Big Phony, aka NYC-Los Angeles coast-hopper Bobby Choy, has quietly stayed under the radar, crafting folk-pop tracks overloaded with catchy melody after catchy melody, all equally understated via Choys carefully wistful, mellow performance skills. Songs like the concise Short Intermission, Talk of the Town, and live, self-deprecating favorite Girls Like You Dont Go For Guys Like Me recollect the folk-pop stylings of Elliott Smith, while his voice echoes that of Sean Lennon or Smith himself; he probably wont remain under the radar for long.
Field Music - (Measure) - Memphis Recordings
Technically an eponymous set with the Measure subtitle (to separate it from the bands eponymous debut), Field Musics latest offers up 20 tracks of the quartets guitar-focused English art-rock, complete with snippets of influence from Fleetwood Mac, Roxy Music, and The Smiths, among others. Blues-inflused Each Time is a New Time is one of the discs more notable tracks, as are the more poppy The Rest is Noise, See You Later, and the slacker anthem Them That Do Nothing, all flourished with plenty of FMs subtle guitar work.
FM Belfast - How to Make Friends - Kimi Records
The second FM of this weeks column, this particular one hails from Iceland (despite the Irish-referential band name) and crafts a sound best described as earthy electronica. From quirky songs about getting new eyeglasses (Optical) to the more serious, cold synths of tracks like President and VHS, the band - whose members constantly change number based on who happens to be around - have a little more than the usual sense of humor, too - as evidenced by their mellow interpretation of Technotronics Pump Up the Jam.
Juliana Hatfield - Peace and Love - Ye Olde Records
Former Blake Babies bandmate and ongoing Evan (Lemonheads) Dando muse Hatfield set forth to track her latest album all by herself - literally - writing, performing, producing, engineering, and mixing the album alone. The evolution of her latest crop of songs might seem to be relationship-focused at first, but is actually as much about randomly pensive moments, from the crunchy-guitard What Is Wrong to the reflective Why Cant We Love Each Other and Hatfields ode to Dando himself (Evan.) Its both accomplished and personal.