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Lily Taylor Wins You Over with Her Voice

lilypadThere’s the sort of music where the instrumentation alone makes the track.  You’re playing air drums while driving in your car; the people next to you are pointing and laughing.  Then there’s the type where you’re sucked in with the emotional draw of the vocals; this is where you find artist Lily Taylor.  Her new song has barely any instrumentation aside from very light touches that allow space for her vocals to draw you in.  Those pipes are seductive, sucking you in second by second.  Her new record, The Ride, will be released by Pour Le Corps on September 2nd.

Jangling Pop from Fews

fuseStill not entirely sure how I feel about the band name here, but I know that I’m definitely feeling the vibe on this new track from Fews.  Immediately, the jangling guitars ring out just before the rhythm section joins in to propel the tune forward.  You’ll hear a bit of a soft dream vocal on here, but the recording and some of the inflections make it just a bit more playful than some of the group’s peers.  The band sound like a more upbeat version of the Drums, which isn’t a bad thing, so we look forward to hearing more from these guys now that they’ve returned to the music fold.

ACL Taping: Thao & The Get Down Stay Down

ACL LiveDoing this music site, photo thing, I get to go to some cool stuff and ACL Tapings certainly top the list. Nine Inch Nails, Radiohead, Nick Cave…

The latest run-through the rules by Terry Licona was to introduce Thao the Get Down Stay Down. Back to the normal formula after the Nick Cave experiment, Thao’s set was webcast, as well. Their set from ACL was really fun. Festival band all the way, but how would it translate to the taping format? Happy to announce, quite well.

Read on for thoughts and a few pics from the night and some shots of her performance by the great Scott Newton.

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New Tune from Allah Las

allahOne of the things I love about listening to Allah-Las is that you get the real sense that you’re listening to music in California.  While their songs have hints of the modern psychedelia, they carry with them these sun-drenched guitar tones.  I guess that’s an easy comparison considering they’ve titled the new LP, Worship the Sun, but those hues of Cali make a great impression on listeners.  That being said, the new album has a lot of progression in it’s songwriting; the songs are tighter and there’s a greater variance from song to song.  You can grab the LP on September 16th from Innovative Leisure.

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Comet Gain – Paperback Ghosts

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Rating: ★★★½ ·

I’ll admit it, I’m a little late to be jumping on the Comet Gain fan express, as they’ve been making records for the past 22 years and I am just now becoming acquainted with David Feck and company and their epic jangly indie pop tunes. I say epic because though they specialize in the jingly-jangly guitar that is textbook for indie pop, Feck brings in this heavy element of poetic narratives that pervades all of the tracks and brings it to a whole new level of detail. Paperback Ghosts is an exploration into love lost and the nostalgia that seems to haunt long after its disappearance.

It would be easy to dismiss this record as just jangly indie pop, when in reality it’s that and so much more. Yea, there are tracks that do this genre more than justice, like second up on the album “Sad Love and Other Short Stories” which begins with familiar angular electric and backing acoustic guitars while Feck spins tales of morose love tales, musing “what’s the saddest love of all?” and then offering his interpretation of what could be the answer to this question. His lyrics are quick and witty, giving you vivid images alongside the jangle pop. The words and vocals are mixed as equals to the instrumentation, making it clear where exactly your attention and focus should be. To finish it off you get some string arrangements that coat everything in a nostalgic bath as the song comes to its close. They give you quality jangle with other layers and textures that push it beyond.

While they give you solid tunes like the aforementioned track, Comet Gain also brings you the blues a bit, or some heavier tracks. On these numbers, the band digs in, and the guitars get a bit fuzzier and the synths more prominent. “(All The) Avenue Girls” brings in some female vocals and the old fashion organ-esque synthesizer that runs through the whole tune, and for some of the rest of the album gives it a timeless flair. End number “Confessions Of A Daydream,” is another example of this bluesy tinge, complete with gritty guitars and Feck’s vocals straying the furthest from where we first met him at the beginning of the album. We get the image of a disheveled frontman instead of a put together poet, but the imperfections of the song make it an interesting twist to finish the album.

Paperback Ghosts is an adamant testament to the talent of this man and the musicians that have accompanied him through the years to keep putting out relevant records of indie pop. It takes a lot to stay current, but Feck doesn’t seem too preoccupied at all with keeping up with the times, rather more with doing his own thing. It’s worked for 22 years and it has worked once again this time around; beautiful songwriting abounds and you have yourself a collection of deep tunes to spin around your office or house and really sink into. Let’s just say Comet Gain has made a fan out of me.

Literature – Chorus

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Rating: ★★★★ ·

Back in 2012, Literature should have made your radar with Arab Spring, their debut LP that ATH Records helped put out. If somehow you managed to miss that gem of a first record, not to worry, the four gents are back to give you another opportunity to fall in love with their jangly guitar centric rock music. One listen and you’ll be devoid of excuses not to be smitten with Chorus and this band.

At the risk of sounding cheesy, I’m going to liken this album to those instances in your life, or in the movies when everything around slows for a second in a moment of golden enlightenment. For the twenty-nine minutes that Chorus lasts you are swept away in a fury of glittering and shimmering tunes. Each song has a pearlescent quality to it—the guitar licks ripple and glide with each other in endless loops while the percussion is like the foam on the edge of the waves of synth as they crash in. The album on a whole has the golden vibe, but there are also some extra special standouts that will have you instantly wanting to replay them over again.

A few of these songs that have got me especially hooked are back-to-back middle of the album stunners “Court/Date” and “New Jacket.” The first of these two songs starts with an infectious guitar riff that peels right through the center stage, then you have Nathan Cardaci’s voice that comes in deep and rich, but gets pushed to its peak as his voice weaves in and out of the instrumentation. The drums never stop, constantly simmering and then breaking into this epic deep rolling builds during the choral hook. Before you know it you’re on to “New Jacket,” which is less power from the start and more of a tune that builds at its end. There are still the glitter guitars from the start and Cardaci’s breathy hazed vocals, but the guitars feel passive until the song grows and grows to the last minute of the track. Really, I had a hard time critiquing and describing these two tracks as they are so infectious that I would start to play them and have the phenomenon of getting lost jamming.

Thirty minutes comes and goes, but like the movie montages, it’s somehow the apt amount of time for everything to happen; Literature don’t overstay their golden moment. Despite the vast majority of the tracks bordering on spastically fast, the speed of this record works perfectly with the music they have created. Yes, the record is brief, catchy and straightforward, but frankly I feel like the music scene these days could use more records like this to get lost in.

Austin Weekend Show Spotlight

Austin, I love you.As the weather unfortunately heats up, that means there’s also a music scene heating up.  There’s tons of shows this weekend in particular, both local and traveling.  I won’t bore you with details, but remind you to show up early to catch openers, especially the local ones like Sweet Talk playing at Mohawk tonight. Here you go: Read More

Saint Motel Back with New EP

saintsWe’ve long supported the boys in Saint Motel; I personally love their use of piano keys in their tracks…there’s just something uplifting about that aspect of their craftsmanship. This particular track opens with that piano bounce, then builds to a swelling vocal hook, pushed even further by gang-vocals during the chorus.  If you listen to this song and your life doesn’t get instantly better, then perhaps you need to press play again because eventually your mind will give in to the band’s greatness.  This is the third track on the group’s forthcoming My Type EP, which is set to be released next week.

Solemn Pop Tune from She Keeps Bees

beesI figured I’d start my role on Friday with a little bit of something from the softer side, the new tune from She Keeps Bees.  This track is really relaxing, but there’s definitely some great little touches within the duo’s song.  You hear seemingly casual bits of horns built in to emphasize the strength of Jessica Larrabee’s voice; it’s got that sultry smokiness to it…that’s enough to hook me. They’ll be releasing a new record, Eight Houses, on Future Gods Records on September 16th.

More New Music From Broncho

broncho1Already this summer we’ve heard some new music from Oklahomans Broncho and we were pleasantly surprised with the new direction of their sound.  Today the band is offering up another stellar new track called “What” which can be streamed below.  This track is just downright fun and a real pleasure to listen to.  It’s a garage rock themed, sort of throwback style number that’s sure to improve your Friday.

Pick up new album, Just Enough Hip to be Woman on September 16th via Dine Alone.

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