I’ve already encouraged you to go give Proto Retro a thorough listen, but in case you keep ignoring me, I’m going to continue to give you a healthy dosage of Dot Dash. They just dropped this mostly live footage video for album standout “Unfair Weather.” This track puts the group’s crystalline guitar pop tendencies on display…you know, the sort everyone whose anyone is trying to pull off these days. Plus, the rhythm section is always on point, which gives the guitar work space to sort of meander around the perfect harmony. And, if you love this song, you can grab it for free over HERE, or grab the whole LP!
I’ve been following DC’s Dot Dash for some time, so it’s nice to see a new record come our way. It comes at the perfect time too, as Proto Retro is a great summer guitar pop record; it might also be jumping into the realm of my favorite LP from the group. There’s a quick poppy punch with opener “Unfair Weather,” giving listeners a slight Teenage Fanclub vibe, then they go for a cleaner almost Aussie sound on the following “Gray Blue Green.” The back and forth between the power pop and clean jangle of heavier indiepop is where the record succeeds; it’s got enough attitude to keep the cool kids satisfied, but just enough warmth to make pop fans swoon. The album is available from The Beautiful Music as we speak, so stream it for yourself below.
This new Lost Animal single is exactly what I wanted today! This is precisely where I always expected pop music to go, and I’m thoroughly excited by tunes like this one. The music working in the background makes nods to the popularity of LCD Soundsystem (thought James Murphy didn’t create it), but the vocals have this incredible post Brit pop croon. It’s like Jarrod Quarrell is just working in his own world, and no matter where that takes him, he always manages to make it sound captivating. The new record is titled You Yang, coming out on October 21st via Dot Dash/Captured Tracks.
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I haven’t found a band quite like Dot Dash; they’ve worked incredibly hard and steady through the last five years, putting out album after album…and each one worthy of your time! They just put up their fifth record in five years, Searchlights, and I figured you needed a heads-up. I love how the band’s been able to really work in so many sounds for all their releases, via Aussie tendencies, punk, or, in the case below, delectable power-pop. Filling their records in such a way keeps your listening experience moving/changing. You’re not going to get bored, with each song turning into something different for you to love. Enjoy this sample, and go spend your day listening to the rest of the new LP, out now via The Beautiful Music.
Why not bring you another Dot Dash tune, courtesy of our favorite little DC band. Why do I love the band so much, you ask? They blend all these elements that have become the core of my listening…fusing power pop, punk, post rock and even some doses of indie pop. It’s quite a blend, and all those elements actually seem to be crammed tightly into this quick little jam they’ve offered up to their fans. It’s one of the many special jams you’ll find endearing on their newest effort, Earthquakes & Tidal Waves, which is available now via The Beautiful Music.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/01-The-Winter-of-Discontent.mp3]
Download: Dot Dash – The Winter of Discontent [MP3]
Over the course of our blog career I’ve always had an ear for DC’s Dot Dash, so I’m happy to share this new power-pop tune that they’ve just released to celebrate their brand new album. It’s a short track, featuring the band’s blend of punk elements (hear the vocals) with classic pop guitar chords. There’s a bit of nostalgia here too, falling somewhere in the realm between old Weasel and late Jawbreaker. Look to pick up their brand new album Earthquakes & Tidal Waves from the Beautiful Music; it’s available for purchase now![audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Dot-Dash-Earthquakes-Tidal-Waves-03-Rainclouds.mp3]
Download: Dot Dash – Rainclouds [MP3]
This track is really beautiful. There’s this great warmth to the harmonies, and the construction is perfectly fitting. I’m not sure how I feel about some of the warbling on the percussion, but I can put those feelings aside as I fall head over heels into this song. There’s tons of little sonic touches, and the song seems to fade in and out of your speakers, creating this emotional pull that will find few detractors. Sunbeam Sound Machine will release its debut album, Wonderer, via Dot Dash/Remote Control this November.
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Making our year-end list of Top Albums is never something we take lightly. We realize that it’s rather arbitrary in the grand scheme of things, but we realize that our role is to at least toss out our opinion, however meaningless it may be. In the long run, we had to take the tastes of several people, and whittle it into a list of 50 great albums that we think are vital to your listening experience. We know it’s a matter of personal tastes, but the records below are reflective of our tastes and our site, so don’t get mad, they’re just opinions. But, feel free to tell us where we went wrong, or what we might have missed. If you click on the album titles, you can also read our full reviews of each album, save the ones that we didn’t get to in time. Sorry we don’t like Kanye.
50 – Wampire – Curiosity
49 – Dot Dash – Half Remembered Dream
48 – Mantles – Long Enough to Leave
47 – The Appleseed Cast – Illumination Ritual
46 – Bad Sports – Bras
45 – Part Time – PDA
44 – Dick Diver – Calendar Days
43 – Math and Physics Club – Our Hearts Beat Loud
42 – Veronica Falls – Waiting for Something to Happen
41 – Eat Skull – III
40 – The Lonely Wild – The Sun as It Comes
39 – The Love Language – Ruby Red
38 – Gun Outfit – Hard Coming Down
37 – Cate Le Bon – Mug Museum
36 – Daughn Gibson – Me Moan
35 – Andre Obin – The Arsonist
34 – Arp – More
33 – Gap Dream – Shine Your Light
32 – The Black Watch – The End of When
31 – Ty Segall – Sleeper
30 – The Stevens – A History of Hygeine
29 – Of Montreal – Lousy with Sylvianbriar
28 – Mirror Travel – Mexico
27 – Local Natives – Hummingbird
26 – Girls Names – The New Life
25 – GRMLN – Empire
24 – Small Black – Limits of Desire
23 – Audacity – Butter Knife
22 – Mikal Cronin – MCII
21 – Chelsea Wolfe – Pain is Beauty
20 – Foals – Holy Fire
19 – Radical Face – Family Tree: The Branches
18 – Youth Lagoon – Wondrous Bughouse
17 – Terry Malts – Nobody Realizes This is Nowhere
16 – Shout Out Louds – Optica
15 – Kurt Vile – Waking on a Pretty Daze
14 – Braids – Flourish//Perish
13 – Crystal Antlers – Nothing is Real
12 – Typhoon – White Lighter
11 – Ski Lodge – Big Heart
Admittedly, this album makes nods to folk troubadours of Christmas’ past, but what grabbed me from the moment I heard this record was the sincerity in what’s being created. In leaving us with a stripped down listen of folk tunes and incredible poetry, we’re asked to look into the history of American songwriting tradition; it’s been awhile since it was executed so well.
9 – The Growlers – Hung at Heart
I’d put this album on any list for one song alone, “Someday.” But, it just so happens that the rest of the album maintains the sensation that’s established on the opening track. I’ve heard it referenced as a surf-psych opus, but what’s been assured in my mine is what an incredible listen we’re all be treating to when we put Hung at Heart on our record players.
Hether Fortune seems to scare people. Her work is in your face, never making an excuse for who she is or what she believes. That attitude carries on into her music, allowing listeners to experience a musical world void of any pretense. The songs on this album are angular, dark and abrasive; the vocals have Hether dominating the scene of modern lady rock warriors. If you don’t dig it, she doesn’t care, but I do because this record rules.
While many of the songs on this effort leaked out before under various EPs, the whole masterpiece exists in the way it was tied together as a complete work. It’s operatic and grand at every corner, but it’s also undeniably a pop record. The emphasis might revolve around the more artful spectrum of pop music, but this is an album you can play for everyone in your family, and they’ll all find themselves swept up in the wonderment of Privilege.
What else really needs to be said about The National. They consistently make great albums that are lauded then often overlooked, but we didn’t want to do that to one of our favorite acts. I mean, if they played 8 shows in 8 days, we’d be at every one, and the DJ set after party. Their accolades and recognition are warranted, and it’s especially clear on this, their latest release.
When listening to Pass the Ringo, I thought of one thing: this is the sort of record that makes a small label, like Loglady Records, a household name. It’s spun around garage rock and psych rock structures, whilst still maintaining an accessibility that few people working in that genre achieve. Some albums can play in the background of your house, and might be happy to do so, but Legs created something that made me stop and listen at every turn; I’m thankful for that.
Someone For You came our way in January. On my record player, it hasn’t left since. This is one of the most rewarding power-pop records I’ve gotten my hands on, and trust me, I’ve gotten my hands on a lot of great records. Each song is filled with innate hooks and garage rock grit, encouraging you to tap your toes for the entirety of the record. You’d think after a full year our interest would have waned, but with time we’ve only grown to appreciate the record even more.
At the moment, there’s not too many people releasing music that’s the quality of Mathew Cothran and Coma Cinema. There are elements of the bizarre, similar to the work of early Elf Power, yet there’s this intimacy that artists like Eliott Smith were able to create with their listeners. You wrap that up and put it in a package of pop sensibility, and you have an album that can’t be ignored.
In today’s musical climate, we buy into the fact that artists have to be doing something strange, or something that’s vastly different from their peers. But, in the grand scheme of things, we often forget what it’s like to take enjoyment out of the music. This album was one of the many reminders that music, when it’s good, can be quite special. Every song here is a single, and worth your time; it’s the best thing Laz has done, and I feel like he’s just really getting started.
This album is about Devon Welsh. From the first instant I heard his voice, it took hold of me. Throughout the year, Impersonator, consistently played on my radio. His voice was mesmerizing, captivating audiences on several occasions in Austin, convincing us to be as quiet as a mouse, so as to hear every note. The unique quality of the album will reward listeners for years to follow. It made us believe in great music again.
This day and age, bands tend to get caught up in fighting for, or against, the status quo of musical movements within the indie scene. But, some bands just decide to go on their own, writing songs that are full of heart and self-expression; Dot Dash is one such band. Their third full-length, Half-Remembered Dream, is an ascendency into pop perfection, making nods to the pass, while crafting songs that stand on their own in today’s landscape.
“Here’s to the Ghosts of the Past” opens the affair with a strong riffing guitar; it’s occasionally bisected by a noisier down-stroke on the guitar, creating a sound that’s built for fans of guitar pop. The warmth of the vocals hold you close to the song, drawing you into what might otherwise be a noisy piece of pop. That gentleness remains throughout most of Half-Remembered Dream, and it’s made more noticeable on the following track, “Hands of Time.” While the opener had guitars as the hero, the voice takes precedence on this tune; it’s close to a ballad, at least as close as you’ll get from this DC outfit. There’s a change in pitch just after the 1 minute mark that’s a really nice touch too.
Personally, I enjoy the fact that Dot Dash always seems to be messing with. On “Do Re Mi” they craft this brooding intro, hinting at a darkness that I wasn’t expecting, so I start to immerse myself in that mood. But, they abruptly start, choosing to blast off into this heavy-handed piece of powerful guitar pop, starring this sparkling guitar line. You’ll find varying melodies within this track too, which is one of the reason’s I’ve always appreciated the band; they’re not some one-trick pony.
I think one of the sad things about the music world is that truly great songs get dismissed due to label association or hype, but if you do anything today, try to take a listen to “Shopworn Excuse.” For me, this is the band at their absolute best. There’s this certain gleaming polish to the guitar sound, and the vocals take on a completely different tone than I’ve encountered from the group to date. It’s almost a homage to twee, but done via adaptation from Dot Dash. It’s followed up a few songs later by my second favorite track, the album’s closing moment: “The Sound in Shells.” I love the shimmering guitar sound that cascades through the speakers, fighting against the reserved pop sensibility expressed in the vocals.
Odds are, unless you’ve been following the hip cognoscenti such as The Big Takeover, or perhaps even ourselves, you might not have heard of Dot Dash yet. That’s okay, but this band is begging for your ears. They’ve got polished guitar pop that maintains a sharp edge, all the while juxtaposing it with the incredible melodies that are naturally created by the vocals. You’ll do well for yourself today if you go spend some time with Half-Remembered Dream.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Dot-Dash-Half-Remembered-Dream-01-Heres-to-The-Ghosts-of-The-Past.mp3]
Download: Dot Dash – (Here’s to) The Ghosts of The Past [MP3]
When it rains it pours, and in this case, it’s raining hits for our friends in Dot Dash. The DC group has just released their latest LP, Half-Remembered Dream, via The Beautiful Music, and the latest single is just another reason why more people should put everything down to fall in love with this band. There’s a bit more of a punkier element on this track, but the warmth of the vocals, which dominates the new record, really does wonders to keep the song perfectly balanced throughout. If you’re in need of a new album that combines great melodies with power-pop guitars, then go get your hands on this year’s hottest ticket.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/03-Bloom_Decay.mp3]
Download: Dot Dash – Bloom/Decay [MP3]