New Jam from AM & Shawn Lee

If you were working hard partying, you might have missed the buzz at SXSW about the recent collaboration between AM (LA based pop artist) and Shawn Lee (British songwriter).  Regardless, now is your chance to get into the brilliant work that has come about by way of their union. They’ve signed a deal to release a record with ESL Music, and they’ll be releasing a 7″ on ESL July 19th.  We’ve got the title track, and it’s got me in a rather good mood today.  It opens with sort of a soundscape-electronica-pop feel, but when you get to the chorus, I swear you’ll hear the ghost of Grandaddy.  That doesn’t sound too bad to me.  Hope you kids like it.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/04_Dark_Into_Light.mp3]

The full length, Celestial Electric, comes out August 30th on ESL.

New Summer Jam from Hoop Dreams

That’s it. I’m going to throw my hands up as my new obsession definitely has to be Hoop Dreams.  They’ve just released a superb 7″ track on Captured Tracks, and I can’t help but just press repeat over and over again.  There’s this weird hint of Orange Juice, but with a more modern feel that will definitely appeal to any current listener in the indie music spectrum.  Perhaps it’s too short, but that makes it all the more powerful, as you can’t help but get this song stuck in your head the minute it comes on; it’s likely to remain in your head for some time to come, making the band your new obsession as well.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/Hoop-Dreams_01_XCPR.mp3]

Download: Hoop Dreams – XCPR [MP3]

Show Preview: Literature, Grape St. and more @ Beerland (6/29)

Date Wednesday, June 29th
Location Beerland
Doors 900p
Tickets CHEAP

Beerland is perhaps my favorite place in Austin during the summer, mostly because I can actually go their shows since I have a summer break. Wednesday night’s show though, it’s bringing together all my favorites in one small space, and you know it’s going to be cheap.  They’ve got my favorite local act, Literature, who of course are going to kill it.  Grape Street, featuring members of Harlem, and they always win.  Some man named Wes Coleman, who you should definitely know by now. Oh, and The Wolf and Warren Jackson Hearne too.  All this, air conditioning, good beer prices, and I’m sold. So you know where to be if you want to have a good time in Austin on Wednesday night.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/01-Its-Cruel-1.mp3]

Download: Literature – Its Cruel [MP3]


New Music from Luke Temple

By now, it would seem that Luke Temple is a household name, or at least with the recent success of his main role in Here We Go Magic.  But, unlike the offering with his group, Luke Temple’s new solo record, Don’t Act Like You Don’t Care, has a bit of a vibe that’s all over the map.  While it’s not as focused as his other works, it clearly demonstrates the incredible range Temple maintains as a songwriter.  This opening track will definitely venture down a bit of a country path, but that’s not the feel of the entire ride you’ll be getting when Western Vinyl releases the album  on August 30th.  Trust me, there are some spectacular gems on here, so you’ll want to get familiar with the man now.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/05-Ophelia.mp3]

Download: Luke Temple – Ophelia [MP3]

Show Review: The Rosebuds @ The Parish (6/24)

Considering the last week seemed sort of dull, at least in regards to live music about the town, we were really excited by the killer bill at The Parish, featuring two of our favorite acts of the moment, Other Lives and the Rosebuds–we were unaware local band O.A.X. (pronounced Oaks) was joining the night as well. As usual, the Parish had excellent sound, and air-conditioning, so it’s hard to find anything bad to say about the evening.

Read more

New (ish) Track from Sundelles

One of my surprises for the summer has been this excellent debut record from Brooklyn’s Sundelles. Initially, they caught my ear with a 7″, which sounded sort of like a bratty Cali-pop beach jam, but this new release is nothing short of warm and brilliant.  Part of me feels like the melodies on Georgia Swan belong in the Oceanic regions of the world, with hints of haziness and just a slight bit of jangle, but perhaps that’s just one man’s idea.  You, however, will vastly benefit from going on to iTunes, and grabbing this, or ordering it directly from the band. I’m a few weeks late on the heads up, but I absolutely promise that you will not be let down here.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/The-Sundelles-Kiss-The-Coast.mp3]

Download: The Sundelles – Kiss The Coast [MP3]

Centro-matic – Candidate Waltz

Rating: ★★★★☆

For close to two decades, Will Johnson has been all over the map, crafting songs under his own name, with various co-writers, and of course, with Centro-matic.  For the most part, his music has always had a sort of country-shade to it, and his voice has always made it heart-wrenching, no matter the lyrical content.  But, on Candidate Waltz, there’s more of an uplifting construction to the songs, giving you an album that could be considered his most widely accessible work to date.

You can easily discern that there’s going to be a sharper, polished sound on Candidate Waltz the minute “Against the Line” drops in with it’s sharp guitar chords.  Of course, the fragility in Johnson’s voice remains, creating an interesting juxtaposition that allows the song to be absorbed by your soul on multiple levels.  Jagged guitar lines cut through the following track, “All the Talkers,” with the group sounding a bit like a more rocking version of Lucero, but the interesting aspect of this song comes in near the final two minutes.  The track switches from a gritty rocker into this carefully crafted pop lullaby ending, created by the melodious backing vocals; this is perhaps one of the brightest moments on the record.

If you’re looking for that classic Centro-matic sound, with Johnson’s voice pulling at your gut strings, you’ll find that those songs, too, live within the confines of this latest effort.  “Estimate x 3” relies upon a time-keeping drum beat, quiet guitar lines, and Will.  The gruff quality of his voice always makes him seem so vulnerable, and that has consistently made his tracks seem tragic, yet towards the end of this number, as he repeats “give me what you want/don’t tell me” you can sense a softer side emerging in his work.

It’s going to be difficult to find something that allows you to disregard Candidate Waltz.  There’s sweeping melodies, great song arrangements, and really, there aren’t any misstep songs.  “Only in My Double Mind” has a banging piano and drum to start it off, while Johnson’s vocals do a great job carrying the melody throughout, giving you a short glimpse at just how powerful his voice can be, even when the music doesn’t appear to be the most innovative.  There’s a gentleness to the way he croons “ooh ooh,” providing those mono-syllabic moments with bits of depth you typically don’t see.  And the record finishes off with much the same fashion as it begins, bringing a warm rocker to your ears by the name of “If They Talk You Down.”  It shouldn’t cease to amaze you how emotionally charged Will’s vocals come across, even when he’s just using his voice as an instrument.  Personally, the gentle strings in the background make this track another standout.

There’s not a bad thing to say about Candidate Waltz, no matter how many times you listen to it, unless of course, you wanted more songs.  But, the brevity of the experience, combined with Will Johnson’s powerful voice provides listeners with more than enough to swoon over, just before Centro-matic wraps it all up.  The best thing is that as soon as it ends, you’ll want to start if all over again. And again.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/05.-Only-In-My-Double-Mind.mp3]

Download: Centro-matic – Only In My Double Mind [MP3]

New Country Jam from Tom Russell

It seems like Tom Russell has been around forever, usually rocking his country-folk approach, with hints of Americana fueled by Mexicana.  He’s got a new record coming out on Shout Factory in September titled Mesabi, and I’ve really been channeling the music of my father today, so this track definitely hits home.  But, for those of you unfamiliar with the veteran, you’ll find vocal reminiscent of Roky E, which is no surprise since both men have been rocking the Texas scene for some time.  But, the use of trumpets, gives this more of a straight-up country-rocker, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Oh, and if you need some indie cred to add to your listening pleasure (you know, to make it cool), then note that Van Dyke Parks and Calexico help all over the new work.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/Mesabi_20110614_134917.mp3]

Download: Tom Russell – Mesabi [MP3]

New Track from Burning Hearts

Are you looking for that perfect pop track with a nice little hook and some female vocals? Well, you need look no more, as we’ve got this great track from Finnish group Burning Hearts, who just released their Into the Wilderness EP on Shelflife Records.  There’s something nostalgic in the craft of this song, yet it definitely still maintains every bit of modernity, coating the sound with bits of keyboards and a lightly strummed guitar in the background.  Be sure to give credit to Jessika, as it’s her vocals that make every bit of this track (and EP) worthwhile! Hope you enjoy a nice little dose of swooning pop today.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/04-Into-The-Wilderness-1.mp3]

Download: Burning Hearts – Into The Wilderness [MP3]

Awesome Pop Compilation from Indietracks Festival

In my opinion, there’s only one festival that would be seriously worth my time this summer, and that’s the Indietracks Festival in Derbyshire this July.  Unfortunately, I can’t quite afford the trip, but I can enjoy this great compilation you can grab too put out by Make Do and Mend Records.  It’s like the best sampler ever, with 40 jams, some exclusive, from some of the best bands around, including those I’ve admired on there here pages, like Milky Wimpshake, Crystal Stilts, and Math & Physics Club.  If you can’t go, head over HERE, and check out the sampler.  Don’t forget to donate, as it goes to a good cause!  Seriously, it’s 40 incredible pop songs, including the one below!

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/03-Trying-To-Say-I-Love-You.mp3]

Download: Math & Physics Club – Trying To Say I Love You [MP3]

1 830 831 832 833 834 973