Stream Towards the Sky from Wiretree

It seems like it has been rather slow out there in the musical world…unless of course you’re living here in Austin (but please don’t move here). This week we’ve got a new Xetas LP and the release of Slack Capital 2. But, last week I missed this great release from Wiretree, so I figured I should go back in time and offer you a nice little stream. It’s a collection of folk-inspired indiepop. Album opener “Let Me In” was definitely a standout track, until I kept going back, where I landed on “Dive” as my new favorite. But the fun is that you don’t have to listen to a word I say, just enjoy the great release.

Stream Xetas New LP

I could go on and on about how important Xetas isto the Austin sound. I could tell you just how tragic it would be if people overlook The Tower simply because it has the power to tear through your speakers. All I’m going to say is that you need to lay down whatever you’re doing, turn the stereo up and just let yourself listen to the entirety of this LP. Start to finish, this is one of the most impressive pieces I’ve heard in this city in some time. It comes out via 12XU on Friday, with an in-store appearance at Waterloo Records.

Magia Negra Pop Up on Slack Capital 2

Slack Capital 2 is a compilation of music by 27 of the greatest bands in Austin. All proceeds from the comp go to SafePlace, which provides support for victims of domestic and sexual violence. We’re unveiling one song per day until the the release party on April 14.

Song of the day: Magia Negra — “Human”

Inhabiting a slightly more romantic version of the warped slow-pop of Mac DeMarco, Magia Negra is led by Lolita Carroll, who has a distinctively emotional voice, calm but pleading. “Please forgive me/ I’m not worthy” goes the opening couplet, in which Carroll inhabits a place of sincere regret, of earnest feeling. “Human,” though it moves slowly, has a certain groove to it, and even a little playfulness, thanks to a wobbly guitar and heartbeat drums on the chorus. Music is full of songs about outrage and retribution, but it is perhaps more brave to write a song about admitting one’s failures, and facing them head-on. Carroll says simply she is just “a kind of simple human being”–with all the complexities that that phrase ironically implies– and that admission is something that all of us can aspire to. –Eric Braden

Pre-Order Slack Capital 2 HERE.

Join us Friday at Barracuda for the Release Party!

Thor & Friends Helps Slack Capital 2 and SafePlace

Slack Capital 2 is a compilation of music by 27 of the greatest bands in Austin. All proceeds from the comp go to SafePlace, which provides support for victims of domestic and sexual violence. We’re unveiling one song per day until the the release party on April 14.

Song of the day: Thor & Friends — “Bees”

“Bees” is a work unbetrothed to time– an instrumental hymn, something beyond the language of humans. Like a chamber orchestra you stumble across in the jungle while hallucinating on a deserted island, Thor Harris (of Swans) and his band of collaborators, chiefly Peggy Ghorbani and Sarah Gautier (aka Sarah La Puerta, who appears on this very compilation), make a kind of secular devotional music. For fans of Johnny Greenwood’s film score work for Paul Thomas Anderson– otherworldly, creepy, somehow both minimalistic and epic– the music of Thor & Friends will be something you’ll want to put on repeat. A looping xylophone pattern sort of travels down an eerie back road of sounds, until stabbing strings add a Hitchcock vibe. Even with its playful touch, “Bees” evokes both the frenzied life of the titular insect and the terror of an industrialized, de-natured world.

PreOrder Slack Capital 2 HERE.

Join us at Barracuda on Friday, April 14th for the Release Party.

Jana Horn Sings for Slack Capital 2

Slack Capital 2 is a compilation of music by 27 of the greatest bands in Austin. All proceeds from the comp go to SafePlace, which provides support for victims of domestic and sexual violence. We’re unveiling one song per day until the the release party on April 14.

Song of the day: Jana Horn — “News”

Even in a city of immense musical riches, Jana Horn has the type of voice– inward, haunted, poignantly controlled– that will always stand out. That voice is on rich display in “News,” with no percussion and the sparest of arrangements– just a lightly strummed guitar, a few notes on a piano, and some delicately cooed background vocals (by Jana herself). A meditative examination of existing in a society and the choices we are forced to make within it, “News” is a deeply empathetic, almost alien-eyed view of humanity. “Two sides telling us/our lives are two-sided and we must/ decide which one we’re on,” Horn sings evenly, with little emotion but a kind of numb melancholy. Lyrics like “I’ve been inside the maker’s mouth/Do you want to know the things I found?” evoke the hard-bitten honesty of a person who has traveled the world and is writing back home with a bad story to tell. Like Elliott Smith, Horn’s allergy to over-emoting allows her to imbue each line with what feels like actual feeling. That is a rare gift. In a time of peak anxiety, “News” is a mournful salve. — Eric Braden

PreOrder Slack Capital 2 HERE.

Join us at Barracuda for the Slack Capital Release Party on April 14th.

New John Wesley Coleman on Slack Capital

Slack Capital 2 is a compilation of music by 27 of the greatest bands in Austin. All proceeds from the comp go to SafePlace, which provides support for victims of domestic and sexual violence. We’re unveiling one song per day until the the release party on April 14.

Song of the day: John Wesley Coleman III — “Rodeo Clown”

The enigmatic John Wesley Coleman III sounds like Suicide meets Sea Change-era Beck on this unreleased contribution to Slack Capital 2. “She’s a rodeo clown/ upside down” he murmurs, as if to himself while tripping down a back alley at four in the morning. Shambling, lo-fi, slathered in reverb, and never changing from a simple chord progression, “Rodeo Clown” proves to be surprisingly addictive, and even kind of sweet. That contrast between the twinkling xylophone and creepy whisper background vocals is everything you need to slide into a spiritual K-hole of a weekend. And just like a weekend, “Rodeo Clown” is over before you know it, but lingers foggily in your memory as if it happened a long time ago.

Have a good one y’all, and see you next Friday April 14 at Barracuda for the Slack Capital 2 release party!

Pre-Order Slack Capital 2 HERE.

Daniel Francis Doyle and the Dreams Back on Slack Capital 2

Slack Capital 2 is a compilation of music by 27 of the greatest bands in Austin. All proceeds from the comp go to SafePlace, which provides support for victims of domestic and sexual violence. We’re unveiling one song per day until the the release party on April 14.

Song of the day: Daniel Francis Doyle & The Dreams — “I Had To Do It”

Daniel Francis Doyle is hard to pin down. Maybe you’ve seen him do his one-man-band “loops” set, where he builds songs layer by layer and beats on the drums while screaming through a headset mic. Maybe you’ve seen him do a nylon-string guitar set, where he reveals a quieter side to his art– easier to see the Jonathan Richman influence. Or maybe you’ve seen him play with The Dreams, his synth pop band, where his neuroses combine with an urgent dance beat closer to Gary Numan than Donna Summer. “I Had To Do It” was made with The Dreams, and it has the herky-jerky charm of an 80’s pop hit, or a Steve Martin skit. Seriously– Oh man, those synths! Produced by SLUGBUG’s Paul Millar, who knows a thing or two about warped synth sounds, this is a track you’ll want to hear again and again for the sugary satisfaction of that synth line that creeps in every chorus, responding delightfully to Doyle’s queasy pleas.

Daniel Francis Doyle is playing the Slack Capital 2 release party April 14 at Barracuda, and he’s told us it will be his final show (what!) with The Dreams. Don’t miss it. — Eric Braden

Pre-Order Slack Capital 2 HERE.

Catch DFD at the Release Show on April 14th at Barracuda.

ATX Spotlight: Fresh Abram Shook News

We haven’t heard from Abram Shook since 2015, but the good news for Austin, and everywhere, is that he’s back with the brand new Love at Low Speed. The batch of songs on this album is said to be of a more personal nature, which inevitably will hit home for listeners. I love how this song opens with Shook and guitar, and little else. It seems to fit the song, creating an immediate intimacy that captures the audience, before the track is built up by further accompaniment. It’s a slow-paced adventure filled by Abram’s continued sonic exploration as he seeks to reach musical perfection. My two cents? You’re close pal, so so close. New album will be out on June 16th via Western Vinyl.

 

Do You Know Catalina La O? She’s on Slack Capital 2

Slack Capital 2 is a compilation of music by 27 of the greatest bands in Austin. All proceeds from the comp go to SafePlace, which provides support for victims of domestic and sexual violence. We’re unveiling one song per day until the the release party on April 14.

Song of the day: Catalina La O — “Se Nos Rompio El Amor”

And now for something completely different. Catalina La O is the new project of Khattie Q, formerly of the politi-punk band BLXPLTN. If you got to see Catalina La O at Bill Ball 2 last fall, you were treated to something completely unexpected — a bracing display of powerhouse vocals, belted out over a paired-down rock band arrangement totally designed to spotlight the emotion of the song and the singer. Like wandering into David Lynch’s night club Silencio, it was at once beguiling and captivating.

“Se Nos Rompio El Amor” is an epic ballad first made famous by Spanish singer Rocio Jurado, and the band is fully dedicated to it. After a long instrumental intro, Khattie’s first whisper draws you into the emotional turmoil of the song. Soon she and the band reach great heights, draw things back down again, then explode into a finale that will leave you spent (the title of the song means “We broke love”). A truly powerful performance by a talent we’ll be keeping an eye on for a long time. — Eric Braden

PreOrder Slack Capital 2 HERE.

Release Show on April 14th at Barracuda!

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