Weird. We’re already starting to look forward to great releases in 2014, and this new release from Gem Club is going to be on my list from the get-go. Their first single from the record is a pretty incredible piece of song construction, moving slowly along the skeletal piano that serves as the foundation for the track. There’s a lofty vocal that soars beautifully atop the production, aided by some light string accompaniment to add extra depth to the song. You’ll be able to grab your own copy of the LP, titled In Roses, on January 28th, courtesy of the folks over at Hardly Art. Be prepared for something moving.
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||Thursday, October 10th
So, if I were going to have one complaint about ACL, it would be fairly minor; it would be that the punk rock genre is fairly underrepresented at the fest. Sure, we have FIDLAR, and maybe Parquet Courts, but by and large, we’ll miss my favorite genre. But, ACL knows how to do things right, as they bring you a killer rock n’ roll show from Wavves over at Antones. The wily bunch of beach rockers will be accompanied by two of our other favorite acts…Jacuzzi Boys and King Tuff. It’s going to be a noisy night filled with slamming into your neighbor, spilled beer, and an over all sense of joy. I suggest you hit this gig up.
Download: King Tuff – Bad Thing [MP3]
A bit back in time I came upon The Spook School, an Edinburgh act that had released a 7″ with Cloudberry Records. It seems the group are on their way up, having signed with Fortuna Pop to release their latest LP, Dress Up. On this single, bassist Anna Cory is rocking things out vocally, with the group’s sharp guitar work inserting both twee and noisier pop elements into your veins. I like the fact that the band is working on hitting the main strokes of modern indiepop, but with a slightly heavier edge. This is definitely a band you’ll want to keep an eye on, as songs this good are bound to make waves overseas.
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Non-festival goers have some nice options for live music this week in and around Austin. One of the best choices has to be The Dodos playing at local favorite venue Mohawk. Joining the indie mainstays are Dustin Wong and Daniel Francis Boyle. Having seen The Dodos several times before in the live setting, I can tell you that you won’t be disappointed if you scoop up a ticket to this show.
Download: The Dodos – Dont Stop [MP3]
The folks that run Austin City Limits, the real Austin City Limits, ya know, the TV show approaching forty years of bringing bands into your living room, always take advantage of artists just sitting around before, between or after a festival weekend. Neko Case is one such artist and I was delighted to see and more importantly hear her taping because of conflicts on the Sunday nights at Zilker.
This isn’t her first taping, so that means mostly material from the last two albums. I’m really liking Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You and we gave Middle Cyclone four stars back in the day.
Read on for thoughts on her set and a few pics of the event…
I am not going to lie: Saturday was my least favorite day of ACL. Aside from Parquet courts and The Cure (interestingly the first and last bands I saw on Saturday), no one really blew me away and the line-up was meh. But Sunday. Oh it was perfect.
Click through to see my highlights from the first Sunday of ACL.
From the very first time I heard Snowmine, I was in love; they’ve played our SXSW party and made several of our year end lists. After dipping their toes in the waters of record labels, the band have decided to release their new effort, Dialects, on their own. The first big single is definitely what I expected from the band, using these incredible instrumental accents to build a wall of pop extravagance. The vocals, as always, are delightful, reminding me of exactly why I fell so hard for the band in the first place. I’m sure if you spend some time with this new single that you’ll feel exactly the same way we do.
Download: Snowmine – Rome [MP3]
As much as I appreciate the weirder side of music or the crisp clean hits of jangling pop, I will always have a spot for straight-forward tunes built for large audiences. That’s the feeling I get when I first listened to this track from COIN; it’s got an explosive chorus, not to mention a catchy vocal delivery throughout. The guitars have that ringing quality that’s put a lot of bands on the map lately, such as Phoenix, so why not stick with a solid formula that makes you endearing? You need a pick-me-up jam? This is the one.
Download: COIN – Time Machine [MP3]
Earlier in the month I posted a Coathangers song that was going to be featured on a split 7″ with Audacity, and now I’ve got the other side of the 7″ to swoon over. The pummeling pace from the drums is enough to stir my punk rock emotions up, but I freaking love the guitar work here too. It’s sharp and still holds onto the furious edge that’s provided by the percussion. It blasts through, creating a riotous mood that sinks into your bones before it fades out of your speakers. You want to get amped up? Then pick up this split 7″ from Suicide Squeeze Records. The band will also be popping in Austin on October 24th, and we plan to be there jump up and down with the group!
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Not too long ago I wrote about Sweet Baboo, who released Ships earlier this year via Moshi Moshi. He’s turned right around to ready another EP, titled Motoring Home. For me, his music falls somewhere between the realm of Wave Pictures and Bubblegum Lemonade…both acts that are a must have for any fan of the genre. I also like the fact that this isn’t a project that’s taken too seriously, especially when you come to the auto-tuned verse that lurks in the middle of the song. Perhaps the greatest thing is you can sit back in your chair, allowing for a grin to creep up on your face as you revel in the simplicity.
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