Just a few weeks ago we dropped a tune your way from Alex Cohen, who many people will know from her work with Austin’s Alex Napping. But…don’t confuse this, as PEMA is her pop-centric new project, where she’s really stretching herself to find a new place for her voice. For this number, she enlisted producer LAZ3NBY to work behind the buttons. The product is a place where you likely haven’t heard Alex go, but if that’s the case, or if this is your first introduction, your’e going to be enamored with the end product. Vocals are looped back in to provide background while Alex’s voice rises to the front of the mix; I like the restraint on the beats, allowing Cohen to shine. Look for her PEMA debut, Doublethink, via Wishy Washy on June 3rd.
It’s been a pretty special year for Summer Salt, booking a couple of great tours and releasing their Going Native EP recently with us here at ATH Records. They just tossed us us this great video for the track, “Summer Salt,” and the video encompasses everything I love about the band, aside from the fact that it’s just a hands-down, great song. This three-o are all about crafting really incredible melodies, but they’re also about enjoying themselves. You can see their tight-knit attitude in the video, yet it also shows they’re goofy side. They’re out there playing the songs they love, willing to have fun with each other in a style that’s endearing to all. If you haven’t gotten into the band yet…well, what are you waiting for? Still a few copies of their Going Native EP available HERE.
And, if you’re in the Austin area, they have an incredible show with some of our other faves, Growl and Flesh Lights. Read more on it HERE.
I just got turned on to Jonas Wilson last year, which was a great find. Luckily, Jonas reached out this week to let us know about a new project he’s been working on with Aaron Behrens of Ghostland Observatory; they’re working under the name of The Midnight Stroll. On the lead single from Heartbreak Bugaloo, you’ll hear Behrens distinctive voice, but I think it’s the musical work that Wilson does that really pushes the project. His approach of ebbs and flows in the song’s craft forces Aaron to take on some newer tunes, pushing his vocal range beyond where many of us have heard it. Look for their LP on June 1st when it gets its worldwide release!
You want some country? Check out Jason Boland and Plantation at 3 Ten ACL. Or Sturgill Simpson.
Little Austin punk rock? Go for Ghetto Ghouls and Nameless Frames at Beerland.
An ATH approved show? How about Rose Selavy, Mean Jolene, and Shivery Shakes at Sahara Lounge.
And don’t forget the teen friendly, Stereogum approved 1975 show at Stubbs.
You could even double dip, hitting up Luna early, then catch one of these late shows.
The Austin City Limits Festival lineup was announced earlier this morning, and as rumored by everyone, Radiohead will be headlining both weekends. As usual I’m digging on the undercard with bands like Frightened Rabbit, Mr. Conor Oberst, and Saint Motel as highlights for me. And it looks like we’ll getting some Flying Lotus action back in Austin after the unfortunate turn of events around Levitation Festival. Once again the festival has put together two weekends worth of solid music. Tickets are now available here for both weekends. Full lineup here or click on the image attached.
Last weekend, with the cancelling of Levitation, people were clamoring to see Slowdive (among others). It’s great to see such a nostalgic musical renaissance, though when I think of Luna (tomorrow’s headliner at Mohawk)…I think of their longevity, and their influence. Whether it’s Dean’s role in Galaxie 500, Luna itself, or his work with wife Britta…there hasn’t been a year when I haven’t fallen back into the influence of their music. I guess Lunamight be called one of the earlier pioneers of dream-pop, though I think of them as the pop version of the Velvet Underground (at least when you listen to some of the tracks on Penthouse). Also…we get a special treat as Britta will be taking the stage solo at the beginning of the set to play who knows what, though you can be guaranteed a great bit of it will be from her new solo effort, Luck of Magic, which came out last week. Doors are at 7:00 PM, Tickets are HERE.
Remember when punk rock of the 90s had great production, huge hooks and just enough danger to keep you rocking out with your friends? Well, then you should grab onto Austin’s Breaklights, clearly operating without classic pop-punk sound. They work in some great little stuttering moments, and a brief respite via breakdown near the end before jumping you towards the track’s end. They’ve just wrapped up recording their debut album with Stephen Egerton of Descendents/ALL fame, so it’s already got the street-cred any band could want. Look out Austin, this band’s coming for ya, and you’re going to have fun.
It’s one of my favorite seasons for music. Bands are traveling, shows are popping up, and nary a night passes without something great going on in Austin. Tonight, you’ve got two great choices: Peach Kelli Pop at Sidewinder or Roaring Sun at Barracuda. PKP brandishes surfy guitar-pop, and they’ll be joined by perennial local faves, Sailor Poon. Speaking of the Sailor Poon, they just released a video for their track on the Slack Capital Comp…find it HERE. On the other hand, you’ve got young psych-pop upstarts, Roaring Sun. While I may be biased, having taught one of their members years ago, I’m excited by what they’re crafting. They’ll be joined by Taiga, as well as Honey and Salt. So you can catch a traveling act, or something wholly Austin. Hear tracks from both suggestions below.
Those hanging around Austin have hopefully caught on to the burgeoning pop rock scene, but those of you who aren’t living here should also take note of what we’re letting into the world, like Good Talk, for example. The group’s ready to release their debut this weekend, and the big single is ridiculously good. Guitars seemingly discordantly crash against each other, emphasized by the smashing cymbals. Something in the vocal delivery sounds really familiar, like a friend telling you the story of his life; the tones hit are slightly imperfect, which in the end, fits perfectly into the group’s sound. I’ve been listening to this record all weekend, and I hope you’ll join the band to celebrate their release this Saturday at Cheer Up Charlies!
Saturday is THE day. No days are bad, but Saturday is chock-full of ridiculous talent. Ultimate Painting and Parquet Courts have been covered and talked about til the Internet was blue in the face…and apparently this Brian Wilson guy is a big deal. Plus, you’ve got perennial indie rock powerhouses in Animal Collective and Black Mountain, but let me point you in the right direction, a little off the beaten path, perhaps. Read more