Seattle’s The Not-Its! ask a simple question with the name of their new record: Are You Listening?
If you’re not, you should be.
After a rare 2 year break between records, The Not-Its! are back with a vengeance, full of absurdly catchy pop-punk grooves. Despite an incredible burst of creative energy – releasing their 6th record in 7 years(!) – The Not-Its! are not short on ideas. The band’s sharp and witty lyrics with strong vocals by lead singers Sarah Shannon (Velocity Girl) and Danny Adamson are on full display with Are You Listening?. Songs like “Grandad is a Spy” “Don’t Fear The Dentist” and “Traffic Jam” (which channels Rocket From The Crypt) are just a blast of energy.
Renee & Friends is just that. Renee Stahl and a bunch of her friends writing and recording songs with producer Rich Jacques for her new album Simpatico. Her circle of friends on this album include Lisa Loeb, Maya Rudolph, Glen Phillips of Toad The Wet Sprocket, Colin Hay, Caspar Babypants, Molly Shannon and Jeremy Toback – her partner in crime from Renee & Jeremy. Simpatico will be released August 28th.
First listen: ‘Gather Round’ featuring Lisa Loeb is the lead track off of Simpatico.
All tracks on the album are originals, except Renee & Maya Rudolph cover ‘Starfish and Coffee’ by Prince, which you can stream via SoundCloud. And Molly Shannon’s song “Happiness” is from the musical “You’re a good man, Charlie Brown.”
Play Date is Greg Attonito of Bouncing Souls and his partner in crime, Shanti Wintergate. They have returned with their second album, We All Shine, and shine they do. The record is the follow up to their debut record Imagination that was released on Mike Park’s Fun Fun Records. Despite being musicians for decades, writing music for families is an entirely different beast. And not nearly as simplistic as some might think. Thankfully, PlayDate are starting to find their groove. We All Shine is a gleeful, power pop paradise.
Topics on this album are what you would expect from a band with only two family records under their belt – Colors, hugs, love and a cardboard box. We All Shine is also interspersed with witty PSAs about fruits and vegetables that keep the album moving. Greg & Shanti show signs of really stretching the kindie genre in new directions. I’m anxious for what’s in store for albums three, four and five (and hopefully more). Seriously, go buy this record so that have that opportunity.