• Show Pics: Tres Oui Release Party

    Another week, another record released by Austin Town Hall Records. The most recent excuse to get together with friends is the EP from Tres Oui. Singles Going Nowhere is five

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  • Show Pics: Pollen RX Release Party

    Hi. Photo tech, here. Sunbelt Emptiness is a triumph. How is that for a quotable? Having torn up a couple of pizzas at King Bee (you must go, Billy and

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  • Day For Night Recap

    We heard such great things about the inaugural Day for Night Fest that B. Gray and I just had to attend this year…that and Aphex Twin was playing. It was

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Brand New Secret Shine Tune

The last decade has seen a huge resurgence in acts claiming to nod to shoegaze, but it’s great to see one of the genres oldest purveyors making a new album. Secret Shine have just announced There is Only Now, which they’ll be releasing through Saint Marie Records. The first single is drenched in quietly squalling guitars, yet there’s a softness to the vocals, letting the band walk a line where the voice is almost an added textural element. I always thought the original sound in shoegaze came across a little harsh, but these guys (and gal) craft it melodically, which is music to my ears. The release will hit on March 17th.

Here’s Some More New Magnetic Fields

Not really sure how many folks will be working today, so why not run something we’re all going to love…at least I think we should. It’s a new video from Magnetic Fields, offering another glimpse at what’s to come with 50 Song Memoir. While we’re all pretty used to Stephin’s ukulele, he opts for a song entirely built on synthesizers. His voice is spoken word for the most part, except when he offers that deepened croon during the song’s chorus. I love the fact that Merritt always stretches his songwriting when he takes on these elaborate musical plans. The album is being released by Nonesuch on March 10th…and I’m oh so ready.

Show Preview: The Radio Dept @ Mohawk (2.20)

Long ago, when I was really into buying soundtracks, I picked up the Marie Antoinette CD. Admittedly, I bought it because of the Strokes, but it opened the door to my obsession with the Radio Dept. At the time, my tastes were pretty broad, indie rock speaking, but this opened an entire different world to my realm. Their songs were always playful, rooted in this expansive bit of electronica, though they tended to experiment a bit more than the other things I was listening to at that age. What struck me, probably later than my first few listens, was the band’s ability to drape political content in this airy delight that was supremely rewarding. I’ve picked up everything I could get my hands on throughout the years, with Clinging to a Scheme being my personal favorite. If you’re new to the band, I suggest Passive Aggressive, which is a great compilation from some of their best 2000-era work. They come to the Mohawk Monday night, for what I’m assured will be an exhilarating experience. It’s fresh off some rave reviews for their recent album, Running Out of Love, reigniting America’s love for these Swedes. They’ll be joined by Brooklyn’s Germans. Buy your tickets HERE. Not many make music as grand as this, but when they do, you’re better off if you come experience it live!

Bouncing Ballad from Sono Oto

The odds are, like me, you’ve heard the work of Mark Henry Phillips; he’s done musical work for the Serial podcast, and much more. But, now he’s working under the moniker as Sono Oto and prepping his first release. A few snaps of the drum sticks, and the piano and snare bounces him off into playful pop realms; it reminds me of a different version of Albert Hammond Jr, especially on the way he elongates certain vocal notes/syllables. While the song’s structure seems fairly simple, strings and other bits beneath illustrate there’s much more beneath the surface for Phillips. Can’t wait to hear the entirety of Inheritance on March 24th.

More New Music from Will Johnson

Looks like I’m just going to listen to Undertow Records for the entirety of the year 2017. They’ve got the new David Bazaan, The New Year and this great new LP from Will Johnson. On his latest single, I can’t help but be nostalgic about being a Texan; it’s a pride that runs deep…and whether Will means it or not, he’s captured that. I can hear myself playing with friends in the yard as music plays in the distance, or studying for school while my dad’s record collection plays through the walls in the other room; there’s bending strings, extra orchestration and of course, Johnson’s croon.Something about this song just feels like home. Hatteras Night, a Good Luck Charm comes out via the label on March 24th.

Weekend Show Preview

We’re nigh approaching SXSW season, so naturally you should be taking advantage of the fact that your city has great music to see year round and head out to a show this weekend before it’s so crowded that you can’t stand it. Below are merely the highlights and my picks as to where you should post up Friday and Saturday nights. Wherever you go, you really can’t go wrong; the weather should be lovely, so go outside during the day and round out your night somewhere downtown…

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ATX Spotlight: More from The Octopus Project

Local Austin act The Octopus Project have continuously morphed and change from their inception, and with Memory Mirror just a few months away, it looks like they’re really pushing the usage of vocals as their albums progress (I hear something like 80% of the tracks on this one wear vocals). Here you get female and male vocals, though the male role serves more for emphasis on the melodic notes. It seems like a more spaced-out version of early Air, pulling in the sexualized side of electronica, then altering it with this pulsating, dreamy wash. I know a lot of people who can’t wait until the April 7th release date via Robot High School. Are you one of those?

Hooked On This Weird Milk

There’s always been something in the British waters, and music, that have gotten to me. I’m especially keen on the country’s pop breeding ground, which is where I find Weird Milk fitting in. They employ some sharp guitar cuts, and the melodic vocal approach reminds me a lot of mid-career Mystery Jets…that’s my favorite period of that band. This is the band’s first proper single, and it’ll be released by Ra Ra Rok Records on March 24th, but stream the jam below; it’s okay to embrace good pop music folks.

New Quin Galavis Video

We raved, or I did, about My Life in Steel and Concrete, the last LP from Austin’s Quin Galavis. One of the great things about that release is that it showed Quin covering some new territory, while still sounding wholly, well, Quin. It looks like this will continue on his forthcoming, The Battery Line. His voice has often gone overlooked in his work, but he’s got perfect control of it throughout this track, touching high notes with just a hint of a passionate quiver. While I love when Galavis goes loud, his soft underbelly of late is pretty stunning. The new release comes this May via Super Secret Records.

Stream New Album from Sodastream

It’s fair if you haven’t heard of Sodastream, but that’s no reason not to spend a little time getting to know the Aussie act today. They’ve just released Little by Little, filled with careful wordplay and subdued indie folk. It reminds me of an odd cross between Weakerthans and Mountain Goats and Belle and Sebastian, with each note purposeful and each word poetically placed. There’s tons of great orchestration too, adding a layer of depth that builds the album up, giving you a more meaningful listen. Ready to be carried away by words and melody? Here’s the place.

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