• Levitation 2019: A Reflection

    Team ATH has been covering Austin Psych Fest/Levitation since its early inception, probably in the second year at Radio Room (sorry we missed the first year!), so we’ve seen the

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  • ACL WE2 in a Nutshell

    Another Austin City Limits is behind us boys and girls and it’s always a good time to reflect on the music and experiences from the weekend. I considered myself very

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  • SXSW 2019 – A Recap

    Yet another SXSW is in the books and it’s time for the ATH crew to reminisce a little and offer some highlight from the week behind us. I think we’ve

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  • SXSW: 6 Bands To Watch

    Well SXSW music is officially here, and as I sit and ponder my existence while at work, I thought it would be fun to share some advice on bands to

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  • RayRay’s Top Songs – 2018

    When it comes to ATH and our areas of expertise, I like to think I’m the go to guy for song lists and bad ass playlists. If you’re doubting me,

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New Tunes from Awesome New Republic

awesomenewrepublicKnowing very little about Awesome New Republic, I have to admit, I’m going to be scouring the Internet for all the latest on this group.  Their song, “Florida,” an homage of sorts to their home state has been kicking around in my head all day long, so I figured I should share it with you. According to the kids over at Stereogum, the EP from which this song comes, Rational Geographic II, is up for free on the group’s web site. 

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/2-02-florida-1.mp3]

Download: Awesome New Republic – Florida [MP3]

New Tunes from The Cave Singers

cavesingersWe’ve mentioned The Cave Singers before, and we loved their set a few years back at Fun Fun Fun Fest, so when news came about concerning a new album, we were excited. This new album, Welcome Joy comes out via Matador on August 18th, and we’re sure it will be nothing short of delicious. On the new song, there is a bit of an edge to it, which isn’t surprising considering the past of the trio.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/the-cave-singers-at-the-cut.mp3]

Download: The Cave Singers – At The Cut [MP3]

Tiny Vipers – Life on Earth

tv

Rating: ★★½ · ·

Tiny Vipers is the project of Seattle’s Jesy Fortino; she is the possessor of one incredible voice, wavering between high notes, and those from the depths of her diaphragm. Her new album, Life on Earth, checks in precisely where she left us the last time around, filled with careful guitar strumming, soft-spoken piano chords, and, of course, her astonishing vocals.

In this instance, the artwork on the cover pretty much seems to some up the album as a whole.  There is a girl in the middle of a dense shadowy hillside; we’ll let the girl play the role of Fortino.  Off in the distance, you can barely make out the band name and record title.  Rising flames play the role of Jesy’s voice.  For the most part, the album has a lot of absent space musically, which really ties in the statement of the artwork and the music.

No one will take away Fortino’s voice, and its clear quality.  The way she wavers between pitch and tone with songs like “Development” is something very few other musicians can imitate, though recent folk movements have seen many try their best.  It’s soothing quality is clearly something many listeners will find appealing, though perhaps more in the midnight hour than the morning drive to work as they prepare for the day.  Overall, it has a cleansing quality for one’s ear, removing beats and shuddering guitars in trade for a naked guitar and vocal approach.  Therein lies the drawback to such an album.  Placing the beauty of voice aside, there is no real pacing to the effort here, which allows for a lot of the songs to slowly drift into one another, making for one collage of extreme vocal exploration with very little else.

If in your search for music you seek out minimal instrumentation, slow pacing and a strong vocal presence, then this is precisely the album you have been looking for in all these years.  No one will be able to mimic this effort, as Tiny Vipers has few peers that can rise to meet her in this place.  Still, a lack of pacing makes for a drawn out listening affair, which may be just what some of us need at the end of the day.

Tiny Vipers will be playing with Castanets at Mohawk on Friday, July 24th.

New Tunes from Julian Plenti

jpJulian Plenti is the new name for Interpol frontman Paul Banks. He is set to debut his new album Julian Plenti is…Skyscraper on August 4th via Matador Records. I wonder if it will be in the realm of people like Albert Hammond Jr and be an Interpol lite album?  Based on this track, it seems JP is going off on his own a bit, which is a good thing in our book.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/julian-plenti-games-for-days.mp3]

Download: Julian Plenti – Games for Days [MP3]

Austin A2W: Quiet Company

streetgangcloseQuiet Company is an Austin band led by native Taylor Glen Muse who has been in and out of countless bands over the last several years. After stints in an early form of Eisley and The Connotations, Mr. Muse moved on to record an album mostly on his own under the moniker Quiet Company. That first record, Shine Honesty, received a mostly positive response from critics which lead to new members and a brand new band. Fast forward to 2009 which sees Quiet Company dropping their sophomore effort Everyone You Love Will Be Happy Soon and extensive US touring in the works. To quote the band directly, expect songs that “will you make you fall in love with life and then just as quickly challenge everything you know about it”. That sounds like a sweet deal to me. You can catch Quiet Company in town July 31st at Antone’s opening up for What Made Milwaukee Famous.  If you dig their sounds, check out their band camp for a full album stream, download a free 3 song sampler or say hi to them on twitter.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/04-seal-my-fate.mp3]

Download: Quiet Company – Seal My Fate [MP3]

Men @ The Beauty Bar – 7/22

menMen is two parts Le Tigre, and they will be making their way to Austin this Wednesday night at the Beauty Bar. It seems that the group is predominantly the work of JD Samson, but there are other contributions from her former band-mates. Men will be hitting the stage with Gretchen Phillips. Sounds like a danceable way to spend your hump day.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/men-off-our-backs.mp3]

Download: Men – Off Our Backs [MP3]

Free Lollapalooza Sampler

lollapaloozaWith Lollapalooza inching closer and closer, now is a good time to start talking about the festival and some of the bands playing.  We couldn’t think of a better way to introduce some bands to the public than with a free sampler from the fine folks at Lollapalooza.  The itunes sampler includes hit tracks from festival artists like The Raveonettes, Langhorne Slim, Deerhunter, and a few others.  Head to the Lolla site now to get your hands on it.  Until then, here’s our favorite track from the playlist, Fleet Foxes single “Mykonos”.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/fleet_foxes-mykonos.mp3]

Download: Fleet Foxes – Mykonos [MP3]

Generationals – Con Law

genere

Rating: ★★★★ ·

New Orleans duo, Generationals, seem to have flown beneath the radar for quite some time, that is until Park the Van Records, home to Dr. Dog, decided to release their album Con Law.  The record crosses various rivers of genre, yet always staying familiar in the listener’s ear.  Here we have a complete album of pop celebration that will surely tide us over for the rest of the summer.

When “Nobody Could Change Your Mind” begins, the tinkering of electronic keyboard makes it seem like just any other neo-electroni-pop album, but then the horns kick in, stepping the album out of a purely cliche realm of music. Vocals here have a bit of an echo, which may give them a lo-fi title, but the band is nowhere near that mark.

“Angry Charlie” switches gears, and recalls the best moments of MGMT, although if you listen to this on repeat several times you will see that the usage of the organ and bounding percussion give it an entirely different light, moving the band beyond their peers.  Yet, this group immediately allows for the staleness of such styles to veer in different directions.  The half-hearted stomp of  “Faces in the Dark” demonstrate that the band is far more than a one trick pony; they have a barrage of approaches in the writing of Con Law, allowing for the album to take on a more long-standing importance for fans.

By the time you meet the mid-section of this record, you start to wonder exactly why you hadn’t heard anything about this band up until this point in time.  “”When they Fight, They Fight,” and “Our Time (2 Shine)” are both solid tracks that exemplify just how special a listening experience this will be.  Both songs hold tightly to some really great hooks, while still paying homage to classic beach sounds.  They might take a slight misstep from here with “Wildlife Sculpture,” as it’s one of the very few songs that doesn’t immediately make you want to press repeat on your player, whatever format.

Just as the album seems as if it will stay with electronic flourishes, “Exterior Street Date” sweeps in with ringing guitars.  The vocals will take the key role for the majority of the song here, but the subtlety of the chorus somehow manages to stick inside your head.  This duo is the key of under-spoken pop gems, accessible and discernible, only for those with careful ears.  Following this comes “It Keeps You Up” with its bouncing piano work and vocals that appear to be sung by a mass group of fans, though it’s just one voice.  Such care went into the patchwork of these songs that it’s no wonder you find yourself listening to them again and again.  And such is the story of the album, you find yourself rushing back and forth to play that track over and over, wondering to yourself if it really was that good.  The answer for the songs, and the album is yes!

Generationals play at Stubbs Indoors on August 6th.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/02-angry-charlie.mp3]

Download: Generationals – Angry Charlie [MP3]

7/19 – Foreign Born/The Veils @ Mohawk

og_v_fb_06Sunday night wrapped up a rather moderate week of live music in Austin, but let’s not forget that we’ve had a pretty awesome summer of live music. Fortunately for us at ATH, we were able to catch Foreign Born, The Veils and Other Girls at The Mohawk on Sunday night, just after we did our best to pretend to be entertained by the Anarchy Wrestling Tour outside of the Mohawk. You can’t argue with $1 Pabst or good tunes. Follow the jump for our take on the show and a few snapshots.

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