Guitar Pop For Now People
20 Recent Tracks + Music Reviewers/Publications
We are living in a guitar pop golden age.
There is so much great new music being released these days that it can be a little overwhelming. Fear not, there’s an army of dedicated reviewers and publications of all sizes out there tirelessly pointing us toward the best artists, albums and singles.
Below are 20 great tracks along with review quotes from a few music writers and/or publications that should definitely be on your radar. (Many of them probably already are, but the links are there just in case…along with the Bandcamp embeds.)
Any good scene is a thriving eco-system where talented artists deliver the songs, and dedicated music lovers help spread the word. Let’s support all of them to make this guitar pop golden age glow even brighter.
20 Recent Tracks and Music Reviewers/Publications
Believe me, stopping at 20 was tough—I could have easily gone to 50, 100 or more…so you’ll probably see a follow up to this post in the next few weeks.
In the meantime, if you have artists, songs or publications to add, join the conversation in the comments.
“Packed full of tuneful melodies, tight harmonies, punchy guitars, and big hooks, Scratch 'N' Sniff is basically an even better version of 2019's Another Whiff. If you keep going back to The Nerves, Big Star, Raspberries, Shoes, etc. and lament that ‘nobody makes music like this anymore,’ I can assure you that The Whiffs absolutely do.” —Lord Rutledge, Faster and Louder
“Continue As a Guest, written during the pandemic, found Newman with more time than usual to put songs together and tinker. The result is a little more delicate and a little less hooky version of the New Pornographers.” —Chris Conaton, Pop Matters
“This time Allen and his bandmates have a concept album about the rise and fall of the ‘last’ rock band. It’s loaded with anthemic melodies, pounding percussion, and dense guitar riffs from beginning to end, starting with the title track ‘The Last Rock Band.’” —Aaron Kupferberg, Powerpopaholic
“Tchotchke’s sound balances the economical approach of a punk trio with a sophisticated, finely-tuned art-pop sound. The intricate arrangements are never over-wrought; instead they combine exuberance and intelligence, all wrapped in ear-candy melodies.” —Bill Kopp, MusoScribe
“Ransom and the Subset is a trio, but they sound like a rock symphony, sleekly sophisticated and relentlessly melodic. Brian Wilson/Burt Bacharach level genius.” —Mike Baron, Bloody Red Baron/Pop Geek Heaven
“(G)loriously melodic guitar music with hints of Americana and 60s Psych. …'One Last Summer' has more Americana vibes, with lovely harmonies reminiscent of George Harrison and The Byrds.” —Julie Fowler, Colours Through The Air
“A couple months ago, (Troper) offered up his take on Chris Bell’s ‘I Am The Cosmos’ and a little while after that he had his hand in a Ducks. Ltd cover of the Feelies. This weekend, he’s shared a home-spun version of the Beach Boys’ ‘Wonderful,’ written for Smile and included on 1967’s Smiley Smile.” —James Rettig, Stereogum
“The setting lyrically and stylistically is 1979 modish power pop. I definitely get a pre-Parallel Lines Blondie feeling taking this in.” —Dennis Pilon, Poprock Record
“In recent years there has been an explosion of great power pop in the underground, occasionally raising its head slightly above the parapet. In the States, White Reaper have been slowly making waves, while bands like The Whiffs and The Reflectors keep going from strength to strength. In the UK though, there is one band that seems to be making real strides: The Speedways.” —Nathan Whittle, Louder Than War
“Doctor Mother Father's second album is a wonderful noisy riff laden affair, incredibly melodic without losing its rawness. The debut album, Catholic, was a solo affair and a great listen, but this follow up shows the benefit of the live band recording Feelin' Fine.” —Don Valentine, I Don’t Hear A Single
“It's a highly nuanced, special collection of tunes that evokes feelings of sadness, urgency and, ultimately, hope and redemption—and it obviously all emanates straight from Tamar Berk's heart.” —John Borack, Goldmine Magazine
“The record combines the spontaneity of first takes with the tightness of a well oiled machine. Liquid Mike sounds super catchy, accessible and good-mood-inducing on this one, like they found another gear.” — Niek, Add To Wantlist
“Cue up ‘One More Chance to Get Over You.’ If you weren’t a Church goer before, this may be the track that makes you a convert. Not only is the melody infectious but it sports a wonderful guitar solo from pop legend Bill Lloyd.” — Richard Rossi, Power Pop News
“Taking a Death of a Tune / The Hidden Cameras style persistent hushed fuzz-pop foundation and layering the cutest of ‘90s twee-pop vocals, Turner does what he is increasingly becoming renowned for among the indie ‘Bandcamp Bretheren’ with his take on the most fragile of C86 machinations.” —Darrin Lee, JanglePopHub
“‘Feel It Comin’ On’ opens with 25 seconds of blistering rock and roll to claim a beachhead for the rest of the album, which is appropriately named, Attack, Sustain, Decay… Repeat. …‘Feel It Comin’ On’ hit all of those targets as I listened. It attacks, not just the opening minute; it sustains the attack and only decays in the last 25 seconds.” —Norman Weatherly, Weathered Music
“More than anything, the release of OTHERBODY points to the consistency in Dazy’s catalog. Returning to that comforting sense of familiarity in Dazy’s music, there’s a sense of knowing what to expect when hitting play on OTHERBODY. But far from feeling formulaic or predictable, these songs are further proof of how well Goodson can pull off everything in Dazy’s bag of tricks, turning the familiar into something fresh and invigorating.” —The Alternative
“There is no sign of stopping Sixties revivalists, The Plus 4. She’s In My Head is the band’s fourth single of the year, and we are still only in March! It’s their best single so far taking in influences from the whole decade fusing pop, baroque pop, garage and psychedelia.” —Records I Like
“Full of crunchy six-strings, jangly twelve-strings, plangent harmonies, and more hooks than amateur night on a vaudeville stage, the record teems with gems…Fans of guitars, melodies, harmonies, and old-fashioned rock & roll drive who haven’t heard Eyelids are clearly missing out.” —Michael Toland, Big Takeover Magazine
“With their infectious energy, undeniable charm, and impressive musicianship, The Beths are truly one of the most exciting acts in contemporary indie rock.” —Tammy Moir, Happy
“We've earned our keep by hipping you to this one. The Decibels' music is built of hooks and adrenaline, ready-made for rockin' pop radio. …’Why bother with us?’ Um...cuz it's GREAT!” —Carl Cafarelli, 10 Songs/This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio
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