Top Albums of 2017

Lists are arbitrary and burdensome, but why not join the fun everyone else is having? We gathered our lists, separate lists for all of us, then combined them into one that had 50 albums. What you get here are the four writers/contributors of ATH, giving you their meaningless opinions on what we thought was the jam in 2017. It’s alphabetical, and we put the initials next to it so you could track down your enemy!

 

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Beach Fossils Share Previously Unreleased Track

Lately I’ve been obsessing over Beach Fossils‘ catalogue of new and old music, so naturally I was quite pleased to see that they’ve just released another track. Now, this one won’t be on their heavily anticipated upcoming record, Somersault, but it is part of the ‘Our First 100 Days’ series, which benefits some pretty great charities that you can find out more about here.This song is everything you’d expect from Beach Fossils– mildly hazy vocals, angular guitars that slice through the mix, and steady, constant percussion. Like most Beach Fossils tracks, you’ll find yourself singing along in no time, or mimicking the groovy bass line with your fingers on the steering wheel. Come along with Beach Fossils on “Silver Tongue,” and then try and prepare yourself for Somersault, which will be out June 2nd via Bayonet Records.

 

Beach Fossils Step in a Different Direction With “Saint Ivy”

Beach Fossils announced last month that they’ve got a new album on the horizon calledSomersault. Today, they’ve shared a new video for the second single off that release called “Saint Ivy,” which shows off a new sound for the band. There’s flute and strings tossed into the mix, which takes the band’s usual jangly rock to a whole new level. You can check out the interesting video and listen to a different side of Beach Fossils below– I’m stoked for the new album knowing that from these two singles we can expect a blend of old and new sounds from the group.

Somersaultwill be out June 2nd via Bayonet Records.

 

Beautiful New Beach Fossils Tune

While I’ve been a long time fan of Beach Fossils, I can say that this new track pleasantly surprised me– it’s a winner from start to finish. I know this song will be all over the internet, but it’s so important that you take a listen that it warranted a post. When you click on “This Year,” below, you’ll be greeted with tightly woven guitar riffs and those infamous barely-there vocals. Then you get about a minute in and you get these string sounds that provide a goosebumps inducing reprieve from those jangly guitars. The lyrics on this tune are also exceptionally moving and apt as New Year’s resolutions have probably faded now that we are in March; “This year I told myself it’d be a better one/try not to fall back onto the knife.” It’s not only a great indie rock gem, but it’s got an emotive side you shouldn’t skip out on. The band’s new album, Somersault, will be out June 2nd via Bayonet Records.

FFF8 In Pictures – Friday Edition

The WalkmenDid you not go to Fun Fun Fun Fest? Wish to be tortured by a ton of images from Auditorium Shores? Did you go and want to try to find yourself in a crowd shot? Your ears still ringing from Snoop?

Are you are fan of twerking? Do you like Aussie Electro Pop? Is Hamilton dead sexy? Or is Little Boots more your speed? Big Freedia? Not judging…

Time to waste the rest of your day with the big gallery from Friday! Raise your pimp cup and click through to have your eyes treated to my festival.

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Beach Fossils Is Playing FFF8

We bring you another reason to get hype about Fun Fun Fun Fest 8. It is happening November 8th-10th at Auditorium Shores, ya know.

Beach Fossils released Clash The Truth early this year. We saw them at Red7 a few months later and while the show was great, there were a couple of technical difficulties that hampered it from being perfect. I doubt the bolted down Homies running gear at FFF will miss a beat. I would also expect a foray into the crowd by Dustin.

Check out the video for this jam that was just released over at MTV Hive directed by the Mac Demarco bass player, Pierce McGarry.

New Music from Beach Fossils

It’s hard not to be on board with Beach Fossils, but this new track they’ve just released to announce their upcoming record is something I didn’t exactly expect, in a good way of course.  My first listen sort of reminds me of early 90s indie pop, using jangling guitars and a bit of shoegaze flourishes to mold the sound of the song.  There’s still a bit of that angular guitar sound from the group, but they seem to have steered clear of repeating themselves with those sunny guitars and bubbly bass lines.  You can grab the new record, Clash the Truth, from Captured Tracks on February 19th.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/04-Careless.mp3]

Download:Beach Fossils – Careless [MP3]

Heavenly Beat – Talent

Rating: ★★★½ ·

It seems like everyone from Beach Fossils is going out on their own these days (DIIV), but the music being created by bassist John Pena has a brighter bent than his bandmates, giving you a collection of songs that’s probably more suited to the “beach” title than even his original group.  Talent is chock full of bright pop tunes that provide listeners with a chance to let some of music’s natural warmth into their lives–you know, if that’s what you’re looking for these days.

Originally, I expected to find Talent as a bedroom listening experience, but “Lust” brought more to the table as soon as I pressed play.  There’s a brightness in the musical arrangements that supersedes the quieted vocal approach used by Pena.  It’s either the string arrangements or the throbbing beat bubbling beneath, but it provides more depth to a typical headphone listen.  “Messiah” carries on with it’s string arrangement stabs propelling the vibe of the record/track.  I completely dig the bass line working beneath the single too, which isn’t too much to expect I suppose, seeing as this is one of Pena’s specialties.

But, one of the things I dig isn’t necessarily the arrangements, though they all fit perfectly, it’s the tropicalia feel that comes along with the guitar sound.  Songs like “Faithless” or “Influence” have this mellow strumming that seems to have roots in Latin American beach tunes, or even classical Latin music.  When it’s combined with the other musical arrangements, it transports one to either the beach or to the heart of Mexico (maybe that’s only me since I lived there for a time).  Heavenly Beat has cleverly put a nice spin on this sound, making it instantly original, though there are other acts taking similar approaches.

Admittedly, heavy doses of listening to Talent can perhaps wear you down, as the level of differentiation is fairly minimal, but there’s something undeniably powerful about the record as a whole.  Each time I put it on, I find new elements lurking beneath a track I thought I already had figured out. It’s not every day you find a band that can create an album with a sound that seems limited to a certain extent, but still has the ability to surprise you over and over.  I mean, “Tolerance” still gets me every time, with each element entering at different moments, coming in and out of the speakers.  At times the guitar almost seems to disappear, then it comes in with hooks to grab you again. Such are the perks of a well-crafted record.

Side projects aren’t always able to eclipse one’s main project, but I think Heavenly Beat in a lot of ways has allowed John Pena to establish himself as a credible songwriter on his own.  Talent doesn’t have Pena playing a role where he’s revising his work, but rather sees him pushing beyond Beach Fossils to find his own sound, and he does so successfully.  If you want to find yourself wrapped up in the warmth of a solid record, then get your hands on this.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/02-Messiah.mp3]

Download:Heavenly Beat – Messiah [MP3]

Talent is out 7/24 via Captured Tracks.

Show Preview: Frankie Rose @ Red 7 (4/14)

Date Saturday, April 14th
Location Red 7
Doors  1000 pm
Tickets $8 from Transmission

The former Dum Dum/Vivian Girl Frankie Rose hit the ground running this year with the release of her album, Interstellar.  It showed a definite focus, highlighting Rose’s warm vocals in the gently constrtuced pop structures.  That alone is enough to make you hit up this cheap show, but, you can also catch Dive, a new favorite of ours. The group features members of Beach Fossils, and they should be pushing their upcoming album for Captured Tracks.  Oh, and that’s not enough? Well, catch Cheap Curls…another former Dum Dum Girl kicking off the night.  Seems like a great place to spend a Saturday evening.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/02_Know_Me.mp3]

Download: Frankie Rose – Know Me [MP3]

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