We’re just about to wrap up the musical year with lists and all sorts of silly lines, but in looking ahead to next year, Salad Boys are high on my list of anticipated acts. We get a new tune from the band today in lieu of their impending This Is Glue. One of the things I’m most excited about is that the group seem to have fleshed out their style; this song has this youthful urgency in some of the vocal delivery, though it pulls back for a calming interlude that’s filled with melody and synths. They jump to the end with one more bit of ramshackle rock…and like me, you’ll be thirsting for more. The LP drops on January 19th via Trouble In Mind Records.
Ever since I heard the single “Weird Hardcore” I’ve been a fairly devoted Jonathan Bree fan. He’s constructing these minimal pop pieces, usually with an artistic bent that comes out via various videos. On this new single, he’s joined by Clara Vinals on vocals, who offers a soft juxtaposition to Bree’s deepened tones. The rest of the tune is a subtle it of rolling pop; imagine “Young Folks” stripped down to the bones to ride out the natural groove. Look for this track to appear on Sleepwalking, which will be released on March 2nd.
I’ve always appreciated the work of Widowspeak, but it’s also nice to see the members step out into their own light, as Robert Earl Thomas is doing here. You’ll find that it does resemble elements of War on Drugs or the Boss, but there’s a dreamier tone to the songwriting. It almost has this acoustic post-punk vibe to it that would have been a huge hit with the kids back in the 80s. So, it doesn’t seem like a huge stretch to find Robert in this musical place, but it’s a nice little dose of pop that never fails to warm you. Another Age will be released by Captured Tracks on February 16th.
To celebrate the release of their Junkyard Jazz EP, Trudy and the Romance dropped one last tune for you to enjoy. For some reason the first thirty or so seconds give me a feeling like listening to Libertines, then they spin the track into a soaring vocal, only to pull back where the hook is and prolong the gratification for listeners; it’s an emotional tease that will eventually lead to your satisfaction. It’s an interesting listen, with tons of little movements within the confines of one track, perhaps fitting that it also could be described as “junkyard jazz,” though with an indie pop twist. Go ahead, jam this tune.
The musical year is wrapping up right about now, but it’s always good to have a few delightful songs to keep you focused on the good stuff coming our way next year…like this new one from Pinkshinyultrablast. Now working as a bi-country act, with singer Lyubov hanging in LA, the band’s sound was bound to stretch. You’ll hear a more defined wash of electronics and synths to accompany her voice, but I really love the way the drums work in this song, emphatic when needed. It leads to a song that unfolds into a dense dream with lofty vocals dancing in the foreground. Look for the band’s new album Miserable Miracles in May of next year via Club AC30 and Shelflife.
Austin’s The Sour Notes have been fairly quiet, but all that will change when the band drop their new record, Darkest Sour, this Friday over at Hotel Vegas. They’ve shared this great little album promotional video, which seems to show the band delving into the realms of dreamy pop, fitting for the matching imagery in the video. If you want to preview the band’s live set, they’ll be over at KUTX doing a taping at 8 (Tix HERE). Not sold yet? Just check out the amazing line-up they’ve slung together: A Sinclair, Duncan Fellows and El Lago, who I’ve really been enjoying a lot as of late. A great week for The Sour Notes…let’s all be thankful!
Long have we enjoyed the music of Sea Pinks, and after Watercourse was released in early Summer, I thought we were done for the year. But, I’m happy to be wrong after the band announced Minimum Wage – BBC Sessions (& Others). It’s a collection of the band’s 8 BBC Sessions, as well as a few new ones recorded while the band had a day off in Amsterdam. This track has the feeling of the live setting, dropping these dirty guitar licks and gang vocals to the mix; it still manages to carry a hook too! You can get your hands on this album on December 8th!
We’re really happy for our friends in Big Bill who have released their debut LP Stand By Your Bill into the world today. Long favored by Austinites in search of something different in their punk rock, the band step up their game with their best collection of songs to date; I’d buy this LP for the opener alone. But, they’re not a one-trick pony, as songs like “Baby Go Wah” illustrate, offering up a slow burning homecoming dance number. If you’ve got a minute, give it a spin or two or three!
Best Friend already has one EP under their belt for 2017, so why not bookend the year with another great collection of pop tunes? This is a short number, with quick percussive work pacing the track while careful little synth lines dance about. Vocals come in like puffs of smoke, just faintly floating in the distant mix. It’s an interesting take, a combination of dream pop and dancey club rhythms. Of course, if someone’s putting out great music, you’d expect Beko Disques to be involved; they’ll release ZZZZAP on November 28th.
While I was eating tacos and getting melt-faced over at Emo’s, we had an opportunity to send in a photographer to take in the magic of Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile performing at ACL Live. I was a little bummed to miss this one, but my priority was with the Sound On Sound team. I was supposed to be out standing in the field, after all.
Anyway, click through. You’ll get to experience the show via the lens of Rick Kern, bearded dude and all-around good human.