Once a week at roughly 12pm Pacific Standard Time on Monday, a gentleman by the name of Clark Dinnison releases a mixtape of 10 carefully curated songs that are making big waves on his radar. This is Noon Pacific.

Noon Pacific // 177


• “So Much It Hurts” by Niki & The Dove — This track has a distinct, yet not disagreeable, ‘90s pop vibe with a bit of groovin’ funk and flourishing electronic touches thrown in the mix. The Swedish synthpop duo (neither of which are named Niki or The Dove) are doing their thing and it’s solid.

• “Pretty Haze” by Summer Heart — Swede David Alexander playing under the moniker Summer Heart gives us a robust dream pop tune. A steady but dynamic rhythm section lays the foundation for what can only be described as an undulating synth arrangement. Song title is apt.

• “Big Black Coat” by Junior Boys — A moody, atmospheric cut from Canadian duo Junior Boys (neither of which are named Junior or Boys) has a steady and driving drum line on which a sparse bassline and a number of staccato electronic tones float. Some of the synth has a vaguely industrial sound — industrial woodblock? — which makes me think of playing Crash Bandicoot on my Playstation 1 when I was a kid. In a good way.

• “Love Train” by PillowTalk & Soul Clap feat. Greg Paulus & Crew Love — What do you get when you cross an English four-piece R&B/rock outfit, an American DJ duo, a composer/trumpeter, and a music publisher that doubles as a touring mega-group? You get “Love Train,” a real melting pot of a song — I hear the influence of at least a dozen different genres — that shouldn’t make sense but does.

• “Way Back Home” by Cameron A G — Another Brit, this one gives us a sweet, subdued, tune. He mixes traditional touches — piano and acoustic guitar — really nicely with jittery synth effects and reverby electric guitars. A short song, it builds and crescendos quite nicely.

• “Straight to the Top” by Wildcat! Wildcat! — A young synthpop power trio from L.A., Wildcat! Wildcat! clearly has their eye on the Billboard Top 40 — “Straight to the Top” is just the right mix of rock bones fleshed out with key and synth and an inspirational lyrical message that keeps landing bands there.

• “Never Going Back” by Caveman — This cut from Caveman is the epitome of Brooklyn-based indie rock, which is exactly what the band is. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Indie/alternative to the core, “Never Going Back” rocks pretty good, with just enough synth embellishment. Not the most original track on this mixtape, but damn if it isn’t real listenable.

• “We Can Talk” by Satin Jackets feat. Emma Brammer — The German techno/dance pop duo Satin Jackets (neither of which is named Satin or Jackets) teamed up with the England-based Emma Brammer for her smoky, sultry vocals. The sound is heavily influenced by the German techno that’s come before and is extremely reminiscent of dance tunes from the ‘90s.

• “Hearts” by Arthur Wimble — Little is known about Arthur Wimble other than that he’s from Brisbane, Austrialia, and that he’s been sprinkling the internet with incessantly listenable downtempo tracks. His rich, throaty voice is at once at odds with and at home in the surprisingly danceable atmospheric synth of this tune.

• “Burnin’” by Postaal — Postaal is another duo, this one part English and one part French (neither of which is named Postaal). “Burnin’” — the third song they’ve released and only the second original — is a big, rich, lush electronic tune with definite rock and R&B influences. Without even an EP’s worth of material, I can already tell you Postaal is one to watch.

Stand Outs: Junior Boys, with their dreamy synth pop-meets-Nine Inch Nails sound, and Cameron A G, with his understated contribution, steal the show this week. Arthur Wimble and Postaal are just behind.

Let Downs: Though catchy tunes — I grooved to both of them — neither Satin Jackets’ “We Can Talk” nor “Straight to the Top” by Wildcat! Wildcat! brought anything new or unique to the party.

Verdict: Noon Pacific // 177 was good, bringing a lot of foot-tapping and head-bobbing tunes and a couple from-out-of-left-field surprises to keep you on your toes.

Noon Pacific, a labor of love, is updated with a new 10-track mixtape every week. Sign up here — it’s totally free, and you’ll get an email notification every Monday when the new tape goes live.

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