Alexa X is the new project from Michaela Newman. The road to this song includes being a pop-folk duo and some solo work away from the digital landscape. But alas, the synths came calling and Alexa X found a background for the voice that had been there all along. The time spent writing and in studio for anything but a synth shows through in a building and brooding, sparse and tense tale about taking a chance. Solid first single, staying tuned.
How’s that World Cup going? My beloved Spurs are all having good showings for their respective countries, so far. Kane has two goals, Eriksen another and Trippier was wrecking defensive tactics with quality service from the wing. I digress.
There is no mystery that Ghostly International is one of my favorite labels, from Tycho to Beacon to Matthew Dear. They have another gem of a release pending with Steve Hauschildt‘s full-length album Dissolvi, due early August. Currently working out of Chicago, the Cleveland born producer employs texture and an ethereal vocal from Julianna Barwick to create a haze inducing atmosphere with progressive weight while percussion echoes with subtlety. This record is gonna be good.
I wanted to highlight a few shows, but Nathan killed that.
Instead, I am going to focus on a PYAITK scenario. There has been so much hype around SURVIVE and deservedly so, super talented team of analog synth artists. Anyone obsessed with SURVIVE should certainly take some time to review the history of the genre, and in particular, spend time with Orbital. Orbital is Paul and Phil Hartnoll, brothers residing in Brighton. I have loved this band since the release of “Chime/Midnight” and “Belfast” singles. Their releases have been remarkably staggered over the last decade, long breaks between releases, sabbaticals, final tours, reunions. But there is a new single and from a new record, which I can only dream will result in them coming close enough to Austin for me to see them again for the first time since the late 90’s. They lead the path that many stopped following, but popularized again by the analog synth revolution, live programming their performances, even “recording live” on occasion. If you know not of the band, I recommend Orbital II (aka the Brown Album) and In Sides to kick you off.
The track featured in the gorgeous video below is called “Tiny Foldable Cities” from the forthcoming Monsters Exist due in September.
Pizzagirl is bedroom pop project out of Liverpool by Liam Brown. There is no girl (or pizza) in the band. Having recently signed with our friends in Heist or Hit, Pizzagirl puts down dreamy synth lines while delivering the at times frivolous lyrics with an earnest tone; I’d say it is Magical Cloudz in happier days. We have featured a few songs here already, the EP An Extended Play was out about a month ago. Recommended. Videos will be released for each song on the EP so tune into the Pg YouTube channel.
Levitation 2018 was not really a festival; it was a series of curated shows that happened to be on the same weekend. The environmental experience of marching across fields and pivoting from stage to stage was removed for ticketed shows at established venues. Hopefully, this will be a one time thing to keep the concept of Levitation alive. There was a time when it was the most unique fest going, whether in a power plant and by the river…
Anyway, when the lineup was announced, I was down for the deconstructed Animal Collective show with Panda Bear and Geologist at Mohawk. My interest increased when Lou Rebecca was added as an opener. It has been some time since our friends move out west to LA and there have been several mini-tours taken. How has the live set progressed and how do the new songs land?
This show was immediately on the gotta-go list, The Soft Moon with Boy Harsher? Yes. I know both were about during SxSW, but I wanted full sets and the stars never aligned to allow for viewing freeing time slots for other acts from overseas. Double win. When you add in local openers Troller, you have a show that has great potential to sell out Barracuda.
…and sell out it did.
I’ll share a few thoughts about each of the band’s sets and plenty of photos right after the jump. Sound good? OK.
Wanting to run light, I grabbed the camera and mounted the smallest and lightest lens I have to go be amongst the EBM family the filled The Mohawk on a Tuesday night. That crowd was there to see Front 242, legends in the dark electro game, credited among the founders of the EBM scene. If you do not know of Front 242, shame on you.
I’ve had a good run of nostalgia lately. Perhaps I could keep the streak alive? Maybe not, but it wasn’t the band’s fault. Click through for a couple comments about the openers and the legends with pics from the crowd.
I mentioned that OMD was playing a sold out show at Emo’s in a Have A Nice Weekend post last Friday. I stressed that of all the bands that were formative to new wave that still influences so many bands today, the only one touring right now with the same level of love for their music, past and present, is Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark. They are touring in support of their recent release The Punishment of Luxury, which if you haven’t given a shot, you might want to.
In addition to their hit after hit set, OMD brought along GGOOLLDD, some fun indie pop stuff that you can dance to, with outfits and poppy fun.
Let’s get to a few random thoughts and plenty of pics.
So there are some things going on tonight. I’ll be in nostalgia land with OMD at Emos. It is sold out. They are bringing along GGOOLLDD to open. Should be a pleasant evening with the wife. I was telling a co-worker that the last time I saw OMD, you realize that there are bands still touring to make pay for their landscaping and others that still really love their songs. OMD is the latter and it doesn’t hurt that the new stuff is solid, too. There is also a fellow photographer’s belated birthday party at Cheer Up. Super lineup.
Little Boots has a new EP out. You can listen to a few tracks over at Soundcloud and on youtube. I added “Picture” to my Soundcloud bucket. The Bucket is my catch all, a little under four hours, full of my faves from ATH and some other randoms. Try it out, below.
If you don’t know anything about me, know that I will go see Cut Copy any chance I get. Of non-Austin bands, I’d say they are the one band I have seen more times than any other. That kinda snuck up on me. Sure, they played one exclusive party during SxSW and did some DJ sets, but tonight, they play Stubb’s, the unofficial home of Cut Copy in America. I am curious if they are just hanging about, playing Dallas last night, but being almost two weeks removed from SxSW, you have to wonder if they were doing some recording here?
But they are the known here. How about I give some love to the opener? Kauf has been in and out of The Bucket playlist over on Soundcloud. I use that playlist to mix newer faves into other playlists when entertaining. The song featured below is called “Pacify”, a song with an understated elegance that builds, ebbs and peaks before release; Nicole shared it on ATH in late 2016. Maybe also check out “A Ruin”. Hopefully, it will push you over the edge to pick up a ticket, show up early and dance with us.