Tuesday, May 05, 2020

The Speedways - This Aint A Radio Sound

Oh my god! When it comes to getting good news in the middle of a Monday, it doesn't get much better than finding out that one of your favorite bands has just dropped a brand-new single you didn't even know was coming! Radio Sounds is the soon-to-be-released second LP from The Speedways. From the start of the year it has been my most looked-forward to album of 2020. "This Aint A Radio Sound" is the second single the band has released in advance of the album. And if this song and the last single "Kisses Are History" are any indication, Radio Sounds will be even more dramatic, heartbreaking, and full of absolute pop magic than its near-flawless predecessor Just Another Regular Summer. Of course this will be The Speedways' first album as a full band, and that's no small point. Mauro Venega, Adrian Alfonso, and Kris Hood are talented players who really bring out the best in Matt Julian's brilliant songs. With the benefit of a proper band and first-rate production, Julian has really been able to highlight the soulful influence he brings to power pop.

I think what makes Matt Julian one of my favorite songwriters is the way he manages to write sad songs that still make you feel really good. "This Aint A Radio Sound" gives off an early '80s vibe with its chirpy keyboard riff and a vocal that brings Elvis Costello to mind. Julian excels when he gets to pour his heart into a vocal, and this song has a surging energy to it in spite of its bitter subject matter. If you love big choruses and tight harmonies, prepare for two and a half minutes in pop heaven. On the flip, "Love Really Hurts Without You" is a stunning version of the '70s Billy Ocean hit that is almost completely unknown on my side of the pond. As much as I love the A-side, this cover darn near steals the record. It fits The Speedways so perfectly. The band gets to show off its Motown chops, and Julian fills his vocal with the passion and despair this song deserves. Man, this is what all of those UK blue-eyed soul new wave bands should have sounded like! It kind of pains me to live in a world where a song this good is not all over the radio. If you've never heard the original, prepare to have your mind blown!

"This Aint A Radio Sound" is out on Snap! Records/Hurrah Musica, and you should grab it while you can (colored vinyl is already sold out!). The Speedways are the best thing going in pop music these days. The full album will be out this summer, and I absolutely can't wait!



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