Shoegaze Craze With Star Tropics

1554348_588335547943054_2733155565290083228_nStar Tropics, who hail from Chicago, have been somewhat quiet since they first emerged in 2013, but now now they’re back and you should be jumping for joy. Why, you may ask? Because this band is creating killer shoegaze music that is bound to be big. Below, you have the infectious duo of this band’s first studio tracks in two years, and they certainly do not disappoint. First up is “Summer Rain,” which has infectious dream pop hooks all throughout, accompanied with bombastic percussion and dueling male/female vocals that will crush you with sunshine. “Swept Away,” is pretty special as well, allowing for the addition of jingly-jangly percussion and those glossy guitars that don’t quit. I’m telling you, this band is special, and they should be at the top of your watch list of up-and-comers.

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Grave Pool Spins Nashville Into Dream Pop

graveryTypically, at least at the moment, when you think of indie music and Nashville, you tend to go more towards bands combining country, blues and rock n’ roll…or just a whole bunch of guitars.  But, in the case of Grave Pool, the offering is a much dreamier world, perhaps one where the night is backlit by stars and the glow of the moon.  It’s a pretty layered song, considering that it’s primarily the work of one man, utilizing a wash of keyboards atop drums atop warm vocals and a stepping bass line.  Look for his new record, Mnemonics, to come out this Spring via 80s Ladies Records.

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Premiere: Fresh Single from Draag

draagonDream pop’s everywhere these days, but in order to stand out from the crowd one has to offer something slightly different, which is why I wanted you to hear this new Draag single.  Rather than simply rely upon the atmospheric wash that coats many a dream-pop tune (it is here), the band also has opted to employ this underlying groove from the rhythm section that seemingly offers hints at a tune that’s just a few production moments away from a dancefloor remix. For my ears, it’s a fresh approach, whilst still holding true to the styles of the sound itself.  The band will be releasing their Tracy Lordz (how we miss her) EP.

The Delphines Now Named No/No + New EP

dragEarlier this year I wrote about a discovery that really excited me, the Delphines.  Sadly, that group is no more; they had some line-up changes, namely in the vocal/lyricist department. Now the group, with new member Cat Ries are going by No/No, but the music they’re crafting is every bit as exciting as the old act, if not more so.  You’ll still hear indiepop tropes, though it seems to be spun in a darker manner, which adds another layer that should quickly gain the group a nice following. Help the band out by donating some funds when you grab the Drag EP from them on HERE.

Electro Pop Goodness from Hey Elbow

heyYou’ve got to kick things off on a Monday with a little bit of energy, so it seems like this tune from Hey Elbow is as decent a place to start as any.  It’s got a driving rhythm that pushes the song forwards, while the vocals seem to resonate with the Beach House crowd…not that we mind here at ATH.  The Swedish trio is said to go all over the map on their debut album, which will see a release from Adrian Recordings in early 2015; I’ll keep you posted on that, but for now, have a happy Monday folks.

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Show Review: Bells & Parks @ Holy Mountain

bellsandparkVersailles, the ambitious and aptly titled EP of Austin new comer Bells and Parks, strives to create the detailed soundscapes and layers reflective of their self appointed Baroque/Dream Pop genre. A follow up to to the March 13th single “Streams”, Versailles is executed with the focus that was missing from the group’s freshmen effort. While “Streams” sounds like the excited songwriting effort of a new Micro-Korg owner, Versailles is more contained and thought out, with mature use of synth layers to inform the songwriter’s vision rather than overwhelm it.

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Smooth Pop from Elephant

elephantThere was a time in my life when ethereal pop was my forte, and occasionally I’ll go back and dabble in it from time to time.  Listening to this new single from Elephant provides me with that perfect opportunity, using this floating bit of song construction to back the powerful vocals of Amelia Rivas.  Given that we’re all coming back to our appreciation of R&B influenced vocals, this UK group fits right into our cyclical musical world.  The single below is from their forthcoming debut, which will see a release in the near future by Memphis Industries.  We’ll keep you posted, but for now you can sit back and absorb this special number.

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New Dream Pop From Dream Curtain

It seems almost too easy to call a band dream pop when they use dream in their name so I’ll go ahead and apologize now for that.  This new electro pop sound called “Glowing” comes your way from Stockholm based artist Dream Curtain.  It’s a shout out to our more elctronica, beat driven fans and our resident electronic expert B.Gray.  I know those kids will dig it and I kind of do too.  Enjoy.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Glowing.mp3]

Download: Dream Curtain – Glowing [MP3]

New Gem from Isle

I was doing some Internet browsing last night, as it has been rather a slow week for new music creeping up, and I came upon this gem run the other day on IGIF.  This tune comes from Flordians, Isle, who’ve crafted this spectacular dream pop gem that’s really won me over.  The only thing sad about this tune is that its the only one the group have available at the moment, but if they’re taking their time to craft majestic slow pop tunes like the one featured below, then I’ll wait patiently for more special goodness.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Isle-Bayview.mp3]

Download:Isle – Bayview [MP3]

Seapony – Falling

Rating: ★★★½☆

These days there seems to be a real abundance in lo-fi, dream and twee pop. In recent years, the indie world has witnessed and transitioned into a world filled with that of these genres, but with the overwhelming growth of the shoe-gaze movement, how does a fan sift through the vast amount of music and find the bands that do it right? What makes a lo-fi band stand out against the masses?

Seapony stands out in the overwhelmingly bright and sunny nature of their pop tunes as well as the ever-apparent guitar hooks that are featured throughout the music. A little over a year ago, they introduced you to their take on dream pop with Go With Me, which seemed to fit perfectly into the summery bedroom listening category. On this sophomore release, lead vocalist Jen Weidl and company are back with more cheery guitar riffs and jangly percussion to dance to. Up first is “Outside,” that throws listeners into the swing of things right from the start. Weidl’s sugary vocals are a distorted, making them a bit heavier on this song than on the majority of the other songs that can be found on this album. The guitars jangle along with these gritty vocals, while the drums punch in the background. It’s not the fastest of songs, but it certainly gives you a taste of what Seapony is all about.

There isn’t much to complain about on Falling. The songs work together well so as to avoid repetition and banality, but there are also standouts to be found in this mix. Such a noticeably grand number is “Follow,” which relies on the dreamy and ever feminine voice of Weidl and the glorious focus on the guitar riff. It’s a song that sounds so blissful that you can practically feel a cool breeze on your face. An equally beautiful song comes on the single for this album, “Prove to Me.” As opposed to “Follow,” the guitar is set further back into the other instrumentation and the vocals so that it blends in, but is also able to float to the surface and become the center of the song in places.

My only qualm with this record is that it is perhaps a little too sunny, if that’s possible. It feels like Falling should maybe have been released a few months ago, when the weather was heating up and not cooling down. But it’s still quite hot here in ATX, so soak up this radiance before the leaves start to change and the wind blows cold.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Seapony_ProveToMe.mp3]

Download:Seapony – Prove To Me [MP3]

Falling is out now via Hardly Art. 

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