Pack of Three: Laura Carbone, Erin Pallnat, Cold Fronts

We’re leaping right into summer this week, everyone. Around here, things are heating up in more ways than one. But let’s focus on the music, shall we?

These three cuts will help to keep things cool.


“Tangerine Tree” by Laura Carbone

Name: Laura Carbone

From: Manheim, Germany

Sound: Ethereal and moody post-punk influenced indie rock ala Beach House and Mazzy Star.

Story: Spending time in LA to write, and taking memories of industrial German landscapes with her, this song evokes the sunshine of one with the somewhat overcast bittersweetness of the other. The song is taken from her new record Empty Sea.




“Pennies” by Erin Pellnat

Name: Erin Pellnat

From: Brooklyn, NY, USA

Sound: Relaxed and socially-conscious folk pop with a sixties pop feel and in the spirit of Belle & Sebastian. Also: accordion!

Story: Sometimes in our darkest hours when the world around us has gone completely insane, the small joys in our lives become the most important. That’s the grain of truth to be found in this song from Erin Pellnat, a solo artist and also a member of rock band Caertaker, too.







“Fantasy Du Jour” by Cold Fronts

Name: Cold Fronts

From: Philadelphia, PA, USA

Sound: Self-proclaimed surf rock, with a languid and hazy guitar-jangle crafting wistful chord progressions (my favourite!)

Story: This is a classic tale of love never realized, a tradition that’s grand in pop music history, of course! The reason for the video for this song according to lead vocalist Craig Almquist? To secure the band’s position as a boy band. Well, listeners; you be the judge! The song is the title track from their newest record out right now.









What say you, dear readers? Give me your impressions, and tell me what new stuff you’re hearing as we sail into summer.

Happy listening!


Pack of Three: Clean Spill, Leitvox, Susie Scurry

We are reaching the end of the spring season, friends and neighbours. In this hemisphere, summer is nearly upon us. We need a soundtrack to sustain us, as always.

For this week’s Pack of Three, we have a selection of auditory goodies to snack on as we savour the last of Spring 2018. As a bonus, it’s an all-video edition.

So, put on your goggles and dive in!


“Doctor” by Clean Spill

Name: Clean Spill

From: Santa Barbara, CA, USA

Sound: Languid and groove-oriented garage rock with some unexpected angles a la The Pixies and The Strokes.

Story: This song is about a dog, the titular Doctor to be exact, and a dog’s life from his point of view. But it’s also about us, carried along by circumstance and very easily manipulated by forces that play on our base desires while real meaning for it all stays out of our grasp so much of the time.

That would be a pretty heavy (although very resonant!) set of themes if the music didn’t provide such a compelling and entertaining counterbalance. The single is a lead to their upcoming new EP Nothing’s On My Mind, coming out this summer.




“Moon” by Leitvox

Name: Leitvox

From: Miami, FLA, USA (via Mexico City, Mexico)

Sound: Downtempo electronica with hushed and sensual vocals and ambient, 80s synthpop influences

Story: This track represents the new EP Coded Matter from Mexican-born and Miami based producer Leitvox relased just last week. Featuring dance duo Carlota Pradera and Lazaro Godoy in the video, and the vocals of Maye Osorio, this song evokes a melange of emotions with impressionistic lyrics and euphoric electronic atmospheres.

This single and EP is the result of a busy and prolific year for Leitvox, following up 2017’s Floating Promises full-length, and  having also recently released yet another video this year, “Ingenue”.








“The Elvis Hour ” by Susie Scurry

Name: Susie Scurry

From: Melbourne, Australia

Sound:  Retro-sixties countrified lounge-pop as adorned by Nico/Astrud Gilberto-tinged lead vocals

Story: A big fan of Richard Hawley and his Coles Corner album, Melbourne-based singer-songwriter Susie Scurry (the artist previously known as The Grand Mazoogi) sought out Hawley producer Colin Elliot. They then recorded the new The Elvis Hour EP in Sheffield. This is the title track, a breezy and downright summery (with a few clouds gathering) tune, complete with a video featuring footage of another hero.

That hero would be Elvis Presley, a cat who covered a lot of ground for a man who died at 42. Maybe you’ve heard of him, kids. The song is packed with the kind of wistful melancholy that I cannot resist. And neither will you! The new EP is out on June 22. In July, Susie Scurry is embarking on an east coast tour of Australia.





Official Website





What’s the good word on the above, friends? What stands out for you? Tell me all about it in the comments section.

Happy Listening!

Pack of Three: Becoming Bristol, Confusionaires, Morten Lava

This is the first “pack of three” post ever, friends; a weekly series that groups three magnificent, although sometimes very stylistically disparate, musical gems together.

This week, we have a selection of aural delights ranging from chilled out pop electronica, to boot-stompin’ Saturday night rockabilly, to pastoral and introspective folk-pop.

Get stuck in!


Becoming Bristol, “Sort Myself Out”

Name: Becoming Bristol.

From: Seattle, Washington.

Sound: Spacey and relaxed pop music with dreamily ambient electronic textures.

Story: Once monikered “The Exchange”, Becoming Bristol is a new musical entity, with this song being an anthem to starting again while taking responsibility for the past, too. Being in a band and touring since their teens, you can understand how autobiographical this song might be.

Links: Facebook, Instagram, band site


Confusionaires, “Everybody’s Talking (But Nobody’s Talking to Me)”

Name: Confusionaires

From: Edmonton, Alberta

Sound: Rollickin’ three-piece twangy barroom rockabilly.

Story: This tune is featured on their newest record, Time to Make a Little Mess With …, contrasting the ballsy swing of the music with the socially awkward narrative found in the lyrics. I can relate to both, of course! Also, here’s the live version.

Links: Facebook, band site, Bandcamp


Morten Lava, “In A Daydream”

Name: Morten Lava

From: Denmark (now based in London)

Sound: Wistful, melancholic, harmony-laden acoustic folk-pop.

Story: Trading in a sound that hooks into a similar sonic territory as José Gonzalez, Morten Lava’s (nee Larsen’s) music is an exploration across genres, and with plenty of atmosphere to enjoy along the way. The EP In A Daydream, was released today! To those of you within range, Morten is doing an EP launch party today at the Notting Hill Arts Club in Kensington, London.

Links: Buy the EP on iTunes, artist site.


This is the part where I ask you your favourites of the three, friends. Let me know your thoughts in the comments section.

Happy Listening!



Peter Cat Play “Hand Through Hair”

Peter Cat, a duo from sunny Glasgow, bring their latest single “Hand Through Hair” in video form. Watch it right here.

The song is a follow-up to their first single “Keeping Up With Jacob”, and will serve as a harbinger to their upcoming debut EP produced by songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and front for the indie band Catholic Action, Chris McCrory.

For their part, Peter Cat make pop music that in their words contains “a bit of oddness” that pulls from a variety of sources across the musical spectrum, from the push-pull glittery boogie beat of seventies glam-rock to the arty and urbane music of Neil Hannon and Jarvis Cocker. There’s even a bit of David Sylvian in the vocals, to my ears.

The oddness in their music perhaps is connected to the origin of their name; the jazz club founded in 1978 by magical realist author Haruki Murakami in Tokyo of the same name – Peter Cat . It’s not odd to name your band after a favourite author’s endeavour, of course. But considering the subject matter of Murakami’s novels like trans-dimensional talking cats, the duo have hitched their wagon to the eccentric and surrealistic.

These ingredients are evident in this song and certainly in the video for it, while still touching on and exemplifying what pop music should be; familiar terrain to welcome the listener, complete with provoking an impulse to dance! But there’s a lot that’s unfamiliar here too, which is what makes “Hand Through Hair” unique. It takes some unexpected turns to surprise and delight.

Maybe that has to do with the contrast between genres that the band are playing with in their efforts to bridge the pop music of the past with that of the present. Either way, “Hand Through Hair” has another trait that is essential to pop music beyond all of that. It’s fun. What with all of the other elements at work here, this is the most important.

Peter Cat will be playing dates in Scotland this week, drifting southward during the summer and into the fall, UK readers.

Get the full dates right here.

You can like the Peter Cat Facebook page

You can even follow them on Twitter, and on Instagram, for goodness sake!

Happy Listening!



Welcome to Radio Free Lightning Bug

I am a music writer.

Or at least up until December of 2017, I was.

For ten years, I authored a moderately popular blog called The Delete Bin. You can still visit that site right here. If I do say so myself, there’s some pretty good stuff there.

In December of 2017, I retired that noble blog. It was time. Today, June 2 2018, I’ve started this project – Radio Free Lightning Bug. And welcome to it, friends.

(image – Ryan Atkins)

Why did I start this? Especially considering that I stopped writing The Delete Bin because I complained at the time that the golden age of the blog had passed. I still believe that to be true.

Yet, here’s the thing and at the danger of repeating myself; I am a music writer. I can’t help it.

With RFLB, I will have an outlet again, free of the format and identity of The ‘Bin. Since I want to preserve that former identity, I thought I’d start fresh. Simple as that.

But how else will Radio Free Lightning Bug differ from its predecessor?

Mainly by focusing on independent music.

During the ten years spent helming the ‘Bin, I kind of sidelined in featuring new music from up and coming, or even struggling, musicians and songwriters. I discovered just how much great stuff is being made now, and so much of it deserves a wider audience.

Maybe I won’t be able to push it to the stratosphere.

But, I can provide some molecules of fuel to help and present it to music fans in a way I feel it deserves to be.

That’s the mission of this project; to amplify, however minutely or otherwise, the music being made by brilliant and perhaps not widely known artists.

I will post showcases of artists. I will create playlists for readers and listeners. I may do some interviews too, if anyone’s amenable.

In any case, thanks for considering this humble project of mine.

I will do my best.

Rob Jones

Radio Free Lightning Bug Editor-in-Chief