It’s been a rough week for Austin music fans, with the shuttering of several venues along the Red River Cultural District; Barracuda hit the hardest for us, personally. Our various channels have been flooded by friends and fans saying goodbye, but what better way than with a fresh video from our friends The Sour Notes, who present you their latest video…shot at Barracuda. It’s classic guitar pop, with the bands nod to Galaxie 500’s fuzzy approach definitely apparent to my ears. It’s nostalgic too, especially if you’ve been at Barracuda and recognize the wooden panelling on the wall…so you get a great track and a nice nod to what’s now in the past. This tune appeared on a recent 7″, but will also featured on the group’s forthcoming More is the Pity LP. Hats off to Vineet Gordhandas for the footage itself! RIP Barry.
If you’ve been around the Austin music scene in the past few years, you’ve likely seen Josh Halpern behind the drum kit in many of your favorite bands; he drums in Marmalakes, whose debut we put out on ATH Records. Now, he’s stepping out on his own, under the name J Halp. It’s a subdued little number, kind of hopping along on the back of a piano line as it entrances you with its subtlety. The twist comes in just after the 1 minute mark where Josh kind of gives you glimpses of the direction he’s going, combing chilled loops with a little R&B inflection. The Ahlen EP will be out on July 24th, so congrats to Josh on his new endeavor!
We tend to focus on what’s in front of us, and in the US, it’s very clear changes need to be made. But, this new track from DyspOra reminds me that the African community has long been the subject of discrimination world-wide…even now in Australia…a scene we cover a lot here.
Gabriel Akon had this to say about the inspiration for his tune:Theres a generation of, I call them, Australiens. They are the ones that want to be Australian, but they get treated like aliens, so theyre somehow on the fringes. They are the biggest potential this country could ever have because of what they could add to this country. All the nation has to do is invest in them. And the investment is so tiny. The investment is literally just accepting them.”
The tune is the title track from his latest album, out now via Music in Exile (a label you should really look into right now).
Just last week the Seattle based duo Mansions, comprised of Chris Browder and Robin Dove, dropped news of an upcoming album with the single “Black and White”. Prior to the release date of new album Big Bad on June 26th, the band has just released this new single “PPV” to build even more hype for the upcoming release. This one is a bit more of a brooding and slow burning track when compared to the sheer noise and power of last track “Black and White”. What this one may lack in the noisey department, it makes up for with some truly emotional, thought provoking, and enchanting soundscapes. Pre-orders of Big Bad are up now via Bad Timing Records.
Over the year we’ve talked quite a bit about Montreal based band Plants and Animals, but the group seemingly goes away for a few years after releasing new music. Last we heard from the guys, they released the underrated album Waltzed in From the Rumbling way back in 2016. Well they are returning again in 2020 with this new single called “Sacrifice” which has caused me stop everything I’m doing and listen to this jam over and over again. It moves at an absolutely frantic pace, leading up to some drastic break downs and powerful vocal performances. This is exactly what I needed today.
Plants and Animals will release this song as part of a new album coming sometime in 2020.
The Birthday Letters will be releasing Human Beauty next week, and maybe this single will help put the album in your consciousness. Musically, there’s some interesting things going on here that piqued my interest, both dealing with familiarity. First, Joseph Hughes vocals have a faint resemblance to Ben Gibbard, and while my interest in DFC has waned, that voice was super prominent in my early 20s; there’s something soothing about the softness. Second, the music kind of reminds me of that sort of British trip-hop spun through a more modern Radio Dept vibe; its like a melodic dance party for your ears! If you dig it, don’t forget the record drops next week!
Andre Salvador & the Von Kings are a new act on my radar, owed entirely to their new work with up-and-coming label Last Night from Glasgow. Today they announce their new LP, and do so with this power-pop rocker that should have you tapping your toes as you memorize the chorus. I think songwriter Tim Cheplick even coyly drops the band’s sound into his lyrics; I mean, he flat out says “here’s another heavy soft sound.” There’s a crunchiness to the guitars throughout, though you can’t turn away from the hooks and the melodic playfulness popping in and out of the vocals. Pop rock should always sound this good. You can find the track on their self-titled album, out on August 31st!
Feel like we should start off Thursday with a bit of rabble-rousing, and what better way to get up and going than a scuzzy little punker from Australia’s Vintage Crop. The tracks interesting to me, as it seems to be of two minds, musically speaking. One one end, its frantic and quick, just ordinary rock n’ roll with flare. But, lurking in there are these little artsy odds and ends…little lines of pogo propulsion or jittery spastic guitar notes. Its like the best of both worlds! And, toss in the vocals, you get the feeling that you’re in the live setting, you can feel yourself being stalked from the stage by the band; they’re trying to rile you up…just as I am on this early morning riot. You can grab Serve to Serve Again on August 7th via Upset the Rhythm/AntiFade
If you’re looking for some fun new music on this bright and sunny Wednesday morning, might I suggest this new song called “Call Me on Your Telephone” from Brighton based artist Nancy. It features a garagey inspired take on pop music, and might invoke images of Franz Ferdinand with a more guitar driven focus. You can certainly find something to enjoy in the playful, and sometimes scuzzy, vibe.
French label Hidden Bay Records is a solid go to for talent that might go overlooked by the mainstream indie media…you know, like Big Baby and Sustains, to name but a few of my faves. Today I just wanted to hip you onto Camille Benatre, who lives in the same town as the label’s home base. I think at first, I got wrapped up in Camille’s voice; it had this majestic melody that seemed so effortless, so pure. As I immersed myself in that melody, the song’s natural buoyancy crept into my soul, suddenly leaving my toes tapping atop my table as I write this. Like I said, a go to for pure talent! They’ll release Apres le Soir this Friday in collaboration wit Les Disques Woody.