Delightful Power-Pop from EYELIDS

eyesMan. This EYELIDS tune just made my day.  It might mean much to a few that members of Decemberists and Boston Spaceships make up the core membership of this group, but when you’re writing great pop music that sort of thing doesn’t even matter.  They’ve completed the work on their debut album, 854, and things will surely look up once people hear this collection of songs.  There’s a brightness to the guitar work and a gentle quality that works with the melodies; it sort of reminds me of Teenage Fanclub or a more upbeat Pernice Brothers.  Jealous Butcher Records will release the LP on October 14th, so get your popcorn ready.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/EYELIDS-854-01-Seagulls-Into-Submission.mp3]

Download: EYELIDS – Seagulls Into Submission [MP3]

FT50: Albums of the ’00s

0828top5coverWhat?   You still listen to THAT album?  That record is so 2004!  Well, that’s okay, because we really like that one too, which is why we decided to come up with a list of our favorite albums of the last decade (2000-2009).  Sure, these might not be YOUR favorite records, or the most critically acclaimed, but we sat down and really thought out every record from the past ten years that we keep coming back to in our collections.  You’re likely to disagree with some of these, and we won’t tell you we’re absolutely right we just know that these happen to be OUR favorites.  If you think we totally blew it here, feel free to tell us so, but be nice, as our egos are kind of fragile.  Follow the jump for more.

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Decemberists – Hazards Of Love

hazards-of-love

Rating: ★★★½ ·

The Decemberists will never sound totally current. Colin Meloy’s antiquated poetry, coupled with the Portland, Ore. five-piece’s intricate story-song structures, grandiose arrangements, and maudlin, medieval subject matter place the band’s poppy, orchestrated folk-rock in a bygone era. To listen to a Decemberists album is to submit to the past, to a period in history as much as a series of songs.

The band’s fifth LP, The Hazards of Love, with a loose concept following its protagonist Margaret through various travails-“Won’t Want For Love (Margaret In The Taiga),” “The Abduction Of Margaret”-is, as expected, not a straightforward rock record. Its intricacies and shifting narratives demand attention and patience, as do most concept albums. And Hazards’ faults are the same ones that afflict most concept albums: the listener wants the song, not necessarily the story.

To that end, “The Hazards of Love (The Prettiest Whistles Won’t Wrestle the Thistles Undone), and “Isn’t It A Lovely Night,” and, of course “Prelude” and “An Interlude” function more as set pieces than stand-alone songs. That Meloy had planned The Hazards of Love as a musical is not a surprise; often, the songs feel as if they are supporting a set change, preparing for a grand entrance.

But when those entrances occur, as on “The Wanting Comes In Waves/Repaid,” “The Rake’s Song,” “A Bower Scene,” the band shows a refreshing and previously unheard muscle and conviction. “The Wanting” is the album’s cornerstone, a blues stomp with a huge De Stijl-era White Stripes riff. The indignation and force of the lyrics, sung by My Brightest Diamond’s Shara Worden, is explosive. “Won’t Want For Love” again squares Worden’s vocals over a simple and effective heavy-blues riff. The simplicity pays off.

“Bower Scene” and “The Abduction Of Margaret” highlight the successes of The Hazards of Love. The songs share the exact same melody-a concept-cohesion tactic employed throughout the album. Yet it’s the simple, unaffected propulsion of the music, and not the tale being told or the witty lyrical wordplay that has the greatest impact. The band is still stuck in the past, but by flexing its muscles and eschewing its grandiose tendencies, it has kept itself a present musical presence.

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

Download: The Decemberists – The Rake’s Song [MP3]

Free Album Streams

So many artists are beginning to realize that actually selling albums is impossible and are turning to streaming music online to possibly spark album sales.  Not sure about the strategy, but this week features a slew of solid releases that you can try before you buy.  Spinner is streaming loads of new releases this week like The Decemberists, Obits, the flippin’ Pearl Jam Ten re-issue, Gomez and several more.  Peter, Bjorn & John are also streaming their new album Living Thing over on their myspace page.  What’s your take on some of these new albums?

New Tunes From The Decemberists

We hope you like all the new music you’re getting this week because more and more tunes keep popping up!  Today The Decemberists are gettin’ in on the madness.  The Portland based outfit just made new song “The Rake’s Song” available for download over on their website.  This new track will appear on the band’s upcoming Hazards of Love LP due out March 24th.  It’s a tasty lil’ number!

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

Download: The Decemberists – The Rake’s Song [MP3]

New Music from The Decemberists

We all love The Decemberists, and we are stoked to hear that they are releasing a series of singles this year (October 14, November 4, December 2). The single series is titled “Always a Bridesmaid,” and this is the track off the opening single titled “Valerie Plame.” Those in the know might recognize the name, but for now, let’s just listen to the tune. Follow this link to preorder.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/09/01-valerie-plame.mp3]

Download: The Decemberists – Valerie Plame [MP3]