Austin’s got tons of really incredible songwriters, and Mike Lee has definitely been one voice we’ve fawned over since his early days on the local scene, first with Letting Up Despite Great Faults and then Fanclub. But, he’s turned his current focus to a new project, Family Mart, and we get our first little taste below. Upon the first few listens, one of the things I adored about this track was the way he employs that dreamy guitar jangle, but instead of rushing it, he gives the song plenty of space, letting the drum beat keep the pace for everyone. It ends up leaving all these space for the soft tones of his voice to fit in between the cracks; it ends up pushing the melodies to sort of rise to the top. Plus, we get a bonus when his voice finds a foil with his friend Ali Wagner (Hex Boyfriend); her addition builds in this delectable contrast…not to mention the tune does get a slight bit fuzzier, which I certainly don’t mind! Without further delay…we present you with Family Mart!
The Persian Leaps waste no time with their latest single, jumping in with that stomping rhythm and twanging guitar sound the instant you press play on their latest single. It’s a short little blast of power-pop, crunching riffs and soaring vocals; the song has a heavy hand throughout the verses, but the chorus elects not to be too boisterous, seemingly offering the softer side of guitar rock. Plus, they toss out some perfect overlapping vocals in the midst of it all, which definitely adds a dash of sugar to your pop coffee. This track features on the group’s new Smiling Lessons EP, dropping on September 18th.
This Adulkt Life track has been around for a day or two, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t give it a little shout out, particularly considering the band is helmed by members of Huggy Bear and Male Bonding. According to the band, they wanted to craft a tune similar to Devo in its sort of jerky structure, though they admit to having far too much anger to pulling it off how the envisioned. Instead, you get this huge heavy swell of bulldozing rock n’ roll, hypnotic and discordant, tethered by the vocal delivery of Chris Rowley. For now, we’re just hanging out with this single, but hopefully What’s Your Rupture will have news on a full LP soon!
We first got wind of Australian instrumental duo Brain Drugs when they shared “Nightshift” single with us, along with its accompany video. Today, we kick off a case of the Thursdays by offering a stream of their new LP, a way to ease into your day with a little bit of curiosity and wonder. For me, there’s this primal nature that seems to seep through your speakers, perhaps due to the simplicity of keyboards and drums; the drum work always seems like the soundtrack to a march of humans. Still, perhaps you turn to a song like “Moulds” that spews this warmth from the synth sounds. Little twists and turns weave you through this instrumental landscape, so time for you to maze your way through these sounds. All proceeds from the album go to Victorian Aboriginal Legal Services.
I’m so grateful for the reliable labels that never seem to miss for me, you know, like Trouble in Mind or Fire Talk or, as is the case here, Meritorio Records. They just announced the debut LP from London’s Wicketkeeper, and they’ve left behind a trail of pop bread crumbs to tease you along the way. Their sound kind of skitters all over in the tracks they’re currently offering up, from the great wall of guitar pop featured “The Side” to the 90s college yearbook of “Spin;” these are all glorious guitar songs to help you piss of the neighbor next door…or, I mean, to just turn up super loud as you sped down the Autobahn. Shonk is out on October 16th.
Something about this new track from Thibault gives me all those feelings, all those moments that make a song live in your brain for eternity. At times, it the keys have this mood that feels akin to Beach House at their very best, though here you get a slight bit more clarity on the vocals, which is absolutely striking. The accompanying visual imagery doesn’t hurt one bit either, encouraging you to give yourself entirely over to this song. It’s weird, I don’t want this song to go away, it feels fleeting, like its beauty can’t be captured, and perhaps that’s the best pop for me today. Or Not Thibault is out On September 4th via Chapter Music.
Not going to lie; I think Brother Sports are one of my favorite Austin acts of the moment. They’ve got this genre-bending craftsmanship, for instance, harkening on a sort of garage sound, but melding it with these bobbing pop grooves. I love the way the guitar line in this song seems to kind of tickle you under the chin, popping up beneath the front of the mix to give off just the slightest dance floor stomp. They choose to close it out with this dreamy little space-aged feel, though need steering too far from the hook. Just keep on keeping on with these hits my friends.
You might recognize Chloe Alison Escott as the frontwoman of The Native Cats, who’ve received glowing reviews from the global indie rags. Now she’s going solo, stepping back from an imaginary rock band to offer listeners stripped-down solo versions of the band’s biggest hits. What you’ll get as a listener is these sparse piano ballads with inward-looking lyrics of reflection and acceptance. There’s just something so moving about that piano line that I can’t escape it, so I keep going back to listen again and again; its heartbreaking; I don’t want to pull away. If you want to listen to something inescapable, this is it; look for Stars Under Contract on October 16th via Chapter Music.
One of my favorite things about getting into punk/ska in early 90s was that it just celebrated a sense of fun. Sure, the classic punk sound had all the posturing and nihilism, but with bands like the Aquabats, you could just have fun…as a teen, that was a liberating feeling. So, here we are 25 years later and the Aquabats are going to return with Kooky Spooky…in Stereo, dropping everywhere this Friday. Today we’re dropping one of those tracks, and exhibits that joyousness that makes me yearn for my old pop punk ways. This tune has an incredibly catchy chorus, ready for you to cheer it on in the live setting. A lot of these songs will also be incorporated into the Aquabats Super Show, now living free on YouTube, with new adventures coming your way very soon! If there’s light in this world, its coming from the frivolity of tunes like these! Look for Kooky Spooky to drop Friday via Gloopy Records.
Admittedly, things I love escape me at first, so I’m not sure how I missed this new 7″ from Ribbon Stage; it’s 5 songs in under 10 minutes, but dammit if its not the most enjoyable little dose of noisy pop you’ll hear this week. Take bands like Talulah Gosh or Jeanines, but put the pop sensibility on the back-burner, add a couple of tablespoons of energy and crank the noise, and well, the perfect batch of pop songs. Kind of like if you love the Comet Gain when David’s not singing, particularly in the pre 2000s output. I know you’ve got ten minutes to spare, so don’t drop the ball and skip this like I did!