It’s kinda rainy here in Austin, and been sort of a shit morning, so it was nice to hear a stunning new number from one of our own, Jordan Moser. Jordan’s got a really striking voice, at times has that smokiness of M. Ward, but it has this ability take that then suddenly stretch it to more angelic tones when necessary; it doesn’t help that the wonderful Molly Burch is back there providing backing vocals. Musically, I think there this brilliance in the sort of understated nature of the whole thing; the drums are steady, but never rocking, while the guitar sort of courses in and out on its own journey. It all leaves this empty space that allows Moser and Burch to drop their vocals inside your ear channels. Long Night will be out in July courtesy of Keeled Scales.
As you know, we’re big Abram Shook fans; he even let us put out an LP by his Feverbones project, so when he’s crafting new tunes, our heads turn right away. I think those longtime fans will immediately notice that this record is a bit of a new twist for Abram; it sounds and looks like a pop record, albeit one spun through the lens of Shook. His soft vocal delivery seems to highlight the song’s natural rhythm, while synth stabs build in a toe-tapping groove beneath the whole mix; it’s all crafted under Abram’s typical attention to detail, with every note throughout being purposeful. The Neon Machine will be available on August 16th via Western Vinyl.
Michael Bain can usually be found playing guitar for local slow-pop outfit Sun June, but this year, he’s got some of his own fully-formed ideas to share with you under his own name. We’ve only got a handful of songs in our ears as of yet, but you’re in for something special indeed. On “Dad Rock” you get a to hear a sort of traditional indie rock vibe filled with more patience and open space; it allows for a sparkling beauty within the song you’ll only find with close ears. “So Far” sounds huge in it’s approach to pop music offering up a huge seductive swell right in the front of the mix, pulling back to tinker in the dreamier side of the pop genre (think Papercuts). In “Earthbound” you get the exact opposite of what one would expect from the title; it’s more of an ethereal track, almost like a lounge act in outer space. That’s just what you’ll get with Tidal Ways, an album filled with varying sounds loosely tied around the pop color-wheel. If you’re in Austin, Michael will bring these songs to the live setting Friday at Hole in the Wall; if you’re not and you love the songs, click on one and they’ll take you to Mr. Bain’s site to grab the LP!
It seems like Austin always sort of recycles its music scene, with a fresh bevy of young acts coming up every few years to fit in alongside the veteran acts. The last two years, two huge bands come to mind: Being Dead (we released their EP in April!) and TC Superstar. Today, let’s focus on the dance party that is TC Superstar; it’s a shame that the live show (packed, sweaty, choreographed) can’t be shared. Their new album, R&D combines all the elements of the band’s personality, nostalgic 80s club vibes with modern twists and current trends. Honestly, if you’re looking for a light electronic pop record, this might be the best thing you’ve heard; there’s not a bad song in this bunch. Stream it, and then look to catch the band on the road this Summer.
That’s right, the ATH team had so much fun a couple of weeks ago that we’ve decided to do this Vinyl Happy Hour thing on the regular. We will once again be spinning our tunes at the historic Knomad Bar in North Central Austin. Also expect a variety of great music from your ATH staff members with a little something for everyone. And of course, we play only vinyl!
B Gray and I are both pretty high upon Lou Rebecca, and to be honest, the act has been quietly making waves in Austin for some time. This track is something special, giving us a little bit of the duality that’s presence in the project’s work; you get both the native French tongue of Lou Rebecca, but also the accessible English. I think the special thing on the musical side is how her vocals have this breath-y quality, like last pop gasps, punctuated by the electronic work of Missions. The track will appear on her debut LP, Restless, which is being released by the fine people of Holodeck Records.
Trickster Blues hasn’t even been out a year, and Shane Renfro and RF Shannon are already prepping for another release later this summer. Our first listen to the new stuff below seems to have some slight changes, though revolving around elements that have always been there. For one, the spacier side of folk seems to only bubble up ever so often; this is a much more direct folk number. I think peeling that away, ever so slightly, puts a more distinctive pull on Renfro’s voice, getting the listener to really fall for the track. The new effort is titled Rain on Dust, and should be out in August via local label Keeled Scales.
ATX duo Teenage Cavegirl make short work of the pop ditty. They blast through with fuzzy riffs and the simplest drum work, driving home their satisfying hooks in under two quick minutes. LA rocks the sugary vocals that carry just a bit of an underlying howl; when matched with the drums, you’re going to find each tune as a little pop rock, exploding right inside your ear. Andy Ray, meanwhile, moves his guitar back and forth between jagged riffs and fuzzy hooks, tying the whole thing together with his own noisy battle axe. The group will release Candy Cigarettes on June 1st.
Hey man it’s Austin, so are you really surprised at this point when we find yet another new band worthy of sharing with the masses? My new band smell find of the day comes from Austin based musician Brian Cyborg and his musical project known as Simian Cyborg. Based out of Austin, Cyborg has been working recently on recording a bunch of tunes in his own home late at night when the kids are asleep. A sampling of his tracks can be heard below with “staring intently at the stars”. I was immediately drawn into the music because it reminds me of the late emo, or even post-emo stylings of a band like American Football or The Promise Ring. It’s a melodic, repetitive number worthy of standing next to some of the best songs in the genre.
Last year Shawn Jones returned from a brief hiatus to bring us Shake the Shadow, his latest album under The Lovely Sparrows. It would seem that the process, and reception, reignited the writing bug for Jones, as he’s already returned with a brand new pair of songs slated for cassette release via Mr. Pink Records. One of the things that struck me on the latest LP that’s present in these songs is the arrangement work; I love Shawn’s voice, but there are just some little touches like the jangling guitar chord and beautiful sax in “Fortune Tellers and Strange Dogs” that puts the song over the edge. It’s the sort of song that pulls my ear close to the speaker trying to pick up on every possible sound. If you’re in Austin, the Lovely Sparrows play with Jonas Wilson and PocketSounds at the Mohawk this Saturday night!