There’s something nostalgic in the waters of late, and this tune from Slumbers somehow makes its way into my nostalgic leanings. There’s an inherent innocence in the softened tones, reminding me of a young Jenny Lewis on the first Rilo Kiley LP. Musically, there’s two guitar lines working against one another, yet in their contrast they wrap your ears in the delicious melody that holds court in your heart. They’re releasing their debut with Sports Day Records; it’s titled Come Over, featuring more songs for you to devour.
With the success of Ultimate Painting and Toy, it would seem natural that folks would clamor to hear music from The Proper Ornaments, a band made of bits and pieces from the above acts. Yet the band seems indifferent to accolades and buzz, just trucking along with really incredible bits of songwriting and pop sensibility. I like the texturing working beneath the rad sounds of the guitar; they’re either using a cabasa shaker or a rain stick, but it fits into the track seamlessly. It’s hard not to be impressed by songs before you, so if you’re into that buzz, then be sure to look for Foxhole on January 20th via Slumberland Records.
It’s hard for me to get behind electronic music a lot of the time, but when I heard the latest from L.A.’s Kauf, I couldn’t help but dig it and share it with you all. “Pacify” is a single taken from Kauf’s upcoming debut LP, and it shows off the texture that this artist puts on the electro-pop genre. The song builds slowly, various elements gently and seamlessly fade in; there’s a whole lot going on at all times in the track, but never overwhelming you. You get a danceable rhythm and various builds, but there’s also those moments where you marvel at the well orchestrated combination of instruments. Sleek vocals with just enough reverb on them to fit in with the synths ride smoothly over the top of the mix. Overall, it’s a gorgeous track that you should take a listen to.
Regrowth will be out early next year. Keep your eyes and ears alert.
Things are winding down in the music world as we near end of the year holidays and lists, so don’t hate on me too much for being slightly late to the party on this one. Psychic Shakes is your new favorite indie rock band…you just don’t know it yet. The solo project of Southampton’s Max McLellan, this act is just getting underway, but this new track, “Wasting Time,” shows that you should keep your ears peeled for anything from the gentleman. When you start the song you are greeted with a funky bass and percussive intro, but then those sharp guitars cut in and you have a hazy surf rock gem on your hands. Take a listen below.
Stanley Brinks has become increasingly important with my musical listening, especially as he’s taken on a more folk-y approach with his new bandmates, The Old Time Kaniks. He’s got a gentle ballad celebrating the announcement of his new album, Vieilles Caniques et Nouvelles Caniques. It’s scary how infectious this tune is, despite minimal instrumentation, just offering string work to back up Brinks’ vocals. The old time sounds never seemed so refreshing, so if you’re in love with this too, look to grab the limited green vinyl from Fika Recordings on January 13th.
Another year, and it looks like we’ll get another LP from John Wesley Coleman. I think that means we’ve got at least one great thing coming out of next year, and this song exemplifies just why JWC is so beloved here in Austin. I think, if I’m to go out on a limb, this might be the best I’ve heard from Wes; he sounds refined, yet still has that devil-may-care attitude that’s kept him so endearing. His new album, Microwave Dreams, hits on January 27th via Super Secret Records. Damn this song is good.
I really don’t think there are a lot of bands out there running things the way that The Dig do. They’ve got something that’s almost bares an R&B inflection to it, though the music is far more upbeat. You’ve almost got an anthemic approach, though these guys keep things just weird enough with their musical layering that you end up reveling in how they make things both infectious and cool all at the same time. Feel free to turn this one up loud, and get ready for the group’s Bloodshot Tokyo on February 3rd.
Dominic Angelella is a jack of all trades, working as a touring musician for various acts, namely mewithoutyou, but also does a great deal of studio work. Here we find him working his own magic, bringing in a classic songwriting structure with a few extra layers to fill out the sound. His voice is steady, though the tones remind me a little of Jason Lytle, while the music revolves around guitar and structured drumming; it’s emphatic in all the right places, with Dominic even pushing his voice when necessary. He’s just announced his debut, Goodnight, Doggies, which comes out on February 3rd via Lame-O Records.
I’m not sure where we draw the line at nostalgia. For the Wedding Present, their Bizarro tour garnered tons of press, but when they kept going with more new music, never skipping a beat, folks just turned a deaf ear. It’s sad, as they sound bigger and better than ever. I mean, if I were to ever have a complaint, which I don’t, it might be that some of their earliest LPs didn’t have the same quality production their new stuff does. David Gedge has such magnificent control of his voice, as you’ll hear in this song, particularly during the chorus. Put the past behind you, and enjoy the fact that the Wedding Present are as good, if not greater, than they ever were. Their latest LP, Going Going, will be out later this year via HHBTM.
I have a festival hangover. After seeing hundreds of bands in just a few months, it gets hard to get up for going out to hit shows, especially when living the photo guy festival life is so not like the real world. It is an alternate universe that is easy to get used to, the rhythm of shoot band, run into friends, get supplies, rinse, repeat. With an approval for Day for Night already in hand, festival season isn’t over yet. But Aphex Twin! I know you all feel very sympathetic for our struggle.
One of the Austin bands making the run to DfN is Night Drive. They are an Austin favorite and go-to dance party for the ATH team. Rodney and Brandon love all the things we love about dark dance-pop, from pulsating beats to grainy synths and brooding chords living underneath the plinks and big beats. They will release a full-length in February, self-titled, that has a few new songs, a few re-recorded hits and they are using this jam as the lead single. I’ve heard this gem live a few times. It is so good.