Chilled Vibes from Night Moves

It’s funny to me that some bands get over-looked from time to time, even when they’re putting out incredible work.  For me, Night Moves, who released Colored Emotions recently, sort of got left off the charts, though they offer a lot of that smooth R&B influence that many popular acts such as Twin Shadow spin out.  I’m not saying they sound like that, but there’s some similarities.  Personally, the songwriting by the group, leaving listeners with swelling tracks, is really enticing, so I’m encouraging everyone to go back and check the group out.  You can start with their brand new single, which shares the same name as the album’s title.

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WTF? Ducktails New Jam

Man, I’m really stuck on the fence with this Ducktails track that just came out.  Matt Mondanile has added a posse of contributors for his newest record, The Flower Lane, but I’m not sure I’m sold on their collaborative appeal.  This tune has Dan Lopatin who uses some hipster-approved moniker, and while I appreciate the effortless keyboard work behind the song, I just don’t think it’s quite as enticing as the work done on Ducktails III.  I don’t mind loops and such, but in his early tape days, Matt was using guitars crafting this dense pop collage–seemingly not the case.  I’m not jumping off the fence entirely, but I’m approaching the January 29th release date on Domino with a little trepidation.

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New Music from Ducktails

Last year I really got stuck listening to Ducktails III; it made my year end list, in fact!  Now we return with news of a new record, this time on Domino Records.  The first single sees Matt Mondanile and Ducktails again crafting his own sonic genre, with mellow guitar lines turning around minimal percussive elements.  He seems subdued here, which could make for a great listen when Days comes out on January 29th, wrapping up the winter months with his beautifully spun pop tunes.  I can’t find any faults with the music he’s creating when it sounds as good as this tune.

[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/62786835″ params=”auto_play=false&show_artwork=false&color=ff7700″ width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

New Music from King Creosote and Jon Hopkins

It’s been a good year for King Creosote, especially considering all the accolades he’s received working with Jon Hopkins on Diamond Mine (an album you must get your hands on!). Now the duo has pushed out another short EP, Honest Words EP, which features two new songs, and a re-imagining of “Bats in the Attic.”  Just one listen to this remarkable track, and you’ll realize why everyone is supporting the collaboration, clamoring for more.  It’s the most unassuming pop, and it’s damn near perfection, no matter what.  If you haven’t joined the masses by falling in love with this band, now is your chance; you can buy the EP from Domino Records now.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/01-Honest-Words.mp3]

Download: King Creosote & Jon Hopkins – Honest Words [MP3]

King Creosote & Jon Hopkins – Diamond Mine

Rating: ★★★★☆

Earlier this year King Creosote returned with the absolutely amazing Thrawn, an album that will undoubtedly be spinning for quite some time in houses across the globe.  But, in what could be his most prolific year, King aka Kenny Anderson has teamed up with ambient producer Jon Hopkins to reform/rehash some old tunes that have been laying around the house. Together they completed Diamond Mine for Domino Records, and if anything, it just makes the return of King Creosote that more powerful, as we won’t find too many people writing such incredibly emotional songs.

The first real track on Diamond Mine is titled “John Taylor’s Month Away,” and from the minute you play it, you can tell Hopkins has aided here, as gulls echo in the far-off distance, prior to the entrance of a steady strum from Anderson, along with his magical vocals.  One could try and continuously analyze the lyrics, but there’s an emotional tug that overcomes all the meaning one can try to extract. But, it’s not nearly as touching as “Bats in the Attic.” While King Creosote definitely has the ability to win you over on his own, just light touches such as the static in the background of the piano really forces you to acknowledge Kenny’s vocal quality, which is soon matched by a female counterpart.  You’ll find a softness to the presentation that surely will fit your playlist during those emotionally trying times, or perhaps just a winter mixtape that needs a bit of grace.

One of the things to appreciate about the King Creosote & Jon Hopkins collaboration is that it seems to have allowed Mr. Anderson a bit of time to wander about, such as in the folk-ish track “Running on Fumes.”  While the musical accompaniment is understated, there’s a fragility to Anderson here that seems so sincere that it the lyrics wrap around you, drawing you into the wilderness of the song itself.  Somehow you’ll drift off, just as the song crackles a wee bit; moments such as these don’t exist too often nowadays. Juxtaposed with the quieter element is the more electronic-laden “Bubble.”  It may not be the strongest track here, production wise, but at this point, you’ll pretty much do anything to listen to the vocals over and over again, haunting you until the end of your days.

Closing out Diamond Mine are two of the record’s shorter numbers, but they seem to fulfill the promise of the more developed songs that have been completed throughout.  If you’ve made it this far, as you clearly should have, you’ll likely find yourself caught up in the gracefulness of everything King Creosote seems to touch. Compile that with the studied touch of Jon Hopkins, and you have yet another startling release from a man who can’t seem to stop winning over every single listener he encounters. Let’s just hope the string of excellent releases, such as this one, keep coming down the pipeline for some time to come. Otherwise the world will probably seem a whole lot less beautiful and serene.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/03-Bats-In-The-Attic.mp3]

Download: King Creosote & Jon Hopkins – Bats In The Attic [MP3]

Diamond Mine is out now via Domino Records.

New Music From Sons & Daughters

It’s been so long since I’ve heard anything about Glasgow band Sons & Daughters that I just sort of assumed they had called it quits as a band.  An email today tells me I’m wrong and the band is prepping a new album called Mirror Mirror due out June 14th on Domino Records.  Below you can find a new song from the band called “Silver Spell”.  I haven’t given it too many spins just yet but I am glad to at least see the band pressing forward musically.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/01-Silver_Spell.mp3]

Download: Sons & Daughters – Silver Spell [MP3]

New Music from King Creosote & Jon Hopkins

Just last week I was raving about how great the new album from King Creosote was on our SITE. Then, seemingly out of nowhere our friends over at Domino send us a track offering up more new sweet tunes from the man, this time with music written by Jon Hopkins, and KC singing over it.  It’s every bit as splendid as I thought it would be.  This record, Diamond Mine, will be out on March 28th, and it possesses the same beauty we got from the latest from KC, just this time giving him the freedom to let his voice reign supreme over the music.  I’ve been listening to a lot of fast rock this week, but even still, one can’t miss the magnificence in the track below.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/03-Bats-In-The-Attic.mp3]

Download: King Creosote & Jon Hopkins – Bats In The Attic [MP3]

New Music from Clinic

Once you get beyond the fact that Clinic gained a lot of popularity for donning surgeon masks during their shows, you’ll also discover that the band has a remarkable discography.  It’s a collection of work that shows a fondness for pop of the past, but mixed in with a sense of musical adventure, along with their willingness to push boundaries.  The group has a new addition to the discography titled Bubblegum, which will hit stores on October 5th via Domino.  Expect something special, as per usual.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/clinic_imaware.mp3]

Download: Clinic – I’m Aware [MP3]

FTC: Orange Juice

Our From the Closet feature this week involves one of those bands I’ve been jamming to for quite some time, and it’s a band that recently made news this week, as it was announced that Domino Records would be releasing Coals to Newcastle on October 9th, a six disc box set including all sorts of work from Orange Juice.  Personally, I first got into the band via Belle and Sebastian, who I feel the band used a lot as a reference point in their early songwriting.  Singer Edwyn Collins sort of distanced the band from the rest of the post-punk bands in the early 80s by taking a more direct, almost tongue-in-cheek, approach to writing songs–as opposed to political minded lyrics.  Their combination of R&B, funk, soul and punk always made them a lot more danceable, and a hell of a lot more endearing than many of their peers.  If you like anything involving twee, you need to visit this band, and if you just like great music, then you need to check this group out. The following track isn’t my personal favorite (“Love Sick” is), but it’s a good starting point for casual listeners. Can’t wait to get our hands on all the gems from the newest box set.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/07-Rip-It-Up.mp3]

Download: Orange Juice – Rip It Up [MP3]

Free Compilation From Domino Records

As if your weren’t enjoying all the free music on our Summer Mixtape, Domino Records jumps in the game and is offering up an 11 song compilation from artists on their label.  The free download features music from Owen Pallett, Villagers, The Dirty Projectors, and a bunch more.  Check out new song “We Still Got the Taste Dancing on Our Tongues” from Wild Beasts below and download the free sampler now.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/01-We-Still-Got-The-Taste-Dancing-On-Our-Tongues.mp3]

Download: Wild Beasts – We Still Got The Taste Dancing On Our Tongues [MP3]

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