2014 has been a great year in music. Loads of new artists and wicked LP’s. One of the nicer, unexpected trends of the year is the re-emergence of reggae. Magic! went to the top of the charts with reggae as the basis of their pop music. For our money the most enjoyable neo-reggae disc has been Hollie Cook's record Twice. There was not a better soundtrack for loungin’ poolside or at the beach this passed Summer.

Disappointed that Owl John doesn’t have that cool old school beard like the guy on the cover. The singer is also not named “Owl” or “john” for that matter. What is this? It’s a Scott Hitchison who was/is in Frightened Rabbit. This record includes help from a couple of Frightened Rabbits. (Now we like that name). So not sure how much of a true “solo” record it its. But,  we’re not disappointed in the sound or lyrics. 

This song represents the depths of low self esteem. Especially the “shit the bed” part. Doing well on the Pop Tones Top 40 though!. Chin up, dude… or not if that won’t produce good music.

Though they’ve been around a bit out of Leeds, England, Alt-J is still a relatively new band for the staff here at Pop Tones. Left Hand Free is from their new LP, This is All Yours, just released on Monday. 

While we’re still digesting the other tracks we can say that this one grabbed our attention right from the silly, eeny, meanie, minee, moe lyric. As lefties we can relate to wanting the left hand free.

The new mix from iMYurDj is Posh Hotel [̲̅$̲̅(̲̅ ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°̲̅)̲̅$̲̅] : Smart, sexy and sophisticated - like you wanna seem at that trendy hotel: Thievery Corporation, Bombay Bicycle Club, Bonobo, Erykah Badu,  deadmau5, Pat Methany Group, Toro Y Moi, Zero 7, Massive Attack, Gotan Project, Tony Lionni, Tuesday Born, Move D, Agoria, Matilda, Kat Edmonson, Benga, Mamma Gravy, Jose Padilla, Marcos Valle, Ian Pooley, Bombay Bicycle Club, Fritz Kalkenbrenner, Nicola Conte, Skream, Sergion Mendes, Marlango, DJ Disse, Pig $ Dan, Matilda, Tony Lionni and many more!

The new mix from iMYurDj is Posh Hotel [̲̅$̲̅(̲̅ ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°̲̅)̲̅$̲̅] : Smart, sexy and sophisticated - like you wanna seem at that trendy hotel: Thievery Corporation, Bombay Bicycle Club, Bonobo, Erykah Badu,  deadmau5, Pat Methany Group, Toro Y Moi, Zero 7, Massive Attack, Gotan Project, Tony Lionni, Tuesday Born, Move D, Agoria, Matilda, Kat Edmonson, Benga, Mamma Gravy, Jose Padilla, Marcos Valle, Ian Pooley, Bombay Bicycle Club, Fritz Kalkenbrenner, Nicola Conte, Skream, Sergion Mendes, Marlango, DJ Disse, Pig $ Dan, Matilda, Tony Lionni and many more!

The Poopy Song, now on YouTube!

It’s crazy to think that, before their latest LP, Cindy Indie was released this year, the Pixies hadn’t released an album since 1991!? Maybe that’s because they have been out on the road for the past several years. Apple also provided a shot of awareness (and, we’re sure, boku bucks) when they used Gigantic from 1987 in a high profile series of ads from last year.

They have also been in the news as they’ve tried to replace the irreplaceable, apparently, Kim Deal, who, ironically sings lead on Gigantic. We were psyched when Kim Shattuck joined the band on the road but that didn’t stick. Now Paz Lenchantin is plucking the 4-strings for the band. 

Musically the band is picking up pretty much where they left off with their new LP. Greens and Blues has the bright, baroque guitar lines that somehow only sound like the Pixies. It also has the loud, soft, loud dynamic they’re famous for. We hope to see them some time soon, maybe when Kim rejoins!

under-radar-mag:

On first glance, Syd Arthur is a band aware of its own potential. Sound Mirror harkens back to ’70s progressive rock as much as it glances toward modern folk revivalism. Syd Arthur is opening up for Yes on the prog legends’ latest tour and it makes all the sense in the world. Their second album is natural and mathematic all at once and that’s no small feat.
(via Syd Arthur: Sound Mirror (Harvest) | Under the Radar - Music Magazine)

We heard “modern folk revivalism more than the 70’s prog rock influence. Worth going back to listen with new ears.

under-radar-mag:

On first glance, Syd Arthur is a band aware of its own potential. Sound Mirror harkens back to ’70s progressive rock as much as it glances toward modern folk revivalism. Syd Arthur is opening up for Yes on the prog legends’ latest tour and it makes all the sense in the world. Their second album is natural and mathematic all at once and that’s no small feat.

(via Syd Arthur: Sound Mirror (Harvest) | Under the Radar - Music Magazine)

We heard “modern folk revivalism more than the 70’s prog rock influence. Worth going back to listen with new ears.

On our European trip last month we kept hearing Stromae. Now two of his tunes are reigning on the Pop Tones Top 40. On this one he passionately spits out the french lyrics, overcome by love’s all consuming angst. It’s all too much and at the end of the song he appears to break down, sobbing. Very strong effort from the pretty young man from Brussels Belgium.

The Australian, brother and sister team of Angus and Julia Stone have just knocked Sam Smith out of the #1 spot on the Pop Tones Top 40. This is their debut on our esteemed list, so congrats to them. It’s is an easy listening, late summer blended-wine of a song with an adorably steady back-beat. Nothing earth shattering or jarringly unlikeable here.

Rock 'N' Roll Exposed: The Photography of Bob Gruen on Showtime

We knew Bob Gruen had photographed a lot of great bands in the 70’s but this “rockumentary” shows that he basically shot ALL the great bands to came from or came through New York. His photography of John and Yoko alone is a masterwork. He also shot all the CBGB bands as well as the Sex Pistols and the Clash as well as all the superstars. This is an amazing documentary.