We’re only days away from one of the most talked-about Texas mid-tier music festivals of the summer, Float Fest. The fourth annual edition expands on the tradition of booking surprisingly good (given the size of the festival) and diverse national acts bolstered by top Texas acts. The festival sets itself apart by claiming it’s the only music festival that provides an authentic Texas experience in a float down the Comal River before being dropped at the festival gates to see amazing bands. The two-day event also set itself apart by being one of only three festivals to book Australian pop-psych wonderkids, Tame Impala.
There are plenty of other big-name acts on the bill, Snoop Dogg, Cold War Kids, Run the Jewels, Modest Mouse, this lineup is STACKED. But we’re actually here to talk about some of the gold present closer to the bottom of the bill. Texas acts, particularly Austin band are a subject close to our hearts. Seeing commercially successful artists is great, but music discovery is what sets the festival experience apart from other live music options for serious music fans. And let’s face it, if you’re not serious about the pursuit of quality music, you should probably just go ahead and move on to the next link.
The upcoming release from Rob Crowe and Pea Hix under their moniker Optiganally Yours has slowly become one of my favorite albums of the year. I’ve had a pre-release copy for about a month now, and I can honestly say that fans will be incredibly happy with the full album. The release date is a short few days away so it seems only fitting to tease Friday’s anticipated date with this new single “Hope in Your Eyes”. This track is a bit more of a slow burner when compared to the previously mentioned single, but it still has that unique Rob Crowe voice fitting in nicely with the playful pop sounds created by Hix. Trust me, you’ll want to pick up new album O.Y. in Hi-Fi on Friday. The vinyl from Joyful Noise is rather cheap.
Jason Bemis Lawrence has spent a lot of time behind the scenes of some incredible acts, like Dean & Britta, but now that he’s stepped out into the world on his own…we should turn our attention there. He offers us a solemn bad, built upon his experience as a youth in the continuous ride that is Las Vegas; it forced him to look upon the concept of individuals and what their lives look by in their passing. I love the contrast of his voice with that of Heather Wood Broderick, allowing an added layer of warmth to ooze into the confines of the track. I’d also like to note that I’m fascinated by the lonely piano somewhere in the distance of this track. His debut solo outing, Another Hotel Hallway, will be out on September 7th.
A quick search on the ATH will show only a single post from several years ago about Chicago based band Clearance. All that really means is I don’t know a whole lot about the band and can allow myself to listen to each song with fresh ears. Impressing my critical ear today is this fresh new piece of work called “Haven’t You Got the Time?”. Immediately one can compare this to something straight out of the 60s pop genre if you blended it with a few parts of more recent indie bands like Foreign Born or Fruit Bats. I’m thinking this will begin a whole slew of posts on our website featuring Clearance.
This track appears on new album At Your Leisure due out July 27th via Top Shelf Records.
We’ve long been behind Austin act Genuine Leather, but the group has been fairly quiet since the release of Brunch in 2016. But, today they return with a brand new single and celebratory show at Cheer Up Charlies. The new song has a horror-themed video to accompany it, with just a bit of fun added in to match the song’s pop desires. Just sit back and let those crunchy guitars burst through your speakers, wait for the vocal hooks to wash over you, then rinse and repeat. The band celebrate the new single with a great line-up at Cheer Up Charlies featuring Shivery Shakes, Pollen Rx and Robby; the band will have some old school TVs up to, streaming the new video with headphone sets attached for your listening pleasure.
This Teddy Glass jam ran just the other day, and I’ve been busy, so I’m just now getting it up for your ears. The duo is the new project of Peter from Hello Wheels and Josh from our very own Marmalakes…so of course we’re going to let you jam it out. Of course Josh is going to lay down some moody rhythm section work, pumped up in the opening moments by some fuzzy guitar. That’s all before Peter settles in with a lighter guitar approach and his soulful bellow, eventually breaking into an almost animalistic growl, accented by a sweet backing vocal chorus. The two have completed their new album, Nights and Weekends, which they’ll drop on August 24th.
I’ve been listening to Fred Thomas for almost two decades in some fashion or another, and while I always appreciated his work in Saturday Looks Good to Me (and His Name is Alive), his growth under his own name has been pretty spectacular. His 2017 album, Changer, might just be one of my favorite pop records of the last 10 years. Today we get the first listen to new stuff from the forthcoming Aftering. I love how the piano works just behind the trickling piano, laying the groundwork for a crashing guitar that delivers an emphatic pop punch to the face. His voice helps land the track in the vein of Nada Surf, especially with the way he polishes off syllables with melody. The new LP is out on September 14th via Polyvinyl, surely looking down at the rest of those pop imitators.
I’ve made it quite clear over the years that Slothrust is a personal favorite band of mine. I’m not sure the band is in the “can do no wrong” category, but they are surely close. As many of you already know, Slothrust have a new album coming out called The Pact on September 14th via Dangerbird Records. We’ve already heard some music from the new album and today the band offered me this new video for “Double Down”. Some of you may have seen or heard the song already while we were holding off to get a quote from the band about the new video.
Leading lady Leah Wellbaum had this to say about the video:
“The video for Double Down is really centered around levitation and magic. Its about not knowing your own powers, and having them pour out of you in unexpected places. Other-worldly strength is going to manifest for people differently, and youve got to learn to harness it and let it feed you, not drain you.”
One of the hot tickets on the ATH docket has all of us anticipating the new record form Wild Nothing. It’s been interesting to see Jack draw from his various influences and meld that into his own sound. Here, you hear a certain nod to any dance number in a Hughes movie, even adding in the textured horns for maximum jazz hands effect. The vocals have a bit of a warp to them too, displaying just another trick Tatum uses to look back. Indigo, the new album, will drop on August 31st via Captured Tracks, giving us another glance back.
I feel like The Goon Sax should be one of the great bands of our age, yet they still have so much potential to grow. On their latest single, they’re taking their angular pop stylings and turning painting them with a broader pop brush. There’s an accent from the cowbell to add some step, but the chorus has swelling strings and horns blasting through. It’s enchanting, yet cautiously energetic; you’ll have this song running through your head all day. The band’s new album We’re Not Talking will be out on September 14th via Wichita Recordings.