• Top Songs of 2019

    Phew, the end of the year really snuck up on me this time and it’s crazy to think we are moving on from the 2010s. Before we do so, Nathan

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  • Top 25 Albums of 2019

    This is the list you’ve all been waiting for, well, sort of. This is my Top 20 LPs of the year. Admittedly, there’s none of the high profile hitmakers on

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  • 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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Romantic Air Holiday Sampler

It’s the week before Christmas and of course we’re bringing you several new Christmas samplers for you to enjoy.  Today sees the nice peolple at Romantic Air recording company getting in on the fun.  The label brings you 9 Christmas tunes from artists on their label.  Check it out now.  Here’s old favorite “Feliz Navidad” from Computer Perfection.


Download: Computer Perfection – Feliz Navidad [MP3]

All American Rejects – When the World…

Rating: ★★★½☆

The All-American Rejects have been playing their pop-punk stylings for years, perfecting their formula as best they know how. Their last effort brought mainstream hits with “Move Along” and “It Ends Tonight,” both scoring huge hits for the masses. This time around, on When the World Comes Down, the band steps a little aside from their formula, growing a bit in the process.

Of course, the band has a few hits on the way with this album, and fans wouldn’t have it any other way.  Album opener “I Wanna” is one of the stronger upbeat songs on this record, with the focus resting on Tyson Ritter’s voice just before the rest of the band joins in for the fun.  Everyone, regardless of where you stand on pop music, can appreciate the strength in the chorus, though its lyrics might be a little hollow.

Skip ahead a few tracks and you will find the first single from the album, already climbing the charts: “Gives You Hell.”  Surprisingly, this song doesn’t rest on the bands combination of solid percussion and guitar-monies, instead putting the focus crisp percussion.  This is a song that will probably stay around for months and months, in all arenas.

But, they follow all this up with “Mona Lisa,” which is a slower number than the first minutes of this album have to offer.  Acoustic guitars and Ritter’s voice are the perfect match here, creating one of the more surprising moments on the album.  It also boasts of being the song with the best set of lyrics here.

The album is filled with tunes familiar to AAR fans, although they might be a little more subdued on this effort.  You can still find really strong guitar work, regardless of what you’re into these days.  A newer touch is the usage of extemporaneous atmospherics to fill out some of the space on this album.  It shows a bit of maturity for the group.

Those of you interested in this album will surely find lots that you love here, while those who do not will leave this album be.  Nonetheless, it’s another solid performance from a group who knows exactly what they are doing, and seems to have a lot of fun doing it. Let’s have some fun with them.


Download: All American Rejects – Gives You Hell [MP3]

Miniature Tigers

We might be just a bit late in telling you about Miniature Tigers out of Phoenix, but good things come to those that wait.  After releasing two EPs in 2008 that piled up the accolades from well known critics like Spin & Rolling Stone, the band is looking to grow their fan base into the new year.  With a sound that’s poppy and pretty easy on the ears, these guys might just be the new Vampire Weekend you peoples are all looking for.  If you’re digging “Cannibal Queen”, you’ll have to buy their new album Tell it to the Volcano on iTunes.  Physical copies are only available if you make it out to a show.


Download: Miniature Tigers – Cannibal Queen [MP3]

Free Merge Records Sampler

Merge records wants you to remember their artists when making your year end lists so they decided a free year end sampler would be a good way to do that.  The free sampler features 13 tracks from She & Him, The Broken West, The Rosebuds and 10 others.  This is not the first free year end digital sampler from record labels and probably won’t be the last.  Download/stream all the tracks now.


Download: She & Him – Why Do You Let me Stay Here [MP3]

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.


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.


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