INTERVIEW. 48 swthrt

Southport is a very small town in North Carolina. Becca and Karl are friends in their early twenties (actually Karl just celebrated his 21st birthday) and they live in Southport.
Karl has an indie/punk band called Museum Mouth, but with SWTHRT (and Becca) he's experimenting with something more delicate... something like a shoegaze pop with references to Joy Division and The Cure. Also, if Craft Spells did a more raw sound, it would probably sound like SWTHRT.
(Of course, the DIY punk sense is all over their recordings...)
'Compact Disc' is their debut album and it was recorded in North Carolina's mountains... This is one of the best albums I've heard this year: basically is made of amazing and solid guitars with subtle and gentle keyboards wrapped around a refreshing look on being young (therefore, frustrated (most of the times)).
 You can experience the making of the album watching this lovely video...

Before 'Compact Disc', they released the single Boys With Problems (with a b side) and Indian Summer, a cover of Beat Happening. You can listen and get everything on their bandcamp.

Next Monday they start their first tour... go watch them if you can!

booking rooms


Isidore Isou was a romanian born french poet, film critic and visual artist. Isidore Hibou (Hibou = Owl) is the fictional name of another french artist deep influenced by Dadaism and absurdity. He graduated in cinema at La Sorbonne, and works as a writer, photographer and now ventures into music with his debut ep 'Booking Rooms'.
The 7-track release has electronic beats and guitar riffs and influences ranging from pop music to minimalism to cold wave.
He makes sure to mention that he's no professional. "I do i how I feel, without a lot of technique but I just try to translate my mood. I always begin a song without any idea; things build themselves naturally".


snow tire


Photo by Max Schwartz

Five boys from Orlando (Florida) took the line between rock, folk and dreampop and twisted it, burned it and tied knots with it. In need of a name, this actions were called An Introduction To Sunshine.
Released last May, Snow Tire is a compilation of 6 songs drowned in reverbs, catchy guitar hooks and marvellous slow pianos a la 60's girl groups mixed with subtle synths.
You can find the ep for free download on their bandcamp (link after the video).

Here you can watch 'Time Is Frozen' - the highlight of the ep - performed live on a racketball court ("while gathering reverb samples...). Pump up the volume and enjoy the song and all its glorious reverberations...

01. Luna Plena
02. Dream Reel
03. Time Is Frozen
04. Caste Me Away
05. Clock Hands
06. Morning Belle



our thoughts are with you

INTERVIEW. 47 secret cities

Secret Cities once was White Foliage, a project that started as cassette mixtapes travelling through North Dakota between teenagers Charlie and Marie. A few years later, Alex joined the band and they became Secret Cities.
With two full albums - Pink Grafitti (2010) and Strange Hearts (2011) - this trio created a world of their own, where romantic pop meets up with a soothing psychedelia and the combination of echoed vocals and distant uuuhhs gives a certain haunted, vintage and charming feeling to their sound. Add to that the variety of instruments and layers and you're ready to immerse into their music.

(Beautiful bedroom pop with original experimentations with instruments, layers and vocals creating an image of 60's pop being played in the middle of a foggy forest on an autumn afternoon).

Secret Cities | Pink City from Western Vinyl on Vimeo.

We talked with Charlie, Marie and Alex about making music via mail, creation process, perfect pop song concepts, main differences between their albums and more...

MUSIC TO SEE. #15 (pool sessions edition)

Pool Sessions is a project created by Jonas Börjesson that takes place in Frösakull, Sweden. 
"An artist. A song. One take. At a pool."

More info and videos here.

gipsy paw

Eastern Phoebes ~ Gipsy Paw (February Records, 2011)

Let's talk about an acoustic indiepop love. The kind that makes you want to spend all afternoon under a tree (or building a treehouse) in your backyard. A perfect scenario would have eastern phoebes on branches but in case they don't migrate to where you live, well, the least you can do is having Eastern Phoebes (not the bird but the band) playing.
Meg Bayley and Rick Kattermann are from Long Island and their music might be the cutest thing coming from there nowadays. Their songs are gracious, gentle, light and fun. There's something from the 60's when it comes to melodies and something from 90's twee in melodies and in the way they express their ideas.

Gipsy Paw is their latest release (it was released on February Records last month). 
You can get Gipsy Paw, 2 previous homemade eps and a full lenght on their bandcamp! All artwork is made by friends...
(don't miss 'Gipsy Paw' and 'I'm Gonna Bite Your Head Off When I'm Done Making Love To You'... homemade  gems, they are!)

01. Old Toronto
02. Combat Missile Diploma
03. Gipsy Paw
04. Lebron's Lament
05. I'm Gonna Bite Your Head Off When I'm Done Making Love To You



INTERVIEW 46. roque ruiz (cloudberry records)

The most interesting thing about independent music is the amount of individuals running small labels around the world simply because they love music. (They were definitely an inspiration for me to start this blog).  Not only the variety makes the scene(s) richer, but also brings freshness and new ways to approach music distribution. In some cases maybe, they can even bring some ‘fear’ to major labels and its archaic way of dealing with music (Wired published an article about small labels hacking the music industry. I don’t agree entirely with some points, but it’s worth the reading).

One of the best examples of people running labels for love and thinking about the independent scene as a community is Roque, the guy behind beloved Cloudberry Records: a label that believes in
‘- unrequited love
- systems of resistance
- sense of community
-DIY ethics
- international socialism’.

The label was born in 2007, and since then, built a strong catalogue of indie bands from all over the world, all connected by jangly guitars, a C86 vibe and the good (and never old) indiepop spirit. I dare to say that Cloudberry already has a place in independent music history not only because of the artists it releases but also (and most importantly) because of the way it "treats" music. With a true DIY sense and no ambitions of becoming something big, the label manages to stay away from the "label trend" that every now and then picks a label or two to be THE labels of the moment.

I honestly feel that Cloudberry will be one of those labels that in 15-20 years, people will remember with great affection. Indie kids of the new generation will discover its catalogue with the same amazement my (our) generation had towards Sarah Records. Roque is building something bigger than trends. Something meaningful in terms of music and the way it is made and distributed. 

Read my interview with Roque… there’s no better way to understand Cloudberry, its birth and what it stands for. Origins, aesthetics, DIY sense, dreams of creating a Cloudberry Festival and music distribution are among the subjects.

air drops

AIR DROPS . EP (Independent, 2011)

You can find EP here

While this 7 track release couldn't have a more simple and minimalistic name, the sounds inside of it are anything but minimal. A collection of collages used to create a dense and original universe of samples and dreamy chillwave songs... a universe where you are allowed to believe that either you can fly under water or swim on thin air. A universe where time stretches and you float through moments of calm and contemplation and a second later, you're thrown in the middle of a cult/tribe celebrating on a beach while the sun comes up on the horizon.
Creating this universe rich in textures and sounds, there's a mysterious 20 years old producer from Northeast England.

'Chariot's Champion' is the most original tune with references from arabian music and hip hop. But THE song of this ep is 'Jejune' and it's amazing hypnotic progression... the building of an anticipation. You can watch that below. 


janes & julias


Daoud Tyler-Ameen is from NYC and "wishes more people had made fun of him in his youth". He plays in a few bands (Air Waves, Creaky Boards, Urban Barnyard...) and 6 years ago, started his solo project  Art Sorority For Girls where he ventures through power-bedroom-acoustic-pop songs.

                            2006                                            2007                                             2009

You can find 3 ep's on his bandcamp page. Also, listen to a more recent song (which is the title track of his upcoming (?) album 'Slow Dance') on Soundcloud.


VIDEO sun airway. symphony in white, no.2

Wild Palms is the new single from Sun Airway and will be out next Tuesday via Dead Oceans. But the true gem of the 2-track release is the B-side 'Symphony in White, No. 2', a song that I've been listening on repeat for some time now...
Now a video was released and it's pre-tty awesome.
Directed by Ricardo Rivera and shot during a live performance in the sanctuary of the First Unitarian Church in Philadelphia, the video contains - aside from the awesome architecture of the place - projections created by the Klip Collective.

buy it

a tribute to club tropicana

A TRIBUTE TO CLUB TROPICANA VOL 2. (beko dsl, 2011) 

French digital label beko dsl gave us another gift in form of sound... the label released what we could call the official independent electronic-balearic-tropical (duh) soundtrack for the summer. A collection of songs screaming warmth (!!!) with chilled vibes and uplifting moods.
Fuck Ibiza and Cafe Del Mar...! Fuck David Guetta and his derivative beats...! This is what summer sounds like!

a1. kelton prima . you said (feat. laetitia taschatt)
a2. mother of pearl . heaven
a3. the never years . lost time
a4. radioseven . imperfections
a5. work drugs . summer blood
a6. les filles et les garçons . i sing despair
a7. azure blue . catcher in the rye
a8. min ronnersjö . untitled
a9. bad dourif . rhythm king mega
b1. lisbonne . in the sun
b2. teel . thinking of you
b3. doctrine . stretch out
b4. skeleton hands . city lights
b5. [phisics] . dextromethorphan
b6. germany germany . through the noise
b7. party girl . paradisio
b8. casa del mirto . the end
club tropicana (thanks 'L' for the link!)

she'll be eating her nails when i'm famous. interview #45

Ruslan Bekurov is Russian. He writes songs about love. And his melodies fit right into the timeless easy listening and DIY pop (truly DIY, as you'll read here in our interview). .
In every interview post, I write about the artist being interview but this time I'll let you discover She'll Be Eating... with Bekurov's words because it is a rather interesting and entertaining interview: he talks about his teenage years in former URSS, songs to a former love, drunkenness for writing songs, airport bathrooms to record vocals...
His first single was released on Holiday Records. More songs can be found and downloaded on his bandcamp.

This is honest music with brilliant indie pop moments - lyrically and melodically speaking - and you can listen to the best example below, in 'Stay (or Go Away)'.

(Bekurov also is the editor of Famous Magazine, in Russia and runs a site where he talks about design, music, arts, fashion and sports).

SOUNDCLOUD azure blue. the shore

AZURE BLUE ~THE SHORE (single) (Labrador, 2011)

As we mentioned before, the debut album of Azure Blue only comes out in September, but Tobias Isaksson (the guy behind the project) just released - for limited time, apparently - a preview of one of his favourite songs of the album.
"The label probably doesn't approve of this but I just got the mastered album and I can't resist previewing one of my favorite songs... it took a lot of job and effort in the studio but I love the final result..."

  The Shore sneak preview not a single but epic stuff by Azure Blue


regret, love, guilt, dreams


Michael and Adam - the young duo behind this project - create the prettiest pieces of dreampop being made on the west coast of America (to know a bit more, read my interview with them). Their music has a melancholic, hypnotic (and slightly tropical) atmosphere, extremely rich in textures and lyrics talking about friendship, sorrow, love, lack of love...
This is, most of all, getaway music. The kind you listen to when you feel like being somewhere else and/or with someone else and/or by yourself. And while dreampop might be the main reference, it also has hints of chillwave and balearic sounds.
In the past 2 years, a few eps and singles were released independently and on labels like Beko. Now, they have a new 6 track ep on their bandcamp.
Some of the songs already appeared in previous releases, but I think the best moments are the new songs.
'Boyfriend' has to be the highlight of the ep. A song with subtle electronics and Michael's whispered voice giving the feeling that it seems to be dripping out of your ears.
'Careless Teens' shows a more rock-ish side of the duo with distorted guitars and aggressive lyrics (almost
fatalist). It sort of breaks the delicacy and dreamy atmosphere of the album (but in a good way).
'Secrets' is an instrumental - almost ambient - track, with guitar lines that scream beach-by-the-sunset. Beautiful way to end the ep.
Follow the buzz (because this music is good and deserves attention), jump on your cloud and enjoy these delicate and heartfelt songs.

bandcamp (get the ep here)

move to iceland


Árpi Szarvas is a musician from Hungary previously featured here [interview] as Evil Men Have No Songs, a one man shoegaze band with drilling guitars and influenced mainly by pop from the 50s and 60s... 
Now he has a new project where he exercises his electronic side creating discogaze and dreampop sounds. 
Models Can't Fuck sound is a mixture of 60s psychedelia and 70s electronic artists like Kraftwerk and Brian Eno with a contemporary vintage aesthetic. 
He has two songs officially released and is planning to release two more in the near future. Although you can listen to quite a few songs from Árpi and all his projects on his soundcloud page.
'Move To Iceland' is his latest release, a song with Kraftwerk-esque melodies and lines like this: 
'Move to Iceland to be as far as I can from you...'

(And you can get 'Ghost Kid' - a song with a new wave/pop approach - at bandcamp).

(just like) starting over


Danielle 'Danz' Johnson lives in NYC and is the girl behind Computer Magic, a (quite prolific) synthpop act with some phenomenal guitar hooks every now and then (consider checking 'Found Out', her best song) with a space-cosmic visual aesthetic.
She started the project last year and has a few ep's out (check her page for downloads).
Her latest release is 'Electronic Fences', a solid 4-track ep containing her best songs so far... highly recommended!
Here's the cute 'The End Of Time' video: a stroll around NYC in a space suit.

You can download the ep 'Spectronic' (which contains the song) here.

At the moment she's working on a new album and yesterday, "just for fun", released a cover for John Lennon's '(Just Like) Starting Over'.

01.(just like) starting over [stereo]
02. (just like) starting over [mono]


site (here you can find most of her releases to download)

SOUNDCLOUD saskatchewan. death & taxes

SASKATCHEWAN ~ DEATH & TAXES (single) (Independent, 2011)

A little over a month ago, Saskatchewan appeared here for its awesome dreamy-summer tune 'Dreamboat'. Now they're back with a new song released last Sunday on their Soundcloud page.
'Death & Taxes' presents the warm synths and beats from (the already mentioned) 'Dreamboat' and 'Nice Daze', although is calmer, sadder and more atmospheric.
While their previous releases had a 'feel good and dance' vibe, 'Death & Taxes' falls into the 'slow down and chill' category.
  Death & Taxes by Saskatchewan


23 this year


To celebrate 23 years, Sub Pop released yesterday a free digital album on Amazon containing 23 songs of 23 artists from past and present... since intention is all that matters - and we're almost 3 months late (the label officially started on April, 1st 1988) - happy birthday, Sub Pop!

01. Fleet Foxes - Helplessness Blues
02. Washed Out - Amor Fati
03. Vetiver - Wonder Why
04. The Head and The Heart - Lost In My Mind
05.Fruit Bats  -Tangie and Ray
06. Aurelio - Tio Sam
07. Niki & The Dove - The Fox
08. Mogwai - Rano Pano
09. Shabazz Palaces - Swerve... the reeping of all that is worthwhile (Noir not withstanding)
10. Still Corners - Endless Summer
11. Chad Vangaalen - Peace On the Rise

12. J Mascis - Not Enough
13. Sebadoh - Reboud
14. Obits - You Gotta Loose
15. Dum Dum Girls - He Gets Me High
16. Handsome Furs - Repatriated
17. The Twilight Singers - On the Corner
18. Papercuts - Do You Really Wanna Know
19. Mister Heavenly - Bronx Sniper
20. Male Bonding - Bones
21. Avi Buffalo - How Come?
22. Low - Specially Me
23. Daniel Martin Moore - O My Soul