This week’s show featured more from La Souterraine, plenty of classic funk, and a hefty helping of new music by artists at various levels of obscurity from Hanford Flyover to Haru Nemuri, touching both ends of that spectrum. Hanford Flyover continue to impress. We played another from their most recent release, this time the moody, downtempo rocker “Cloverfield.” We also played tracks from I Think Like Midnight album and our new political rock faves The Dowling Poole.
Bubble Wrap continues and once again, you missed it! But we’re here to tell you all about it so you won’t feel left out. We enjoyed “Mr. Whetherman” from UK band Hanford Flyover’s new release Hanford Tape Sessions, a surprisingly good record for such an obviously thrown together collecction. Meinfreak from Berlin gave us “Blütenmeergewehr,” which translates roughly as “Sea of Flowers.” We even found a song from a Vermont band, Clever Girls, who were decent enough to email us a link to it. Thank you, Clever Girls! We debuted “Spark.”
This week’s edition of Bubble Wrap was a rough and tumble mix of tracks from all over, baby. There was the old: De La Soul, Parliament, Aretha, Gary Bartz, and even a snippet of Philip Glass. There was the new with a touch of the familiar: Bobby McFerrin’s daughter Madison doing her new song “Hindsight” and a pair from the son and grandson of Fela (Made and Femi Kute from the Legacy collection). Plus a few more tracks from recent faves Spunkshine, Mt. Pleasure, Nuevos Dolores, and Welsh rockers Bandicoot.
It was a quiet week on Bubble Wrap this week, with no theme to guide us and all the freedom from that. Consequently, we were extra entertaining. For example, the very first set was killer, leading off with The Lounge Society and their moody manifesto “Burn The Heather.” If you like Fontaines DC, you’ll like The Lounge Society. Then there was “Weekends” by Classixx & the Local Natives, a guilty pleasure for sure, but so hooky. Finishing off that set was “The Duke” by Menahan Street Band of Brooklyn, NY, doing their own brand of retro smooth jazz. It’s a groove, and the horns are nothing short of mellifluous.
As we enter 2021 for real and for good, new music has begun to emerge that wasn’t recorded in 2020, that misbegotten year that we’re all trying to forget. Leading the pack for the Bubble Wrap crew are Arlo Parks and the new compilation from La Souterraine.
“Caroline” is a brand new track from Britain’s Arlo Parks, whose R&B nouveau has been percolating on the Internet for the last couple years. Parks’ new song is flawless contemporary pop with perfect vocals and a lyrical maturity that belies her years. We liked her funkier “Green Eyes” last year. Despite her self-assessment as a hopeless misfit, her music adds up to a very accessible package.
And then there’s La Souterraine, the busiest little microlabel in, well, La Souterraine, to be vague. The new installment in their compilation series is a volume 2 of their highly enjoyable Allopop of a couple years ago.
The latest episode of Bubble Wrap fell on Thanksgiving Eve this year, so there was some thanking to be done and some turkey songs to be played. New music resumed with more new favorites including Elvis Costello’s latest track, “Hetty O’Hara Confidential,” who is still biting and nipping at our heels. For some reason, I enjoy the bitter edge.
Although the elections were yesterday, we still don’t know who won although we have a pretty good idea…. So we distracted ourselves with music. Kiwi Jr. got their second play in as many weeks with “Undecided Voters.” We dragged Pavement and the Mountain Goats out of semi-retirement. We basked in the gentle pop stylings of Miloe, a new artist out of Minneapolis who has a thing for Winona Ryder. Adam Levy’s “Cadiz” recalled a kinder, gentler Kid Creole. Arlo Parks’ “Green Eyes” was mesmerizing. And the bonus tracks on the Prince Sign of the Times megaset are unusually good bonus tracks — we played 2 Nu 1’s 4 U.
This week was our last week before the election, a scary time, and never mind Halloween. We chose to ignore all that and just play music. 😉 Faves of the week: A Tribe Called Red’s new track “Land Back” which uses traditional native American singers in an unusual hiphop context. Kiwi Jr, just signed by a minor major, gave us another winner with “Undecided Voters.” And The Creachies, who are neither British nor a girl group, supplied seasonal flavor with “One of the Vampire Girls.”
What can you really say these days? Not much so play more music. Lately Bubble Wrap Radio has been more off than on due to remote broadcasting difficulties, but we haven’t given up yet. This week, we managed to get a show in which means listeners got a chance to hear a few new tunes for a change. Favorite new pop band: The Creachies, from Baltimore, who have a new EP out called (appropriately enough) 3 for Free. We liked “Bad People” especially.
Aquarium Drunkard released some live Velvet Underground recently, giving us a chance to listen to “White Light White Heat” in all its gritty glory. Would indie rock have been possible without them?
Still catching up on tunes from prior weeks here on Bubble Wrap Radio as well as some new releases. Past artists with new tracks included Bob Mould’s new single “Forecast Rain” from his upcoming Merge release, as well as some typically grinding rock from Throwing Muses called “Dark Blue” from her recent record Sun Racket. We also enjoyed a couple more tracks from the new compilation Allopop from La Souterraine in Paris, which we believe to be their best comp yet. And, to cap off the evening, the new track “Hit The Floor” by Go-Go legends Rare Essence with Snoop Dog, no less — definitely check it out.
Music from Rennes, Trondheim, Mali, and more this week on Bubble Wrap, along with a big handful of American artists. “Worry” by Songhoy Blues topped the list of singles with a slap of funky rock power about keeping up the fight. Sharada Shashidhar does the weird jazz, Rïga constructs thrumming industrial rhythms and calls it “Mikrofilm.”
On the pop side, Eep’s “Hogar,” The Audio Particle’s “All There Is…”, and Syntax Valley’s “Are You Happy” (yes!) are all winners. “Are You Happy” even throws in a key change. We also liked the latest album from Philly artist Shelf Life (FLAWLESS) and led off our exploration of that record with “Worth.”
Lots of great music from around the world to kick off the fall season including Postcards (dreampop from Beirut), Mexican Institute of Sound (mid tempo pop from Mexico City), Nearfield (electronica from Lisbon), and Seva Kavalenka (subway sounds from Minsk). There was also a bit of American music such as post rocking Old Canes from Lawrence, Kansas and some awesome punk pop courtesy of Syntax Valley (“a happy nihilist”) from Cape May.