• Slumberland

The members of L.A.'s Neverever claim a variety of '70s influences, like Dwight Twilley and ELO, but I hear more contemporary acts, like Dum Dum Girls and Best Coast. In other words, they slot neatly into the Slumberland formula: chiming guitars, driving rhythms, and girl-group vocals (even from the boys).

I've always had a soft spot for the reinvigorated label, even if I find some of their artists interchangeable (my favorites include Girls Names, Veronica Falls, and Frankie Rose and the Outs). One way or the other, though: I like the first single from Neverever's upcoming EP, Shake-a-Baby, which adds extra helpings of bass, reverb, and longing. It's the successor to their Slumberland debut, Angelic Swells, though there's no mention of a second long-player. Full press release below.

Neverever - Wedding Day by Slumberland Records

  • Salvo

Self-described sartorial influence.

Who can decipher the true origins of Neverever? Some say it started on the roadside in Malibu when a truck driver named Eric Fisher and his childhood buddy, Shaun Puklavetz, picked up Joe Meek's great niece and nephew, Jihae and Wallace.* Others believe it began a year earlier when Neverever's lost classic Angelic Swells was released on pop mogul Mike Schulman's Slumberland Records.

* Jihae Simmons Meek and husband Wallace Meek, both from the Royal We.

Whichever you choose to put faith in, it was after consulting their book of Sacred Symbols of the Ancients, that Wallace and Jihae realized Eric and Shaun's rhythmical bond was most likely destined to be the missing piece of their puzzle. A mutual appreciation for Dave Hill (he of Slade fame)'s haircut soon sealed the deal one night after practice in Shaun's hot-tub.

The four began hallucinating endlessly about writing songs that could fill the void between one's love for Sandy Salisbury's "Do Unto Others" and the other's for Comet Gain's Casino Classics. These visions began to slowly creep across Los Angeles stages like a purple smoke bomb engulfing. Shortly thereafter, crowds caught on and gaggles of girls and boys began flocking to their shows in fear that the flames which burned would someday descend back into technicolor smoke.

Shake-A-Baby is that technicolor smoke turned to solid vinyl. The band says it best: "The EP is loosely about the likes of child brides and sugar empire heirs either reluctantly growing up or simply choosing not to. Clinging to preteen and adolescent freedoms, Miss Teen Californian girlfriends, carefree trips, and dream-like loves, whether the changing world around them allows it or not. Some influences include the Raspberries, Dwight Twilley and Phil Seymour, ELO, Kim Fowley, Fleetwood Mac, Big Star, Alvin Stardust, [and] Sandy Salisbury."

From the couples' dance swoon of "Baby Oil And Iodine" to the Latin-tinged glam-pop of "Mexicoco," we see Neverever cooking up a heady mix of classic power-pop styles. "Bunker Spreckles" is a swinging tune, featuring a typically catchy vocal melody from Jihae and a stick-in-your-head keyboard line. "Venus" slows the tempo down for a twangy slice of doo wop pop, while "Wedding Day" is a rambunctious gem that would slot in nicely on either of the first few Blondie albums. Cut from the same classicist pop cloth as their debut album, on Shake-A-Baby, Neverever sharpen their tunes, hone their hooks and brighten their palette.

From 2010's Angelic Swells (dig the "Hall of the Mountain King" reference).

Slumberland releases Shake-a-Baby on 1/17/12. Follow 'em on Facebook here.