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Electro-Folk From Lanks

10665674_668666903224733_3363586482483786576_nSometimes I like to mix it up a bit and go down a slightly different path musically, and boy, has Lanks satisfied that desire with “Hold Me Closer.” Lanks is the project of Melbourne artist Wil Cuming, and it focuses on turning your folk expectations on its head with electronic elements that will have you wondering if it acceptable to dance to this song, wherever it may be finding you. “Hold Me Closer” is a perfect example of this type of groove, with its constant beat that kicks things off, a brief blip of folksy sounding music, and then the eminent addition of more and more electronic elements, while keeping that twangy guitar. Sure, it’s a weird phenomenon, but one I’m digging. What do you think?

Get Your Disco Electro Fix

lindstromLindstrøm has teamed up with Grace Hall to get you through your day, your night, your party, your after-party with nine minutes of Disco slanted electronica. Grace is in Skin Town, an LA based duo doing dance stuff. LA, Skin Town, I get it.

Anyway, Lindstrøm has been an ATH IT Deopartment favorite because he has a style, but collaborates with just about anyone to produce something a little bit new. This latest jam, due on 4/6 via Feedelity is pretty stuff and when you click play, pick whether you want to zone out or get up. Take me to the (synthetic) bridge…

SXSW Interview: Melville

Melville-6436-with-logo-1024x681Hard to believe that SXSW is drawing ever near as the weeks seem to be flying by in anticipation.  Today we bring you even more coverage with an interview from Portland based indie group Melville.  As I’ve been doing, these are just some questions to build press for upcoming bands, get their feel for SXSW, and see what they think about our great city.  Follow the jump for responses.

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Keath Mead – Sunday Dinner

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Rating: ★★★½ ·

Keath Mead is South Carolina boy and self taught musician, and Sunday Dinner is his debut album. Recorded in California at the home of one Chaz Bundick, of Toro Y Moi, the album comes off as a mix between these two distinguished styles: southern ease mixed with California lightness. The result is delightful, crammed full with bouncing pop tunes that make for easy listening.

Like the best kind of end to a relaxing weekend, Sunday Dinner kicks off without a hitch with “Waiting.” Some sugary synths come winding in, scattering around lightly while the lower synths ground the tune all before Keath’s high-pitched, yet still soulful, vocals chime in. This generates a pop song gently evolving and changing modes from the east to west coasts: from slow heated and sleepy to the breezier and permanently chill California style. It’s around two minutes into the song before it reaches its full potential and the drums and some ooh-la-la’s bring it on home. “Grow Up,” the following track, feels kind of like a sunnier Mac Demarco track; the guitar licks are clean and crisp but also distorted and serve as the backbone for the bopping nature of the song. Mead’s vocals and lyrics work together, telling you to “Grow up and act your age,” talking about the self-centered nature of youth, but the overall mood of this song is far from serious. Instead, it feels filled with whimsy and effortlessness, which is the trend of this album; light and airy pop songs with serious, often heavily grounded lyrics to give you that kind of delightful dichotomy.

But the tracks on here aren’t so bouncy that they’re overwhelming. As I said before, the lyrics tend of provide a sense of balance and gravity to the Sunday Dinner that Keath Mead has invited us to. The style itself also gains gravity as it progresses, like you see on later tracks “Quiet Room,” that provides an almost gothic tone with its alien synth parts and heavily distorted vocals. Although sunshine and bounce aren’t terribly far away, as moments like these provide just the right amount of weight before we return to brighter numbers like “Polite Refusal.” Though it begins with those same synth sounds, we get to the choral hook and the soaring vocals and acoustic guitar take over the track and there’s no shortage of sunshine.

Once you get to the end of the album, it’s only a matter of figuring out which tracks were your favorites and which were just really good. Sunday Dinner is brimming with pop gems and enough variation in style to keep your attention all the way through to its termination. This debut from Keath Mead has certainly put him on my map, and if you’re into sunny pop with melancholic undertones, then it should certainly put him on your map too.

 

Fun Fun Fun Fest X Early Bird

FFFX_Earlybird_IGTHE NEW PHONE BOOK IS HERE!!!

But on a more important note, word has dropped that the tenth anniversary edition of Fun Fun Fun Fest will have a presale and it will be on March 5th at 10am. The presale will feature three day passes for the fest next November 6-8 at Auditorium Shores (hopefully back to the old layout by then). And in case you are curious, ALL early bird passes will be mailed out. That means Linegate 2014 will not have a sequel for the lucky early birders.

Really Enjoying This Tune from The Antics

anticzWhile some bands seem to try and shy away from their nostalgic nods, it seems that The Antics are fully embracing their look into the past of post-punk pop songwriting.  It sounds like they’re crafting something akin to the Servants or the Go Betweens, holding onto the pop sensibility of both bands, while still sounding remarkably refreshing.  This tune shows the licks the New Jersey boys are capable of constructing, which should have you pop fans sitting with watering mouths as the group readies their Emily Jones EP for our ears.

Beat Laden Lady Pop from Hannah Cohen

hcThis debut single from Hannah Cohen is quite the little gem.  There’s a darkness in the utilized beats of her new album’s latest track, but her voice is so playful that it’s juxtaposition creates a mesmerizing touch.  You’ll hear a slight resemblance to Feist during a few moments, but the style is quite different in every other aspect; I love the voice control, providing little tonal changes that are really appealing. Bella Union will be releasing her new album, Pleasure Boy, on March 31st.

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Ski Lodge Clearly Still Has It

lodgerI’m greatly surprised that the new Ski Lodge single is getting less attention than their last effort, despite leaving listeners with two really great songs.  We’ve already tossed out the A Side, “Trust,” but I think the B Side is even stronger.  It’s a quieted piano ballad, opening softly with croon of Andrew Marr, washed over by a nice electronic touch.  There’s true emotional power in the first chorus, before the song takes on a more emphatic ballad form.  Honestly, as big as a fan as I was of their first album, this might just be the best thing the band has done…if my two cents count for much.

ATX Friday Night Show Spotlight

Austin-skyline-_9359-copyI always encourage you to go hit up the town on the weekends.  I know we’re all busy, but you can grab a fancy dinner, some drinks, and still have time to enjoy some of the great music this town has to offer.  There’s tons going on this weekend, so I’m going to spend a little time today looking at Friday night, that way you have time to plan your evening.  I even added some overly basic genres behind the shows to give you an idea at what you could be in for.  Read More

Fuzzy Garage From The Dying Shames

dying shames

Some days are for rock and roll, and thankfully the The Dying Shames are here to help. This band is a four piece from London who’ve got a brand spanking new EP up on their Bandcamp page for you to rock out with. They’ve got a bluesy garage sound to their lo-fi rock, and “The Bitch” below showcases this sound quite nicely. This self-titled EP is out officially in May, but take advantage of the tunes now; you won’t regret it.

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