31 December 2011

I knew it was over

Hi friends,

I think we can agree that this blog has pretty much given up the ghost. It happens. But if anyone is still subscribed to this RSS, here's a bag of 22 songs that one of our contributors (me) will remember 2011 by.

I still think Pop Molecule is a good name for a blog, zine, and if I ever pulled my shit together, a club night. Maybe some day, Helsinki!

Direct link to download here: http://bit.ly/sIHgxU

Happy new year!

Cover: A street in Copenhagen, on a visit last October.

07 March 2011

Lost in blackness

I love this track, Marching Song, by Esben and the Witch. It sounds like impending doom approaching underneath a starless sky on a cold winter night. I'm loving the rest of their album, Violet Cries, as well. I came across it a couple weeks ago and I haven't been able to put it down. Looks like they're gonna hit San Francisco in a couple weeks, I think I might like to attend. Oh, and check out the video for Marching Song, it's kinda disturbing.

Esben and the Witch - Marching Song

28 February 2011

The only time I miss you is every single day

I first came across Jessica Lea Mayfield a couple years ago. She covered Buddy Holly's Words of Love, one of the few bright spots on a mostly crappy Starbucks Valentine's Day compilation disc. I know, I know, what else would I expect from a Starbucks comp? On the strength of that track, however, I picked up her then current first album, With Blasphemy So Heartfelt. It took a bit, but her bittersweet and damaged love songs have grown on me. For someone so young (she's 21 now, with two albums under her belt), she certainly sounds world-weary, like she's slogging through yet another twisted relationship. Also, there's something about her delivery that I really like, the sound of the south in her voice. Anyway, her new album, Tell Me, is out now and I think it's pretty good.

Jessica Lea Mayfield - Our Hearts Are Wrong

10 gods, 10 queens

Originally, I wasn't planning on going to see PJ Harvey this coming April. Nothing she did would ever top this show I saw her play. My cousin has an extra ticket, though, and her boyf isn't too keen on Polly Jean. Plus Let England Shake is really, really great...so I'm there.

In 2004, to mark the end of the Uh Huh Her tour, PJ Harvey played a semi-acoustic gig at London's Royal Court Theatre. It sounds like it was recorded for a radio broadcast (BBC, I presume), there's an intro and interview at the beginning. This show has one of my favorite renditions of 50ft Queenie. It's toned down due to the acoustic instrumentation, but still smolders with intensity, almost like she's waiting to erupt. I'm really looking forward to her tearing it up again.

PJ Harvey - 50ft Queenie

24 February 2011

Sadness, I'm your girl

Here is Lykke Li's ode to melancholy, Sadness is a Blessing. Earlier this week, I ran into a copy of her new album, Wounded Rhymes, and I've been enjoying it a great deal. This is probably my favorite song from the album at the moment.

Lykke Li - Sadness is a Blessing (acoustic)

22 February 2011

It's just a fairytale

I've been a fan of The Smiths enough that I have all the albums and I can probably quote more than a handful of Morrissey's great lines, or at least my favorite ones. I was never hardcore, though, the albums were good enough for me and I didn't really delve much further. Tonight, I'm sorta surprised to discover, thanks to the good folks over at Extra Track (and a tacky badge), that they did a 4-track single with Sandie Shaw. I recognize the name and I know she's English, but I really only know of her through a song or two from a couple girl-group compilations. I don't think her singing is that great, but it's interesting enough to give it a couple listens. The writer from the Extra Track Smiths blog pretty much sums it up for me, click here if you want to read his post regarding this release.

Sandie Shaw > Jeane

PS - Also, I didn't know how to list the artists. Is it Sandie Shaw with The Smiths? The Smiths with Sandie Shaw? or how about The Smiths featuring Sandie Shaw? The artwork on the front cover reads only Sandie Shaw, so I guess I'll go with that.

21 February 2011


The ageless Dean Garcia has another project called Morpheme. So far, all I've heard is this track, Infection, which is part of a free compilation called Jesus In Space 2011, The Resurrection, from Killredrocket Records. Now you know as much as I know. If you are unfamiliar with Dean Garcia, I recommend that you check out some Curve, post haste.

Morpheme > Infection

14 February 2011

West Coast Offense

25 songs about California. A couple of them may be tenuous, but they all work in my mind. The title is a nod to the great San Francisco 49ers teams of the 1980s. My buddy Dave had season tickets and I went along to a shitload of games with him. We even got to go to the Super Bowl against the Miami Dolphins. Pretty cool stuff.

You can listen here through the 8tracks media player, just click the giant play button down there. Click on to check the tracklist, or stay right here and let it come to you, one by one.

28 January 2011

Angel sighs surround me

I just pre-ordered the new Asobi Seksu album, Fluorescence. I don't even have a turntable at the moment, but this pink vinyl edition looks so delicious, I had to get it. I've also been listening to the album a lot (some mp3s fell off the back of the internet and onto my hard drive) and I really like it. It's good to hear Yuki's voice again, seems like forever since they put out some new material. They're playing SF in March, too, I'm excited about that. Come out if you can, I'll be there. In the meantime, you can pre-order the album over at the Polyvinyl site.

Asobi Seksu > Perfectly Crystal

19 January 2011

The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger

I've always liked Sean Lennon, although, admittedly, I've always given him a pass, too, because of his father. This latest music venture of his, however, seems to bring him into the perfect balance of beauty and fragility that I knew he could be capable of. Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger (GOASTT) is the band he created with his girlfriend Charlotte Kemp Muhl, and for me, it is the comforting backdrop to these pensive Winter days.. I've been listening to the vinyl of 'Accoustic Sessions' a lot (which comes with an added mp3 album download), and recommend it for those nights when you just want a bit of quiet and a bit of wine..

They are also touring smaller venues this Winter and put on an amazing show.. Go see them if chance allows.. x

GOASTT - 'Dark Matter, White Noise'

18 January 2011

Trish's Mind Bending Motorway Mix

Shortly before she fell ill, the late Trish Keenan made a mix CD for friends last December. One of those friends has uploaded the mix to Soundcloud in tribute.

"Sorry I don't have a tracklist," the friend writes. "To be honest I like it that way. I think it's less about who you're listening to on this compilation and more about the fact you are listening to something that Trish took time to select and compile for me and in turn yourselves. Please just enjoy the music."

It definitely sounds like something Trish Keenan would put together--psychedelic, cinematic, bewitching, and ultimately very poppy. In other words, great.

Elsewhere on the web, Jess Harvell posts an appreciation of Keenan that I think rings true: "It's hard not to feel like the world lost a major fantasist, an unassuming creator of dreamy other worlds, one who just chose music over books or film."

Thinking of you fondly, Ms. Keenan, wherever you are.

17 January 2011

The code, the codeine, the comma, the context

It's been a strange, disquieting weekend reflecting on the loss of Broadcast's Trish Keenan, really one of my all-time favourite singers, at the much too young age of 42. But it has also been an occasion to go back and celebrate her band's amazing decade and a half of work ("and non-work"), which will surely endure.

The band also had a well developed visual style in their videos and live performances that complemented the soft and detached, yet quietly powerful surrealism of their music and lyrics. This is probably my favourite of their videos.

Rest in peace.