More New Appleseed Cast

Several months ago word got around that Appleseed Cast were finally planning to release a follow up to Peregrine of 2006.  These rumors were confirmed when we found a little demo of a new song called “Road West” way back in September.  A few months later, the band offered up finished track “Raise the Sails” which got even more positive buzz going around the music world.  Today we offer another sneak peek of the new album with a track entitled “As the Little Things Go”.  The new song is another instrumental oriented tune that seems to hark back to the days of Low Level Owl 1 & 2.  You’ll be able to pick up Appleseed Cast’s new album Sagarmatha on February 17th and catch one of their stellar live shows at the Mohawk on the 7th.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/appleseed-cast-the-as-the-little-things-go.mp3]

Download: Appleseed Cast – As the Little Things Go [MP3]

New Music From The Wrens

After much buzz in the internet world, The Wrens are finally confirming that an album is indeed in the works and being recorded as we speak.  The band has also just offered up the first sneak peak MP3 of the album with an as of yet titled song.  The new track is apparently a rough cut of better things to come, but we couldn’t resist the first taste of new material since 2003s Meadowlands.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/voxfx.mp3]

Download: The Wrens – New Song [MP3]

Magnetic Morning – A.M.

Rating: ★★★★ ·

When the rumor mill put Sam Fogarino of Interpol with Adam Franklin of Swervedriver together, no knew exactly what to expect from the duo.  Both men have achieved varying levels of success, but could they put it altogether?  Simply put, the answer is an absolute yes! Here it is ladies and gents, Magnetic Morning.

Immediately the band opens with “Spring Unseen,” a gentle number where vocal harmonies seem to burst into the song like flowers in the Spring.  Franklin’s trademark voice sounds incredibly familiar, yet he seems to have grown with it as time has passed.  Here the band sets up to the stage for the entire album, allowing all space to be filled sonically with ambient washes of guitar.  It’s a tactic that will remain prevalent throughout your listening experience to this album.

Oddly, the music seems both dated and refreshing.  There isn’t a lot out there right now in the realm of dramatic pop soundscapes, at least not a whole lot that will move you.  Despite the fact that it seems like a missing step-child in the world of indie-rock, it still comes out as remarkably fresh.  Every minute of the album is worth steeping yourself inside, as you wait carefully, quietly even, for the song to unfold before you.  This entire album will aimlessly float through your brain as the melodies become a part of you.

Looking at the song titles alone will show you precisely what the album is about, conceptually speaking.  It seems to be that Mr. Franklin is continuing to search for the answers, as we all inevitably are.  He approaches the subject matter with a perfect simplicity, one that will surely allow listeners to associate with his words.  Not to mention, a few songs seemingly deal with loss, of a friend or loved one you will have to find out.

Ultimately, this is an album that affects your mood, regardless of where you find yourself in the day.  It’s a somber affair, forcing, or asking rather, that listeners take a minute, or twenty, out of their day to let these songs invest themselves in your soul.  In the end, you’ll be glad you found the time to sink quietly into this wonderful album.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/05-no-direction.mp3]

Download: Magnetic Morning – No Direction [MP3]

New Music From The Rakes

We just found the catchy little diddy “The Light From Your Mac” by UK band The Rakes on the interweb today and wanted to share it with you. The song is the first single from their forthcoming release Klang due out March 24th. This one’s already getting heavy rotation on our dance party playlist.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/08-the-light-from-your-mac.mp3]

Download: The Rakes – Light From Your Mac [MP3]

Glasvegas On The Interface

We hereby promise to take a break from Glasvegas posts after today… we just couldn’t resist these awesome live videos.  You can watch a 4 song in studio of the Scottish band over on The Interface website.  The set features four of the best songs from the band’s self titled debut LP.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/03-its-my-own-cheating-heart-that-makes-me-cry.mp3]

Download: Glasvegas – It’s My Own Cheating Heart That Makes Me Cry [MP3]

Nickel Eye – The Time of the Assassins

Rating: ★★★ · ·

The last several months have brought the music faithful three different Strokes side-projects, the newest being from bassist Nikolai Fraiture, aptly titled Nickel Eye.  All this output makes one wonder what could have been accomplished had all the players remained as prolific as they seem to be.  But, this one leaves some questions for listeners.

Opening the album, it’s clear that Niklai holds his instrument of choice dear to his heart, as the bass-work is precisely what he provided listeners with when he took to the stage with his mates.

Then comes “Back From Exile,” the first appearance of an acoustic guitar.  It’s not that the songs aren’t enjoyable, as they surely are just that, but you start to go elsewhere with the music as you listen.  His voice sounds oddly like his band-mate’s, which leads one to wonder precisely what Julian thinks of his friends finding replacements for his vocal styling. Still, the second song featuring acoustic guitar, “Fountain Avenue” definitely is worth a listen, possibly over and over again.

Enter “Dying Star,” a possible suggestion at where The Strokes could have gone, or were going, or are going for that matter.  It’s winding guitars and hurried sound seemingly fit the mold of that other band.  It’s at this point that it all begins to slowly make sense.  “Brandy of the Damned” has a similar bounce to that of Fab’s band, Little Joy, but still definitely has a quality unmistakably similar to the central band.  That is where you begin to figure it out.

Nikolai seems to have a lot of difficulty moving away entirely from the sound he helped to establish. Whereas you feel like Albert Hammond and Little Joy have both established themselves, distancing their sound in certain ways away from their alma mater, Nikolai flirts with walking away, but never quite goes the distance here. He can’t seem to eclipse the huge shadow that looms large over his career.

That being said, the last few songs, “Another Sunny Afternoon” and “Hey, Thats No Way to Say Goodbye” both push those boundaries just a little bit, in a folkier manner.  It’s at the end of the album, which makes it come off as an afterthought, though you’ll surely enjoy “Another Sunny Afternoon.”

While listening to this album, you will definitely find a lot of it’s appeal, as there are many songs worthy of making your favorite mix-tape.  Yet, this album, is not one where you ask for more from Nickel Eye.  It’s pleasant and enjoyable, but where you wish Little Joy had another record, here your okay with just a few listens.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/07-brandy-of-the-damned.mp3]

Download: Nickel Eye – Brandy of the Damned [MP3]

FT5: Second Wave Emo Records

Looking back at my sad excuse for a life, I realize that my obsession with music had to begin at some point. I flirted with metal, as I alluded to last week, but mostly I found my love in classic California pop music and punk rock. Along the way, I meandered a bit off the path, as most did during the late nineties. Where did I land?  I landed in the wonderful world of emo. Sure, you’re thinking that I shopped at Hot Topic and couldn’t get Fall Out Boy out of my head, but I’m talking about the predecessors to the entire scene; well, the predecessors of the predecessors. I’ve devoted this week’s Top 5 to my one true love, emo. We’ll call it my Pop 5 Emo Records, and the countdown is after the jump.

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