New Tunes from The Lovely Feathers

feathersA few years ago, The Lovely Feathers had it all. Their high energy Canadian post-pop had them labeled as the next big thing all over the world, but then they hit some struggles, and seemed to get lost for the time being. And now they’re back for the attack, offering up new tunes, and a new album titled Fantasy of the Lot, which will hit the shores of Canada this week; it doesn’t make its way to the rest of us until August. Still, we’ve got the album’s opener to get you reacquainted with the band.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/01-lowiza1.mp3]

Download: The Lovely Feathers – Lowiza [MP3]

Patrick Wolf – The Bachelor

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Rating: ★★★★½

Patrick Wolf entered the consciousness of music when his album Wind in the Wires propelled his angelic voice and his music into media outlets everywhere.  Since then, he’s carefully moved about in the industry, claiming to want to walk away at times, and then branching out musically by adding electronic elements with The Magic Position.  Now, he comes back to us with the first battle of a two part concept album, this one being titled The Bachelor; the battle imagery goes beyond the album art’s computer gaming appearance.

When the first real song appears on the album, it’s precisely what one would expect of Patrick Wolf at this point in his career.  String instruments are added to the brooding imagery, which is accompanied by the darker undertones of his vocals, but this all dissipates once the first part of the chorus chimes in with Wolf operatically screaming for “resolution,” which is juxtaposed by his calming request for “revolution.” Perhaps it’s these contradicting figures with whom Patrick is constantly battling himself; he’s mapped out his battlefield perfectly.

This album’s title track is perhaps one of the more interesting tracks that the young man has created to date.  While there is a sense of the folk inspiration that lay about his early work, there is something entirely haunting here, which is reinforced by the presence of Alec Empire of Atari Teenage Riot. Sure, it’s an odd pairing, but nothing Patrick has touched has ever been of the mundane sort; he rises above such things, just at “The Bachelor” rises above many of his previous songs.

Of course, the presence of various guests on this album alludes to some strange experimentation, which is usually prone to throwing some of Patrick’s albums off track.  On “Count of Casualty” Patrick seems to throw everything into the mix, including a recipe of chanting, strings, digital effects and his vocals.  It’s a song of cluttered, but ornate, noise.  However, it’s balanced perfectly by “Who Will,” the track that follows.  Here Wolf opens with an organ and his voice, just before a chorale comes chiming in with accompaniment.  It’s the perfect balance between songs, demonstrating the range he has asked us to grow accustomed to with his music.

“Vulture” hits hard, just as you would expect.  It’s the most electronic piece on the album, and you can definitely see the influence of Alec Empire in this song, which may or may not be a good thing, depending upon who you choose to ask.  In the chorus, Wolf’s vocals don’t feel nearly as strong as they do on previous tracks, but the pulsating track still manages to stay inside your head.

The Bachelor is the most successful string of songs that Patrick Wolf has managed to put together, if you exclude “Battle” from the tracklist.  His prior works have always teetered off after unbelievably song starts, but this album succeeds by making it to the end without losing your interest in any manner.  As he has grown up, his confidence and his abilities to blend multiple genres with his unique voice have provided Mr. Wolf with a greatness few will achieve.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/02-hard-times.mp3]

Download: Patrick Wolf – Hard Times [MP3]

FT5: Albums of the Year (So Far)

0529top5coverAs we see it, we’re about midway through the year as far as record releases go, seeing as how no one really puts albums out in December for fear of being left off year-end lists. Since we’ve hit the half-way mark, we thought we would throw out a list of our Top 5 Records so far this year. Keep in mind, this list is subject to change, should something mind altering come our way, or should we just get bored with one of the following records.

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Sub Pop Sampler!

subpopIt’s no surprise that Sub Pop has been able to stay atop the game as one of the leading independent record labels since its inception.  To this day they continue to release albums that always matter; let’s just say that the label is known for its good taste.  They’re here to offer you a brand new sampler full of songs that you can get later this year, such as a track from Grand Archives, or songs you should already own this year.  Grab yourself  a copy of this fresh new sampler here.

New Tunes from Magnolia Electric Co

jason3Jason Molina has taken a few years off, though we can assume he’s just been laying low and biding his time.  Now he’s ready to unleash a new Magnolia Electric Co album, Josephine, on the masses in July on Secretly Canadian.  We’re here to offer you the title track from the album for your enjoyment.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/magnolia-electric-co-josephine.mp3]

Download: Magnolia Electric Co – Josephine [MP3]

New Tunes from Your Twenties

lookahereYour Twenties is a London based group who we probably won’t get to see on our shores for quite some time, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy one of their most recent singles from afar? This song “Caught Wheel” sounds a little bit like some of the recent French pop stylings from bands like Phoneix, but it also has a California sunny twist. Regardless, it’s definitely enjoyable.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/01-caught-wheel.mp3]

Download: Your Twenties – Caught Wheel [MP3]

More from The Twilight Sad

the-twilight-sadNeedless to say, the more that flows through the usual news channels concerning The Twilight Sad, the more excited I get about the release of their new album, which is slated for this fall. Now, I’ve only got a link to this, so you’ll have to travel via the Internet, but once you see this video featuring another new track, “Made to Disappear,” hopefully you’ll start salivating just as I am.  The only thing that needs to be added is the usual walls of sound that the group is known for with their albums.  Check out the video at FlyTV. 

New Tunes from Jay Reatard

jayrulesIt doesn’t take a genius to figure out that we love Jay Reatard. RayRay has posted about him numerous times, and we even rocked out to his eardrum busting show last year at Red 7. Now, news comes our way that Matador Records will be releasing his new album, Watch Me Fall, on August 18th.  Here’s to you Jay, and future coverage.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/jay-reatard-it-aint-gonna-save-me.mp3]

Download: Jay Reatard – It Aint Gonna Save Me [MP3]

New Tunes from YACHT

yachtYears back nothing seemed as bubblegum delicious as B.L.O.W. , so when one of the members parted ways to form YACHT, everyone took notice. Now it seems that the one man show of Jona Bechtolt has evolved into a duo, including Texan Claire Evans. Since the new line-up is set, it would only seem appropriate that the group release a new album on July 28th titled See Mystery Lights. Here is a hint as to what that album might sound like, as this is the first released single.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/yacht-psychic-city.mp3]

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

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