Pop music has no limits. Thats what makes it so damn appealing to me. Play me an alt/country song or even a death metal track, and I can hear the influence. Some of the greatest pop music is being made right now by bands you've never heard of(and by some you have). I'm continually amazed by the quality and quantity of pop music released. Groups which build upon the foundations their influences created.  The following records are by two bands who seem relatively unknown and one by a fellow who many call a genius. They illustrate how artists are still expanding on a genre of music which will continue to grow beyond its own boundaries.

Why Make Clocks, a collective from Iowa, have released a stellar debut with '"Fifteen Feet and Twenty Degrees'.

The musicianship on this record is outstanding as they mix the best elements of a variety of styles together, forging a sound which is unique and refreshing.  They're almost orchestral in sound and scope.

The use of vibraphones and timpani added with the regular guitar/bass/drums as well as organs and piano, make for a great listen. The songs are heartfelt and warm. The honesty in the vocals is so clear.

The production is fantastic, which should come as no surprise as it was captured by A.J.Mogis(Bright Eyes, Lullaby for the Working Class). A fine record which will appeal to anyone who likes pop music. Seek them out.

The Microphones, Phil Elvrum, grew up in a small fishing village, and it seems to have influenced him since he started crafting his skewed folk/pop tunes.

The Microphones is really just Phil(and a HUGE revolving cast of characters) and 'Mt. Eerie' is his fourth proper full-length.
The record is a concept of sorts, divided into 5 parts(the Sun, Solar System, Universe, Mt.Eerie, and   Universe again) which tell quite a story. Fuzzy nylon string guitars, mixed with all kinds of instrumentation make for a pretty psychedelic listen. It feels like the Microphones are almost at one with the bounty of Mother Nature which surrounds them. It's eally organic sounding and
an amazing listen. A lot of critics call Elvrum a genius. I'm not qualified to suggest that , but I do, however, know his records are great. If you're into Canadian heros Eric's Trip or the slacker beats of Jim O'Rourke, you'll really dig this.

Film Guerrero(out of Portland, Oregan) is becoming one of my favourite labels as their roster of talent is growing. Ladies and Gents, meet The Graves.

Their debut, 'Love, Love, Love', is a great pop record in the vein of Granddaddy and Radar Bros. Mainman Greg Olin has a knack for writing hook-laden melodies with a bit of a twang while singing songs about modern love and show girls.There is a large palette of sound here.

Again the instumentation is stellar with a cast of characters including players from Norfolk and Western, Karl Blau, and Tracker.  An aural experience not to be missed with talent spilling all over the place.









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