More New Music From Craft Spells

Not long ago, our very own Mr. Lankford shared a sweet new track from up and coming Captured Tracks band Craft Spells.  Well now the band has given us another new track called “You Should Close the Door” that I’ve immediately taken a liking to.  The number has a sweet backing beat behind it with pop sensibilities reminiscent of several ATH favorites like POBAH or The Drums.  I can’t seem to get enough of this shit.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/craft-spells-you-should-close-the-door.mp3]

Download: Craft Spells – You Should Close the Door [MP3]

New Music from Tim Cohen

You probably recognize Tim Cohen as the frontman for one of my favorite groups, The Fresh & Onlys. But, that’s not his only gig, as he’s been honing his craft for some time as a solo artist, releasing several albums.  He’s got another one titled Magic Trick coming out via Captured Tracks on February 22nd, and maybe this will be the one when people really start to take notice of his skills.  This first single has a nice little juxtaposed female voice countering with Tim’s gruff vocals, which definitely provides a smoother tone to the song as a whole, making Tim seem more like a Sonny Smith style songwriter than merely just a beastly frontman.  You won’t hear a bad song on this record; I can guarantee that.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/Tim-Cohen-Dont-Give-Up.mp3]

Download: Tim Cohen – Don’t Give Up [MP3]

New Tunes from Craft Spells

It’s going to be a huge year for Captured Tracks, and it’s got me super giddy sitting here at my desk. They’ve got releases from Minks, The Beets and who knows what else.  One band I don’t know a great deal about, but I’ve been jamming all day via P4K is Craft Spells (not to be confused with Cast Spells). Sure, it’s got that club-disco swing groove to it, but you mix that with a bit of far-off vocal effects and you’ll have me swinging my arms from side to side.  Honestly, that’s probably not such a bad thing, and a decent way to kick off the weekend. Maybe it’ll help get you started.  And you’re sure to find more hits like this on March 1st when the band releases their full-length, Idle Labor.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/After-the-Moment-1.mp3]

Download: Craft Spells -After the Moment [MP3]

New Tunes from Beach Fossils

After breaking out a pretty solid debut, Beach Fossils are at it again, ready to release a new EP on Captured Tracks, which is quickly making waves in my book. The collection is titled What a Pleasure, and it adds just another thing to look forward to on February 22nd.  You’ll find that the vocals are really up front in the mix, while the guitar just sort of meanders back and forth throughout the song.  It’s got a feeling of labelmates (and founder) Blank Dogs, if you removed the fuzziness and distortion.  Neither of those things are bad in my book, but that’s just one man’s opinion.  I’ll let you make the final call.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/Beach-Fossils-Calyer.mp3]

Download: Beach Fossils – Calyer [MP3]

New Tunes from The Jameses

While we wait for a debut full-length from the group, Captured Tracks is doing a great job keeping our interest piqued in The Jameses.  Today they’re releasing the group’s new Caribou/Fifth Dimension 7″.  If you recall, we were all about their track “The Haunted Rider”, and right now, it looks like we’ll be all about Caribou too!  You’ll still find a little bit of that echo-y effect running through the vocals of this track, but the vocals seem to have a different approach, almost as if they’re doing their own version of a post-rock jangle. Regardless, this should continue to keep you looking forward to the upcoming debut from this band, as this is just another little gem from The Jameses.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/01-Caribou-1.mp3]

Download: The Jameses – Caribou [MP3]

New Tunes from Minks

You know that we’re fans of the NY label Captured Tracks, and they’ve just lined up another solid release coming our way January 11th.  Minks will be releasing their record, By the Hedge, and while many people have had the band on their radar for some time, it seems like their star can only grow larger nowadays.  Personally, this definitely has a Sarah Records feel to it, with a bit of coated jangling going on, using warm male/female vocals counterparts to smear gentle pop harmonies all over your speakers.  Looks like January 11th is going to be a sweet time for good tunes. Agree?

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/Minks-Cemetary-Rain.mp3]

Download: Minks – Cemetary Rain [MP3]

New Music from The Soft Moon

After releasing two 7″s, it’s time for Luis Vasquez to bring on his debut record as The Soft Moon.  Of course, there’s a lot of dark undertones, created by the ominous atmospherics carrying the faintest hint of melody in the background.  The Soft Moon album will hit the streets on November 16th via Captured Tracks, which is home to other great artists such as Blank Dogs and Wild Nothing.  If you’re looking for that post-punk sound, riddled with haze and smoke, then you’re going to really enjoy the work here by Luis. Take a listen to the newest track.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/thesoftmoontinyspiders.mp3]

Download: The Soft Moon – Tiny Spiders [MP3]

Blank Dogs – Land and Fixed

Rating: ★★★★ ·

Mike Sniper has two things going for him: his label Captured Tracks and his project Blank Dogs.  Running a label that’s releasing a lot of the best music around allows Mike to keep in touch with the heartbeat of the indie community, which really benefits his own work, as you’ll see on the newest record, Land and Fixed.  This is easily the most accessible, and enjoyable, release from Blank Dogs, while still maintaining that covert aesthetic he’s always utilized.

“Goes By” starts things off, and immediately the beats are dark and moving, just as that angular guitar line starts to dance about in the background of the track.  Sniper’s vocals are still coated, though they’re easily the clearest vocals he’s used to date–there also appears to be some backing tracks used to give more depth to his voice this time around.  As the guitar walks in and out of the verse and chorus it creates a nice powerful hook, sure to shake the dance floor.  “Collides” won’t do too much different than the opening track, though the song does a bit more as far as building tension up before jettisoning off into blissful dark-wave.  If you’re a fan of the band, or a casual listener, the clarity of the vocals this time around still has to grab your attention.

“Northern Islands” is the track that exemplifies everything about Land and Fixed.  It’s got this glitch beat erratically going on in the background, and Mike’s coated vocals haunt the dark edges of the song.  But, there’s this dark jangling guitar that recalls everything innocent about pop music, which goes a long way to establish the aesthetic of this record–beautiful in the club and in your bedroom. It’s this stylistic choice that makes Blank Dogs so interesting to listen to in the current market.  They’re neither chillwave or lo-fi, but more of a progressive element of both, moved forward by a focus on classic pop hooks.  If you take a song like “All Around,” it recalls bits of old school post-punk and new wave, yet nothing sounds entirely too trapped in complete nostalgia. And a track like “Treelines” shows how easily magic can slowly unfold before you unexpectedly when listening to this record.  Every bit and piece seems carefully selected and placed, creating optimal reward for musician and listener alike.

If you were looking for one thing to knock, which we know everyone wants to find, that angular beach guitar sound does get a little bit redundant at times.  At spots, its brilliantly included in the scope of Land and Fixed, but other times it could be pushed in a different direction, perhaps a little bit more mischief in the guitar line.  Still, that’s hardly reason to dislike an album, now is it?  With the latest release from Blank Dogs you’ll see an artist who is tied into the culture of a great deal of left of the dial music nowadays, and his influence clearly goes beyond his work with Captured Tracks. It seems that as Mike Sniper has allowed time to progress, his music has grown substantially, leaving us to reap the rewards of his hard work.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/Blank-Dogs-Northern-Islands.mp3]

Download: Blank Dogs – Northern Islands [MP3]

New Music from Blank Dogs

I knew this was coming.  I had heard quiet whispers in the underground world if music nerds, and now P4K has helped us out, giving a little press to the newest of releases from Blank Dogs.  His last record was one of my favorites, and it blended the line between post-punk and electronic–usuaully with a twinge of gloom.  His next album, Land and Fixed, comes out on October 12th via Captured Tracks, which he runs.  If you go off this very first single, it definitely seems a little bit brighter, though his voice always has that appeal with the darkside.  Whatever, I’m digging it.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/Blank-Dogs-Northern-Islands.mp3]

Download: Blank Dogs – Northern Islands [MP3]

New Music from Wild Nothing

Remember when I raved about how great Wild Nothing‘s Gemini was?  Well, the band, the one project of Jack Tatum, will return with the Golden Haze EP this fall on Captured Tracks.  If you pass judgement based on the following track, it seems like Wild Nothing will definitely have another gem of pop music to win the adoration of listeners everywhere.  Label me excited.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/Wild-Nothing-Golden-Haze.mp3]

Download: Wild Nothing – Golden Haze [MP3]

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