Everyone should be listening to this song from Stars on Fire today, so grab a friend, bring them over and set this song before them. You can revel in the driving force of the guitars, peeled back ever so carefully to reveal these bright sparkles of melody. There’s just something about it that feels so special, something that feels like the world finally understands me. There’s almost a nostalgic indie rock in the guitar, as if Thurston Moore wrote these riffs, but its spun behind this fuzzy blanket of soft vocal lines that are maximizing the tracks’ melody. Definitely needed this song; look for the Songs of the Summer to drop on October 25th via Emma’s House Records.
As we draw near the end of the year, there’s only a handful of records I can think of that have my attention, and this Fran LP is definitely one of those. There’s this unending sense of playfulness in the music crafted by Maria Jacobson and her team, and its buoyed by the performance in this video as well. You’ll hear these slight upticks of vocal inflection a that are most assuredly digging their hooks into you as you listen; still, you can also find a smooth softness that helps carry the melody through the bounce of the riffs and rhythm. A Private Picture drops on November 15th via Fire Talk.
It seems Young Guv is going to continue his shapeshifting ways on Guv II, as he shares another track from his forthcoming album. It’s interesting, as there’s this sort of soft power-pop vibe stomp that circles back and back again, but the it’s been the harmonies in the song that have really drawn me into the track. Honestly, I can’t help but hear touches of the Grateful Dead when they weren’t jamming lurking in this tune, only furthered by some of the “everything and the kitchen sink” work going on in the song’s latter half. Looking forward to seeing how this all ties together when Guv II drops next week via Run for Cover Records.
You know I’ve got to back our new Oklahomies up North in Husbands; we’ve already covered the first track from their forthcoming LP, so why not back the next one, eh? The group are crafting this lush pop, partly rooted in the dreamier landscape of now, but also kind of nodding to the fun side of guitar pop. For me, this song is all about the hook in the emo-ish shout of “there’s nothing left to see;” it gives the track a certain youthfulness that will keep you circling back for enjoyment. Stoked to have another tune, and looking forward to the band’s After the Gold Rush After Party LP, out early next year!
Even as the year begins to head towards the exciting landscape of meaningless year-end-lists (our site included!), Austin’s still buzzing with fresh tunes all over the place. Just yesterday, we got a couple of new tunes out there that we really enjoyed, so I’m flexing for the ATX…and oddly, both of these have a personal connection here. So…
First up is the new tune from Astrobleme, the project of Matthew Shepherd; he plays in a few bands we like, such as Feverbones (we put out their LP) and Abram Shook, among others. His new tune’s got this blossoming pop sound, though it incorporates these slight dreamy touches to embellish the edges of the song. I love his guitar play here too, which may surprise you since he’s best known for his talent behind the drum kit. He promises more tunes to come.
On the flip side of the Austin coin is Nolan Potter’s Nightmare Band, who’ve sort of exploded onto the scene with their psychedelic flute-core and great live shows…the band also features one of my former students on drums (he also played in Tres Oui). Here, however, they’ve got this heavy space-age sound, fueled by these deep riffs and electronic flourishes. They’ve got a new LP coming out on Castle Face, so you’ve got John Dwyer’s blessing.
I kept thinking hard upon how to describe this new tune from The Figurants. How could I explain to you my adoration for this track without using the every day pigeonholing techniques? It’s tough, but I feel like the band reminds me of that one guy everyone worked with who wrote songs while hanging out on break smoking cigarettes; it’s just on the edge of arty, but teetering along the line of neediness. It definitely makes sense that the band call Seattle home, as there’s a certain lineage to the Northwest I hear here. Is nerdcore a thing? Can we make it happen? Whatever, this song rules. You’ll find it on the band’s new album, Indoor Words.
I was stumbling through the pages of shows for the week, trying to map out my week, and in doing so, I came across this band MILLY; I’d heard about the band from the Dangerbird Microdose series, so I just sort of dug in and really fell in love with this tune. The band play tonight at Empire Control Room here in Austin. It’s definitely got this vibe that’s on par with what I’ve been listening to the last few months; it has this intimacy, with multiple vocalists playing a role in the song. I love that, but I’m also drawn to the fact that it has this feeling like we’re all sort of fading away, disappearing into the pieces of matter, shattered by the ringing of the guitars here. It’s a cool vibe, so get on it.
It’s funny that Portland trio Lubec have titled their new EP Against Nature; it feels like the perfect fit to the band’s sound at the moment as they take all these forces and work them against each other. Five seconds into the track and the guitars come crashing through the speakers; it has this discordant math-iness to it, which, in a sense, sort of recalls the style of Braid/Hey Mercedes. But, you contrast that sort of brash artiness with the group’s inclination towards pop sensibility, which is present here through Caroline’s vocal work, juxtaposed with the rougher surface. You could flip that too, talk about the heaviness as it would relate to a thunderous Northwest storm, only to find itself in a calming middle moment, moving to a fade out that forces reflection…it’s the precise way in which this very tune unfolds; the perfect amalgam of nature’s forces, all acting at once, against each other, and yet together. Such is the great execution of this song…and EP. Look for it this Friday via Disposable America.
When I heard this tune, I thought it was a new approach from my old pal Dylan Mondegreen, but I was wrong, as it was Portland act Mondegreen (no relation, oddly). The tune below is this drifting pop song, which immediately reminded me of Beach House in the way it opened up; they play with the same building tension too, though I will admit this track unleashes a little bit of power, ever so carefully towards the song’s latter half. If you’re into discovering bands and such, go check out the group’s most recent LP, Returnity.
It’s been just over a year since Club 8 released Golden Islands for Labrador, but amidst the release, they begin to work on a batch of songs they hoped would end up as a double album of sorts. We now get a first listen, and while it definitely plays into the hands of the band’s pop history, this furthers the band’s experimentation with its usage of space and lush arrangements. The vocals are so careful, you sort of get that sensation of weightlessness, feeling your body sort of release and float off into clouds…at least that’s what I hope it feels like…unless you’re Marge Dursley. For now, we wait for future news, but in this glorious fashion, lets just get ourselves lost.