Pop 4 | Summer
Pop 4’s debut is a brilliant collaboration of four impressive talents; Andrea Perry, Kirk Adams, Scott McPherson and KC Bowman. All are well known to indie pop fans, and “Summer” perfectly distills their strengths into an album that will surely top many year-end-best lists.
“I Will Become Love” opens with layers of lush vocals, immediately putting the listener in a Brian Wilson state of mind. Though these four voices are newly matched in harmony, they sound as if they’ve been singing together forever. McPherson’s bouncy “Einstein & Sunshine” and Perry’s ethereal, dreamy “What’s It Gonna be Like Now” are standouts in a field of standouts, and my personal faves.
Obvious touchstones for Pop 4 are the aforementioned Wilson, ELO and Rubber Soul-era Beatles, though each band member has influences that aren’t as easily identified, giving the group depth single songwriter bands sorely lack.
In all honesty, I haven’t heard anything this wonderful in quite some time.
-Dan Pavelich, Kenosha News
Music News Nashville
There are joyful echos of Electric Light Orchestra, The Beatles, Matthew Sweet, Moonpools & Caterpillars and a wide range of melodic rock icons across the aptly-titled Pop4 release “Summer.” The 16-track power-pop collection definitely conjures up long, warm summer days with a plethora of bright melodies and harmonies.
Highlights on the album include the a capella “I Will Become Love,” the driving “Blow Wind Blow,” ELO-mining “Einstein and Sunshine” (“Mr. Blue Sky” is an obvious rhythmic reference here) and baroque pop standout “You’re No Aimee Mann.”
JP's Music Blog
Rising pop/rock band Pop4 recently released their latest album "Summer" back in August. With the band members spread throughout the U.S., many different influences are brought into the music, which gives their sound a style all its own.
The new 16 song release begins with the brightening harmonies of "I Will Become Love," which leads into the light pop feel of "Beautiful." They get into a more rock groove with "Blow Wind Blow," then bring their influence of Electric Light Orchestra into the up-tempo "Einstein And Sunshine." Pop4 give a nod to sixties pop music with "Jaded" and "Straight To My Head" as they simplify their music to create a vintage sound.
The album finishes with the raw rock feel of "You Love Me" and the gentle touch of "Dust."
Think great pop music is dead? The four folks in Pop4 will make a believer out of you all over again. This band is an underground supergroup made up of four musicians with enough talent and charm to change the universe. Pop4 is comprised of Scott McPherson (The Protagonist), KC Bowman (The Logician), Kirk Adams (The Champion), and Andrea Perry (The Mediator). Summer is about as good as pop gets. These four individuals have recorded an album that is warm, friendly, charming, smart, memorable, and completely grooooovy. These songs remind us of a whole slew of our favorites...including (but not limited to) XTC, The Beatles, Stackridge, Teenage Fanclub, Azure Ray, The New Pornographers and...and...and...well, we could just go on and on and on here.
We've been in love with Andrea Perry's music for a very long time (search for our previous reviews...she's always a Top Pick). This lady is absolutely one of the best kept secrets in the world of music. We have to admit that when this package arrived we were drooling all over ourselves thinking it was a new solo album. But even though it wasn't, we're as pleased as peaches with this album. Summer is a precise and pure slice of perfect modern pop. The harmonies are mind boggling...and the songs themselves are resilient and ultra catchy. Not much more to say here except...this one is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. Sixteen marvelous tracks including "I Will Become Love," "Beautiful," "Blow Wind Blow," "Einstein and Sunshine," "What's It Gonna Be Like Now," "Don't You Be Like That"... Aw, heck...we're gonna stop listing individual cuts now because they're ALL wonderful. You've got to hear this album. It is truly GREAT. TOP PICK. 5 out of 5
You're Going to Thank Me For Introducing You to The Charms of Pop 4
Usually it works like this: some band or their PR flacks emails me to say "Hey, I saw that you posted about [band x], well maybe you'll like [our shitty band]." The reality is that [our shitty band] sounds nothing like [band x] and I get angry and delete the email.
However, this time when I got an email from Andrea Perry saying that her band, Pop4, sounded like Pugwash and the New Pornographers, she wasn't lying. There was not an ounce of PR bullshit in her email so I thank her for getting in touch. The tunes of Pop4 are some of the brightest slices of pop I've heard in ages. Blending bits of ELO ("Einstein and Sunshine") and Aimee Mann (the wonderfully-titled "Miserably Pursuing Happiness"), the music of Pop4 is a revelation. These tunes touch on all the things I liked already but somehow the songs still sound new and vibrant.
On The Feeling-like "Straight to my Head", there's even a twang-y hint of the best moments of Jellyfish. That tune segues into the marvelously self-aware "You're No Aimee Mann" which manages to out Jon Brion Jon Brion himself. Funny, smart, and altogether perfect, the song is the sort of thing that makes a listener such as myself a bit angry at not having heard this band and song before now. I heard this and wanted to lay my hands on everything that Pop4 have done, you know?
"Lover's Limbo" even nods in the direction of college rock legends Let's Active, while "Tour for the Brokenhearted" imagines an impossible Nilsson/Jon Brion collaboration.
And I haven't even mentioned the fact that this record is the result of the four members -- Andrea Perry, Scott McPherson, Kirk Adams, and KC Bowman -- recording their parts separately. That sounds like a gimmick but it's worth mentioning because you'd almost never believe me when you listen to Summer. What's on this album is the sound of one of the best new American bands I've heard in quite some time. That they did this without actually meeting in person is even more astonishing.
Summer by Pop4 is sure to charm fans of Jeff Lynne, Brian Wilson, Neko Case, Jellyfish, and Jon Brion. The tunes here are big and catchy. The cuts are all carefully crafted and show the hard work of 4 musicians pooling their love of some worthy shared influences in the creation of the very best kind of pop.
“The tunes of Pop4 are some of the brightest slices of pop I've heard in ages.”