New Tunes from The Crayon Fields

thecrayonfields01 The Crayon Fields have been one of my favorite bands for the last several years; they blend jangly South Pacific pop with pure melody.  Since they have a new album coming out this September, we’ve got a new song from the band to offer to you this Friday.  It shows signs of great things to come in the very near future. 


Download: The Crayon Fields – All the Pleasures of the World [MP3]

New Tunes from The Clean

clean You may not know about The Clean, but odds are, you’ve been jamming to something that’s been influenced by this seminal New Zealand band. Long ago, they made Flying Nun a indie household name, but now they are working with Merge Records. They have a new album, Mister Pop, slated for a release in September, and this new track definitely has the ATH offices salivating. Here’s to you!


Download: The Clean – In the Dreamlife you Need a Rubber Soul [MP3]

New Tunes from The Isolation

idolsy There’s no mistake that we here at ATH really love The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, and we have yet another band, The Isolation, coating their summertime pop gems in loads of reverb and atmospherics.  We’ll happily take tunes as good as this one any day, so we’d like to introduce you to The Isolation. This song, “Dancing Away,” comes from the band’s Isolation EP.


Download: The Isolation – Dancing Away [MP3]

New Tunes from The Clientele

client The Clientele have been around for a long time, crafting serene pop songs for those inclined to have their moods altered, and by that, I mean that they are moving.  Sadly, their latest effort, Bonfires of the Heath, is said to be their last one.  But, luckily, months in advance of the October 6th street date on Merge Records, we have a track to sample from the album.  Should be a dandy. 


Download: The Clientele – I Wonder Who We Are [MP3]

From the Closet – Travis Morrison

travLast week news came via the Internet that broke my once teenage heart; Travis Morrison was retiring from music. Not only did Travis fare well enough on his own accord, but he fronted one of my favorite bands from long ago, who put out one of my favorite records titled Emergency and I. If you never listened to The Dismemberment Plan, we’re bringing this back to you from the closet, and we hope you’ll realize what a loss this is for the indie community; sure, it’s no MJ, but still, it’s pretty big.


New Tunes from These United States

thseusThese United States have a new record coming our way on September 1st via United Interests. Said album is titled Everything Touches Everything, and we’ve got a tune for you to preview while you salivate the arrival of this album. This track is titled “I Want You to Keep Everything,” and I’ve been spinning it all afternoon long.  Buen proveche.


Download: These United States – I Want You to Keep Everything [MP3]

Tenth Anniversary Jay Reatard Post

jayThat’s right, against the odds of the other office members of ATH, I have opted for my tenth post on Jay Reatard. If only he could give me some money for that, right?  Well, I’m bringing you this one in support of his new album, Watch Me Fall, on Matador Records this August (the fifth).  So here’s “Wounded.” It’s good. Dig it.


Download: Jay Reatard – Wounded [MP3]

New Tunes from The Almighty Defenders

almightydefendersThe Internet was abuzz with news that the union between Black Lips and King Khan would finally come to fruition. The group, under the name of The Almighty Defenders, will be releasing their self-titled album on September 22nd. Personally, this track, “Bow Down and Die” has a killer riff throughout, reminiscent of the BBQ Show, but I’m not entirely sold on the echo-y gang vocals, but you be the judge.


Download: The Almighty Defenders – Bow Down and Die [MP3]

Stellastarr – Civilized


Rating: ★★★ · ·

For their third album, Stellastarr opted to go it on their own and release the record, Civilized, on their terms, and their label, Bloated Wife Records.  However, nothing about the band seems to have changed at all since their previous efforts, which is either a good or bad thing, depending upon which camp you sleep in with regards to your opinion on the band.

Kicking off the album is “Robot,” and Amanda Tannen’s presents the most throbbing bass lines to date for the band.  While the guitars shatter in some other worldly angular atmospherics, Shawn Christensen repeats the lyrics “by design/you’re going to hurt yourself.”  The lyrics appear to have less of an impact than on previous efforts, but the cutting edge guitar riffs show that the band means business.

When track three, “Tokyo Sky” sets off, you’re tossed back into that classic new wave sound, with clean jangling guitars, but just as you get comfortable and nostalgic, they press down on the distortion pedal, they pull out some “Today”-era Smashing Pumpkins guitar miming.  While the guitars continue to swirl about the song, Christensen does his best to fall somewhere between himself and Davey of The Promise Ring.  Oddly, the lyrics refrain of “my Tokyo sky” recall the same refrain of “My Coco” off the group’s first album.

“Graffiti Eyes” probably has the most bounce of this set of songs, which is sad, since the band has been successful with such styles.  However, Tannen’s backing vocals provide a great counterbalance to the jagged yelp of Christensen.  In the chorus we find the band nearing their most straightforward pop approach to date, although the music doesn’t seem to comply necessarily.   Although this is the single for the band, this isn’t necessarily the best song on the album.  That award goes to “Prom Zombie” with its entirely playful singalong moments between Tannen and Christensen.  It’s the one song on this album that just seem like they’ve been rehashing themselves entirely.  And, there are horns! Horns bro.

The latter half of the album is much like the first half, with it all ending in “Sonja Cries,” the one song when you can clearly hear Christensen’s vocals.  Surprisingly, this seems like the exact direction the band should have gone to begin with, or at least built into the album as a whole.  By this point, the airy atmospherics of the guitars have grown weary after listening to them for three straight albums.  In the end, the band has created more enjoyable numbers for you to add to your collection, though they might not be the most memorable moments in the Stellastarr‘s history.


Download: Stellastarr – Prom Zombie [MP3]

New Tunes from Arctic Monkeys

monkeysEveryone’s favorite, Arctic Monkeys, have long been working on the follow-up to their last album. Said album is titled Humbug, and is slated to hit the streets on August 25th. We’ve got our hands on one of the tunes, so that you can sample it for yourself in preparation for the release. This one seems a bit darker, which might be a new direction from the band, but we’ll wait until the album’s out to pass full judgment.


Download: Arctic Monkeys – Crying Lightning [MP3]

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