Yet another SXSW is in the books and it’s time for the ATH crew to reminisce a little and offer some highlight from the week behind us. I think we’ve had enough time now to take a few deep breaths, collect our thoughts, and delve through tons of notes and photos. As we’ve done in the past, we’ll offer up awards to bands, venues and events worthy of such praise. It will be glorious. Hit the jump for a full recap with photos.
Admittedly, it’s only March, but my favorite LP of this year has to be this brand new Martha tune, so I’m going to back that up with sharing this delicious song. This song encompasses everything I love about Love Keeps Kicking. It’s energetic in every way, but there’s this natural sense of having a blast that seeps through your speakers. Here, it comes your way via this male/female vocal barrage, aided by the anthemic backing shout. Just when you think you’re getting too old to listen to proper pop-punk Martha are kicking down your door with antoerh emphatic jam! The new LP will be out via Big Scary Monsters/Dirtnap on April 5th.
We love Reptaliens here on the ATH crew and I know we are all excited for their new album VALIS coming new month. Prior to the upcoming release date, the band has shared yet another single called “Venetian Blinds”. Once again we are treated to some beautiful, chill pop music and an amazing tour video to go along with the song. Now I’m looking even more forward to the release of the new album on April 26th.
Institute is one of those band’s that pushes you off the fence; you either love the band or you hate ’em…and they could probably care less either way. Me? I love it, and so I welcome news of their forthcoming release, Readjusting the Locks. According to the press release, the band have trimmed the fat down on this record, focusing all the tracks into a concise 29 minute album run. You can get that here, where the song is ominous and haunting, almost like it’s stalking the listener from the get-go. I love how the drums pound angrily while the guitars dance in the opening moments, making way for the steadied delivery of the vocals. This new LP will be out on May 17th via Sacred Bones Records.
The days seem longer of late, which always has me in a permanent state of daydreaming. Today, I found the perfect soundtrack tune to those dreams when Flower Crown announced their new LP, Sundries. It’s that sort of melancholic guitar pop with just a hint of bedroom recording thrown in for good measure. The vocals come across like whispers from a ghost, sort of haunting the song’s mix as the guitars sparkle sharply. There’s a few moments when I feel a certain pop sensibility swell that resembles Michael Stipe, but maybe that’s just my old ears. Anyways, Sundries sounds promising already; it will be released May 24th via Crafted Sounds.
We’re not too far away from the release of Six Lenins, but this is the sort of single that keeps me coming back to the Proper Ornaments. The musicianship is crisp, falling under the vein of that sort of post-psychedelic vibe where guitar notes get sharper and melody gets just a bit more focus; they wind it all around this propulsive backbeat. Plus, the breathy vocals really add an extra element that gives the song this natural sense of longing/searching; it’s as if the song is out looking for its best friend, and that friend is me. Look for the new LP to drop via Tapete Records on April 5th.
Maybe I’ve been living in Texas too long, but I’ve developed a bit of a soft spot for folksy-americana tracks, and Izzy Heltai has hit the right blend on this simple ditty. Out of Northampton, MA, he has this elegant yet scraggly vocal range that reminds me a bit of Tallest Man on Earth with a slightly more refined element to it. I really enjoy how this song builds from just guitar and vocals to its soaring chorus. The light touches of tinkling piano and horns paint the tune into a melancholy march, as the name implies. Take a listen.
Last year Japan’s DMBQ unleashed Keenly via God? Records, Ty Segall’s imprint for Drag City. As album’s never die, the band have unleashed their video for standout track, “No Things,” hoping to keep their name in your consciousness. The video is as visually disrupting as the song is sonically; it’s filled with mostly live footage, spliced with various other bits that flash across the screen. Sound wise, it’s a barrage that begins with a heavy riff, akin to Black Sabbath, before blasting off into it’s own no-holds-barred sonic exploration. Quiet moments are hypnotic, giving you momentarily respite before the band tear right through your speakers. If you dig the record, it’s out now in the States.
We in the ATH crew love our indie pop and we get excited when someone sends us something new from the genre. Today I’m pleased to share this new single “Too Hot” from Melbourne based all girl group Tight Knit. This one is a sort of mellow take on the genre made complete with crunchy guitars and a simple drum beat. The band just put out this single via 7″ vinyl on Not Unloved out of Glasgow. If you’re into it, check out the label’s bandcamp page to make a purchase.
I love the ambition of New Me, trying to release a song a month for their debut LP, but sharing the tracks along the way. Today we’ve got the newest tune, a soft bouncing pop number. After the brief opening, the song’s in your face pretty much the entire time; it doesn’t follow a traditional verse chorus verse pattern, at least in so far as it comes across to the listener. It seems a half-hearted plea for a lover to stay over, though the doom of the world hangs heavily, as if love is no longer something needed as we’re all hurtling towards the end. Stay tuned as I reckon the group will have a new jam in April!