I don’t hide my love for Night Drive. They are friends and good people. They are fans of photographers here in Austin and the photographers are fans of theirs. +1 and I were long overdue for a date night/dance party.
Agenda: Empire for Emme, Moving Panoramas and Night Drive. Click through for a few thoughts from the evening along with a gallery ripe of fam.
The Aussie trio Suss Cunts first came to my attention with their debut EP, released over in the US by Emotional Response. They’re already back with a brand new EP for Hysterical Records, and we’ve got the title track here for you. It’s got an interesting punk rock edge, though more infectious than some might give that genre; I hear a few similarities on both guitar tone and vocals to Dead Kennedys. But, the trio brandishes their own style and flare, almost as if they’re falling off the tracks, whilst still sounding steady as ever. Look for the Temper EP on April 27th. Love these ladies, and here’s hoping you do too.
Put my fandom of the Walkmen aside, this new Walter Martin track is really striking. It trickles in at first, careful notes of guitar and piano just hanging out there in the air. Then Walter enters the picture, offering up a story of friendship that’s as witty as it is personal. Sure, Martin’s telling the story to a friend, but knowing that we’ve all got stories to tell long lost friends who’ve fallen out of touch makes a lasting impression. Plus, the arrangements surrounding what would be an otherwise simple tune are really special. Walter Martin is no longer a Walkmen afterthought; he’s a powerful songwriter with Reminisce Bar & Grill on its way February 16th via Ile Flottante Music.
The members of The Wild Kindness have deep roots in the Bay Area music scene, and with their new project, they took their time to really develop their sound for their debut Happy Now. It’s an LP that seems like an amalgam of everyone’s favorite bits of indie rock over the last 30 years, like the little vocal nod to Pavement in “Space Companion” or the sunny Cali pop stylings of “Long Haul.” You’ll also hear great guitar moments that are most visible in your favorite guitar pop acts, letting notes hang and ring in the distance of the mix. The album title ends up fitting rather well, as you’ll leave your listening with your spirit uplifted, and maybe a new band to adore for the foreseeable future.
We’ve got some good friends hanging out in the musical haven of Athens, Georgia, and they’ve recently turned me on to one of the city’s promising new young acts, Nihilist Cheerleader. On this song’s angular opening, you’re ready for a barrage of post-punk, but the band already do things differently, instead turning towards a rambunctious rock n’ roll vibe that’s polished by the blend of melody. Flynne Collins bares some vocal resemblance to Marissa from Screaming Females, giving you that feeling that she could unleash on you at any minute, though here she’s fairly restrained. The group’s new album Riot, Right? is slated for a release later this Spring via Perfect Attendance Records, setting the band up huge success in 2018.
A light wash of electronic pulsation opens the latest single from Pizzagirl; it’s got a bit of an unbalanced feel to it, as if it’s waiting for us all to catch up. Then comes the softened croon that fills the opening verse. The song takes a quick turn, rapidly delivering vocals in a rap-like fashion, though they still have the heart-warming tone…it’s just turning quickly over and over. It ends up being quite uplifting and playful, all making our latest slice of Pizzagirl quite endearing. Go on, indulge yourself below.
Why Bonnie haven’t been around for too long in the Austin scene, but things are already looking promising as we near the release of the group’s In Water EP. They dropped this new tune today, and while not much longer than 3 minutes, there’s an impression left that seems to make your listening experience feel as if it’s sprawling across days. Guitar chords circulate in the background, washed synths atop…both meeting the slowly billowing vocals. There’s a nice little touch where the song seems to slow to a crawl near the 2:20 mark, then bursts back in with an emphatic punch. Look for the new EP on February 16th via Sports Day Records.
Having written about Totally Mild quite a bit as of late, I think their latest single might be one of my favorite tracks from their new record, Her. It’s presented with this chilled guitar line reminiscent of many like-minded Aussie acts. But, rather than pigeonhole themselves by sounding like all the rest, Elizabeth Mitchell owns the hour with her striking vocal performance just after the 1 minute mark; I love the way her voice rises, drops off, then reaches even higher. It’s hard not to listen to this track and see the band as something quite special, something to hang your hat on in 2018; look for the new LP on February 23rd via Chapter Music.
Yep, you read that right. This new single from Eels, one of my favorite acts is definitely an upbeat number, though Mark’s voice still has that distinct churn. The guitar sound here seems to harken to a sunnier side of the songwriter’s catalog, and the added arrangements provide an extra bit of spirit. On the subject matter, it seems Everett is in a reflective mood, promising that “today is the day;” there’s no looking back anymore. Really looking forward to hearing the entirety of The Deconstruction; it drops on April 6th.
From the instant I pressed play on the new Kidsmoke track, the guitars had won; I had given myself completely to the latest single from the Welsh act. However, while still holding my attention, the cascading guitars were stripped back in lieu of a calming vocal verse. Admittedly, I didn’t expect the high notes to be hit so pristinely, which, when combined with the careful guitar chords that follow later mesmerize listeners; it sort of ends up feeling like a young Teenage Fanclub tune, and you know that will never fail with me.