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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.

bill shaouy the other townBill Shaouy | The Other Town An extraordinary selection of songs and performances from this intensely talented member of the online Theme Music community. Beautiful, widescreen arrangements reveal pretty melodies, clever chord changes, and smooth vocals for a most satisfying listening experience. A sincere paean to truth, justice, the American way, and honesty, “Lois Lane,” which opens with a killer a cappella section and a Byrdsian guitar figure, pushes all of the requisite melodic pop buttons as it strikes a blow for integrity (“Reporters once shined/A light on power great and small/If we kept each other honest/We wouldn’t need Superman at all”). The brief and lovely “We Know Not Where” strikes a blow for companionship and adventure experienced together, no matter the destination (“I see south grass/You see west sun/Rolling on as/We sing together”). Joined by Brandi Ediss, Keith Klingensmith, Paul Melançon, Matt Brown, Torbjorn Petersson, Joe Giddings, and other well-known Themesters, Shaouy has produced a top-tier collection.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: “So Alive,” “Lois Lane,” “Candy in Line,” “Nightbreak On a Dime,” “Seventy Miles,” and “We Know Not Where.”

RayPaul_Whimsicality-FinalFrontCover-HR-for website sizedRay Paul | Whimsicality Ray Paul’s importance to the melodic pop community as a promoter of the music to radio programmers, a visionary record label owner, and a vital recording artist are immeasurable. Sixteen years after releasing his ace compilation CD, The Charles Beat, and 36 years after Ray Paul and RPM’s album Go Time, Ray is once again an artist, regaling listeners with enticing tales set to everyone’s favorite power pop beat. Whimsicality, one of this year’s best albums, is a delicious mix of originals and well-chosen covers, such as the Grass Roots’ “Temptation Eyes” and Paul McCartney’s “Oh Woman, Oh Why,” which features the contributions of Emitt Rhodes. Of Ray’s originals, the dynamic “A Fool Without Your Love” and Paul McCartney-esque “Jeannie” are only two highlights, all placing gorgeous melodies and Ray’s strong voice out front. A treat from first note to last.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio: The entire album: “I Love It (But You Don’t Believe It),” “You Don’t Have to Prove Your Love,” “Pretty Flamingo,” “A Fool Without Your Love,” “In My World,” “Jeannie,” “All You Ever Wanted,” “Temptation Eyes,” “Oh Woman, Oh Why,” and “‘Til the Day After.”

mcpherson grant the love of her lifeMcPherson Grant | “The Love of Her Life” A sleepy, waking dream of a Bacharachian love song about memories and the light that shines within the heart of a partner whose loss seems overbearing (“In time/You’ll find/The sky slowly clears/That the rain/And your pain/Will soon disappear”). Orchestrated with slightly subdued panache, this is another winner from the recently-appointed duo whose album is in the cards at some point down the line. Hopefully soon.
black box Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio.

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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

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):

vanilla on a night like thisVanilla | “On a Night Like This” Jayson Jarmon’s ace outfit is once again releasing one song a month on the way toward completing their next album, this time around mystically titled Mystik Nights of Takoma, a moniker that conjures up images of a bunch of lodge brothers and their bartenders, all decked out in bright red smocks and fezzes, gathered around a glowing, weathered oak table late into the night, imbibing and chewing the fat and bottomless tubs of Turkish Taffy until last call or the inevitable call home that starts with “Um, can I get a ride?”

vanilla mystik nights of tacomaBut first things first. The bouncy “On a Night Like This,” a typically catchy Vanilla number about a guy whose words can’t be trusted when the bubbly is flowing his way, is sung with smooth pop finesse by Tube Top’s Gavin Guss, who is ably supported by Jayson, who wrote the song and slings a sweet acoustic guitar and nifty solos over his shoulder; Sean Gaffney, who plays electric guitars, bass, and sings backing vocals; Dana Sims, who mans the drums; and Eric Robert, who makes the Hammond B3 sing. What a melody! What a song!

Our love for Jayson’s writing and Vanilla-esque execution knows no bounds, so we’re confident that, even if Mystik Knights of Takoma doesn’t contain a sequel to the much-loved “Monkeypox!,” which has been adopted as the Pure Pop Radio clubhouse’s call-to-arms Kumbaya song, it will rank high in esteem whichever way the wind blows.

Stay tuned for a special Vanilla contest coming next week to this space. In the meantime, don’t listen to this superb number without your fez on, oh no!

stepford knivesStepford Knives | “I Don’t Want Her (Anymore)” Jamie Hoover’s latest project, with Otis Hughes, is the wonderfully-named Stepford Knives, which may or may not call to mind an image of sharp tools exhibiting zero emotion that still manage to live on the cutting edge. These Stepford Knives, however, are full of emotion and pop goodness, delivering a powerful take on a great song from the late David Enloe, guitarist for the Woods.

This insanely catchy, hook-filled song explodes with fireworks-powered percussion, lots of gutsy guitars, a strong melody, and in-your-face vocals. Mastered to impress (and boy does it!) by Dave Harris, the song’s quite-alive psychedelic light show-powered video, created by Phillip D’Angelo, is an essential component of the complete Stepford Knives package (see it here).

Bravo, Messrs. Hoover and Hughes, and don’t let too many days flutter away before your next wonderful creation hits our ears!

erik voeks 6-1 singleErik Voeks | “Being in Love With You” and “She Was Doomed” Just released and already reaching top-flight status here at Pure Pop Radio, this classic-sounding one-two pop punch continues Erik’s run of great new songs. “Being in Love With You,” about a relationship at odds with itself, starts out as a tender  ballad and quickly becomes a power pop number with teeth, and a great, hooky melody.

“She Was Doomed” is an uptempo raver powered by another great melody; guitars, guitars, guitars; delicious vocal harmonies, and a pounding drum turn.  Co-producer Patrick Hawley played the drums and percussion, and Cameron Hawk sang background vocals on “Being in Love With You.” Credit Erik with everything else. Another terrific release from one of Pure Pop Radio’s favorite artists.

kenny herbert woodstockKenny Herbert | “3 Days of Summer (Woodstock ’69)” Hot on the heels of the release of his wonderful new album, the romantic song cycle Forever and Beyond, Kenny Herbert returns with a rocking, sentimental look at the magic of Woodstock. Cleverly inserting Crosby, Stills and Nash harmony bits that also echo Stephen Stills’ “Love the One You’re With” amidst the lyrical look back at a very different and well-remembered time, Kenny sings about the historic festival and the devoted music fans who endured three days of mud and rain and peace and harmony and came together as one.

“They danced to all their heroes, making rock ‘n’ roll history,” Kenny sings with heartfelt emotion. Guitarist Rab Howat, bassist Roy Martin, and drummer Martin Wykes bash out this terrific tune; Rab and Nobby Clark sing the backgrounds. David Valentine, from the band RAF, produced to great effect. A wonderful song from one of our favorite music men.

the monkees good timesThe Monkees | Good Times! We just reviewed this fantastic release by Micky, Mike, Davy and Peter (read Alan’s take here). We’re now playing all of the tracks on this glorious album in rotation: “Birth of an Accidental Hipster,” “Good Times,” “Gotta Give it Time,” “I Know What I Know,” “I Was There (And I’m Told I Had a Good Time),” “Wasn’t Born to Follow,” “Little Girl,” “Love to Love,” “Me and Magdalena,” “Our Own World,” “She Makes Me Laugh,” “Whatever’s Right,” “You Bring the Summer,” and two bonus songs available as part of the iTunes version of this album: “Terrifying” and “Me and Magdalena (Version 2).” Absolutely wonderful.

alan-mic-zeeAlan Haber’s Pure Pop Radio is the original 24-hour Internet radio station playing the greatest melodic pop music from the ’60s to today. From the Beatles to the Monkees, the Posies, McPherson Grant, the Connection and the New Trocaderos, we play the hits and a whole lot more. Tune in by clicking on one of the listen links below.

Listen to Pure Pop Radio on the go using your Android and iOS devices! Download Our Mobile App.

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

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.

It would be a disservice to listeners to touch on every joyous surprise within these grooves, so I’ll touch on just a few to whet your appetite. “Lollygagged” combines a Randy Newman-like arrangement with Paul McCartney melodicism for a superlative listening experience. “Troll Day,” this album’s first single, pushes electric guitar stabs with a new-waveish melodic attack, eventually settling on a old-fashioned rock motif. And the incredible, adventurous “Milton Bradley Bible” washes the proceedings with a Godley and Creme approach and enough musical ideas to get a hundred songs off the ground.

Real strings and horns, of which not enough can be said in these days of electronic impersonation, and the throw-everyone-off-course marching band anthem “The Gleeson Victory March,” plus these wonderful, imaginative songs, all add up to a listening experience that will likely be unequaled for the rest of this year. Unless it is, of course, but you need not worry: Gleeson will be here to catch your fall.

Within these grooves, unparalleled excellence abounds, and we’ve got nine examples of it playing in rotation: “What’s Going On,” “Troll Day,” “Lollygagged,” “With My Motive Gone,” “Something New,” “Monte Siesta,” “The Size of Empathy,” “Seasons,” and “Milton Bradley’s Bible.”

What an album!

– Alan Haber

timmy sean my jaded love 2016Timmy Sean | “My Jaded Love” After a year’s worth of new recordings that lit up the sky in 2015, master musician Timmy Sean returns with the first of 25-plus new numbers in 2016–roughly half of last year’s output. Amazing. And, to use a well-worn baseball metaphor, this first song, a Hall and Oates seventies-styled slice of soulful pop, hits the proverbial it out of the park. Listen especially for a truly lovely bridge toward the end, the way that Timmy varies the lead vocal line as the song plays out, and a brief, wisp of an a cappella burst that, taken together, prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that this man, as he was in 2015, is the musician to watch and listen to in 2016. Simply irresistible.

Family Values cover - smallFamily Values | Time Stands Still Small packages are filled with great things. In this case, Norway’s Family Values, working with producer Tom Dahl (Caddy), offers up an EP housing a quartet of ultra-catchy songs reminiscent of Teenage Fanclub and the Merrymakers. “Paris Syndrome,” “Take Some Time Now, Carolina,” “Time Stands Still,” and “Watch the Sunrise” are all top of the pops here at Pure Pop Radio. Wonderful.

album cover 7horse7Horse | Livin’ in a Bitch of a World Rising from the ashes of Pure Pop Radio fave Dada, Joie Calio and Phil Leavitt now trade in a similar musical mindset. Their music is a mix of rock and roll and pop. The pair’s keen sense of melody and song structure are always placed center stage. Our playlist is now adorned with four songs from this album: “Two Stroke Machine,” “One Week,” “Drift,” and “She’s So Rock and Roll,” a beat-driven, guitar-fueled rave-up that could have been big on FM radio in the ’70s. Sweet.

song graphicAdam Walsh – “Wish You Were Here” Pure Pop Radio favorite Adam Walsh continues to turn out delectable takes on songs he loves; his version of Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here” turns this tune into a folk-rock testament with Adam’s always-commanding voice up front where it belongs. We continue to be nothing less than knocked out by the quality of this man’s output.

the looking album coverThe Looking | Lead Me to the Water Americana, yes, but wrapped in a country-pop wrapper and perfect for Pure Pop Radio. Led by Indiana-born Todd Carter, these songs are catchy numbers played with passion. Carter listened to Syd Barrett’s “Dark Globe,” Husker Du and the Circle Jerks and wound up embracing country music on the way to crafting this wonderful album. We’re playing six songs in rotation: “Not Your Friend”; “Clouds”; “You and Me”; “Bone to Pick,” an orchestrated gem; “Burning Doves,” and the title track. Great stuff.

solarflairs carnivalSolarflairs | “Carnival” Elisabeth Eickhoff’s Memphis, Tennessee outfit Solarflairs returns to Pure Pop Radio just three weeks after we added the group’s “Spirit of Johnny” to our playlist. We’re happy to bring you this teriffic new song, an upbeat number with a great melody and spirit, as part of our rotation.

hartley mandel cover 2Hartley Mandel | “Brother of Mine” Co-written by Hartley and Klaatu’s Terry Draper, “Brother of Mine” is a nostalgic, personal song inspired by Hartley’s late brother. The song’s beautiful melody and Hartleys vocals carry the day. A lovely track, produced by Terry, who also plays the instruments, now in rotation.

That’s a wrap on today’s tour of some of the latest new songs and artists added to the Pure Pop Radio playlist. Still more coming tomorrow. Until then, why not click on one of the listen links below and hear some of the greatest melodic pop music in the world, spanning six decades of joy. Pure Pop Radio is the place to be!

Listen to Pure Pop Radio on the go using your Android or iOS devices! Download Our Mobile App.

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

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.

doughboys rock onThe Doughboys | “Rock On” And here they come, barreling in from outer space or some wild and untamed structure being held together by bailing wire and chewing gum somewhere in the outer reaches, wherever that might be. It’s the Doughboys, and they’re rough and tumbling with garage-rock fever inside and around David Essex’s ’70s classic with Richie Heyman’s pounding drums, Myke Scavone’s wailing blues harp, Gar Francis’s rocking guitars and Mike Caruso’s bopping bass. Recorded by the Grip Weed’s Kurt Reil at his House of Vibes studio with widescreen, in-your-face fervor, this is another classic track from New Jersey’s in-the-pocket foursome. Rock on, indeed.

herb eimerman - soft landingHerb Eimerman | “Soft Landing” This beautiful, heartfelt song, Herb’s first new recording of 2016, was written in remembrance of his father. Supported by Stefan Johansson and Joe Algeri, who also mixed and produced, and featuring some of the sweetest background harmonies you’ve heard in a very long time, “Soft Landing” will stay with you always.

cotton mather pledgeCotton Mather | “The Cotton Mather Pledge” The latest in a series of new songs from this venerable Austin, Texas band roars right in with a sneaky cymbal wash straight out of Ringo Starr’s “It Don’t Come Easy” and quickly settles into an energetic pop and roll number starring Robert Harrisons’ slightly-scratchy, fuzzed-out, attention-getting vocal. Dig the Beatle-esque, Rubber Soul-ish guitar harmony at about 1:40. Playing as we speak in rotation, it’s burning up our airwaves.

the lunar laugh - nighthawks and mona lisas - smallThe Lunar Laugh | “Nighthawks and Mona Lisa” Jared Lekites and Connor Anderson are in a light country mood for this breezy, melodic, mid-tempo number slated to be included on the Lunar Laugh’s upcoming second album. It’s another keeper from the stars of Oklahoma City pop.

erik voeks 2016Erik Voeks – “She Loved Her Jangle Pop” and “Blue Water” Erik Voeks’ “My Dentist” is one of the stone-cold classics from Pure Pop Radio’s early days; these new songs are even better. “She Loved Her Jangle Pop” is a joyous, upbeat hookasaurus, as catchy as anything out there. “Blue Water” trades a slow and studied opening for a more upbeat pace, complete with a beautiful melody and more than a hint of Prefab Sprout in its DNA. New Erik Voeks is always a good thing. A great thing, actually.

the del zorros go ahead and ask meThe Del Zorros | “Go Ahead and Ask Me” Monty and Stede continue on in the time-honored Zorros-riffic tradition with another lovely, easygoing and typically tuneful song with another catchy melody that comes from, well, we don’t know where, but keep going there boys, will you? Now playing in rotation, as if there were any doubt.

the lost boys china in the sink'The Lost Boys | “China in the Sink” This rollicking pop-rocker, all dressed up in catchy clothes, screams radio airplay, which is just what we’re giving it. Instantly memorable, with one of those indelible hooks and a short-and-sweet running time–1:49–this is a clear winner. A hit waxing if ever we heard one. Dynamic and quite wonderful.

the big believe april 2016The Big Believe | “You Already Are” We’ve been playing Amanda Thompson’s lovely songs for awhile and loving each one like the gorgeous creatures they are. This one is arguably Amanda’s best yet, a big, atmospheric and emotional ballad with hints of Kate Bush peeking out from its floorboards. Keep ’em coming, please.

sons of morning coverSons of Morning | Sons of Morning Here’s a nice surprise that made us smile. We like this band’s sound, which dips into many catchy musical nooks and crannies. How did they get their sound? Here’s how the band’s website puts it: “Painstaking efforts were made to achieve the desired feel for this album. All tube amps, a choice selection of just the right stringed instruments… drums that sound like drums, recording methods, and production were all key elements in presenting an album with the warmth of the analog days…” We’d say that about sums it up. We’re playing four songs: “He Wore Black,” a tribute to Johnny Cash; “Not a Sound,” “Hard Livin’,” and “Outta My Head,” a tune that could have been on the Association’s first album (no foolin’).

That’s it for today. More tomorrow. In the meantime, why not click on one of the handy listen links below to bathe in the more than 8,600 handpicked songs streaming in rotation on Pure Pop Radio? You’ll love what you hear!

alan-mic-zeeAlan Haber’s Pure Pop Radio is the original 24-hour Internet radio station playing the greatest melodic pop music from the ’60s to today. From the Beatles to the Spongetones, the Nines, Kurt Baker, the Connection and the New Trocaderos, we play the hits and a whole lot more. Tune in by clicking on one of the listen links below.

Listen to Pure Pop Radio on the go using your Android and iOS devices! Download Our Mobile App.

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

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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.

andy boppAndy Bopp | Blisters and Thorns Leave it to longtime pop patriot Andy Bopp to put together one of the finest collections of catchy songs that will likely see release this year. Blisters and Thorns shines from first song to last. Like Andy’s great recordings released under the band name Myracle Brah, these songs place their melodies and hooks center stage, right where they should be. It’s an exciting collection, and we’re the first radio station to play them.

Where to start with a collection that more than makes the grade with each song? The lovely, mid-tempo “Hello” scores with gorgeous, fluid pedal steel lines (also heard on the catchy “Every Word”) and Andy’s emotional vocal. A strong drum track shines on the upbeat “Every Word” (the thrashing cymbals add an extra measure of zing). The pretty ballad, “Lowe,” rides with understated banjo and pedal steel parts and Andy’s committed vocal.

Through two decades, Andy Bopp has graced pop fans with 15-plus albums and countless, thrilling musical moments that have stood the test of time. The songs that make up Blisters and Thorns, a quite great and important album–one of the very best of this still young year–are equally superlative. We’re the first radio station to be playing these songs ahead of their release (not yet scheduled). Seven of them are now playing in rotation: “Lowe,” “Minneapolis,” “Hello,” “Every Word,” “Simple Things,” “Broken Ties,” and “Red Eye.”

Supported by an ace group of talented players, including Pure Pop Radio favorite Nick Bertling, Warren Boes, Andrew Grimm, Brian Simms, and J Robins, who co-produced this album with Andy and mixed the songs, Andy has made a truly wonderful long player. Awesome.

super hits of the seventiesPop 4 | “Help is On its Way” Everything this quartet of pop magicians touches turns to gold, as evidenced by their exciting cover of Little River Band’s “Help is On its Way,” one of the songs collected on radio station WFMU’s Super Hits of the Seventies: Hit Explosion!, which is tied into the station’s 2016 fundraiser.

Recorded exclusively for this compilation, Pop 4’s spirited take on “Help is On its Way,” a top 15 tune on the Billboard chart back in 1977, nearly eclipses the original’s lovability factor (we totally dig the chug-a, chug-a, percussive guitar hits, the groovy guitar solo, and the sly little key change leading into the instrumental playout). The group’s Scott McPherson, Andrea Perry, KC Bowman and Kirk Adams take this classic song at a bit of a faster pace and with a little more panache (yes, we said panache). Why cover such a favorite tune? The following text is presented in the liner notes for Super Hits of the Seventies: Hit Explosion!:

“We nominated KC to be producer of our cover song and he chose this song because he loved it as a kid, partly because it was unusual subject matter for a pop hit in the 70s. Other songs were about boogie, pina coladas, werewolves, skeezy romance. This song was about being totally inside your own head. And it has an undeniable chorus hook. Sounds like a commercial jingle. Plus we wanted [to] do something that hasn’t been covered to death and isn’t in heavy rotation in karaoke bars and classic rock/oldies radio. And, it was the fourth biggest selling single in Australia in 1977, which makes it a legitimate lost classic.” Word, right? Now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio, where the members of Pop 4 have open seats at “the table.” Place settings included.

miami dan - the days ahead cover graphicMiami Dan and the Hayes Street Band | The Days Ahead Speaking of superlative, Miami Dan’s latest release, a terrific and too-short EP, should find pride of place in melodic pop collections worldwide. Exhibiting a sharp melodic sense, these songs, beautifully arranged and full of deep hooks, are among the best this artist has delivered. The title song rolls through with a somewhat relaxed “Be My Baby” vibe; “Broken Shells,” similarly relaxed and tuneful, sings with lovely harmony vocals; and the absolutely gorgeous ballad, “We Tried to Take Love All the Way,” dreamy and sounding like nothing less than a standard that should be covered by the great, popular crooners of all time, is this record’s shining star. We’re honored to be playing these songs in rotation.

the floor models letter from liverpoolThe Floor Models | Letter from Liverpool The first new song from the Floor Models in 30 years is an instantly memorable, melodic gem, now playing on our air, that sports a catchy melody and jangly guitars (and allusions to the Byrds and Don McLean (trust us on this one)).

The Letter from Liverpool EP is also represented on Pure Pop Radio by the upbeat, rhythmic and catchy “Sittin’ Tight”; a live take of the very Roger McGuinn-esque “The Hand that’s Strong”; and the original acoustic demo of “Letter from Liverpool.”

In 2013, the Floor Models were given a tasty retrospective resurrection by Australia’s Zero Hour Records (the terrific Floor Your Love–highly recommended). Seek it, and this top-flight EP, out. How this group, which comprised Gerry Devine, Andrew Pasternack, Steve Simels and Glen Robert Allen, didn’t top the charts three decades ago is a mystery. Time for that to change now, we think.

tommy sistak if i only knewTommy Sistak | “If I Only Knew” And now, something pretty much completely different from the great Tommy Sistak–a song that would have sat comfortably on AM radio playlists back in the golden ’60s alongside the old-timey pop of the New Vaudeville Band. The ukelele and the washboard–certainly the first instance of this colorful instrument in Pure Pop Radio history–propel Tommy’s tune, which he classifies as “skiffle pop,” into the charming track hall of fame. As catchy and wonderful as his previous songs have been, this one may well be our favorite. It might wind up being yours, too. Quite groovy in so very many ways.

the hour zeroThe Hour Zero | “See You Again” and “You’re Gonna Miss Me When I’m Gone” Elsie (aka Lisa) Mychols and Tom Richards thrill with a pair of classic-sounding (think a cross between Blondie and the Ramones), charming and breathless pop ‘n’ roll numbers that feature Elsie’s smooth-as-silk, yet forceful, vocals and a powerful rhythm section. These catchy songs may well peel the paint off of your walls! Both songs are now playing in rotation. More, please!

pezbandPezband | Women and Politics Nearly four full decades after the release of Pezband’s first, self-titled LP, the band is back with a sparkling new EP, recorded more than 30 years ago. Women and Politics remained unreleased until recently, when Frodis Records remastered it and brought it to market. Pezband fans, and power pop fans in general, should rejoice. We know we are. We’re playing two songs from this great release: the ultra-catchy, upbeat slice of power pop, “Waiting in Line,” and the propulsive, rocking, provocatively-titled “Fab Girlfriends.” Powerful? Check. Great harmonies? Check. Wonderful and welcome? Check and check. A truly great release.

randy franklin and jamie hooverRandy Franklin with Jamie Hoover | “Constellation Prize” This Franklin/Hoover co-write, produced and recorded by Jamie, about not being the one the girl wants (the constellation prize), proves instead that nice people finish first, for it is the nice people, in love with great pop music, who benefit from this very Hoover-sounding recording. Catchy as catchy can be, with great vocals and instrumentation, this is a clear winner. Would there be more on the way, we wonder?

the optic nerveThe Optic Nerve | “Penelope Tuesday” and “Here to Stay” The Optic Nerve created pure pop music while the 1980s garage rock scene stormed around them. The band released two singles and fizzled. An album was recorded in 2005, but not released. Thankfully, there is a happy ending to this all-familiar story: State Records has put out two of the best songs from that album, both of which are now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio. “Penelope Tuesday” is a catchy slice of buoyant melodic pop that surely would have been a mid-’60s chart topper; the soft-pop charmer “Here to Stay” sounds for all the world like a song that Harpers Bizarre might have recorded in the ’60s when they were called the Tikis. A great, important discovery.

fallon cushFallon Cush | Bee in Your Bonnet If Bob Dylan were an out and out pop artist while still playing with rock conventions, he would trade his songs under the name Fallon Cush and he’d be called Steve Smith, a Sydney, Australia musician with three-decades of experience under his belt. Bee in Your Bonnet is a top-flight collection of engaging songs that features Smith’s commanding vocals and engaging instrumentation. We’ve added six songs to our playlist, including the poppy, mid-tempo title ballad, and the aluring “There’s a Dark Side to that Moon.” We’re also playing “Less You’re Near,” “Kings Ransom,” “Dorothy,” and “Haunting.” A great long player.

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And so it goes: Day one of Pure Pop Radio’s Springtime New Music Explosion comes to a close. Day two is only a day away, so make it a point to come back here tomorrow for another tour through our latest song and artist adds. Until then, why not click on one of the listen links below to hear the above-mentioned songs and 8,500 more, playing in rotation on your home for the greatest melodic pop music in the universe from the ’60s to today…Pure Pop Radio. It’s all happening here!

Listen to Pure Pop Radio on the go using your Android or iOS devices! Download Our Mobile App.

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

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Cliff Hillis Kicks Off Pure Pop Radio’s Week of New for You Delights

alan-micWe’ve got a lot of new music to report to you this week–we’ve added a ton of new songs and artists to the Pure Pop Radio playlist. To kick off our bounty of delights, we present Alan’s feature review of a fantastic EP from one of pop music’s greatest talents.

cliff hillisCliff Hillis | Love Not War Artists like Cliff Hillis make my job easy by always delivering top-flight releases. Love Not War’s seven musical pearls constitute nothing less than the writing of the book on the pop EP as high art; every song is a dream construct, a marvel of melody and harmony.

cliff hillis with guitarFrom the single-worthy, should-be-hitbound “A Boy Downtown” and “Suicide Doors,” a meeting of the minds that recalls the spirit and sound of Simon and Garfunkel’s “Cecelia,” to the pop-rocking, Dave Edmunds-meets-Paul Simon “Buddha’s Belly” and the pretty, shuffling “Don’t Drown the Wind,” which satisfies with an entrancing and beguiling wordless harmony section that will make you drop to your knees, Love Not War is another great, early 2016 release that will undoubtedly earn top marks from all concerned at year’s end.

As you might expect, and because it’s the right thing to do, we’ve added the entire lot of these songs to our playlist. So, in addition to the above-mentioned songs, we’re playing “Mayor of Midnight,” “Too Many Songs,” which ends with a lovely, orchestration that absolutely satisfies, and the title track, which has been in our rotation for awhile. Simply fanstastic through and through.

– Alan Haber

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More tomorrow. While you watch the clock tick and tock until then, why not click on one of the listen links below to enjoy the more than 8,400 handpicked songs we have playing on our air? You’ll love them all!

Listen to Pure Pop Radio on the go using your Android or iOS devices! Download Our Mobile App.

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

McPherson/Grant’s Nostalgic Sunflowers Bloom Big With Exclusive Pure Pop Radio World Radio Premiere

march 1 graphic for website

McPherson/Grant | “Waiting for the Sunflowers” (2016)
A review by Alan Haber

Looking back and assessing decades both prospering and fading in the rearview mirror is a familiar mode of expression for pop writers and performers seeking inspiration that can entertain and illuminate. Scott McPherson and Jamie Grant, working together as a five-star duo armed with deep creative pockets, know this perhaps better than anyone else.

jamie grant

Jamie Grant

scott mcpherson 10

Scott McPherson

“Waiting for the Sunflowers,” the first song released from McPherson/Grant, premiering exclusively all over the world today in full and radio versions on Pure Pop Radio, is proof that the past can inform the here and now, and the future, for songwriters who know where to look. Pop 4 and Tiny Volcano’s Scott McPherson and musician Jamie Grant know how to blend their influences and build on them for maximum effect.

What McPherson and Grant are getting at in the lively and poppy and vaguely psychedelic “Waiting for the Sunflowers” is the idea that as the years pass, the view from where one is now can be somewhat nostalgic with cracks in the foundation; the promise that life will be a dream based on what happened in prior decades may be a faulty one, if one is to be honest about all things. People move on and gain perspective; that crazy decade, that crazy, golden decade, was then and now is now.

“Waiting for the Sunflowers” adopts a mashup of musical influences, on top of which McPherson and Grant skilfully tell their story. This musical foundation is cured with dollops of 10cc, “Sowing the Seeds of Love”-era Tears for Fears, Band on the Run-era Paul McCartney, and the Beatles. The long and radio versions of McPherson and Grant’s song tell the tale: The narrator notes “I grew up in the ’70s” and had my fun, and then it came time to look back and “those times were golden, time we’re moving on.”

The past, in fact, can weigh you down: “What was once so fun for us, now becomes our albatross,” the singer intones. “You don’t second guess tyrannosaurus.” Being an adult means being responsible: “No you can’t go rockin’ around like the clown you were in your twenties.” A hard lesson to learn for the responsible parties in life. “When you get old, there’s a fork in the road…”

Message delivered, after which it’s time to stretch out “Hey Jude” style, as McCartney-esque “Letting Go” electric guitar lines frolic arm in arm with Abbey Road “Come Together” guitar stabs and, as the song comes to a closing fade, “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)” white noise in the form of a chorus of buzzing bees descending on sunflowers. You sense that you are hearing something truly spectacular and strikingly original, and you are.

There is more to come from McPherson and Grant; you can chart their progress as they work on a full album by visiting their website (click here); the timer near the bottom of the page counts down to the release of that album, and having heard some of the demos the pair has cooked up, I can truthfully say that it will all absolutely blow your minds.

Prepare to be amazed and delighted by “Waiting for the Sunflowers” (you can see a video that has been crafted by clicking here) and make a mental note to be equally mesmerized by what McPherson and Grant come up with next.

Listen for “Waiting for the Sunflowers,” premiering worldwide exclusively today on Pure Pop Radio. Listen, also, for more than 8,300 other handpicked melodic pop songs from the ’60s to today playing in rotation on our 24-hour-a-day stream. You’ll love what you hear.

alan-micAlan Haber’s Pure Pop Radio is the original 24-hour Internet radio station playing the greatest melodic pop music from the ’60s to today. From the Beatles to the Spongetones, the Nines, Kurt Baker, the Connection and the New Trocaderos, we play the hits and a whole lot more. Tune in by clicking on one of the listen links below. (And dig our new, coolness-adorned logo from musician Jamie Grant (McPherson/Grant)!)

Listen to Pure Pop Radio on the go using your Android or iOS devices! Download Our Mobile App.

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

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.

We love these songs so much that we’ve added all of them to the playlist. “End of the Rope” is a catchy, infectious number that reminds us of Microdisney’s “Singer’s Hampstead Home,” even as it echoes the classic ’60s sound. “Spanish Moss” is a quite pretty song that features some beautiful harmonies and a tinge of thoughtful sadness, punctuated by an understated, effective string arrangement. And the title cut is nothing less than a bonafide toe-tapper, a righteous, delectable slice of musical joy.

Also playing in rotation from this great album: “Don’t Look Back,” “Lies,” “Out of the Blue,” “High Times,” “Rumor,” “Summer Nights,” and “Shadetree.” This is another great album for 2016, releasing on March 4. Hey, we ought to make a list of these great albums. Consider it done!

PS: Brett Harris will be Alan’s guest on an upcoming, all-new edition of Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation. Keep an eye on these pages for details, coming soon!

crash and the crapentersCrash and the Crapenters | “Everything is Coming My Way” Pure Pop Radio favorite Michael Carpenter and his brother Chris have teamed up to stir a steaming pot of sizzling ska-soaked punky rock and pop that made our ears stand up at attention. In just under two and a half minutes, Chris and Michael take over and demand your attention with organ and chugging electric guitar lines and plugged-in-to-the-walls vocals. Plus, it’s hookariffic, it is. This song demands your attention and called out to us to add it to our playlist. Which we did. Now playing in rotation and taking no prisoners. As nature intended.

cotton matherCotton Mather | “Child Bride” and “The Book of Too Late Changes” To say that the return of Cotton Mather, the makers of the always and truly hall-of-fame album Kontiki, is welcomed with open arms is hardly telling it completely like it is. We were thrilled to hear these great songs, both of which are now playing in rotation. “Child Bride” is a mix of sixties motif (Left Banke, anyone?) that opens with a Byrds-like intro. “The Book of Too Late Changes” is a whole other thing, channeling the propulsive side of the Who with a melodic pop-rocker for the ages that closes with a quite thrilling vocal array. More please, and please, let the more come soon.

strangely arlight we still canStrangely Alright | “We Still Can” Regan Lane and company’s latest song is a lovely mid-tempo ballad with a gorgeous melody and a solid, hooky chorus. We’re proud to be playing this group’s songs on our air and look forward to the next great release.

dermotDermot | “My Love’s a Light that Will Never Go Out” We’ve been playing this song since it came out last December. It’s been a favorite spin since then. This really pretty, affecting number about everlasting love will absolutely resonate with you, and you too. Consider this bit of lyric: “My darling/When we sing/All the angels up in heaven are envious/Of our harmony.” See what we mean? Lovely, lovely, lovely, and now playing in rotation.

There you go–more great music added to our playlist. More coming next week. While you wait, why not click on one of the listen links below so you can enjoy our continuous, original 24-hour stream of the greatest melodic pop in the universe? Enjoy!

purepoplogoAlan Haber’s Pure Pop Radio is the original 24-hour Internet radio station playing the greatest melodic pop music from the ’60s to today. From the Beatles to the Spongetones, the Nines, Kurt Baker, the Connection and the New Trocaderos, we play the hits and a whole lot more. Tune in by clicking on one of the listen links below.

Listen to Pure Pop Radio on the go using your Android and iOS devices! Download Our Mobile App.

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

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.

bertling noise laboratories 5Bertling Noise Laboratories | “Talking In Your Sleep” Nick Bertling is like the quintessential, shaggy-haired musical mad scientist ensconced in his secret lair stocked full of instruments that shake, rattle and roll. Just look at him, stage left. Our guess is Nick doesn’t get much sleep, because here he is with a rocking cover of the Romantics’ hit “Talking In Your Sleep.” Hopefully he can get some shuteye while this cool cover plays in rotation!

trip wireTrip Wire | “Long Days Gone” and “Winter Song” Just out from this San Francisco band is a terrific new double A-side single pairing “Long Days Gone,” a catchy, uptempo power pop number, with a pretty midtempo, string-laden ballad. These songs leave us wanting more, so you know…get to it, boys.

 

the tonellisThe Tonellis | “I Know You” We were delighted to receive an email from the Tonellis’ Robert Stoppenbach, who subsequently responded to our query about any new material the band might have by sending this lovely midtempo ballad, co-written by Robert and Scott Palmiter. Sounding like the second cousin to any number of songs recorded by the group Venice, “I Know You” sports an easygoing vibe, punctuated by fiddle and mandolin parts that shine. Now playing in rotation.

That’s all for today. More new songs and artists next week. Join the fun by clicking on one of the listen links below to hear nearly 8,300 songs now playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio. Enjoy!

purepoplogoAlan Haber’s Pure Pop Radio is the original 24-hour Internet radio station playing the greatest melodic pop music from the ’60s to today. From the Beatles to the Spongetones, the Nines, Kurt Baker, the Connection and the New Trocaderos, we play the hits and a whole lot more. Tune in by clicking on one of the listen links below.

Listen to Pure Pop Radio on the go using your Android and iOS devices! Download Our Mobile App.

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

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.

merivalFrom Toronto, Canada comes Anna Horvath, who records under the name Merival and used to be in a band called First Rate People. Lovers is her first-rate, first-ever solo EP. We’d call her music first-rate folk with a pop edge; whatever you’d call it, you’d have to classify it as tasty. We’re playing three songs from Lovers: “Kickin’ You Out,” which charts a course for escape from a relationship that has slipped away; “Dream of Yourself,” a wisp of a tune and a vocal showcase atop a plunking banjo; and “Calendar,” a meeting of spare acoustic guitar figures and Merival’s plaintive voice. Think mid-period Joni Mitchell, if you need a reference point.

sweden just a kidThe band called Sweden and not the same-named country rolls in with a sizzling slice of power pop. “Just a Kid” blazes with lots of guitar fury, a catchy melody, and a children’s choir part that lifts the song’s spirits high. Thanks to Caddy’s Tom Dahl for bringing this one to our attention. It’s a good one.

 

mimi boswellRock photographer and guitarist Mimi Boswell and her friends, a stately group of cohorts that includes the Doughboys’ Myke Scavone and Richard X. Heyman, enter our playlist with a tough-as-nails pop/rocker, exhibiting equal echoes of the Rolling Stones and the Rascals. “Torn to Pieces” was mixed and mastered to rocky perfection by Pure Pop Radio pal Kurt Reil at his House of Vibes studio.

purepoplogoGet cozy with these and more than 8,100 other like-minded tracks by tuning into Pure Pop Radio. Alan Haber’s Pure Pop Radio is the original 24-hour Internet radio station playing the greatest melodic pop music from the ’60s to today. From the Beatles to the Spongetones, the Nines, Kurt Baker, the Connection and the New Trocaderos, we play the hits and a whole lot more. Tune in by clicking on one of the listen links below.

Listen to Pure Pop Radio on the go using your Android and iOS devices! Download Our Mobile App.

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