Maureen Corrigan reviews The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters. The novel opens in 1922 in the ‘suburban backwater’ of London, where Frances Wray and her mother have fallen from the middle class and must take ‘paying guests’ into their home to stay afloat. 

"The Paying Guests is no simple period piece. As alert as Waters is to historical detail, she’s also a superb storyteller with a gift for capturing the layered nuances of character and mood. Any reader familiar with Waters’ earlier novels like Tipping the Velvet will know that she’s especially drawn to the subject of lesbian relationships. What’s so immediately compelling about our protagonist, Frances Wray, is that, in a way that doesn’t seem at all anachronistic, she’s comfortable in her own queer skin. It’s most of the rest of the world — and, tragically, some of the people in her own house — who have serious problems with Frances and her so-called “unnatural” sexuality.”

Girls playing ukuleles, 1926

Relevant to this week’s new release.

(Source: back-then)

OSPK-044 Ooh La La Doo Dee Do

The latest sounds from our Organic Spark catalog are bright and freshly-squeezed slices of adult-alternative pop filled with cheerful and smiling vocal bits.

By providing non-lyrical elements throughout these bubbly tv promo tracks, each track has a warmhearted touch that doesn’t get in the way of dialogue or voiceover. From the “oohs” and the “ahhs” to the the “eees” and the “la la laas,” these contemporary singer/songwriter indie gems are all fun and no filler. 

This album is a perfect, tasteful blend of indie-acoustic dorm room laptop pop played out with charming ukulele, bells, carefree vocals, and whistles.

If you enjoy light, intimate, coffeehouse backdrop artists such as Ingrid Michaelson, Bombay Bicycle Club, Meiko, Peter Bradley Adams, Colbie Caillat, Katie Herzig, and Andrew Bird, you’re sure to love this new release. 

You can preview and download new music right here.


Why do musical memories linger long after other memories have faded? That question is at the heart of a new documentary, Alive Inside, which looks at the effects of music on people living with Alzheimer’s and other age-related dementias.

E&E-011 Sincere Shadows

The latest incarantion of our Eyeballs & Eardrums series is now available on our site (iTunes and Spotify coming soon). 

Sincere Shadows is filled with warmth and ethereality. Elegant and reflective ambient guitars sparkle with mellow pianos and soothing melodies. Gentle vocals hypnotically swirl around indie atmospheres for sonically lush and evocative textures. 

Emotional, reflective and intimate. Fans of Daughter, Glen Hansard, Bon Iver, Volcano Choir, The Swell Season, Peter Bradley Adams, Kate Bush, Foy Vance, Neil Halstead, Duncan Sheik, Aqualung, and The Middle East should feel right at home with the layered hypnotic vibes of this album.

You can preview and download the album here.

3ING-036 Sharing a Soda vol. 2

The latest release from Three Ingredients or Less includes heartfelt, genuine, contemporary tracks that are indie-inspired and simply emotive.

These songs would feel right at home in a light televsion drama such as Pretty Little Liars or Switched at Birth… with mood-setting music that is atmospheric and minimal, emotionally compelling without getting melodramatic. Perfect for the rom-com set and the innocence of new relationships. 

You can preview and download the album here.