Photo of Kevin Lee from his Facebook page.
In no particular order, here are some more CD releases that impressed me this year. I’ll have another batch tomorrow.
The Britannicas - Self-titled Ringing guitars and tight harmonies abound on this international trio’s collection of melodic 1960s styled power pop.
Darker My Love - Alive As You Are L.A. band follows R.E.M.’s method for reinventing The Byrds, while guitarist-vocalist Tim Presley and bassist Rob Barbato create perfect harmonies.
Hollus - Part One The first of two planned EPs finds the hard-rocking Hollus using more sophisticated arrangements, while still exuding an adventurous spirit.
Kevin Lee & The Kings - Dusk Till Dawn A worthy follow-up to Lee’s 2006 full-length effort, Flip The Switch, it furthers his long-standing reputation as an engaging power pop singer-guitarist.
Braam - Living Room Latest effort from the band of brothers impresses with an intricate, acoustic-based approach on melodic, well-crafted songs.
Matt Ryd - Looking For A Home Ten easy-going love songs that showcase Ryd’s knack for catchy melodies.
The Severed Limb - Woo Eee Ha Ha! Fun EP from London-based skiffle band whose stripped-down arrangements and energetic harmonies exude the excitement a live performance.
The Valley Downs Self-titled The band’s follow-up to their Behemoth EP features singer Marianne Shimkus and bassist-vocalist Mike Galassini on songs that evoke The Bangles and The Beatles.
Aaron Fox and The Reliables - Late Too Soon Solid debut offers a melodic blend of acoustic and electric instruments on songs that tap into the Midwestern power pop tradition.
Johnny L Friend This veteran of Chicago punk bands like The Slugs breezes through a collection of short, eccentric pop tunes on his second solo effort.
Matt Dodge & The Lobsters - Lobsters! Dodge is too young to have been around when the classic songs of the 1960s were being released, but he sure sounds like he’s been influenced by them.
Magatha Trysty - Be Safe Vocalist-keyboards player Catherine Bevard and vocalist-guitarist Christopher Bevard anchor a sound that falls somewhere between power pop and indie rock.
Maple Mars - Galaxyland An imaginative mix of power pop and psychedelic rock, with most of the tracks composed and produced by vocalist/guitarist Rick Hromadka.