Great Mellow Jam from Pure Bathing Culture

I’m pretty sure you’re all going to love this track; there’s really nothing as strikingly wonderful as this track from Pure Bathing Culture.  It’s such a subtle pop track, with the instrumentation turned down low so the vocals can reach perfection by the time they hit your ears.  You can find this track on the group’s debut self-titled EP, which just came out via the good people over at Father Daughter Records.  Come on, one listen just isn’t enough, you’re going to have to play this song over and over again.  I don’t know about you, but that pretty sums the track up as a certified hit.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/01-Lucky-One.mp3]

 

Another Gem from Arc in Round

In late April I brought you one of the tunes off of Arc in Round‘s self-titled album, and since the record just came out this week, we’re going to toss up another gem for you get behind. This tune is called “One-Sided,” and I love the way the guitar discordantly works in the background, fighting for space with the lofty female vocals (which have a unique echo effect).  Once again, the group’s used some great texturing to their work, creating a sound that’s definitely pop-centric, but shows the abilities of band’s that can incorporate layer upon layer to create gems such as this.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/02-One-Sided.mp3]

Download:Arc in Round – One-Sided [MP3]

You can get the S/T album from La Societe Expeditionnaire.

Contest: Nada Surf @ La Zona Rosa (6/29)

It’s contest time ladies and gents!  What does that mean you say?  It means we’ve got a sweet prize pack for one lucky fan of veteran indie act Nada Surf.  Here are the deets:

Up for grabs: 2 tickets to the Nada Surf show at La Zona Rosa this Friday, plus a CD of the band’s new album The Stars Are Indifferent to Astronomy.

How to enter: Leave a comment below with your favorite Nada Surf tune and we’ll pick a winner at random

Deadline: Please get all entries in by this Thursday the 28th and we’ll contact you afterwards.

Please don’t forget to leave a valid email address in the comment form so we can get in touch with you.  Go!

EDIT: Bumped back up to the front page, enter people!

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/03-When-I-Was-Young-1.mp3]

Download: Nada Surf – When I Was Young MP3

Echo Lake – Wild Peace

Rating: ★★½ · ·

Last year, this band first hit the music scene by releasing their Young Silence EP, which demonstrated their ambient/psychedelic pop styling’s. On their first full length, Echo Lake lives up to their name in the biggest way; Wild Peace is a collection of distortion and mirages that combine to create a cloud of hazy indie rock that may leave listeners a little hazy on how they feel about this record.

Things start out bright on the first track, “Further Down,” with an intense amount of echo to the vocals and thick layers of guitars and synthesizers, as expected. It’s a good balance between the harsh electronic sounds and the sugary vocals, which give off a creepily serene vibe. Juxtaposed well, these elements hook you, making you wonder just what exactly this band has to offer. Echo Lake continue on the upward slope with the second song “Another Day,” which immediately bubbles above the first track in energy. Whereas the first track was mysterious and dark, the second is lighter, with its jangly percussion and faster tempo. Linda Jarvis’ voice takes a more prominent role here, leading the song instead of becoming another element of the atmospheric background; a role I wish it would take more often on the rest of Wild Peace.

To me, this album feels a bit like the gradient shown on the cover in that it starts out so strong, but gradually fades away from your attention as it progresses. Such is a shame, as there are quality tracks to be found on the second half of songs, but by the time you get there, things already feel too far out of your reach as though you’re only hearing echoes through a wall of the room next door. Take “Last Song Of The Year,” which is an exceedingly interesting listen on its own. With more pronounced percussion and clearer, centralized vocals, it comes across less ambient and more like noisy lo-fi. Complete with some nice guitar lines interspersed, the song makes for an easy and enjoyable listen, but it’s buried seven layers under massive amounts of atmospheric buzz that prevents it from standing out.

There just simply isn’t enough variation from track to track to give this album the ups and downs it needs to prevent it from being a large mass of fuzz and echoes. Separately, there are some really solid tracks on Wild Peace, but collectively, it comes across as flat, missing the production it needed to push it to be something great.

Wild Peace is out now via Slumberland Records.

Great New Folk from Evening Hymns

I’ve been really into quieted folk tunes this summer, and this new track from Evening Hymns is one of my favorite jams to cross my path thus far.  Early on, the song comes at you as if it was recorded in a room, or a cabin (it was!), giving it a deeply emotional quality. As the song builds, there’s more lush arrangements being added, moving the song along as it sort of gets lost in its own beautiful world. If you’re digging this track, you can grab it and the rest of the tunes from the band’s forthcoming album, Spectral Dusk, when it hits the streets on August 21st.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/02-Arrows.mp3]

 

Show Preview: Fire Fest Music Festival (6/30)

Date 6/30/12
Location Field in Southeast Austin (MAP)
Doors 3pm
Tickets $25 @ Firefestatx

Those looking for some fun in the summer fun this weekend with great music to boot should consider checking out the first year of Fire Fest ATX.  Now this festival features nothing but local music with bands like Black & White Years, White White Lights, Scorpion Child, and tons more involved (Full lineup here).  The festival will also feature fireworks stand with popping permitted, many water sports, tasty food, and camping sites for you adventurous types.  Festival planners have many more great things planned for the day/night that you can read about on the festival website.  If planning to attend, get your tickets online now as the price will go up the day of the show.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/the_black_and_white_years-power_to_change.mp3]

Download: The Black and White Years – Power to Change [MP3]

New Rocker From Unnatural Helpers

This new rocker from Unnatural Helpers goes against my better judgement to post since it’s called “Hate Your Teachers”, but it still kind of rules.  The track appears on a new album by the indie rockers called Land Grab due out September 25th via Hardly Art.  While the song may be a jam, please don’t hate your teachers kids.  We have feelings too.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/UnnaturalHelpers_HateYourTeachers.mp3]

Download: Unnatural Helpers – Hate Your Teachers [MP3]

New Music From ARMS

Here’s a new upbeat jam from called “Summer Skills” from Brooklyn based band ARMS.  Now some of you may take note that the band already has a song with this title so we’ve been instructed to tell you that this is more of a re-working of the old song.  The original version of this tune appeared on an LP of same name that came out late last year.  Hope you enjoy this “Bump in the night” take of this older song by the band.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/ARMS-Summer-Skills-Bump-in-the-Night-Version-01-Summer-Skills-Bump-in-the-Night-Version.mp3]

Download: ARMS – Summer Skills (Bump in the Night Version) [MP3]

Jamming New Dance Track from Birds & Batteries (+ Video)

With the heat of summer comes the need for sweaty dance parties, and I think I found another track for your summertime playlist, courtesy of Birds & Batteries.  This song comes from the group’s forthcoming LP, Stray Light, which hits the streets on August 7th. There’s hints of Twin Shadow, if you’re looking for a comparison, but you get the feeling that the songs on this record will hit a lot harder! The band just released a new video for this single as well, and you can catch that right HERE.  If you like what you’re hearing, keep an eye out, as the band hits the road here in August, with an Austin date planned for the end of the month.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/2-Let-The-Door-Swing.mp3]

Download:Birds & Batteries – Let The Door Swing [MP3]

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