New Music From Blitzen Trapper

Hell yeah!  One of my favorite bands, Blitzen Trapper, are returning in 2010 with new album Destroyer of the Void.  Lead singer Eric Earley told us at ACL that the new album would feature more piano written songs and this new single “Heaven and Earth” seems to hold true to that statement.  I’ll be curious to see what else is in store for this much anticipated album.  Destroyer of the Void is out June 8th on Sub Pop.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/Blitzen-Trapper-Heaven-and-Earth.mp3]

Download: Blitzen Trapper – Heaven and Earth [MP3]

Free EP From Stricken City

Seeing a sweet set by British band Stricken City at Red 7 during SXSW sort of reminded me of their existence and prompted me to do a little searching on the state of the band.  Much to my surprise, the band recently dropped a new 4 song EP which can be downloaded for free on their website.  Standout track from those recordings “Animal Festival” can be found below.  You can also find a couple of their older songs on our website here & right here.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/01-Animal-Festival-1.mp3]

Download: Stricken City – Animal Festival [MP3]

New Tunes from White Fence

This is Tim Presley of Darker My Love.  He has a new project called White Fence, and this jam has been floating around all day, though I heard it just before SXSW.  It’s got a real dark psychedelic feel to it, and though comparisons have been made to Love, it doesn’t have that same sexual power as Arthur Lee, it’s a solid brooding mess none the less. I think you’ll dig it.  And if you do enjoy, look for an album in April on Woodsist.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/white-fence-the-love-between.mp3]

Download: White Fence – The Love Between [MP3]

New Tunes from Teenage Fanclub

Great news out of Scotland today!  We’re proud to announce the return of Teenage Fanclub, who’ve taken a bit of time off.  They return June 8th with Shadows via Merge Records.  Listening to this single, it seems the band are at it again with their summery power-pop that shoots straight for the heart, or my heart at least.  Welcome back fellas.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/02-Baby-Lee-1.mp3]

Download: Teenage Fanclub – Baby Lee [MP3]

She Sir @ Mohawk (3/25)

Date 3/25/10
Location Mohawk
Doors 9pm
Tickets $6 or less @ door

By now you should have recovered from your SXSW week and should be feeling up for more live music!  Starting the weekend off right with live music, is a Thursday show at Mohawk featuring a 7″ release party by locals She Sir.  The guys will be joined on the stage by Motel Aviv and former A2W band Frantic Clam.  Should be a solid lil night of local music.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/She-Sir-Golden-ways-iatc.mp3]

Download: She Sir – Golden Ways [MP3]

New Tunes from Think About Life

Canada’s Think About Life just busted out their new album Family on Alien8 Records, and this opening single is just ridiculously bouncy.  It’s got some off-kilter vocal vibes, backed by this throbbing bass and precision snare.  It just gets you moving your feet right away, and that’s what we all need on the day after SXSW.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/210-Havin-My-Baby-1.mp3]

Download: Think About Life – Havin My Baby [MP3]

New Music From The Black Keys

The time has finally come for some new music from The Black Keys after their incredible LP from 2008, Attack & Release.  Their new album, Brothers, will again feature producer Danger Mouse and will be hitting stores May 18th.  Prior to that date, check out new single “Tighten Up” below and let us know what ya think!

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/The-Black-Keys-Tighten-Up-WR.mp3]

Download: The Black Keys – Tighten Up [MP3]

Austin Sound’s Sound Advice Volume IV

Before you head out into the fray of SXSW, head over to our friends Austin Sound to check out their new digital Sound Advice SXSW sampler.  The massive 19 track sampler features the best and brightest of up and coming talent in Austin.  You can also read a little about each band and see some live dates they have going on this week.  Below you’ll find a track from our new favorite locals The Happen-Ins, who have this track “Be Your Fool” featured on the compilation.  Well done gents.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/08-Be-Yer-Fool.mp3]

Download: The Happen-Ins – Be Yer Fool [MP3]

Kick Off St. Patty’s Day With Broken Records

As tomorrow is St. Patrick’s Day and I like to pretend that I’m part Irish, let’s celebrate with a new digital single from Scots Broken Records.  This track, “Lies”, actually appeared on a single a few years ago, but has just now been made available for free online.  You’ll find that it fits right in with the themes of tomorrow’s heralded day.  If you dig, you could also check them out on Wednesday at one of the following free SXSW parties:

Rare Party @ 4th Street Fort (216 E 4th st.) – 12:30am

Dirty Boots Showcase @ Wave Bar (408 E. 6th st.) – 3pm

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/BrokenRecords_Lies.mp3]

Download: Broken Records – Lies [MP3]

Seabear – We Built A Fire

Rating: ★★★★ ·

It’s heating up around Austin with SXSW right around the bend and with spring weather here, wildflowers across the state spring to life.  Nevertheless, Seabear is coming through town to cool things down a little. Icelandic septet Seabear, led by soothing songster Sindri Már Sigfússon, is set to release their nature-infused sophomore album, We Built A Fire. Iceland is renowned for its otherworldly landscapes and ethereal musicians (i.e. Bjork and Sigur Ros), but this record hits a familiar chord closer to home.

The release is premium indie-folk and shows the “Icelandic Beck” at his whimsical, yet haunting best. Although based in Iceland, Seabear’s lyrics are all in English; which makes it a surprise that this year marks the band’s first trip through North America, starting with SXSW. Beginning as a lo-fi solo project for Sigfússon, Seabear has expanded to a full 7-member band with the emphasis on the collective creative process. Their first release, The Ghost That Carried Us Away, was a much more intimate release with delicate, orchestral arrangements containing many indie-folk gems. Similarly on their latest, there’s no shortage of them. This time around, mutual input in the writing process was the modus operandi and what materialized is an improved confidence in all the parts. This translates into a stronger sound and superior effort as a whole.

Sigfússon songwriting talents (whose last solo effort came under the moniker Sing Fang Bous) is in full bloom starting with the opener, ‘Lion Face Boy’. His voice is a force, both full and soft simultaneously, driving the tempo throughout the track and ultimately the extent of the record.  ‘Fire Dies Down’ is a more up-tempo and moving track, displaying the rest of the group’s expanded instrumental vocabulary.

The pseudo title track and first single ‘I’ll Build You A Fire’ is a stand out track with wonderful harmonies. On Sigfússon’s 2009 solo tour, he was joined by headliners and fellow Icelandic indie poppers múm, and it’s obvious that a little rubbed off. ‘Cold Summer’ begins with a poignant piano intro. Then the vocals and cello drift in and out like a summer breeze over an Icelandic meadow. The depth and soothing nature of his voice prove to once again be the driving force followed by the country influenced ‘Wooden Teeth’; which is one of the more joyful moments on the record. This country influence continues into ‘Leafmask’ with a guitar intro displaying true country roots, before Sigfússon slows things down and emerges with one of the more impressive vocal tracks on the album.  After ‘Softship’, the album loses a little momentum and becomes more introverted before the back and forth crescendos and decrescendos of ‘Warm Blood’.

Seabear brings the tempo back up for the final track ‘Wolfboy’, completing one of my favorite releases of the year. We Built A Fire is thought-provoking music while physically moving to boot, and we can only hope their tour is so successful they return with more dates for years to come. Amazingly, this time around Austin gets 4 (yes 4!) chances to see them. You will not want to miss at least one of these free sets:

March 17th @ Epoch Coffee (221 W North Loop) – 7:15pm

March 18th @ Scoot Inn (1308 E 4th st.) – 1pm

March 18th @ The Hideout (617 Congress Ave.) – 1am

March 20th @ Cafe Mundi (1704 E. 5th st.) – 2:45pm

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/Seabear-03-Ill-Build-You-A-Fire.mp3]

Download: Seabear – I’ll Build You A Fire [MP3]

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