Power pop group with a solid ‘core’ for good tunes

It only takes one listen to tell that members of The Apples in Stereo love pop music from the 60s. I mean, they really, really love pop music from the 60s – and that’s really awesome.

While the group draws its musical inspiration from way back, The Apples in Stereo actually formed in the early 90s, when dark, angry grunge was gaining popularity. The band’s debut on the scene provided a sunny alternative with a great combination of power-pop and experimental sound. The end product sounds like The Flaming Lips meet The Beatles and The Beach Boys, with a few electronic hooks thrown in for good measure.

“New Magnetic Wonder,” the band’s first album in five years, just dropped Feb. 6. The album was recorded in 18 months as the band worked between studios in Brooklyn and Lexington, Ky. The songs of “New Magnetic Wonder” will put a smile on your face, and will undoubtedly make you want to dance.

Tracks like “The Sun is Out” and “Same Old Drag” sound as though they’ve gone back to a time when thousands of teenage girls screamed for the “Fab Four.”

In 2003, the band left its label spinART.
While searching for a new label, The Apples recorded most of “New Magnetic Wonder,” eventually signing with Simian/Elephant 6/Yep Rock Records. Elijah Wood, the actor known well for his work as Frodo in “The Lord of the Rings,” manages public relations for Simian Records.

“We really liked everything about Yep Rock Records,” said bassist Eric Allen. “So when they came together [with Simian], it was the best of both worlds.”

Ever since, the band has been working
hard – and it’s paying off.In December, the group penned “Stephen, Stephen,” a song that pokes gentle fun at Stephen Colbert, the host of “The Colbert Report.” On Dec. 20, singer/guitarist

Robert Schneider performed the song on the show.

In January, the group performed at the Sundance Film Festival and at parties thrown by Jane Magazine and Film.com.”It was amazing,” Allen said.

“[The parties were] really intimate. Usually, when you’re playing for 50 people, it’s at some crappy bar, not at a really, really nice house.” The Apples will have a slightly different sound on this upcoming tour. Hilarie Sidney, long-time drummer, recently departed from the group. Touring with the band are new members Bill Doss, John Dufilho and John Ferguson.

“The sound’s going to be stripped down and lushed out,” Allen said of the band’s upcoming shows. “And all the parts of the record will be played live.”

Kris Fossett can be reached at christine.fossett@temple.edu.

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