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New Album from Twin Library

twinThere are so many bands writing creative music today, that it’s quite nearly impossible to get to hear them all.  With that in mind, I’d like to remind you about the Canadian act, Twin Library.   I’ve written about the group before, and as I’m always stalking my favorites, I was made aware that they’ve just put up a great new album, Historical Tumblers. Personally, this track is one of my favorites on the record, though it’s also one of the shorter numbers; it’s a very simple bit of melody that draws me in every time.  You can currently pick up their latest record for the always reasonable NYP (Name Your Price) by visiting them HERE.

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Download: Twin Library – Swallows [MP3]

 

Puff Pieces Offer Up New Single

puffpiecesI feel like yesterday I sort of went in one-direction, musically.  But, today I aim to mix it up a bit, so this little number offers up a little bit of art-rock from Puff Pieces.  The song’s short, with this steady stabbing  bounce that propels the song forward.  There’s little yelps accenting the vocals every step of the way, making things emphatic, yet fun at the same time.  The three piece is releasing a brand new 7″ titled  4 Songs next week via Lovitt Records; it’s mean to hold us over a little bit while we wait for a full-length to be recorded.

Criminal Hygiene Just Won’t Quit

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Frequent readers of our site, know that I am a huge fan of L.A. based rockers Criminal Hygiene.  Once again, the band has completely surprised me with another superb track found below called “Raid”.  Of course it’s a rockin’ number like we’ve come to expect from these guys, but let’s not forget the overall fun quality you hear throughout.  These guys are just in it to create some solid tunes man.

This track is available on a new 7″ split with fellow rockers Dagos.  Buy that one from Summer Bummer here.

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Download: Criminal Hygiene – Raid [MP3]

The Mad Caddies @ Red 7 (04.11.14)

Mad CaddiesThere are many reasons why bands tend to take a hiatus. Reasons such as conflict within the group, lack of creativity, and loss of direction. Sometimes life just gets in the way of a music career, but it’s not a forced or unwelcome break; it’s a much more positive experience. Such is the story of the Santa Barbara based septet, The Mad Caddies, who graced a stage in Austin at Red 7 for the first time since 2006.

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Yet Another Rodrigo Amarante Single

rodgrYou’re probably wondering why I’m so eager to post about all the music of Rodrigo Amarante; I can’t seem to post enough of his new music.  For me, the reason is that listening to his record, Cavalo, has been something of a personal revelation.  There are some ornate songs within the record, while others offer little bits of tropicalia.  Each song has these little nuances that are intoxicating, such as the horn blasts and piano touches add on the song below.  It’s one of those albums where you just get lost in the fold, happily.  The LP is out on May 6 via Easy Sound. 

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More New Music From Unicycle Loves You

d2b589b0f978ab1f5240d942d3ab782b1e727f49Just about a month ago, I alerted you to the happy return of indie pop band Unicycle Loves You.  Today I’m excited to share with you another new track from the band called “Falling Off”.  I’m digging the fuzzed out, dreamy style of pop-rock music being created here from the very beginning.  What more could you really ask for?

Once again, you can get your hands on the new album entitled The Dead Age on June 19th via HighWheel Records.

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Download: Unicycle Loves You – Falling Off [MP3]

Dylan Shearer – Garagearray

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Rating: ★★★★½

When I first began listening to Porchpuddles, the last record from Dylan Shearer, I could tell that something special was brewing in his craft.  Now, a few years later, we come to Garagearray, and I don’t even have the words to describe what he’s accomplished.  It’s an album so special at every turn that you’re not likely to hear anything of this sort this year.

“Time to Go” opens Garagearray with a piano ballad with Shearer’s deep vocal tones draped all across it.  What’s interesting to me is that despite the structure of the song appearing quite traditionally, there’s a twist to his approach.  Where others before him would simply press forward, and continue the song as normal, Dylan slows things to a crawl on various occasions, encouraging listeners to hang on every note.  The melody he creates at 2:57 is so special that it’s possibly my favorite moment in music this year. Then he brings in “Meadow Mines” to offer another intimate performance for listeners.  The recording is done in a manner that allows you to hear the buzz of the strings in the mics, while Dylan performs with his forlorn angelic voice.  Ugh. That voice.

While I typically identify with clarity in the vocals, there’s something enchanting about the way Dylan Shearer sings.  Take the track, “Garagearray Lookout,” where his vocals hold the track together.  When he sings, he seems to connect melodies together, rather than worry about proper enunciation.  It brings about an emotion that can’t easily be described, but suffice it to say, you’ll be sucked into every whispy note.  Another such example can be found in “Everyone Accept You” where it sounds as if the vocals were meant merely as an instrument, almost harmonically mumbled in the distance.  It might not be for everyone, but it works for my ears.

I think one of the possible detractors on Garagearray might be that as a listener, you’re asked to completely immerse yourself in listening to the record.  You can’t haphazardly skip through songs; each track has something unique to offer the listener.  You’ll probably waiver back and forth over your favorite, as I have, but you simply don’t want to skip ahead.  If you have the dedication, then you’ll find pop masterpieces in wait during the latter half of the album.  ”Before You Know It (Its Over)” is a six minute adventure of rising and falling melodies, carefully designed to follow the careful guitar work and additional musical accents.  Shearer follows it up with another spectacular piano-laced ballad, “Barely by the Waterslide.” There’s a guitar sliding throughout too, running parallel to the pitch Dylan’s created with his voice; I’m sorry, but moments like this just don’t exist often enough. It then comes to a sublime end with “Tough on Grease (Carillon),” which might be the most pop-centric song on the album, if we’re to listen to the suggestions from the guitar.

The current musical climate often curates music that’s disposable.  You listen, you love, you discard.  But, if you’re looking for a record that’s worth sinking your teeth into for the duration of a lifetime, then I couldn’t think of a better piece of work than Garragearray.  The musical stylings are current, yet timeless.  The structure and progression of each song is dynamic, yet far from ordinary. Dylan Shearer, simply put, is at the top of his game, and that only makes you better by listening to it.

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The album is available now from Castelface/Empty Cellar Records.

Touch of Fun with Tropic of Youth

tropicsFeel like Monday should be fun day, right? What better way to keep things running smoothly than to jam to this delectable track from Tropic of Youth.  The Sheffield band has just released their new EP, and it’s full of shimmering pop moments, similar to our local favorites, Shivery Shakes.  I don’t know, there’s something about this track that really aches for warmer climes, the likes of which we’re about to endure here in Austin for several months.  If that’s the case, then I’ll gladly take this Sun City EP with me wherever I go, just to guarantee that I’ll be smiling no matter where I find myself.

Shunkan to Release Debut with Art Is Hard

shunkanMarina Sakimoto moved from LA to New Zealand, and from there, Shunkan has blossomed into something quite special.  Her lo-fi project is brimming with memorable harmonies wearing a shade of atmospheric noise atop.  Despite the recording opening up forcefully, it winds down with a very quiet performance from Sakimoto and her guitar.  Her EP, Honey, Milk, Blood will feature five brand new songs and is being released by Art Is Hard on a very limited cassette run.  Something enchanting this way comes.

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Download: Shunkan – Wash You Away [MP3]

Austin Spotlight: The Capitalist Kids Release New Album

capitalist kidsThere’s a lot of music in this city, but, like the song below mentions, people tend to get stuck inside certain circles or genres.  I’m guilty of that myself, sure, but I’m working on it. Perhaps that’s why I suggest you head out to Beerland tomorrow night to pick up the new album, At A Loss, from The Capitalist Kids.  It’s a pop punk gem of a record, with quick guitar riffs rushing forward while melodies flourish in each and every song.  It reminds me that listening to music doesn’t always have to be so cerebral; you can turn music up loud and just let yourself escape into the exuberance of life.  If you’re looking for a good time, then I suggest you pass the time with this album; you probably won’t have much fun listening to anything else.

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