On Friday, one-time Austinite Bill Baird will release his latest outing, Straight Time; he says it will be the last self-recorded/produced of his for awhile. On the tune below, he paints an ode to Austin, filled with various local native name drops, but ultimately, it’s the song that takes hold of you. It’s an ambling track, riding this beautiful guitar sound to the promised land; it’s almost as if you’re sitting in the back of a convertible on a warm Texas afternoon, cruising down the interstate as Bill coolly blasts his vocals through your stereo speakers. Somehow he’s captured the essence of Austin in song; I particularly enjoy the slow burn of the chorus before he jumps into the “Wilford Brimley” line. If you want to know what this city’s all about, give this tune a listen…and be sure to grab Straight Time on Friday.
Bartees Cox might not be the household name you’re looking for, but his work as Bartees & the Strange Fruit is likely to be impacting. His new album Magic Boy is a collection of songs about family and black life, but as important is his love for the recording process…obsessions with reel to reel and tape recordings are present throughout. His voice has this powerful fragility to it, melodically stepping atop warped loops and notes…with a female vocal accompaniment driving home the emotional appeal. You’ll be able to hear his new album in its entirety when it sees a release on December 8th via Pineapple Record Co.
Man when things get busy around here, they really get busy. I’ve been pushing through quite a hectic time with the ol real job recently, but I can always find some time to publish new rock n roll tunes. Today I’m back on the wagon with this real banging garage rock tune called “Sick of Me” from Birmingham, UK based band Table Scraps. This thing is basically a simple, straightforward rock number similar to something you might hear from Ty Segall or the like. You shall enjoy.
Table Scraps will release Autonomy on February 3rd via Zen Ten Records.
I’m always a sucker for a good pop song, especially when the execution of said song is pulled off to perfection…like this new tune from Hola Beach. This track employs a really bare bones approach for the opening two minutes, with the drum sitting way in the back of the mix in order for the natural melody to unfold in step with the guitar notes. A few of those notes meander out of context, crafting the slightest bit of tension leading to the crashing wave of the song’s last minute. Look for their new EP to drop this weekend!
Makeness, aka Kyle Mollesonout of London, is making sick electronica tunes.This track, called “Day Old Death,” reminds me a lot of early Sun Airway. The song slowly comes to life, paralleled by the visuals in the music video, with electronic elements creating a groove for you to shake it to. Beyond the danceable aspect of the track, there’s something haunting in the distant vocals and the undercutting guitar riffs that make you want to play this track on repeat all day. Check it out below and get excited for the band’s debut album, which will be out on Secretly Canadian next year.
If you don’t already have Aimee Lay on your radar, then turn up your speakers, press your ear real close, and get ready to get carried away by the intoxicating number below. Whilst spending her youth as the child of a Korean immigrant, Aimee sought solace in the musical world of classic girl groups and early psychedelia; that sound resonates in her songwriting here, though she has this delightful vocal turn during the chorus where she offers “goodbye, black thoughts.” It’s a subtle change in the voice, but perhaps one of the most striking moments of the tune. Her new album, The Other Side of You, will be out this Friday via Respectful Lust Records.
A little over two weeks away from the release of Little Mazarn‘s new album, and here she is with another chance for you to listen to her striking work. In listening, you’re bound to appreciate the care put into the song’s construction, with each note taking on a role of its own, matching the voice of Lindsey Verrill when necessary. There’s a lot of space within too, perfect for drifting in and out of the song’s consciousness (or your own). The LP drops on December 15th via Self Sabotage Records, ready to enchant even the most casual listener.
The beautiful haunting of Cats of Transnistria is set to overwhelm you today with the new video for “Candy Man.” The opening moments of the song are dominated by the deepened tones of string arrangements, sprinkled with atmospheric flourishes behind. It’s actually a sparse track, even when the angelic vocals twist and turn inside the track, allowing the audience to extract their own emotions from the song. A dark wash on the video only reinforces the solemnity offered by the Finnish trio, and we expect nothing more than an enduring classic when the band release Opium early next year via their label, Soliti.
For the 8 or so people who read this blog on the regular, you’ll likely be aware of my affection for all things Oceanic, primarily New Zealand and Australia. So, with year end lists in mind, I thought I’d offer up my personal takes on the best tunes to come out of the area in 2017. There’s no particular order, just my sixteen favorites of the year.
There’s even a fun little playlist at the bottom for you to enjoy!
Saw this Firestations track pop up a week or so ago, and marked it as something to revisit. Now that I’ve had a bit of time to jam it, I figured it’s something you should have on your radar. Perhaps the first thing that caught my ear was the falling piano/keyboard lines ushered into the background of the focal synth and guitars. It was at once thoughtful and endearing…then came the vocals. They’ve got that airy flavor that captivates fans of indiepop, riding atop the mix like that feather in Forrest Gump. It’s a rather dense tune too, despite the light-hearted affect that song will have on your emotional well-being, so feel free to indulge below.