When The XX announced their Austin show, tickets were virtually gone within minutes, forcing the band to add another show immediately. Such is the demand and the hype associated with the British group after the release of their album, Coexist. They brought friends Austra to town with them, giving listeners a glimpse at the operatic IDM realm.
Read on for some thoughts on the evening and pics.
I’ve had my eye on Australian band The Stevens for a bit now, and I’m really happy they’ve found an incredible home on our favorite label, Chapter Music. In honor of the signing, the label will be releasing their self-titled six-song EP on 7″ on April 13th. I love the way the guitars have this heavy-handed post punk feel to them, but then they take that notion and turn it into a softer little ditty. It’s a great effect, providing you with this catchy song you’ll want to play over and over again. Congrats to the label and the band for a perfect union!
Got another big batch of pics for you, this time from the show we helped out with over at Holy Mountain.
Pretty random lineup, Grape St. shimmied their way in first and put down another solid set of jams with some schtick and banter. Residual Kid played above their age group again; I think these kids should consider quitting their day jobs. Finally, The Calm Blue Sea gently took things by the scruff of the neck only to slap us around a little with their wall of sound.
I’ll talk briefly and share pics after the break.
One of my best kept secrets (unfortunately) is my undying love of this new album from Paperfangs, Past Perfect. This Finnish three-piece are crafting these really subdued electro-pop tunes. In my mind, I immediately feel as if they’re akin to PB&J, but I think their musicianship here is much more interesting. They’re not using gimmicks, just blissed-out harmonies with warmth lurking in the background. Their latest single is certainly one of the stand-outs on the record, demonstrating the sincere pop approach the band will utilize in winning your hearts. Take a nice long listen, and fall in love with the group: they’re album comes out via Soliti Music on February 22nd.
I can almost assuredly say that by the year’s end, everyone at the ATH offices will have admitted at one point or another that Kurt Vile‘s upcoming record, Wakin on a Pretty Daze, is one of our favorite album’s of the year. It seems outrageous, I agree, but such is the power Kurt holds over us, especially with this new single he’s just released. There’s something to his simplicity in songwriting that maximizes his emotional draw between himself and listeners. It sounds like almost anyone could write these songs, but no one could do it so effectively. The album is out on April 9th via Matador Records.
Download:Kurt Vile – Wakin On a Pretty Day [MP3]
Stumbling across great finds is always a pleasurable experience, especially when you find something you can really connect with. My big find of the weekend is June, a Tacoma project that really revolves around one man, Adrian Cosio. He’s just released his album Lost Words & Memories, where he’s occasionally he’s accompanied by Roxanne Choe. It really does sound like a bedroom recording, but in that sense, it also offers a very personal look at the mind of Cosio. I chose this track because I dug the fuzzed out guitar and the distance between the vocals and my ears. Go check out his work; see if you dig like I do.
Download:June – Buzzed [MP3]
Ticket Link Warning – If you don’t mind sitting behind a speaker, you can still get a ticket to either night’s show.
Indie darlings of moody sparseness, The XX are coming to town to play two nights and ACL Live. Austin Town Hall will be present tonight to give you all the lowdown on the show to see if you should sell your soul to go tomorrow night. A lot of people are way into Romy’s soft vocal, but the best song on the latest effort, IMHO, is the more upbeat, primarily Jamie XX-vocaled “Fiction”. Digress.
Now, The XX are cool and all, but to be honest, the openers Austra have spent more time on my playlists over the past couple years. I am looking forward to their set after having seen them at FFF6 in the broad daylight, not the best environment for their beauty-electro goodness. So here is a track to get you in the doors before their set starts at 8pm…
Download:Austra – The Beat and the Pulse [MP3]
You looking for a bit of glam pop to brighten your day? Well, that’s precisely what you’ll get when listen to this new tune from San Fran’s Burnt Ones. The band just announced they’ll be releasing their second LP on Burger Records on April 30th; it’s titled You’ll Never Walk Alone (I hope these guys don’t like Liverpool!). There’s a fuzzy guitar that rings in the opening of this tune, just before the clapping and stomping begins. It’s immediately catchy, but it’s not sugary, using a little grit to make the song sound just a bit dirtier. Nice little ditty for a Monday.
The most important thing about kicking things off on a Monday morning is to get things going in the right direction, and I think this tune from Sensual Harassment will do just the trick for you. This Brooklyn duo has a new EP titled Escape From Alpha Draconis coming out on Tuesday (it’s free if you trade your email), and based on this it’s going to be filled with danceable hits to get your weekend parties started. If you like what you’re hearing, you can check out the band on a brief little tour as they make their way into Austin for a stint at our little festival, SXSW.
Download:Sensual Harassment – Make Me Human Again [MP3]
We wanted to put more coverage towards the locals this year and our friend Glen Brown was going to be at the Red Bull Sound Select show at Holy Mountain earlier this week. He offered up some thoughts and shots, so we were like “yeah, do that” and he was like “OK, I will” and we were like “that’s gnarly”. So we have a little love for Gentlemen Rogues, The Sour Notes, Not In The Face and Ume.
Click through for Glen’s notes and plenty of pics. I should have gone. You should have gone. We should have gone.