I could sit here and wax poetic about the hard-working folks in Austin’s The Sour Notes, but that probably wouldn’t do me any favors, or them for that matter. What is important is that today we bring you a stream of the band’s brand new album, Do What May. The record features guest spots from tons of locals like Sabrina Ellis and Brendan Bond, and it’s likely to help the band gain more traction as they brace for a much-anticipated gig at this year’s Fun Fun Fun Fest. In the mean time, you can help them celebrate this Saturday at Cheer Up Charlies (more info HERE). Enough of all that; here’s their great new LP.
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Local darlings, The Sour Notes have been at it for some time now, creating a great deal of music in a rather short period of time and trying to make a name for themselves. They’ve experimented in a good number of genres since their origin in 2008 and have changed band members even more frequently. On this fifth release, Do What May, they venture into a pop psych realm and give it their own spin on this genre.
First and title track “Do What May,” opens things up with a bit of distorted electric guitar, and then the band bursts into the song, building it up with layers. They add some funky synthesizer, stark and concise percussion, a looping clean sounding guitar riff, and add to this with some “oohs.” After they build this up, all of the sudden they’ve switched to a crunchier sound, with heavier effects on the electric guitar, and then Jared Boulanger chimes in with his post-punk sounding vocals and the music has switched back to the psychedelic pop that it started with and the song is in full swing, going back and forth between these two established sounds. Some female vocals come in for the lead in the chorus, balancing out Boulanger with a great texture—this seems to be the trend for the rest of the album, and with no complaint; it’s an interesting and enticing dynamic.
There are tracks on Do What May that will instantly spark your listening ear upon first listen, but also some slow burners that require a bit more of your attention for you to sink your teeth into them. Perhaps it’s up to you to decide which of the tracks fit into which category for you, but “In The Meanwhile,” while it would most likely fit into the slow burner for most, immediately plucked my interest. In an album full of psychedelic pop jams, all of the sudden, stark in the middle you get this sweeping and delicate number with violin to start out the number. The effect on the vocals make them feel far away and soft, building to broader sweeping choruses that seem to go on forever, even though the track only lasts about three and a half minutes. On the contrary, earlier number, “With Ease, With Time,” will immediately stand out, the catchy nature of the chorus and the grooving bass giving it this infectious rhythm.
Though the album starts quite strong and dissipates slightly as it progresses, it picks back up for its close and ends on a high note. The Sour Notes have done good work on Do What May, and I invite you to pick up a copy; you won’t be disappointed.
This is the version of Austin’s Alex Napping that I like the most. There’s still depth to the craftsmanship of the track, and the vocals are, as always, performed well. But, my love for this number comes from the guitar tones; they’re light-hearted in their angular movement. The rolling drums that fade out with the vocal after the 3 minute mark are also a nice touch…it’s definitely a strong way to finish off the tune. You can grab their record This Is Not a Bedroom from our friends over at Punctum Records on September 23rd.
We’re just a short distance away from the release of Exi (September 9th), the newest album from Austin’s Love Inks. I’ve always appreciated the group’s work, but I really enjoy their use of space on this latest single. Sherry’s voice is the dominant focal point, while there’s very light bass movement in the distance, accented by little guitar pieces and synthesized beats. The song walks this fine line of feeling huge and empty at the same time, which is quite an accomplishment in and of itself. Those living outside of Austin will again get a chance to see the band perform live, as they’ll be touring the States throughout September.
Technically, This Will Destroy You hailed from San Marcos, which is just a few minutes away from Austin, so we’ll gladly take them in as our own. They’re crafting the sort of sprawling post-rock that was popularized by the likes of Mogwai and EITS, and they’re doing a pretty solid job. On their latest single, the song opens with a rolling drum and a careful touch of keyboard notes, as guitars quietly begin to creep into the track. Just before the 1 minute mark, those guitars begin to ring louder, distortion enters the picture, building towards a crescendo. But, if I were to have a complaint, it would be that song doesn’t quite get there; there’s no ultimate crash that swoops in. Of course, that also makes the group different, offering their own branding on the style. Look for their latest album, Another Language, on September 16th via Suicide Squeeze.
As the weather unfortunately heats up, that means there’s also a music scene heating up. There’s tons of shows this weekend in particular, both local and traveling. I won’t bore you with details, but remind you to show up early to catch openers, especially the local ones like Sweet Talk playing at Mohawk tonight. Here you go: Read More
In the early 00s, Austin was alive, like most of the country, in the rehashing of 70s/80s influenced dance music; Red Fez, Whiskey Bar and Beauty Ballroom were the hot spots. In the middle of that mini-musical explosion was I Love You But I’ve Chosen Darkness, who unfairly got lumped in under the genre of Joy Division copycats. But, they’re back with a brand new album, and from the sounds on the single, they’re not really going to have to wear that mark much longer. Sure, there’s that melancholic tone, but the guitar and percussive work seemingly move more into a post-rock sphere; clearly this a band who’ve taken some time to grow. They’re new record, Dust, will be released on Secretly Canadian on October 28th.
Long ago there was a great little Austin band named Hollywood Gossip. For all intents and purposes, they were my favorite local pop band…then they were gone. Frontman Tyler Womack has relocated to Brooklyn, but he’s still got a knack for writing hook-laden songs…he even still is pushing the path through Austin; Marcus of Shivery Shakes and Dana Falconberry appear on his new single. This first song really reminds me why I fell in love with Womack’s work long ago; he’s got a rather distinctive voice, kept in check by Falconberry here. It’s nice to see Tyler back as Little Cinema.