New Summer Line Up From Sub Pop

By brian

Pop music fans, this is for you. Sub Pop Records, the mighty indie-rock label of the Great North West has been in the process of a great metamorphosis over the last several years. Growing beyond the image of the Seattle grunge, and Nirvana, they have been increasing the number of pop acts. Bands like The Shins, The Beachwood Sparks, and Hot Hot Heat are becoming the standard fare. Here is the most recent batch of records from Sub Pop that will have pop-kids dancing with glee.

Helio Sequence - Love & Distance - This band is kind of a swirl of early 90's brit-indie with a twist of electronic. Kind of like Stone Roses, mixed with Elbow, South, or The Secret Machines. This is a band out of Portland, and has had quite a buzz around here from the indie crowd. Portland has not had too many up and comers of late, and. this album has a sound reminiscent of the most recent Dandy Warhols album, another Portland icon. This new album is a bit more polished than their earlier material. While some tracks really hit it on the screws, some of it is less engaging. This is a band that benefited from raw guitar squall, and less from a cleaner, polished sound. In fact, this album actually gets stronger as it plays, saving the better material for the closing, however in the end, I can go back and pick out only a few tracks that are really stand outs. The Helio Sequence needs to be more consistent to be really considered heavy hitters.

Album Leaf - In A Safe Place - Now here is a treat! This is a lovely instrumental album that is not too far from Godspeed You Black Emperor or Sigur Ros for pure tranquility and ambience. This is the perfect album for those late nights, where mood is key. This album also makes fantastic music to hear while shopping in your favorite record store, as is the case, where I recently went into Jackpot Records in Portland, to find this playing in the store. Hearing it in a different setting, gave me a whole new perspective, and it made In A Safe Place all the more enthralling.

Rogue Wave - Out Of The Shadow (reissue of 2003 album) - For everyone that said to themselves " I just love the Shins, and I wish Sub Pop would sign another band that has gorgeous harmonies, sunny pop songs, and sounds like it was recorded in 1968" For all those people, pine no more, Rogue Wave is the band. This album is simply dripping in those Beach Boys style harmonies, and 60's baroque-pop style tunes. Think Simon & Garfunkel, Left Banke, and Brian Wilson, crossed with Elliott Smith, Death Cab For Cutie, and the sweeter sounding Lou Barlow stuff. This album is Sub Pop's gem of the summer, and my pick. Pop-kids take note. This is the kind of stuff that really sticks with you, and I can guarantee it will be in heavy rotation in my c.d. player this summer.