Everyone knows the very best way to start out a week is with a killer show, which is why you should get your tail over to The Mohawk tonight to catch New York’s Blonde Redhead. They’ve been doling out alternative music that has moved through several genres for quite a while now, so you can expect a night of veteran performance. Opening for them is the experimental rock of Dot Hacker, a group from California. If you’re still on the fence, have a listen to a track from Blonde Redhead’s latest release, Barragán and make up your mind.
No lie. I would have no idea about Leon Bridges if it weren’t for my friend at GvsB, who turned me onto the sweet sounds of the Ft. Worth songwriter. Sure, it doesn’t fit into the modern spin of all things indie, but I’m grateful for that; it’s a refreshing sound that I’ve not heard in some time. It’s a little bit Cody Chestnutt, but a whole lot more Stax. At the moment, there’s nothing quite like this being spun out there, making the voice and music of Bridges all the more powerful. Seriously, how can you not appreciate this?
Download: Leon Bridges – What Can I Do [MP3]
This is an interesting spin on modern day garage/lo-fi production. Toronto’s Twist have added a seductive spin on the tried and true sound we’ve all been tirelessly fawning over for the last several years. You’ll hear a brash opening, but then it slinks into a more consumable bit of pop songwriting, though the noise begins to fill in the negative space left behind in the background. As of now, the band’s just fleshing out their sound, but word is that they’ll have an EP on the way to you all very soon.
Angelo de Augustine is sure to be a name everyone whispers behind your back for a few years. His work is so unassuming that it’s likely to be skipped over by many, to their detriment, as it’s a listen that people will praise from the darkened corners of coffee shops, spreading the gospel beyond until everyone scours Discogs in search for a copy of Spirals of Silence.
It’s going to be difficult for people to look beyond the Elliot Smith references, especially after listening to the opening two tracks, “Old Hope” and “Collections.” Quiet whispers in the vocal quality and even the sound of the strings being plucked are definitely similar, but there’s still some tiny nuances that allow Angelo to find a path all his own. That being said, if you’re an Elliot fan, then you should find yourself listening to “Collections.”
An instance where I see de Augustine making his own path on Spirals of Silence if on “The Beginning and the End.” There’s a fragility to the vocal for sure, but there’s also this careful bit of intricate work filling in the empty space beneath the guitar lines. Sometimes it’s touches of bells or strings, but it comes off sounding more like a field recording as opposed to an ode to the Beetles. It’s those moments that provide a certain level of intimacy that we don’t always find in our musicians, and it seems to be on every track Angelo has left us with. If you need another example of such quality, then “Tucked in at Home” is another place you’ll find this insight into the soul of the musician. I love the light little “do do do” moments that fill in near the middle of the track; it’s playful yet wholly personal.
I’m still finding myself entranced with “You Open to the Idea.” It was the first track I experienced from Spirals of Silence, and thus, it’s been the one I’m particularly fond of. I love the way Angelo rises and falls in pitch and tone within the track; it also never hurts to have a really faint bit of tinkering piano in the far off distance of the song. Still, I encourage you to do your own exploration of the record, as each time I spin it, I find something different and new lurking in the background, or even in front of my face. It’s a record that’ll make you lost, looking for the key to its secrets, and in the end, it’s just a nice bit of songwriting. Cheers to that, and Angelo de Augustine.
If you’re bummed that there’s not another festival to cling to this weekend, have no fear– you still live in the Live Music Capital of the World and naturally there’s a generous amount of shows for you to hit up. Your options for each evening are compiled below. Have a killer weekend and enjoy the cold.
Friday (11.14) : Big Bill, Hidden Ritual, Pataphysics, Jonly Bonly @ Beerland // Doors: 9:00pm
Boy + Kite, She Sir, Wildcat Apollo, Denise @ The Mohawk // Doors: 9:00pm
Allah-Las, Tashaki Miyaki @ The Parish // Doors: 8:00pm
Chipper Jones, Bali Yaaah, Aviateur @ Cheer Up Charlie’s
Saturday (11.15) : The Zoltars, Unwed Teenage Mothers, Sweet Talk, Comforter, Concrete Robot @ Hotel Vegas // Doors: 9:00pm
Greenbeard, The Beans, Megafauna at Cheer Up Charlie’s // Doors: 8:00pm
Props go out to our friend over at IPSML for catching this one before me. I swear; I checked the Shelflife page just Monday morning! Anyways, they’ve just put up this wonderful announcement that they’veg just released the new eponymous EP from Pretty Sad. You can stream the whole EP from the label’s Soundcloud page, but really I just want to highlight this one track. The group, from various mailboxes across Europe, has created this really tight-knit swell of indiepop that would make any other creator rather jealous. You swoon with songs such as these. There is an LP soon to follow early next year, but the digital EP is available now.
I’m always looking for new music to jam to because what is life without the jams? Well, today I’ve come across this band Oskar from Fife that formed earlier this year and put out an EP about a month ago. They’ve got this anthemic and building sound that has been really appealing lately; the guitars are streamlined and arching through cymbal heavy percussion. The vocals have a bit of a Bowie flair to them in their theatrical blend of of drama and emotion. Have a listen to this EP below and if you like it go purchase it over on their Bandcamp page and keep an eye out for more from this band on the horizon. My personal favorite track from the EP is “The City.”
Austin’s Sungod have countless releases, from full-lengths to EPs, and they’ve just added another release this week, with a new self-titled effort. They’re not crafting music like many of their peers in Austin, which, to my ears, makes them stand out in quite a good way. The single we’ve got below really sounds like this space-aged psych-folk piece of work, and I mean that in an endearing, get you excited, sort of way. But, just as you’ve settled into that vibe, they break the song down with an explosion of noise and ambiance to wrap the track up just under 7.5 minutes. It’s not your ordinary fare, and as such, should be valued great. Pick up your copy of the group’s album from local label Holodeck Records.
I’ve mentioned the pop work of Sweet Baboo before; his work draws upon that classic approach to British pop songwriting, which is why he’s found a home with Moshi Moshi Music. Speaking of his label, they’ve just offered up a brand new track from the songwriter, landing him in territory akin to both Antony and the Wave Pictures; I know it sounds strange, but you’ll understand exactly what I’m saying when you spend some time with the tune. There’s the vocal and the intricate process in the recording itself that brings these things to mind. Tell me what you think.
Download: Sweet Baboo – Home [MP3]
It’s Friday. Those in the ATX, and probably the rest of the world, have been bundled up, so we likely need some energy to get up and go today. This new track from Darlings seems perfectly fitting, offering a solid guitar line that adds spirit to your day; I personally enjoy the noodling and discordant chords that are picked near the end of the song. Your day’s going to get better, so join us in our first listen to the band’s latest work; it is in preparation for their Feel Better LP, which is coming out on January 20th via Wild Canary Records.