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Twisted Tune from the Ukiah Drag

ukiahEvery blue moon, or perhaps more often, I just want to find this huge expansive piece of music to get lost inside.  This nearly 8 minute track from The Ukiah Drag is just the piece for me, with sprawling movements of rolling guitar riffs melding with these semi-preached vocals.  It’s amazing how one just gets tossed up into their dark mess, then finds themselves tumbling all the way out. Getting lost inside the realm of this band is sure to happen quite frequently for those who choose to pick up their newest release, In the Reaper’s Quarters, via Wharf Cat on September 9th. Come on, just check the art work…something wicked this way comes.

We Like White Arrows

artworks-000088443537-vu528k-t500x500If you frequent our website on the regular, you are well aware that we are big fans of the new material we are hearing from White Arrows.  The style of the band has seemingly grown up in leaps in bounds when compared to their last effort as I’m hearing some darker tendencies in their once glowing pop sound.  Here’s another new song called “Nobody Cares” that’s sure to get you just as excited for this release as we are.

Pick up the new album, In Bardo, on September 16th via Votiv.

Austin Spotlight: Two Weeks Until the Love Inks New Album!

inkblotterWe’re just a short distance away from the release of Exi (September 9th), the newest album from Austin’s Love Inks.  I’ve always appreciated the group’s work, but I really enjoy their use of space on this latest single.  Sherry’s voice is the dominant focal point, while there’s very light bass movement in the distance, accented by little guitar pieces and synthesized beats.  The song walks this fine line of feeling huge and empty at the same time, which is quite an accomplishment in and of itself.  Those living outside of Austin will again get a chance to see the band perform live, as they’ll be touring the States throughout September.

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Greatness Continued for The June Brides

julygroomsI’m really glad that Phil Wilson came back to music; I’ve enjoyed his solo work quite a bit since that triumphant return, but I’m really excited for his music with The June Brides too.  Seems like the old band is back together, and finding themselves on the only home that’s fitting, Slumberland Records.  This feels like listening to the guitar playing that spawned a revolution of wandering indiepop fans. They’ll be releasing their new She Seems Quite Free 7″ on September 1st; it’ll probably be the best thing you can get yourself as a post-Labor Day treat.  Feels too good to listen to this track. Must stop. Your turn.

The New Pornographers – Brill Bruisers

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Rating: ★★★½ ·

When it comes to indie rock super groups, you really can’t beat the likes of The New Pornographers. Making music together since 1999, this Canadian band consists of the best of the best, each of which have their own successful career be it alone or with another band. There’s Carl “A.C” Newman, Dan Bejar, Neko Case, and Kathryn Calder, just to name off a few, but let’s be honest: you should probably know who this band is as they’ve been around for longer than a decade and Brill Bruisers makes for their sixth full length release. Though it is sixth in a line of solid releases, by no means does it feel trite or banal—The New Pornographers have managed to do it once again.

With a band that is a culmination of so many great individual artists, I’m always flummoxed as to how this group can create a cohesive sound for their group. Sure, different artists take the lead on a track-to-track basis, incorporating their own styles, but Brill Bruisers manages to come together fairly easily. From opening title track to the last and glittering “You Tell Me Where,” the group hits their stride multiple times and gives you some great tunes.

I think it partially depends on which lead vocalist you like the best that will leads you to your favorite numbers. There’s Newman’s opening “Brill Bruisers,” which kicks the album off en medias res with the groups shimmery indie rock; the percussion is essentially all cymbal, the guitars’ blend in with the mix, synthesizers wander around through the song and the vocals of Newman lead you fearlessly through these airy walls of sound. Of course, he’s not alone, you get a lot of gang vocals singing back up through the whole song, which gives it an even lighter, poppier feeling. Later on you get Bejar’s unmistakable warbling vocals up to bat on “War On The East Coast,” which happens to be my favorite track on the record. The track seemingly makes comment on today’s general feeling of chaos and disarray—“look what we’re living in.” While the track rages on in full fury of to a build at the end, the choral hook has Bejar crooning “Oh, I don’t care, I don’t care,” making you want to scream right along with him, even if the sentiment is apathy, it’s still relatable. However, it’s not just the tracks with an outright lead vocal that will get you falling for them. On the contrary, “Fantasy Fools,” has a shared lead vocal that elbows its way into your list of highlights as well.

Though there’s a lot to love on Brill Bruisers, for me the album doesn’t go above and beyond to give you a sound that you want to sing to the world about. Sure, you’ll come back and jam with this group of lovable indie-poppers now and again, but there’s just a little bit missing from this release to push it to the next level.

Kevin Morby Continues His Good Run

kevkev All I need to make the Kevin Morby triumvirate of greatness complete is a new Babies record.  He’s already had a good year with a new 7″ this year and an album with his other act Woods; today he announced yet another album under his own name, featuring this great new track.  It’s a relaxed tune filled with light touches of piano and horns, again illustrating his growth as an incredible writer.  This new collection of songs is titled Still Life, as an homage to a art piece by Maynard Monrow; you can get the new record from Woodsist on October 14th.

Trippy Bit of Pop from Sunbeam Sound Machine

sunnyThis track is really beautiful. There’s this great warmth to the harmonies, and the construction is perfectly fitting.  I’m not sure how I feel about some of the warbling on the percussion, but I can put those feelings aside as I fall head over heels into this song.  There’s tons of little sonic touches, and the song seems to fade in and out of your speakers, creating this emotional pull that will find few detractors.  Sunbeam Sound Machine will release its debut album, Wonderer, via Dot Dash/Remote Control this November.

Great New Pop Tune From Wilding

Iavatars-000097044320-1mo9j2-t500x500t’s been quite some time since we heard from Australian based Wilding and I’m pumped to have some new music coming your way today.  This one is called “Missing Her” and is a catchy as all hell pop number that’s sure to brighten even the biggest bummer of a day.  Press play and enjoy the fun.

Stay tuned for more info on a new album said to be out early next year.

Upbeat Dance Number from Yelle

yelleI have absolutely no idea what this song is saying.  I’m actually okay with that, just getting absorbed in the frivolous feeling that comes with jamming to this new track from Yelle.  I’m not going to lie to you though; I have a feeling that if this were sung in English, this would be a pretty big club hit all over the United States? Does the usage of French excuse it from the trappings of radio friendly hits? For me, yes…and no.  I can excuse it, as I actually sought this tune out.  That and sometimes I’m realizing that as much as I want to be a critic, it’s better if I just give in and let myself have a bit of fun from time to time.  You can check out the full album, Completement Fou on September 30th via Kemosabe Records. The group will also be in Austin for Fun Fun Fun Fest, you know, if you’re in Austin and into our string of great festivals.

Have Some Fun With Needle Points

NeedlePoints_Main1Philadelphia based band Needle Points have a great new tune that I’m pleased to be sharing with you today.  I’m calling it a quirky pop tune with a raw, throwback style rock n roll theme driving us throughout.  Whatever these guys are doing, I say keep it up.  Replacement Girls? Pick up a new 7″ from the band on October 7th via Papercup Music.

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