Any fan of twentieth-century rock and pop (especially the type of toothsome treats I present on this very site) know full well that scoping out quality present day talent is akin to an excavation. It requires motivation, an appreciation of the the trend du jour, and an unyielding sticktoitiveness. Many of you aging cynics in the audience have long relented the hunt due in no small part to happening upon an abundance of ho-hum “rocks.” I say why plunder for mere stones and pebbles when you could be digging for GEMS! Conveniently enough, a newish Philadelphia record imprint, Hidden Gem Records has assembled a vinyl compilation, Colorwheel, comprised of nine up and coming acts offering everything from tweaked electronica to combos that recall ’80s British indie pop. Let me tell you about a few of my favorite selections.
- Might as well start with Hidden Gem’s flagship band. Helmed by Gregory James, The Skating Party’s lucid and buoyant pastiche strikes me as an intoxicating amalgam of New Order and Pains of Being Pure at Heart Check out their Drowning the Electric Boy ep while you’re at it for six more songs cut from the same enticing cloth.
- TEEEL and Night Panther, hailing from New Jersey and Philly respectively, serve up pulsing techno pop that very well might beckon you to the dance floor, but won’t regard you as a slouch if you opt to remain seated.
- Austin’s Young Pharaohs massage their new-romantic canvas into something more soulful and plush with sweet results on “Truth and Fiction”
- As for Arctic Flow and Death of Pop, I can’t recommend both of these upstart post-punk powerhouses enough. Neither tread the darkwave path, rather the road they’ve opted to traverse is considerably more subtle, revealing flourishes of chiming, gazy guitars and primo melodies along the way. Terrific.
Articles Origin: V/A – Colorwheel Compilation (2015, Hidden Gem) – A brief review.