I love a great Australian voice, and we’ve seen so many come across our pages recently, like Ali Barter, who we’ve mentioned in the past. But, it’s not always easy for acts to get across the pond, so I’m really excited that she’ll be make her way across to the US for this year’s SXSW. It’s never a year without one great Aussie act or another! Last year she released Hello, I’m Doing My Best, and as we see here, she’s in LA working on the follow-up. SXSW seems like the perfect time to work out some kinks. See what else Ali has to say below.
A full minute of exuberance opens the new single from Orpine, spiriting the listener before the duo retreat to gentler fare. Oliver and Eleanor share vocals from that point forward, carefully letting a string ring on the song’s horizon; Eleanor seems to take the lead here, with Oliver supporting. This switches as the song’s moves into phase 3, with Oliver dropping quicker lyrical lines as percussion and faster strumming drives further meaning into your ears. And the song’s not even near over, taking a moment of quiet respite before bounding back down the road. I feel like this song is what it’s like as a newborn, opening your ears for the first time to the beauty in the cacophony of the world. Their album Grown Ungrown will be out on May 15th via Heist or Hit! (Soundcloud link HERE).
It’s weird how the world works. Two albums into their career already and I’m just now hearing of French outfit Cathedrale; I owe it entirely to this ridiculously catchy pop boppper. This tune brought out the energy immediately with a quick drum roll and the throb of bass bobbing in the speakers. Guitars soon joined the fray, and before the vocals even came in I was having a ball listening to this tune. That’s the thing, the vocals are definitely in that sort of indifferent punk mode, and I dig that, but some of the best parts occur in the absence of voice. You can feel the fun in the chorus, though there’s no chorus; the band just let go and carry you away with exuberant garage rock. Their 3rd album, Houses are Built the Same will be released on March 27th via Howlin Banana Records.
Another year and another ATH vs SOTO SXSW Party is ready to roll! Luckily for us, we get to draw on the great Austin acts that are already living here, and one this year’s guests will be Dorio. The band will likely be playing songs off their forthcoming album, Yesterday the Sky Was Blue, with the title track just being shared with the world. I love the bob of this song; it seems to have this playful bounce, almost nostalgically playing with psychedelic undertones, though plodding along happily…which seems to be the detailing of the lyrical content as well. This is just one of those feel good tracks that puts a grin on your face; I expect the LP to do the same when it’s released by Citrus City on March 27th.
When I willingly gave away my money to the Slumberland Single Series I had no idea what to expect, and I’ve been really fortunate to get some gems coming to my doorstep. But, with the announcement of new 7 inches coming from both Pale Lights and Odd Hope, I don’t think I could be any happier that my money was well spent. This Pale Lights single might just be my 2nd favorite track of the year thus far, pretty easily I might add; it’s the brand of pop I’ve always adored, which is perhaps greatly in part to the work of Slumberland. With Odd Hope, it’s just always great to hear new songs from Tim; his work has been an important part of my life, despite just a couple of releases. You couldn’t ask for more, and yet here we are; both 7 inches drop on April 23rd.
The annual SXSW conference always has up-and-coming talent on the roster; Billie Eilish was there long before she broke out to the masses. A bit of a different genre, but 18 year-old Sammy Brue is in the same spot; he’s a young musician just trying to get his name out there before his new album Crash Test Kid drops on June 12. Meet Sammy below!
Back in 2018 we were constantly jamming to Happy Now, the first LP from San Francisco’s the Wild Kindness. But, news came across our desks today that the band are ready for LP2, and with that, we’ve got the album’s first single. They’ve take their jangling style and infused it with flares of Americana, such that it shares lineage with the band’s hometown sound of long ago. But, when you move into the chorus, that’s the sweet spot for the band…they up the ante on their melody, build in some fuzzier riffs and get ready to blast away filled with joyous energy. It’s a good jam, and one that appears on their new record, Faulty, which they’ll release on May 1st.
It doesn’t seem like Peel Dream Magazine are going to slow down the machine anytime soon, crafting track after track that deserves your attention. It’s strange, but the delivery of the vocals on their latest single already feels super familiar, as if we’ve been listening to the band for years; it’s buried just beneath the wash of rhythmic guitar chords and keyboard droning. I’m just fascinated by their constant collage work; things seem muddy within the confines, but they’ve added the layers so delicately that each instrument seems to ring out individually; you can be captivated by any one note and ride it until the song’s end. Agitprop Alterna is dropping on April 3rd via Slumberland Records.
If you haven’t gotten to listen to Non La‘s debut Not in Love LP, then this is your chance to correct your mistakes. It’s a refreshing pop rock record that reminds me, to a degree of the early Diet Cig stuff. It has that same infectious quality, and a simplicity that allows for the earnestness of the songwriting to sparkle in the forefront. There’s just something about no frills good old fashioned rock n’ roll, and its on full display in this video, only furthering my belief that you’re life will be infinitely better the moment you take a chance to grab the LP from Lost Sound Tapes and Kingfisher Bluez.
While Mike Lee’s always hard at work in our ATH faves Fanclub, he’s recently gone back to recording tracks where we first fell in love with him, as the songwriter behind Letting Up Despite Great Faults. This song reminds me a lot of Red Sleeping Beauty, driving these hook-laden beats into your skull; they delight upon each rhythmic pulse and each bouncing step. Lee gets help on the vocals here from fellow Austinite Socha, and that textured vocal combination is a sure-fire win in my book. No word on how much new stuff we’ll get from the project, but we’re always grateful to hear Mike working on anything.