Listen to New Deerhunter

It’s interesting listening to this new track from Deerhunter, especially if you’re aware of Bradford hanging out with Cate Le Bon and Tim Presley last year in Marfa. That’s only important if you listen to either of those artists, as it feels like their spirit has seeped into Bradford’s songwriting. Regardless, the song’s wonderful, stretching the harmonies with these grand string arrangements behind the band. The more I listen, the more I become immersed in little moments like the group vocals behind Cox during the chorus; it’s intoxicating in the best way. Why Hasn’t Everything Already Disappeared will be available on January 18th via 4AD.

What A Jam From Methyl Ethyl

I am a bit late on this new Methyl Ethyl jam as it came out on Friday, but you will have to agree with me that it’s worth sharing and blasting. If you’re looking for a pop number to brighten your dark and cold Monday, this is the song for you. I’m finding myself dancing along to this song with its catchy beats, energetic vocals, and hazy guitars. Seriously, this is what pop music should sound like.

Methyl Ethyl will release new album Triage on February 15th via 4AD.

Always Down for New Deerhunter

Bradford Cox and Deerhunter are never far from my mind; I feel like Cox has crafted some of my favorite tracks over the last decade or so. Now we’ve got news of a brand new LP, one that gets production credit from Cate Le Bon; I feel like her influence can be heard almost immediately, riding through the background of the track. I love how the song swells to a bold punch around the 1 minute mark, creating this sly punch. That power gets emphatic as the song draws near a close, so it’s hard to turn a blind eye to Cox at his songwriting best. Look for Why Hasn’t Everything Already Disappeared via 4AD this January.

What a Beautiful Beirut Tune

I have to admit that I lost the plot with Beirut somewhere down the line…those feelings of being overcome just sort of faded away…though I still put on Gulag O. from time to time. And then today, I dared to click on the new Beirut album, and lo and behold, the brilliance is back. The band’s latest tune has this softened percussive gallop and a wondrous horn section; I have to acknowledge I got swept up right away. Then Zach’s voice hits, soaring in its baritone manner, losing me in the great swirling storm of emotive pop. Maybe it’s time I revisit my old friend; look for Gallipoli in February on 4AD.

Why Not Share This Beirut Video?

ml-metro-729-beirut-20121108100545225684-620x349Hey, I know the internet is already abuzz with this video, as any new video from Zach Condon’s Beirut ought to bring, but it’s possible that you missed it. Newsflash: Beirut has a new album for the first time in four years coming out very soon on September 11th from 4AD, which you can preorder here, and based off “No No No” and this new single, “Gibraltar,” we’re in for something special. Whereas that first single was smooth and very jazzy, this new one as you’ll gather from the music video below, is choppy and percussive; Condon’s buttery vocals act as the lush element that strings all the distinctive elements together. Watch some of the band walk  around on the beach in white below.

Show Pics: Merchandise @ Strange Matter (10/23)

MerchandiseI missed my Austin, but Cleveland was pretty cool and I ended up getting an Austin vibe from Richmond, Y2K Austin vibe. It is a smaller place, college town, passed over by national tours and a filler stop for guys in vans.

ATH on the road checked in at Strange Matter. It is a venue that again reminds me of the old Emo’s inside, only with a full kitchen that can satisfy your burger cravings while you girlfriend gnoshes on Vegan faire. Playing at Strange Matter was Merchandise. Italy’s Ninos Du Brasil are on the road with Merch and locals Dead Fame and Bermuda Triangles rounded out the bill.

Click through for a few thoughts and plenty of pics…

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Ariel Pink Releases New Single

bbDespite his ability to ruffle the feathers of Ariel Pink, the dude still has a way of making tunes that fascinate me. This new single, “Black Ballerina,” has an interesting musical angle.  Part of it reminds me of AP’s traditional work, though other parts seem to blend the smooth skills from Of Montreal with something you’d expect to hear Ian Dury release, and for all intents and purposes, I’m totally okay with that.  I think the beats pretty solid, and I like the oddity that comes with any Pink touch.  His new record, Pom Pom, will be available from 4AD on November 18th.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/14-Black-Ballerina.mp3]

 

Show Pics: Daughter @ The Mohawk (9/17)

There aren’t too many bands out there right now on the up swing of buzz that Daughter currently enjoys. The Mohawk was kind enough to host the freshly minted headliners as they rolled through town in a big bus, pulling a trailer with guitar techs and stage managers en employ. Though the forecast threatened a rain out, the people streamed in to endure the moist conditions and sweat to their new favorite band. Bear’s Den opened.

Click through for a few thoughts and plenty of pics.

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Camera Obscura – Desire Lines

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Rating: ★★★½ ·

Everybody loves Glasgow. Well, everyone should love Glasgow because that city puts out more great indie rock bands than most and Camera Obscura is no exception to that, as they’ve returned for their fifth studio album, Desire Lines.

The introductory song to this album is reminiscent of that bit of music that accompanies the production company/studio’s logo before a great movie begins. A mixture of some brief string arrangements, “Intro” gives out a slightly different vibe then you are used to with our Glaswegian Indie Pop power group. Though the group has never lacked maturity, this thirty-second opening lets you know that they are back and with a new take on their original sound that they first presented twelve years ago on Biggest Bluest Hi Fi and even vastly different than on My Maudlin Career, their most recent studio release.

So what’s changed you may ask? What has this varsity band done differently this time around to make their music stand out to new fans and still appeal to old? For the most part, not too much; you still have subtly confident front woman Tracyanne Campbell spinning tales of love and loss from behind the mic. Her vocals are ever the perfect balance of present and yet not overwhelming and missing a lot of the reverb that was present on their last album. In addition to the clarity in vocals, the reverb seems to be also missing from the rest of the elements of Camera Obscura’s indie pop to reveal a more straightforward rock approach. Such is apparent on single “Do It Again,” in which you have a fun little bouncy number complete with buzzing guitar and hyper percussion carrying you through. Another snappy number that will welcome you nicely to Desire Lines and make you glad you pressed play is “Troublemaker,” which jumps out for its bouncy tempo and catchy lyrics.

Really, there are a lot of little gems to be found on Desire Lines, but on the whole, the album rings a little flat in reference to the other albums in Camera Obscura’s long list of full lengths works. Perhaps it is a slower burner and this new collection of songs will grow to become favorites, but this new work doesn’t really wow you upon first listen or even after a few listens. Desire Lines is good, but not as grand as you’ve come to expect from such a band.

The National – Trouble Will Find Me

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Rating: ★★★★★

Though already a staple of brooding indie rock and alternative music in general, The National are going to be one of those bands that follow you years down the road, regardless of their continuation of putting out new records. Fact of the matter is, time after time they have doled out albums whose entirety have wowed audiences, as they are filled to the brim with tracks that speak on a deeper emotional level while also rocking out pretty hard at points. If you haven’t figured it out by now, they’re sort of a big deal, and if you haven’t fallen in love with them by now Trouble Will Find Me is yet again another perfect place to start.

Around for 14 years and counting, this group of middle-aged men has found an uncanny way of speaking to you in ways you never thought they could and they keep on digging their way deeper on this sixth full length studio release. They’ve made some changes, but overall they’re still the same tight knit crew of brooders that will break your heart in some strange way that you enjoy. First up on Trouble Will Find Me is “I Should Live In Salt,” which brings you into the new sound for the band. As always, front man extraordinaire Matt Berninger croons away behind the lead vocals, but his voice has found a new vulnerability in its higher register here. Instead of his deep baritone, borderline mumbling voice, which is the norm for the band, we are introduced to this higher version of our favorite dark and cynical voice and the result is already and emotive difference. If you can believe it, The National have added yet another layer to their emotive depth, making this one of their most accessible albums.

As with any brilliant album, upon the first listen through, every song seems to be fighting for the prize of best track in your mind; every twist and turn the band takes seems to build upon something bigger. On Trouble Will Find Me, this is truth in every sense—the imagery carries through from track to track and if you’re listening closely, from their previous releases. However, it’s not just a rehashing of what they’ve already done, but a slightly different take on the dark and swirling mood that The National is famous for. Don’t get me wrong, they’re still extra dark and swirling like you like them, but at places, these dark clouds part a little to reveal a little glimmer of light. Take some lyrics from one of the most anthemic songs the band has written, “Graceless:” “Put the flowers you find in vase/if you’re dead in the morning they’ll brighten the place/don’t let ‘em die on the vines, it’s a waste.”

When I said accessible earlier, I didn’t mean easy or lazy or boring, but the very opposite. I could go through song by song here, iterating to you how excellent each one is, but Trouble Will Find Me speaks for itself. If you’ve been present in the indie world in the last few months, it’s quite possible you’ve already heard anywhere from one to five of the songs off this album without participating in any sort of illegal activity; the band has played the songs. They were confident that every song on this album is a solid, well-produced addition to their already extensive catalogue of highly emotive and outright beautiful music. They were right.

 

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