New Track from Pink Frost

Listening to Chicago band Pink Frost, you can see that there’s a lot more of a darker undertone to their music than perhaps the band’s name might dictate.  Despite that, they’ve crafted this beautiful little self-titled EP, which has these sprawling tendencies with the guitars, yet holds close to those melodies.  Vocals sound soft and quiet, providing you with clarity to really allow yourself to focus on lyrics, along with the mood created by the band. Don’t be scared of the dark leaning photo above, as pop sensibility certainly dwells within this band’s catalog.


Download: Pink Frost – The Sun [MP3]

More New Music from Wilderness of Manitoba

Surely I should be listening to happier music with this amazing Austin weather right? Well, I probably should, but this Wilderness in Manitoba record, along with a few other gems from the likes of Other Lives, has me in sort of this experimental sad-bastard mode.  Who knows, maybe this is where I get my sunshine? Anyways, WoM will be releasing their album, When You Left the Fire, on May 10th via Tinyogre.  This new track emphasizes the band’s ability to craft songs with more than just your average contemporary folk appeal, using a bit of a atmospheric wash to open it up.  Hold on though, as majestic melodies wait for you. Having a great listening experience with this whole album today.


Download: Wilderness of Manitoba – November [MP3]

Show Preview: YACHT @ Emos (4/19)

Date April 19th
Location Emos
Doors 900p
Tickets $14 from Ticketweb

Austinites get ready for one crazy music-filled week.  We know this week could get expensive, but we wouldn’t be doing our job if we didn’t point you in the right direction, and that, dear reader, is towards YACHT.  Sure, Jona’s been making music with all sorts of people, my favorite being The Blow, but now that he’s focused on YACHT full-time, he’s hitting his stride. The duo will be embarking on their Road to Utopia tour, and Austin is one of the earlier dates. This bill also features Bobby Birdman and Love Inks, so we’re counting on you to hit up Emos and have a blast with this electronically-influenced evening. If you’re going to do it up this week, may as well get started here folks.


Download: YACHT – Psychic City (Voodoo City) [MP3]

New Track from Cassettes Wont Listen

My roommate is super into Def Jux, the old hip-hop label, so when he ran at me with this track, I had a feeling I was just going to be polite, say it was good, and move on, but I can’t help it (or him for that matter).  This new song from former Def Jux producer, Jason Drake aka Cassettes Wont Listen, is pretty up my alley, especially when it comes to high energy electronica with hints of lo-fi bedroom pop. Cassettes Wont Listen have a new record titled KEVINSPACEY coming out June 21st on Daylight Curfew, and it’s a sample driven album, yet if you’re basing it off this song, it will be filled with killer melody too. Sample the samples.


Download: Cassettes Wont Listen – The Echoes [MP3]

Blue Skies for Black Hearts – Embracing the Modern Age

Rating: ★★★★ ·

Rock n’ roll, as we know, is often poorly executed, often times being churned out for money or fashionable tastes.  But, every once in awhile you come across something that brings back the purity to our hearts and ears; such is the case with the newest release from Portland’s Blue Skies for Black Hearts, titled Embracing the Modern Age. There’s no frills, no hidden agenda, just straight up rock n’ roll with a pleasant pop twist.

A cascading guitar line filters in behind the lead guitar line on opener “The Sitch” crafting the perspective of a narrator who will play the role of the observer.  This is much the case for Embracing the Modern Age, as Pat Kearns lyrics often reflect that of an on-looker. His vocal delivery has this youthful quality that, when conjoined with the pounding vibe, brings us pop-rock at its best. “Majoring in the Arts” is much the same, though the grittier guitar line has more hints of straight power-pop.  Gang vocals unite in the chorus, prompting sing-a-long moments for the listener.

By the time you arrive at “Deck of Cards” you’ll be quite pleased with the way Blue Skies for Black Hearts use intermingling guitar work.  It helps establish both mood, and a bit of swagger, as it doesn’t maintain some sort of simpleton songwriting, a habit far too many musicians fall into nowadays. That mood is one of reflection, but also one that will lead you to envision chasing down the highway with the windows down, Tarantino films on your mind. These moments come and go on the record, but that’s probably one of the strongest attributes, as the straight-ahead sound doesn’t ever grow monotonous.

It’s really all about a nice rock n’ roll swagger throughout the record.  Despite sounding innocent, there’s a bit of a sharp edge to Kearns’ vocals on the recording, and the rest of the band does their best to keep that sharpness together.  “Sitting on the Edge” begins with a bubbling bass line, almost as if the band’s about to blast off into punk rock territory, but they pull back just in time to give you a sort of pop-Replacements spin.  Or you can take, for yet another example, “Taking Advantage,” which has a swinging momentum to it, though you probably refer to it as more of a toe-tapping element of hipsterdom.  It all boils down to the purest elements of our indie rock, those relying upon solid rhythm sections and catchy grooves.

Blue Skies for Black Hearts have concocted a record that deserves to be appreciated by the purists of rock n’ roll, as well as the finer purveyors of garage-pop. It’s got its gritty moments and sharp edges, yet there’s so much restraint here that the band never go too far off into the realms of cliche garage rock.  They have their own blend on Embracing the Modern Age, something that sounds familiar yet ultimately refreshing; it reminds me a great deal of Regretfully Yours by Superdrag–and that’s a great thing in my book.


Download: Blue Skies for Black Hearts – Majoring in the Arts [MP3]

New Song from Futurebirds

You’ve got to love a song that relies upon sweeping group harmonies to get its point across.  This new track from the Futurebirds will be features on their Futurebirds EP that comes out next week on Autumntone.  Oddly, this track really feels like it epitomizes those waning feelings of summer as you move into the autumnal season.  Listening to this over and over just sort of leaves me hanging my thoughts in the clouds. Perhaps it’s the perfect time for escapism, and “Dirty D” does its job wonderfully. [audio:]

Download: Futurebirds – Dirty D [MP3]

More New Music from The Bankees

One of our readers pointed us in the direction of this new track, as it’s hard to keep up with the Bankees, as they haven’t gotten a lot of love from the US press, not to mention there just isn’t a lot of info out there on the band.  But, apparently they’ve just recorded this wonderful new track, which reminds me of Comet Gain so they can help raise money for those in Japan in need.  A good cause, and a good song? Yea, go help out HERE. And if this isn’t good enough for you, prepare for the band to release another LP later this year.


Download: The Bankees – Tsunami In My Heart [MP3]

New Track from Wax Museums

The incestuous punk rock scene in Texas is alive and well, and I’m grateful for that fact. Wax Museums returns to the forefront of the movement with their latest release, Eye Times, after a three year hiatus, which will be in stores June 28th via Trouble in Mind Records. Lyrically, you’ll probably find the track to be a touch on the simple side, but it’s such a quick power-driven number that you can’t help but get attached from the moment those drums clash with the guitars in a cacophonous moment of energy and melody.  With members from Bad Sports, Silver Shampoo and Mind Spiders, there’s not a reason in the world why this won’t be super awesome.


Download: Wax Museums – Sunburn [MP3]

New Track from Other Lives

If you haven’t heard of Other Lives by this point in time, I’m thinking you’re kind of left out of the loop.  The Oklahoma based group are set to release their second album Tamer Animals on May 17th via TBD Records, and if this doesn’t establish the band as one of the most creative entities around, then something is amiss.  If you listen carefully to the release single, “For 12,” you can possibly here some of the dark textures that lived inside Kid A hiding behind the harmonies, but lurking behind all that is a creativity influenced by minimalism and a songwriting core focused on making music that empowers the listener.  Odds are you won’t find such an intriguing set of songs on one record for the rest of the year.


Download: Other Lives – For 12 [MP3]

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