Alpine is bringing back the clean, perky yet breathy ‘70s studio pop that once dominated the AM radio waves. To say there’s a new irony to the exercise would be to misremember history. There always were undertones of earthiness and impurity to even the squeakiest studio pop, not to mention the explicit self-satirists like 10cc. This Australia-based Alpine's single "Hands" totally nails that eerie poppiness.
You Won’t, “Three Car Garage.” Earnest folk distinguished by a good-kid steadiness, a boyish attention to solid values like metronomic guitar-strumming and lyrics that reflect on the virtues of swimming pools, little league and frequent flier miles.
Seapony, “Late Summer.” Whispery female vocals ride on top of a pop-picky guitar riff, with a sped-up beat making it all seem breezier and more determined than it actually is.
Arrange, “Sun Showers.” Dreamy new-age piano pop, saved from the stultifying aspects of the genre by some inspired production fillips, throwing all sorts of curious background sounds and intermittent beats into the mix.
SORNE, “Omnipotent.” Intriguingly tribal call-and-response with Euro-dance allusions. The percussion is peculiar, as is the airy backing vocals which smooth the blend
ANR, “Stay Kids.” Frisky dance-pop set off by lethargic vocals.
Jayson Munro, “Meteor Tears.” This indie instrumental work-out sounds like the score to a long movie montage—but to a young life well-lived. It’s rhythmic but doesn’t plod, and switches up suspensefully.