Now I’m always about psychedelic rock music, so whenever I come across a super solid song that takes the genre to a whole new level you can bet I’m down to share it. This track “Brain Body” from NYC’s Acid Dad, starts in a fairly typical psych rock song– distorted guitars, distant vocals, and a laid back beat that lets the song mosey along at its own pace. However, as you keep listening, the band goes several different places than you would expect them to; around the halfway point the song gets knocked up to full volume and Acid Dad really punch you in the face, but in the best way possible.
Feel like I went a little heavy on the rock side of things today, so I wanted to spin it around and offer something playful and captivating via Craig Martinson. The songwriter has crafted a tune that’s akin to bands like White Rabbit or early Cold War Kids; the style brings with it huge hooks and a little bit of psychedelic funk to the mix. It’s one of those songs that just makes you happy to be alive, so why not play it loud on this Friday afternoon. You’ll find this tune on his latest EP, My Love Is True.
Forget all of that. SxSW has been a bastion of branding experiments. From giant Doritos to McDonald’s trying to be cool, we are inundated by branding and usually, it has been quite unsuccessful. Twitter campaigns hijacked in the name of comedy, new product as a punch line for your snarly friend’s quips. #flatizza
But one brand has been kind of quietly been doing something very cool for musicians. Converse set up Rubber Tracks four years ago giving Texas bands, mostly Austin locals, the chance to get some studio time on the brand’s dime. I was invited to take a tour of the studio compound taken over during SxSW and turned into Converse Rubber Tracks home base, Big Orange and Shine Studio.
Up and coming rapper Jalin Roze (not Jalen Rose) from Louisville, KY has a smooth, bass heavy sound reminiscent of Celly Cel in his heyday. Roze has a great back catalog of music worth checking out and it’s all available to download for free from his Bandcamp page. His song “That’s It” can be streamed below.
I always thought I was in the know for the Finnish rock n’ roll scene, though it’s clear I’ve still got some things to learn, as I haven’t been too acquainted with the Splits, though they’re set to release their second album via Dirtnap Records. There’s a vicious opening, that some might even call brash. But, don’t let that set you off, as there’s multiple vocal parts, balancing out the angst-ridden punk growl with a solid pop croon. It’s an energetic tune, filled with fun times and attitude; look for II on April 21st.
It isn’t a new idea, plenty of people have followed a band for a day, but it is something I have wanted to do for a while now. The last time The Twilight Sad was in town in support of We Were Promised Jetpacks, I had some time to chat with James, lead vocals, and Chris Patin, the tour manager, about following the band for a day during SxSW. You see, Chris is a friend of the program; he is in The Calm Blue Sea. James and I oddly ended up standing next to each other at several day parties in previous SxSW’s and we have had friendly conversations about tea, food, travel, normal human stuff. Seemed like a good fit. What follows is an account of the day, followed by a ton of pics. As a bonus, I got to see several other bands, some pretty damn good ones, including Torres and Ringo Deathstarr (more on them later).
Is your answer no? Then maybe you should rethink your listening habits. Hard Left is a supergroup of sorts, though perhaps one most known to that too often mentioned underground world. For my ears, there’s two things going on here that I really like: the band are carrying on the political rabble (some members may have been the first to bring that sound to your ears!) and there’s this guttural punk noise that could incite a circle-pit with your best friends…maybe even a riot. The band’s album We Are Hard Left will be released on May 12th via Future Perfect Records.
Download: Hard Left – Red Flag [MP3]
I’ve been way into Girls Names since they first hit the shores via Slumberland Records, and while they’ve changed their sound, their music has still been relatively compelling. Enter the new chapter for the band, the result being an 11 minute exploration into the space where bands may soon take their post-rock approach. The track opens with digitalized foreboding before the settles into it’s circular guitar work, pushed forward by the drum work. Don’t be worried, as the band have disguised their pop-centric leanings beneath carefully crafted swells of guitar. Look for this new Zero Triptych 12″ via Tough Love Records on May 11th.
So those of us fortunate to have encountered the delightful Torres sometime over the past week at SXSW know, but for the rest of you who weren’t so lucky, I’m here to let you in on the gospel. Torres is what’s up, and this new song “Sprinter” which is also the title of her upcoming album, should make Mackenzie Scott a name on your radar. This song has a very Sharon Van Etten force to it; the power vocals are at the centerfold, but it’s impossible not to pick up on the nuanced instrumentation that is also at play here. Go on, get on this party bus of darkness with me and Torres… there’s plenty of simmering sadness to go around and look out for the album Sprinter that’s coming May 5th.
Sometimes you find a band hitting their stride, and it ends up being the perfect sound to your day. This was much the case when I first tossed on this new song from Loose Tooth; the band are readying the release of their debut Easy Easy East. While the song opens with an alternative rock bend, they turn things on its side, switching the timing of the track, filling it with discordant guitars and emphatic vocals that blast through your speakers…and then they slow it down. It’s an approach that makes the band sound as if they’re going all over the place, but they do it in their own organized fashion…making it a success. Look for their album on April 21st via Fleeting Youth Records.
Download: Loose Tooth – Pickwick Average [MP3]