Envelopes – Here Comes the Wind

Rating: ★★★★ ·

Envelopes is a little known band from France, so little known that no one wants to release their record in the United States besides iTunes. However, their second full length, Here Comes the Wind, is definitely one of the more complete releases of 2008.

If one was to label the band’s sound, you would be pretty close if you threw it under the genre of jangle pop. The melodies are bubbling full of brightness, making the joy of the songs immediately accessible for listeners. Throughout the album, the band presents you with hook after hook, encouraging you to bob your head in shear ecstasy.

Vocally, they combine male and female vocals, as if they were trading roles. At times, the vocals recall Frank Black’s Pixies yelp, but at other moments it’s the croon of David Byrne they seem to be evoking. Despite reference points, they seem to mix it up enough to keep you interested, as no song sounds exactly the same, which is what most of us seem to enjoy.

Lyrically, the band has never been one to provide the deepest meaning in their songs, which we could blame on the fact that the band is working with a second language. Still, the lyrics are easily distinguishable, which allows listeners to hold onto certain songs, and sing them loud for all of your friends.

Most noticeably, you can feel a true influence of the Pixies. The bass lines sound as if the band jumped Kim Deal and stole her stylings. Angular guitars crash into each other, creating waves of beauty. But, at the core of it all is a true pop sensibility, free of the darker elements that went with their immediate influences.

This album is wonderful through and through. It won’t wear you out after hundreds of spins, and each time you put it on, you seem to get more out of it. A complete album is a rarity nowadays, so head on over to iTunes and pick this one up before your friends get hip.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/12/10-03-heaven.mp3]

Download:  Envelopes-Heaven [MP3]

Free Music From Sunken Treasure Records

Several months ago, we told you about the brand new digital download store from Sunken Treasure Records.  Now the label that spawned from the Done Waiting blog is making all of their releases available for free download.  That’s right, free.  Not pay what you want, not email subscriptions, but free.  The label has some pretty good acts like Miranda Sound, The Evil Queens, Celebrity Pilots, and a few other sweet bands.  Check it out now, music is only free till the end of the month.

Trail Of Dead @ Red 7 (12/13)

For those of you who get annoyed with your favorite bands makin’ it big and not playing smaller venues anymore, Trail of Dead have a treat for you.  The now veteran Austin band are planning to play at Red 7 this Friday along with friends Those Peabodys & Glorium.  Now time for the bad news… Tickets for this surprise show are being sold only at the door so get in line early if you want to make it inside the small club.   Doors are opening at 8pm.  Recent single from TOD can be heard below.

 


Albums Of The Year: 15-1

A few days ago, we gave you part one of our albums of the year list.  Today we bring you the best of the best from a wide range of artists who brought the noise this year.  We’ve fought it out amongst our ATH writers for weeks and these are the albums that we all loved.  These 15 albums went into thunderdome and emerged victorious.  Follow the jump to see if your favorite band made the Top 15 of 2008.

Read more

The Midgetmen @ Mohawk (12/12)

Another good local band show is going down Friday night at The Mohawk with The Midgetmen and The Calm Blue Sea teaming up for a sure to be rockin’ show.  Music should start around 10pm for this one.  Preview the show with a track from The Calm Blue Sea entitled “We Happy Few”.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/12/the-calm-blue-sea-we-happy-few.mp3]

Download: The Calm Blue Sea – We Happy Few [MP3]

101X Worforce @ Emo’s (12/11)

The 101X Independent Worforce is putting on quite the show at Emo’s this Thursday evening and we’re here to give you the details.  First off, the lineup is outta site with The Ting Tings, Black Kids, Eagles of Death Metal, Airborne Toxic Event, and even local boys The Black and White Years on the bill for the event.  Showtime is set to kick off at 9pm.  Unfortunately, tickets have been sold out for quite some time so try searching craigs list for a bargain.

An Horse

When a band is discovered by Tegan & Sara, you probably know that ATH is going to jump all over them.  Such is the case with Australian act An Horse.  Apparently the story goes that the Quin sisters met the duo while on tour in the land down under and brought them back to tour the states.  After the band’s first stint in the US, the media has been hot on their trail to tag them as the next big thing.  Big time or not, An Horse have one EP already in stores and their debut LP Rearrange Beds is available for purchase now via iTunes.  The physical release of the album won’t be until mid March, so if time and money are an issue, let us hook you up with new song “Postcards”.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/12/postcards.mp3]

Download: An Horse – Postcards [MP3]

Albums Of The Year: 30-16

The year of 2008 is winding to a close, so it’s only appropriate that we wrap it up with our year-end albums list. We don’t expect many to necessarily agree with our list, but we worked really hard to make sure we had what we thought were the best thirty albums of the year. These are the records that spun over and over again in our heads and stereos, so this list is dedicated to their longevity in 2008.  We’ve conveniently broken it down into two segments, with albums 30-16 after the jump. Read more

1 1,303 1,304 1,305 1,306 1,307 1,369