I love a good Cass McCombs tune, especially as I’m kicking my heater hoping that it turns on to keep me warm…for now this song will do. It opens with some meandering notes, almost ominous in tone, but surprisingly, McCombs’ voice matches that ominous tone until way later in the track…and even then it only seems to evoke promise when Cass sings “Estrella.” Perhaps the expansiveness behind his voice is indicating where his next album will take us. It’s titled Tip of the Sphere, and it drops on February 8th of next year via Anti Records.
Sometimes a song doesn’t quite do it for you on first listen, but then catches your ear more and more with each play. Right now this new one called “Used to be Cool” from L.A. based artist Prism Tats is one of those songs. It has a very old school feel to it with rocking guitars and a very anthemic, loud feel. I find myself wanting to get up and dance along, and I don’t dance…
Prism Tats will release 11:11 on July 28th via Anti Records.
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As we’re in the thick of spring, it seems like we’re approaching peak musical release time and, I know, sometimes it can be a little difficult to keep up with everything as it’s coming at you. Today, I’ve got three music videos that came out within the past week that you should watch/listen to, if you’re trying to stay relevant. They’re all a little different in terms of genre and style, but all worthy of your time, so strap in and let’s get rolling– check them out after the jump.
There are a ton of acts that get loads of press, and I’m not always on board with the buzz (I know, I liked the first album better…blah blah blah). But, I’ve really enjoyed the work of Cass McCombs, so with the announcement of a new album, I’m actually really excited. I enjoy the way the track opens with McCombs calming croon coming in over the strings and ringing guitar chord that’s high in the mix. There’s even a little bit of a touch that seemingly makes it perfect pop for lounge acts…and I mean that in the best way possible. His new effort will be titled Mangy Love, coming out later via Anti Records.
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This tune was all over those Interwebs yesterday, and deservedly so. This is one of those Antlers tunes that, whether you’re a fan or not, doesn’t matter, as it makes for a remarkable listen. Personally, one of the reasons I love this song is the light bit of horns that quietly blast from the distance; I blame my days spent as a band nerd. But, you also won’t want to miss this vocal performance, which is possibly one of the best ones the band have finished to date. Get prepared to enjoy their new album, Familiars, on June 17th via Anti; it’s creeping into album of the year status.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/03-Hotel.mp3]
Not even a week ago we brought you new music from The Swell Season, and here we are again with yet another track to offer up to you. This tune is the opener to Strict Joy titled “Low Rising,” and you’re sure to love this one just as much as you loved the first single the band released. Don’t forget, the album hits stores on October 27th courtesy of Anti.
Download: The Swell Season – Low Rising [MP3]
We’ve been closely following news that Islands will be releasing Vapours this September on Anti Records. Anything Nic Thorburn lays his hands upon turns up to be genius in our books, be it this band or Human Highway or the much missed Unicorns. This new track is a different approach to songwriting for him, with the empty space left open for his voice to soar.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/islands-no-you-dont.mp3]
Download: Islands – No You Don’t
A few years back, California’s great Grandaddy decided to break up; they cited lack of financial success despite critical acclaim as one of their reasons for going away. Many heartbroken fans were happy to hear that Anti Records had signed frontman and lead songwriter, Jason Lytle, to a record deal. His album, Yours Truly, The Commuter, is exactly what you would expect from a man who left California for Montana in search of a new muse and new inspiration.
Opening the album with the title-track immediately brings back all the memories of your old Grandaddy record collection. Electronic blips and keyboard steadily build before the percussive element joins the fray. Furthering the song with simple strings (samples possibly) and Lytle’s familiar voice marks this album as the return of one of indie rock’s great voices.
If one were to go on song titles alone then we would be led to believe that Jason came to Montana in seach of new horizons and a return to a different type of focus that would create inspirational songs once again. In so many ways, he does seem to have regained his form on this album, but it’s that retreading of old tricks in his bag that seem to work the best for him.
“Brand New Sun” discusses the departure for greener pastures, and the simple acoustic song is filled with what one can only assume are laser noise created by martians, or Lytle’s keyboard. “Birds Encouraged Him” is simply a beautiful song; it’s one of the better songs in the Lytle catalog. Very light percussion accompanies the acoustic fingerings here, and string arrangements allow for the song to create a more atmospheric element; this is all added by the electronic whizzing of space noises.
Jason even decides to break out the rock element on this album with “It’s The Weekend.” Chugging power chords create a bouncing song that begins just as soon as it really ends, closing with Jason mellowing out on piano before zooming out one last time. But, it’s the softer element on this album that seems to take precedent.
A piano ballad appears courtesy of “This Song is a Mute Button.” It’s one of the simpler songs on this record, but it reminds you of how personal songwriting can be for the likes of Jason Lytle. And it’s followed by another spectacular number in “Rollin Home Alone.” Using string arrangements really seems to bring out a lot of the vocal melodies in Lytle’s voice, and the arrangement of the song is equally beneficial. You’d find difficulty not including this as one of your favorite songs of the year.
It’s refreshing to note that not a lot has really changed in the capabilities of Mr. Lytle. He still fuses guitar and electronic elements as breezily as in his days of Grandaddy, which not only makes you nostalgic for the good old days, but grateful he’s returned with an album as good as Yours Truly, The Commuter.
Normally we wouldn’t just throw Daytrotter session after session in your face, but that site is the place to be, as they’ve gathered two greats in their studios. Earlier this week it was Stephen Malkmus, and now it’s our Number One Gay Dude That Rocks, Bob Mould. The man goes into the studio to play four new songs off his upcoming album for Anti Records titled Life and Times. This track is a great preview into the album, as is the entire session.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/bob-mould-i-m-sorry-baby-but-you-can-t-stand-in-my-light-anymore.mp3]
Download: Bob Mould – I’m Sorry Baby But You Cant Stand in My Light [MP3]
Anti Records is doing there part to remind you about some of their better releases of the year by giving away a free end of the year sampler. The sampler features pretty solid stuff from Islands, Devotchka, Billy Bragg and a bunch of other great artists. You can read the entire track listing on the Anti Records website or download the whole thing from their blog. Here’s a standout track from the sampler called “Big Mistake” by Tim Fite.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/06-tim-fite-big-mistake.mp3]
Download: Tim Fite – Big Mistake [MP3]