Long have I followed the career of Smog, or Bill Callahan, as we know him now, so when he became one of the many musicians to move to Austin, I was hopping with joy, hoping we’d get to see more of him around town. We have been so lucky, as he popped up on numerous occasions, not to mention random talks, such as his upcoming appearance at Book People on April 10th. But, more important is his music, and P4k premiered a new song yesterday from the gent in preparation for his new record, Apocalypse, which comes out April 19th on Drag City. If we’re going off this track, it’s going to be your usual fair, with trickling guitar work and Bill’s soft and smoky voice. Yeah, that’s right, it’s going to be goo.
Download: Bill Callahan – Baby’s Breath [MP3]
One of our favorite acts, Generationals, are releasing their new album Actor-Castor next Tuesday. We just wanted to give you a little bit of time to get familiar with by streaming it over at KCRW. We’re excited about this album, and this band, as they were one of our favorites at SXSW. So go STREAM the new record.
Okay, so I have no idea what the name means, or really what any of the lyrics mean, as my Swedish is extremely limited. But, I do know that Det Vackra Livet are the Ekstrom brothers from The Mary Onettes, and this time they’ve opted to make their pop tunes completely laden with the sound of their own country, lyrically speaking. Musically, you’ll find those sweeping melodies, and that steady drumming that seems to strengthen all the tracks the band works on. It’s devoid of the usual haze and atmospherics that go with their main gig, making this track all the more beautiful. You can order it from Labrador, should you choose to fall in love with the track like I have.
Download: Det Vackra Livet – Viljan
While the majority of the work I’ve heard from People’s Temple has been rather brash and energetic, the young Lansing group seems to have fleshed out their sound quite a bit nowadays. They’ve got a new record coming out on Hozac Records titled Sons of Stone, which hits stores on April 19th. This time around the band has less angst, instead fueling their sound with squalling layers of guitar and feedback to coincide with a more haunting vocal performance. Of course, the psychedelic sound might come up with some listeners because of that guitar sound, but no matter, this is just a solid track, sure to be a sign of things to come for the group. Give it a go.
Download: People’s Temple – Sons of Stone [MP3]
You’ve got to be an avid reader in order to catch some of the more obscure artists worth your time. Luckily, I like to consider myself one such person, and going through the thorough review section in the most recent Big Takeover magazine, I stumbled onto The Black Watch. At first, references to The Lucy Show and jangling guitars grabbed hold of me, but once I got my hands on the record itself, everything else just fell into place. John Andrew Frederick writes lyrics the way my favorite David Gedge would put together, just without the idiosyncrasies such as comic book references. His vocals have this warmth, as if you’re listening to a much loved mentor. Their latest album, Led Zeppelin Five, doesn’t have any hints of metal allusions, so that’s a good thing here. Sadly, the band had to go afar, all the way to New Zealand, to get Powertool Records to put out this release. But, if you like your indie rock to be thoughtful, clean and worthy of abundant spins, then go find yourself a copy. Here’s a sample:
Download: The Black Watch – Emily, Are You Sleeping [MP3]
Catching up on everything has been hard, but luckily GvsB has helped us get with it, offering up a spanking new track from Austin band White Denim. This track comes off the band’s upcoming record, D, slated to hit stores on May 24th. While the guitars and musical progression is definitely in the same vein of their most recent work, it’s nice to see a few decent changes, particularly in the vocals. For one, the clarity is quite enticing, giving the group a bit more accessibility when it comes to the listening experience (as opposed to the live setting which we know they kill). Pretty stoked to share this track with ya’ll.
Download: White Denim – Anvil Everything [MP3]
SXSW just wrapped up, and while we’re barely able to stay awake today, we sort of compiled a quick list from three of our biggest contributors, but feel free to leave us comments so we know how your experience went down. And, check back tomorrow our Top Ten Bands of SXSW.
Don’t you just love it when band’s gather all their old files, polish them up, toss in some new gems and then give it out to the fans? Such is the case with the Halo LP, the newest offering from San Francisco group, Blackbird Blackbird. On first listen, it seems all over the place, but in a good way, as you can see where the band’s vision evolves as they’ve continued to work hard. The album’s opening track, as is often the case, is a great track, using a minimal drum beat to serve as the background for the harmonies that come in and out with the vocals. You’ll love the listening experience here, as the grooves and hooks continue to penetrate your ears. Get hip to this.
Download: Blackbird Blackbird – Halo [MP3]
One of the bands that was on a lot of people’s lips this last week was Mazes, and now that I’ve done my research here, I’m a little bummed I missed the group. They’re preparing for the release of their new album, A Thousand Heys, which will hit stores on April 11th. Giving the record a listen, it sounds a lot like Wavves, if you actually put the band in the studio to give the record a little production value, something I think is a good idea. It’s got quick guitars, solid hooks and everything just screams fun. Spring time is perfect for this sort of energetic pop.
Download: Mazes – Most Days [MP3]
If you’re looking for the perfect song to help you recover from SXSW, or you just need a good track that kind of rolls along movingly, then Therapies Son have just the right track for you. “Touching Down” is the opening track on the newest Over the Sea EP, just released last week. Personally, the meandering guitar line casually soloing through the hazy stomp in the background really grabbed me. Listening to the EP, you’ll definitely find something special here, and the single track is just a hint at the quiet magic the five song EP holds in store for all interested listeners. Trust me, you’ll love this track, and probably this band.
Download: Therapies Son – Touching Down [MP3]