Top Austin Albums Of 2015

Best ATX 2015It’s that time of year when we all throw arbitrary numbers at you, trying to convince you that our tastes are the best. But, I’m going to try taking a slightly different approach this year, giving you just a list of great Austin records that came out this year, but with no numbers or anything. These are just the LPs that connected with me in some way or another throughout 2015. There’s no particular order, just a bunch of records you should probably own. Also, I added some helpful BUY links for you to take you right to where you can get the goods. Just take my word for it and go buy those things.

Sweet TalkDouble Perfect

Stephen Svacina takes on our mundane world, turns it into catchy pop punk, and leaves it memorable. Recommended for those who like high energy tunes that you’ll remember for the rest of your times.  BUY

ReservationsTaking Time

‘To be honest.’ some records hit all the right notes, and hit home. The full length debut by Jana Horn and Reservations is just that. Well-crafted, sincere. A joy of orchestrated indie folk.  BUY

Lochness MobstersWar Tuna

Immediate disclaimer. I helped put this record out. These boys take on the modern Austin cliche of garage-psych and turn it into a sweaty party that’s been proven to rile up audiences, then flip the world upside down by breaking into Beastie Boys. Too good.  BUY

VideoThe Entertainers

Snarling rock n’ roll, no holds barred. I mean come on, you can’t discard the fact that Third Man Records had a hand in getting these tracks out. People are taking notice.  BUY

The Zoltarss/t

Jared is another of Austin’s artists that probably doesn’t get nearly the amount of credit that he deserves, crafting some of the best guitar pop. Pop songs like the one’s on this album aren’t written every day, and when they are, they last in your memory forever. BUY

Stiletto FeelsThe Big Fist

Geoff Earle makes good on his promise to get everyone grooving, while still supplying enough grit to make it important. One of the most diverse in sound to come out of the city; you’re bouncing to electronic elements before guitars jump in to guarantee that this is more than just a programmed, laptop affair.  BUY

Grape St.Wallpaper

Another batch of hooks. Another batch of songs from Curtis O’Mara. If you know me, you know I’ll never get tired of listening to his work. Some guys just get you.  BUY

Spray PaintDopers

I have to apologize to Spray Paint, as this is the only record of theirs that’s going to make it onto my list this year. Maybe people are tired of these guys, but how can you look away when they’re just continuing to release solid album after solid album. It should say a lot that even when they’re so prolific, they never seem to leave you with a track that you can throwaway.  BUY

Single Lashs/t

Lurking beneath the belly of Austin’s rock n’ roll scene is a slowly blossoming shoegaze/indiepop scene. There’s this dense coat of atmosphere coating the album, making it perfect for those who seek darkness reinforced by standard pop structures. BUY

BOANMentiras

If I were still into making mixed CDs for people, “Babylon” would be one of the opening moments; it’s perfect in both it’s simplicity and its construction. One of the few electronic Austin acts that really matter.  BUY

XetasThe Redeemer

How do you take the tenacity and fuel of a great live band, then capture it on tape? Well, Xetas did it, and you’ll be remiss for skipping over the record.  BUY

InstituteCatharsis

A few years ago everyone was raging about The Men. That was fair, but if you’re looking for solid rock n’ roll, I hate to tell you that Institute does it better. Catharsis is one of those albums that seems timeless from the moment you press play; it sounds familiar, yet the songs brim with attitude and execution that you’re not going to find in many scenes.  BUY

Good FieldFuture Me

Indie rock is only sustainable when it’s executed perfectly. These guys nailed it on this go round, giving us the “Business.” Smells like Spoon, sounds like awesome.  BUY

Abram Shook Landscape Dream

Guys. Abram Shook. How many times do we have to tell you. ABRAM SHOOK! Another perfect collection of songs.  BUY

Show Preview: BOAN Album Release @ Cheer Up’s (TONIGHT)

boanSo you’re looking for some show to fill your Friday night with magic, but don’t know where to go to make it a great night. Well, look no further than to the sleek electro pop of locals BOAN, who are celebrating the release of their album, Mentiras, over at Cheer Up Charlie’s tonight with the help of fellow Austinites Silent Diane, as well as DJ’s Sam De La Rosa and Bill Converse. Just one listen to the title track from this new record out now on Holodeck Records and you’ll understand why this is the place you need to be tonight: the synths layer atop each other and smoothly work to create a groove you’ll be willing to get pretty sweaty jamming to. Doors are at 8pm and donations are accepted as payment for entry. More details here.

ATX Spotlight: BOAN Readies Mentiras LP

boneIn case you’ve been hiding under a rock here in Austin, you’ve likely already heard BOAN, or at least I hope you have.  The duo is made up of Jose Cota (of Ssleeperhold) and Mariana Saldana, and they’ve been working to create their minimal electronic music for some time, and finally are ready to share their new album, Mentiras, with you.  While not all the group’s songs go this route, the usage of Spanish in the lyrics pays a bit of homage to the cultural heritage of the duo; it adds a bit of international flare to the budding electro pop they’ve carefully been crafting. Personally, I love the dark turn this track takes on in the second half.  Holodeck Records will be releasing Mentiras on June 9th.