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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.

Another Jam from Rural Alberta Advantage

raaI’m really excited about the new album from Rural Alberta Advantage; they always find a way to weave themselves perfectly into my life.  This new single sounds huge, production-wise, which comes with a bit of trepidation, but I love the piano matched with male/female singing.  I’m hoping that while the record has a larger quality that it still holds the intimacy the band has used in their earlier recordings; there’s a nice touch of it at the end of this song. Mended with Gold will be released on September 30th via Saddle Creek; I’m hoping for the best.

Newish Jam from Teenanger

teensFigure we’d start off our week with some crunchy guitars and smooth vocal delivery from Toronto outfit, Teenanger.  The guitars have this little bit of swagger in them, with some ringing mini-solos, while the sultry attitude of the vocals is casual.  But, they’ve also got a few tracks where the male vocal takes front focus, so don’t pin all your hopes and dreams of this band on one style.  If you dig it, look for the group’s EPLP to be released on September 9th via Telephone Explosion.

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