Astropop 3 – Light Years Away 7”
Asian Man Records, 2000
Acquired: Asian Man Records Mailorder, New, 2003
Oh man! This is an awesome little understated bedroom pop record a la the Softies and Harriet Records' Tokidoki. This sounds like a band Transmittens would like. There's the alternating boy-girl vocals. The sweet hooks, the reverb wash of the fuzzy guitars, the terrific chorus, “Light Years Away” is a lovable little jam that I'm excited to have stumbled upon and, more so, excited that I didn't sell it on the grounds of having not listened to it. The b-side “Agatha” finds songwriter Dan Villaneuva on lead vocals and he's just got that excellent male indie-pop voice that's hard to find. I'm thinking of the Pains of Being Pure at Heart, who are constantly trying to get that Sarah Records male vocal sound (a la the Field Mice, St. Christopher, Brighter, etc) and while vocalist Kip Berman does a great job, and while I like the Pains of Being Pure at Heart, it just doesn't sound nearly as honest and real as Villaneuva. Or maybe it's just the lo-fi production. He's got a little Stewart Copeland in him, which adds a little edge and keeps him from sounding like a wimp, which is nice in a world where wimpy music has found its own little home in the mainstream (I'm looking at you, Coldplay).
Here's a live video of their song "Nothing Without You."