Well, this is a bit of a change up for us this week, as we’ve been running around with lots of high energy tracks, but I couldn’t resist a bit of mellowness as the week winds down. Heidi Spencer & the Rare Birds have been making a huge wave over with the NME, and you can tell that a lot of American audiences will definitely enjoy her work due to its similarity to a woman and her harp. Regardless of similarities, Spencer does seem to have a bit more of a traditional folkie in her. You can check out her album on March 29th, titled Under Streetlight Glow. Give the tune a listen.
Download: Heidi Spencer – Alibi [MP3]
You’ve got to be all about High Tension Wires if you’re a Texas, especially an Austinite or Dentonian! The band is comprised of some our best punk/power-pop/garage bands around, namely Marked Men and Riverboat Gamblers, so you have to know it’s going to be a good time all around. The band’s got an album coming out on Dirtnap Records around March 15th titled Welcome New Machine. If you base it off this first single, it’s everything that you need in a good power-pop album. It’s got some catchy hooks, no-nonsense drumming, and even a bit of backing vocals. It’s all positive energy, and there’s not a thing wrong with that in my book.
Download: High Tension Wires – Backbone [MP3]
You don’t get much better than the Canadian group Sloan. They’ve been cranking out albums for years, giving us all a nice taste of blistering guitar pop that’s never failed to win this writer over. Now we’ve got news that the band are releasing their tenth album, The Double Cross, on May 10th via Yep Roc here in the States. One thing you can be absolutely sure about is that the record is going to be filled with hooks and sing-a-long moments that will stick in your head for years to come. Hopefully a single like this one will finally give more press to the much deserving band, as there are very few who’ve done it for so long, so successfully. And, if you’re just stumbling across the band, go back and check out the 30-odd track from Never Hear the End of It, quietly released a few years back.
Download: Sloan – Follow The Leader [MP3]
This feel good tune by The Figurines called “New Colors” has managed to brighten up what was an otherwise gloomy day. The catchy track is set to appear on the upcoming self-titled LP from the band due out April 12th via Control Group. Prior to that date, you can actually stream the entire new album on the Figurine’s bandcamp page as the joint was already released in Denmark. I think I’ve found my dance hall hit of the spring.
Download: Figurines – New Colors [MP3]
One of the great things about the Internet is that you can hear all sorts of crazy things from around the globe, which is the exact case with Mueran Humanos. The band’s name roughly translates to Die Humans, so I mean, you’ve got to appreciate that sort of bold statement. Musically, the duo, who come from Buenos Aires, use a moody electronic element to hash out their sound, giving us this first single titled “Festival of Lights.” There’s definitely a throbbing dance club element buried in this track, so if you like it, be sure to go find yourself a copy of the group’s self-titled debut from Blind Prophet Records. And, of course, we’re always happy to translate.
Download: Mueran Humanos – Festival De Las Luces [MP3]
First, lets just say that this isn’t the instrumental band from the UK! Talons’ is some mellow singer-songwriter tracks from M. Tolan, who recorded the album up in Akron, Ohio. It all comes from his album Song for Boats, which just came out. It’s supposedly loosely based on his dreams detailing his return to the US from Spain if the world were to come to an end. You’ll definitely find it in the vein of other songwriters like Iron and Wine (back in the day), filled with this whispering voice of a man coming to grips with his own reality. I stumbled across this record last week, and I’ve been slowly listening to it all week. Maybe it’s time you give it a try.
Download: Talons’ – Ferry [MP3]
As the band alluded to in our interview last week, San Fransisco’s Fresh & Onlys have a new EP, Secret Walls, coming out on Sacred Bones April 26th. Listening to this track, it’s a lot less energetic than their most recent effort, Play It Strange, which doesn’t really surprise me, as Tim Cohen, the front man for the band, has been slowing things down a bit with his solo material as well. Give this track a listen, and prepare yet again, for another solid release from this band. Perhaps it merely means they’ll soon have enough material for another record in 2012–I’m hoping so.
Download: The Fresh & Onlys – Do You Believe in Destiny [MP3]
Some good friends of ours from Down Under have been steadily putting out great music, and we’ve tried to do our best to spread the good word here in the States. One of these bands, which we’ve mentioned before, is the Twerps. They’ve got a nice little bit of melancholy to go with some oceanic jangle, which is just the right kind of stuff for my ears. Their newest split single with the Ancients, Black Eyes, is out now, and they’ll have a new one just in time for the band to hit up Austin for SXSW; we’ve got one of those tracks to premiere for you all. The Twerps will be playing their showcase on Saturday, March 19th at the Black and Tan. But, if you’re not in Austin, don’t fret, as the band has scattered dates all over the country, so catch them before they bounce abroad again.
Download: Twerps – Bullies [MP3]
Considering that two of the ATH writers have spent time living abroad in our past, how could we not support the movement of good rock n’ roll from our Latin American bretheren. So here you have Davila 666, a band from Puerto Rico, a band about to release their new album, Tan Bajo, next week here in the states. It’s a bit noisy, using rhythmic grooves to provide a nice bit of hyponitizing hooks for listeners. If you need help translating for this track, feel free to hit us up, as we swear we’re studied in Spanish. And, if you like what you hear, don’t only buy the record, go see the group in March when they come to Austin for SXSW.
Download: Davila 666 – Esa Nena Nunca Regreso [MP3]
Ah yes Brooklyn, the home of what seems like countless bands that are what I like to call “a little left of center”. The NY based outfit Screens are no different with sounds that range from Crystal Antlers to some strange form of spastic rock n roll. Their a little bit weird, definitely unique in their own way, and I can’t seem to get enough of it. This little number “Pop Logic” has some pretty catchy beats behind it and many parts of that craziness I find interesting. Check it out for yourself and pick up the group’s debut LP Dead House on May 17th via What Delicate Recordings.
Download: Screens – Pop Logic [MP3]