Power pop-me-up!
February 10, 2015 1:50 AM   Subscribe

A two-mile walk in the morning is much more fun with power pop. However, the first Fountains of Wayne and Weezer albums will wear out pretty quickly. Give me your power pop recommendations! If it has fuzzy guitars, harmonies, and a tune that could soundtrack a secretly great teen movie, I want to know about it.

Songs that kind of fit what I'm looking for, most of which are probably not power pop:

Ben Lee - Cigarettes Will Kill You
Marjorie Fair - Waves
Fountains of Wayne - anything
Teenage Fanclub - The Concept
McFly (yes, really) - Five Colours In Her Hair
John Mayer - No Such Thing (I haven't heard a single other JM song but am led to believe he's somewhat schmaltzy)
Silversun Pickups - Lazy Eye
Mojave 3 - Breaking The Ice
Scars - All About You
Ash - Petrol and Uncle Pat
Lit - My Own Worst Enemy
Kid Canaveral - anything
Nada Surf - Always Love
Shrag - Rabbit Kids
Elvis Costello - Tear Off Your Own Head
posted by mippy to Society & Culture (83 answers total) 96 users marked this as a favorite
Try Bowling for Soup. My favorite is "Ohio", but there's plenty of other power-pop there.
posted by ubiquity at 2:35 AM on February 10, 2015 [2 favorites]

Great, some more songs for my own walking playlist!

Most of these are probably not power pop either, but I think they meet your specs for harmonies and teen movie soundtrack-worthiness.

Fall Out Boy - Young Volcanoes and Sugar, We're Going Down
Neon Trees - Animal
Matt & Kim - Good Old Fashioned Nightmare
Fitz and the Tantrums - Spark
American Authors - Best Day of My Life
Caesars - Jerk It Out
HAIM - The Wire
posted by Ziggy500 at 2:39 AM on February 10, 2015

Kanye West- entire discography.
posted by hal_c_on at 2:40 AM on February 10, 2015

(Repeating a couple of the artists you mentioned in case you're not familiar with the rest of their work)
Dandy Warhols - Bohemian Like You + We Used To Be Friends
All American Rejects - Swing, Swing
Lit - Over My Head
Kaiser Chiefs - Never Miss A Beat
Snow Patrol - Spitting Games
Ash - Girl From Mars + Burn Baby Burn (the whole of Free All Angels is probably worth checking out)
Feeder - Just A Day + Buck Rogers
posted by EndsOfInvention at 2:40 AM on February 10, 2015 [3 favorites]

Kanye West isn't really power pop thoughbut. Unless I'm really missing something?

Thanks for suggestions so far. Some of these got a LOT of airplay in the UK in the late '90s (Bohemian Like You was a top 5 single and used on a lot of ads) so I don't know if I'm ready to revisit them yet!
posted by mippy at 2:50 AM on February 10, 2015

Definitely give Silver Sun's eponymous debut album a shot (that is, the UK indie band as opposed to the Silversun Pickups).
posted by pinacotheca at 3:09 AM on February 10, 2015 [2 favorites]

The Muffs - Lucky Guy
Sugar - The Act we Act / A Good Idea but actually pretty much the whole of Copper Blue
Breeders - Cannonball / Divine Hammer but actually pretty much the whole of Last Splash
The Vaccines - If You Wanna
Yo La Tengo - Sugarcube
Buzzcocks - Ever Fallen In Love but really, absolutely everything by the Buzzcocks
Pete & The Pirates - Blood Gets Thin

Thanks for reminding me about Ash's first album! The only one worth listening to, in my book.
posted by ZipRibbons at 3:33 AM on February 10, 2015 [4 favorites]

The new Menace Beach album could work: cases in point: Drop Outs and Tennis Court.
posted by Sonny Jim at 3:35 AM on February 10, 2015

Matthew Sweet: Sick of Myself
posted by katie at 3:36 AM on February 10, 2015 [5 favorites]

Also: The History of Apple Pie, Jamais Vu.
Wolf Alice, Storms.
posted by Sonny Jim at 3:40 AM on February 10, 2015

The Get Up Kids - Close To Me
posted by PenDevil at 3:48 AM on February 10, 2015

I'll definitely be checking this thread out for my own playlists!

The Methadones - Easter Island
Teenage Fanclub - Ain't That Enough
Ass Ponys - Astronaut
posted by tallmiddleagedgeek at 3:51 AM on February 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

One more: All Time Low, for example "Backseat Serenade".

And though it's not quite power-pop, "Mona Lisa" by Panic! at the Disco may still be the sort of thing you're looking for.
posted by ubiquity at 3:51 AM on February 10, 2015

Midget - Camouflage
Carrie - California Screamin'
Snug - Beatnik Girl
American Hi-Fi - Flavour of the Weak, I'm a Fool

And you already went there with McFly, so all of the early Busted singles?
posted by ominous_paws at 3:56 AM on February 10, 2015

And this Fountains Of Wayne-affiliated tracks from the Josie and the Pussycats soundtrack OBVIOUSLY

Pretend To Be Nice
posted by ominous_paws at 4:01 AM on February 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


The Rentals - Waiting On You, Friends of P

That Dog! - Mr. Right

Brendan Benson - Spit It Out, Tiny Spark, Folk Singer
posted by ominous_paws at 4:07 AM on February 10, 2015 [7 favorites]

Ben Kweller - Wasted And Ready
posted by ominous_paws at 4:23 AM on February 10, 2015

OK GO - Get Over It
Relient K - The One I'm Waiting For
posted by ominous_paws at 4:30 AM on February 10, 2015

Material Issue, 'Valerie'
Smoking Popes, 'I Need You Around'
Guillemots, 'Trains To Brazil'
Helen Stellar, 'Telescope Eyes'
Husker Du, 'Could You Be the One?'
posted by gsh at 4:31 AM on February 10, 2015 [2 favorites]

I'm at work so I can't verify the links, but anyhoo...

Wanderlust - I Walked (see what I did there?)

Jason Falkner - She Goes To Bed

David Garza - Kinder

Suede - Animal Nitrate (not sure if this would be classed as power-pop by everybody but it certainly sounds like it to me)
posted by Life at Boulton Wynfevers at 4:34 AM on February 10, 2015

Jimmy Eat World's Bleed American album? Maybe Praise Chorus, Authority Song, and Sweetness in particular.

And it's more pop punk, but maybe any of Me First and the Gimme Gimmes' covers (they just do covers) of songs you're familiar with.
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 4:41 AM on February 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

Dressy Bessy - Just Like Henry
posted by Metroid Baby at 4:52 AM on February 10, 2015

New Bleachers record is pretty powery poppish.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 4:52 AM on February 10, 2015

Apples in Stereo and Of Montreal albums would definitely fit this bill, specifically/especially New Magnetic Wonder and The Sunlandic Twins.

Also, Beulah and Jets to Brazil! Some songs to start with:
Beulah - A Good Man is Easy to Kill
Jets to Brazil - Lemon Yellow Black
posted by telegraph at 5:01 AM on February 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

This is part of my favorite running list:

Hanson, MMMbop
B.o.B., Magic
Blur, Song 2
Bruno Mars, Locked out of Heaven
Collective Soul, December
Kongos, Come with me Now
Counting Crows, Mr. Jones
Rolling Stones, Undercover of the Night
Anything by the GoGos
posted by kinetic at 5:18 AM on February 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

Anything by Watershed
posted by COD at 5:20 AM on February 10, 2015

Of the answers so far, the most correct ones are Material Issue, New Pornographers, and Matthew Sweet.

Other suggestions:

If you think EC's version of "Tear Off Your Own Head" is power-poppy, the Bangles' cover of it is even more so.

The real thing I want you to hear is "Highschool," by the Flashing Lights. Greatest pop band out of Halifax NS ever.
posted by escabeche at 5:29 AM on February 10, 2015 [2 favorites]

Anything by 2 Door Cinema Club.
posted by billiebee at 5:29 AM on February 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

Curious Pair by Debate Team
posted by Quilford at 5:32 AM on February 10, 2015

The New Pornographers - Sing me Spanish Techno
posted by gaspode at 5:34 AM on February 10, 2015 [2 favorites]

Hoku - Perfect Day
posted by alchemist at 5:36 AM on February 10, 2015

Mean Jeans plays really goofy hilarious pop punk. Please watch this Indiana Jones parody video "Ragers of the Last Sparks" and tell me you're not charmed.
posted by Juliet Banana at 5:42 AM on February 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

I think you'd really like Terry Malts, also.
posted by Juliet Banana at 5:43 AM on February 10, 2015

OH AND the whole of The Wannadies' "Bagsy Me" is of a piece with and imo almost equal to the Weezer and FoW debuts.
posted by ominous_paws at 6:04 AM on February 10, 2015

Self, "Breakfast with Girls"
Anything, by Brendan Benson, especially Lapalco
Jason Faulkner, "Can you Still Feel"
posted by holborne at 6:10 AM on February 10, 2015

Jason Falkner

also all of Jellyfish
while we're at it, have some Roger Joseph Manning Jr. - "Creeple People"
posted by thelonius at 6:27 AM on February 10, 2015 [2 favorites]

Wow, no Smithereens yet?

A Girl Like You
Blood & Roses
Yesterday Girl
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 6:33 AM on February 10, 2015 [5 favorites]

Piebald! See, e,g.:

American Hearts
Grace Kelly With Wings
posted by saladin at 7:03 AM on February 10, 2015

Badfinger: No Matter What and Baby Blue.
posted by marxchivist at 7:18 AM on February 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


Archers of Loaf - Web in Front
Built to Spill - The Plan
Dismemberment Plan - I Am A Time Bomb
Erectus Monotone - I Am In The World
The Get Up Kids - I'm A Loner Dottie, A Rebel
Polvo - Bridesmaid Blues
The Promise Ring - Best Looking Boys
Sebadoh - Dramamine
Sloan - Autobiography
Texas is the Reason - Back And To The Left
posted by saladin at 7:22 AM on February 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

Find My Way by Gabe Dixon Band.. It is one of my favourite gym songs.
posted by PuppetMcSockerson at 7:31 AM on February 10, 2015

Coheed and Cambria - Blood Red Summer
posted by ftm at 7:45 AM on February 10, 2015

Came in to nth New Pornographers, Brill Bruisers is my current gym music and I think it totally fits what you're looking for here.
posted by MoonOrb at 7:53 AM on February 10, 2015 [2 favorites]

Go back in time with the Raspberries, "Go All the Way"!
posted by goatdog at 7:55 AM on February 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

Some power pop classics from the late 70s/early 80s:
The Flamin' Groovies - Shake Some Action
The Records - Starry Eyes
Nick Lowe - So It Goes
Big Star - September Gurls
Bram Tchaikovsky - Girl of My Dreams
The Plimsouls - A Million Miles Away
The Only Ones - Another Girl, Another Planet
The Undertones - Teenage Kicks
The Soft Boys - I Wanna Destroy You

and one of the undisputed Greatest Songs of All Time:
Buzzcocks - Ever Fallen In Love

a couple that I never need to hear again (played to death), but you may not be sick of: My Sharona by the Knack and What I Like About You by the Romantics.

and just a few from the early 90s:
Matthew Sweet - Girlfriend
The Posies - Dream All Day
Sloan - The Good In Everyone
Velvet Crush - Atmosphere
Teenage Fanclub - Neil Jung
posted by otters walk among us at 7:59 AM on February 10, 2015 [5 favorites]

Dressy Bessy - The Things That You Say That You Do
posted by tallmiddleagedgeek at 8:04 AM on February 10, 2015

The Darling Buds, "Burst"
posted by holborne at 8:29 AM on February 10, 2015

Marshall Crenshaw - Someday Someway
posted by Leontine at 8:32 AM on February 10, 2015 [2 favorites]

Replacements - Alex Chilton
The Only Ones - Another Girl Another Planet
posted by Leontine at 8:38 AM on February 10, 2015 [3 favorites]

Pretty much anything by the Killjoys. Today I Hate Everyone is a good taste of their sound.

I see someone else has mentioned the Posies already - My Big Mouth is another classic of theirs.
posted by asterix at 9:01 AM on February 10, 2015

The soundtrack to Josie and the Pussycats, especially the song "Shapeshifter" (extremely guilty pleasure of mine).
posted by WeekendJen at 9:12 AM on February 10, 2015

Matthew Sweet and Susannah Hoffs (of the Bangles) made three perfect power pop records together, you will love all three.
posted by jbickers at 10:23 AM on February 10, 2015 [2 favorites]

One Direction's whole aesthetic is basically uptempo power-pop. Try:

Little Black Dress
No Control
Kiss You
posted by rollick at 10:52 AM on February 10, 2015

Voice of the beehive.
posted by sexyrobot at 10:57 AM on February 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

Man, the late 80s / 90s were power-pop nirvana. Yes to almost everything cited above. Some other thoughts:

Velvet Crush
Velocity Girl
Pooh Sticks
Game Theory
Loud Family
Gigolo Aunts
Mates of State
Buffalo Tom
posted by sesquipedalia at 11:15 AM on February 10, 2015

Pretty much everything by Visqueen should work. Here's a sample:

Visqueen - Vaxxine
Visqueen - Crush on the Radio
Visqueen - The Capitol
posted by mhum at 11:15 AM on February 10, 2015

Paul Collins Beat - Rock N Roll Girl
The Nerves - One Way Ticket
posted by Chenko at 11:22 AM on February 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

I am fearing that I am totally off base because no one has mentioned these, but:

My Chemical Romance - Welcome To the Black Parade
Blink-182 just about anything but I guess for a start, maybe I Miss You
If I Miss You is too slow, then All The Small Things
Vampire Weekend - Unbelievers
Coldplay - Viva La Vida
Hole - Celebrity Skin
Material Issue - Kim the Waitress (oh someone mentioned Valerie Loves Me, also a good choice)
posted by freezer cake at 12:02 PM on February 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


Shoes (the ur-power pop band)
Letters to Cleo
Grapes of Wrath
Young Fresh Fellows / Minus 5
Apples in Stereo
Paul Kelly
Robyn Hitchcock
Hoodoo Gurus
Scruffy the Cat

There's also a bunch of country-influenced power pop (or vice versa): Reivers, Old 97s, etc.

Also check out the (varied) catalogs of Elvis Costello, They Might Be Giants, Steve Wynn, OMD, XTC...
posted by sesquipedalia at 12:33 PM on February 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

Mikal Cronin is making the best guitar power-pop since The Blue Album.
posted by saul wright at 1:00 PM on February 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

All the Matt&Kim.
All the New Pornographers.

The soundtrack to 10 Things I Hate About You.

It's not power pop, per say, but consider Girl Talk's Feed The Animals - I recommended it to a friend who said it was perfect for running and it's built on power pop.
posted by maryr at 3:34 PM on February 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

Can i be the first to mention Mefi faves Tally Hall ?

nthing Nada Surf

the Long Winters
posted by OHenryPacey at 4:03 PM on February 10, 2015

It's fascinating to see the various definitions of power pop on display here. It's clear from your examples and many of the suggestions here, you're probably after 90s and later power pop/pop-punk/indie pop.

For that stuff, I hate admitting it but there's something to be said for Screeching Weasel ("My Brain Hurts").

For new power pop that really skips the mall and emo, check try:
The Exploding Hearts RIP!!!!!!
Games or Gentleman Jesse.
Mean Jeans
The White Wires
Joanna Gruesome
Gaye Blades

and you can't beat Terry Malts for anything.
posted by kendrak at 5:22 PM on February 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

I also want to reccommend the band The Menzingers. I don't want to be an asshole anymore
posted by WeekendJen at 5:25 PM on February 10, 2015

FYI, I've put together a Spotify playlist of as many specific tracks from this thread as I could find.
posted by asterix at 5:35 PM on February 10, 2015 [13 favorites]

Valley Lodge - Go
Valley Lodge - All of My Loving

...and a bunch of their other songs are super fun as well. (You may recognize Go as the John Oliver Last Week Tonight theme song. VF is also fronted by comedian Dave Hill.)

(asterix: You are a god!)
posted by hapax_legomenon at 6:05 PM on February 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

Ted Leo and the Pharmacists. Their album 'Shake the sheets' will get you moving.
posted by BeeJiddy at 6:14 PM on February 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

oh also (this is little on the punk end of power pop) -

The Leftovers - She She She (I can't recommend this album enough. it's FANTASTIC.)
posted by bibliogrrl at 6:49 PM on February 10, 2015

I love this question!

Whenever You're On My Mind - Marshall Crenshaw
Tomorrow Night - Shoes
Watch The Girl Destroy Me - Possum Dixon
How Are You? - Cheap Trick
She Sheila - The Producers
I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend - The Rubinoos
I Wanna Be With You - The Raspberries
Precious To Me - Phil Seymour
Get Over You - The Undertones (or anything by them, really!)
posted by SisterHavana at 6:56 PM on February 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

Ok fine, one more.

The Cry - I Think I'm In Love

The Cry - Waiting Around

Another band I wholeheartedly recommend. They are so good.

You should also check out The Safes. I don't know their oeuvre well enough to suggest a specific song.
posted by bibliogrrl at 7:04 PM on February 10, 2015

Alkaline Trio --As You Were
If you like that, just get the entire 'Goddamnit' album.

Lucky Boys Confusion -- Fred Astaire

Just because this question has opened up a lot of nostalgia for my early college years, my freshman roommate dated the lead singer of Student Rick, and their single Falling For You might work for ya.

Maybe some peppier Morrissey, like First of the Gang to Die
posted by Fig at 8:19 PM on February 10, 2015

Wait! How could I ever forget...

The Housemartins!

That is all.
posted by sesquipedalia at 9:05 PM on February 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

Little Red - Rock It
posted by PenDevil at 11:38 PM on February 10, 2015

I like Grouplove's itchin on a photograph. It (and most of that album) was used on a Japanese drama (a teen drama) and it makes me think of running for some reason.

(I have no idea how to do that neat youtube linking thing everyone else on metafilter can do, sorry!)
posted by Ms. Moonlight at 3:24 AM on February 11, 2015

posted by archimago at 11:14 AM on February 11, 2015

Ms. Moonlight: if you use the "link" feature at the bottom right of the posting window, and include a YouTube link, the little arrow thingy appears automatically. (It doesn't show up in the Live Preview window.)

One more for the list: The Like - Release Me
posted by tallmiddleagedgeek at 11:55 AM on February 11, 2015

I can't stop.

Butch Walker - The Weight of Her
posted by bibliogrrl at 1:22 PM on February 11, 2015

Another one: I'm pretty confident you'd enjoy the Magic Numbers.

Here's Love Me Like You and Forever Lost to start you off.
posted by ZipRibbons at 1:48 AM on February 12, 2015

Asterix - was just about to do the same thing, and you've done it! Thanks - subscribed. :)
posted by web-goddess at 7:21 PM on February 12, 2015

I used to run a little indie record label, and the very first band I signed was Wonderboy, an AWESOME LA power pop band.

Wonderboy - No Good at Love

You might also enjoy Too Much Joy.
posted by kristi at 10:34 AM on February 13, 2015

« Older Is This Legit? is buying light fixtures with...   |   Must label desktops Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.