BIG STIR SINGLES: THE FIFTH WAVE crashes on your musical shore Friday, March 6, on CD and Digital Download, and is available for pre-order at www.bigstirrecords.com/store now. It's the first installment in the series for 2020, after the First through Fourth Wave CDs released throughout 2019 debuted to rave reviews and broke new ground for collections of their type, landing on Year's Best lists among proper single artist albums. The series is now firmly established as an ongoing journal of the best new music on the global pop rock scene, beyond boundaries of geography and label affiliation, and a reliably exciting rebuke to the charge that “there's no good music any more these days”.
What makes The Fifth Wave special? As always it features an A-side and a B-side from each of the artists featured across the most recent months of the Big Stir Singles Series, this time with an emphasis on artists from our some of our other favorite labels (Kool Kat Musik, SpyderPop Records, Karma Frog Music and our partners at Futureman Records). As always it sports liner notes from a trusted authority on the music scene, as Tsar / Brothers Steve / GoAllTheWays drummer STEVE COULTER, under his crime fiction and pop critic nom-de-plume S.W. Lauden, joins the ranks of noted music writers Carl Cafarelli, Don Valentine and John Borack in doing the honors. And artist Ridley Broome has created a unique cover graphic depicting each of the A-sides in fantasy/superhero personifications, adding the character and quirk that collectors have come to expect from Big Stir's physical releases.
The Who's Who of celebrated artists, globetrotting international diversity, and profusion of exclusive tracks are as strong as ever. The collection is bookended by the physical-media debuts of tracks by two Southern California supergroups. It kicks off with THE GOALLTHEWAYS, a rapturously-received punk-goes-pop side project starring members of The Brothers Steve, The Armoires, and Sugarcult, formed to accompany the essay collection GO ALL THE WAY: A LITERARY APPRECIATION OF POWER POP, who delivers chiming harmony-laden re-imaginings of classics from The Descendents and Pink Lincolns. And it closes with the Big Stir debut single from THE FORTY NINETEENS, the garage rock superstars who count former members of The Leonards and Mary's Danish as part of their lineup, with a pair of originals that are already all over independent radio everywhere.
In between there's a lot that showcases the diversity of the modern “California Sound”. THE ARMOIRES themselves appear with a new single tied to a video release and a completely new (and unexpected!) B-side. BLAINE CAMPBELL checks in with some freshly-minted tunes that will delight fans of the '60s sunshine sound. Karma Frog Music vets MOD HIPPIE land a pair of epic rockers that stretch the single format to bracing effect. And from farther up the coast, THE MORNING LINE delivers two versions (one an exclusive synth-driven remix) of “Nostradamus”, a song that so thrilled the Big Stir label honchos that they sought Kool Kat Musik's permission to include it.
The UK is represented here by IT'S KARMA, IT'S COOL (again on loan from Kool Kat), the ace new project from ex-Popdogs frontman Jim Styring, and a welcome return from THE SPEED OF SOUND who contribute a Byrds cover that we Crosby-ites at BSR adore, as well as an acoustic reading of a vintage tune of their own. Futureman's Swedish sensation THE TOR GUIDES clock in with a giddy cover of Pilot's “Just A Smile” from their 2019 album Backwards In Reverse backed by a previously unheard track that's every bit as good.
Back in the US and deep in the heart of Texas, LANNIE FLOWERS is fresh off a round of Best Album list nods for his 2019 SpyderPop release Home (which frequently rubbed shoulders on such lists with LPs fromThe Tor Guides, Campbell and The Armoires). Lannie's tracks here don't appear on that record, though – we instead have an exclusive “North Florida Version” of “My Street” and a previously online-only favorite in “Summer Blue”. And keeping it stateside, it's the first dip into Singles Series waters for New York's THE STILLSOULS, with a pair of witty and passionate rockers – one of which displays more than a bit of Sunset Strip soul, perhaps bringing us full circle on this 22-song journey.
The Big Stir Singles Series continues into its Sixth Wave on our official website at www.bigstirrecords.com and on all of our social media platforms under the Big Stir Records name. Previous volumes of the BIG STIR SINGLES collections can be found there, along with full length releases from many of the featured artists... with more to come through the new year!