If It’s Tuesday, It Must Be Day Two of Pure Pop Radio’s New Music Explosion. Here We Go Again!

wow-2We know, we know… You’re still buzzing from yesterday’s list of new songs and artists added to the Pure Pop Radio playlist. We’re buzzing, too! And while we’re all in new music mode, let’s run down another list of the latest melodic pop gems playing in rotation on our airwaves. Wow! Here we go!

maura-kennedyMaura Kennedy | Villanelle You know that the stars have aligned with grace and glory when a new Kennedys album and a Maura Kennedy solo offering show themselves within two months of each other. Maura’s album, a collaboration with poet B.D. Love, is, not surprisingly, a strong showcase for Maura’s lovely, expressive voice–never better on record, in our view–and her melodies, set here to Love’s vibrant words. With Maura’s husband Pete playing a variety of instruments, and some notable guest stars lending their talents, including popster Gary Frenay, Villanelle’s 15 songs shine brightly, from the classically-styled pop song, “Bicycles With Broken Spokes,” with its ringing guitars and clever wordplay (“”A way with words, that boy, I swear, could tell a tale/We rode in tandem for some time.”); to the gently driving, soulful “She Worked Her Magic On Me”; and the magical, swampy “Be the One,” which wouldn’t have been out of place on a Creedence Clearwater Revival album. Villanelle is a sterling example of the arts of craft and performance. If we gave out stars, there would be five of them in both Maura’s and B.D.’s baskets. We’re playing the aforementioned songs, plus: the title track, “I Cried to Dream Again,” “Soldier’s Wife,” “Mockingbird,” “Borrowed Dress,” “Coyotes,” “Father to the Man,” “I’ll Be Alone Tonight,” and “Breathe Deeply Love.” Breathtaking.

dana-countryman-thrill-meDana Countryman | “Thrill Me (2015 Remaster)” This song first appeared on Dana’s smashing 2013 album, The Incredible, Fantastic Retro Pop World of Dana Countryman. Remixed especially for release on Bandcamp, this version of the song features great vocals (those backgrounds really pop!) and guitar from Klaatu’s Dee Long. Dana’s next album is coming very soon–keep an ear out for more glorious retro-pop sounds from a master of the pop form!

garfields-birthdayGarfield’s Birthday | You Are Here Pink Hedgehog Records’ Simon Felton, his brother Shane and drummer Alan Strawbridge join for an album’s worth of shimmering, melodic pop songs. Full of great numbers, “Radio” is perhaps our favorite (for obvious reasons!); it sports a classic pop melody, great harmony vocals, and a beat you can dance to! “It’s Your Lucky Day” is a bopping pop song with rocking guitar lines and more, inviting harmony vocals. “Carpet Ride” is a nod to sixties songcraft with a mesmerizing, 4/4 beat and, yes, great vocals. An immensely entertaining album that we’re thrilled to be playing. In addition to the songs we’ve already mentioned, we’re spinning, in rotation, “Magic Bike,” “Fancy Dress,” “I’m a Star Tonight,” “Oxford,” “Lunar Eclipse,” “Rheinhold Paisley,” “Sunday Best,” and “Water (It Looks Like Rain).” The whole album, in fact. Great stuff.

toxic-melons-four-playToxic Melons | “Today Didn’t Go” A teaser, released ahead of the upcoming EP, Four Play, which features “brand new improved versions of classic Toxic Melons tracks.” This song, originally a cut on the Melon Jam album and presented here in a stripped mix, features the talents of Jellyfish’s Roger Joseph Manning, Jr. and Eric Dover. It’s another fine song from the Melons. We look forward to Four Play.

the-damnwellsThe Damnwells | The Damnwells New to Pure Pop Radio, Brooklyn, New York-based the Damnwells have released an album featuring all of the original band members–the first such release since 2006. We dig the band’s pop and rock sound, so much so that we’ve added six songs to our playlist, including “Heavy Heart,” an upbeat tune recalling the Jayhawks; the jangly “The Girl That’s Not In Love With You”; “None of These Things,” a heartfelt ballad with an emotive lead vocal; “Lost”; This Ship of Ours”; and “Too Old to Die.” Quite fine.

mike-tesch-1Mike Tesch | Mike Tesch These songs, which ride a fine line between folk and pop, are beautifully constructed and performed. We were immediately taken with Mike’s sound. Of course, we were immediately attracted to the ballad, “My Radio,” given the title and all. The song’s introspective nature draws the listener in, and those vocals…pure gold. Interestingly, the drums sound like they would have been comfortable on Carly Simon’s first album. Teeming with pure pop spirit, “Same Old Song” sports great vocal harmony stacks and a wonderfully catchy melody. We’re now playing, in rotation, both of these songs, and “The Blackbird Files,” “I’m Gone,” and “Old Ideas.” Great stuff. Look for the album later this summer.

daniel-wylie-fakeDaniel Wylie | Fake Your Own Death Daniel’s 2011 album is making its debut on Pure Pop Radio with five standout tracks: “Forgotten Songs,” “Rivers Flow,” “Make a Sound,” “Love Hurts (Sometimes),” and “It’s Always Been You.” The combination of Daniel’s wonderfully melodic songs and his smooth vocal delivery gets us every time (we’re big fans of Daniel’s band, Cosmic Rough Riders). We’ve taken these songs from Kool Kat Musik’s 2015 reissue of Fake Your Own Death, which includes two bonus tracks. There can never be enough Daniel Wylie songs on Pure Pop Radio.

Cameron-Lew---welpCameron Lew | welp. If the Interwebs are to be believed, “welp” is another way of saying “well…”; in other words, “Welp…I have nothing more to say” (refer to the movie Dumb and Dumber). Except in this case, Cameron Lew, from the fine band the Yorktown Lads (heard on Pure Pop Radio, naturally), there is certainly plenty to say. Cameron’s first solo album, recorded in the proverbial bedroom studio, is a delightful, varied collection of pop songs that fits nice and snugly among the other songs on our playlist. The opener, “Adieu,” is a catchy number with wonderful background vocals. “Antique Mall” is equally catchy–an upbeat pop song with a great hook and interesting subject matter. “Goodnight” is a fun, clever tune–a live wire goodbye song, with sharply-realized lyrics (“My records hiss but at least they stay clean/A dirty mess you’ll find it oh so pristine/I guess things really were as bad as they seem/So it’s best to say goodnight”). We’ve added all three of these songs, and three more: “Season 4,” “Change,” and “Picture Show.” Keep an eye, and an ear or two, on this guy.

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That’s it for day two of our mammoth New Music Explosion. And there’s much more to come–we’re continuing with this big event all through this week. Check back tomorrow for day three’s entries! We know you’re going to love them!

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Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber’s Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes

Tune In to Pure Pop Radio’s New Music Explosion. Pull Up a Chair: Day One is Here!

Wow! The countdown is complete… Pure Pop Radio’s New Music Explosion is here! We’re ready, willing and able to bring you hundreds of songs and artists that are new to our playlist. We’ll be rolling them out over the next five days. Click on one of the listen links below to sample these shiny, happy wares!

So what’s new on Pure Pop Radio? We’ve got a huge list to share with you, so let’s get things cookin’, shall we?

the-doughboys-hot-beat-stewThe Doughboys | Hot Beat Stew It’s business as usual when New Jersey’s hot rockin’, beat driven brand of supersonic jet propulsion-fueled pop and roll blasts its way to and through your heart. The latest platter from the Doughboys makes its debut on Pure Pop Radio with nearly all of the tracks on offer. From the get-out-of-our-way rumble of the slamming “Be My Baby,” which recalls Wings’ “Spirits of Ancient Egypt” (ramped up with Doughboys DNA), to the straight-ahead rock and roll of the hot and sweaty “Heartache,” and the early Rolling Stones, mid-tempo love song “SoHo Girl” (with more than a hint of Brian Jones muscle), Hot Beat Stew is a clear winner. Take a well-deserved, rocking bow, Mike Caruso, Gar Francis, Myke Scavone and the man behind the drum kit, Richie Heyman. Now playing in rotation: the aforementioned Doughboys classics, plus “Shake It Loose,” “You Can’t Catch Me,” “Crave,” “For Your Love,” “Travelin’ Salesman,” “Biding My Time,” “Until Now,” and “Kamikaze.” (The band’s cool cover of the Motown classic “The Tears of a Clown” was previously added.) Hot stuff.

the-universal-thumpThe Universal Thump | Walking the Cat: The Abbey Road EP Adam and Greta Gertler Gold, also known as the Brooklyn, New York-based duo the Universal Thump, released a wonderful, self-titled album in 2012, tracks from which are still playing in rotation here at Pure Pop Radio (we’re also spinning some of Greta’s solo tracks). This new EP, recorded at the famed Abbey Road Studios, is a fantastic collection of songs that showcases, in particular, Greta’s soulful piano playing, songcraft and lovely vocal turns. The grand opener, “Sunset Park,” sets the stage: A “Be My Baby” drum beat ushers in Greta’s fragile vocal, which leads to a classically-constructed number that is part art-pop and an affectionate nod to the singer-songwriters of the late sixties and early seventies. The title song is a leisurely ballad that slowly becomes something more upbeat as the cat, so to speak, takes hold of the rhythm. We’re spinning both of these numbers, and “Cockatoos,” “Watch the Sunrise,” and “Treehouse.” The whole enchilada, in fact. We’re proud to bring you these wonderful sounds.

peter-lacey-singlePeter Lacey | “Wayward Song” and “Many Moons Ago” We’re always happy to play just about anything Peter Lacey releases. We’ve been big fans of Peter’s music for a long time; we included his last album, Last Leaf, in our list of Favorite Records of the Year in 2014. Peter’s new single, available as a download and/or a seven-inch vinyl spinner, rates very highly in these parts. “Wayward Song” is a tender, piano-based ballad with pretty chord changes and slight echoes of Brian Wilson, with a lovely melody and a ghostly, atmospheric middle section (that propels the song into new, more upbeat territory). “Many Moons Ago” is a nostalgic charmer, beautifully arranged and sung. Simply wonderful.

caddy-the-better-endCaddy | The Better End Hailing from Norway, Tom Dahl, aka Caddy, makes great melodic pop music influenced by all the right names we could easily drop, but why spoil your fun? Okay, we’ll spoil it a little: the sensitive title track benefits from a thin coat of Beach Boys paint, and “Saint-Cyr-sur-Mer” is quite reminiscent of Teenage Fanclub-styled balladry (as is the delightful, mid-tempo ballad “One Year Off” (oh, those glorious harmonies!)). Meanwhile, the rest of the album swims in equally delightful waters. “Miss Radio” is an uptempo gem, a love song with powerful guitars and Dahl’s sweet vocal harmonies, and “Into the Sun” swims through power pop waters for a catchy number perfectly poised. We’ve added all of the songs we just mentioned, and these classics: “Here It Comes Again,” “Fangblenny,” “Chasing Clouds,” “No Sudden Moves,” and “Autumn Leaves” (we previously added “Something About Carina,” “Wherever You Go,” and “Bring It Back.”) Here is another candidate for best-of-the-year honors. A great album, through and through.

phyllis-johnsonPhyllis Johnson | “Looking Up (From Down Below)” From her magical, musical shack in Minnesota, which is always shaking with great songs from the popping past, comes a most welcome new number, a jangly mid-tempo tune with vocal echoes of Chrissie Hynde and the songcraft of the Bangles. A classically-styled chord structure and a strong melody take this song to the top of the poppermost. We’re asking Santa for a full album by Christmas. How about it, Phyllis?

hidden-pictures-california-platesHidden Pictures | California Plates The uber-talented Richard Gintowt and his crew return less than six months after releasing the superb album, Ottomans, with a short and super-sweet EP that satisfies, as all Hidden Pictures releases do. We’re now playing “I’m So Bored With San Francisco” and the title track. Great pop music, done up in classic style. Groovy.

Jet-ElectroJet Electro | Tall, Dark and Lonesome: The Story of Slim Grinder Four years on from Jet Electro’s debut album, the band (aka Craig Daniel) returns with a somewhat different approach, although, in the end, it’s really just a great mix of rock and pop styles that tell a series of commanding stories. A decidedly Marc Bolan-esque groove kicks off the leisurely, rock ‘n’ roll swagger of “Gamble” (we love the punctuating sax stabs). Beatles balladry and a tasty dash of Emitt Rhodes tenderness informs the beautiful ballad, “Rancho Preso,” an album highlight. The melodic “The One that Got Away” opens with a lovely harmony stack atop a slight acoustic guitar strum and plays beautifully from there. This is a fine album stacked deep with terrific songs; we’re honored to be able to share the previously mentioned tunes with you, plus “I Blame You,” “Love Rides Alone,” “I’m Not Easy,” “If I Live Again,” and “Haunted Heart.”

Drifting SandDrifting Sand | Pure Pop Radio ID We love the very cool, spirited ID that the members of Drifting Sand sent our way. Ending with a resounding cry of “Surf’s Up!”, the ID is an instant favorite and will now play in rotation with the hundreds of other such audio missives we’ve collected over the years. Hey, if you’re in a band or do your own pop thing, why not send us an ID or a snappy jingle? We’d love it! (Contact us at purepopradio@yahoo.com.)

wilson-sleeveWilson | “Pretty Girl in a Small Town” and “Little Friend” Thanks to Simon Felton from Pink Hedgehog records for sending us this glorious single, an advance slice of melodic pop heaven from the forthcoming album, Old School, New Rules. “Pretty Girl in a Small Town” is a wonderfully melodic, catchy mix of pop and Americana–very West Coast, USA, even though it hails from the UK. “Little Friend” is a 1930s-styled number with inviting harmonies and Robbie McIntosh on guitar. Brightly lit harmonies abound. To say we can’t wait for the album would be an understatement.

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That should whet your appetite! We’ll be back tomorrow with another round of new songs and artists added to the Pure Pop Radio playlist. Click on one of the listen links below to hear these new sounds, and a total of 6,800 great melodic pop songs in rotation. We’re your 24-hour-a-day home for the greatest melodic pop music in the universe! Dig in!

Click here to download our app for listening on the go with Android and iOS devices!

Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber's Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes

Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber’s Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes