Beautiful Soundscape from Au.Ra

Yep, you read that right.  It’s Au.Ra, not aura, though listening to the music being composed by this duo might lead you to believe otherwise.  As of now, there’s nothing other than this single to really go off, but you can tell by the careful way that the electronic touches are built to establish that dream-like state that the band will soon have a huge following.  I enjoy the way the guitars seem to burst and bloom within the realm of what the band is accomplishing.  Even the hazy vocals continue to pile an extra musical layer atop the song.  Be on the look out for more from these dudes.


Download:Au.Ra – Sun [MP3]

Top Songs of 2012: 1-100

Our year end lists are wrapping up at this point, but we wouldn’t be a legitimate music site without a list of the top songs from 2012.  Personally, I feel like this list is a thousand times more difficult to compose than an albums list because we’re dealing with close to 400-500 songs in the running.  It’s been a long process trying to narrow that iTunes playlist down to 100, and I know some incredible tunes from this year are missing, but we hope you enjoy.  Ladies and gentlemen, follow the jump for the ATH version of top 2012 songs.

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New Pop from CornerBoy

Running a site like ours does take a bit of work, so I always check in with my favorite labels to see what they’re working on, and when I went to Dufflecoat Records, I was really excited to see this new CornerBoy release.  The tune has a bit of angular guitar work that plugs you into the primal sensation of good indie pop.  I can’t help but hear the ghost of Robert Pollard in the vocals, which of course makes it all the more special.  You can pick up the new EP, Just Another Sunday Song, from Dufflecoat now, and you’ll be glad you did.

Art Pop from Beachniks

I’ve heard rumors of Beachniks for some time, but I really haven’t been able to come up with too much information on the group.  That is until I stumbled across news that the band would soon be releasing their album In Color on Neotomic Records sometime early in the new year.  I can’t tell you how great their lead single is; it reminds me of the clever interplay that was always present on albums by Comet Gain…yet it still maintains a sense of harmony and artfulness, enabling me to act all smug when I listen to it.  Actually, I don’t even care about acting cool…this is just a great jam.

Scuzzy Slow Burner from Black Forest Fire

Personally, I’m expecting good things from Austin’s Black Forest Fire after delving into their latest single for a bit.  It’s got that magic slow-burn to it, which at first seems to hold a bit of fuzziness to it, but as the song progresses, the ringing guitar seems to give birth to the songs inherent beauty. Singer Karen comes in carefully, but she’s only around for a short bit, providing just a bit of vocals to the heavy mix.  You can find the song and a slew of others on the band’s recently released Transit of Venus, which was just put out by Sedimental Records.


Download:Black Forest Fire – Live News Feed [MP3]

Dreamy Girl Pop from Mini Dresses

I know I haven’t been doing my job when there’s an Austin band that I haven’t come across that completely floors me.  This just happened today with this track from Mini Dresses, a group who’s put out a couple of great singles, including this dreamy little jam.  I love the sound of the bass just quietly bouncing along beneath the vocals, then the cascading guitar that echoes into the song as it fades out.  You can find this gem on a recent 7″ the band released through Manic Pop Records; keep an eye out on the band both here and afar.


Download:Mini Dresses – Post Office Girl [MP3]

New Radar Bros Tune

News leaked a few weeks ago that Radar Brothers would be releaing their eighth album, appropriately titled Eight, which will be released on January 29th via Merge Records.  Our first listen gives off a dark ray of hope, with the band crafting well-orchestrated arrangements around a ringing discordant guitar.  The deep tone of the vocal has always been something that’s attracted me personally, so having it slowly drawn out through the track prepares me for another winning record from the group.


Download: Radar Brothers – If We Were Banished [MP3]


Show Pics: Of Montreal @ The Mohawk (12/4)

Of Montreal is notorious for putting on lovely and bizarre shows. Mixing theatrical shenanigans, hippy jam band lighting, punk show crowd energy and props to keep you invested, there is rarely a dull moment as props, projectors and extras fill your eyes as the band puts forth another solid sounding set. French Horn Rebellion had opening duties.

It was one of the last outside shows at The Mohawk and the weather was freaking perfect. I had to go. FEATHER CANNONS!!!1!11shift+one

Couple more thoughts and plenty of pics after the break.

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New Solo Project from Andy Comer : Bloody Amateur

If you don’t know Andy’s work with labels like Matador and Dim Mak, or his bands Tel Aviv and Prosaics, then you might want to go back in time and find the hits.  But, you can also put that aside and focus on his new project, Bloody Amateur, which will be releasing a self-titled debut on March 5th via Teen Beat.  Below you’ll find him stripped down and open, bearing his soul to the listener with little more than a guitar. Sometimes simplicity is just what you need to craft a wonderful song, and this tune fits nicely into that category.  Share it with your friends.


Download:Bloody Amateur – Companions [MP3]

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