Friday night was our third show in a four day run, and man, I couldn’t have asked for a better bunch of bands to catch live. Manhunt, Flesh Lights, Mind Spiders killed it, and to top it off, Obits closed the night in marvelous fashion.
Read on for some thoughts and the usual solid photographs from Mr. Brian Gray.
I was first introduced to Nathan K‘s music while listening to his other group, Stepdad, but now he’s stepped out for just a minute to offer up a brand new album of really mellow tunes. All these songs stem from time spent with his dying grandfather in the hospital, which clearly makes this a very personal album for him. Clearly, it’s not the most uplifting affair, but he’s really done an incredible job allowing us a brief view into this experience. All these songs appear on his release Dishes, with the majority of these tunes recorded late at night on a four-track while he tended to his ailing grandfather. Sometimes with great tragedy we see great beauty.
Download: Nathan K – Hospital Walls [MP3]
It seems like every woman ever connected with Vivian Girls likes to keep herself busy, and Ali Koehler isn’t any different from the rest. She’s recently recorded this nice little gem for Art Is Hard’s Pizza Club, and it’s quite a nice bit of pop. It’s not a long track by any means, and it doesn’t really need to be, as the hooks come as soon as Ali opens her mouth. Sure, you’ll find similarities with the other acts she’s been associated with, but this sounds so much sweeter, in an innocent pop songstress sort of way. Hope you dig it.
Download:Ali Koehler – Not Like Me [MP3]
A bit ago I brought you a sweet gem from Allah Las, a California group with an homage to the classic psychedelia of their home state. Well, lucky for you, the group is nearing the release of their self-titled album, which comes out on September 18 via Innovative Leisure. Again, the group is tossing back their sound, and that guitar sounds so incredible coming through the speakers. I can’t really see a lot of modern bands giving the sound this kind of classicism, which proves to me that this group really has something special going on in their tunes. It’s not a rehash; it’s a re-imagining and it sounds great.
Download: Allah-Las – Don’t You Forget It [MP3]
I’ve written about this duo before, but as things heat up here in Austin, I’m always pleased with tracks that demonstrate the lighter side of my personal musical tastes. My Great Ghost has just released their EP, which should whet your appetite as they work on completing their full length album. While the beginning of this track seems fairly normal and catchy, it hits harder as the vocals soar a little bit higher and the strength of the beats come through. This is definitely a group worthy of your attention; be sure to check out their self-titled EP.
Download:My Great Ghost – Means To An End [MP3]
FatCat really has their hand on melodic noise rock from the British Isles. Not only do they have our favorite The Twilight Sad on their roster, but they’ve just picked up PAWS to release their album, Cokefloat!, on October 9th. There’s a great bit of exuberance in this track, with a youthful vocal attack dominating the song from the get-go. I like how things are slowed down just a touch towards the end of the song, giving you time to capture your breath before they blast off in an angst-ridden fashion. Definitely an exciting track from these Glasgow lads.
Download: PAWS – Miss American Bookworm [MP3]
The great thing about the Internet is that it makes discovering acts a lot easier than it used to be, and lucky for Suicide Squeeze I think they’ve stumbled upon to a real gem. They’ve just signed Peace, a Vancouver act, and plan to release the band’s album, The World Is Too Much With Us on October 16th. It has the slightest hints of Fresh and Onlys, with that heavy vocal being the focus, although it’s not exactly in the realm of modern psychedelia. I appreciate the onward stomp of the track with its crashing cymbals propelling the song forward. Congrats SS, this is going to be a great one.
Download:Peace- Your Hand In Mine [MP3]
Supergroup? I guess to many of us, Divine Fits would qualify.
Dan Boeckner of Wolf Parade/Handsome Furs, Sam Brown of New Bomb Turks and that one guy in Spoon. To get things going after holing up and recording the pending A Thing Called Divine Fits due 8/28, the band decided to do a home town tour hitting Austin, Montreal and Columbus. Austin got to be first, a sneaky show a Continental Club preceded this one. But this was the first night they officially played a show.
Beerland got to host, The Young got to open.
One of the bands I’ve been into for some time is nearing the release of their next album, Love Will Prevail. Cult of Youth will be releasing this record on September 4th via Sacred Bones Records, and it’s shaping up to be an improved effort that will surely have the band on everyone’s mind. I hate to say it, but every single time I listen to the group, I can’t help but think of pirate shanties, though that’s not a bad thing in my mind. Sean Ragon’s voice sounds like he’s hurting, which provides the emotional grab, especially when the band softens the vocals up near the end of the track. I’m pretty sure this is going to be a big hit.
One of the acts I’m really excited for everyone to catch onto this year is Nude Beach. Personally, I don’t think there’s really anything else out there like this at the moment, with a fusion of classic pop rock and lo-fi garage. Their new album II will come out on August 14th via Other Music Recording Co, which has made some great signings. If you’re looking to get transported back into the past a little bit, but hold onto a hint of your hipster credibility, then you gotta fall in love with Nude Beach; you won’t be disappointed.