New (ish) Rocker from Mean Jeans

As we finally get our feet back under us after the work leading up to SXSW, I really wanted to toss out this track that’s been living in my inbox.  The song comes from the new Mean Jeans album, On Mars, which will be released by the excellent folks over at Dirtnap Records on April 17th.  If you’re in need of an energetic boost to get your Monday off, then be glad I saved this number until today; it builds with infectious hooks, then bursts off into a snotty vocal delivery.  You’ll definitely find the cure for a case of the Mondays by turning this one up!


Download:Mean Jeans – Anybody Out There [MP3]

Sprawling New Song from Lost Left

Lost Left is a three-piece, recording their music somewhere between London and Glasgow.  They’ve just put up their new record, Levollinen, which has really caught my attention.  It’s full of these extended soundscapes, crafted with truly remarkable melodies that come in and out, and then in again.  It takes a truly willing ear to listen to this record in its entirety, but the reward you receive will have you reeling.  It’s some of the more emotional compositions I’ve stumbled upon this year, and the band’s currently offering it up for the convenient Name Your Price.  If you’re looking to lose yourself this weekend, this is the perfect place to find yourself.


Download:Lost Left – Thank You For The Lung [MP3]

Great Garage Jangle-r from Blooper

It’s taken me almost a full week to completely recover from SXSW, but luckily I can go to our friend Toby’s site, Finest Kiss, and catch up on the good stuff he’s stumbled upon in his neck of the woods (Seattle).  This track he ran by Blooper is superb, and reminds me a lot of basically every sweet jam I’ve been rocking in my house for the last several years.  There’s a bit of swing within the jangle, and an infectious aura that sucks you in.  The band’s working on a new EP as of now, but they’ve also got a free Ballard Avenue EP you can grab to wet your appetite while you wait if you go HERE.


Download:Blooper – Secret Song [MP3]

Quirky Pop Gem from Volcano!

Beginning with an odd stutter-step propulsion, this new track from Chicago’s Volcano! moves into a space occupied by few in the indie spectrum.  The group’s combination of electronics and off-kilter timing makes for a hard pill to swallow; it’s immediacy is not apparent, but repeated listens find you warming to the spastic pop gem. The group are set to release Pinata, their third record, on June 12th via the Leaf Label, and it’s shaping up to be a listening experience you aren’t likely to find anywhere else. Seriously, a patient ear will lead you to the immense pleasure this track has to offer.


Download:Volcano – Pinata [MP3]

New Song from S Carey

A few years back S. Carey released All We Grow, which I felt was a highly underrated, or unnoticed, album.  It got some press for his participation with Bon Iver, but having seen him live since then, I think he definitely deserves some recognition on his own.  Perhaps he’ll achieve that goal when he releases his Hoyas EP via JagJaguwar  in May.  Based on this first listen, he’s still building his own little soundscapes, often based around small loops and intricate instrumental flourishes.  I suppose this could fall under the electronica spectrum, but you know Carey’s probably writing all these little elements himself.  Regardless, sounds pretty solid.


Download:S. Carey – Two Angles

New Dream Pop from Little Chords

If you dig hard enough, you can find some really incredible groups putting out records on bandcamp.  That’s how I discovered this great number from Little Chords, an act hailing from Vancouver. After doing my research, I was shocked to find out that it’s Jamison from Teen Daze, who’s winning over a lot of people on the Internet.  This Little Chords effort isn’t as dance heavy, instead reminding me of the bedroom works of Jack from Wild Nothing.  You can find this song, as well as other on the new record just released called Afterlife. It’s definitely repeated spin worthy.


Download:Little Chords – Always/Never [MP3]

More Hooks from Literature

We’re nearing the release date of Literature‘s Arab Spring (April 10th), which will be our first AustinTownHall Records release, working with our friend Chris over at Square of Opposition.  Sure, I’m easily biased as I believe whole-heartedly in this record, but I wanted to share another track to convince you that you’ll need a copy in your hands!  “14 Seconds” opens the album, setting the mood for a jangling indie pop record that inevitably gets you to swing your hips as the record completely sucks you in.  You definitely need to head HERE to get your pre-order on before you have to hunt down this brilliant release!


Download:Literature – 14 Seconds [MP3]

BGray’s SxSW Reflection

I had my camera. I took almost 4,000 pictures. That seemed like a lot, but once I factored in the number of bands, the odd things that have to be documented, the friends gathering for shenanigans and the eight long days involved, it really wasn’t surprising. I haven’t done the final tally, but it would be fair to say that I saw part of a set from around seventy bands.

It is my turn to give a rundown on bests and worsts of The Conference. The many highs were tempered by very few lows. I chased that BUZZ that drives the relevant music fan. My summary will be a little different because I did the whole damn thing; twelve movies, several Interactive and film panels and of course all the music.

So, plenty on the movies, panels and bands and a flurry of pics to accompany all that 411 after the break…

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Catchy Pop Number from Boxer the Horse

How many bands have you heard of from Prince Edward Island? Well, if you haven’t, you need to mark Boxer the Horse down on your list as band to adore.  The quartet are back with their second album, French Residency, and it’s a gem.  A lot of the record really harkens back to the innocent pop of the Lucksmiths, but I couldn’t resist throwing this number out there, as it’s definitely one of those you can play over and over. You might also find a bit of Pavement in the vocals/lyrics, just as the guitars cascade with bliss, grabbing you by the ears and rocking you out. I’ve been jamming this one all day long.


Download:Boxer the Horse – Rattle Your Cage [MP3]

SXSW Interviews: Hooray For Earth

Another SXSW has come and gone, but we’ve still got another few interviews to bring your way before we call it quits.  Today we’ve got one from Hooray for Earth who came into town last week and apparently turned some heads with their live show.  Band member Chris Principe took the time to answer our round of SXSW questions for us and we greatly appreciate it.  Check out his answers after the jump.

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