Pure Beauty from Wintercoats

705236_533455266681988_285299108_oIt’s really remarkable when you listen to the music of James Wallace, the one man composer who works with various friends to flesh out his sounds under the name Wintercoats. I like the light-hearted feeling and the feathery quality of the vocals. He’ll be releasing his new Heartfelt EP over in Australia on April 7th through Yes Please.  If you need a composition piece with an other-worldly edge, then allow yourself to be carried away by this new tune.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/01_Everyone-Mixdown_MSTR.mp3]

Download: Wintercoats – Everyone Seems To Be In On Something [MP3]

New Pop from TORCHES

tochesYou know, I definitely have been enjoying straight rock n’ roll this year, but I don’t want to forget that I really do love great pop music; I won’t hide from that.  This new jam from TORCHES is really enjoyable, and you’ll be able to get your hands on it via the band’s new If the People Stare EP on May 6th…for free I might add.  On this jam the vocals are way up front in the mix, and they definitely have a strong focus, but I like a lot of the light cymbal work that’s going on in the background of the song.  It’s just a good pop ditty. You can enjoy that can’t you?

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/01-When-You-Gonna_.mp3]

Download: TORCHES – When You Gonna [MP3]

Rad Post Rock from Cobalt Cranes

CobaltCranes_album_LOW_RESI’m really stoked on this new jam from Cobalt Cranes.  There’s something about it’s nostalgic 90s post-rock bent that really is working for my ears.  At the same time, that heavy bass line combined with the atmospheric guitar work cascading in and out of the tune definitely provides the song with modern appeal; I also appreciate that it’s a bit more melodic than some of the rocking tracks I’ve been jamming to lately.  If you like what you’re hearing then you can grab the band’s debut album, Head in the Clouds, on April 9th when it’s released by Anticc Records.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Shake.mp3]

Download: Cobalt Cranes – Shake [MP3]

Welcome Return from Blue-Eyed Son

W139I actually haven’t heard anything about Blue-Eyed Son in so long that I can’t even remember the last time I busted out their old record, but I’m glad the group is back in the fold.  They’ve got a new five song EP titled Shadows on the Son that will be heading your way on May 28th courtesy of Eenie Meenie Records. It’s weird, but every time I listen to the group, I think back to the innocent days of Beulah, where great pop songwriting and usage of horns was bred out of late night jams rather than extensive layering.  Regardless, I really think people should write more songs like this, both musically and lyrically.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/01_All_Went_Black.mp3]

Download: Blue-Eyed Son – All Went Black [MP3]

SxSW 2013: Movies You Should See

The Film portion is becoming my favorite part of SxSW. I go on documentary overload, picking obscure topics or things that fit my mood. Sometimes, I even choose whatever is playing at The Ritz so I can grab a beer and a pizza.

This year, I jumped around quite a bit. The first night had polarized moments of horror in a doc about Idonesian “Free Men” and the Raimi/Campbell backed remake of Evil Dead. I also hit docs on Branson, old gay people, Napster and an all brother brass horn group. I took a chance on the black and white low budget Whedon and friends production of Much Ado About Nothing shot in Whedon’s house. Some notes and a few pics from the premiers to follow.

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Clever Girl Pop from Anna Hillburg

annaI’m a sucker for a female singer, especially one who can carefully craft a pop ditty with ease.  This is much the case with San Francisco’s Anna Hillburg who just released her self-titled album on California Clap Records.  “Wine In a Tea Cup” is a pretty simple track here, pushed forth by a quiet drum track and some keyboard-ish accompaniment.  She’s joined at times during the chorus by the perfectly placed backing vocal; all of this works together to make a joyous little number that you can definitely spin over and over again.  Girl power!

Solemn Ballad from Frank Smith

Frank SmithThe word might be out that there’s a fuller sound, and even a more rocking sound, on the new album from Austin outfit Frank Smith.  For me, none of that matters at all, especially when you listen to the quality of this latest single, “Chewing Glass.”  It’s got the backbone of a piano, with the guitar ringing in the distance; it paints the picture of what I always think of when it comes to Texas defined music, though with a heavier leaning here, slightly.  I’m already calling this one of my favorite tracks of the year.  The band’s new album, Nineties, is out next week!

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/10-Chewing-Glass.mp3]

Download: Frank Smith – Chewing Glass [MP3]

Heavy Handed Rocker from Odonis Odonis

odonisodonisIt’s definitely the year for heavier-handed rock n’ roll to break back through into the mindset of indie fans everywhere.  There’s Milk Music and Metz, but now you can enjoy Odonis Odonis.  The group releases their Better EP on April 16th via Buzz Records, before they blast off on a tour that includes a date at Austin Psych Fest. This song has a swirling guitar part that’s emphasized by some industrial drumming; the lyrics don’t come across as heavy at first, but they’ll blast off to match the pace of the track.  Just another reason to turn up your speakers this year!

Bright Indie Pop from The Felt Tips

Felt-TipsOne of the acts I discovered this past weekend while doing my own personal music trolling was The Felt Tips.  Everything about their sound immediately caught my ear; I can’t say if it was the way the guitars dueled or the affecting tone of the vocals, but I know that I’ve just been playing this song on repeat for several days.  The group has a new album titled Symbolic Violence ready for your ears this coming Spring via Firestation Records–that label alone had me scrambling for pen and paper to bring you news of great indie pop.  Sometimes I just like simplicity and cleanliness, both which come to mind on this joyous listen.

New Matador Signing, Majical Cloudz

Autosave-File vom d-lab2/3 der AgfaPhoto GmbHMatador Records continues their push to diversify their catalogue by adding Majical Cloudz, the songwriting project of Devon Welsh.  The label will be releasing the Impersonator, the new full length effort, on May 21st.  It takes time for this track to open up to you, much as I expect it will take time to absorb the music within the album…I mean that in a good way.  Electronic flourishes slowly trickle in just before Welsh’s deep voice slowly unfolds.  I like the almost operatic quality of the voice; it’s not too over the top, yet it’s far from ordinary.  I think people are really going to find something to sink their teet into here.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/majical_cloudz_childhoods_end.mp3]

Download: Majical Cloudz – Childhood’s End [MP3]

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