Various Artists | Dreaming Up The Perfect Pop

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Pop: 60's Pop Pop: California Pop Moods: Type: Compilations
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Dreaming Up The Perfect Pop

by Various Artists

The latest compilation featuring some great pop from all over - Exclusives from Call & Response, Essex Green, Ashley Park, Winterbrief, Michael Barrett and many more - 21 songs for summer and anything that feels like summer.
Genre: Pop: 60's Pop
Release Date: 

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Tracks

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1. astropop 3 - lost in a dream
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2. marykate o'neil - mundane dream
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3. ashley park - let's go
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4. xavier pelleuf - wisconsin
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5. the dupont circles - heaven holler
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6. kleenex girl wonder - reunited airlines
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7. the echo orbiter - august landscape green
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8. call & response - mr. Weatherman
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9. the heavy blinkers - summer won't ask you twice
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10. souvenir - je tiens ma parole
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11. the essex green - everything is green (alt. version)
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12. paula kelley - all request hour
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13. the snow fairies - lonely cartographer
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14. winterbrief - suburban summer
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15. the mockers - sunflowers
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16. the mendonza line - the kids are out
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17. michael barrett - dreamer
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18. fonda - summer land
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19. the maybellines - watermelon
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20. dakota suite - the colour of water
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21. capsela - a little company
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
The '60s-themed album cover images of three young girls with bouffant hairdos, bright floral-print sleeping bags, and a stack of 45s perfectly convey the essence of the giddy indie pop encompassed by the 21 songs on Dreaming Up the Perfect Pop. From the opening Lovin' Spoonful-flavored bop of Astropop 3's "Lost in a Dream" through the final electronic blip of Capsela's "A Little Company," the music on this Planting Seeds Records compilation seems to have flawlessly captured all the sparkling moments of an ideal summer day, albeit a summer day in the late '60s. Fans of Britain's Earworm Records, the Orange Twin and Elephant Six scenes, and groups like Elliott Smith, the Apples in Stereo,Moviola, and the Turtles should have some idea of the sort of bliss pop to expect here. While some of names on this record might not ring a bell with most listeners, their work blends in so well with that of the more familiar acts that it doesn't matter. Among the bigger names taking part in Dreaming Up the Perfect Pop are the Essex Green, Kleenex Girl Wonder, the Mendoza Line, Ashley Park, and the Heavy Blinkers. Marykate O'Neil pops up with Jill Sobule in tow for some raucous pop fun, while Ashley Park's mellow acoustic track would fit right in among the retro jangle pop sounds coming out on Spain's Elefant imprint. Call & Response, the Heavy Blinkers, and Souvenir check in with some twinkling girl pop, the latter straying into the realm of quirky French pop (with a country & western slant, no less). The Pulsars/Peaches-inflected new wave electo-rock of Winterbrief breaks the spell of '60s pop, but the remainder of the album is fun in its own, more straightforward indie pop way. While performers like the Dupont Circles, Kleenex Girl Wonder, and Paula Kelley offer up songs that shake off a little of the sunny sleepiness of the other tracks, the album still plays it pretty low-key, making it the perfect soundtrack to a listless June day, or a great way to warm up in the middle of winter.

- Karen E. Graves/ALL MUSIC GUIDE


Reviews


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Delusions of Adequacy

a wonderful pastiche of pop from every imaginable sub-genre.
Planting Seeds has put together a lovely compendium of great indie-pop artists on their latest sampler. You can get your copy just in time for summer when "bop bops" and handclaps do a lot to make the most of a pleasant day. The Virginia-based label has a diverse roster of artists that appear along with other label friends on the record, producing a wonderful pastiche of pop from every imaginable sub-genre.

Starting off with a sugary-sweet love song, from Astropop 3's "Lost in a Dream," Dreaming Up the Perfect Pop remains upbeat and lovely throughout, despite some more somber songs such as Ashley Park's "Let's Go," which features strummy guitars and a chorus that croons, "it's summer-time and the race is on / yeah, it's summer-time and the race is won." This compilation is also the first time I've been exposed to Planting Seeds artist Xavier Pelleuf; his track "Wisconsin" is a wistful acoustic ode to love lost. Pelleuf's vocals are rich and haunting along the lines of Nick Drake. Returning to the cheer that the record started out with is the Kleenex Girl Wonder track "Reunited Airlines" that demands second-guessing by those critics that argued that the only good song Graham Smith would write is (the aptly titled) "Why I Write Such Good Songs."

This jangle-pop gem is quickly followed up by the quirky psych-pop of The Echo Orbiter that falls somewhere between Of Montreal and The Essex Green with their song "August Landscape Green." The comp also contains gems from personal favorites such as Call and Response, Souvenir, The Mendoza Line, and Fonda as well as new favorites like the girly electro-pop Winterbrief (think early Bis but a bit less punky) and Michael Barrett (his track "Dreamer" is the essential modern throwback to bubblegum pop).

If you're looking for an introduction to a quality pop label and an all-around great record then Dreaming Up the Perfect Pop is highly recommended. This album will be sure to bring you a smile even on a rainy day.

Losing Today (UK)

A must have purchase for all those daydream pop believers among you.
The great thing about compilations is, if of course if they strike the right balance, they allow you to cherry pick the best bits. If the compiler has surpassed their duties of providing the right balance and has been conscientious enough they’d have done the cherry picking for you, leaving you to giving amiss to the tedium of searching through truckloads of 7” singles in the local record emporium hoping that you’ve picked the right ones only to get home and within 30 minutes realise why there were so many copies of each of them crammed at the front of the pile all attractively priced.

‘Dreaming up the perfect pop’ is aptly titled, providing a chance to window shop 21 of the sweetest sounds around at the moment. Some names may be familiar, some ought to be household favourites shortly, all have in common their immense sense of melodic pop direction.

Dipping into the collective array of fledging D.I.Y. labels for it’s source material, fellow purveyors of pop featured here are Shelflife, Kindercore, Emperor Norton and Badman to name just four, ‘Dreaming of the perfect pop’ is indebted to classic indie labels of yore such as Sarah, Bus Stop and Summershine.

Talking of cherry picking as we were, it seems to me a trite unfair that we single out a few selected tracks as they all, in their own special way, are minor classic cuts that is if you like your pop either jangly, sentimental, sophisticated, honest and above all summery sounding, so here goes…..

Okay as previously advertised 21 acts, 21 songs kicking off with the delicious perky pop of Astropop and ‘Lost in a dream’ taken from their debut Planting Seeds E.P. of 2001. Then along comes Marykate O’Neil who on the evidence of ‘Mundane dream’ should be around for a fair while yet, serving as it does a heavenly mix of the Bangles and Katrina and the Waves set to some of the most breathtaking vocals that you could easily fall in love with. Ashley Park really oughtn’t need introduction, the mere fact that he isn’t a universal star yet is one of great mysteries’Let’s go’ is a potent cocktail of Baccarach classicism and sublime sophistication. One of my personal favourites is ‘Wisconsin’ by Xavier Pelleuf the sound of countrified pop, capturing the faraway elegance of the mighty Moviola in their stride. Shed a tear through the melancholic daydream pastiche created by the Dupont Circles on the awesome ‘Heaven Holler’ another band that may be worth keeping an eye out for in the future.

Kleenex girl wonder offer up ‘Reunited airlines’ a fizzing crooked pastiche of power pop that at times veers towards Blur territories. Goof laden antics are the order of the day for the Echo Orbiter who provide a welcoming arm to their hallucogenic dream trip that sees elements of early Floyd getting jiggy with it with classic Small Faces, and in the process provide ample proof indeed that their brand of goonish surrealism will be around for many a year yet. Call and response are another name well worth making a note of, they muster up some superb Francophile twee pop that curiously metamorphs into an exhilarating far Eastern collage. Gorgeous 60’s frills injected with some unreal stuttered chord progressions on the sub three-minute effervescent pop ‘Summer won’t ask you twice’ by The Heavy Blinkers. If you love slide guitars then ‘Je tiens ma parole’ by the sensual sounding Souvenir offers up some of the best around period, enrichened all the more by the irresistible vocals of Patricia de la Fuente. Typically delivering the expected unexpected and giving Clock Strikes 13 a run for their money in the great 60’s Byrds soundalike content are the ever-crucial Essex Green with ‘Everything is green’, while if your tastes are slightly more left of centre then the thought of Cyndi Lauper fronting the Go Go’s covering the back catalogue of Belly will certainly be rewarded with the storming pop punch of Paula Kelley’s ‘All request hour’ which I have to admit in my humbled opinion is the best track present throughout. The Snow Fairies are next on the catwalk with some delirious moments of zig zagging melodies on ‘the lonely cartographer’ that have a tendency to swirl around prettily and bite your backside when your not paying attention. Winterbrief are quickly becoming regular featured artists on the hi-fi of late, often dubbed as the future generation White Stripes, ‘Suburban Summer’ sees them less frenetically charged as usual, but emitting enough head swerving dynamics to make you swoon at it all in blissful disbelief.

The Mockers produced by Mitch Easter captivate with the swooning ‘Sunflowers’ that reels and shakes like the Teenage Fanclub with the Beach Boys songbook tucked under their arms. The Mendoza Line on the other hand whip up a frenzied mix of early Elvis Costello and the Attractions meets the Velvet Crush on the way to the Saturday drive in. Next up for inspection is the singularly clever song writing of Michael Barrett, ‘Dreamer’ crisply trips along with such sunny finesse and simplicity that you just want to wrap your arms around the whole thing. Fonda stir up the exquisite sounding ‘Summer land’ featuring the clipped Byrds-esque 60’s guitars patterns all curled up against Emily Cooke’s love lorn vocals, very Primitives. The Maybellines, whose new album has been wowing the hi-fi of late crash in with the delightfully sounding ‘Watermelon’, a scant and furious delivery of priceless perky pop that has a taste of the Darling Buds about it. UK based Dakota Suite have already been responsible for a few well aimed releases and ‘The colour of water’ follows likewise. A laid back trumpet fuelled sitting in the shade away from it all moment, that wraps Clive Langer like solace with some enjoyable trip filled jamming . Last and by no means least are duo Capsela and their lo-fi guitars and keyboard composition ‘A little company’, sweet with 60’s harmonies and gently timid to boot. A must have purchase for all those daydream pop believers among you.