New Electro-Pop From Broke For Free

It’s rare that I get too deep into music without words.  Sure I dig a handful of instrumental bands, but I’ve always been one who tends to put a lot of stock in quality lyrics and vocal delivery.  This song “Budding” by Tom Cascino and his project known as Broke For Free is really bucking the normal trends for me.  The song reminds me a lot of a band I posted about awhile back called Southern Shores, with the same sort of feel good beats that are sure to have you nodding your head in no time.

Interested parties should check out the brand new EP Gold Can Stay streaming for free over on bandcamp.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/BFF-Budding.mp3]

Download: Broke For Free – Budding [MP3]

Top Live Shows in Austin in 2012

Our year end coverage begins with the three chiefs over at the ATH offices reveling in what was an incredible year in Austin, musically speaking.  Tons of rad bands blew us away with their live sets, and, well, there were just tons of bands.  I think we did more show coverage this year than in previous years, but as always, the great thing about our site is diversity.  We’re also linking back to our full reviews and photos of some of these nights, so you can get more of a feel of our thoughts, not to mention, checking out Brian’s great photographic 2012. Read on for thoughts on live acts from the three main contributors.
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New Music from Amor de Dias

The Love of Days you say? Well, I’ll say that for today, and probably for a few more that follow, this new track from Amor de Dias is absolutely winning my heart.  You can give me anything with the voice of Alisdair MacLean, and I’m probably going to fawn over it.  My impression is that Alisdair and his collaborator, Lupe, have finally hit their stride.  The backing vocals jumping in and out are so affecting that I’d have a difficult time ever dismissing this track.  I’m sure the new record, House at Sea, aims to be a remarkable listen, which can be all yours from the good folks over at Merge Records on January 29th.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/05-Amor-de-Días-The-House-at-Sea-Jeans-Waving.mp3]

Download:Amor De Dias – Jean’s Waving [MP3]

Great New Indie Pop from Alpaca Sports

It’s been what, a few months since I last raved about Alpaca Sports?  Well, the group has a brand new 7″ on one of my favorite little labels, Cloudberry Records.  The 7″ has a few tracks we’ve previously covered, but this is by far my favorite the group has put to tape.  There’s a slight little orchestral maneuver hiding in the dark here, but it really helps to accentuate the jangling guitars and the warm voice of Andreas Jonsson.  Songs like this often seem really simple in the greater context of things, but not too many bands are pulling of the execution as like what you’ll hear below.  Enjoy.

Show Preview: Mountain Goats @ Emos (12.5)

Date Wednesday, December 5th
Location Emos
Doors 9:00 PM
Tickets $18 from Emos


In search for your favorite hyper-literate performer? Well, you can find John Darnielle and his band, The Mountain Goats, at Emos on Wednesday night.  John and friends just released Transcendental Youth via his current label, Merge Records.  While the band can probably be considered to have sort of a cult following, I personally feel that Darnielle is an underrated lyricist (more to my liking than a certain Mr. Meloy).  Accompanying the group as openers will be Matthew E. White, which, according to the stuff I’ve listened to, should be quite an extravagant affair.  This is one of those shows that might have fallen off people’s radars, but if you miss out on it, you’re going to have to hear from your friends how incredible the evening was. 

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/03-The-Mountain-Goats-Transcendental-Youth-Cry-for-Judas.mp3]

Download:The Mountain Goats – Cry for Judas [MP3]

Rad Rocker from Bird Skulls

I’ve played this song on repeat at least ten times, and I can’t help but be transported back to my adolescence, fueled by angst and hooks.  In two minutes, one of the UKs hottest acts, Bird Skulls, blasts through with distorted guitars at breakneck speed.  It’s a bit of grunge, but a bit of punk rock, so in essence, it’s sort of like everything we all loved about the late 80s/early 90s.  You can get your hands on their new single cassette from the kind folks over at Art is Hard Records, and they’ll throw in a nice little winter hat to make your life warmer.  I’m glad people still make music like this.

Sprawling Beauty from Day Joy

Part of me wishes it would one day get cold in Austin, that way I could really delve into some of the music that seems perfectly fitting for this time of year.  On the newest gem from Day Joy, you can really get lost in the layered textures, emotionally pulling you in with touches of string arrangements.  Even the echo of pre-recorded sounds is somewhat haunting, yet the effortless harmonies inherent in the song seem like they’d fit right in if one was to be sitting fireside.  It’s such a joy to discover bands that really work to hone their craftsmanship.  You can find this tune on Go to Sleep, Mess–it comes out on February 12th via Small Plate Records.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/dayjoy_purple.mp3]

Download:Day Joy – Purple [MP3]

Top Ten Austin Albums of 2012

It’s that time of year folks, when we here at Austin Town Hall try to convince you that we know what’s what in the world of music.  We’re starting things off with our list of Top Ten Austin Albums of 2012.  We purposefully left out EPs, just focusing on the Album as a whole, since that’s our favorite form of media.  Before you read this, please know that this is just the expressed OPINION of ours, and you’re definitely cool to disagree. Let us know your thoughts, and make sure your favorite Austin bands send us their hits in 2013!
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New Music from Gung Ho

You know I love to give appropriate levels of hype to the great Aussie scene (Aussietownhall sound okay to you?), so I’m continuing my adulation with a shout to Gung Ho, one of my favorite up-and-comers from the scene.  The band just recently released this incredible new single, and if you’re smart, you’re going to one to keep an eye out on these dudes. I love the bubbling bass line combined with the vocals that seemingly float through your headphones from a distance.  Slight hints of sharp angled guitars cut in and out of the track, adding an extra layer to the already existing quality.  Give it a go.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/Gung-Ho-Strangers.mp3]

Download:Gung-Ho – Strangers [MP3]

Jangling New Tune from Golden Grrrls

The year of 2013 is shaping up to be quite a nice one already, and one of the leaders of the pack is Slumberland Records.  Glasgow’s Golden Grrrls get things going on February 26th with the release of their self-titled record, filled with eleven gems that will surely help wake you from your winter slumber.  For me, the interplay between male and female vocal parts is reminiscent of the purest time in indie rock, when melody and playfulness went hand in hand.  I also think you’ll like the way there’s just a hint of jangling guitars coming from the three piece as the drums bang out a steady groove to keep your toes a’ tappin’.

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