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.
I feel like the work of Ian Svenonious is possibly some of the most underrated American music out there. Whether he’s doing work in The Make Up or Nation of Ulysses, or his latest project, Chain and the Gang, every thing he’s done is a must own. I love the way his delivery comes off like an edgy spoken word, while he works in front of the distorted guitar line and metronome-style drumming. The group has their new album, Maximum Rock N’ Roll coming out in April via Radical Elite in the US. Give this a spin.
There are two great things about the resurgence of vinyl production over the last decade: great bands reemerge and great labels pop up. One of my favorite little labels, Cloudberry Records, have signed on to release new music from long silent group, The Haywains. On May 30th we’ll get out our hands on the group’s new EP on May 30th, and it’s definitely going to be as infectious as this track. You’ve got the deep-throated vocals backed by a soft-female bit, all playing to a spritely little bounce. Glad to see this group back at it more regularly after almost a 20 year silence (they came back out in 2012–18 year silence).
Download: The Haywains – It’s Time We Stopped Pretending [MP3]
This German band has been around making records for a long time. When I open a review with something about a bands’ extensive career I usually mean somewhere along the lines of a decade or so, but The Notwist handily defeat this notion through their 20+ year career effort that is still tacking on more releases. 2008’s The Devil, You + Me reminded us all that this band still had it in them, and Close To The Glass looks to repeat that phenomenon.
On the aforementioned record we heard the subtle indie rock of this group somehow manage to feel subtler in its simmering singles like “Good Lies,” but Close to the Glass has something else in store: electronic. From the very first track this is impossible to miss: consisting of pure electronic elements to begin, The Notwist certainly don’t skirt around this change. “Signals,” carries on this way, incorporating what resembles some dub sounds, breaking it down to a groovier and choppier mix than we’ve heard from the group. Of course Markus Acher’s hollow vocals still compliment this beat with ease and delicacy, balancing out the violence of the electronic sounds with his calming voice. The title track follows in the same pursuit, though this time the electro-beats, aided by hand claps feel tribal, which makes for an odd sound whose enticing nature cannot be challenged, but perhaps worries me a little for the sake of longevity.
Third track, “Kong,” takes a complete departure from everything you’ve thus encountered on Close To The Glass, and pushes you back to their classic sound. The mild vocals are abundant and focal, the driving synth base hovers in the background, while a faded drumbeat drives the song all in a hyper-collected fashion. Songs like these are simply what this band do best—you’ll hear a lo-fi fuzzed out version of this archetypal song, albeit a bit slowed down, on “Seven Hour Drive.” Its got the build up to the outburst of sound and tempo of a chorus that will have you rocking along with them.
The drawback on Close To The Glass, is that it is easy to fall in and out of attention with the tracks. If you’re not careful, you will find yourself finished with the record without a strong recollection of some of the songs Acher’s voice is soothing and easy, glazing over the sometimes ambient—sometimes all out alt-rock—backing instrumentation. So listen carefully for your favorites to add to your catalog.
It’s been a crazy couple of weeks, and with SXSW a week away, things don’t look to be slowing down. In all that nonsense I’ve missed a few tracks I wanted to share with you today, both which feature incredible female singers. The first is a jam from The Courtneys, who’ve just put this Cassingle out via Burger Records, as well as signing up for a tour with Tegan and Sara.
The second track comes from the much-anticipated debut from Fear of Men record, Loom. It’s another sign of good things to come, and is actually being release as a limited single via Art Is Hard Records. The official LP comes out on April 22 via Kanine.
Over the last year or so, I’ve had several conversations with people in town about the community aspect of the Austin music landscape. I realize, of course, this isn’t always the most important question to ask, but it’s still a great conversation to have, especially when one considers the varying opinions. I caught up with the hard-working Andrew Stevens while he was out on tour with Jess Williamson (just one of his many projects, as you’ll see below). Read on for Andrew’s insightful comments about the way he sees things working in Austin. Read More
As if you haven’t read enough of our interviews at this point, here comes another one from L.A. based group LA Font. They are one of many great bands on the local Fleeting Youth Records label that will be coming to town during SXSW. If you haven’t taken heed to the band’s music, you should check them out now on bandcamp. Follow the jump for full interview.
Collective groups are always interesting. Sometimes you get to witness the powerful combination of songwriters, and other times, you get to watch things fall apart. Landlady, the project of Adam Schatz of Man Man and his friends is picking up steam out of Brooklyn. They’ve released a new single as they finish up work on their new album, which is slated for a summer release on Hometapes. This tune begins with a little piano tinkering before working in some jittery vocals that are reminiscent of Schatz’s main project. The group heads on into Austin for SXSW, and while they’re name might not be out there just yet, it’s definitely one you should keep on your radar…even if you’re not going to be here for the festival.
If you haven’t listened to the latest album by Montreal’s Solids, then you’re definitely missing out. Anyone looking for a little rock n’ roll in their life should spend a little time with Blame Confusion…it’s only been out for a few weeks. We wanted to reach out to the band before they made their way into town for SXSW, and here’s what they had to say.
Kieran Hebden is a collector. A hunter-gather of sorts. With fine antiquities or rare stamps, the value of a collection is often determined by the finicky demand of the market. Hebden’s assemblage is a more specialized and unquantifiable archive; at least to the lay-person. Known lovingly as Four-Tet, the London-based producer collects music, or more specifically, samples. Little snippets of carefully curated melody or rythym. Like any artist, the real magic happens in the process and with an ever-growing presence in the electronic world, Four-Tet has managed to become a house-hold name with his ability to build stunning tracks from basically nothing but his snippits.
On Saturday night, he returned to the Capitol city with a new set of offerings on display. The market was indeed ripe.