CYMBALS are riding high after the recent release of their latest album, The Age of Fracture. They’re heading into to Austin to play SXSW, and they’ve got a special day lined up on Wednesday, March 12, opening for the Pains of Being Pure at Heart during the Force Field Day Party. Check out the band’s thoughts on the festival as they prepare to blow into town. Read More
You’ve likely heard about PUJOL on these pages before, as we’re always clamoring for whatever new music Daniel Pujol is working on. He just announced that he’ll be releasing KLUDGE, his newest album,on May 20th with Saddle Creek. The Nashville artist still holds onto his DIY garage aesthetics, but it’s becoming increasingly clear that his songwriting is taking a liking towards a more pop-centric writing style. It doesn’t hurt his songs though, as you’ll clearly see this one as just another hit from one of our favorite songwriters.
Download: PUJOL – Pitch Black [MP3]
It seems over the last few years that a great deal of the bands I’ve taken a liking to have put less emphasis on the meaning behind the title of their completed works. I can’t, however, say that about Each Other. Their newest effort, Being Elastic, fits entirely in line with what one might think when reflecting upon the album’s name; it stretches all over the place musically.
“About the Crowd” begins with this fuzzy bass line lurking beneath the vocals. The pacing seems like a mild stutter-step, until you reach the 1.5 minute park, where the guitars begin to chime in with more of a euphoric circle pit direction that perfectly meets the vocals. From here Being Elastic moves into the more post-punk driven “Send Your Signals,” which is driven by the tight percussive quality and angular musicianship. At times, the band slows things down to a more drawn out tempo, finishing off the track with this soaring pop vocal that’s indicative of the band’s efforts to move all over the place within their tracks.
Throughout the listen, Each Other moves in and out of varying genres. ”You or Any Other Thing” is one of those tracks that encapsulates precisely why the group’s so intoxicating. The tune drifts in with dreamy folk harmony, but at various points, things are flipped upside down as the song takes an approach that seems like the obvious clash of influences like Q and Not U and The Wrens. To me, it seems like the perfect way to make a nod to past greats, while still showing a progressive attitude in the songwriting. It seems like an easy enough formula for success, but I like how the group is capable is switching the approach, as they do on “Fine Time.” This number has a softer opening moment, then it jumps off into a jangling romp that is bound to pick up the spirits of listeners.
You do have to be careful where you skip around on Being Elastic, as you’re likely to get the wrong impression if you land on certain tracks. ”Seeing Doubles Dreaming Troubles” is dominated by an upbeat chugging that only slows down long enough to suck the audience in before bounding off in an enjoyable fashion. It’s a complete juxtaposition to tracks like “The Trick You Gave Up” or “Or Else,” both which rely upon an extremely mellow mood to deliver their message. Your best bet is just to enjoy the diversity from start to finish.
And there you have it folks; you have a record that’s as diverse a listen, sonically, as the name would imply. Being Elastic offers a glimpse into the life of a band that’s not sold on one dynamic, and in taking that in stride, Each Other have released an album that demonstrates the vitality that comes with maximized creativity.
Download: Each Other – Your Ceiling is My Floor [MP3]
I’ve been rather enjoying this great new track called “Tongues” by Glasgow band PAWS. When talking labels, I’d dare call this one an indie pop tune with a washed out, punk rock overtone. I find myself hitting play time and time again once the play meter hits the end. Great track.
New album, Youth Culture Forever, is due out June 2nd on Fat Cat Records.
The song is called “Approaching Zero” and debuted at Impose earlier today. It starts out with a rather light Phantogram/Jagwar Ma-like opening sequence that has a bit of guitar and an airy pop sound … and then the synth-lines join. Andre mentioned on his personal bookface that he is very proud of the vocal. It is a wonderful recording made better with light processing that suits the mood, pulled back and an element of the melody bridging elements and moving the song forward.
Check out the rest of Andre’s work over on Soundcloud. I am a big fan.
Couldn’t have Tuesday pass without throwing out something a little bit heavier, like this brand new jam from Ex-Cult. These guys have been one of our favorite acts since they popped up, and I’ve really enjoyed the new music they’ve been working on. Personally, I like the recording here, with really clear vocals up front, while the rest of the band pummels you with forceful drums and noisy guitar lines. They’ve got a new record titled Midnight Passenger coming out on April 29th via the reliable Goner Records. Take a little listen and get your energy up right this minute.
Here in Austin, whenever March rolls around we usually find ourselves baring our arms and legs to the air, the weather on the toasty side for what most would consider to be the end of winter or the beginning of spring (though the recent uncharacteristic cold snap would suggest otherwise). What that means for us is that we are ready for sunny and breezy indie pop long before most other parts of the country. So if you’re still trudging through snow and ice, you may not think you’re on board for the bright and surf-y guitar riffs of a band like Real Estate quite yet—Atlas may just change your mind.
Real Estate have already arrived at their third full-length release with Atlas, despite forming as a band just four short years ago. Their first two records were widely hailed in the indie-sphere, allowing this conglomerate of talented gents, some of which have their own successful projects outside the band, to keep progressing in their sound. “Had to Hear,” begins the album, instantly evoking the mood of a perfect spring day that’s perhaps chilly in the shade, but balanced out by the sunlight. The angular guitar riffs are there from the second you press play, but you don’t really focus on them until the choral hook, akin to the sun emerging from the clouds of winter. It’s a long number, pushing five minutes, but a welcome lengthy introduction to the record. The instrumental outro yields itself to grooving along to the tame jam.
“Talking Backwards,” and following track, “April’s Song,” are a back to back combination that should have fans of this group salivating and those who have never heard this band before completely hooked; here are two songs that perfectly compliment each other with the effortlessness that Real Estate have on lock. The first of these two songs is a sure single for the group, with their premier dueling guitar riffs abundant and Martin Courtney’s semi-transparent vocals adding another layer to the guitars in its angular qualities. The soft percussion compliments the sharp hooks of the guitar, generating a dreamy soundscape for you lavish in. The end of this song builds to a climactic finish, which would suggest a drop off to the next number, but they compensate with “April’s Song,” an entirely instrumental number that will bring you down slowly from the high of the previous track. If these two tracks weren’t enough, it’s impossible to forget a slower number like “How Might I Live,” where we see a slight change of pace as well as vocals for the group, while maintaining their signature sound, though with a touch of blues.
There’s nothing to really dislike on Atlas—it’s solid through and through. My only qualm is that it doesn’t really push my already established appreciation of this group to a new level; the tracks aren’t a stretch from what this band has already done on previous albums. This however, does not diminish their worth, nor their ability to make you feel like you’re strolling amongst flowers in bloom on the perfect day, which is a feat in itself.
Lately I’ve been running through a gambit of rock n’ roll interviews with SXSW, so I wanted to offer up something a little more ethereal, musically speaking. With that in mind, I bring you HOTT MT, an act working somewhere in the realm between Thailand and California. I think reading their questions definitely bring home the idea that some bands come to Austin because it’s supposed to be about fun and having a good time. There’s a list of their shows at the end of the interview. Read More
It’s great when two of your favorite artists combine, especially when their sounds mesh together so well. Today, I’m bringing you a track from Stanley Brinks (of Herman Dune) working, again, with his friends in The Wave Pictures. The bands both dwell in a light-hearted indiepop world, though with the Waves Pictures, there’s a more of a focus on the guitar work. These lads have worked together before, though Gin is their first effort since 2010. You’ll be able to grab this record from Fika Recordings this week! The version below is a 7″ version, but you can stream the whole album HERE, in case you want the album version, and to listen to the whole.
Download: Stanley Brinks and The Wave Pictures – Spinola Bay [MP3]
We’ve been covering lots of Anne tracks lately, and the music that’s coming out of this artist is pretty kick ass. It’s geared for all you folks ready to throw down on the dance floor, albeit with a slightly different vibe. He’s likely to keep his set pretty heavy with tracks from his recent album, Pulling Chain. Here’s what he had to say before making his way into town, and personally, I think these are some of the best answers we’ve gotten.