Delorean – Apar

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Rating: ★★★ · ·

I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that the first thing that comes to mind when I hear the word ‘Delorean’ is Back to The Future. So my gut feeling, when I learned that there was a band with the same name as the raddest time machine ever, was that this band must encapsulate some sort of nostalgia for the eighties that goes along with that image. Over the years, they have grown closer and closer to this image, creating tunes that’ll make you dance as well as take you back in time a bit.

Apar is no exception to this continuing trend, as it is chalk full of tracks to help you dance your way through life, complete with catchy choruses and hooks. The first real stand out number comes after the first track on “Destitute Time.” From the start you have the feminine vocals wailing in the background, sounding off something special coming in the form of new wave esque guitar hooks that sink their teeth into you from the get-go. You can totally understand how this group opened their own nightclub; this track just begs you to shake it. As far as comparisons go, you get a bit of a Cut Copy vibe in the seemingly flat male vocals that serve to propel the song forward. The guitars cycle onwards, each wave over the chorus becoming that final layer of sound to stabilize the overall mix and make for it to be a great song.

Though there isn’t much variance from the 80’s new wave mixed with some electronic components stylistically, there is a change from male lead vocals to the female lead vocals of Caroline Polachek from Chairlift on “Unhold,” which provides for the most interesting song on the record. Initially it sounds like a track you would hear off a jangly pop record, but then the vocals are drastically modified and auto-tuned for an odd effect. Half of me really likes this track, and is completely on board with the direction this group takes on this number, but the other half of me has its reservations about it. At points the vocals promote the excitement of the hard pounding drum beats, but at other instances I find myself wishing they were a little less auto-tuned and modified.

Overall, Apar is one of those albums that is excellent to put on while you want to have a dance party with your friends or when you want to clean the house. Track after track Delorean will have you moving and grooving to their sounds, and it’s up to you to find your favorite track to jam to.

Show Pics: Chairlift @ The Mohawk (4/17)

The show preview nailed it. It was Ladies Night at The Mohawk. Magnetic, charming, engaging and technical, playing solo or as the front person – the women on stage controlled the night.

Chairlift was in town for SxSW and played a heavy schedule. Would there be local fatigue? Would their set create a better, more unique experience for the fans? The set up bands, Bell and Nite Jewel, certainly gave good reason to get out and about early and leave some money at the door.

Carry through for more show notes and plenty of pics.

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Show Preview: Chairlift @ Mohawk (4/17)

Date Tuesday, April 17th
Location Mohawk
Doors 630 pm
Tickets $12 @ the Door

Sometimes we don’t do our best to cover all the incredible female voices out there in indie rock these days, but that being said, tonight’s show at Mohawk is going to feature some of the best voices of that ilk.  The headliner Chairlift has been a huge success since they first appeared on iPod commercials, but their sound goes a lot deeper than what you’d expect.  Ramona Gonzalez on the other hand is the woman behind Nite Jewel, and her recent album One Second Love has made a huge impact on the Internet, so expect her to wow the crowd as well. Another female artist, Bell, will be opening the evening for us all, so if you’re looking for the musical genius on the female side of things, you know where to be!

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/Sidewalk-Safari.mp3]

Download:Chairlift – Sidewalk Safari [MP3]

BGray’s SxSW Reflection

I had my camera. I took almost 4,000 pictures. That seemed like a lot, but once I factored in the number of bands, the odd things that have to be documented, the friends gathering for shenanigans and the eight long days involved, it really wasn’t surprising. I haven’t done the final tally, but it would be fair to say that I saw part of a set from around seventy bands.

It is my turn to give a rundown on bests and worsts of The Conference. The many highs were tempered by very few lows. I chased that BUZZ that drives the relevant music fan. My summary will be a little different because I did the whole damn thing; twelve movies, several Interactive and film panels and of course all the music.

So, plenty on the movies, panels and bands and a flurry of pics to accompany all that 411 after the break…

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New Dance Jam From Chairlift

As we get ready for this sweet DJ set on Friday, it seems fitting that we run a new song by dance inducing hit makers Chairlift.  This tasty new jam “Sidewalk Safari” appears on the band’s upcoming new LP Something due out January 23rd on Young Turks in the UK and one day after in the U.S.  Let’s hope this gets you ready for the weekend.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/Sidewalk-Safari.mp3]

Download: Chairlift – Sidewalk Safari [MP3]

Beach House – Teen Dream

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Rating: ★★★½ ·

I’ll be the first to admit that I haven’t quite gotten on the Beach House bandwagon. In the past, their dreamy bedroom pop has just seemed far too dull for me to ever fully absorb; I’ll admit that’s a fault of my own and not the music.  Yet listening to Teen Dream, something else unfolds.  There isn’t some grand gesture that comes out of nowhere; it’s just that the logical progression of the group has finally caught up with my own personal tastes.

From the opening moments that the guitar comes into play on “Zebra” I found myself captivated immediately.  Gentle “ahhhs” in the background create a perfect introduction to the song, allowing for the vocals to carry the song the rest of the way.  Sure, it’s not the most moving song in the world, but it holds the listener with an emotional appeal, one that is only heightened by the percussion that comes in near the end of the song.

When you come upon “Norway,” it’s obvious why this would come out as the single for the record.  Electronic maneuvers bring life to the album, although it’s odd that those little flourishes seem somewhat out of tune (anyone else?).  The “ay ay aay” of the chorus is playful in the manner that it strings out the mono-syllabic moments into perfect resonant melodies.  This song is backed up by “Walk in the Park,” which seems a lot like a Papercuts track.  Programmed percussion atop those echo-y vocals builds the perfect cascading pop moment, which shows that the band, though often stuck in one place, can evoke quite a bit of emotion.

“Better Times” wears the influence, seemingly, of Chairlift, using electronic structures to build the backbone of the song wile waiting for the rest of the song’s sound to come together.  Vocals definitely carry this song, and you can tell that the focus on achieving the perfect tonality definitely aids the tune as a whole.  It’s at this point where you start to see the past and the present finally start gel, bringing the best moments out of the duo, especially when the quickened vocal delivery starts in with about two minutes remaining.

Coming into the last song, it honestly is hard to find a throwaway track.  All the songs on the album work cohesively, and finally the music seems to have shown some movement overall. “Take Care” captures all the little moments from the album, throwing them together in Teen Dream‘s final chapter.  Yet, there are some moments here that illustrate the one detractor I still have in listening to Beach House.  Near the three minute mark the percussion could easily pick up, or let loose, yet the band restrains itself.  In doing so, they lose the propensity for sending the listeners off on an ultimate high note of euphoric musical waves, instead leaving them to rest precisely where the album began.

In conclusion, Teen Dream is a really good record, one that all Beach House fans will surely fall in love with after purchase.  For  those like myself, who largely ignored the band(though I’ve seen them three times), this might be the record that forces you to go back and look a little closer at the group’s catalog.  Personally, I still find that they don’t take enough musical risks, choosing to hold back when I’d like to see them let go a little bit, but that’s just my preference.  For the rest of you, you’ll find that this record is more than just one to go to sleep with at night; it’s an album to be played at all times, which is really all you can ask for from Beach House. Move over folks, I’m ready to jump on the wagon now.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/Beach-House-Norway.mp3]

Download: Beach House – Norway [MP3]

Chairlift On Daytrotter

Dance/pop outfit Chairlift recently recorded a 4 song Daytrotter session that you can download or stream online.  The 4 song set features 3 old tunes and one previously unreleased track.  Here’s “Bruises” (that song from the ipod commercial) performed live in the Daytrotter studio.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/chairlift_daytrottersession_1.mp3]

Download: Chairlift – Bruises(live) [MP3]

Chairlift

Brooklyn’s finest dance/pop band Chairlift have some new music for your listening pleasure. The song is called “Evident Utensil” and will be seen on the band’s newest album Does You Inspire You due out on November 11th October 28th. The band will also be stopping by our little town on August 9th at The Mohawk with tour mates Ariel Pink. Tickets for the event are sold only at the door. Mark your calendar!

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/07/evidentutensil.mp3]

Download: Chairlift – Evident Utensil [MP3]