• ATX 2016: The Christmas Gift Guide

    As year-end lists get more and more arbitrary, I decided I didn’t really want to play that game with our local Austin scene. Instead, I wanted to celebrate the excellent

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  • Top 50 Albums of 2016

    You’ve all been waiting, anxiously. Waiting for our arbitrary list of the opinion of four folks who run this site, and what we think were the best albums of 2016.

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  • Slack Capital Is Here!

    When I was preparing to release Big Bill’s Weird Walk/Mainly Manly 7″, I began to talk to Eric Bill about the idea of creating an Austin compilation. Well, we released

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  • SxSW 2016: Welcome to the Jangle

    Thank you, Spider House. Thank you, Mother Nature. Thank you, bands. The weather was absolutely perfect. We were given blue skies, the occasional cloud, a lovely breeze to pair with

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  • SxSW 2016: ATH Takeover @ The Nomad

    Next bucket of awesome comes fromRayRay’s neighborhood bar, Nomad. A friend owns the place and we were ready to take things on the road at a place that we knew

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New H. Hawkline Tune

H. Hawkline came into my music listening with his drastically overlooked In the Pink of Condition, but he’s just about wrapped up a new LP recorded out in LA. Here you find him centered around simple percussion and piano, allowing his voice to tantalize the listener; there are a few moments where it almost has a perfect bounce to match the musical accompaniment. Eventually, the song takes on a nostalgic pop note, moving into a moment of playfulness that’s utterly brilliant; it closes with pure ecstasy, so be sure to stay tuned until the end. For now, Heavenly Recordings is just tossing out this teaser track, but be on the look out for the full length later this year.

Blissful Dream Pop from Electro Group

Some bands go quiet, but never fade away, like Electro Group, who began work in the mid 90s. They’re readying a brand new LP titled Ranger, and those of you in love with the realm of dream pop will surely find yourselves immersed in its confines. The production throughout allows the band to add an extra layer of sheen to the mix, which really allows the melodic elements to shine. Just behind the vocals is a wall of guitar noise, though I think it pulls back enough to really let Tim Jacobson’s voice soar throughout. Look for the new LPto hit on a limited release next Friday.

New Music from Will Johnson

I’ve admittedly supported the work of Will Johnson through his various projects, and now that he’s prepping a new LP, I’m here to make sure you know all about it. This particular single has a bit of a crunchy riff that drives it forward, akin to some of Johnson’s work in Centromatic, but there’s a slight brightness in the way he opens the chords up to listeners, matched by the fragility of his distinctive voice. As the song progresses through its five (plus) minutes there’s a lot going on beneath the main mix, but I always come back to just how powerfully emotive Will’s voice is. Can’t wait for you all to hear Hatteras Night, a Good Luck Charm on March 24th when Undertow releases it unto the world.

Premiere: Stream Lost in Between EP from Sonic Visions

I’ve talked about Finland’s Sonic Visions here before, and we’re fortunate enough to be able to bring you the stream of their Lost in Between EP a week before its release on Soliti Music. The band seems to have found the perfect place where the pop sensibility of early Oasis meets the cascading noise of Jesus and the Mary Chain. It’s not quite shoegaze, yet not quite full Brit pop…it really does live in between the two, which should definitely captivate listeners all across the globe. It’s a short collection that I’m sure is more than worth your listening time, and in fact, it’s actually required (by me). Go ahead, get ready for a great musical treat.

ATX Spotlight: New Single from Letting Up Despite Great Faults

We’re really pumped to share this video with you guys, as we love the work that Letting Up Despite Great Faults have done in the indiepop scene in Austin. Due to small line-up changes and fatherhood, the band has taken some time to craft their Alexander Devotion EP, but you can now hear new music below! Mike Lee has given up vocal duties on this track, letting their friend Lani Thomison, who sings in Keeper, take the lead here. It’s great, furthering the soft shoegaze sound the band has crafted. We’re so excited that we’re helping support the band for their EP release on February 16th at Barracuda. If you can’t make it, the EP will be available from Shelflife here in the US.

Gorgeous Folk From Enderby’s Room

As of late, I’ve been feeling enraged every time I look at my phone or the internet, so I’m glad to finally share something that brings a bit of tenderness and beauty to a world of filth. Enderby’s Room are some Londoners who are making exceedingly beautiful indie folk music. Don’t believe me, hear the track below for an example. “Lakeside” is taken from the band’s upcoming spring release and has a subtle beauty that will overwhelm you. Soft guitar eases you into the expository lyrics that paint you a picture of a landscape that transports you elsewhere. The vocals are mild and tranquil–a lush wave of male/female harmonies. There’s also an excellent string accompaniment that joins in near the end of the song and makes the track really soar. Take a listen and look out for Enderby’s Room’s self titled album which is due out April 14th via Fika Recordings.

Bluesy Folk From Nadia Reid

I’ve never been to New Zealand, but damn it if they don’t put out some great artists for us to enjoy over here stateside. Nadia Reid is a songwriter who hails from Port Chalmers and she’s got a Sharon Van Etten meets Daughter aesthetic in her tunes. You get the bluesy guitars and the lush and impeccable female vocals that combine for a great track on “Richard.” There’s a bit of story telling on this track, and the guitars takeover the track with some bite as well that should keep you hooked. Take a listen and add another great artist to your ever growing list of solid female songwriters.

Nadia Reid has an album coming out on March 3rd called Preservation.


Mo Troper Continues His Run of Hits

Just a few months after his well-received Beloved was released, Mo Troper is already back, this time releasing a collection of songs he’d written over the last five or so years. The album takes on themes of spending time with a person that makes you better just by their mere presence. This single blasts forth with huge riffs, with the hook hiding deep in the song’s core. It’s similar to the current emo fare, though I tend to dig this due to its lack of polish. Look for Mo Troper Gold on February 10th via Good Cheer Records.

Show Preview: Midge Ure @ 3ten (1/20)

Listen up, you whipper snappers. Midge Ure is an important figure in music. His work in Silk and Thin Lizzy shaped rock and roll while Visage and Ultravox still heavily influence the current flood of excellent synth pop. He co-wrote and played all instruments on “Do They know It’s Christmas”.

I last caught up with Midge almost exactly two years ago. He played an intimate acoustic show at The Cactus, one of the best things I have ever seen on stage. Midge, with band in tow, is back to play all those synth-laden jams he couldn’t play that night. His vocal is still outstanding, his stories endearing. Dallas-based Nite will kick things off a little after doors open at 8pm. Please join us.

Tickets available here.

Enchanting Ballad from The Man From Managra

The Man from Managra is the project of Greek craftsman Coti K, specializing, at least on this single, in crafting texturized pop music. For a minute, I thought the guitars would lead me down a path similar to Pinback (they have that mathematic quality), but as they progress and continue in the same fashion, it’s clear this is just the landscape Coti is choosing for his craft. Slight vocal inflections reveal the deeper spirit of his voice, and of the personal quality of his music; it’s the best way to enjoy his songs. Look for Half a Century of Sun from Inner Ear Records on January 25th.

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