ACL 2017 Preview: Five Things To Look Forward To This Year At ACL

So we’re a little under a month away from two weekends of live music and overall good times at Zilker Park, which may seem like quite a ways out, but why not start to get excited about the staple of Austin life? Whether you’re a veteran festival goer or just moved here and this is your first year in attendance, you need to be prepared for another weekend (or two if you go hardcore) of music and festivus. So click on through the jump to check out my list of things you should be getting stoked for this year at ACL.

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Bedroom Pop from Starman Jr

Not sure why folks aren’t looking at Starman Jr as the next big thing behind the likes of Coma Cinema and Alex G; he’s writing a very similar style. But, he’s been writing pretty non-stop since 2015, with several records to fill that space. Here on his latest, you’ll hear a warbling guitar and murky vocals soothing your ears. I’m a fan of the fuzzy guitar line that helps the track fade out near the end; this is the pop music of my future. I plan on grabbing a copy of Daydream at Bethel, which you can also pick up now from Muscle Beach Records.

New Music from Alex G

I don’t think that Alex Giannascoli, or Alex G, ever stops writing. Before he blew up, he had tons of tracks on bandcamp, some of which later got wider releases. This new track and video definitely has a softer, songwriter approach, filled with great accompaniment to elevate the track. There’s a softness to his voice, matched by the band behind him in their playing style; it all feels so slow, purposefully slow, of course. He’s still bringing in some of his songwriter flare, but in this new music, it looks that he’s gone out to move entirely beyond the bedroom moniker that might have followed him for a bit. This is a gem, and it’ll appear on Rocket, released by Domino on May 19th.

Warped Pop from Starman Jr.

starmanSometimes it amazes me what songs get the most love while others get overlooked. In my mind, this track from Starman Jr. seems like something that’s perfectly aligned with modern acts, playing as melodic bedroom pop with hints of warped vocals. This tune is brand new, but begs listeners to go look at the recent catalog, including the January release of Muscles. It seems like it falls in the vein of artists like Coma Cinema or even early Alex G, so if those are markers for your taste, you’ll want to play this over and over.

Fresh Alex G Track

beachmusicAlex G has had a pretty quick little rise to fame in the last year or so.  His star looks to continue its ascension now that he’s made the move to Domino Record Co for his forthcoming effort, Beach Music.  I really like the sound of this first single, “Bug,” which seems to hit all the wrong notes, except for some odd Chipmunks nods at the end of the track.  Still, it’s clear that he knows exactly what he’s doing, musically, and I think it will remain hard for many to look away from him and his work.  Check out the new LP on October 9.

This Is One of Alex G’s Best Songs

alexgI’m a fan of Alex G, and I have been for some time…probably about the same time as the rest of the world heard about him.  But, after years of wading through his extensive Bandcamp page, I’m really happy this new tune has come to light.  It’s an old song, though just getting the light of day as a bonus track on his upcoming Trick album reissue.  This song exemplifies precisely why I found myself enjoying Alex’s work so much; it’s got this endearing quality that only comes with a careful intimacy established between musician and listener.  It reminds me of falling in love with Bright Eyes in 98, though I’ll admittedly say that Alex’s voice might be sweeter; there’s an innocence and sincerity in his work. This track’s been played everywhere lately, but why on Earth would one ignore such a jam.

Fresh Tune from Alex G

agOne of the releases I really took a liking too this year was DSU, the latest LP from Alex G.  He’s been sort of an underground sensation, winning over fans across the globe with his really personal touch to his songwriting.  This track probably isn’t as new as I’d like, as it was recorded for DSU, though it didn’t make the final cut for the album.  Still, even in its brevity you can hear why Alex has become such a sensation in many circles.  If this is what you like, then be sure to go and collect all his work, including that great LP from earlier this year.

More New Music from Alex G

dsuThere’s a lot of music coming out right now, but none is more fascinating to me, perhaps, than that of Alex G.  He’s a crafty songwriter that has amassed a large following rather quickly, though there’s still quite a few who aren’t aware of his gifts.  He’s signed on with Orchid Tapes (another hit for the label) to release his album DSU; it’s filled with these carefully drawn musical vignettes, steeped in oddity and pop traditions.  This song is a touch more quiet than others, but it still encompasses that beauty that’s kept me enraptured. Order your copy HERE.

Another Great Track from Alex G

dsuYou don’t know who Alex G is!? That’s okay, because I didn’t either until a few days ago.  I was actually recommended to listening to his tunes via following his new label, Orchid Tapes…home of many great acts.  When I check in on what he had to offer, I was shocked that his new album, DSU, had already sold out of its limited run (don’t worry, a repress is coming shortly).  That’s pretty remarkable for anyone, but it’s not surprising when you listen to this song.  It holds on to great pop structures, offering soft vocals in contrast with vocals that push forward in the mix.  Just add this song to the long list of great music coming from the label.