Before there were blogs and music streaming there was the Black Watch. Now, 15 albums into their career, the band have crafted what I’m going to say is their best work yet. Each time I play it, I’m struck by something that has me scrambling to press repeat, to tune into a note or an element I didn’t hear the first run though, even now as I speak, I’m doing just that. If you’re a fan of pop music and poetry, stream The Gospel According to John. And if you want my two-cents on the track by track breakdown, skip beyond the jump. Otherwise, pick up the album tomorrow courtesy of The Eskimo Record Label and Pop Culture Press.
Life got you down? No energy? Well, Skittle Alley is here to make the world a little bit better. They’re spritely indiepop is precisely what’s needed to uplift the spirits. “When She Dance” immediately had me smiling with its ringing guitar chords working over tight percussive lines. Or, you can jump to the end to find a dreamy dose with “They Can’t Cast a Shadow,” allowing your soul to float into the world with a warm grin. Indiepop might not be for everyone, but I promise you can’t turn away from End of a Story; I suggest downloading it immediately!
Slack Capital 2 is a compilation of music by 27 of the most exciting bands in Austin. All proceeds go to SafePlace, which provides support for victims of domestic and sexual violence. We’ve been unveiling one song per day until the the release party on April 14, which is today!
Song of the day: SLUGBUG — “When The Words”
If you live in Austin and care about music– and by music I mean good music– and by good music I mean weird music– you haaaaaave to know about SLUGBUG. SLUGBUG is the longtime musical project of synth ber-wizard Paul D. Millar, who truly forges his own path with his songs of prime neurotic pop bliss. Like a more German-influenced Ariel Pink, or Devo on a hallucinatory trip, SLUGBUG is built quite efficiently to groove you– think Robocop on speed at a disco– but also, even though (but kind of especially because) Millar is never not straight-faced, to make you laugh. “Bread bowl/ I don’t want to eat that” is a phrase you hear at the beginning of the song, a robotic coo spoken into the spheres. SLUGBUG takes its energy from the punk sensibility of protest, and in this case, he’s protesting meaning itself. “Words come out of your mouth/ Can I tell that they say one thing and really mean the opposite?” And “Words come out of my mouth/ Can you tell that the words were/ Nothing more than filler text.” He seems to be saying, none of us know what we’re talking about. Which is the wisest it gets, probably. –Eric Braden
Stream Slack Capital 2 in its entirety here, and download it, or come pick one up tonight at Barracuda for the Slack Capital 2 official release party. $5, doors at 9 PM. Come have fun and help us support SafePlace!
It seems like it has been rather slow out there in the musical world…unless of course you’re living here in Austin (but please don’t move here). This week we’ve got a new Xetas LP and the release of Slack Capital 2. But, last week I missed this great release from Wiretree, so I figured I should go back in time and offer you a nice little stream. It’s a collection of folk-inspired indiepop. Album opener “Let Me In” was definitely a standout track, until I kept going back, where I landed on “Dive” as my new favorite. But the fun is that you don’t have to listen to a word I say, just enjoy the great release.
I could go on and on about how important Xetas isto the Austin sound. I could tell you just how tragic it would be if people overlook The Tower simply because it has the power to tear through your speakers. All I’m going to say is that you need to lay down whatever you’re doing, turn the stereo up and just let yourself listen to the entirety of this LP. Start to finish, this is one of the most impressive pieces I’ve heard in this city in some time. It comes out via 12XU on Friday, with an in-store appearance at Waterloo Records.
It’s that time, the time I hope you’ve been waiting for. We’re finally releasing Growl’s debut LP, Won’t You, today! It’s a great bit of guitar pop, filled with huge hooks and harmonies galore. If you’re looking to pick it up outside of Austin, you can find the album HERE. But, if you happen to be in Austin, and happen to be free Saturday night…come pick it up in person at Cheer Up Charlies! They’ll be joined by heavy-hitters Popper Burns, The Halfways and The Two Lips. We’ll have copies for you to grab, and good tunes for you to love! Just in case you wanted to sample the goods, stream the LP below!
With a title like Dull Tracks, you’d be forgiven if your expectations were low for the new album from Love Sports. But, it’s best if you just set aside some time to really listen to the record you’re going to be rewarded. For the opening three tracks, you’ll find that each offers slightly different approached to the band’s style; it moves from modern slacker pop to indie rock to more of a crafted ballad. The great thing about such an approach is that you’re never bored, and you’ll surely find a different track to love with repeated listens. Right now I’m stuck on “The Boy Could Not Dream,” but that changes by the hour. Give it a stream and find out your favorite before the album comes out next week on Soliti.
I’m a huge fan of Jaill, so when I heard that leader Vincent Kircher was heading out on his own, I was practically salivating with anticipation. You’ll definitely hear some similarities to his other project, but just imagine Kircher messing with the structure and slowing things down. Take album opener “Dreams from a Laundromat,” filled with playful island percussion and Kircher’s calmed delivery; you can imagine this being ramped up with heavier percussion, trading the island vibe with jangling guitars. I guess it goes to show that Vincent’s always had a penchant for great pop songwriting. Stream his brand new Am I Ghost LP below, and appreciate that some writers are always honing their craft.
Sort of bored with the tunes coming my way this week, but what I’m not bored of is the diverse listen that is this debut LP from Rays. We’ve written about the band many times on the site, and there’s no reason to stop right now, is there? There’s all sorts of stuff hanging out on this LP, be it jangling guitars or psychedelic swirls, all spun with the perfect attitude. You get bonus points when you can switch between male and female vocalists, never losing a beat. Get your hands on this new LP Friday when it hits via Trouble in Mind Records.
We’ve featured new music from Delay Trees for a few months now, but its time to fill in all the gaps by allowing you to venture off into blissful listen with a stream of Let Go in its entirety. But, stop now if you don’t love listening to really great pop music. There’s tons of touchstones on the album, from modern expansive pop tropes to the intimacy of joyfully solemn bedroom pop. Through it all, Let Go feels like the great Brit pop record that never got made; it’s the sort that walks the fine line between artistry and accessibility, filled with warm tones and melodies made to feel personal. Look for the new album as it drops this Friday via Soliti Music.