New Tunes from Daniel Martin Moore

After releasing the excellent, and oft overlooked, Dear Companion with friend Ben Solee, Daniel Martin Moore is set to release his own new effort, In the Cool of the Day, on January 18th.  The album will once again be released by our good friends over at Sub Pop, and we know that it’s going to be something special.  Daniel definitely has that traditional folk feel, using various string instruments to add textures on the album’s single “Dark Road.”  Moore sounds wise beyond his years here, and we look forward to see his hard work finally come into the light for the masses.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/dmm.mp3]

Download: Daniel Martin Moore – Dark Road [MP3]

New Tunes from Tyvek

After releasing their latest release, Nothing Fits, last week, these Detroit bros are out to set the record straight, and get you pumped about the whole affair.  Tyvek have just released a new MP3 today, and it’s just another reason that those in the know are getting stoked on the band.  Put the bunny hats aside, and you’ve got a power-fueled record that will definitely get your heart pumping and your feet stomping.  If you haven’t gotten to know this band yet, now is your chance, so don’t miss out on the latest beast from Detroit.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/Tyvek-Underwater-To.mp3]

Download: Tyvek – Underwater To [MP3]

New Tunes from The Liminanas

Watching a show the other night, I got this incredible idea (only incredible to me I’m sure) that all bands should bring artists from across the world on tour, exposing us all to new genres, styles, etc.  So, today I’ve been searching for something that would meet my fancy, and I came across the French group The Liminanas.  They use a bit of sampling, a lot of spoken word, and a lot of common psychedelia, all of which leads to some tunes that have been blasting on my playlist all day long.  You’d be wise to check out their new self-titled album, The Liminanas.  Welcome, world.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/07-Mountain.mp3]

Download: The Liminanas – Mountain [MP3]

New (Free) Tunes from Scott Orr

This Canadian fellow has been doing the indie folk thing for some time now, but he wanted to strip it down a bit more.  Scott Orr has just released a free Acoustic EP, which has a few new tracks, and some old ones done in a super-stripped down manner.  One of the things I like the most about this new EP is that he vowed to just do it in his own style, with very few overdubs and retakes in the recording process.  Just giving it a listen lets you see that such an approach gives it an extremely personal quality, which never hurts anyone, now does it?  If you dig this, you can grab the EP HERE.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/Other-Songs-Music-Co.-The-Acoustic-EP-03-A-Bird-On-The-Ground-Acoustic-Version.mp3]

Download: Scott Orr – A Bird On The Ground (Acoustic Version) [MP3]

John Wesley Coleman – Bad Lady Goes to Jail

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Reading lots of press about John Wesley Coleman can lead you in the exact wrong direction. You can’t really label a guy a trashcan troubadour; that sort of attitude will definitely give you the wrong impression of the tunes at hand.  Bad Lady Goes to Jail definitely has a layer of filth attached to it, but beneath it all you can tell there are some crystal clear melodic sensibilities.  You won’t have to dig too far to find your first gem, so get ready right away.

Kick off this record the right way, and you’ll find one of the best tracks, though that’s up to personal tastes.  “Bad Lady Goes to Jail” has this scuzzy guitar line discordantly jangling in the forefront, while a piano line tinkers in the back.  Coleman’s voice isn’t hurried, and you’ll find an underlying gentleness, showing that despite his grit, the guy still has some restraint. Opening minutes of Bad Lady Goes to Jail continue within the first few tracks, and “Lazy Baby” has a little of that garage twist and shout feeling to it, almost giving you a bit of swing. The chorus has some emphatic shouts, but everything in the early moments has John Wesley Coleman killing it.

Of course, this album isn’t all gritty pop ditties, there are still some garage filters going on, though one would be likely to say that they’re not quite as successful as early offerings on the album.  “Ooh Basketball” has a nice little guitar line to it, one that fits everything, but the vocals have a bit too much distortion on the front end, and the lyrics are slightly lacking, at least for the tastes of some individuals.  Let’s just say, the depth doesn’t run too deep with several of the tracks here and there, even though musically, Coleman still seems to be doing all the things we know and love.  Who knows, maybe the guy just wants to have fun, so we can’t knock that.

One of the songs that will really surprise you, at least in its straightforward approach is “Go Baby Go.”  It’s got this incredibly lackadaisical wandering to it, and the fact that the majority of the song has minimal production, really gets to you.  With all the itsy bits of noise here and there, this song comes out of nowhere.  Surely this is one of the stand outs, hiding quietly in the middle of Bad Lady Goes to Jail. Along with “Something in My Brain Wants Something,” you get a bit of relaxation, a brief stop off on the records confrontational approach to songwriting.  Their more subdued, and in placing them properly in the middle, it’s the perfect opportunity for you stop, go back, and find your favorites.

Clearly John Wesley Coleman has something special about him, as you will discover when listening to Bad Lady Goes to Jail.  He operates in a certain genre, yet its easily drawing from all over the charts, making this effort a lot less static than other releases that you’ll find.  His ability to weave all these influences into one album, let alone one song, is what gives JWC a nice step above the rest, making this a great destination for your listening pleasure.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/01-John-Wesley-Coleman-Track01.mp3]

Download: John Wesley Coleman – Bad Lady Goes to Jail [MP3]

New Music from Velvet Davenport

Its pretty hard to find out a lot of info on this band, other than the fact that hail from a place one normally wouldn’t associate with their musical stylings, Minneapolis.  Velvet Davenport, as the name would have you guess, have a gentle affection to their sound, extremely reminiscent of the 60s wave of Spector, yet done with an enjoyable bedroom recording quality. Their latest LP, Warmy Girls, is really a special gem, and something you’ll surely be enjoying for some time to come.  You can grab it by checking out their label, Moon Glyph, and travel back in time with the band. I’ve sure been enjoying my trip.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/01-Mystery-Michael.mp3]

Download: Velvet Davenport – Mystery Michael [MP3]

New Tunes from Bear Mountain

Who doesn’t like a band with Bear in their name?  Well, another group has thrown their name into the ever=growing list, Bear Mountain.  While I haven’t been able to find too much information about the group’s origins, I did manage to come across their new mini album, also titled Bear Mountain.  The word was created at home, and while some of the tracks do have the influence of programming and other such home recording remedies, I really enjoyed “Green.” There’s this distant quality to the recording that gives it some sort of alternative reality aesthetic.  Try this one on for size.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/03-Green.mp3]

Download: Bear Mountain – Green [MP3]

Weekend – Sports

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Slumberland has been fortunate enough to have always stayed true to their original sound aesthetic as a label while still offering up a diverse clientele for their audience.  Enter San Franciscos’ Weekend, another group offering up a noisy debut, fueled by certain sonic and textural elements we’ve all come to recognize.  Their album Sports does have certain touches of diversity when compared to the grand spectrum of things, yet those modifiers that make them relevant often seem to get in the way of the progress they offer as a group.

Listening to the first track, “Coma Summer,” you almost get the idea that this might just be a nice little pop number, as the song’s intro includes a nice pounding drum and jangling guitar.  Still, the echo in the background has a haunting quality, and as the song pushes forward, that quality explodes into buzzsaw guitars that practically obliterate any chance of vocal comprehension.  Underlying melody is all well and good folks, but if you don’t allow room for breathing, then what’s the point?

Clearly, the scope of the record does have some lyrical value, but it often seems to have evolved as an afterthought to the completed musical process for Weekend.  “Youth Haunts” has this brooding bass work that really propels the song forward, but as guitars knife their way discordantly through the song, the vocals appear very distant, as if they were recorded separately, then spliced onto the tape in another session altogether.  Similarly, “Landscape” has that certain appeal one would find in the early days of Manchester, yet part of you probably feels a driving need to connect with the vocals themselves.  That’s probably one of the great difficulties with Sports; you either connect with the noise itself, or you’re spending your time chasing after the lyrical content.  One of the things that made bands like Joy Division so successful was their ability to bring you that connection, offering up vocals that could be discerned, while still piling noise into the whole affair.

One might find themselves extremely frustrated with Weekend by the end of this whole affair, as there are clearly elements that seem successful in their own merit, such as the track “Age Class.” Once again, the rhythm section practically owns the song, giving you this animalistic power that only increases the tension as the song progresses.  Normally, there would be some sort of release, some sort of resolution, but Sports just never offers that sort of cleansing moment.  Perhaps that is where my listening habits have gone wrong; I’m not capable of connecting both the sounds of this record and the vocals in order to decipher the message, song by song, let alone the whole album.  While plenty of elements suggest the conceptual ideas throughout the entire listen, for some reason, the band’s purpose just never seems to fully evolve, leaving listener’s, myself in particular, asking for more from the group. I suppose you can leave this all up to personal tastes, but despite lots of pleasurable listening moments, it just never seemed to complete its journey, leaving me interested, yet entirely unfulfilled.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/01-Coma-Summer-1.mp3]

Download: Weekend – Coma Summer [MP3]

New Tunes from Glass Vaults

Glass Vaults is a little group from New Zealand, and you know how we like our Oceanic jams.  They’ve just released their Glass EP, which you can grab for free, and its something you should definitely get your hands on if you can.  This single, “Forget Me Not,” has a bit more of a collage pop effect than some of the other tracks, which leaves the band with plenty of room for solid growth; no matter which direction they go, according to this EP, it’s bound to be good stuff.  I like some of the mellower, dark burners, like “Set Sail,” so go give this a try, and spread the word about the band.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/05-Forget-Me-Not.mp3]

Download: Glass Vaults – Forget Me Not [MP3]

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