“Is the waking world more important than sleep?”

“Blade Runner” by Dutch Party | More indie pop from the inbox, then? Surprised it didn’t fill up while we were out, but there’s a handful we have to get to, and we begin with another Los Angeles-based band, Dutch Party, aka San Francisco-bred Ken Franklin and his cohorts. So, yes, I called this indie pop, which means you reasonably have some expectations about its sound, but I like how it teases to go all out and then it doesn’t. It meanders, which clapping along, feeling a bit trippy. Un-fuzzy lo-fi, essentially. “Blade Runner” – I’m sure it’s about the movie, another reference I will never get – comes with their upcoming EP Combat Pop, which drops in the fall. [NB] (Have things I should hear? Drop me a line here.)

“널 어떡해야 좋을지 잘 모르겠어 난.”

“Dumb Dumb” by Jang Jae-in, Giantpink and Perc%nt | Before I overplay this song and it loses its mystique, I’ll write about this. Yes, for the eagle-eared out there, this is a cover of Red Velvet’s signature song. Apparently, there’s this web series where two entertainment companies, S.M. and Mystic, do cross-pollinating stuff like this. I bet it’s only the case because the former bought a majority stake on the latter, though. (Red Velvet did this song the same week, which, well… but then I am not familiar with the original.) I haven’t heard of Perc%nt before, but I know Jang Jae-in for her soundtrack work, and Giantpink won the last season of Unpretty Rapstar, a show I of course haven’t watched, but know of because it brought us Kisum. So this one – this one’s sexy. Sure, it might wear off its welcome soon, but considering the original is the distillation of Red Velvet’s quirky pop concept (one they can’t seem to get a grip of now, which is a shame) you would have never thought an approach like this one would work, but it did. So, there. Enjoy. [NB]

“I’m stuck with nowhere to go.”

“Stuck” by the Aces | Welcome back from a week-long break that felt refreshing, because… really, should I still be doing this blog? Anyway, here’s a song I stumbled upon from yet another German radio station. It isn’t new: it dropped just over a year ago. They’re the Aces, they’re from Utah, and the fact that they’re four ladies should be irrelevant: “Stuck” is hook-y, almost straightforward indie pop that gets a kick by how unfettered it all feels in the end. No need to be cool – just sing it all out. Now I’ve thought about it, perhaps I missed this song because of how well it melts in the background with the rest of the stuff kids like these days. Then again, I always take a while. A year is good enough. [NB]

“Are you there, Eugene?”

“Hey Eugene” by Pink Martini | Because I feel like going slightly jazzy to end this week (and to usher in another week-long break), here’s some Pink Martini. It’s a band that’s not exactly about jazz, but more classic pop, which can be my thing depending on the mood, really. It’s another one of those songs I have tucked away on some list and have forgotten about. All right, I might be running out of songs to write again. Maybe that’s why I need a break. (That, and it’s customary. That, and it’s work.) But here’s an interesting one about a fleeting love, lost, or forgotten. Perhaps that’s what we have right now, you (the blog) and I (the blogger). [NB]

“You’ve been running in my veins for days.”

“Creep In Slowly” by Gold Key | This song gives me shades, some, of Matt Bellamy. I don’t know why. It doesn’t hold for much long, giving way to the crunchy guitars and strong drums. (Although that can provide some shades of Muse, too.) Gold Key is a new four-piece from Watford, and “Creep In Slowly” is their new single, just dropping last week, in time for the release of their debut album Hello, Phantom on 6 October. Perhaps it’s me and my narrowing playlists, but this was a good change of pace – and one that made a good impression. Brought me back, in a way, even. [NB] (Have things I should hear? Drop me a line here.)