The June Gloom-Wonderland. Calgary's Cameron Purvis has been consistently putting out one power pop/rock release after another, be it under his own name or as Wax Poets, featured here early last year. Purvis's latest project is The June Gloom and their debut Wonderland is one of 2010's best. For the unfamiliar, the most straight-up comparison is a slightly mellower Oasis or Jet, and here "Believe" is the equal or the better of those band's midtempo tracks, "Everything is Grey" stands up to "Don't Look Back in Anger" or "Look What You've Done", and "Lover" rocks with swagger. But what sets this apart as an advance on Purvis's previous releases are tracks like "Cabrini-Green", a song about the infamous Chicago housing projects, the wonderfully nostalgic "Swimming Song", and the catchy could-be-a-hit "If I Had a Bike". With this kind of track record, whatever Purvis wants to call his next project is fine with me - as long as he lets us know the name so we can find it.
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T. Kao-Old Music for Young Hearts. Following up on last week's EPs gone LP post which featured a pair of discs that contained earlier released EPs, we have T. Kao following suit, incorporating much of his 2008 Hundred Flowers EP into his debut full-length. The Ohio-by-way-of-Shanghai singer-songwriter is in the AM/Gus Black mold, and supplementing great tracks from the EP like "Sweet Surrender" and "Every Little Thing" are new tracks are the lovely ballad "Cherry Blossom Girl", the atmospheric "Sunday Morning Sleeping" and the melodic pop/rocker "Top of the World". You might have overlooked the EP a couple of years ago, but don't overlook this full-length, a fine example of a singer/songwriter a cut above.
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