Posted in Contests | MP3 | music | tour dates on May 19, 2010

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: The Wake - Oh Pamela (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Neverever - Blue Jeans (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Neverever - Young and Dumb (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Tender Trap - Girls with Guns (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Allo Darlin - Dreaming (MP3)
DOWNLOADAllo Darlin' - My Heart is a Drummer (MP3)
DOWNLOADVeronica Falls - Found Love in a Graveyard (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Moustache of Insanity - Amazon Wishlist (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Horowitz - Winona (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Embassy - It Pays to Belong (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Leaving Mornington Crescent - Corners (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Very Truly Yours - I'd Write You a Song (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Pants Yell! - Cold Hands (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Brown Recluse - Night Train (MP3)
DOWNLOADBOAT - We've Been Friends Since 1989 (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Bunnygrunt - Hometown Rockstar (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Bears - Wait and See (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Gold-Bears - Tally (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Sea Lions - I Wish I Was Lou Reed (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: One Happy Island - Temporary Tattoo (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Young Friends - Make Out Point (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Apple Orchard - Half Steps to Bright Smiles (MP3)
DOWNLOADDream Diary - Bird in My Garden (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: World Atlas - Winter Stories (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: My Teenage Stride - Creep Academy (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Cotton Candy - Fantastic & Spectacular (MP3)


NYC Popfest 2010 starts on Thursday with four days of cheery tunes and good vibes. And with temperatures that are supposed to climb into the '80s, we may finally answer the question, "When is it too hot to wear a vintage cardigan?" In years past, Popfest has played host to the likes of Pains of Being Pure at Heart ('07 & '08), Cats on Fire ('08 & '09), The Radio Dept ('09), BMX Bandits ('07), The Drums ('09), and lots more.

This year's line-up is pop-solid and we're giving away a Festival Pass that will get one person into all four nights. Just send an email to BVCONTESTS@HOTMAIL.COM with the subject line "POPFEST" and we'll pick a winner at random and notify them Wednesday night (tonight). Please note, some of these Popfest shows are 21+.

Festival passes are otherwise sold out, but there are currently still tickets available for all four shows, though I think you might want to act quick on the Cake Shop (5/20) and Don Hills (5/21) shows as they're at small venues. Here's an overview of what's going on, complete with MP3s for almost every band playing (above).

The Wake
The Wake

Popfest organizers scored a coup getting Scottish indiepop legends The Wake (not the American goth band of the same name) to play the big Saturday (5/22) show at the Bell House. While they the attention their Factory Records labelmates New Order and Happy Mondays (or even A Certain Ratio) received, their catalog is well-regarded, especially 1985's Here Comes Everybody which is a bona fide  indie classic. Check out "O Pamela" at the top of this post. The band's hazy, reverb-laden sound has parallels to current bands like The Radio Dept or Wild Nothing, or any of the chillwave groups out there.  The Wake are working on a new album due out this year. This is their only U.S. show. Stick around after The Wake's show for a DJ set from Victoria Bergsman.


Bunnygrunt date back to the early '90s cuddlecore scene (a genre which now sounds like some kind of porn for Furries) and were contemporaries of bands like Tiger Trap and Tullycraft. Reformed since 2004, these Saint Louis indie legends are pretty much patron saints to Popfest bands.

The Embassy
The Embassy

At the all-day Sunday (5/23) show at The Littlefield show features the first and only U.S. performance by enigmatic Swedish duo The Embassy who's music is somewhere between indiepop and Balearic disco. I liked 2005's Tacking which came out on the Service label, home of Jens Lekman, Studio and The Tough Alliance. Check out "It Pays to Belong" at the top of this post. but the band have been rather quiet since. Maybe we'll find out what's going on with them at the show.

Then there's Veronica Falls play the 5/20 show at Cake Shop. Maybe you saw them this past weekend when they played Glasslands on Saturday and Bruar Falls on Sunday. Their Glasslands performance was great, and they were surprisingly rockin', given the gentle nature of some of their recordings. Singer/guitarist James Hoare is a student of the David Gedge school of manic strumming, especially on their "Found Love in a Graveyard" single that becomes almost like an extended VU jam onstage.


Singer Roxanne Clifford and drummer Patrick Doyle were both in Glasgow's The Royal We, whose singer Jihae is now in Neverever who will play the Littlefield show on Sunday. The band also features her n0w-husband Wallace Meek who was in fellow Glaswegian band Bricolage but they now call Los Angeles their home. The band's debut, Angelic Swells, is out next week on Slumberland and is fairly indebted to '60s girl groups. Check out "Blue Genes" at the top of this post. I'll admit that part of me hopes we'll get a Veronica Falls/Neverever supergroup to play Royal We's awesome single "All the Rage" (the band never played America) but I'm not holding my breath.

Tender Trap
Tender Trap

Tender Trap play the Friday (5/21) show at Don Hill's which is also the bi-weekly Mondo! party. Not to be confused with anthemic Australian band The Temper Trap, The Tender Trap features Amelia Fletcher and Rob Pursey who were both in iconic indiepop bands Tallulah Gosh, Heavenly and Marine Research. I was a big fan of their last album, 2006's 6 Billion People, Their new album, Dansette Dansette, is out June 22 on Slumberland Records and you can download "Girls with Guns" from it at the top of this post.

Recently added to Tender Trap's lineup is Elizabeth Darling of Allo Darlin who also play the Don Hills/Mondo! show. Their debut album is out June 7 (in the UK at least, not sure if anyone's grabbed it up stateside) and is full of bouncy and charming guitar pop not too far removed from Belle & Sebastian. Their single "The Polaroid Song" is one of my favorite tracks of 2009 and you can watch the Breakfast Club homage video for it at the bottom of this post. And you can download a couple tracks from the album at the top of this post. Allo Darlin are also making the most of their trip, playing a short East Coast tour. Dates are at the bottom of this post.

Moustache of Insanity
Moustache of Insnity

Allo Darlin's Will Harrison also plays in Moustache of Insanity who are playing the free daytime show on Saturday at Spike Hill. Sometimes compared to Moldy Peaches, the band should provide some levity (and cheap keyboards) to the proceedings. Check out "Amazon Wishlist" at the top of this post for an idea of what you're in for, and if you want to hear more, you can download a zip of their new EP here and there are loads of downloads via their website.

Some more UK bands: Horowitz make nerdy, nasally bedroom pop, and hearts!attack are one of the more ramshackle/low-fi groups playing the fest. Good stuff.

Leaving Mornington Crescent
Leaving Morning Crescent

And it wouldn't be a Popfest without some Swedish bands. In addition to The Embassy, there's Leaving Mornington Crescent who play Cake Shop on Thursday, and A Smile and a Whisper at Littlefield on Sunday.

The Don Hill's show on Friday will be the last-ever NYC show for Boston's Pants Yell! who are splitting up after playing a farewell show in their hometown next week.

One of the many highlights of The Bell House show is Seattle's BOAT who will play some non-popfest shows too.

One Happy Island
One Happy Island

This will be the second year in a row at Popfest for Chicago's Very Truly Yours, who are playing the e debut LP was just released this spring. You can download at track from it at the top of this post. Recommended if you like winsome, Camera Obscura style. pop.  Also back from last year are Vermont's Smittens (5/21 Don Hill's), and it will be the second Popfest for Boston's One Happy Island who last played it in 2008 and play this year at the Saturday afternoon free show at Spike Hill. Check out "Temporary Tattoo" at the top of this post.

There's a few animal bands (in addition to Bunnygrunt): Cleveland, OH's Bears, who play the Bell House show (5/22), are lush and lovely with gorgeous harmonies. Check out "Wait and See" at the top of this post, whereas Gold Bears (Spike Hill, free day show 5/22) from Atlanta, are more in the shambly tradition of The Shop Assistants and Boyracer. Then there's local duo Elephant Parade (Cake Shop on 5/20) who play laptoppy folk, and the Sea Lions (Oxnard, CA playing the Sunday show at Littlefield) evoke comparisons to the Pastels and The Clean.

Sweater Girls

More out-of-town American bands: Sweater Girls are from Los Angeles and feature Allan Kingdom of C-86-era UK group The Siddelys; and Santa Monica Swim & Dive Club are actually from Michigan and play super-twee acoustic pop; The Young Friends are from Arizona but sound like Scotland 1980; and Apple Orchard hail from Richmond, California and make dreamy, Field Mice-ish pop (lots of free MP3s on their website).

Florida's For Ex-Lovers Only named themselves after a Black Tamborine song and kind of sound like that too. They play Littlefield on Saturday.

Opening the Don Hills show on Friday are Cotton Candy, which is Mark Robinson's current band that also features his wife. There's more a capella covers of old commercial jingles than you might expect from the former frontman of Unrest (who are reforming briefly).

And of course NYC is well represented. In addition to previously mentioned Elephant Parade, indiepop stalwarts My Teenage Stride, who are the only band to have played all for NYC Popfests, will play the big Bell House show on Saturday, as do World Atlas (NYC's answer to Belle & Sebastian); Dream Diary (NYC's answer to The Pastels/Field Mice) play Cake Shop on Thursday, and the shoegazy Corita play the free Saturday afternoon show at Spike Hill. And The Secret History make their third appearance at the Fest at Littlefield on Sunday.

Ok, I think I got everybody in there. Day-by-day Popfest schedule, plus some other tour dates and videos after the jump.


Very Truly Yours

Thursday May 20th

Venue - Cake Shop
Sweater Girls (CA)
Elephant Parade (NYC)
Dream Diary (NYC)
Leaving Mornington Crescent (Sweden)
Horowitz (UK)
Veronica Falls (UK)

* * * * *

Friday May 21st

Venue - Don Hill's
Cotton Candy (MA)
The Smittens (VT)
Allo Darlin (UK)
Pants Yell! (MA)
Tender Trap (UK)

* * * * *

Saturday May 22nd

Venue - Spike Hill (free matinee show!)
Hearts!Attack (UK)
Corita (NYC)
Gold-Bears (GA)
Moustache of Insanity (UK)
One Happy Island (MA)

* * * * *

Saturday May 22nd

Venue - The Bell House
Very Truly Yours (IL)
World Atlas (NYC)
Bears (OH)
My Teenage Stride (NYC)
The Wake (UK)

* * * * *

Sunday May 23rd

Venue - Littlefield
Santa Monica Swim & Dive Club (MI)
For Ex-Lovers Only (FL)
The Young Friends (AZ)
Apple Orchard (CA)
Brown Recluse (PA)
Bunnygrunt (MO)
Sea Lions (CA)
Neverever (CA)
The Secret History (NYC)
The Embassy (Sweden)

The Embassy - Stage Persona

The Tender Trap - Girls with Guns

Allo Darlin - The Polaroid Song

Allo Darlin - 2010 Tour Dates
May 21 NYC Popfest New York City, New York
May 23 The Elevens Northampton, Massachuse
May 25 Toad Cambridge, Massachuse
May 26 Cafe Nine New Haven, Connecticu
May 27 Venue TBA New Jersey, New Jersey
May 29 Monkey House Winooski, Vermont
May 30 Le Divan Orange Montreal, Quebec, CANADA
Jun 7 Album Released - Instore at Rough Trade East London, London and, UNITED KINGDOM
Jun 17 Brick Lane Takeover London, London
Jun 19 The Chameleon Nottingham, Midlands, UNITED KINGDOM
Jul 21 The Luminaire London, UNITED KINGDOM
Jul 23 Indietracks Festival Ripley Railway, Midlands, UNITED KINGDOM
Jul 27 L'internationale Paris, Paris, FRANCE
Jul 30 Venue TBA Dresden, TBA, GERMANY
Jul 31 Venue TBA Copenhagen, Copenhagen, DENMARK
Aug 2 House of Win-Win Gothenburg, Gotheburg, SWEDEN
Aug 3 Maja's Varberg, Varberg, SWEDEN
Aug 4 Venue TBC Jonkoping, Jonkoping, SWEDEN
Aug 5 Cosy Den Festival Stockholm, SE

For Ex-Lovers Only - Coffin

For Ex-Lovers Only "Coffin" from Magic Marker on Vimeo.

Horowitz - I Need a Blanket

Pants Yell! - Somebody Loves You

Sweater Girls



Comments (49)

coffee, sugar, lots of bands, small space...I think the 20th works for me!

Posted by Anonymous | May 19, 2010 2:03 PM

Whitey Fest 2010

Posted by Anonymous | May 19, 2010 2:08 PM

2:08 Negativity Fest of One

Posted by Anonymous | May 19, 2010 2:13 PM

Ah, this is going to be amazing!

Posted by Anonymous | May 19, 2010 2:14 PM

popfest?? lame! pop music for yuppies, sounds like something to not attend.

Posted by brandonmetal | May 19, 2010 2:15 PM

Why don't you headbang your way over to that brick wall?

Posted by Anonymous | May 19, 2010 2:28 PM

i have never heard of any of these bands. this is worse than sxsw.

Posted by Anonymous | May 19, 2010 2:28 PM

@2:15, sounds like something to not offend

Posted by Anonymous | May 19, 2010 2:30 PM

god i am getting really old.

Posted by Anonymous | May 19, 2010 2:30 PM


Posted by Anonymous | May 19, 2010 2:52 PM

I am 100 percent excited for this!!!

Posted by Anonymous | May 19, 2010 2:57 PM

"i have never heard of any of these bands. this is worse than sxsw."

that's ok. Lady Gaga just announced more shows, so you'll be keeping busy soon anyway!

Posted by Anonymous | May 19, 2010 3:33 PM

Hey BV, it's Leaving MorningTON Crescent.

Posted by Anonymous | May 19, 2010 3:42 PM

"it's Leaving MorningTON Crescent."

fixed, thanks

Posted by brooklynvegan | May 19, 2010 3:47 PM

Tender Trap is already huge, ever since they had that song Sweet Disposition in 500 Days of Summer and now it gets big radio airplay.

Posted by Anonymous | May 19, 2010 3:52 PM

white people

Posted by Anonymous | May 19, 2010 4:13 PM

unless i'm missing the witty humor, 3:52 needs to re-read the band name he's referring to.

Posted by Anonymous | May 19, 2010 4:16 PM

100% chance that all of the people making "white people" comments are insecure white people.

Posted by Anonymous | May 19, 2010 4:21 PM


Posted by Anonymous | May 19, 2010 4:27 PM

Yeah, 3:52 thats TeMPER Trap. It's not THAT pop-y...sheesh.

Posted by Anonymous | May 19, 2010 6:37 PM

My Teenage Stride is the only band I've really heard of here besides The Wake but they're one of the best bands in the city.

Posted by casper | May 19, 2010 7:12 PM

The aforementioned visual aesthete is the only redeeming quality for 90% of these bands. Bleh.

Posted by Anonymous | May 19, 2010 7:16 PM

This event could also be called
"Belle and Sebastian Appreciation Fest" or

"One cute girl playing bass in a band with three ugly dudes Fest"

Posted by Anonymous | May 19, 2010 8:20 PM

good one, douche (8:20)

Posted by Anonymous | May 19, 2010 8:44 PM

'headbang into brick wall' ? what does that mean? i don't speak bitter promoter who can't book real talent/ unproductive net nerd speak.

Posted by brandonmetal | May 19, 2010 10:07 PM

Yes Donkey Grunt is gonna make an appearance.
Put your shades on ninjas.

Posted by Anonymous | May 20, 2010 7:19 AM

In the photo above: "Excuse me but I believe the band Tender Trap ordered the L-A-R-G-E cappucino?"

Posted by Anonymous | May 20, 2010 9:31 AM

When commenting negatively on a fest like this with such witty repartee as 'whitey fest' or 'popfest?? lame! pop music for yuppies' etc. consider this. You're spending your time both reading *and* commenting on an indie music blog called brooklynvegan. That's brooklyn. Vegan. Look at your life.

Posted by Anonymous | May 20, 2010 3:01 PM

Despite the fact that indie rock at large has been for a while and continues to be completely lame and phony, indie pop still gets ghettoized, except when it's played by cute rich kids like Vivian Girls. Then it's not even called indie pop.

Posted by insane frown posse | May 20, 2010 8:22 PM

Enjoy seeing Tender Trap with tea, and a free helicopter ride plus all the grilled gluten free veg patties you can eat.

Posted by No.9 | May 21, 2010 5:40 AM

"that's ok. Lady Gaga just announced more shows, so you'll be keeping busy soon anyway!"

while it's true that some of these bands have a storied history (the wake) and that commenter should've heard of them, nyc popfest is by and large just a platform for pr companies to hock their wares rather than a display of real talent.. so you can't blame him/her too much

Posted by Anonymous | May 21, 2010 11:46 AM

"Despite the fact that indie rock at large has been for a while and continues to be completely lame and phony, indie pop still gets ghettoized, except when it's played by cute rich kids like Vivian Girls. Then it's not even called indie pop."

Agree with you on Vivian Girls, but to call getting your own festival complete with large audience getting "ghettoized" is a little insulting to bands that don't get that, let alone to people living in ghettos.

Posted by Anonymous | May 21, 2010 11:53 AM

Yeah, invoking the g word is a little insensitive perhaps, sorry (sort of), but it's accurate within this context. Indie pop is not given respect as a "thing", mostly because it tends to be made by actual outsiders, not poseur upper-middle class kids with huge throbbing senses of entitlement. and as far as the commenter who suggested there was some commercial impetus behind the popfest- completely wrong, actually. In fact the fest is put on by a small handful of people who care about the music- there aren't any vendors pushing their wares at these things, unlike, say, a pfork or some other major indie event/festival. It's about as DIY as any large festival could get and no one ever makes a profit really. I speak as someone who knows, though I'm not entirely entrenched in the whole indie pop thing. I'm just saying, I think the whole making fun of indie pop thing that goes on is born more of elitism than it is any really difference in the quality of the music between indie pop and the rest of indiedom. It's just some bullshit snobby crap. Indie rock has way more poseurs.

Posted by ifp | May 21, 2010 5:16 PM

I think you're drawing a distinction that doesn't exist. As long as you have the right hookups/enough money behind you, it doesn't matter what kind of music you play. Look at The Drums, Surfer Blood, POBPaH--all arguably indie pop, but they have the right PR behind them, so they make it. I agree that the scene is far from egalitarian, but it's more about connections and money than style. I'm sure Todd P would book any of these bands if he thought they'd bring a bigger draw than Wavves or whatever Animal Collective hacks are playing Monster Island this weekend.

Posted by Anonymous | May 21, 2010 5:38 PM

What a bunch of cynical assholes here.

Popfest is an independently run labor of love. No one's getting rich putting it on or performing in it. Claims that the festival is about PR companies is a bunch of bullshit too.

Bands like Allo Darlin' from the UK have no U.S. presence at all, but they have a fantastic first album full of incredible songs. So they were a natural for Popfest. I'm sure it's hard to grasp through the boringly cynical world view on display here, but this fest is really about the music.

I've already seen several amazing performances this year-- Veronica Falls killed it at the end of night Thursday; Allo Darlin' and Tender Trap were excellent last night. Looking forward to the Wake, BOAT, the Embassy and Neverever tonight and tomorrow.

If the music's not your cup of tea, great. But at least have a clue what you're talking about before you start blathering away.

Posted by Anonymous | May 22, 2010 2:40 PM

@5:38, you have it backwards.

The Drums played their first show at Popfest last year and blew the room away. Check out the archived BV write up. The band won on its songs and performances. The PR came AFTER the Drums made a splash with their music.

In the case of the Pains, they were at it for quite a while, playing small shows and developing their music before they took off.

Posted by Anonymous | May 22, 2010 2:45 PM

Who decides whether they "blew the room away?" As if a BV writeup is a sign that it was a totally organic thing. Give me a fucking break. The Drums moved to NYC from Florida like a week before that gig. That writeup, among others, *WAS* the PR. I've seen tons of bands play gigs much better than their out-of-tune, drum-machine backed bullshit, that never get BV writeups. Why? Because they don't have the money. Don't try to pull the wool over people's eyes.

Posted by Anonymous | May 23, 2010 5:22 PM

Bill wrote a positive review of The Drums for bv at last year's Popfest. Bill definitely knows his music, but he's not infallible and this time he was completely wrong. Anyone who followed that review and then saw the band (there were many of us), saw through the b.s. and know what this band is about. The Drums are a total gimmick band. They rely primarily on backing tapes and can't play their instruments or sing very well. They do have a very aggressive corporate management and a net-savvy local PR firm that maintain their house of cards.

Posted by Anonymous | May 23, 2010 6:13 PM

Anyone who thinks that bands can go from non existent to famous in the course of a few weeks on the basis of their music or talent is either naive as hell or they have some personal interest in maintaining that illusion.

Class warfare's just as big in indie rock as it is in anything else.

Posted by hal | May 23, 2010 7:04 PM

"That writeup, among others, *WAS* the PR. I've seen tons of bands play gigs much better than their out-of-tune, drum-machine backed bullshit, that never get BV writeups. Why? Because they don't have the money. Don't try to pull the wool over people's eyes."

conspiracy theory!

Posted by brooklynvegan | May 23, 2010 7:30 PM

Wow, good one Sherlock! Of course blogs are PR! Magazines are going out of print for a reason! Bitchfork is a huge if not THE taste maker of this age and you all, whether you like it or not, eat that shit up. I know tons of people who read the reviews but complain how much they hate Pfork. So really who cares! Let Bill write whatever the fuck he wants!

And yes we know how much The Drums have become a huge gimmick, contrived, etc. But just because they've sold their souls to Corporate Big Wigs that shouldn't take away credit from IndiePopFest itself. I think a comment earlier got it right when it was said that the festival is a labor of love. That it's just a couple of guys who can't get enough of that twee-librarian-ism.

I think it was also mentioned that Pfork DOES have a festival that meticulously put together with spineless execs and corporate sponsors expecting to fill their pockets.

So lesson here is: do your fucking homework before you go pointing fingers.

Just because Pitchfork doesn't have a comments section doesn't mean you should be trolling around BV.

PS. Yes, The Drums still suck.

Posted by Anonymous | May 24, 2010 2:00 AM

@ 5:22.


Posted by Anonymous | May 24, 2010 8:31 PM

@ 8:31

Then why do the folks at NYC POPFEST run the event at a LOSS every year?

Posted by Anonymous | May 24, 2010 8:40 PM

"Then why do the folks at NYC POPFEST run the event at a LOSS every year?"

Because they are bad at business

Posted by Anonymous | May 24, 2010 10:03 PM

@ 10:34

So why do they keep doing it?

Because you would think if they were part of some "pr machine" they'd want to be "banking" off musicians the way most of the corporate music industry keep doing.

Posted by Anonymous | May 25, 2010 2:44 AM

Listen, Jonathan from The Drums is a ginormous douche. Next.

Posted by Anonymous | May 25, 2010 3:49 AM

Geez Louise people! Calm down! Its a small affair. If you attended you would see with your own eyes that it could charitably be described as charming, not professional. Its obvious that noone's getting rich off of this. This is not the second coming of Lollapalooza here. Bringing in bands like the Wake and the Embassy? Come on, that's just great! Why all the hate? I think it comes down to Popfest springboarding the Drums. And the Drums are just beyond vile. But everyone gets one mistake, no? So if you're here trashing the Popfest because of that godawful band just chill out and give the festival a shot next year. Because honestly the Drums aren't representive of the Popfest as a whole.

Here's to ten more years of NYC Popfest!

Posted by Anonymous | May 25, 2010 11:03 AM

I downloaded almost all Mp3s given and almost all of them are very nice to listen.

Posted by pop music | May 27, 2010 11:13 PM

Siamese Dream and Mellon Collie were really good albums. Got them when they came out, still throw them on at times and think they're great. It saddens me when I hear bands from that era when I was a teenager and hear their new stuff and it's so clear how they've lost it, they sound desperate to recapture a sound/magic that they haven't had in 15 years (holy shit).... And then I realize that is not unlike a lot of us.

Posted by منتديات | January 22, 2011 7:52 AM

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