• Albums List

    The ATH Top 50 Albums of 2015

    Year-end lists are everywhere…and I can see why they’re important to people. But, seeing as we generally walk off the beaten path more often than not, our list of the

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  • Best ATX 2015

    Top Austin Albums Of 2015

    It’s that time of year when we all throw arbitrary numbers at you, trying to convince you that our tastes are the best. But, I’m going to try taking a

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    FFFX: Team ATH Recap

    There was a lot of talk this year comparing Fun Fun Fun Fest to ACL this. Perhaps it is the proximity with the second weekend, perhaps the tenth anniversary. FFFX

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Carey Sign to Old Flame Records

careyNashville’s been picking up a lot of national credibility (though we all know it’s been there for years) as of late, and it looks like Carey could be another one of the acts to burst forth from that scene. They’ve just signed on with the reliable Old Flame Records, bringing a crunchy bit of guitar pop to your ears. Like only the best of the genre, they fill the distorted riffs with catchy hooks and anthemic lyrics that you can sing over and over. Look for their EP to come your way on March 11th.

Even More From Bent Shapes

bentshapesMy one regret of yesterday is that I ran out of time to post this track before I had to head to the day job; it’s truly a gem of a song that will make your day. To remedy that regret, I’m posting it now, so bear with me if this is yesterday’s news to you. Bent Shapes should be on your radar by now, as their forthcoming record,Wolves of Want, will be upon us rather soon on March 11th. From the sound of this single and the previous one, the band’s got a winner on their hands. “Realization Hits,” is the single below and its got that perfect springtime anthem vibe to play with the windows down; it’s jangly rock with a hint of punk underneath and infectious nature that will have you singing right along. I’m telling you, jam this track and then go preorderWolves of Wantvia Slumberland Records.

Introducing Austin’s Plantation Band

IMG_5535Over at ATH Records, we’ve been working hard to bring you lots of good stuff, but Mike and I felt like we needed to mix it up just a bit. Luckily, an email rolled in with a submission from Plantation Band, offering us a take on their version of country music. Growing up, Townes and Waylon filled my living room, so it seemed like a perfect way to venture into new territory…so as not to get stuck putting out the same LP over and over. I know very little about the band, only some blurred photos they sent our way with the album and its art. The album’s filled with soulful ballads and country stompers, so I wanted to introduce you to the group today. They’re debut LP will come your way this April, so get yourself ready for Austin’s newest country balladeers.

Kane Strang, New Zealand’s Newest Great Export

kaneThere’s a long history of great New Zealand bands that we don’t need to tell you about, but you should be excited that there’s a new export by the name of Kane Strang that should entice your ears. He’ll be releasing his first complete album via Ba Da Bing and Flying Nun, so alone, that should get you listening. For my two cents, the churning guitar riffs layered on top of one another, much like the vocals in parts of the song, definitely create an intoxicating feeling; it’s all matched by the internal harmonies that permeate the tune. Look for Blue Cheese to make an impression on February 26th.

More New Prince Rama

princeIt’s no surprise that Prince Rama is making waves this year, with anticipation building towards their new record, Xtreme Now on its way soon. Listening to this latest single should only cement the band’s continued rise; it’s the most pop-centric we’ve heard from the group…in my opinion. While the group still maintain some of their sense of oddity, such as writingthis track in Viking ruins on a remote island, there’s nothing odd or “out there” about this song. It’s an exhilerating piece of pop music, beckoning to be played by every blog, radio and listener around. Look for the new LP on March 4th via Carpark.

Quirky Lo Fi From Free Cake For Every Creature

10608726_877067585703431_47325592551303463_oFree Cake For Every Creatureis afour piece out of Philadelphia that started as the project of Katie Bennett, who was lured into sharing her bedroom demos with some friends and thus the band was born. Their sound is akin to the music video below; diy, lo-fi, but all around quirky and cute. The vocals are a combination of that male/female duality that the band utilizes really well, and include little yelps and whoops. Lyrics include ridiculously adorable lines like “You are the brownie to my tv dinner but I don’t want to save you for later,” and the instrumentation is a simple mix of guitar and soft drums, but you can just hear how the band could really flesh out the sound in the live setting. I’m going to have this song stuck in my head for the rest of the day, so why shouldn’t you?

You can preorder their April 15thfull-length,Talking Quietly Of Anything With You,here via Double Double Whammy Records.


Pete Astor – Spilt Milk


Rating: ★★★★½

People rarely rave about records anymore. No matter what, people inevitably find themselves listening to single and hits, but don’t you dare do that with Pete Astor‘s new album, Spilt Milk. If you do, you’re likely to miss one of the purest pop albums likely to surface this year.

You can possibly separate Spilt Milk into two styles, bouncing jangle pop and pure pop balladry. Opener “Really Something” falls into the first category, while a song like “Good Enough” ends up in the latter grouping. But, what one should focus on is the central theme of pop music. To me, it means accessible and catchy, and I feel like if we were all given such options more often, then Pete Astor might be our favorite artist. But, that’s not where we live, nor where we seem to be heading, making this effort all the more outstanding.

Some bands rush songwriting, trying to push out the next hit, trying to stay relevant in a culture adhering to consumption, but within the confines of this album, you have the purest dedication to great songwriting. In doing so, Pete’s managed to craft an album that endears itself to fans of all styles, leaving you with a lesson incraftsmanship; it’s one that I can see enduring in my playing rotation for time to come (and probably yours too).

In the end, Spilt Milk isn’t a musical exercise that will hit you over the head immediately. You have to digest it slowly, which is best with tracks like “There It Goes” that will pull at your heartstrings. Still, you’ll find an inner joy (and maybe a hop in the step) when you put on “My Right Hand,” among others. It’s a listening journeyyou must dedicate yourself to, and in doing so, you’ll reap the greatest reward…a listen that won’t easily be turned off…or forgotten.

New Music from Velcro Hooks

velcroI’m a huge fan of really great pop rock, and I think bands like Velcro Hooks are few and far between; it’s also a genre I think we all take for granted. They provide listeners with classic pop structures of verse chorus verse, yet throw in enough flair (typically through guitar style) to create some differentiation from their peers. Distinctive vocals also help to bring the pop sensibility into the fold, matched well with little moments of rock jamming (not a la Phish). These guys just write great songs, so I’m hoping that their debut self-titled album lives up to the expectations I already have in my head. Look for it on the first of April via Howling Owl Records.

Can’t Stop Spinning This Tune from A Dead Forest Index

allthatdriftsAdam Sherry’s voice is one of those that immediately strikes you when it comes into play. It has the smoky quality you remember from Nico, yet when layered with backing vocals, it’s entirely enchanting. Combine that with the steady guitar work he displays on the first single from A Dead Forest Index and their debut album. There’s something in the simplicity of it, something intoxicating that has me pressing play again and again. In All That Drifts From Summit Down will be out on Sargent House at the end of April.

Everyone’s On Board With Acid Dad (Finally)

aciddadSo it was almost a year ago when I introduced you to Acid Dad, and told you to look out for this bandbut it looks like the rest of the internet is finally singing their rightful praise. With that said, I’m happy to see that Acid Dadhave returned with another great single from their debut EP. This track, “Fool’s Gold” is a little less tightly wound than the other tunes we’ve heard from the psych punk New Yorkers, but ever-great. I’m really appreciating the building chorus and the gang “Oohs” and “Las” that starkly contrast the gritty snarl of lead vocals. If you didn’t heed my advice before, you really ought to now!!!!!


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