Music Reviews

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Bill DeMain’s Gorgeous, Piano-Based Magic

Appearing on Bill DeMain’s forthcoming album Transatlantic Romantic are two songs that the artist has allowed me to play first on the radio: “Honey Bear” and “Leroy Boy.” Color all of us lucky.

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New on Pure Pop Radio 03-01-17: Vegas With Randolph, Terry Draper, The Del Zorros, The Squires of the Subterrain, and More

Today’s batch of reviews features a preview of a new song from Pure Pop Radio favorite Vegas With Randolph, new releases from a trio of prolific melodic popsters, and much more…

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New on Pure Pop Radio 02.28.17: Cindy Lee Berryhill’s The Adventurist

Is there a better investment in life than love? Is there a more prosperous road to travel, a more engaging choice of direction, than the bond between one person and another? Can we even make it to wherever we go in life without it?

Drawing inspiration and comfort from her marriage to the late, pioneering music journalist Paul Williams, Cindy Lee Berryhill has fashioned, in the form of her new album, The Adventurist, a deeply felt,melodic song cycle looking back on and celebrating her time with the creator of Crawdaddy, the first, authoritative rock publication of record, as the future unfolds for her one day at a time, as each new step forward is informed by steps already taken.

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New on Pure Pop Radio 02.15.17: The New Trocaderos and the Nerk Twins

This week’s second batch of reviews of new and new-to-you songs and artists added to the Pure Pop Radio playlist includes the latest powerhouse release from the New Trocaderos, and a quartet of rare songs from the Nerk Twins. Take it away, Kurt, Geoff, Brad, Kris, Rick, Herb and Jeff:

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New on Pure Pop Radio 02.14.17: Starring Pop Co-Op (with the Spongetones’ Steve Stoeckel), James Starflower, The Lunar Laugh, and More

We’re continuing to add more new and new-to-you music to the Pure Pop Radio playlist just about every day. Today, we’ve got reviews of seven albums from which we’re now spinning tracks in rotation. Click below to read all about it!

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New on Pure Pop Radio 02.09.17: Michael Carpenter Times Two, and The Del Zorros

We continue to add new and new-to-you songs and artists to the Pure Pop Radio playlist; here are just a few of the latest nuggets playing in rotation, from Michael Carpenter (a duo song with Allan Caswell, and an album with the April Family), and the Del Zorros.

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New on Pure Pop Radio 1-26-17, Starring Kelley Ryan, The Simple Carnival, and More

We continue to add new and new-to-you songs and artists to our playlist; hundreds have made their Pure Pop Radio debut in the last few weeks. Here are just some of the most recent treasures we’re now playing in rotation. Welcome to Pure Pop radio the latest from Kelley Ryan, The Simple Carnival, Vegas With Randolph, and more…

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New on Pure Pop Radio 1.25.17: Feet First in the Dowling Poole! Jump In…The Water’s Fine!

Willie Dowling, late of the much-loved Jackdaw 4 conclave, and Jon Poole, workhorse musical magician of Cardiacs and Wildhearts fame, first joined forces as the Dowling Poole in 2014, releasing the smashing, hall-of-fame worthy long player Bleak Strategies. The equally amazing, if not more so, One Hyde Park followed last April.

Folding into their classic and melodic sound a deep well’s worth of influences and making good on an unspoken pledge to surprise both themselves and their listeners with gonzo song construction that makes everything they record pop like fireworks, Dowling and Poole remain fearless creators whose music is stimulating and, above all, fun. Their three most recent EPs follow along on this most alluring path.

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New on Pure Pop Radio: Dana Countryman’s Girlville!

Dana Countryman’s Girlville! New Songs in the Style of Yesterday’s Hits
(Teensville) 2017
And now for something completely different? Not completely, actually, because this heartfelt, loving tribute to the sounds of 1960s girl groups shares the same depth of commitment and heart that Dana Countryman put into his much-loved pop songs trilogy, concluded in 2015 with Pop 3! Welcome to My Time Warp!.

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Favorite Records of the Year: Stars of 2016

2016 was a terrific year for melodic pop music from both new and heritage artists, perhaps the best in recent memory. My list of 28 Favorite Records of the Year from 27 artists–the Stars of 2016–is presented below in random order.

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New on Pure Pop Radio: 2017 Preview, Starring Bill DeMain, Nick Bertling, and Dana Countryman

Very soon I will dip my toes into the best-of-the-year waters with my Favorite Records of the Year: Stars of 2016 feature (coming in early January). Even as I gather my candidates for that feature, I am looking forward to the early days of 2017, during which a number of outstanding recordings that I have had the pleasure and honor to have heard will be released.

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New on Pure Pop Radio: Picking in the Panic Room, Disconnected at Third Man Records, and More

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Spins and Reviews 12.7.16

by Alan Haber aln

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Jacob Panic
Jacob Panic (2016)



Picker extraordinaire Jacob Panic traverses his banjo’s fretboard with a sure-footed sense of purpose on five tunes borne from fertile ground rooted in pop and bluegrass. This self-titled EP finds the Baltimore-Maryland singer-songwriter’s multi-instrumentalist clothes, which he wore for 2012’s Pop Grass, in storage; for this release, he concentrates on the banjo as a crack team of players backs him up on his ace originals.

New on Pure Pop Radio: Caper Clowns, McPherson Grant, Kurt Baker Combo, Pacific Soul Ltd., and More

Spins and Reviews | 11.16.16 | by Alan Haber  Caper Clowns | The Buca Bus Odense is the third-largest city in Denmark, which is important should you or I be traveling to that country with the desire to visit its largest cities. Another reason to visit Odense would be to soak up the atmosphere that undoubtedly […]

New on Pure Pop Radio 10.19.16: Tommy Lorente, The Universal Thump, and More

Spins and Reviews | 10.19.16 | by Alan Haber  A quartet of fine songs from some of our favorite artists, just scratching the surface of music being added to our playlist… Tommy Lorente | “Supernova” A trip back in time for the French guitar maestro, combining the engine of a 1960s mid-tempo beat charmer with the […]

New on Pure Pop Radio 9.14.16

Spins and Reviews | 9.14.16 | by Alan Haber We’re rotating more than 9,000 hand-picked songs, including ones from the following melodic pop treats… Stephen Bishop | Blueprint I don’t know where I would have wound up on the melodic pop scale had I not been introduced to the music of Stephen Bishop in 1976. […]

New on Pure Pop Radio 9.13.16

   Spins and Reviews | 9.13.16 | by Alan Haber Welcome to day one of Pure Pop Radio’s New Music Bowl, a celebration of some of the new songs and artists being added to the Pure Pop Radio playlist. Among the hundreds of additions we’ve made over the past few weeks, all now playing in rotation […]

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Pure Pop Radio’s New Music Bowl Starts Next Tuesday, September 13

Pure Pop Radio’s New Music Bowl, a celebration of the latest songs and artists added to our ever-growing playlist, kicks off next Tuesday, September 13, at 6 am ET. The event concludes next Thursday, September 15, at 11 pm ET. We’ve added hundreds of songs and new artists to our 24-hour rotation, and we want […]

New on Pure Pop Radio 9.6.16

   Spins and Reviews | 9.6.16 | by Alan Haber Peter Lacey | “Seaside Hideaway” Single Hot on the heels of his latest album, New Way Lane, released this past May, the British pop troubadour releases a jolly summer single with the ska-riffic title track the top drawer. Short and sweet and happy to make your acquaintance, […]

New on Pure Pop Radio 9.1.16

   Spins and Reviews | 9.1.16 | by Alan Haber We usher September in with another round of new artists and songs now spinning in rotation… Mimi Betinis | Basement Tapes Vol. 1 A month ago today, I reviewed Mimi’s other 2016 release, Music Sounds, which I determined rather early in the listening was a […]

New on Pure Pop Radio 8.31.16

   Spins and Reviews | 8.31.16 | by Alan Haber We’re playing these, and many thousands more, in rotation… Ryan Allen and His Extra Arms | Basement Punk For his third album as the multi-instrumentalist with more upper limbs than a normal person would know what to do with, Ryan Allen rolls through eleven supercharged sides, […]

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New Tunes for Pure Pop Radio’s Swinging New Music Dance Party | 8.5.16

   Swinging Spins and Reviews | 8.5.16 | by Alan Haber We fold up our well-worn dance floor as our Swinging New Music Dance Party comes to a close. We hope you enjoyed all of the new music we’ve added to our playlist, all of it now spinning in rotation. In case you missed the […]

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New Tunes for Pure Pop Radio’s Swinging New Music Dance Party | 8.4.16

   We’ve applied an extra coat of protective dancing fever polish to our dance floor since I was in touch on Tuesday; we’re ready to go with another round of new artists and music added to the Pure Pop Radio playlist during our Swinging New Music Dance Party! Our dancers (including, we hope, you) are […]

New Tunes for Pure Pop Radio’s Swinging New Music Dance Party | 8.2.16

   Dance the day (and the night) away all this week during Pure Pop Radio’s Swinging New Music Dance Party. Here are more of the new artists and songs that have been added to our playlist, all now playing in rotation! Swinging Spins and Reviews | 8.2.16 | by Alan Haber Tony ‘n’ the Recruiters […]

New Tunes for Pure Pop Radio’s Swinging New Music Dance Party | 8.1.16

   Dance the day (and the night) away all this week during Pure Pop Radio’s Swinging New Music Dance Party. Here are only some of the new artists and songs that have been added to our playlist, all now playing in rotation! (Note that our specialty shows are taking a break this week; they’ll return […]

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Pure Pop Radio’s Swinging New Music Dance Party Begins August 1st!

Put on your dancing shoes and join the fun! Alan Haber’s Pure Pop Radio has added hundreds of songs from new and heritage artists to our playlist for your listening, dancing and romancing pleasure! Our Swinging New Music Dance Party kicks off on Monday, August 1st at 6 am ET and continues through Friday, August 5th […]

New on Pure Pop Radio 7.27.16

   Spins and Reviews | 7.27.16 | by Alan Haber Tops of the pops today, tomorrow and beyond… Cotton Mather | Death of the Cool Putting pen to paper with the purpose of writing and recording a song for each of the 64 hexagrams of the I Ching, Robert Harrison quickly found himself knee-deep in the process […]

New on Pure Pop Radio 7.21.16

    Spins and Reviews | 7.21.16 | by Alan Haber Cheerful ear worms for a Thursday… Brain Circus | Brain Circus Smashing collection of impossible-to-resist songs performed in grand style by ace songwriter and keyboard wizard Brian Curtis, late of the much-loved band the Oohs. Thirteen numbers in all, Brain Circus, performed entirely by Curtis, provides ample […]

New on Pure Pop Radio 7.14.16

   Spins and Reviews | July 14, 2016 | by Alan Haber Another basket teeming with new music added to the Pure Pop Radio playlist… Arvidson & Butterflies | Arvidson & Butterflies Ensconced in the Gothenburg, Sweden music scene playing in bands and then going solo with an album released in 2001, Roger Arvidson has fashioned […]

New on Pure Pop Radio 7.12.16

   Spins and Reviews | July 12, 2016 | by Alan Haber A quartet of tremendous additions to our playlist… The Nines | “When Our Love Was in Bloom” A heavenly treat from the ever-increasingly-versatile Steve Eggers, who sets his sights this time around on the sounds that brought joy to listeners in the years […]

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New on Pure Pop Radio 7.8.16

   Spins and Reviews | July 8, 2016 | by Alan Haber Melodic pop shines in today’s listing… Vanilla | “Sweet Shop” Gather round, kids, for another game of guess what Jayson’s on about, dressed up this time in catchy minor-to-major-key-and-back-again Beatlesque romping clothes adorned with backward cymbal; strangled, wah-wah-dipped lead guitar, and a “Hey Jude”-type playout […]

New on Pure Pop Radio 7.6.16

   Spins and Reviews | July 6, 2016 | by Alan Haber The hits just keep on coming, with the Carpenter touch in today’s lead positions… Michael Carpenter and the Cuban Heels | Ain’t Nothing Left to Say Country? Sure, there’s that, but moreover there are a dozen room-filling explosions of sound emblazoned with Carpenter’s trademark […]

New on Pure Pop Radio 6.29.16

   Spins and Reviews | June 29, 2016 | by Alan Haber There’s so much new music spinning on Pure Pop Radio’s airwaves. Here are some more choice melodic wonders, now playing in rotation… Bob Lind | Magellan Was Wrong Fifty years on from his iconic top five smash, “Elusive Butterfly,” and four years after releasing his […]

New on Pure Pop Radio 6.28.16

   Spins and Reviews | June 28, 2016 | by Alan Haber More hot spins now rattling the airwaves on Pure Pop Radio: Gary Ritchie | pop·ti·mis·tic Texas popster, by way of the Windy City, returns with another master class in how to do it right as rain, sitting behind an authentic Ludwig drum kit […]

New on Pure Pop Radio 6.27.16

   Spins and Reviews | June 27, 2016 | by Alan Haber We kick off this last week of June with a trio of tempting platters… Lucy Wainwright Roche and Suzzy Roche | Mud & Apples Fans of the Roches, New Jersey’s first family of musical wit and harmonic sophistication, will be over the moon for […]

Looking for New Music? You’ve Come to the Right Place!

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Our most favorite thing in the world is to take receipt of music from both new and heritage melodic pop artists, spin it, and add it to our ever-growing playlist. Every day is akin to unwrapping presents; the treasures contained within these virtual packages are sweet […]

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May the Fifth be With Your Ears: Pure Pop Radio’s Four-Day New Music Songfest is Full of Stars!

We totally spaced on yesterday’s universe-wide Star Wars holiday, but Yoda’s cool with that brain freeze…as long as we carry on (see at left) with our Four-Day New Music Songfest. And so we will by bringing you our reviews of three outstanding platters now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio. And now, to get […]

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We’re Groovin’ to the Tunes on a Wednesday! It’s Day Two of Pure Pop Radio’s Four-Day New Music Songfest!

It’s a good day–a very good day–that fills your heart with lovely melodic sounds from today’s top melodic pop artists. That day–that very good day– is today…day two of Pure Pop Radio’s Four-Day New Music Songfest. What do we have on tap for you today? Which new songs and artists are we tapping our feet […]

Pure Pop Radio’s Four-Day New Music Songfest Is On!

We’ve rolled up our collective sleeves and we’re digging the sounds. All you need to do to join in on the excitement of our Four-Day New Music Songfest is tune into Pure Pop Radio by clicking on one of the listen links below, and, of course, see what we’ve just added to the playlist by […]

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Love is the Name of the Game as More New Music is Added to the Pure Pop Radio Playlist

We’ve got two spectacular additions to our playlist today, and they couldn’t be any more different from each other if they tried. First up, Kenny Herbert’s fantastic Forever & Beyond. Here is Alan’s review: Kenny Herbert | Forever & Beyond “And there was love, love, love, love/Anyone could see that there was love/Love all over me,”sang […]

If You Liked New Music Tuesday, You’ll Love New Music Wednesday!

We’re just getting started reporting on all of the new songs and artists we’re adding to the Pure Pop Radio playlist. Today’s mega-post follows yesterday’s exciting list of hot new numbers we’re featuring as part of our hand-picked 8,600-strong rotation. Let’s get to today’s array of top-flight tunes. Gleeson | Curse My Lucky Stars Whether or […]

You’ll Be Saying, “That’s My New Favorite Song!” Say Hello to Pure Pop Radio’s New Music Tuesday!

Once again, we’ve got a pile of new music to add to the Pure Pop Radio playlist. Said pile reaches from the floor to the ceiling, which means it’s time to add said new music to our hard-working rotation. Here are just some of the new sounds you’ll hear by tuning into Pure Pop Radio–simply click […]

Springtime Newness Blossoms on Pure Pop Radio

We’ve just finished up our festive Springtime New Music Explosion here at Pure Pop Radio. With hundreds of new songs and artists now playing in rotation on our air alongside our library of 8,500 classic numbers from the ’60s to today, you’re sure to find more than a few favorite sounds that you haven’t heard […]

Radio Days and More In the Spotlight on Day Four of Pure Pop Radio’s Springtime New Music Explosion!

The days are bulging with great new songs and albums and artists, so here’s another list of what’s spinning for the first time on Pure Pop Radio–days four and five of our Springtime New Music Explosion combined into one. Let’s start with another incredible long player that’s sure to be a favorite of yours, and […]

Pure Pop Radio’s Springtime New Music Explosion, Day Two: Jump into the Poole!

Day two of Pure Pop Radio’s Springtime New Music Explosion (and thank you for joining us, melodic popsters!) kicks off with the explosive new album from the Dowling Poole, this time comprising not only Willie Dowling and Jon Poole, but also Givvi Flynn. Let’s get started, shall we? The Dowling Poole | One Hyde Park We’ve […]

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Pure Pop Radio’s Springtime New Music Explosion Starts Now!

Can it really be spring? Certainly, the calendar says it is, and so does the merry mood in place here at the always harmony-filled Pure Pop Radio headquarters. Here on the first of five days of our Springtime New Music Explosion, we’ve got a ton of new songs and artists to tell you about; we’ve […]

Looking for New Music Adds? Why, We’ve Got Some!

Things are hopping here at the spacious, newly-fake-wooded-floored Pure Pop Radio headquarters, and by hopping we mean we’re having to hop over things that are in the way, that have been put there by the team of flooring professionals that just installed a new not-carpet surface to walk on. Well, that was something to live […]

More New Music? Why, We’ve Got Some of that!

Further on from yesterday’s list of new songs and artists recently added to our ever-growing playlist, we’ve got another parade of truly excellent melodic pop sounds that are now spinning in rotation. Much more to come next week. Until then, here’s a tasty sampling of a few choice nuggets: Brett Harris | Up in the […]

New Music? We’ve Got Some!

Nearly three and a half years and more than 8,300 songs after flipping the switch on Pure Pop Radio, we’re still in the trenches, bringing you new music that exemplifies the art of melodic pop music. Today, we bring you a list of three outstanding artists and their latest and archival releases that proves beyond a […]

More New Music is Flowing on Pure Pop Radio

Hot on the heels of yesterday’s list of new songs and artists added to our playlist, we’ve slotted in more classic sounds now being heard in rotation. Care to peruse? Go, cat…go! Vegas With Randolph | “Three Red Hooks” This Washington, DC-area pop powerhouse’s latest song, a lively ode to rocking steady and having a […]

We’re Top of the Pops on this New Music Wednesday!

It’s time for another round of new music that we’ve just added to our playlist. We’ve got a whole lot of new songs and artists to tell you about, so let’s get on to it, shall we? The Dowling Poole | Single: “Rebecca Receiving,” “The Same Mistake Again,” and “Empires, Buildings and Acquisitions (Live in […]

New Music? We’ve Added Lots!

Perhaps our most favorite thing to do, other than write about great melodic pop music, is to add it to our playlist. We’ll soon hop, skip and jump over the 8,200 tracks mark, on our way to 9,000 and beyond. Won’t that be fun! Meanwhile, as we work toward clearing those goalposts, we’ve added a […]

We Serve Up a Quartetly Add to the Pure Pop Radio Playlist

The past few days saw us spinning some sumptuous sounds from a top-flight quartet of artists. We’ve added these sounds to our playlist; they’re now spinning in rotation, making the world a brighter, more melodic place. From our old friend JoDee Purkypile comes a new song that the artist describes as “a sad waltz” that […]

Buckle Up: We Begin the Long Rundown of New Music and Artists Recently Added to the Pure Pop Radio Playlist

A message from Alan Haber: For the past few months, I have been adding hundreds of new songs and artists to the Pure Pop Radio playlist. For a lot of reasons, most notably ongoing health concerns, I have been unable to report on these adds. Since time is marching on at a rather rapid pace, and 2015 […]

Ready, Set, Go! Hundreds and Hundreds and Hundreds More New Songs and Artists Have Been Added to the Pure Pop Radio Playlist. Let the Tunes Play!

So here’s the scoop: We’ve been adding new music to the Pure Pop Radio playlist for the last couple of months–all sorts of melodic pop from new and heritage artists; songs with sent-from-heaven hooks and harmonies that are pretty much guaranteed to put a big smile on your face. Let’s get right down to it. […]

We’re Playing It Cool! Guess What’s Now Spinning and Brand-New at Pure Pop Radio!

This is our busy season–well, they’re all busy in one way or another, but it’s that time of the year, what with summer just about over and done and fall just a step ahead. Perhaps fruitful is a better word than busy; the air is ripe with good sounds coming in almost daily to the […]

These are the Words that You Want to Hear: We’ve Got New Music for You!

“These are the words you wish you could hear,” Jules Shear sings in his current release, the quite catchy pop song called “The Words,” and these are the words we are happy to pass on to you; we love you, and it’s because of that love that we bring to you news of new music […]

More New Music Added to the Pure Pop Radio Playlist During Premiere Week

Yesterday’s list of new songs and artists added to the Pure Pop Radio playlist was only the beginning: We’re just getting started making our unique mix of melodic pop songs from the ’60s to today sing with joy! Here is another list of just some of the new songs and artists we’ve added to the […]

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Premiere Week Continues With More New Music and Artists Added to Our Playlist. Dig in!

As Pure Pop Radio’s Premiere Week rolls on, we ask that you open up your hearts and your ears, of course, for an avalanche of songs and artists just added to our playlist. We’re talking hundreds of songs, and not just new ones–we’ve also significantly beefed up our Beach Boys and Beatles playlists (remember that […]

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The Hits Just Keep On Coming! Pure Pop Radio’s Big Week of Summer Fun Continues With More New Music. Sing Along If You Know the Words!

We hope you’ve been enjoying Pure Pop Radio’s Big Week of Summer Fun. We’ve certainly enjoyed bringing lots of new music to you. We’ve enjoyed bringing you new editions of our signature Beatles programs, Ken Michaels’ Every Little Thing and the weekly Fab roundtable, Things We Said Today. And let’s not forget, we brought you […]

High “Fives” All Around! It’s Day Five of Pure Pop Radio’s New Music Explosion. And We’re Still Just Getting Started!

This week has practically flown by! Wasn’t it just Monday…yesterday? Wow! Well, it’s Friday, and that means it’s day five of Pure Pop Radio’s exciting New Music Explosion, which is great news all by itself, but the even greater news is that we’ve got so much new music to add to our playlist that we’ll […]

One, Two, Three…Four! It’s Day Four of Pure Pop Radio’s New Music Explosion. Get Ready to Pop!

Welcome to day four of Pure Pop Radio’s New Music Explosion. Are you ready to pop? We certainly are; this week (and next; see below) we’ve been adding hundreds of new songs and artists to our playlist. You’ve been following the fun, so you know: Once you get started, it’s hard to stop! So we’re […]

More New Music Is In the Spotlight Today: It’s Day Three of Pure Pop Radio’s New Music Explosion!

Welcome to day three of Pure Pop Radio’s New Music Explosion! We hope you’ve been enjoying the new songs and artists we’ve been adding this week to our playlist. It’s time to unveil another list of newly added treasures now spinning in rotation. Without further ado, let’s see what’s in store today! We know you’re […]

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

We 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 […]

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 […]

Andy Klingensmith is Bright Again

Andy Klingensmith Bright Again Futureman Records (2014) If Pictures Of found Andy Klingensmith in fine, mid-period Simon and Garfunkel mettle, then the new EP Bright Again finds the young singer-songwriter wiping his sonic canvas clean and adding a few, new, sparkling layers on top of his folk-pop leanings. Klingensmith’s overall approach, in fact, is decidedly […]