5 ON THE FLY Five mini reviews all in one place.

Peach Pyramid – Repeating Myself

Peach Pyramid boils down to essentially Jen Severtson; although she does get excellent accompaniment by a handful of musicians, most notably Katherine Calder on synths and Brett Cassidy on lap steel. She has a vocal style and tone that remains constant even though the music ranges from baroque pop (“Polarized”) and lounge blues (“Truth”) to psychedelia (“Escape”). Whether the track is bouncy (and most of them are) or slow her vocal approach is always personal, and yet she also manages to always keep it light. That makes for a highly listenable record which also carries a fair amount of heft.

Prime cut: “My Collapse”

Mauno – Tuning

According to Mauno ‘Tuning’ is more pop-oriented and concise than previous releases. Correct. But it’s not commercial pop they are talking about, it’s more cool art-leaning pop, like Adrian Belew or The Beatles with hints of jazz. “Decide”, for example, is a nice brisk tune with that Belew airiness and the same kind of NY-style art-rock backing. They add mathy elements to “Other Bad” and there is a Radiohead-style unreal lightness to “Helah”. And on “Pigeon” the slow psychedelic is vibe is, well, beatlesque.

‘Tuning’ may well be more pop-oriented, but it’s the kind of pop we heartily approve of.

Prime cut: “Other Bad”

I M U R – Little Death

The synths and the electronics on ‘Little Death’ do a terrific job of creating a chill, sophisticated contemporary soul vibe. The beautiful vocals are often used for mood-setting, but having said that there is a lot of melody. And then I M U R pack a few surprises for you, like the sweet guitar that comes into the electronic mix towards the end of “Breathless” and the sudden switch to electronica in the middle of “Little Death”. Yeah, it’s contemporary, or perhaps future, soul but with I M U R’s idiosyncratic touches all over it. Sweet.

Prime cut: “Breathless”

Jon Cohen likes to have fun. That doesn’t mean he’s not serious about his music. It’s abundantly clear he’s an artful craftsman devoted to his work. But his gleeful approach is infectious and we all end up having a good time. And it comes in all kinds, from the goofy Kinks-style ’60s pop of “Feed On Me” to the artsy/goofy Britpop of “33rd Floor”. There’s some ’70s funk in the electric piano of “Ready To Go”, a groovy melody in the sparkling “Baby Life”, and some delightful light falsetto in “No Penny Jenny”

All in all ‘Go Getters’ is just irresistible fun. But, you know, serious fun.

Prime cut: “Baby Life”

Bee Eater – Kiln

If the thought of dark ambient drone is to you about as exciting as last week’s sports then you need to give a listen to the far-from-dull compositions by Bee Eater. In “Pull”, for example, there are electronic throbs that mysteriously form a melody before things get dark midway through. Then a dark, deep synth takes over with a weird high noise above. At the beginning of “Division” it feels as if your ears are being sucked in by a weird bass pulse (you may need headphones for that effect), but soon the song breaks into a pleasant synth passage. However, there’s a growing menace as the heavier drone synths build.

‘Kiln’ is an eerie but great ride. Bee Eater will have you loving dark ambient drone, even if you thought you didn’t like it.

Prime cut: “Division”