While the late 00s garage/surf re-hash got tired after a few years, it’s still one of my favorite sounds, particularly when it’s presented in a refreshing manner, like Chicago’s Dehd are doing. You can hear that sound immediately, matched by steadying percussion; it’s catchy too, but it’s the chorus that comes in right at the thirty second mark that really drew me into the song. It takes the track into an almost soulful ballad, though it always holds onto the band’s sense of exuberance with the “sha la la la” that crash at the end of the chorus. Catchy and nostalgic, this track makes the forthcoming Water LP very promising; it drops on May 10th via Fire Talk.
Make no mistake about it, I grew up in the 80s, so there’s always been a heavy dose of synth pop in my musical rotation. Through the years, my other tastes have bled in, primarily through Blank Dogs (initially). In a sense, Berlin Taxi sounds a bit like that in regards to the vocals, though they’ve included a little more pop oriented vibes in their tunes. Synth lines are pretty bright in spots, giving off that classic 80s soundtrack vibe, contrasted against the heavier tones of the vocals, just to keep the dance world in balance. On April 12th they’ll release the Contract EP.
I’ve no doubt you’ve already heard me rave on and on about Fanclub, one of our favorite current Austin acts. Well, we realized that not everyone is as familiar with them as we are, so we tossed them our SXSW questionnaire, so you can all fall in love like we did. Plus, if you’re in town on March 10th, you can catch the band at Hotel Vegas for our ATH vs SOTO party!
The story surrounding the release of Jonathan K‘s first solo outing is one steeped in personal tragedy; it’s evident in lines from his new new single like “it’s all downhill from here.” Somehow, the shimmering pop undertones seem to celebrate the tragedy, if that makes sense. There’s these lightly dreamy guitars, along with Jonathan’s voice that falls into the chorus that seem willing to find positivity. The entirety of this track feels like a shared secret, or maybe a spoken explanation of things that went wrong. Whatever the true meaning, that’s for Jonathan; we can still enjoy this song off his forthcoming In Memory Of…
I thought the BVs outdid themselves last year with their EP and 7″ (KUS & Cloudberry). But, they’ve offered us this brand new video to go along with the announcement of their forthcoming LP, Cartography. A little tambourine lets you open the door, and once you’re inside, the song and video roll along on galloping percussion. It sets the song in motion, allowing for the warmth of the vocals to permeate the rest of the track as the guitar operates along some muted jangling to continue the pace. I love love love the extra guitar chords dancing around after the 2 minute mark, working perfectly to match the dreamy vocal notes. Their new LP will be out on March 14th via Kleine Untergrund Schallplatten.
It’s Friday, and we’re celebrating March 1st with the release of the brand new Dear Boy EP. What better way to celebrate than to get to know the project before our big SXSW festival (it’s only two weeks away?). Read on and get to know the group before they head our way, and then go listen to their new EP.
This is a special song, written at one point for a special moment, celebrating and sharing the stories of two co-survivors and what it means to live as a sick woman. The two voices here are Astrid Swan and Stina Koistinen, both whom have battled diseases and bring you music to enlighten us about their experiences. This number deals with the powerful emotions of diagnosis, but in telling that story, the depth is established by the song’s arrangement; it’s sparse and emotional, aided by the string work of Owen Pallet and light electronics/piano bubbling from the depths of the song. The Swan/Koistinen EP will be shared with the world this coming May via Soliti.
How does one write about a friend without feeling like you’re blowing smoke up their ass? I loved working Santiago during his tenure with Growl, but this Daphne Tunes stuff he’s been working on is quite possibly some of the best pop music coming out of the city of Austin. I think the delicate approach he and his band have taken to these recordings creates such a refined sound that it’s hard not to marvel at what’s coming through your speakers. Santi’s voice comes across stronger than ever, and I love the way the guitars duel with one another as he hangs his vocal notes at the end of each stanza, letting them drift through your living space. Such a special track, and just one of a handful he’ll be playing at our ATH vs SOTO SXSW show on March 10 at Hotel Vegas!
I know all the indiepop fans out there are still enjoying that Elva track from yesterday, but why not turn my attention to Sunshower, a group I know next to nothing about. What I do know is that they just released two delightful pop numbers that can’t be ignored. They’re both full of jangling guitar lines, snappy drumming and the warm combination of melodic vocals; admittedly, the second track “Almaty” employs more of a dreamy pop strategy. Both of these tunes will appear on the band’s forthcoming album, Blue Dolphin, which is being released by Japan’s Fastcut Records at sometime in the future.
It looks as if the Smallgoods were not calling it quits, they were merely on a hiatus, and now, seven years later, that has come to an end; the band just announced their return and a new album to come this June. It’s been about a dozen years since their last proper release, and they’re still writing these soaring pop tracks that seemingly survive on melody alone. Don’t get me wrong, the sonic texture is bright and meaningful, but the slight tonal changes that rise and fall are pure bliss; it’s like the best indiepop and power-pop mash-up you never knew you needed…one might even call it the twee Nada Surf (and I mean that respectfully). Lost in the Woods will be released in June via Lost and Lonesome.