Fresh New Rocker from Manatee

If you thought the year was over in regards to new music, well, Slumberland Records has news for you kids! They’ve got one more release coming your way soon,  this brand new 7″ flexi from Oakland’s Manatee. I can’t get the A-Side from this excellent release out of my head, and I think that’s mostly because it sounds like old school rock n’ roll coming out of Oakland, and by that, I mean circa late 80s and into the 90s (that’s old school) for me.  It’s a bit punky, but also a bit quirky, which definitely seems to fit the band’s attitude.  Come on, the B-Side is titled “Chased by Anderson Cooper,” so it’s all about fun, yet it’s all about being good too!

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/01-Mr-Super.mp3]

Download: Manatee – Mr Super [MP3]

New Music from Sharon Van Etten

I know Turkey Day is drawing near, but there’s still some great music leaking out today, so I’m going to try and stay on top of it.  This new track from Sharon Van Etten has me really excited, and not just because it features members of The National, Walkmen and Wye Oak; it’s because I’ve got a bit of a crush on Sharon…and her music too! The songstress has a new album coming out titled Tramp, which will be released on Jagjaguwar on February 7th.  This song’s got a nice little cascading guitar line cutting through the rhythm guitar, and Van Etten’s voice sounds every bit as beautiful as I remember it in the live setting.  This is shaping up to be a good 2012 already.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/Sharon_Van_Etten_-_Serpents.mp3]

Download: Sharon Van Etten – Serpents [MP3]

Fun Fest Interviews: Cloud Nothings

Sorry that we’re just now getting this one finished, but it takes us awhile to recover from all the good times at Fun x 3 Fest. This last interview is with one of our favorite bands of 2011, Cloud Nothings. We were fortunate enough to catch up with the band, and ask them a bunch of random questions, as we’re wont to do. Hope it’s informative. And I’m sorry I look so fat on camera.

Follow the jump for video.

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New Music from Allbrook/Avery

This was an interesting surprise when it popped up in my inbox this weekend.  Allbrook/Avery is the project of the bassist from Tame Impala, one of the popular indie bands of the day.  The group has just released their album Big Art, and it’s something that I think offers a bit for all listeners.  Part of it is that sort of fuzzed out guitar playing, the sort you associated with Tame Impala, but beneath it all is this really accessible pop vocal delivery, begging for people to really dig into the track.  If you like what you hear, be sure to check out the band’s record, as it’s full of moments just like this.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/06-Wait-til-Morning.mp3]

Download: Allbrook/Avery – Wait ’til Morning [MP3]

Sorry I Missed This: Spanish Prisoners

With so much going on in the month of October, I regret to inform you folks that I missed something pretty excellent, the brand new record from New York’s Spanish Prisoners.  The band has self released their album, Gold Fools, over at their web site, where you can pay what you want for it (please pay to support the band). There’s a recent remix of the following track floating around, but I think the original epitomizes everything I love about this listen.  The guitars trickle ever so gently, as percussion builds up, and the light-hearted vocals really add another level to the song.  Head over and check out the band’s record quick; you don’t want to miss this one.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/03-Know-No-Violence.mp3]

Download: Spanish Prisoners – Know No Violence [MP3]

New Pop from Raised Among Wolves

I love spending my weekends searching the Internet for really solid pop tracks.  Usually I’ll come across some gems, and once again, I stumbled across this wonderful little piece from Denmark’s Raised Among Wolves. They’ve got an album coming out soon titled Bear Tracks, and I’m hoping it’s full of such low key pop moments as the lead single from the record. There’s nothing that blows you away immediately, but the steady stream of the melody, along with the quirky pieces floating in the background definitely allows the band to build a nice little tune.  Hope you enjoy this one.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/06-Boys-Will-Be-Kings.mp3]

Download: Raised Among Wolves – Boys Will Be Kings [MP3]

The New Tigers – s/t

Rating: ★★★★☆

It’s got to be hard to get your music across the Atlantic, especially when you’re a little known band from Finland.  Fortunately for you, The New Tigers self-titled album has slowly begun to trickle across the seas, bringing us fuzzy pop that’s sure to appeal to listeners of all sorts, crafting tunes that will resonate with your ears time and time again.

Of course, one of the greatest things about listening to The New Tigers is their ability to build their pop from within a realm of lo-fi noise, but then let the songs sprawl out into the great unknown.  Album opener “Clocks of Destruction” is one of two such tracks, building in momentum just near the minute mark, but fading into crafty noise, like Broken Social Scene would pull of when they were in a jamming mood.  It takes a special track to build on what could easily be a two minute pop song and still maintain interest throughout.  “Pocketful of Sand” is the other such track, but it takes just a bit longer to reach the vocals, but they’re so light that you’re likely to just see them as a floating piece of the inherent melody the band has built.  These two tracks alone make for a special listen, but this isn’t all the band wants to offer you.

“Transitions” is a much quieter offering from the band, providing listeners a moment of rest and relaxation as the song itself slowly prods along.  Softly the song meanders along, letting you know that this doesn’t always have to be a forceful trip to the noisy horizon; The New Tigers can win you over with a slow number as well. You can then jump right into the bubbly “Door on the Floor,” a more light-hearted bouncing track that resembles Pains of Being Pure at Heart during their quieter noise-pop days.  It’s great to offer sprawling tracks, but being able to contain yourself is a trait that not every band seems to possess, so its nice to see these guys exploring structure and length.

Perhaps one of the secret gems on The New Tigers lives near the end; it’s called “Velvet Jam.” The more I listen to this track, the more I seem to absorb, pulling me further into the song itself.  There’s bits of jangling guitar, ramshackle drumming, and wispy vocals of the softer sort, carrying the melody along perfectly.  Personally, I like the touch of the knifing guitar line that cuts in and out during what seems like the chorus, just before the jangle kicks back into the track.  It’s the sort of song that begs you to listen over and over again.

It’s interesting when listening to The New Tigers how much they sound like a lot of the American bands we all adore, yet at the same time, they’re able to add their own little pieces, allowing the record to sound vibrant and refreshing. Just one listen to the self-titled record will surely not be enough, as you’ll have to go back again, just to check if it’s as wonderful as it sounded.  I got news for you: it is.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/05-Pocketful-Of-Sand.mp3]

Download: The New Tigers – Pocketful Of Sand [MP3]

The New Tigers is out now on Soliti Music.

Friday Top 5: Things I Miss About Music

Lately I’ve been noticing some things about my musical lifestyle that have led me to wax nostalgically.  Clearly, the music landscape has changed drastically since I first considered myself a huge music fan back in 1989, but even as things changed, certain things stuck with me about the way I listen to music.  Now, those things seem to have gone; I acknowledge that we here at ATH contribute to this changing landscape, both for the masses and for ourselves, so I’m not being critical of anyone, just stating the things that I miss about listening to music and the life I evolved around it.

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Show Preview: John Wesley Coleman @ East Side Design (11/19)

Date Saturday, Nov. 19th
Location East Side Design
Doors 600 pm
Tickets CHEAP

One of the reasons we run this site is that we love to support the local community, and those of us in Austin have a great event to support as East Side Design are opening their doors to the public.  They’ll be sharing their projects, but they’ll also have some of the best local bands helping them out.  Troubadour John Wesley Coleman will be there getting sloppy and slinging great tunes, She Sir will woo you, and The Early Stages should kick off the whole event in grand fashion.  Oh, and if you need more convincing besides the great music, they’ll also have free beer.  The studio for ESD is at 1806 Willow Street, so if you’re in Austin, come support the locals!

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Oh-Woman.mp3]

Download: John Wesley Coleman -Oh Woman [MP3]

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