Singles Club: The Berries + Gum Country + The Ninth Wave
"Ancient Steel" puts the power in power pop, that's for darn sure. But the latest standalone single from Seattle's The Berries isn't merely a mighty fine, flexed muscle power pop song. There's a whole lot going on in these four minutes and change - a lush cacophony of mystical psych, swampy southern rock, and 90s college rock also show up at this particular party. This vibrant, richly textured ditty is a good time and then some. It's also all sorts of addictive, so consider yourself warned if you happen to lose track of time after putting "Ancient Steel" on repeat.
As a kid, I was a little bit in love with tennis (I also had natural top spin, perhaps I should have gone pro). I'm not the only one with a soft spot for tennis whites. Courtney Garvin (of The Courtneys) and new project Gum Country just released a single celebrating this very sport. Says Garvin, "the song is pretty much about how tennis just makes my life better. I love tennis. If anyone reading this wants to play (after the pandemic) please hit me up." "Tennis (I Feel Ok)" is a fuzzed out, jangly stick of dynamite (or, as the band calls it, "harsh twee") that's impossibly catchy. Game, set, match.
Decadent and dark, The Ninth Wave's "Happy Days!" isn't exactly brimming over with sweetness and light. But what the Glasgow band shows in spades is a flair for the dramatic. Produced by Faris Badwan (The Horrors), "Happy Days!" is a tempestuous, tense union of post-punk and synth pop. Haydn Park-Patterson's vocals are compelling, and the startling ebbs and flows of the song make for riveting listening.