Today I'm going to quickly note several discs I've been enjoying to clear the decks for next week's Best-of-2011 lists. And the best part of all of these fine releases is that you can listen to them in full on Bandcamp, either at the artist page or through the embeds below.
Queen Electric-EP. I'm not sure how a release from power pop luminary Scot Sax went largely unnoticed this summer, but it did. Queen Electric is his new band, and it continues the trend in his sound of a more moderately funky power pop. He touches all the pop bases here, from the heavy rock of "Gonna Let You Down" to the power balladry of "As You Make Me Out to Be". Welcome back, Scot.
Kool Kat | Bandcamp
The Beagle Ranch-A Moment Away. Speaking of welcome returns, we haven't heard from these Canadian janglemeisters since the middle part of the last decade. They're back with 16 tracks of their melodic, jangly rock that are easy on the ears and mostly clock in under 3 minutes. This is top-shelf stuff, and really I wanted to get this one mentioned on the site before it appears in next week's year-end list.
Bandcamp | iTunes
Dany Laj & The Looks-The Match EP. Staying north of the border, Laj & Co. hail from Ontario and have released an impressive EP that brings to mind Nick Lowe, Dave Edmunds, and The Plimsouls. The title track is classic roots-based pub rock, and despite its silly title "Alien Ate Some People" is another enjoyable track in the same vein.
The Vinyl Skyway-Return of the Dead Surfer. I've enjoyed this Cambridge, Mass. band for several years now, and their latest is another masterful amalgam of indie pop and Americana. Fans of The Pernice Brothers and the Gary Louris-led poppier version of The Jayhawks will definitely want to check this out (and for free, no less). "Salvo" and "Golden Lights" are my favorites here.
FREE download from Bandcamp | iTunes