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The Big Takeover #80 Spring 2017

Elizabeth Klisiewicz

Music has always inspired me and continues to define my existence. During my college years and afterward, I had a weekly radio show at WMUA and also at a community station in Springfield, MA. I also wrote music and concert reviews for my college paper. When I am not writing technical manuals, I read mysteries, write fiction, and can always be found with a camera and a maxed out iPod.

Album cover for Mysterium by Hammock.

Hammock - Mysterium (Hammock Music)

13 August 2017

“It’s all about the emotion swirling through these compositions, and whether you call it post rock or dream gaze or even drop the term polymath in passing, there are multiple layers here on these long tone poems. For exquisite works of art they are, with stunningly gorgeous instrumental passages chock full of strings and horn sections.”

Vine album by Jen Gloeckner.

Jen Gloeckner - Vine (Spinning Head Records)

25 July 2017

“When you hear its rich, lush layers, it will seem inconceivable that it wasn’t recorded in an expensive studio. Jen’s music is a technicolor, acid-washed daydream, both trippy and expansive and cinematic in all the best ways.”

Album cover for Looking Forward from Chris Bell.

Looking Forward: The Roots of Big Star - Featuring Chris Bell (Omnivore Recordings) / Big Star - The Best of Big Star (Concord Music Group)

16 July 2017

“The Best of Big Star_ makes me wonder what superlatives I can offer that haven’t already been offered by a thousand other scribes. I got into Big Star in the 80s, before reissues happened and when original copies on Ardent Records were fetching big bucks. I remember how difficult it was to find #1 Record and Radio City back in the day, and my resulting delight when I found them in New York City via mail order. Reissues came later and now it’s dead easy to find these tunes, but even so, it’s always a pleasure and a delight to hear these songs, sounding as crisp and clear as the day they were recorded.”

Album cover for the C88 box set.

C88 Box Set - Various Artists (Cherry Red Records)

9 July 2017

“This new release is a celebration of the Eighties Indie scene, documenting a golden era when tuneful guitar-based bands made records on shoestring budgets, often issued on small labels with hand-made artwork, with little hope of mainstream exposure.”

Kique and Alma of The Car Crash Sisters

An Interview with Alma and Kique of The Car Crash Sisters

8 July 2017

“Many shoegaze blogs, magazines and radio stations started talking about us when our single. “Anyway” came out, and we have found out that the “shoegaze scene” is very like… brotherly, it’s like everybody knows everybody and supports everybody.”

Album cover for B-Sides and Rarities from Beach House.

Beach House - B-Sides and Rarities (Sub Pop)

5 July 2017

“The idea for a B-sides record came when we realized just how many non-album songs had been made over the years, and how hard it was to find and hear many of them. This compilation contains every song we have ever made that does not exist on one of our records.”

Album cover for Magic Shoppe's High Goodbye EP.

Magic Shoppe - High Goodbye EP (Little Cloud Records)

18 June 2017

“The band’s sound continues to evolve into a hammering wonder of drones, peaceful passages, and boot stompin’ psych blues.”

Cover art for Taeppe by Landing.

Landing - Taeppe EP (Vast Arc Hues)

18 June 2017

“This batch of songs is meant to surround and comfort the listener with fuzzy vibrations and soft tones.”

Album cover for the Floored EP from Stutter Steps.

Stutter Steps - Floored (Blue Arrow Records)

13 June 2017

“Stutter Steps is a Pittsburgh based jangle pop group who’ve deeply mined the Kiwi pop sound and added a soupcon of Luna and maybe some Go Betweens along the way.”

Album cover for 2 Steps From the Middle Ages by Game Theory.

Game Theory - Two Steps from the Middle Ages (Omnivore Recordings)

11 June 2017

“Omnivore has done another outstanding job of reissuing this underappreciated record and it’s worth it for the 13 tracks alone along with the commentary from people who have worked with Scott. The extra tracks are an added dollop to an already satisfying release. Recommended for all Let’s Active, Game Theory, and Loud Family fans, as well as for anyone who appreciates intelligent, well constructed indie rock. “

Album cover for Night Comes Down, out now on RPM Records.

Night Comes Down: 60s British Mod, R&B, Freakbeat, and Swinging London Nuggets (RPM Records)

28 May 2017

“This entire collection evokes a lot of memories from my childhood, and features a wide swathe of musical styles and unusual artists. Well worth picking up for collectors and music aficionados alike.”

Cover art for Modern Kosmology by Jane Weaver.

Jane Weaver - Modern Kosmology (Fire Records)

14 May 2017

“Jane Weaver is progressive rock in its purest molecular form. Fossilised in ferric, the crystal in the concrete. Magnetic, melodic, folkloric, unapologetic and rhythmic in her discipline.”

Album cover for Form of Play: A Retrospective by The Sneetches.

The Sneetches - Form of Play: A Retrospective (Omnivore Recordings)

29 April 2017

“I hear so many things as I parse through these songs, all of them memorable in that timeless way that great 60s songs had on me. I also hear echoes of modern artists like Sloan, *Fountains of Wayne, and The Posies. I am sure that is because all these bands have similar influences and all grew up with the same records in their collections.”

Rocket Science / Lost in Space RSD single from The Chills.

The Chills - Rocket Science / Lost in Space 7” single (Fire Records)

22 April 2017

Martin Phillipps, acclaimed singer/songwriter from the equally fabulous group The Chills, is on a roll. He’s emerged in the last several years with one of the finest albums of his career (Silver Bullets) and this version of The Chills is better than ever. Following last year’s Record Store Day release, The Chills return with a fine single “Rocket Science” / “Lost in Space”.”

Cover art for When the Light Shines Through by Sad Lovers and Giants.

Sad Lovers and Giants - Where The Light Shines Through – 1981-2017 (Cherry Red Records)

16 April 2017

“When I heard that Cherry Red was releasing a band-curated box set of all their recordings, I thought it was about damned time. That the band is enjoying a renaissance is no accident, as classic bands from that era are reforming and drawing bigger audiences than ever.”

Album cover for Robyn Hitchcock's self-titled album.

Robyn Hitchcock – Robyn Hitchcock (Yep Roc Records)

9 April 2017

“His iconic career has followed many twists and turns, but on his upcoming release, he is revisiting the quirky psych pop he is known for. Tongue is firmly in cheek with these songs, but there are serious moments too. The sound here hearkens back to The Soft Boys as well as his early solo records.”

Broken Biscuits by Corin Ashley

Corin Ashley - Broken Biscuits (self-released)

8 April 2017

“This new album is a testament to his strength, courage, and unflagging determination to heal and soldier on. And what a great new album this is.”

Album cover for The Show Must Not Go On by Daydream Machine.

Daydream Machine - The Show Must Not Go On (Picture In My Ear)

11 March 2017

“The title track is an extended mini jam with interesting elements percolating through at different points, but the brilliant use of trumpet is what makes it really stand out! It’s an instrument I love, and it’s so classy.”

Cover art for the cassette release from Robert Scott called RePort.

Robert Scott-RePort (Thokei Tapes)

11 February 2017

“Robert excels at everything he touches, ranging from chiming jangle pop and on to gritty post punk. His work always is a standout, and his voice is unmistakable.”

Album cover for Passage from Ulrich Schnauss and Jonas Munk.

Ulrich Schnauss And Jonas Munk – Passage (Pedigree Cuts/Azure Vista Records)

22 January 2017

“Witness the gorgeous opener “Amaris”, which will thrill dream pop fans and remind you of late period Engineers. Rich with melody and grand passages, it is crammed with sparkling notes that chime pleasantly in your ears.”

Album cover for Foxhole from The Proper Ornaments.

The Proper Ornaments – Foxhole (Tough Love Records)

15 January 2017

“They have created a winning collection of medium tempo songs, sunny melodies only partially disguising the moody lyrical content.”

Album cover for Known to Collapse's Transport Paradise album.

Known to Collapse - Transport Paradise (Green Chair Music Ltd)

29 December 2016

“Diverse arrangements and themes abound on this album. Put the needle anywhere, and you’ll be drawn into an intoxicating melodic drift that sweeps you along with it.”

Album cover for Landing's Complekt album.

Landing - Complekt (These Are Not Records)

11 December 2016

“This truly is music for floating away forever into the clouds, an infinite journey with Complekt as the perfect soundtrack. Highly recommended!”

Album cover for the Getaway reissue by The Clean.

The Clean - Getaway Reissue (Merge Records)

11 December 2016

The Clean need no introduction as they are a long established classic Kiwi pop band on the venerable Flying Nun label.”

Album cover for The Magic Shoppe's Wonderland album.

The Magic Shoppe - Wonderland (Little Cloud Records)

4 December 2016

“This supercharged psych quintet records for the Portland, OR imprint Little Cloud Records. With a triple threat in the form of three guitarists (Josiah, Kate, and Tayler), these folks kick out the jams on this 8 song short album.”

album cover for Hammock's Raising Your Voice...Trying to Stop an Echo

Hammock - Raising Your Voice...Trying to Stop an Echo, Deluxe Edition (Hammock Music)

27 November 2016

“Hammock sounds utterly unique, their shimmer and shine is all their own. All their releases are gems that stand on their own, each the next chapter in a series of dreamscapes.”

Cover for Let's Go Down and Blow Our Minds.

Let’s Go Down and Blow Our Minds: The British Psychedelic Sounds of 1967 (Grapefruit/Cherry Red)

20 November 2016

“Cherry Red has become the archival label, in my humble opinion. In conjunction with Grapefruit Records, this fantastic compendium spanning four hours and eighty tracks has arrived. All manner of sounds inhabit the three disks, anticipating the fiftieth anniversary of the Summer of Love and chronicling a tumultuous 12 month period of music in the British Isles. “

Album cover for Split Single's new album Metal Frames.

Split Single - Metal Frames (Inside Outside Records)

11 November 2016

“I find myself tapping my toes and bobbing my head as I listen, and the roots of all those Jason has worked with kind of come through. “Glori” even has a spot where the guitar reminds me of Swervedriver. And “Untry Love” is not unlike The Foo Fighters circa “Learning to Fly”.”

Album cover for In Love With a Ghost by Daniel Land

Daniel Land - In Love With a Ghost (Bandcamp)

29 October 2016

“It’s a sophisticated, elegant record, comprised of heavenly layers of calming tones and Daniel’s lovely voice. He has no problems hitting the high notes, and has a firm grasp on what makes a great pop tune.”

Album cover for Big Star's Complete Third album.

Big Star - Complete Third (Omnivore Recordings)

16 October 2016

“A sometimes jumbled, often crazy, and dazzlingly brilliant, reminding completists and slighter fans alike what a towering talent Alex Chilton was. It will make you sad but also completely joyful that this archival collection exists.”

Sciflyer album art for The Age of Lovely Intimate Things EP

Sciflyer - The Age of Lovely Intimate Things (Elephant Stone Records)

9 October 2016

“The words are recessed so deep they become part of the melodic tapestry. It moves past like a shining skein of silk, and catches you up in its musical snare.”

Cover art for Along a Vanishing Plane by Christopher Tignor.

Christopher Tignor - Along a Vanishing Plane (Western Vinyl)

30 September 2016

“The sound here is crystalline, airy, and expansive, seeming to spread over a long distance as it weaves its musical web around you.”

Album cover for Here to Fade by Tape Waves.

Tape Waves - Here to Fade (Bleeding Gold)

25 September 2016

“It’s a summery affair, full of hazy, gentle vocals and endlessly pleasant melodies. It’s like the band has mainlined the entire Yo La Tengo catalog and maybe tossed in late period Feelies.”

Album cover for High Bias, the new album from Purling Hiss.

Purling Hiss - High Bias (Drag City)

25 September 2016

“A cool melange of psych, garage rock, and punk.”

Album cover for Overnight by Josienne Clarke and Ben Walker

Josienne Clarke and Ben Walker - Overnight (Rough Trade)

24 September 2016

“This is a duo on the verge of many great things if they continue creating music at this level. Gorgeous and essential for those who enjoy British folk music.”

Reissue of Big Shot Chronicles by Game Theory.

Game Theory - The Big Shot Chronicles (Omnivore Recordings)

22 September 2016

“Game Theory’s bandleader was a multitalented force of nature with his quirky, excellent songs, and I am delighted at the series of reissues Omnivore has been putting out.”

Covert art for Fading Lines from Amber Arcades.

Amber Arcades - Fading Lines (Heavenly)

22 September 2016

“She will remind you briefly of female dominated bands with lots of reverb, but her music skews closer to dream pop.”

Album cover for Mindfullness by Flyying Colours.

Flyying Colours - MIndfullness (Club AC30 Records)

13 September 2016

“It’s the sound of a band in transition and one with a lot of creative energy. Highly recommended for fans of all things shoegaze, dream pop, and psychedelic tinged pop.”

Flyying Colours live.

A Chat with Melbourne’s great psych-gazers, Flyying Colours

13 September 2016

“One listen to barnburners like “Wavygravy” or the fantastic “Running Late” will hook you for life; both songs are ripe with hooks, heavenly harmonies, and over the top feedback and swirling effects.”

Album cover for Here by Teenage Fanclub

Teenage Fanclub - Here (Merge Records)

10 September 2016

“A wonderful treat for all existing TFC fans and for anyone who enjoys beautiful melodies and harmonies played by masters of the genre.”

Cover art for Lizardland from The Brotherhood of Lizards.

The Brotherhood of Lizards - Lizardland: The Complete Works (Captured Tracks)

21 August 2016

“This is a great collection of lovely and catchy psych pop, lyrics akin to the Village Green style of writing that Ray Davies laid down decades before. It also reminds me of vintage Who and XTC’s Skylarking-Mummer period. You may also be reminded of the work that the excellent Pugwash has laid down. These are all touchstones, obviously, because the eccentric Martin Newell’s work is charming, brilliant, and stands on its own merits.’

maps and his mothball fleet, fighting season

Maps and His Mothball Fleet - Fighting Season (Azteca Records)

31 July 2016

“Matt wrote and recorded the rough demos of over 50 songs and sent them home to friends to tell the story of what he was going through, who would then send back the songs with overdubs as a sign of support.”

Cover of Octopus Syng's new album, Hollow Ghost / Rochelle Salt

Octopus Syng - Hollow Ghost / Rochelle Salt (Mega Dodo Records)

31 July 2016

“Fans of soft, gently wafting psych and Syd Barrett styled music will enjoy this trippy offering from this long running Finnish group.”

The Prophet Hens - The Wonderful Shapes of Back Door Keys (Fishrider Records)

The Prophet Hens - The Wonderful Shapes of Back Door Keys (Fishrider Records)

17 July 2016

“The magic, merry-go-round keyboard washes remind the listener of fun times and maybe just a hint of The Chills, alternating between the somewhat downcast lyrics and bright, swirling melodies. It’s this dichotomy that makes this band and its forebears so fascinating.”

Album cover for Nitocris, the new album from Stella Diana.

Stella Diana - Nitocris (Vipchoyo Sound Factory)

10 July 2016

“An Italian shoegaze band with a cinematic sensibility to their art, and a barrel of creative ideas and visions to elevate your listening experience far above the typical ‘gaze band.”

Cover for the 7" single Other Voices 08 from Beautify Junkyards.

Beautify Junkyards - Other Voices 08 7” (Ghost Box Records)

9 July 2016

“Listening to them is like stepping out of time and being suspended in golden sunshine, eyes closed against the dazzling brightness and feeling comforted by the beauty of this music.”