• SXSW 2019 – A Recap

    Yet another SXSW is in the books and it’s time for the ATH crew to reminisce a little and offer some highlight from the week behind us. I think we’ve

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  • SXSW: 6 Bands To Watch

    Well SXSW music is officially here, and as I sit and ponder my existence while at work, I thought it would be fun to share some advice on bands to

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  • RayRay’s Top Songs – 2018

    When it comes to ATH and our areas of expertise, I like to think I’m the go to guy for song lists and bad ass playlists. If you’re doubting me,

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  • Best of Indiepop 2018

    Everyone has their own definition of indiepop; but I tend to ascribe to the original craft where DIY aesthetics and a softer response to punk were all the rage. But,

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  • ATH Top Albums – 2018

      This is our year end list for albums of the year. There’s four of us here, so it’s hard to come to a consensus, but we did our best.

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Chill Vibes From Sandy

It’s Tuesday afternoon, and for some reason I am finding myself in a bit of chill, relaxed mood. Helping my lunch time, laid back feelings is this new song called “Not There” from NYC based Sandy. It’s a synth heavy song falling into the electronic pop or bedroom electronica genre, but with a much more interesting beat than others in the genre. I also love the hushed vocals from Samantha Pathe as they intertwine beautifully with the catchy beats.

Lookout for the debut release from Sandy, entitled Trances, due out on October 25th via Geographic North.

Shana Falana Announces Darkest Light

When I think of Shana Falana, I tend to think of a thoughtful songwriter who generally crafts these strikingly dreamy numbers that ooze pure passion, especially in the live setting. That said, this brand new single from the forthcoming Darkest Light might take some listeners aback, but only for a moment. Sure, the vocal performance takes on this almost angelic tone, but there’s this turmoil lurking in the track. Take for instance, the absence of drums, it leaves this cavernous void that can only be filled with by voice and the careful playing of guitar notes; it gets some depth with layered strings far off in the mix. It’s striking to see the balance and composure the execute such a song, which leads me to believe this is a project at the top of its game. I look forward to Darkest Light; its out on October 25th via Arrowhawk Records.

Fran Announce A Private Picture

Some labels just get on a roll and top hit after hit, and this is very much the year of Fire Talk; today they announce the debut release of Fran, the musical project of Maria Jacobson. This first single is a doozy, bringing in this heavy riffs balanced out by the playfulness of the chorus, though the song’s subject matter might lean closer to the heavier moments; the video definitely attacks the realm of the “boys only” clubs, and deservingly so. Musically it reminds me a lot of Aldous Harding or Cate Le Bon in the way the song’s structured, building and then taking twists and turns that illustrate the power of voice and artistic flare that keeps listeners coming back for the experience. A Private Picture will drop on November 15th.

ACL 2019 Preview: Big and Small Bands To Watch

If you can believe it, (I can’t) we’re less than a month away from two weekends of crazy fun at Zilker Park once again. Whether you’re a veteran fester or new to Austin City Limits Music Festival, we’re here to try and help you navigate a few days in the still-too-hot-for-October-Texas Sun with a few hundred thousand of your closest friends. Click past the jump to check out five of my must see bands, both obvious choices and more under the radar acts. You can buy your tickets / passes here.

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Slept on This Behavior Video/Tune

Although you can see the lights in the blogosphere starting to dim, we still get a huge number of emails all the time about new music, which I love. But, sometimes, you can’t squeeze everything into your listening, like this Behavior track. It was sent by a friend, so I went back and fell in love. In a sense, it reminds me of what I sort of wish had come out of the NYC scene of the early 00s…there’s touches of Strokes/Walkmen/French Kicks here, but the effortless cool doesn’t seemed donned for approval, rather an innate quality that lets the band throw jazzier elements into the mix atop jangling little guitar notes. It’s honestly like the band truly doesn’t give a fuck, they’re going to craft their own sound, and I love it. They’ll be releasing Spirits & Embellishments on October 18th via Post Present Medium.

The Leaf Library Announce The World is a Bell

In this modern age, immediate musical fulfillment is important; people scroll on if they have to invest themselves too much; I’m guilty of it myself. But, that’s precisely why this new single from the Leaf Library is so special. You’re not going to find that immediacy, rather you’ll be immersed in this was of electronic pulses that clear your mind of everything. This is where the core of the song lives; it’s melodic vocals dreamily floating about; it’s careful guitar notes skittering about in the far-off distance; this is a song to let yourself be lost, and then found again. And you’ll be grateful, so you’ll pick up the World is a Bell from WIAIWYA, which drops on October 25th.

 

Beautiful Pop Number from Interbellum

Mondays are always moody, at least when you first walk in the door, knowing you’ve got a full week ahead. So, it’s best to sort ease your way into the week with a great pop tune like this one from Lebanese artist Interbellum. The video was shot inside the Grand Theatre, an old pre-war building dating back to the early 1930s in Beirut; it provides some really striking imagery that allow you to immerse yourself into the lives of the two characters in the film version. That ties in quite nicely to the balance beam of pop that works between female and male vocals; they serve as the perfect accompanying piece that makes this song so glorious. A little sonic exploration adds to the song’s latter half, creating this billowing affect that sets up the track’s closing moments. You can find this tune on the Dead Pets, Old Griefs LP.

Another New Jam from Suggested Friends

I really wish folks would look overseas as of late when thinking of great pop rock. Sure, we’ve got tons of great stuff over in the States, but the UK is on a hot streak of hit making, particularly with Suggested Friends. Their latest single cuts all the bullshit and gimmicks often employed, instead just giving you the hooks right on top with these huge belting vocals and crunchy guitars ringing out in the background. The latter moments even employ a bit of a stomp to gather up all that joy and tie it up in a nice pop bow for your ears. Turtle Taxi is one hell of a record, so sample this tune and grab the LP before its October 4th release date from Fika Recordings/HHBTM.

Light Indiepop from Simen Mitlid

If you read these pages, you surely know of my affection for really light indiepop gems built around wonderful melodies that stick to your soul. Today, Norway’s Simen Mitlid drops his Neutral LP, and this track is definitely one of the album’s spotlight tunes. Our journey together begins with this soft gallop and carfeul strum that work with Mitlid’s mellow vocal delivery. Then things pick up, albeit ever so slightly so as not to detract from the core of the song. Bits of tinkering fill in the empty space, leaving the listener with this joyous swell that makes the whole world better. The LP is out today in the world, so go forth and enjoy.

Catchy Tune From Bull

In our never ending quest for high quality pop music to share with the world, it’s a sheer pleasure when we come across songs like “Love Goo”. The track comes by way of York based artist Bull, who have actually toured quite extensively, and even stopped in Austin for SXSW a couple of years ago. After first hearing this song, I was immediately drawn to its simplicity and sheer pop goodness. Seriously, how catchy is this song? I will warn you now, repeat plays will surely have this one stuck in your head for the rest of the day.

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