Music Reviews

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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.


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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 alan 5 small

Cacaper-clowns-2per 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 inspired this talented quartet to craft this wonderful melodic pop collection. The highlights are too numerous to mention in toto, but here are a few favorites: “A Tale of Romance and Magnetic Trains,” a pure pop delight of the toe-tapping variety; “Mirror Me,” an uptempo driver which wouldn’t be out of place on a Deacon Blue album; “Sleeping on the Edge of the Rainbow,” a beautiful burst of charming balladry, and “The Significance of Teacups,” wholly McCartney-esque (and ELO-esque with a Brian May-type guitar solo)–an earworm that simply won’t let go. Lovely melodies and harmonies and, well, everything, await your ears. Take a well-deserved bow, Rick Kingo, Peter Højgaard, Christian Højgaard and Skipper Storm; you’ve made one of this year’s most assured collections of musical treasures.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: Nearly the entire album: “Pockets,” “A Tale of Romance and Magnetic Trains,” “All We Ever Do is Run,” “The Significance of Teacups,” “Sleeping on the Edge of the Rainbow,” “A Forest of Letters,” “Mirror Me,” “Dressed in Flaws,” “When I’m Alive,” and “Lizard Heart”
black box When and Where to Get It: iTunes, imusic  Amazon UK (mp3 download). Listen on Spotify


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

Spins and Reviews | 10.19.16 | by Alan Haber alan 5 small

A quartet of fine songs from some of our favorite artists, just scratching the surface of music being added to our playlist…

tommy-lorente-supernovaTommy Lorente | “Supernova” A trip back in time for the French guitar maestro, combining the engine of a 1960s mid-tempo beat charmer with the warmth of a much-loved folk standard. Beautifully played by Tommy, who sings and strums the guitars, Ralf Köhler, who plucks the bass, and Peele Wimberley, whose drums and percussion provide the expressive backbone. Sweet.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio.
black box When and Where to Get It: 
Bandcamp.


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New on Pure Pop Radio 9.14.16

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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-blueprintStephen 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. The classic, and it sounded like a classic upon first listen, “On and On,” with its gorgeous melody and the iconic lyric “So he takes a ladder/Steals the stars from the sky/Puts on Sinatra and starts to cry” still resonates with me, partly because Ol’ Blue Eyes’s records were spun frequently in my house, but also because I was, perhaps not so secretly and like millions of others, in love with the sound of the Chairman of the Board.


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New on Pure Pop Radio 9.13.16

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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 on our air, a pair of new releases has especially caught my ear. I give you the latest from Myrtle Park’s Fishing Club, and a toe-tapping duet from Michael Carpenter and Allan Caswell.


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

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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 you to hear them all. You won’t want to miss the latest sounds being crafted by melodic pop music’s brightest lights (you’ll hear, for example, tracks from the Beatles’ Live at the Hollywood Bowl CD).


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New on Pure Pop Radio 9.6.16

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Spins and Reviews | 9.6.16 | by Alan Haber

peter lacey seaside hideawayPeter 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, it’s joined by the gentle reggae rhythms-meet-Beach Boys song “Sea Quester Bay”; you can just imagine the comforting winds swaying around you. Lovely to have more melodic Lacey to comfort our souls during these last, warm days of September.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio.
black box Where to Get It: 
Bandcamp


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New on Pure Pop Radio 9.1.16

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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 tapesMimi 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 simply wonderful collection of songs. Now, here is another Betinis collection, composed of tracks that he’s been working on over the years that have now been finished and gathered together all shiny and vibrant in one place. The treasures on offer are full of life: the achingly beautiful ballad, “All that Glitters,” picked acoustically with care, topped by tambourine and electric guitar shading, and featuring instruments from Mimi’s extensive collection, which, he says, give the song “an eerie and dark feel”; “Ray of Light,” a melodic sweetness sounding like an Andy Partridge outtake off of XTC’s Nonsuch album, and simply lovely covers (Paul McCartney’s song for Mary Hopkin, “Goodbye,” and the Hudson Brothers’ “So You Are a Star” are glorious). Saying that some heritage artists are only getting better as time passes by can sound like rather an empty assertion, but my, how that phrase does indeed fit snug as a bug here.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: “All that Glitters,” “Another Day,” “Brown Eyes and Bangs,” “Didn’t We 1979,” “Good Morning Little Schoolgirl,” “Goodbye,” “Ray of Light,” “So You are a Star,” and “The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine.”
black box Where to Get It: Available on October 1 at CD Baby. Pre-order now at Pop Music Sounds.


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New on Pure Pop Radio 8.31.16

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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 punkRyan 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, plucking at guitar and bass strings, covering the circumference of keyboards, and bashing the bejeezus out of drum parts. In other words, it’s another exciting showcase for the amazing Mr. Allen, who is featured prominently on Nick Piunti’s new album. This album, out September 30, takes charge with strong melodies and ace playing and never lets up. “Gimmie Some More” kicks out a popped-up jam with lots of guitars and a sweet riff; “People Factory” is equally strong, and “Everything (In Moderation)” is a mid-tempo, melodic gem that closes out the proceedings. Mixed and mastered by Pure Pop Radio favorite Andy Reed, this one’s what we used to, and still do, call a keeper.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: “Chasing a Song,” “Mal n’ Ange,” “Gimme Sum More,” “People Factory,” “Gorgeous with Guitars,” and “Everything (In Moderation).”
black box When and Where to Get It: September 30 at Kool Kat Musik and Bandcamp.


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

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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 reviews we posted this week, you can read them all below. They’re preceded by a new review of a terrific new compilation, the Mahoney Brothers’ Rarities Vol. 1, put together with heart and soul by one of our favorite singer/songwriter/performers, Timmy Sean.


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

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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 ready to shake this virtual building to its foundation, so here we go!

Swinging Spins and Reviews | 8.4.16 | by Alan Haber

vanilla be not coy coverVanilla | “Be Not Coy”
A Pure Pop Radio Thursday Exclusive 
Robert Herrick, born in 1591 and never married, was a vicar and a poet whose gaze was trained, for the most part, on themes that were pastoral in nature. One of his works, a short poem entitled To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time, was partial inspiration for Jayson Jarmon’s potent song.


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

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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

dirty watertony valentino 5Tony ‘n’ the Recruiters | “Dirty Water”
The Standells’ classic “Dirty Water” sizzled into the number 11 spot on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart in July of 1966. It’s still sizzling today, this story of dirty water and curfews and women and, yes, Boston, spoken/sung/snarled by Dick Dodd over one of the great, meaty, down-and-dirty guitar riffs of all time. Guitarist Tony Valentino is still at it–still spreading the dirty gospel by playing the song live and by waxing a brand-new recording of it that sizzles like the original so a whole new generation and older fans, too, can get down and dirty with it in the context of today’s skewed world. This new version, produced by Tony and sung with pumped up passion by Steve Loizos, is lit up at a faster pace, chugging through the last measure of the chorus with a thrilling, ascending chord pattern, and it’s all to get the pressure rising, which it does and which it should. This track won’t calm anyone down, but it’s not supposed to. Take a bow, Tony; we’ll all wade through that dirty water with you anytime.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio.
black box Connect with Tony Valentino on Facebook 


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

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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 the week of August 8.)

Swinging Spins and Reviews | 8.1.16 | by Alan Haber

TYIFinal2Nick Piunti | “One Hit Wonder” (from the forthcoming album, Trust Your Instincts)
Michigan musician Piunti hits all the melodic marks with this catchy slice of pop perfection, a three-minute pearl of a tune pairing a sweet, catchy melody with an introspective lyric about trying to make it big in the music business. Piunti was a smart, thoughtful lyricist from the start of his career; the words that power this song’s message are among his best. “Burned out, before it began/If it was destined to be then we stuck to the plan,” he sings at the top of the tune, the second half of the couplet particularly telling and dripping with foreshadowed insight. “Over our heads, it was out of our hands, it was gone.” Yet, the song’s narrator doesn’t clue the listener in on where he is in the present tense. Did he carry on with trying to tackle the top of the chart despite his downbeat experience, or did he switch career paths? It’s all quite the cautionary tale and interesting given the upward trajectory of Piunti’s career and his acceptance by fans in the pop community. From the soon-to-be-released album Trust Your Instincts, Piunti’s third solo long player, “One Hit Wonder” is fantabulous.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio.
black box Where to Get It: Trust Your Instincts is due to be released on JEM Records on September 9.


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

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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 at 11 pm ET.

We’ll be posting reviews of these new, tasty nuggets that we’ve added to our ever-growing playlist throughout the week of August 1st. Tune into Pure Pop Radio to hear them by clicking on the listen links below.. It’s the melodic pop soundtrack of your life,summer style! Don’t miss a minute!


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New on Pure Pop Radio 7.27.16

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Spins and Reviews | 7.27.16 | by Alan Haber

Tops of the pops today, tomorrow and beyond…

cotton mather - death of the cool coverCotton 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 of bringing his band Cotton Mather back to life. The first of four projected albums collecting these songs, Death of the Cool is a powerhouse release, as good or better than the classic Kontiki, which was reissued in a deluxe edition in 2012. The jaunty mid-tempo “Candy Lilac,” lovely ballad “The Land of Flowers,” and the poised-to-be-a-hit-at-radio catchy pop song “Child Bride” are prime Cotton Mather and only three reasons to dig into this classic band again.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: “The Middle of Nowhere,” “Candy Lilac,” “The Land of Flowers,” “Never Be It,” “Queen of Swords,” “Child Bride,” and “The End of DeWitt Finley.”


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New on Pure Pop Radio 7.21.16

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alan 5 small Spins and Reviews | 7.21.16 | by Alan Haber

Cheerful ear worms for a Thursday…

brain circus use this jpeg instead of the other oneBrain 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 proof, as if any was needed, that this transplanted Virginian’s ability to craft striking, kenspeckle melodies working in concert with clever chord structures and vocal invention puts him at the top of his game. The gorgeous harmony vocals at the heart of the jangly “If You Only Knew” and the creatively-arranged mid-tempo ballad “Smile is a Thin Disguise” are but two examples of how good this album is, but the majestic, heartfelt love song “Finally Found the One” is the pearl here, a musical sculpture formed with smiles and tears and a whole lot of heart. You’ll detect essence of Beach Boys, Jellyfish and Queen, among other classic touchstones, but this is all Curtis and don’t you forget it.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: “Forget All About It,” “I Don’t Want to Know,” “If You Only Knew,” “Keep My Hands to Yourself,” “Letter Bomb,” “No Secret,” “Smile is a Thing Disguise,” “The Man Who Saw Tomorrow,” and “Try to Ignore Me.”


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New on Pure Pop Radio 7.14.16

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Spins and Reviews | July 14, 2016 | by Alan Haber

Another basket teeming with new music added to the Pure Pop Radio playlist…

arvidson and butterfliesArvidson & 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 a vehicle for his songs. The six-member Arvidson and Butterflies announce themselves with an explosive collection of dynamic pop songs, each one imbued with catchy melodies and played with verve, like the upbeat, hit-songs-in-the-making “Tired of Running” and “Changing All the Time.” The mid-tempo charmer “Will Follow” is nearly a song that the Byrds could have pulled off. The cover drawing, from French popster Tommy Lorente, is among the most attractive to grace a pop release in many years. Top drawer all the way.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: “Tired of Running,” “Lights Go Out,” “Butterflies,” “Will Follow,” “Changing All the Time,” “Want What I Can’t Have,” and “Not a Dream.”


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New on Pure Pop Radio 7.12.16

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Spins and Reviews | July 12, 2016 | by Alan Haber

A quartet of tremendous additions to our playlist…

the nines when our love was in bloomThe 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 spanning 1948-1962. This beautiful number, a sad, romantic lament, musically recalls the pleasures of Joe and Noel Sherman’s “Graduation Day,” which was first a hit for the Four Freshman and covered by artists as diverse as Bobby “Boris” Pickett, the Arbors, and the Beach Boys. The opening á cappella couplet, which gives way to light orchestral accompaniment, is among the most thrilling 10 seconds of vocal joy experienced in melodic pop music this year. A trailer for the Nine’s next album releasing in August, this is going to be in your head long after the calendar turns this December 31.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio.


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New on Pure Pop Radio 7.8.16

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Spins and Reviews | July 8, 2016 | by Alan Haber

Melodic pop shines in today’s listing…

vanilla - sweet shopVanilla | “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 that encourages head swaying to and fro. And listening to the lyrics.


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New on Pure Pop Radio 7.6.16

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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 heelsMichael 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 melodic touch. Witness the boom-boom-to-snare power of the catchy “One of these Days I’m Gonna Get Myself Right,” the easy intro-to-mid-tempo-pop punch of “Big in the City,” and the pumping, big guitars, big drums punch of “Black Chevy.” There really isn’t anything this Australian musical magician can’t do. Our playlist, and melodic pop music in general, benefit always from his mastery of the pop form.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: “Ain’t Nothing Left to Say,” “Black Chevy,” “I Should Have Told You,” “One of these Days,” “One of these Days I’m Gonna Get Myself Right,” “Photo,” “Big in the City,” “You’re Givin’ Love a Good Name,” “Thank You.”


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New on Pure Pop Radio 6.29.16

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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 magellanBob Lind | Magellan Was Wrong Fifty years on from his iconic top five smash, “Elusive Butterfly,” and four years after releasing his last long player, Finding You Again, Bob Lind returns with a typically heartfelt collection of new songs that deliver his always magical one-two punch: emotional lyrics and beautiful melodies. Add in stellar arrangements and production, much of it supplied in grand fashion by the Spongetones’ Jamie Hoover, and you’ve got a recipe for success.


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New on Pure Pop Radio 6.28.16

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Spins and Reviews | June 28, 2016 | by Alan Haber

More hot spins now rattling the airwaves on Pure Pop Radio:

gary ritchie poptimistiGary 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 and slinging guitars over his musical shoulders. Fifteen songs, and not a duff one in the bunch, including the Merseybeat-styled charmer “Let’s Pretend,” the echoes-of-Duane-Eddy-esque “Look Away Girl,” and the Roy Orbison-rooty mid-tempo ballad “Dial 9” (“for an outside line”). Worth, as the set kicker says, a million dollars.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: “Book of Answers,” “Carol Says,” “Dial 9,” “It’s Not Automatic,” “Let’s Pretend,” “Long Live Love,” and “Look Away Girl.”


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New on Pure Pop Radio 6.27.16

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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 roches mud and applesLucy 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 this sparkling duo release from Suzzy Roche and her daughter, Lucy Wainwright Roche. Warm harmonies, clever songwriting and the inclusion of  beautifully-sung covers such as Paul Simon’s “Bleecker Street” and the Cascades’ “Rhythm of the Rain” push this 11 track masterpiece into hall-of-fame territory. Surely one of this year’s top expressions of musical joy.
Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: The entire album. “Cold October Day,” “Melancholy Ways,” “Mary,” “Rhythm of the Rain,” “Mud and Apples,” “Bleecker Street,” “There’s a Guy,” “Both Sides Now,” “Desperado,” “Dinner Out,” and “Landslide.”


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

alan-mic-zWe’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 gifts that we’re thrilled to be able to pass on to you.

Here are five of the latest groovy additions to our playlist, now playing in rotation (more new adds posts coming next week):


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

star wars fifthWe 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 our program off and running…

david brookings and the average lookings coverDavid Brookings and the Average Lookings | David Brookings and the Average Lookings Sixteen years on from his first solo release in 2000, Richmond, Virginia native, and current California resident David Brookings is set to release his new album, a typically infectious collection of songs centered around his pleasing, catchy melodies and his smooth, inviting voice. Songs like the mid-tempo pacer “Hearts” work around sumptuous melodies and clever chord progressions. The very America vibe of “Don’t Stop to Doubt Yourself” is a clear winner, as is “The Optimist,” a song about riding a wave of positivity.


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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!

alan-mic-zIt’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 to? Following on from yesterday’s mix of the Monkees, Mark Lindsay and Susan Cowsill, the Posies, McPherson/Grant, Joe Giddings, Sundown, Hector and the Leaves, and Matt Duncan, we’re posied…uh, poised to serve up another rundown of great music we’re now playing in rotation on the air.


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

alan-mic-zWe’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 reading the reviews that follow below.

As in the past, we’ve added hundreds of new songs and artists to our playlist. There’s a lot to talk about, so let’s get going. Here comes day one! We lead off with a song that’s making a lot of music fans sit up and take notice…


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

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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 and beyondKenny Herbert | Forever & Beyond “And there was love, love, love, love/Anyone could see that there was love/Love all over me,”sang Danny Wilson in their song “The Second Summer of Love,” and truer words have never been spoken, for love, love, love, love is what there is, what lives within us, what shines above and around us, what makes us whole.


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

alan-mic-zWe’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.

coverGleeson | Curse My Lucky Stars Whether or not it was their intention, the members of Austin, Texas band Gleeson have made their White Album. Here it is, a sparkling collection of songs varied in approach and tone that makes a case for melodic pop being the genre of the moment. Encompassing beautiful balladry, art-pop, rock and retro charm, Curse My Lucky Stars is a marvel.


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

alan-mic-zeeOnce 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 on one of the listen links below to get poppin’! And now, here we go…

butch youngButch Young | Mercury Man Never, never, never tell us that the album is a goner–Butch Young’s miraculous, hall-of-fame-worthy Mercury Man instantly announces itself as one of the best albums of 2016 with its dazzling array of  1970s-styled instant classics, peppered with a mix of Paul McCartney and Harry Nilsson-esque magic. Every one of these Los Angeles-based artist’s songs is a clear winner. We’re playing all of them in rotation: the title track, “Persephone,” “One Foot In,” “Dime Store Jesus,” “The Fools of May,” “Child of Nature,” “Sunday Driver,” “Mohammed on Top of the Mountain,” “Algernon,” “Asteroid,” “Wonderful Life,” and “Starlit Lullaby.” Astounding and really terrific.


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Springtime Newness Blossoms on Pure Pop Radio

alan-micWe’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 before.

In case you missed this week’s daily reviews of the latest adds to our playlist, you can immerse yourself in all the fun by clicking here. And even if you did see our reviews this week, you might want to relive the excitement!


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

alan-micThe 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 yours too. Here is Alan’s review.

radio days back in the dayRadio Days | Back in the Day You know how it was when you were younger, when the mere hint of a new album from one of your favorite bands put a smile on your face that stayed there until you held the album in your hands, and then stayed there still? That’s how we feel about Radio Days. The band’s new album, set for release on April 23, is their best yet, a great collection of pop and rock and roll that is nothing less than their crowning achievement thus far, and that’s really saying something.


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

alan-micDay 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?

dowling pool one hyde park largeThe Dowling Poole | One Hyde Park We’ve long been huge fans of Willie Dowling’s work with Jackdaw 4, which slid upon their disbanding into the Dowling Poole, which found Willie hooking up with Jon Poole from Cardiacs and the Wildhearts. The duo is now a trio, with third member status being bestowed on vocalist Givvi Flynn.


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

alan-micCan 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 added hundreds of new tracks to our playlist, all of them currently spinning in rotation.

So without further ado, let’s get to the business at hand. Beginning today, and continuing through this Friday, we’ll be telling you all about the new sounds sizzling on our air. We kick off today’s list with our exclusive airing of tracks from what is surely one of the great albums being released this year.


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

alan-micThings 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 through for two days this past weekend, and then there’s the cleanup! Whoa!

And through the events of the past few days, which are hitting up against the start of television and radio broadcasts of Washington Nationals spring training baseball games–spring is springing, for sure–we’ve been listening to and adding to and reveling in a whole lot of new music that has been added to the ever-growing Pure Pop Radio playlist.


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

Alan Haber's Pure Pop RadioFurther 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:

PrintBrett Harris | Up in the Air Yesterday, we proclaimed Eytan Mirsky’s new album Funny Money to be one of the great albums thus far released in this young year. Here’s another great one you’ll want to be playing in your home and on the go. Brett Harris’s second full-length is a terrific collection of 10 wonderful pop songs delivered with skill and heart.


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New Music? We’ve Got Some!

Alan Haber's Pure Pop Radio

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 shadow of a doubt that the unique mix of melody and harmony that melodic pop music brings to your ears is one of the greatest gifts that you could ever unwrap and enjoy.


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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 hooksVegas With Randolph | “Three Red Hooks” This Washington, DC-area pop powerhouse’s latest song, a lively ode to rocking steady and having a great night, namechecks a trio of rock ‘n’ roll Eddies–Van Halen, Vedder and Money–and is a mighty tasty treat. “Three Red Hooks” is a delightful, hooky bubblegum charmer with crunchy, screaming electric guitar lines that’s happily reminiscent of the Sweet’s “Little Willy” and the catchy sound of the Rubinoos. Kicking off with a percussion stomp that owes a debt to the Supremes’ “Where Did Our Love Go,’ “Three Red Hooks” hits the sweet spot that tingles and glows inside every fan of melodic pop. It kick starts that oh-so-wonderful feeling–the unmistakable slambang explosion of sheer joy that only the right combination of musical notes can achieve. Now playing in rotation, this may well be Vegas With Randolph’s most delightful waxing yet.


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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 pooleThe Dowling Poole | Single: “Rebecca Receiving,” “The Same Mistake Again,” and “Empires, Buildings and Acquisitions (Live in Manchester)” This tasty taster, being released February 19 in advance of the full-length One Hyde Park, is yet another example of what Willie Dowling and Jon Poole do so very well: mix the past with the present as they point to the future. “Rebecca Receiving” is an undeniably catchy art-pop explosion drinking from a well overflowing with Stiff and Godley and Creme-isms. It’s hard to deny, as is the non-album “The Same Mistake Again,” a wholly different, gentle-by-comparison beast, coming from the other, Stewart-Gouldman side of the 10cc fence. A lovely, heretofore unreleased, stripped down, live version of Bleak Strategies‘ “Empires, Buildings and Acquisitions” completes the triptych. Super stuff.


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New Music? We’ve Added Lots!

Alan Haber's Pure Pop RadioPerhaps 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 slew of new songs and artists to our original 24-hour-a-day mix of the greatest pop in the universe. We’ve got the most variety of any radio station anywhere, incorporating both current and heritage artists from the ’60s to the right here and right now. You’ll love what you’ll hear, and that’s the Pure Pop Radio guarantee!


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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.

jodee purkypileFrom our old friend JoDee Purkypile comes a new song that the artist describes as “a sad waltz” that features “Revolver-era McCartney harmonies.” He warns that the recording “might rip your speakers.” To all of which we say “Nah,” although we do give the nod to at least the second pronouncement. Frankly, those Macca harmonies in the chorus absolutely slay us. Ditto for the very pop guitar solo. “Here for Love” is a triumph that you’ll want to hear over and over again. At least.


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

purepoplogoA 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 will be over before you know it, I have decided to simply list the adds with minimal commentary because, otherwise, this task, as important as it is, would never get done. I thank you for your understanding.


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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!

Alan Haber's Pure Pop RadioSo 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. Here are just some of the new songs and artists now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio. This is but a quick sprinkle of what we have in store for your ears. You’ll be reading about all of our recent adds to the playlist over the next few weeks. Sit back, relax, and start singing along.


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

purepoplogoThis 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 spacious Pure Pop Radio headquarters. These sounds, catchy and all decked out in just the right aural bling, are being created across the country and across the oceans by the best practitioners of melodic pop music.


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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 that’s been added to the Pure Pop Radio playlist.

purepoplogoWe’ve got only a smattering today as so many big projects destined for your ears are in the works and just about ready to pop out of the oven, but there is more, much more to come, all of it crafted with precision and with an eye on precise symmetry, and that’s all just around the corner, and of that we are confident and sure.


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

purepoplogoYesterday’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 playlist in the past few days. All are now spinning in rotation on your original 24-hour-a-day home for the greatest pop music in the universe.


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

purepoplogoAs 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 we ring the bell for America’s Band and the Fab Four every hour of our broadcast day!).

All this week, we’ll be telling you about the new music we’re now playing in rotation on our air. Here’s today’s list, all shiny and sparkly and Tuesday-riffic, full of melody and harmony!


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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!

music at the beachWe 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 the exclusive worldwide broadcast premiere of Pop 4’s “Don’t You Be Like That” this past Tuesday evening.


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

wow-5This 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 be exploding next week, too! Look for another great list of newly-added songs and artists next Tuesday or Wednesday.


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

wow-4Welcome 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 not going to. Our New Music Explosion will continue into next week. We’re getting very near 7,000 songs playing in rotation. That’s a whole lot of great music for you to enjoy!


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

wow-3Welcome 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 going to say…”Wow!”

the-jangle-bandThe Jangle Band | “Kill the Lovers” and “This Soul is Not For Sale” They were initially called the Jangle Brothers and were formed to play a couple of gigs this past April in Perth, Australia. That was supposed to be the long and the short of it. And then, fate intervened: the Jangle Brothers suddenly became the Jangle Band, a jangly and poppy and bright and shiny and catchy real live thing, with not one but two sets of members spread across both sides of Australia. It’s a story, alright, which we can get around to at a later date. For now, though, all you need to know is the debut single from the band, coupling a pair of tracks with a whole lot of jangle on their minds, is nothing less than the two greatest Byrds songs the Byrds never wrote or performed. Plus, it is one of the top releases of this year. Pure Pop Radio favorite Joe Algeri is one of the janglers present; you probably need not know more than that. Both songs are now playing in rotation. In a word…well, a made-up word: jangle-riffic. Killer.


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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.


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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?


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Andy Klingensmith is Bright Again

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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 different and fresh this time around, only five months after the release of his freshman offering. Whereas Pictures Of, as accomplished a work of musical art as was released last year, featured only bright and vibrant acoustic guitars underpinning the gorgeous vocal stacks of three-dimensional harmonies and astute, majestic lyrics, Bright Again adds bass, keyboards, drums (deftly performed by Riley Smith), percussion and woodwinds (played sensitively by Jay Gummert) to the mix, and paints a decidedly pop picture while still retaining the already-established folk-pop foundation.


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