It sounds as if Kevin Morby is venturing into territory resigned for poets, and with this new single, it sounds like he’s doing so with great success. The musical accompaniment to his lyrics/voice is pretty minimal…using trickling little notes and really light percussive taps. Sure, there’s a really slight pick up near the song’s end, but this track serves notice that great tracks don’t always need expansive music to accompany them, and perhaps the quietest tracks are the loudest. Morby will be dropping his latest, City Music, on June 16th via Dead Oceans, surely furthering our infatuation with his craft.
Former Austinite and ATH fave Bill Baird is preparing for the release of two new albums, and we’ve got a new track to share with you today. This song was actually recorded live here in Austin with a few friends, then finished up a bit later. It’s a gentle track, and perhaps the perfect way to begin your Wednesday, washing you with a sensation of calm. I love hearing the buzz of the strings as their played, and as the song fades to a close, a moment of inner bliss will surely wash over you. Baby Blue Abyss and Easy Machines are the titles of his new work, and they’ll both be released on April 28th.
The week before SXSW hit Austin was a bit hectic, but we made it through, so a few of our tracks coming through today will be looking back on last week’s hits. We knew this Heavenly Creatures EP was coming, and it has the perfect bit of delightful joy to bounce you into Monday. It’s interesting that the band is brandishing a jangly bit of female-fronted fuzz pop, as Austin was filled with such ladies brandishing their guitars with flair all week long. I’d put this group at the top, however, especially with little bits of horns hanging in the background. Look for their EP, The Summer Will Kill Us All, available as we speak from Jigsaw.
While I’m still catching up on music from last week, I’m sad I missed the drop of this new Zebra Hunt tune…so why not get it out now. I feel like the band’s channeling an updated version of classic American songwriting; it hits like a more upbeat hit that the Boss might have churned out. There’s a natural pick-up in the style of the guitars, similar to like-minded acts bouncing around right now, though I’m partial to how they work in conjunction with the vocals. I guess since it’s the early days of Spring, it’s only fitting that this song makes me feel like the band are blossoming into pop superstars (in so far as my opinion counts). Their new LP In Phrases will be released via Tenorio Cotobade real soon!
For the tremendous new Slack Capital 2 compilation, with songs by The Zoltars, Kay Odyssey, Thor & Friends and many more, we’re unveiling a new song every day until the April 14 release party. 100% of proceeds go to SafePlace, so go pre-order it right now!
Today we’re spotlighting a song by Croy and the Boys called “Sleeping Til 2.” Saturated with their characteristic dry humor and a nothing-to-do Sunday morning vibe, this song perfectly encapsulates the modern malaise of a simple man trying to figure stuff out. “I tried some new drugs/ and they were fun/ But six-packs, and my backyard’s/ the budget I’m on,” sings bandleader Corey Baums, and the key is his earnestness, which makes it funny, rather than corny. Croy and the Boys may be in on the joke, but the characters in their songs aren’t, and that makes all the difference.
We’ve featured new music from Delay Trees for a few months now, but its time to fill in all the gaps by allowing you to venture off into blissful listen with a stream of Let Go in its entirety. But, stop now if you don’t love listening to really great pop music. There’s tons of touchstones on the album, from modern expansive pop tropes to the intimacy of joyfully solemn bedroom pop. Through it all, Let Go feels like the great Brit pop record that never got made; it’s the sort that walks the fine line between artistry and accessibility, filled with warm tones and melodies made to feel personal. Look for the new album as it drops this Friday via Soliti Music.
Tuesdays beg for energetic pop tunes, and what better way to get you on your way then by bringing out news of a new album from So Many Wizards. While the album’s opening track opens with an angelic vocal carefully echoing through your speakers, you can hear the energy building as the guitars slowly churn. Instantly, they’re jittering quickly, pushing the song’s pace, pushing you to shuffle your feet as you dance frivolously through your room. I like the sudden draw back in style that comes during the chorus, softly pulling in a moment of steadiness before blasting back towards jangling rock n’ roll heaven. Lolipop Records will be releasing the band’s new record, Heavy Vision, on April 14th, and it sounds like we’re in store for a banger of furious pop hits.
Secret Shine just dropped their new album last Friday, so why not highlight another of the album’s standout singles. Here you’ll find the band balancing harmonious vocals with cascading guitar chords that swirl in the distance. There’s this sense of falling freely, though with these vocals it feels like you’re smiling the whole way down. These guys have never sounded better than they do right now; they’ve almost moved beyond shoegaze into a dreamier realm all their own. If you like what you hear, There Is Only Now landed in stores last week via Saint Marie Records.
Now that the Sandwitches have called it a day, it’s time for Earth Girl Helen Brown (Heidi Alexander) to shine. She just announced a seasonal series, Mercury, to celebrate our celestial friends, calling in help from friends such as Ty Segall and Sonny Smith to flesh out the release. Our first listen is a pretty stellar one, with equal parts playful bounce and soulful harmonies. You’ll be tapping your toes while horns and gang vocals back up Alexander’s voice; it’s hard not to fall in love with this tune from the moment it kicks in. Empty Cellar Records will release Mercury on April 14th with proceeds going to various charities aimed at preserving the Earth.
Just before the storm, 12XU Records announced the release of The Tower, the brand new Xetas LP, and as our anticipation builds, we get another great single. The band smash through your speakers from the get-go, pulling back just a touch to let Kana steal the show with a calm vocal delivery. Emphatically, they throw out a catchy burst around the 1.20 mark, then settle back into the song’s groove. For me, I think the most impressive bit of this tune is the band’s ability to stretch it over 5 minutes, and still have the energy and excitement the song with which the song began. New album drops on April 14th.