this feature. So both today’s 7″ Highlight and Thursday’s LP Highlight will be related to songs i’ve posted on the blog before. But they are both releases worth highlighting so I shall proceed. Both Highlights this week are from the UK so there is that too.

I was going to post the recently released 7″ from China’s Snapline on Tenzenmen Records but they sold out and i’d rather highlight something that folks can buy. I’m not sure if it’s available digitally somewhere else but Tenzenmen isn’t selling it digitally that I can see.

So, today we will talk about the 7″ release from Brighton’s Slum of Legs. The 7″ was released by Tuff Enuff Records on May 4th. This is a straight up single. Doll like on the A-side and Half Day Closing, which I posted a month ago, on the b-side. I’ve always had a predilection for b-sides.

But don’t let that fool you. Doll Like is a kick ass song. I’m not sure how to describe it. It isn’t heavy, but it’s distinctly punk or maybe post-punk. It’s catchy and anthemic, but also discordant and also a bit experimental.

And of course, Half Day Closing is just great. It actually has quite a Dresden Dolls-esque sound. It’s very different from Doll Like in style, but is distinctly British since her vocals play a prominent role and the accent really comes out in this type of song. And the violin is an extremely lovely touch. This song is quite like stage pop to me. I love it and, just as the third song on last week’s highlight LVP UP 7″ completes that EP, this song counter balances Doll Like quite nicely.

OK, so here is a new feature. Once a week i’m going to highlight a new 7″ release that catches my interest. My tentative plan was to do this on Tuesdays but reality took over so it’s a window post this week.

LVL-UP is a band that caught my interest I think two years ago. I’ve always liked them. Not always totally in love with them. But this is a fantastic 7″ release that went on sale today. The release is called Three Songs and it’s a literal title. So let’s delve into the heart of the matter – the music.

This is a 7″ highlight. Not a review so much because i’m terrible at reviews. So keep that in mind.

The Closing Door is the opener and it’s a great fucking song. It rocks. It’s anthemic. It’s got some good mildish noise. And strong vocal direction.

Blur is also a good song. More classic rock ‘n roll. But i’m really impressed with how LVL-UP has matured with their sound. It’s so complete now.

Proven Water Rites is a nice change of pace and makes this a complete release. It’s a slower paced song. Again, the sound is very full. This is definitely a chill and wait it out song. You might even prefer an additive here.

You can pre-order the 7″ Three Songs here at Double Double Whammy Records. But even better. They are coming to town next Tuesday and playing at The Slit on the north side. And they are playing with Big Ups so that’s a double win. And we can call it an Ups UP show if we ignore the first words in their band names. How convenient.

In another note, one of the members of LVL-UP started making guitar pedals. I have a couple of their pedals and oscillators and really like them. It’s worth checking them out at Totally Ruined Circuits.