You’ve been looking all over town to find that new great Austin band, the one you can adore for years to come, right? Well, I’ve got the inside scoop on one of the rising bands in Austin, and you won’t be disappointed when you take one listen to Literature. Here’s the scoop…
We absolutely loved Welcome Joy, the last album by The Cave Singers, so you know we’re going to be really excited by their new record, No Witch. Of course, you’ll notice a label change, as they’ve ended up on JagJaguwar instead of Matador. It’s got that same whispering folk feel we’ve come to love from the band, all made every bit more gentle by Quirk’s throaty vocal approach. You can expect to see No Witch on February 22nd of next year, so get ready for another incredibly brilliant piece of work from the group.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/02_Swim_Club_1.mp3]
Downlaod: The Cave Singers – Swim Club [MP3]
|Date||Wednesday, December 1st|
|Tickets||$10 from TicketWeb|
Unless you’ve been hiding out this year, you surely are aware of the great storm that has spread concerning Australian group Tame Impala. Their blend of psychedelic rock with various texturizing layers has won over every single writer here in the States, and deservedly so, as their record, Innerspeaker, is a joy to listen to, track after track after track. You’ll find the psychedelia, you’ll find 90s alternative, and I hope you see the layering, such as that used on their album cover. As if this wasn’t enough, you also get to catch the group play with Star Death & the White Dwarfs and Kuroma. If you’re looking for that other worldly musical experience on Wednesday night, then this is where you’ll need to be.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/06-Solitude-Is-Bliss.mp3]
Download: Tame Impala – Solitude Is Bliss [MP3]
While we wait for a debut full-length from the group, Captured Tracks is doing a great job keeping our interest piqued in The Jameses. Today they’re releasing the group’s new Caribou/Fifth Dimension 7″. If you recall, we were all about their track “The Haunted Rider”, and right now, it looks like we’ll be all about Caribou too! You’ll still find a little bit of that echo-y effect running through the vocals of this track, but the vocals seem to have a different approach, almost as if they’re doing their own version of a post-rock jangle. Regardless, this should continue to keep you looking forward to the upcoming debut from this band, as this is just another little gem from The Jameses.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/01-Caribou-1.mp3]
Download: The Jameses – Caribou [MP3]
You probably can search the Internet for a good deal of time before you discover a lot on Bubblegum Lemonade, the Scottish group from Glasgow, who are currently part of the incredible roster on Matinee Recordings. We do know the band is fronted by Laz, who does work with some other groups, and that he’s a 12 string Rickenbacker enthusiast. Other than that, all you really need to know is that he’s released his second full-length, aptly titled, Sophomore Release; on top of that, it’s just one heck of a good listen.
If you’ve been following the band, you’ll luckily notice the gem “Caroline’s Radio” from this year’s 7″ of same name. This song features crystal clear pop guitars, with a bit of distortion in the middle, and casually gentle vocals. Everything about this song echoes the band’s name, it’s pure bubblegum pop, in the greatest way possible. Personally, I dig the way the band sounds tight, as if you’re in the recording studio with them, as they stop and start at various moments throughout the song. Following this up, you’ll find a nod to another Glaswegian band, namely that of Teenage Fanclub, on “Maybe Someday.” Melodies are similar, though Bubblegum Lemonade seems like the squeaky clean younger brother, crafting harmonies, but weary of cramping big brother’s style.
“You Only Leave Twice” is one of the song’s on the record that will immediately jump out at you. Up until now, Sophomore Release has had classy power pop jangles, but this song is more of a fire pit type track, featuring some tribal rhythms and acoustic strumming. Female backing vocals add another dimension, giving the impression that we’re all sitting around in a circle happily bringing joy to one another. Skip ahead a few tracks and you’ll find the catchy “Alice Please.” There’s some effects running on the vocals that provide a bit more distortion, making this a heavier song, which fortunately goes along with the number’s thematic issues.
If you listen to the entire album from start to finish, you’re likely to discover that the entirety goes by quite breezily, yet brings you an undervalued sense of happiness. Songs like “Autumn Sky” just have this understated beauty, perfected by our man Laz here. It’s got a bit of atmospheric coating, yet done in such an innocent way that you’ll surely picture the singer giving you a smirk from behind the master tapes. Or perhaps you’ll find yourself falling in love with “When She Goes,” which uses some psychedelic guitar lines and female backing vocals to fit in just another moment of whimsical exuberance to Sophomore Release.
From start to finish, this album doesn’t offer you a bad track, nor one that you can skip as you look for that hidden gem. Everything about the delivery, the innocence and the magic of pop music lives within the walls of Sophomore Release, which should make us all rejoice in the fact that secretive figures craft some of the most incredible power pop that will ever fall on our ears, so cheers to that Bubblegum Lemonade.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/bubble10.mp3]
Download: Bubblegum Lemonade – You Only Leave Twice [MP3]
We’ve all been running a little lethargically with the holiday season upon us, so I thought I would kick start Monday with a bit of amplified heat. We’re bringing you a new single from Pujol, and this one’s got the backing of Jack White, seeing as he’s the man who produced it, not to mention the man putting it out on Third Man Records. You’ll find furiously pounding drums in the forefront, with some really clever guitar work going on throughout, all bringing some powerfully energetic rock n’ roll. This kid can play, which is no surprise, as you wouldn’t expect Jack to back someone who can’t play their instrument. If you dig it, get your hands on the Black Rabbit 7″.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/Too-Safe-1.mp3]
Download: Pujol – Too Safe [MP3]
It’s not like Greg Cartwright is new to the game of rock n’ roll, but he manages to continuously add the tiniest tweaks to his sound, crafting solid album after album. This time around, we find Greg joined by Coco Hames of the Ettes to form The Parting Gifts. Their new release, Strychnine Dandelion, is all over the map, but it lives in a place of nostalgic sound, harkening back to the 60s, twisted through a bit of gritty garage influences.
Pressing play on this LP will probably excite you, as it should, but don’t let “Keep Walkin” fool you. Jangling garage pop with a catchy chorus definitely makes this song a winner, yet you’ll find that as the record unfolds this song is sort of a one-off, as its the most modern sounding track on Strychnine Dandelion. Still, the more you proceed with your listening, the more other gems will unfold before you.
Cartwright channels his inner Tom Waits on “Strange Disposition” scratching at his throat to release his vocals over the piano-laden track. As the guitar drifts in and out of focus, you clearly get the sense that Greg’s in full control of his gifts at this point in his career. “Shine” really wins you over with the couplet of “I’ve been saving my best lines/for when her eyes meet mine.” Sonically, the song definitely gives a nostalgic nod to classic country-tinged rock of yesteryear. Guitar soloing adds an extra bit of class to the track as well.
Let’s not forget that Coco Hames plays the foil to Cartwright in The Parting Gifts. Abundant nostalgia leads to the group to calling upon the girl-group sound during “Born to be Blue.” It’s a subdued track, with the focus on Hames as she finally takes the lead all on her own, while Gret coos some monosyllabic sounds in the background. She furthers this sound on “Sleepy City” where her pitch definitely has a sultry innocence that makes the tinkering piano seem obsolete, instead letting the listener be drawn in by her voice, which has hints of a classier Neko Case. We shouldn’t forget that her role throughout Strychnine Dandelion also works great juxtaposed against Greg’s.
The closing moments of Strychnine Dandelion don’t make following the musical shifts less enjoyable. The records title track, “Strychnine Dandelion” has a twirling in the clouds arrangement, using strings to further the sound of The Parting Gifts, while that tiny hint of piano allows Cartwright to control his slight warble to great effect. And then Coco returns to close it all out for us with “This House Aint a Home.” She’s got a bit more of a country chanteuse on this number, once again displaying the band’s ability to wander all over the map, musically speaking. Up to this point, the band has covered a great deal of territory, from country rocker to barroom ditty to garage pop, giving us all a bit of everything we love, in both current and past sounds. That factor, along with the fact that they offer up 15 tracks, allows listeners to traverse the annals of musical history, done to perfection by The Parting Gifts.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/partinggiftskeepwalkin.mp3]
Download: The Parting Gifts – Keep Walkin [MP3]
It seems like the Dears are one of the most under appreciated bands in Canada, and we’re always hoping that they’ll make a huge breakthrough Stateside. Their latest effort, Degeneration Street will be hitting the streets on February 15th via Dangerbird Records, and everything we’ve heard so far has us once again delighted about the possibilities from their forthcoming album. It’s not even fair to compare these guys to anyone, as they never cease to reinvent themselves, for better, time and time again. Definitely going to be loving this track for months to come.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/01-Omega-Dog.mp3]
Download: The Dears – Omega Dog [MP3]
Typically we think of Arts & Crafts as the label of Canada, but it seems that they’re really into NAFTA, as they’ve just picked up Mexican band Chikita Violenta. In preparation for a crazy January, A&C has added Chikita’s release of TRE3S to the slot for January 25th. Listening to this first single, it definitely has the feel of early Broken Social Scene, with spastic vocal bursts working diligently over spliced guitar lines and crazy hooks. We’re super excited about this release, and we hope that once you hear them, you’ll follow our lead with the band. You can check the band’s SITE for a 2 song mini-single, one which is kicking off the jams below.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/Tired.mp3]
Download: Chikita Violenta – Tired [MP3]
Man, we really thought that we had our end of year list set, but then our favorite label, Matinee, jumps up to remind us about this amazing gem. Scottish band Bubblegum Lemonade are releasing their newest next week, titled Sophomore Release. The latest single isn’t straight power-pop, but harkens back to a more innocent folk-influenced sound, kind of like a more kick ass version of Sonny and the Sunsets. Seriously, if you’re looking for one last record to complete your collection for the year 2010, this better be on it, or else you’re in trouble. You can pre-order this release HERE.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/bubble10.mp3]