Welcome to a fresh serving of the Melodic Tonic, which is now in its 27th week. Today we’re offering some indie music gems with a bit of a common theme. Whether it’s in the form of Irish blues rock, Canadian shoegaze, American indie pop or British indie punk, these five songs are, to quote the Propellerheads, “a little bit of history repeating.” There is a non-intentional ’90s-era thread woven through this week’s selections, so put on your ripped jeans and flannel shirts to set the mood. Let’s get things started in Northern Ireland with a song that’s been stuck in my head all month.

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exmagician – “Kiss That Wealth Goodbye” (Belfast, Northern Ireland)

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exmagicianexmagician is the Belfast-based indie blues/rock duo of Daniel Todd and James Smith. The band (whose name comes from lyrics in a Pavement song!) released their new four-track EP, Kiss That Wealth Goodbye, November 20 on Bella Union. This track of the same name is rife with gritty, fuzzy layers. It’s an indictment on the adverts for products that promise incredible results but which only put your money into someone else’s pocket. It’s a fantastic single, and we’re looking forward to hearing more from this group when they deliver their full-length album in March.

The EP is available on iTunes and the label’s online store.

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Haybaby – “Her” (Brooklyn, NY)

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haybabyBrace yourself for some indie rock flashbacks courtesy of Brooklyn-based trio Haybaby. This track starts with a funky bass riff before Leslie Hong’s vocals transport you to the flannel-clad ‘90s era when The Breeders were ubiquitous on college radio. Sure, there is a certain amount of nostalgia in Haybaby’s sound, but they’re not trying to emulate any particular band. They’ve got their own unique and modern sound, and it’s as fun as it is catchy. This track is from their debut album, Sleepy Kids, which released in late October on Tiny Engines. It is available from the label’s online store.

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Beliefs – “1992” (Toronto, CAN)

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12 Jacket (3mm Spine) [GDOB-30H3-007]And speaking of The Breeders, Toronto indie shoegaze/dreampop duo Beliefs opened for them before and also have a ‘90s throwback vibe going on in their latest single. That’s no surprise since Jesse Crowe and Josh Korody – both fans of My Bloody Valentine and Sonic Youth – were brought together five years ago by their shared love of those bands. (Kim Gordon’s biography even makes a cameo in the video!) There’s also an indirect Jesus and Mary Chain lyric reference, making this song a fitting homage to their musical influences.

Their second full-length album, Leaper, released November 13 on Hand Drawn Dracula.

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The Cave Singers – “That’s Why” (Seattle, WA)

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 the cave singersThe Cave Singers, those cool indie folk rockers from Seattle, plan to self-release their fifth studio album, Banshee, on February 19. While the band released four previous albums on stellar labels (Jagjaguwar, Matador), they opted to do this one on their own following a successful crowdfunding campaign. Recorded live this summer in just six days, Banshee finds the band returned to its original lineup of Pete Quirk (vocals), Derek Fudesco (guitar), and Marty Lunda (drums). Their fuzzy, jangly sound is back with a vengeance on this track, so crank it. Their upcoming North American tour kicks off December 4 in British Columbia and runs through next March.

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Bruising – “Honey” (Leeds, UK)

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bruisingBruising is an indie punk quartet from Leeds who have only been together for a year, but they’ve set a trajectory to really hit it big in 2016. In their short time together, they toured with Los Campesinos! and are due to tour early next year with Diet Cig. The angsty edginess of their sound combined with the deceptively sweet vocals of Naomi Baguley (her lion’s roar reveals itself subtly) make Bruising an irresistible pleasure. This debut track is one of the first songs the band wrote together, and they released it last Friday as a split single on Beech Coma Records. It’s available from the group’s Bandcamp page.

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