New Music from Idiot Glee

A lot is always said about creativity amongst singer-songwriters, and recent hits like Jens Lekman (or I guess you could say James Blake) use the layering of textures to craft amazing tracks.  James Friley does much the same thing under the name Idiot Glee, except my itnerest in his tunes comes from his influences musically, such as Scott Walker or Brian Wilson…you know, real pop geniuses.  He’ll be making his way to SXSW this year, and you can look for a full-length at some point in the summer.  For now, just enjoy the fact that his layering of textures and melodies seems harmonious, as that’s what it should be about.


Download: Idiot Glee – Do You Wanna Go [MP3]

New Track from Generationals

It’s time for Generationals to re-emerge as the pop-rock duo we feel in love with back during thier first record.  This past year the Trust EP made its way out, but now word is that Park the Van will be releasing the group’s newest effort on March 29, titled Actor-Caster.  This new single is just as full of pop hooks as the music we’ve come to expect from the group.  I mean, who doesn’t love a track with some jangling piano and a nice little bit of handclap?  Okay, it’s all about the handclap.  Don’t forget to check out the band for their upcoming shows, including SXSW!


Download: Generationals – Greenleaf [MP3]

The Veils – Troubles of the Brain

Rating: ★★★☆☆

The last time we heard from The Veils on a recording was in 2009 with Sun Gangs.  But, we’re sure to get more from the band soon, as their latest Troubles in the Brain EP indicates. 

You’ll find traditional touchstones of the group throughout this 7 song collection.  “The Wishbone” uses singer Finn Andrews voice to carry the song, whilst the rest of the group uses intricate touches of production and layering to flesh out the rest of the track.  It’s odd, but for some reason I hear a lot of Jason Spacemen in this track. 

Personally, “Grey Lynn Park” is my favorite track on this EP.  Andrews has a bit of a heavier tone to his voice, but it’s the way the strong was constructed that really gets at me.  It’s as if every little piece of instrumentation serves the perfect purpose, making this one of my favorite tracks from the band’s career. 

Of course, these stronger tracks all live at the back end, as the first half of Troubles of the Brain are a little bit bouncier.  It’s not necessarily a bad way to approach the songwriting, but “Don’t Let the Same Bee Sting You Twice” and “The Stars Came Out Once the Lights Went Out” are very similar, perhaps just because of the rhythm.  The latter has a bit of Arcade Fire construction to it, even in the way that the lyrics are composed.  This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, just a bit of commentary. 

It seems clear throughout that The Veils are listening to their peers, as a lot of this EP has touches of current products out in the indie world.  From guitar sounds to the various layers being used, it all has some sort of link.  But, their bread and butter lives in their quiet place, or rather those moments like “Iodine and Iron” when Finn sounds fragile.  These are the moments when Andrews as a songwriter is clearly above so many, and creates the kind of work you wish there was more of in the world.  Troubles of the Mind clearly has indicators as to where the band goes from here.  Either way the band goes, it seems grounded in continual growth, which is never a bad thing.


Download: The Veils – The Wishbone [MP3]

New Music from Tim Cohen

You probably recognize Tim Cohen as the frontman for one of my favorite groups, The Fresh & Onlys. But, that’s not his only gig, as he’s been honing his craft for some time as a solo artist, releasing several albums.  He’s got another one titled Magic Trick coming out via Captured Tracks on February 22nd, and maybe this will be the one when people really start to take notice of his skills.  This first single has a nice little juxtaposed female voice countering with Tim’s gruff vocals, which definitely provides a smoother tone to the song as a whole, making Tim seem more like a Sonny Smith style songwriter than merely just a beastly frontman.  You won’t hear a bad song on this record; I can guarantee that.


Download: Tim Cohen – Don’t Give Up [MP3]

New Track from Cold Cave

Since Cold Cave have been around, I’ve regarded them casually, liking what I’ve sampled, but never over-indulging.  That’s going to change though, now that Matador has released the first single from their latest album, Cherish the Light Years, which comes out on April 5th.  Still present are the dense electronic elements, but the vocals sound so much more forceful than they’ve ever been, giving a certain since of urgency to the group’s sound.  It’s a noisy number, but in the end, that’s what builds the anticipation for this record, as the band are willing getting a little bit grittier with their sound, going further into the darker side of their sound.  Besides, who doesn’t love a good Pan reference?


Download: Cold Cave – The Great Pan Is Dead [MP3]

Show Preview: Smith Westerns, Yuck @ Emos (2/7)

Date Monday, Feb 7th
Location Emos
Doors 900p
Tickets $12 @ the Door

This is possibly the hottest ticket we’ll see in town until SXSW ladies and gentlemen.   Smith Westerns have just released their latest album, Dye It Blonde, to great fanfare, including this very site.  They’re young and they’re sure to bring energy to their glam meets indie rock sensibility.  Then you include Yuck, a band that’s going to have an absolutely huge year one their album hits the States.  It’s one of the main reasons I’m so excited to hear guitars all over the world this year, and am scaling back on the dance beats.  So, you have two amazing young bands, but you also get Nic Armstrong, a Brit who resides in Austin, who’s been doing this for quite some time, so we know the guy can hold his own.  Pretty sure you need to be here folks. You won’t want to miss this for the world.


Download: Yuck – Georgia [MP3]

New Music from The Bubbles

One of the great Austin bands we’ve had our eye on for some time has just released an entire new album, Daydreaming in Technicolor. It’s great to some new tunes from these guys, and you can get your hands on the work for your very own price at their Bandcamp Page.  We definitely encourage you to donate, or offer up something reasonably, as all bands deserve our dollars, especially if we love what they do.  The Bubbles definitely have grown a great deal since the last time we heard them, and the new tunes are a reflection of taking their time in the studio and age.  You’ll definitely see some older Austin influences on this effort, which doesn’t mean the band is phoning it in, as their spin is certainly refreshing.  Go ahead. Get back into The Bubbles.


Download: The Bubbles – One [MP3]

New Music from Champagne Riot

If you know me, you probably know that I think Matinee Recordings is one of the top 2 indie labels (the other being Captured Tracks), and they’ve got me excited all over again.  They’ve just put out the newest work from Champagne Riot, which features the bassists of neat-pop group Northern Portrait.  The four song collection is titled the Moonstruck EP.  The lead track “Moonstruck” definitely has more of an electric feel than a great deal of the work on Matinee, but what’s present, as a label standard it seems, is infectious hooks and melodies, making you want to go back and spin the song over and over.  I guess there’s nothing wrong with that, or this great duo.


Download: Champagne Riot -Moonstruck [MP3]

Show Preview: Wild Nothing, Abe Vigoda @ Red 7 (2/4)

Date Friday, Feb 4th
Location Emos
Doors 900p
Tickets $8 from Frontgate

February has already kicked off with some great shows, but I reckon to bet that there won’t be a better ticket in town than this, whether it’s snowing or not!  First, Wild Nothing won over fans last year with Gemini, and continued kicking ass with the Golden Haze EP.  Their combination of bedroom pop and electronica just fits perfectly into our lives.  Then, you have the incredible Abe Vigoda, and since this is their first tour since the release of Crush, you know they’re going to bring their A game.  On that alone, two amazing bands for $8, you should go.  But, because life sometimes can get better, you have two of the hottest bands in town opening with Bali Yaaah and Superlitebike.  Haven’t gotten to see Bali Yaaah just yet, but Superlitebike is ridiculous live.  Do it folks, lets keep each other warm.


Download: Wild Nothing – Golden Haze [MP3]

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