Querkus; psychedelic John Barry-esque pop.

Here’s a bit of a diversion from the norm, good people. Since I’ve been exposed to quite a bit of cool music over the last few months, since Spring is beginning to assert herself,  I thought I’d do a bit of a round up here as a sort of best of winter ’11.  These are the acts I’ve not had the time to talk to directly, but I’d still like to present to you.

Some of these acts I’ve talked to before which you’ve seen here on the ‘Bin, and their new records have come out. Others I would have liked to have interviewed, but the schedules didn’t jibe. Nevertheless, here’s a treasure trove of indie goodies for your perusal. There’s lots of music here from across the pop spectrum, and bound to be something here just waiting for your instant devotion.

And here we go!

***

The Charge of the Light Brigade as led by guitarist-songwriter-leader Luke Sneyd launch their full length record, as promised! Check out their new full-length album The Defiant Ones which was in the making when I interviewed them here on the ‘Bin a couple of months back. You can also view the video for the band’s single, “Charge!!“.

Norwegian dance avatars Röyksopp have released a new double A single – “Forgotten Cowboy/Keyboard Milk” – on MB3 records. So, what are you waiting for? Check that out. It’s Röyksopp for gosh sakes!

Japanese ’60s garage-rock enthusiasts Zoobombs unleash their own brand of sloppy, crunchy, noisy rock ‘n’ roll on an unsuspecting world. Check out their single “Highway A Go Go“. Check out the band’s website, Zoobombs.com.

’80s post-punk-influenced-pop band (think early Simple Minds, with a bit of the Bunnymen thrown in there too) from Stockport UK  the Kill Van Kulls released their one part moody, two parts poptastic single “Fool’s Wish“.

Kill Van Kulls

New York indie act Lovett and the ’60s movie soundtrack-textured single “Heartattack” was featured on MyOldKentuckyblog.com. Check out the post, and the video, which features pop hooks, hot girls dancing, and lots of beards. This a cracking tune that should be on the radio.

Gnarly Canadian hillbilly folk collective The United Steel Workers of Montreal delivered their lead-off single in an acoustic, gravelly-voiced stylee – “Shot Tower“. “Let’s dance! Let’s drink!” It’s a great manifesto, good people. Check out more at the USWM official site.

What happens when a Canadian, a Bajan, and a Peruvian get together and form a band? Close-harmonies, electronica, flamenco, dub, and dancy  guitar pop all in one place. Well, that what you get with Vancouver-based trio Pacifika and their single “Chocolate“. Ting-a-ling!  Check out the band’s full-length record Supermagique and the band website, Pacifika online.

Pacifika

Former Babyshambles, Supergrass, Editors, and The Charlatans tour-mates, The Lines proved their worth on tour this winter, with a nod from Robert Plant (who is a fan, and fellow Wolverhampton son) notwithstanding. Check out their tune “El Matador“, a shimmering post-punk via the dancefloor track.

Winnipeg’s Querkus present a shadowy John Barry-Shirley-Bassey-meets-Jefferson-Airplane style single in “Half-Acid Lee“, in the same school as Portishead and early Goldfrapp, but with more crunchy guitar.

Experimental pop band The Wilderness from Toronto evoke the dark synth textures of yesteryear, with a dance-oriented noveau new wave pop sensibility fit for a new century. Check out their AWESOME single “Realpolitik

Led by folk-pop siren, and superlative songwriter Emma Hill, Portland Oregon’s Emma Hill & Her Gentlemen Callers have finally released their  newest full length album Meet Me At the Moon. Buy it. And then read my interview with Emma Hill a few months back and preview the video for the title track.

Ottawa’s The Balconies were featured playing a Canadian Music Week showcase on March 12, having become critically acclaimed recording artists off of the back of their 2009 debut. Here’s the video for their impossibly catchy single “Serious Bedtime“. They play Juno Fest on March 25 in Toronto!

The Balconies

For some spiky, pop-hook laden post-punk, check out Toronto’s The Junction and the video of their tune “Level With Me“, which includes some tasty horns along with the expected guitar-bass-drums. I approve!

Speaking of horns to make you horny, here’s a heavy dose in Vancouver’s Five Alarm Funk, a jam band that pulls in latin rhythms and James Brown enough to beat the, er, band. Here’s a video of the band at work, y’all. It’s a snippet of their song “Anything Is Possible”, and a short documentary on the band.

Toronto-born, Montreal-based Charlotte Cornfield hooks into the same muse of Brett Dennen and Rickie Lee Jones here on her “All The Pretty Mistakes” single. She’s got an EP out as of this month, with a full length Two Horses to follow. Find out more about her on the Charlotte Cornfield Facebook page. Be sure to ‘like’ her.

Enjoy!

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