New Tunes from Bill Callahan

billWe know this is a few days late, but seeing as we were busy enjoying SXSW, we didn’t have time to throw this up right away, which is a shame because we love our fellow Austinite, Bill Callahan.  This track is off his forthcoming record Sometimes I Wish We Were an Eagle, which hits stores April 14th on Drag City. 

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/bill-callahan-eid-ma-clack-shaw.mp3]

Download: Bill Callahan – Eid Ma Clack Shaw [MP3]

Jeremy Jay – Slow Dance

jeremy-jay

Rating: ★★★★ ·

Jeremy Jay seems to be relentless when it comes to releasing material, as this is his second album in two years, on top of various 12″s and 7″s.  Slow Dance, once again released by K Records, is not a huge departure from last year’s effort, but there are some subtle differences that demonstrate Jeremy’s move into brand new territory.

“We Were There” enters the game with some noticeable keyboard work to comfortably coat the song in a dense fog of 80s synth melodies.  At the core, it’s still the same old Jeremy pushing forward driving rhythms to accompany his spoken word delivery, but the new element displays a decision to pursue different ground.

“In This Lonely Town” picks up the same style from last years A Place Where We Could Go, with its swaying rhythm moving back and forth across the speakers.  At this point it seems as if the man can construct these songs with such ease that it’s hard to see him not releasing an album a year.  “Gallop” plants its roots in the same soil as the preceding song, but that bass line just begs you to bop along the way.

“Canter Canter” and “Slow Dance” pull back the reins just a little bit, as they drop the steady groove that has given the album its pacing up until this point.  Not only do the vocals seem to take a step back, but the overall movement of the tracks demonstrates Jeremy’s newfound appreciation for a track that will build and build upon itself.  Still, the vocal lay of the land is the most noticeable change here, as if our narrator is slow dancing his way through a field of poppies.

Then comes “Winter Wonder” into the scene.  Another slow number, but the remnants of this song don’t seem rooted in either classic rock n’ roll nostalgia nor 80s throwback. In fact, it’s one of the most modern songs Jeremy Jay has constructed to date, which definitely wins him some points, as he seems to finally control the slower tendencies of this album.  But he immediately jumps back into the classic R&B sound on “Will You Dance With Me.”  The barely audible piano meshed with the bass work propels the song along, though still noticeably slower than pervious numbers.

The closing number here is probably one of the better songs he’s written to date.  It’s as if he is channeling a more traditional approach to independent music, with gentle guitar work smeared with flowery vocals.  This would fit perfectly in the lexicon of classic 90s indie pop songs, and it’s the perfect close to another admirable piece of work from Jeremy Jay.

As it all draws to a close, the one thing that will remain with listeners is that Jeremy Jay has gone a bit slow on us.  While the first half of the album benefits from the pacing of old, the second half demonstrates the songwriters capabilities to compose slower melodic moments.  Not a huge change overall, but another solid piece of work.

New Music From Robert Gomez

robert-gomezDenton’s own songwriter Robert Gomez has some new music he’s ready to throw our way. The new song is called “On This Day” and will appear on the upcoming album Pine Sticks Phosphorus out on April 14th via Nova Posta Vinyl. It features a slew of Denton/Texas musicians and is even produced by Centro-matic drummer Matt Pence.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/robertgomez_onthisday1.mp3]

Download: Robert Gomez – On This Day [MP3]

SXSW Watchlist: The Hours

hours_closeup_mattiaThe Hours are a band making their first trip to the US from across the pond in the UK.  Antony Genn and Mark Slattery are founding members of the band and began recruiting additional musicians since forming in 2004.  Mixing and blending pop driven rock similar to other hot UK bands, yet creating their own sound, The Hours are a band you won’t want to miss during SXSW.  Follow the jump for a short interview with Antony Genn of The Hours, see some SXSW dates and grab a song.

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New Jeremy Enigk

jeremyenigkFrom his storied turn towards Christianity to his involvement in legendary emo band Sunny Day Real Estate, Jeremy Enigk has lived a well-documented life, though unfortunately, it often is more tabloid fodder than about the music. However, this new tune shows that the backbone of piano combined with his voice still gives Jeremy that winning nod from fans.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/jeremy-enigk-mind-idea.mp3]

Download: Jeremy Enigk – Mind Idea [MP3]

New Tunes from Apostle of Hustle

apostle Andrew Whiteman is just one of the many heads that is Broken Social Scene, but, like all the rest, he has a solo outfit with Apostle of Hustle.  The groups new album Eats Darkness is coming out via Arts and Crafts Records May 19th, and we offer you the first single, “Perfect Fit” for your enjoyment. 

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/apostle-of-hustle-perfect-fit.mp3]

Download: Apostle of Hustle – Perfect Fit [MP3]

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