We try to mix up what we listen to in the store, but some albums just can’t seem to find their way out of our CD player. Here are some of our current favorites.

eztv-coverEZTV – Calling Out [Captured Tracks]

If this was a concept album, the concept might be “Songs that sound great in a record store.” This is youthful, hook-laden rock n roll, with as much cool factor as it has depth and personality. You could draw easy comparisons to Big Star and that’s fine by me. Not much else to say about this one. Any description that comes to mind would just sound like a description of hanging out at the beach. You’d be better off experiencing it for yourself…if that’s your thing.

HWB coverHeather Woods Broderick – Glider [Western Vinyl]

This one might be a little “sleepy” for a record store, but we can’t help ourselves! Even with all the lush soundscapes, breathy vocals and sweeping synths, Glider still manages to steer clear of the “background music” classification. There is plenty going on to keep you fully engaged, throughout the entire album. You might be tempted to put this one aside as a great album to read to or to fall asleep to, but I’m sure you’ll quickly find yourself distracted by its emotive melodies and lyrics, complex interweaving instrumentation and just under the surface, a pulse that your heart can comfortably sync up with.

jesse jonesJesse Jones – ST [Burger Records]

This is psych-pop revived from the days after the “Summer of Love”. When everything became just so self-aware. The psychedelic rock movement was born of rebellion, angst and mind-altering substances. Then it settled in to fashion magazines, self proclaimed “flower children” and the Brady Bunch. But, there is something to be said for shedding all the seriousness of a cultural movement and just getting down to the sexiness of it all. Jessie Jones pays a fine homage to this era…along with some hat tipping to the pop tunes of the 70s and even the 40s and 50s. But, it’s not all bubblegum and flowers in your hair. There are some really nice folky tunes, with light finger picking and subtle string arrangements.

Nap EyesNap Eyes – Whine of the Mystic [Paradise of Bachelors]

The Paradise of Bachelors label describes their mission as “We are dedicated to documenting, curating, and releasing under-recognized musics of the American vernacular, historical and contemporary alike, with an emphasis on the South—broadly defined—and its global sound diaspora.” What it doesn’t state is how they are redefining “American” music, with every release. Much of their catalogue could clearly be defined as “Country” or “Americana”, but they also push that boundary with bands like Nap Eyes. Residing in Nova Scotia, they fit into the “American Band” category, because, yes, Nova Scotia is in the Americas. However, I wouldn’t classify Nova Scotia as the “South”. But, there’s plenty of southern and Appalachian influences, spread across this album.  This comes through with hints of Country Western sounds, such as pedal steel or bending, twangy telecasters, as well as some Muscle Shoals rock soul mixed in. But, there’s an even more prevalent European influence hanging overhead, covering a vast history of English rock music, from the Zombies and the Kinks, all the way to The Smiths and The Stone Roses.

ducktailsDucktails – St. Catherine [Domino]

Matt Mondanile is leading the charge of a new and captivating sound. Charge might be too strong of a word. More like, he’s heading up the leisurely bike ride through the park. As the guitarist for Real Estate, you hear a very clear transition from the en vogue sound of dream pop to a more mature, song-oriented style that wears its influences with pride, without being a carbon copy imitation. The newest release from Ducktails solidifies a style that is all his own, with plenty of pop hooks and dreamy moments to remain in the realm of “indie” music. But, in a time where most things are just a rehash of the old, there’s something very fresh about St. Catherine that gives hope for a new trend of music as purely an art form, and not just a retro party playlist.