The Sour Notes are an Austin band who have arguably released more material in the last couple of years than any other local band. What makes the large discography for such a new band (3 LPs and a 7″ to be exact) even more impressive is that each release was put out on the band’s dime. Anyone who has been involved with a band currently shopping a label knows how hard releasing material on your own can be. Don’t tell that to leading man Jared Boulanger. He Originally started The Sour Notes in Houston, TX as a moniker for what was essentially a solo project. Shortly after his debut in 2008, Boulanger began bringing some friends on board to a form a new band that could tour and play live shows together locally and nationally. 2010 has seen the band release a new LP It’s Not Gonna Be Pretty with a follow up already planned for later this year. Now, recently returning from another east coast tour, the band has a welcome home show planned for Thursday night at Mohawk. The up and coming locals will be playing along with Zest of Yore and The Demigs. Check out this latest single “Do-ers & Say-ers” from the band below and find out why we think you needs ta know about these locals.
Download: The Sour Notes – Do-ers & Say-ers [MP3]
At the end of the year, we had a hard time keeping our heads above water, trying to grasp our end of the year lists and what not. In doing so, we missed the chance to alert you to the duo that is Yellow Fever. Sure, they’ve been running around Austin for several years, but recently, they’ve seen their star rising in their musical horoscope. Vivian Girls opted to release the groups self-titled debut album on their label Wild World. It’s an album full of simple ditty’s a la early K Records groups such as the Beat Happening, but instead of Calvin as the front man, you have the wonderful Jennifer Moore. It’s got enough hooks to grab the casual listener, and enough depth to instill true adoration from Austin fans. You’ll want to keep an eye on this group in 2010, especially on February 19th when they take the stage with Chain and the Gang and The Strange Boys. Sounds like a line-up of classic indie rock, and by that, I mean the stuff pre-Pitchfork. Do yourself a favor and head on out to grab a copy of Yellow Fever so you’ll know all the songs in time for the show.
If you have yet to hear Dana Falconberry sing, please go out and do so immediately. She has arguably the best and most entrancing voice of any female singer currently residing in this town. Hell she has one of the best voices I’ve heard from a lady regardless of location in a long time. Having lived in this fine city for over 4 years now, it’s shocking that we have yet to come across this fine singer/songwriter until now. Well, in all truth, we heard Dana’s voice a few years ago when she collaborated with Peter & The Wolf mastermind Red Hunter on his lo-fi folk masterpiece Lightness, but we never knew she had a solo career. Now in 2010 Dana has released a debut EP, a follow up LP, and now prepares the release of another LP Halletts. A preview of this new material “Nightingale” can be listened to below. If you like what you hear, head on over to Mohawk on Thursday for a CD release party put on by Dana and her band to celebrate the release of her upcoming LP. Entrance only costs $7. Doooooo it.
Download: Dana Falconberry – Nightingale [MP3]
After a long lapse in Austin artist to watch features, we return this week with a spotlight on local band The Pons. Some of you out there may remember this band under their old name Lalaland, which was changed to the much more grown up sounding Pons moniker a few years ago. Not only did the band change their name after one release under Lalaland, but a former member also dropped off the roster to form the now 3 piece Pons. Fast forward just a bit to the new decade and the band has already released their debut LP In the Belly of a Giant in 2008 along with a few compilation CDs and mixtapes. That debut long player is an album that we are unfortunately just now getting our hands on, but better late then never they say. On the debut you’ll hear lead singer Thomas Mazzi sounding like a mixture of Jakob Dylan thrown in with a young Phil Collins. Musical stylings of The Pons are generally related to 90s alt-rock, and one can easily see that comparison after a few spins of In the Belly of a Giant. I’ve really taken a liking to the band because they remind me of a time when things were a bit simpler. When a bass, guitar, drums and some vocal harmonies were all you needed to make music. None of this backing track, electronica mumbo jumbo that we’ve grown accustomed to. No, none of that. Mazzi, along with Ruby Painter on bass and Steve Sanders on drums, create simple guitar driven jams with full, emotional and harmony laden choruses. Good shit for you simpletons. Keep an eye out for these guys in 2010 as talks of a sophomore LP are already in the works for the new year. In fact, a few rough mixes of those new tracks can be heard on The Pons EPK. Be sure to check out last single “Wherever You Are” below to decide if The Pons are for you. Also, don’t forget that the band is playing free week at Stubbs this Friday along with Leatherbag.
Download: The Pons – Wherever You Are [MP3]
Austin band Golden Bear are a band that don’t really fit in with the rest of our Austin artist to watch bands since they’ve been around the scene for a while and aren’t exactly new to this game. Even though they are moving into more of a veteran status around town, we do feel like these guys are still not getting the respect they deserve. Well maybe respect from hardcore music fans (and crazy bloggers) but not from the casual listener. To know Golden Bear, you must know that they began back in 2003, and after doing many years of local touring, released their debut self-titled LP in 2006. Shortly afterward in 2007, the band dropped their sophomore effort To the Farthest Star on our ears. Moving forward to 2009 has seen a few personnel changes with the band and a brand new EP Everest. That’s the brief summary of the band anyway. Below you’ll find a couple Golden Bear tracks from their latest EP which you should totally purchase if you’ve got the cash. Right away you’ll notice the heavy garage rock sounding guitar riffs that mix in nicely with some slick pop sounding drums. I’d hate to write them off as just straight pop music, but their tunes are extremely easy to enjoy even for the casual music fan. Their track “Night Lights” will also probably go down as one of our favorite local jams of the year. We hope you enjoy.
Download: Golden Bear – Night Lights [MP3]
Download: Golden Bear – Future Blues [MP3]
Local Austin boys Ideal Soul Mart have been gaining some positive attention around town with some jam packed shows at several local venues. We here at ATH have taken notice of the band’s efforts and thought they’d be a great choice for this weeks artist to watch feature. Follow the jump for more info on this up and coming band.
The White White Lights are a band that have been receiving a whole slew of positive praise as of late from the local music blog roll. We decided it was just about time we joined in the fun and featured the band in our artist to watch feature. Not much information can be found about White White Lights, but we do know that the band has been around for a little over a year and features members of Austin bands Lomita and Monster Girl. You can also expect a debut self-titled LP from the band sometime this October coming out on local label Indierect Records. We think they sound a lot like one of our other favorite Texas bands, Eisley, mixed in with a bit more of an atmospheric touch. You can experience that sound this Wednesday at Mohawk for only $7 along with fellow locals Sleeping in the Aviary. Give ’em a chance and let us know what you think of this new Austin band.
Download: White White Lights – It’s Cold Here In Japan[MP3]
Quiet Company is an Austin band led by native Taylor Glen Muse who has been in and out of countless bands over the last several years. After stints in an early form of Eisley and The Connotations, Mr. Muse moved on to record an album mostly on his own under the moniker Quiet Company. That first record, Shine Honesty, received a mostly positive response from critics which lead to new members and a brand new band. Fast forward to 2009 which sees Quiet Company dropping their sophomore effort Everyone You Love Will Be Happy Soon and extensive US touring in the works. To quote the band directly, expect songs that “will you make you fall in love with life and then just as quickly challenge everything you know about it”. That sounds like a sweet deal to me. You can catch Quiet Company in town July 31st at Antone’s opening up for What Made Milwaukee Famous. If you dig their sounds, check out their band camp for a full album stream, download a free 3 song sampler or say hi to them on twitter.
Download: Quiet Company – Seal My Fate [MP3]
TV Torso may not be a household name at this point, but I’m sure some of you are familiar with the Austin band Sound Team that disbanded forever in 2007. We mention them because two founding members of TV Torso, Matt Oiver (guitar/vocals) and Jordan Johns (drums) were both members of that now defunct Austin band. After adding bassist Austin Jones, the band has started fresh and are planning to take the Austin world by storm. TV Torso call their sound minimal rock music and try to keep their sound as simplistic as possible. Whatever you want to call it, we dig it. The band also recently finished recording two 7″ singles which will hit stores August 18th and will come with the vinyl, free downloads, a bonus download and a blank CD-R. You can catch these guys live on Thursday at Mohawk for free around midnight or on August 20th again at Mohawk along with fellow A2W band The Authors. Check out the TV Torso band camp site for some more free tuneage or enjoy this one “Days of Being Wild”.
We’ve been following Austin band The Black after fellow Ausinites Trail of Dead recommended them to us so we thought they’d be perfect for our artist to watch this week. The band has been in and around Austin for quite some time now and have been playing everywhere in town that will have them. Their sound mixes some old school rockabilly with a bit more modern pop sounds and fits in well with dive bars in small town Texas. Expect a proper full length from the boys sometime in the next few months but for now check out this jam “Little Hits” from The Black’s last 45 single. If you want to see what they’re all about live, head to the Stubbs indoor stage on Saturday evening shortly after Spoon finishes their 3rd show outside. That one’s free if you have a Spoon ticket and $8 if not.
Download: The Black – Little Hits [MP3]