New Music from German Measles

Yesterday we brought you a little bit of punk rock from the up-and-coming label Krazy Punx, and we’ve got yet another exciting band from the label to hit you with.  This time up, we’ve got NY’s German Measles.  This single is definitely worthy of sing-a-long moments, not to mention the rest of their new LP, A German Joke is No Laughing Matter.  I’ve had a blast listening to this record all weekend, just bopping along, making sure I knew I could sing every word they’ve got, and I’m sure you’ll do the same once you get a hold of this track by the band.  Go ahead, give it a listen, press repeat, and sing along.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/07-Its-Me.mp3]

Download: German Measles – It’s Me Babe [MP3]

Show Preview: PS I Love You @ Mohawk (3/1)

Date 3/1/11
Location Mohawk
Doors 900p
Tickets $10 @ the Door

We brought you a little contest last week promoting this show, and we really think you should check out the great line-up Tuesday night, not to mention the fact that there’s very little else going on in town.  You’ll get the wonderful PS I Love You, bringing on countless hits, not to mention they might even throw in their new track for you.  Plus, you’ll get to see Diamond Rings, who put on a great set with Robyn last week, but is probably even better suited in a small venue.  Topping off the night will be Netherfriends, and it’s only $10, so you have to go.  I mean, music is going to have slim pickings for national acts really until SXSW, so catch these great bands while you can. And, don’t forget to pick up the split 7″ from the bands while you’re there.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/1-Leftovers.mp3]

Download: PS I Love You – Leftovers [MP3]


New Music from King Creosote & Jon Hopkins

Just last week I was raving about how great the new album from King Creosote was on our SITE. Then, seemingly out of nowhere our friends over at Domino send us a track offering up more new sweet tunes from the man, this time with music written by Jon Hopkins, and KC singing over it.  It’s every bit as splendid as I thought it would be.  This record, Diamond Mine, will be out on March 28th, and it possesses the same beauty we got from the latest from KC, just this time giving him the freedom to let his voice reign supreme over the music.  I’ve been listening to a lot of fast rock this week, but even still, one can’t miss the magnificence in the track below.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/03-Bats-In-The-Attic.mp3]

Download: King Creosote & Jon Hopkins – Bats In The Attic [MP3]

Papercuts – Fading Parade

Rating: ★★★★½

Jason Quever always seems busy, whether producing other people’s work, or writing his own tunes.  Regardless, it seems that everything he touches somehow finds its ways to my ears, eventually leading to massive amounts of pleasure.  On Fading Parade, his fourth record as Papercuts, that’s precisely what you’re going to get, endless spends of moving music that will never tire.

Something about the guitar line opening “Do You Really Want to Know” hinted at perhaps a more light-hearted Quever to open up this album, but as soon as those densely coated vocals entered the scene, I knew deep down that this was already going to be an exceptional listening experience.  The climbing guitar in the background, those precision drumming moments, all lead you towards blissful listening.  “Do What You Will” brings in the same sentiment, especially as Jason’s voice soars during the chorus, though that breathy quality he has for the duration of the song really gets to me.  Going two for two isn’t a bad way to begin Fading Parade.

It’s when you hit the third track, “I’ll See You Later I Guess” that the newest Papercuts release really began to sink in, emotionally seeking.  This tracks a slow-burner, similar to the work of a band like The New Year, yet as always, the production coats it in that heavy bit of fog, giving it a quality that seems to speak to you from the beyond.  Yet this isn’t the only track you’ll find on here that’s going to really move you, if you’re into a headphones listening experience.  “The Messenger” is perhaps one of the best songs Quever has written to date.  Slowly the song creeps forward, suddenly offering up a bit of unsteady vocals, before returning to the quiet mood.  Beware, these songs are begging you to listen again and again.

Tracks such as the aforementioned “The Messenger” offer a slight alteration in the overall sound of your everyday Papercuts recording.  Take for instance, “Winter Daze,” which gently tip-toes along with down-trodden piano.  Sure, that effortlessly warm pop element you’ve found is definitely a staple in Quever’s repertoire, but there’s new territory being explored, structurally especially.  In the past Jason’s possibly rushed forth with the unfolding of melodies in his tracks, but instead he barely lets the melody escape on this number, which makes it all the more powerful.  It’s the same sort of technique you find on album closer “Charades,” another track that gradually relinquishes its hold on melody and ecstasy.

Long have I been a fan of Jason Quever, and the more work he produces, the more I’m amazed at his gifts as a songwriter. Fading Parade shows him in complete control of every aspect he’s worked on since his debut, Mockingbird.  It’s not like he’s really put out a single bad record, but something about the latest bit from Papercuts shows him creating art above and beyond what I would expect.  This is not a dialed-in record; this is a record of great craftsmanship, and one you should all go enjoy now.

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

Download: The Papercuts – Do What You Will [MP3]

New Tunes from Silver Shampoo

There’s a sweet new label quietly kicking out some really solid jams this year, and we’ll be bringing you a bit of the tunes from the label this week.  For now, we’ll call the label Krazy Punx, and the first gem I’ve grabbed onto comes from Silver Shampoo, a product of Paul Museums.  The newest album is called Higher and Higher, and its sort of all over the place, but in the most wonderful sort of way.  You get a bit of garage, but then the next track you’ve got this catchy little bop pushing you along.  It’s just a whole lot of fun, and the kind of thing we can all dig as the weather gets sunny.  Try this out for size.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/06-Streaks-of-Satan.mp3]

Download: Silver Shampoo – Streaks of Satan [MP3]

New Track from 1,2,3

As of right now, the world probably doesn’t know too much about the Pittsburgh duo, 1,2,3, but that’s soon to change, especially with the band signing to Frenchkiss.  While the release date for the band’s debut record is still a bit tentative, the Internet has been given this new track, which is expected to be one of the featured tracks from said debut. There’s definitely a nice little groove that moves through this song, and with a full-band in the live setting, you can expect this to group to win everyone over, especially when they make their way to Austin, Tx for SXSW. Give a listen.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/123_ridingcoach.mp3]

Download: 1,2,3 – Riding Coach [MP3]

Cult of Youth – s/t

Rating: ★★★½☆

The minute we heard “New West,” the first single from the self-titled album from Cult of Youth, I’ll admit that I was more than intrigued.  It’s got a bit of a old barroom punk rock ethos, yet the more I listened to the track, the more I discovered about the band and their sound.  Sneaky strings lurked in the background, and that dirty bass line never ceased to grab me.  Dirty alcoholic punk mixed with strings you say? Yes, I do, and oh so much more.

Kicking off the record is “New West,” the aforementioned track that really piqued my interest.  Sean Ragon’s desperate growling vocals evokes a bit of spirit I long thought had disappeared. Despite the song’s desire to have this layer of grit, there’s still an uncanny beauty from the guitar parts matched with the related string instruments.  It’s quite a special track.  From here, the band really sort of keeps pace with this sort of shantie-like track, as if the band’s leading you to sea with their brash blend of folk and punk ethos.

Track four, “Casting Thorns” is when the band begins to alter the sound, creating a space for the string arrangements to really shine in the forefront.  Ragon doesn’t have the same raspy vocals, seeming more calm here as he strums the guitar.  But, there’s still a level of darkness that underlies the track, giving a bit of an angrier tint to the traditionally folk sounds apparent here. It’s this sort of change that leaves the band sort of stuck in the middle of their own sound, which has both positive and negative attributes.  “Through the Fear” even introduces a bit of horns, making the band sound increasingly dynamic.  It’s good to see that the band evolves beyond the sound that I originally noted them for upon my introduction to the group.

The latter half of the album does tire a bit, though there are some exceptional tracks hiding here. “Lorelei” has a great strummed guitar driving the song along, and Ragon’s baritone sounds incredibly haunting here, but in a manner that makes you appreciate a good spirit watching over you.  It’s the most unassuming track of this collection, and perhaps that’s why it’s so successful, or that it precedes the one misstep the band makes, that being the seven-minute sleeper, “The Lamb.”  Okay, so there are some musical elements here that are to most people’s liking, but the song could have been wrapped up much quicker, as it seemed to carry on perhaps beyond its welcome point.

All in all, Cult of Youth has done a great job with this self-titled effort, offering new fans a hint at what they’re all about, but leaving plenty of room for growth and directional jaunts in the future.  You have to appreciate a band that’s not dying to get tied down in one place, and with the diversity of this record, who knows where they’ll go, but I’m sure it will be good.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/Cult-Of-Youth-New-West.mp3]

Download: Cult Of Youth – New West [MP3]

New Music from The Bell

Who isn’t a fan of hook-laden post-punk with sweet melodies and electronic pulses?  Well, you should be; you should also be a fan of The Bell, a group from Sweden who are about to release their latest record Great Heat through Badman Recording Company.  Based on this first single, the album is going to be filled with really solid melodies, fueled by the band’s usage of electronic flourishes, giving the band a sound that fits perfectly into any late night gathering of debauchery.  It’s got this powerfully forceful beat, yet it’s still possesses hints of beauty for those who like things a little polished. Take a listen.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/04_today.mp3]

Download: The Bell – Today [MP3]

New Sonny and the Sunsets

I’m not sure quite how Sonny Smith manages everything he does, and still manages to make most if downright enjoyable.  Between making album art for fictional bands he’s created, not to mention the music, then an EP with his friends in the Sandwitches, and now he’s back with his group’s own new record, Hit After Hit, which comes out April 12th on Fat Possum.  This track has the more stripped down country feel that the latter half of the group’s last release contained.  In the meantime, I’m sure that Sonny’s got more in the works we don’t quite know about yet, but I’ll happily be satisfied with this here song.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/02_I_Wanna_Do_It.mp3]

Download: Sonny & the Sunsets – I Wanna Do It [MP3]

New Tunes from Heidi Spencer

Well, this is a bit of a change up for us this week, as we’ve been running around with lots of high energy tracks, but I couldn’t resist a bit of mellowness as the week winds down. Heidi Spencer & the Rare Birds have been making a huge wave over with the NME, and you can tell that a lot of American audiences will definitely enjoy her work due to its similarity to a woman and her harp. Regardless of similarities, Spencer does seem to have a bit more of a traditional folkie in her.  You can check out her album on March 29th, titled Under Streetlight Glow. Give the tune a listen.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/Alibi_20110201_155016.mp3]

Download: Heidi Spencer – Alibi [MP3]

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