Top 50 Albums of 2016

top50You’ve all been waiting, anxiously. Waiting for our arbitrary list of the opinion of four folks who run this site, and what we think were the best albums of 2016. It’s really really important. We’re going to make our site great again with this list. We’re going to win, bigly. But really, it’s just a list of the stuff we loved the most that we covered throughout this year on our site. The comment section is open, so feel free to tell us where we’ve gone wrong or what we’ve got right or anything else fitting. Read more

Stream Endless Summer from Big Wave Riders

bigwaveIf you’ve been riding along on our site, you surely know that I’m greatly anticipating the forthcoming Big Wave Riders album, Endless Summer. And wouldn’t you know it, we’ve got it streaming below for your enjoyment. I love the maturity the band have show, hitting various touchstones that I adore, particularly in the realm of great guitar pop like “Crest of a Wave” or upbeat pop numbers like “Flipping the Bird.” You’ll even hear some fuzzier psych influenced tracks lurking around, so music nerds will get a little bit of it all from this album. It’s soaked in an essence of cool, begging for you to get hip to the Finnish band’s sound. Grab it from Soliti on Friday!

 

Big Wave Riders Announce New Album

Big_Wave_Riders_-_Crest_Of_A_Wave-cover_smallThere’s something hopeful on the horizon, something where anything and everything is waiting for you…at least that’s what Big Wave Riders are promising with their brand new song, “Crest of a Wave.” It’s a positive message that accompanies the band’s announcement of their next LP, Endless Summer. The sound of the guitars also provide you with that sensation of optimism; it’s indie rock of the guitar pop sort, but you’ll find it ratherjoyous. There’s even a happy little yelp just after 2 minute mark displaying how much fun the band are having. Look to get your hands on their new LP on August 26th via Soliti Music.

Brand New Big Wave Riders

bigwaveWhile we haven’t heard anything new from Big Wave Riders in a few years, rest assured that the band hasn’t left our mind since they released Life Less Ordinary. Lucky for us all the band are back with a brand new album and a brand new single to affirm their place in our listening hearts. While I love the song, musically, I think the band’s message behind the track is as important; the lyrical content focuses on a need to escape a world inundated by media horror stories in order to find something to believe in…being sunshine in this case. There’s light at the end of the tunnel folks, especially when Soliti releases Endless Summer later in 2016.

Soliti Music Turns 2

soliti-turns-2-blue-640x634I’m really excited for my far away friend Nick and his wonderful label to be celebrating two successful years.  Soliti Music has brought us gems from Cats on Fire to The New Tigers to Big Wave Riders, and in honor of that celebration, the label is giving up an 8 track compilation of tunes that are either unreleased or demo versions.  They’ve even got a few words about each of the songs, which you can find HERE.  But, if you want to get your hands on some great tunes, or perhaps even discover your new favorite band, then click HERE.  For now, here’s my favorite track from the label.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/My-Sense-Of-Pride.mp3]

Download: Cats on Fire – My Sense Of Pride [MP3]

Top Albums of 2012: 100-51

It’s really hard to narrow down a list of Top Albums of 2012, especially when you have four contributors with different opinions.  We gave the reins to Nathan.Lankford and Nicole Baumann on this one, since they write the majority of the album reviews, but we all have a little representation within this.  Now, we do realize that our site has specialized tastes, so please realize that these are our OPINIONS.  You’re welcome to disagree, and, in fact, we encourage that process.  Also, we’re doing a Top 100 because so many records came out this year, it wouldn’t be fair to narrow it down.  Not to mention it might lead you to discover some hits you hadn’t heard about yet. Oh, and we don’t really like Frank Ocean or hip-hop…just a personal choice…here’s the first segment.

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New Music from Delay Trees

I’m not sure why people aren’t taking as much notice of Soliti Music as we are here at ATH.  They’ve already released great records this year by Big Wave Riders and Cats on Fire, and I have a feeling their latest release from Delay Trees is going to be something truly special.  This new single from the band is an homage to their hometown, hitting upon the town’s beauty, yet the hopelessness of being stuck there.  I think I’m going to play this song for the next several days and never grow tired of listening to it. It’s just remarkable, and you can pick it up on the band’s new album Doze, which comes out on October 19th.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/03-HML.mp3]

Download:Delay Trees – HML [MP3]

Big Wave Riders – Life Less Ordinary

Rating: ★★★★ ·

Finnish band Big Wave Riders burst onto the music scene with a pretty solid self-titled EP, and as they’ve spent more time together you can tell that the band’s grown in leaps and bounds.  Life Less Ordinary is an album that evades classification, demonstrating one of those rare acts that’s just going out there to put together the best songs they’ve written and giving them to their fans.

Opener, “Waiting in the Wings” might have a bit of dream-pop swagger to open the number, but as you move into the chorus you’re going to get swept away with the exuberant vocal delivery, sharp, yet backed by soaring touches.  And then in an effort not to replicate themselves too much, they move into “Stuck In Reverse,” which opens with a bit of a funky jam up front, before pulling back ever so slightly to offer club ready lyrics punctuated by a stabbing electronic pulse.  Back to back, these songs might not match, but in the grand scheme of Life Less Ordinary, it’s clear that the group are destined to outlive your genre studies.

The bio page for Big Wave Riders suggests the band are merely out to replicate the styles of their youth, and if that’s the case, I have a feeling that the band spent a lot of time jamming out to the Britpop movement that conquered Europe in the 90s.  One listen “California” and you’ll hear that fuzzed out guitar line with a distant vocal seemingly coming into your ears from a far off place.  It’s catchy; it’s got a groove, but it builds you your anticipation for where they band will go next.  And really, there’s no telling precisely where you’ll end up with this group.

“Sunny Season” is definitely a dream pop track you’d find with a lot of the bands in Europe, using a wash of melodic atmospherics to coat a throbbing bass line.  I will say Treppo’s vocal delivery has a little bit more of a post-punk delivery, giving an edge to the track that you might not have had otherwise.  Still, Life Less Ordinary begs you to move out of your comfort zone and move your expectations to the side.  “Castle in the Air” features an incredible bass line that forces your feet to stomp about beneath your office desk, offering you a nice new-wave bent, but then the song takes off.  The chorus, or what seems like the chorus blasts away into a noisy wall of guitars and vocals being pushed to their limit.  Big Wave Riders never dwell on your preconceived notions, nor their own for that matter, which benefits listeners who want more than just your average album listen.

Band’s like this are bound to succeed, playing on their own terms, playing with all their heart.  You can tell by listening to Life Less Ordinary just how important making music is to the group, just how important music is to the lives of Big Wave Riders.  Listening to this album over and over again, I have a feeling that it will help remind you of that emotion as well.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Waiting-In-The-Wings.mp3]

Download: Big Wave Riders – Waiting In The Wings

Life Less Ordinary is out now via Soliti Music.

 

Brand New Jam from Big Wave Riders

Big Wave Riders aren’t exactly new to our radar, as we’ve been following the group carefully ever since they signed to Soliti Music, but now they’re drawing closer to the release of their debut, Life Less Ordinary. Listening to this new single from the album, I can’t help but recall a bit of The Mary Onettes, though with a bit more of a personality.  You can sense the same sort of electronic-influenced melodic rock, but there’s a hint of energy lurking in the vocals…something you’ll surely notice too. Look for more great tracks from the band when they release their record on August 24th!

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/05-Sunny-Season.mp3]

Download:Big Wave Riders – Sunny Season [MP3]

Great Upbeat Track from Big Wave Riders

Last year Big Wave Riders released a nice little EP that caught my attention, so with news that the band will finally have a full length coming out later this year via Soliti Music, I just had to post about it.  Never mind the fact that I already love this group’s first release; this new track is absolutely marvelous.  Honestly, I know the music isn’t as fitting, but there’s a vocal element at times that reminds me of Jarvis during “Common People.”  Listen closely and see if you can hear it too! If not, then just enjoy this song for as long as your mouse will let you hit repeat; I’ve been doing it all day.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Waiting-In-The-Wings.mp3]

Download:Big Wave Riders – Waiting In The Wings [MP3]

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