• Top Songs of 2019

    Phew, the end of the year really snuck up on me this time and it’s crazy to think we are moving on from the 2010s. Before we do so, Nathan

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  • Top 25 Albums of 2019

    This is the list you’ve all been waiting for, well, sort of. This is my Top 20 LPs of the year. Admittedly, there’s none of the high profile hitmakers on

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  • Levitation 2019: A Reflection

    Team ATH has been covering Austin Psych Fest/Levitation since its early inception, probably in the second year at Radio Room (sorry we missed the first year!), so we’ve seen the

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  • ACL WE2 in a Nutshell

    Another Austin City Limits is behind us boys and girls and it’s always a good time to reflect on the music and experiences from the weekend. I considered myself very

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Groovy Tune From Psychic Shakes

On this bright and sunny Monday morning, might I suggest you check out this new song called “Suddenly” from Brighton based group Psychic Shakes. Max McLellnm, the musician behind the Shakes moniker, has been on our radar since back in 2016, but we haven’t heard a whole lot from him since. Now it seems McLellnm has moved away from some of his surfier, bright pop vibes, and moved into a more groovy, R&B inspired pop sound. One can definitely find themselves getting a bit lost in the entrancing, mellow vibe of this track.

Psychic Shakes will release a new EP entitled Unsaid sometime later this year on Good Eye Records.


Giant Cats Stream So Far Away

Seems like we’re spending a lot of time in California today, coming in with Giant Cats, a fairly new project from the OC’s Matt Williams. I didn’t have to wait around to be hooked, as this new single drops those warped jangling guitars on top of a pounding drum beat from the get-go; it has that sort of spinning swirl of the dancefloor as the fog machine billows smoke right behind you. It’s the prefect little indiepop nod too, with Wililams choosing to soothe your ears with a tenderness that contrasts the tune’s natural energetic movement. This is bedroom pop music at its finest, at least if you’re asking me! The single will be available everywhere Friday via In Black Records.

Pleased to Meet You: Awful Sirs

There’s not a ton of information about Awful Sirs out there, other than the fact that the band call Oakland home. I guess all I know at this point is that I’m really hooked on this ditty they just dropped; its kind of scuzzy and garage-y; you know, it employs those rough around the edges, not quite surf licks. But, that rhythm section gives the song this natural pogo bounce, making your whole life worth jumping about…even when its not! In fact, this seems to be the band’s specialty, as their entire new album Looking Up is chock full of like-minded hook-laden pop rockers.

Exploding Flowers Stream Tumbling Blocks

Good things come to those who wait, and we’ve been waiting almost a decade for Exploding Flowers to return with the follow-up to their self-titled debut. “A Daunting Thought” hits you immediately, dropping in this charm that’s part nostalgic California sunpop and part dreamy psychedelia. I love moving on to the ramshackle ditty “Far, But Never Gone,” which would fit along with some of my favorite power-pop hits of the year thus far…and that only gets us to the third track. Other stand outs on a personal note would be “Mirror Mirror, Face to Face” and “My Poor Heart,” but to be completely fair, this might be one of the most complete pop releases I’ve heard this year…every song’s a winner. Seriously, if you have any pop tendeines, be they dream, psych, jangle, power, what have you…you will instantly fall in love here. Stumbling Blocks is out via the Beautiful Music on August 11th, but stream it all below.

Will Courtney Returns with Cover of Cracking Up

We haven’t heard too much from Will Courtney since he dropped Crazy Love back in 2018, but we’ve always been a fan of the former Brothers and Sisters songwriter. But, due to the troubles of writing songs with his band the Wild Bunch, the group decided to hone in on some cover of their favorite artists, like Randy Newman, JJ Cale…or the below tune from Nick Lowe. All the songs seem to speak to not only the band’s difficulties in jamming/songwriting, but also to the greater difficulties we all have been facing during this pandemic. If you want to hear the original, you can find it HERE, but I really love how Will and company turned the natural Americana aesthetic from the tune into the track’s real focus. If you dig on this, the whole collecting titled At Home with Will Courtney and the Wild Bunch will be out on August 14th.

Rock Out With Top Nachos

If you’re looking for some truly great, straight up rock n roll music to take with you this weekend, might I suggest “Hang” by NYC rockers TOP Nachos. The track displays some excellent guitar work, furious drums, and a frequent chanting style of vocals which all come together to create something truly memorable. TOP Nachos will be releasing this track on a new EP entitled Two More Songs out sometime later this fall.

Cool Sounds Share New EP

It hasn’t been too long since Cool Sounds dropped More to Enjoy, and already we have the Sleepers EP to enjoy. Aside from “Upside Down,” the tracks on this EP seem much more patient and reflective. When I started this post, I was really digging on “Dakota,” particularly in the way the vocals were delivered, almost like a playful hiccup amidst the forlorn cries of the guitar. But, “Carry On” is currently winning me over, and seems the most likely to be played on repeat throughout the day; I just love the weight of the vocals, seemingly matching the song’s title, just trying to push through. Always a good day to get a set of songs from this Aussie outfit; out on all the platforms today!

Moon Pics Share FLWR Video

Ever wanted to know what it would be like if Radio Dept descended into that cloud of smoke on the cover of Clinging to a Scheme? Well, if they turned that way instead of bubbling into pop (not that I mind that), they’d likely sound like Moon Pics. The project of Brazilian Adriano Caiado, he’s crafting these ethereal pop pieces, these otherworldly musical entities that sweep you away as a listener. Of course, you could also sit back, let the mind be mesmerized by the visual effects working in the latest video too. This is that place where you let your mind go, that place we’re all looking for right now. Go ahead, go.

Gritty Number From Obscura Hail

In my never ending quest to find some new tunes which offer a unique take on older genres, one need look no further than this new track “Doomer” from Melbourne based band Obscura Hail. The group, lead by Sean Conran, take elements of grunge rock and a sludge rock style and pair them effectively with some nice poppier elements and impressive vocal work. I especially love the unique fuzz sound coming through on the guitar throughout the song to give the track some real teeth. You gotta love this one.

Obscura Hail will be releasing a new EP entitled Siren on September 8th via Dot Dash/Remote Control.

Album Stream: Phantom Handshakes Be Estranged EP

A few weeks back we introduced you, or so we hoped, to the new project of Matt Sklar and Federica Tassano named Phantom Handshakes. Tomorrow, they’ll drop their brand new Be Estranged EP, but you can sample it here first!

The opening tracks set the stage for a dream pop meets jangle world; the guitars twist and turn in that angular post-punk dance I dig, while Federica lets her heavenly voice weave in and out of those chords. Still, you get a touch of respite in “At Rest” coming in with more oa subdued pop performance by Tassano; it’s all about her voice, despite the twinkling behind her. Jump ahead to “You Are an Idea” and you’ll find my favorite number of the 7; there’s a purity to the presentation, its clear of all pretense, giving listeners this purely elegant pop song. “Drift Away” is the perfect closing send-off for this EP; both the title and the effect of the song have you sailing away on this pillowy cloud of escapism. Be Estranged will be available on all platforms tomorrow! All proceeds go to Color of Change.

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