THE REAL GONE SINGLES BAR #55

Welcome back to the Real Gone Singles Bar, the place where we explore some of the individual mp3s that have landed in our inbox over the past few weeks. As always, we’ve been swamped with submissions – although there’s always room for more! – and we’ve had a tough job picking out some of the best tunes. This week, the Singles Bar features some brilliant shoegaze, a couple of bluesy bits, a slice of indie folk, two very different styles of punk, and more besides. Hopefully you’ll find something new to enjoy…

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VARIOUS ARTISTS – Moving Away From The Pulsebeat: Post Punk Britain 1977-1981

When punk shook Britain’s music scene in ‘76, it came as a revelation. The DIY spirit of the Buzzcocks’ ‘Spiral Scratch’ EP suggested that anyone could be in a band; you didn’t need to have to have years worth of musical training. Music could also be about capturing an energy and a spirit. Punk’s first wave was relatively short-lived. By 1978, guitar driven bands were mixing the less flashy elements of punk with bigger melodies, resulting in the mod influenced sounds of The Jam and the broader power pop of Elvis Costello & The Attractions. Some were even taking punk’s pure drive and creating what would now be considered goth, and bands like Ultravox! and Wire – arguably the greatest bands to be tagged with the term “post punk” – added strange and angular artiness, shaping the sounds of a generation.

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NEVERSAID – Bond Over Blood EP

Neversaid’s 2021 EP ‘Getting Better’ was a very enjoyable affair. The material had the kind of energy and focus that showed a great professionalism for a young band barely out of the starting blocks, career wise. Between the skate punk-ish energies of ‘Single File’ and the alternative pop core of ‘Stick It Out’, it was clear that their influences came from two very different camps, but this blending of styles – complete with an occasional hardcore backing vocal – gave listeners something well rounded.

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THE DROWNS – Blacked Out

Towards the end of 2023 Seattle based punk ‘n’ roll band The Drowns released ‘1979 Trans Am’/‘Just The Way She Goes’, a double A-sided disc designed as a preview for their next long player. On those terms, it did an excellent job, since one track shared their gruff and ballsy rock sound driven by gravel edged vocals, and the other tapped into more accessible pop punk. It effectively showed off both of The Drowns’ musical extremes in one hit.

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ELLEN MAY – A Lonely Way To Go EP

Towards the end of 2023, Australian duo Ellen May released ‘Dying To Live’, a two track download that introduced the world to their classic brand of pop punk. Hugely indebted to ‘Goodbye Astoria’ era Ataris and early Sum 41, the material often felt nostalgic, but there was something rather wonderful about their unfussy approach. They clearly understood there was still a market for straight pop punk without the unnecessarily heavy moments that have coloured the punky subgenre post-2012.

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