Dany Laj & The Looks’ fourth album ‘Ten Easy Pieces’ was a masterpiece of pop-rock goodness. One listen to the They Might Be Giants inspired single ‘Don’t Keep Me Guessin’’ was enough to reel in a prospective audience with the catchiest hook of 2021, but the record’s musical gold ran far deeper. Between the energised harmonies of ‘Smoke In The Sun’, the almost Beatle-esque ‘In Other Words’, and the new wave throw back ‘Pick It Up’, the album darted effortlessly between some fairly disparate styles, but Laj’s strong gifts for a melody always acted as the glue holding everything together. Even with ‘Don’t Keep Me Guessin’’ towering above a couple of the album’s lesser cuts, it managed to be one of the year’s best long players.
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Real Gone’s End of Year Round-Up 2021
In 2021, Real Gone celebrated its twelfth year online. It’s hard to believe we’ve endured for so long, but that’s down to you – our enthusiastic and still growing audience – coming back every week to explore the more “cult” aspects of a new release schedule as well as continuing to enjoy our occasional dips back into music’s past.
Having long established a house style, our approach remained the same as the past few years: the site has mixed in depth pieces on new albums with occasional “archive pieces”, full length videos, and other bits of musical news and streams. That’s got us through another tricky twelve month stretch. That makes it sound like a prison sentence, but even with the ongoing pandemic hovering over all of us, it’s been far from bad.
Dany Laj to release ‘Retrospectacle’ comp in January; watch the video for ‘Left Right To One’ now
Get ready to begin the new year with a great soundtrack!
You might not know their name, but Canadian power poppers Dany Laj and The Looks released one of 2021’s finest albums. Their ‘Ten Easy Pieces’ came loaded with massive retro hooks, chiming guitars and a world of fun harmonies that reinforced a very natural style. Even with Dany reaching for a few uncomfortable high notes in places, the record screamed power pop cool, and its lead single ‘Don’t Keep Me Guessin‘ was easily one of the catchiest things to emerge from across the Atlantic since Kurt Baker gave the world his ‘Brand New Beat‘ LP all the way back in 2012.
Grab another free sampler from Rum Bar Records
It’s only been a few weeks since Rum Bar Records gave out the excellent ‘XOXOXO, Volume One’ sampler showcasing some of their current roster and upcoming releases, but the label is already giving away yet more music to satisfy your underground rock and pop needs.
‘Rocktober II’ features a few current bits and pieces, but in a brilliant contrast to ‘XOXOXO’, it digs much further back into the label’s history, providing a superb recap for those who’ve only just discovered Rum Bar and their family of musicians.
DANY LAJ AND THE LOOKS – Ten Easy Pieces
Unless you happen to be from Ontario, or perhaps have an unhealthy obsession with Transatlantic power pop, there’s a good chance the name Dany Laj will not mean much to you. With his band The Looks, Dany has been cranking out quirky pop-rock sounds since 2016, but his recorded output goes back even further with a (now rare) solo EP from 2010. The third album by Dany Laj and The Looks – 2019’s ‘Everything New Is New Again’ – received some very positive notices from established DIY power pop blogs around the net, cementing the band’s place as a cult act, but the bulk of the Looks’ 2021 LP ‘Ten Easy Pieces’ (featuring twelve songs) runs rings around their previous works.