More New Music from Psychic Twin

Long have we adored Headlights over here at ATH, so when word leaked that singer Erin Fein was going out on her own as Psychic Twin, we got really excited.  We posted a track not long ago, and now we’ve got another one to offer you.  This one has a similarly darker quality to Fein’s music, though her voice still maintains that coy playfulness that drew us in so long ago.  It seems to me like she’s got a knack for this sort of thing, so we look forward to see what else she’s got up her sleeve in 2012.

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

Download: Psychic Twin – I Want to Forget [MP3]

New Power Pop from The Spills

There’s not a lot that I know about The Spills at this moment, but I do know a good track when I hear one.  The British group has just released their album Occam’s Razor, and I’ve been giving it a good going over this evening.  There’s bits and pieces of power-pop, but you can tell there’s more intricate guitar play going on beneath, sort of like my heralded heroes in the Wedding Present.  Okay, so it’s not quite on that level, at least not yet, but the bass sounds similar and there’s definitely a personal touch to the lyrics. Give it a go. It won’t hurt.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/The-Spills-Summer-Vibes.mp3]

Download: The Spills – Summer Vibes [MP3]

F**king Great Track from The New Tigers

I caught wind of this group back in the summer when I discovered the great new label, Soliti Music.  They’re dealing predominantly, at least as of now, with Scandinavian acts, and The New Tigers are one of those acts.  They released their debut album recently in Finland, and I hope I can somehow get my hands on it over here in the States. This track just sprawls in the most beautiful way, launching into this blissful moment that carries you away.  Seriously, I jammed to this once in the past, but just recently found myself getting lost in this number.  And if this isn’t enough, you can also check out another track HERE.

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

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

More Fun Post Rock from MiniBoone

A little while back I brought you news of MiniBoone, a group with history in art-rock, using repetitive verses and frenetic imagery to win over fans.  This newest single is very similar, at least in the beginning of the tune, sort of like old school Futureheads.  But, as the song progresses it’s reigned in a bit, organized into a fairly traditional pop spin.  You’ll definitely find yourself lost in this track, especially as the vocals begin to warm a bit.  You can find this track and several others with the band’s forthcoming EP, On MiniBoone Mountain.  It’s shaping up to be a nice bit of fun.

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

Download: MiniBoone – Man/Woman [MP3]

New Music from Azure Blue

For me, it’s been a great week, seeing the triumphant return of probably the best small label out there.  Matinee Recordings had a silent summer, but they’re back, and their roster now includes Azure Blue.  The group is primarily the project of Tobias Isakkson, who played prominent roles with Irene and Laurel Music.  Matinee will be releasing Rule of Thirds this December, and the band is already getting comparisons to groups such as OMD and New Order.  Sounds like a perfect way for Matinee to wrap up the year, and for you as well. Try out this little gem.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/azure01.mp3]

Download: Azure Blue – The Catcher in the Rye [MP3]

Wax Idols – No Future

Rating: ★★★½☆

It seems like a lot of bands are really channeling a nice mix between garage and punk, especially the bands coming out of California.  You could probably toss Wax Idols into that, but you’d be amiss if you just lumped them in with the rest of those groups, as the band, predominantly the work of Heather Fedewa, goes beyond just rehashing the hits on No Future.

Listening to the opening track “Dead Like You” you definitely can feel a bit of Cali guitars blasting through, but Fedewa’s delivery, as well as the call-and-response backing vocals are a bit more than that, harkening back to more innocent punk rock days, sort of like a more ballsy version of the Donnas.  For me, the biggest differentiating factor is the amount of heart and soul you can clearly see shining through the music on No Future.

“Dilno” is a fast paced track, almost ending before the track even gets going, but that’s where a lot of the Wax Idols tracks are so successful, giving you a simple, no frills approach to the middling ground between punk rock and garage music.  And come on, who’s not going to enjoy the sporadic shouts in the background.  Of course, there’s more than just nostalgic girl-punk leanings.  Just one listen to “Gold Sneakers,” the record’s phenomenal track.  It’s got everything you could ask for from a band: great hooks, catchy lyrics, and some distorted guitar to go with precision drumming.  A lot of cliche girl-core tracks just don’t ring as true as this number.

You’re also going to enjoy some of the variance throughout No Future, such as the semi-Blondie homage on “Bad Future.”  Fedewa definitely maintains a bit of that sex appeal, but you can tell she’s a touch more bratty, in the most endearing way, of course.  It’s a pleasure to see that not everyone comes off sounding as tired and bored.  Punk was supposed to be fun, and it seems that’s just what we’re hearing here.  “Grey Area” similarly takes off in the same fashion, giving a bit of grit to great pop tradition of bright guitars and pounding rhythms.  Seems like these tracks were made with a youthful vitality only achieved through spinning around in your bedroom with the stereo on high.

Perhaps Wax Idols doesn’t have the brand recognition that you’re looking for, but that’s sort of sad, as you’ll have twice as much fun jamming to this record as you would if you just picked up the run of the mill garage girl-core album.  No Future has twists and turns, and most of all, it has fun.  It’s a reminder that music can have serious tones, but doesn’t have to be tired and banal.  Let’s put the fun back in rock n’ roll, and jam to this record all night.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/04-Gold-Sneakers.mp3]

Brand New Track from Cloud Nothings

The self-titled release by Cloud Nothings this past January was one hell of a ride, consistently staying in my player for most, if not all, of 2011. And now we’ve got news that Dylan and his group are at it again, ready to rock and roll with a brand new record on Carpark.  As of now, it’s titled Attack on Memory, and it should be hitting the streets on January 24th, so we’ll probably have another year to enjoy fresh new Cloud Nothings jams.  Don’t think that you’re gonig to get the same fare this run around, as this first single displays a more subdued group, tossing out a more stripped down, slow-burner, as opposed to the furious blisterning rock of last year.  I’m interested to see where this goes.

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

Download: Cloud Nothings – No Future No Past [MP3]

New Music from Sea Lions

Make no mistake about it, the last few years have seen a huge resurgence for Slumberland Records, and yet the consistently seem to discover great band after great band.  Sea Lions is their latest signing, and this little number right here is a perfect fit to the label’s sound.  There’s a bit of a washed out jangle floating in there, but singer Adrian Pillado have a fairly distinct vocal delivery, which differentiates the outfit from a lot of their current peers.  Personally, I like the clarity of the vocals because, whether or not this is true, they seemingly have no vocal effects in the mix, making it easier for you to find your favorite lyric.  First Sea Pinks and now Sea Lions? Must be the year of Sea creatures.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/Grown-Up-Single-Edit.mp3]

Download: Sea Lions – Grown Up [MP3]

Their album, Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sea Lions But Were Afraid to Ask is out on 11/22 via Slumberland.

Fresh Pop Track from Cameras

America, please meet Cameras, an indie pop group from Australia.  Their first album featured a predominantly female vocalist, but I like how they switched it up on this recent release, especially the lead single–using a male vocal.  The crisp guitar line that opens up the song holds a lot of power when combined with the deep vocal, but then the song takes off, soaring into a more traditional pop realm.  If you dig this track, you can expect to find more tunes just like it on the new album, In Your Room, which you can find now.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/08-Defeatist.mp3]

Download: Cameras – Defeatist [MP3]

More Swedish Pop from The Pale Corners

I have no idea what actually goes on over in Sweden, but in my head, the country is just full of people that sit around and write great little pop tunes.  I discovered The Pale Corners (via OTR) this weekend, and really have been digging this pleasant little track from the group.  It’s got a bit of an atmospheric wash that opens up the ground, but that quickly disappears into the background, opening up for a much more casual melodic hook to evolve.  The string arrangements really add an extra bit of depth, but overall, the group just kicks into gear in the way only the Swedes seem to do–perfecting blissful pop.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/Fireflies.mp3]

Download: The Pale Corners – Fireflies [MP3]

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