Just another day in Austin, with another great song coming out of our fair city…this time by way of Desert Culture. On their latest single, the band seem to have that swinging psychedelia, though I think there’s an element of polish that seeps through. That comes during the chorus, and as that settles, the guitar notes seem to take on a loftier turn that holds onto some Southern swagger while still keeping some pop sensibility within the song. Daniel Vega’s and his band will celebrate this new release with a show tonight at Hotel Vegas…if you’re looking for something to do.
I’m sure if you’ve ever read our site, you know how much I was looking forward to the Radio Dept blowing into Austin on a crisp evening. My anticipation was pretty high, and for the most part, the band was successful in their delivery to a grateful crowd.
Photoguy Comment: During their set, fans would randomly raise their hands in an effort to catch the music. I love that feeling. It happened a lot. It also rained just after their set was done. That was cool.
Thoughts and B.Gray photos follow.
We’re really excited to be releasing Growl’s new LP, but like most Austin bands, the rest of the group are constantly working on other projects. For singer Santiago, he’s been honing his craft in Daphne as of late. His voice always has this mellow shine to it, drifting through the ether; that quality is definitely present throughout this number. Musically, the band takes on a casual indie vibe, with a faint bit of piano/keys tinkering in the background. I think the feeling of the track is best exemplified by the line “I won’t shout it;” there’s no need to break out the noise here. Sit back, be cool and enjoy Daphne tunes today.
Long ago, when I was really into buying soundtracks, I picked up the Marie Antoinette CD. Admittedly, I bought it because of the Strokes, but it opened the door to my obsession with the Radio Dept. At the time, my tastes were pretty broad, indie rock speaking, but this opened an entire different world to my realm. Their songs were always playful, rooted in this expansive bit of electronica, though they tended to experiment a bit more than the other things I was listening to at that age. What struck me, probably later than my first few listens, was the band’s ability to drape political content in this airy delight that was supremely rewarding. I’ve picked up everything I could get my hands on throughout the years, with Clinging to a Scheme being my personal favorite. If you’re new to the band, I suggest Passive Aggressive, which is a great compilation from some of their best 2000-era work. They come to the Mohawk Monday night, for what I’m assured will be an exhilarating experience. It’s fresh off some rave reviews for their recent album, Running Out of Love, reigniting America’s love for these Swedes. They’ll be joined by Brooklyn’s Germans. Buy your tickets HERE. Not many make music as grand as this, but when they do, you’re better off if you come experience it live!
Local Austin act The Octopus Project have continuously morphed and change from their inception, and with Memory Mirror just a few months away, it looks like they’re really pushing the usage of vocals as their albums progress (I hear something like 80% of the tracks on this one wear vocals). Here you get female and male vocals, though the male role serves more for emphasis on the melodic notes. It seems like a more spaced-out version of early Air, pulling in the sexualized side of electronica, then altering it with this pulsating, dreamy wash. I know a lot of people who can’t wait until the April 7th release date via Robot High School. Are you one of those?
We raved, or I did, about My Life in Steel and Concrete, the last LP from Austin’s Quin Galavis. One of the great things about that release is that it showed Quin covering some new territory, while still sounding wholly, well, Quin. It looks like this will continue on his forthcoming, The Battery Line. His voice has often gone overlooked in his work, but he’s got perfect control of it throughout this track, touching high notes with just a hint of a passionate quiver. While I love when Galavis goes loud, his soft underbelly of late is pretty stunning. The new release comes this May via Super Secret Records.
I don’t want Adam Torres to stop writing, or singing for that matter. The opening moments of this track display how powerful his instrument is; there’s this blissful fragility, almost like the pained tones of Jeff Buckley. Of course, he wouldn’t be quite as successful without the accompanying bits behind him, especially the violin work of our favorite, Aisha Burns. If you thought Pearls to Swine was an artist at the pinnacle of his powers, it looks like Torres has no intention of slowing down. Look for his new EP, I Came to Sing the Songs, via Fat Possum on February 24th.
After being somewhat dormant for the first few months of the year, 12XU has jumped out with several great musical announcements, one being this raucous bit of noise from Austin’s Borzoi. You’re immediately thrust into the discord, drums pounding furiously and guitar chords knifing through your speakers. It’s as if the vocals were recorded in huge concrete war room, echoing notes in a way such that your head’s constantly swirling; they’vegot a steady moment of delivery in the middle of the track that I’m particularly fond of, right before the band crashes the song to a close. Look for a brand new 4 song 7″ from the band on March 24th.
And, I highly suggest another gem from the label’s announcements: Thigh Master. I’ll add that song below too…but nothing too long-winded as we don’t want to bum Norman Wanklord out.
While Julia Lucille has more than made a name for herself since her move to Austin, she’s clearly going for big things with her next release, Chthonic. This new single starts memorably enough, with this ghostly charm haunting your ears…the music sits back behind Julia. But, there’s a brilliant songwriting touch at the 2 minute mark, with quieted guitar ringing carefully, almost crafting a synthetic effect behind the vocals (all courtesy of Paul Mitchell of Tapajenga). This is one of those tunes that’s easiest to describe if you simply call it other-worldly; it’s quality continues to unfold as the song does. Look for her new effort on April 7th via Keeled Scales. Austin folks can catch her Saturday night at Mohawk with Molly Burch and Cross Record.
Earlier this week we were glad to see that Gold Flake Paint ran a short bit on Growl, one of the next LPs we’ll be releasing on ATH Records. It’s the blissed out guitar pop I’ve come to love, like a less formulaic Teenage Fanclub…now with more hooks than ever! They’ve earned raves from locals for some time, and we hope the rest of the folks start to take notice with the release of Won’t You on April 7th! If you’re interested, you can grab the LP directly from us at the Bandcamp or wait for the band to come to a city near you this Spring!