I love real sports, but this is referencing Sports, the band, who’ve just signed on with Father Daughter Records to release their Sophomore album. It’s a short blast of indie rock, bordering on the line between me and pop-punk; it reminds me of what Rilo Kiley might have been had they gone in a completely different direction. In just over a minute, you’re tapping your feet, trying to sing along, all the while grinning with enjoyment. Their new effort, All of Something will be out on October 30th. You have a minute? Enjoy your sports!
It’s been a bit since we first wrote about Happy Diving, who back then were part of our friend’s stable over at Father Daughter Records. But, the band have changed labels to Topshelf, though their sound is much the same, if not a touch louder. They’ll still leave your ears pleasantly ringing with their distorted guitars swelling in the front of the mix, compacted by knifing guitar pieces that cut through that wall of noise. Vocals hang in the background of the mix, calm and collected while the world seems to be crashing around the rest of the track. Look for their So Bunted EP to come out on July 17th.
Will Rutledge began what would become Pupppy back in 2013 as a solo project, but two years and the addition of three other band mates later, Rutledge has fully fleshed out his sound into Shit In The Apple Pie, the debut album for the band. This first release is nine songs of slacker pop whose witty lyrics and acoustic rock that are bound to delight you with their sincerity and potential for all out rock and roll.
The sound that you’ll find on this debut release is the kind that makes you want to sit down and do nothing but listen to the music. As I listen to this record, I’m immediately reminded vaguely of Modest Mouse, and Ben Kweller, but moving forward through the songs it’s so clear that Pupppy moves beyond these likenesses and into their own space of glazed down indie pop. While the first two songs are excellent tunes, on my first pass through, the first track that really grabbed my attention was the lovely, self-deprecating “Shithead.” This song is a wonderfully quiet track that gives you the whole picture from the beginning and never once apologizes for its gently churning pace, just like Rutledge’s lyrics are unabashedly honest, “If you want something else go and find it yourself/ you see I just can’t help myself.” While these lyrics are frank, the music matches this song perfectly, an unassuming yet intriguing combination of acoustic and guitar riffs, what sounds like a bit of banjo and simplistic percussion; you’ll want to linger on this song for a great deal of time, but continue on as this isn’t all that Pupppy has to offer you.
Immediately after this song, you get the mild violence that accompanies the quiet numbers on this debut release. “Outkast,” utilizes stop and go at its beginning, Rutledge’s vocals making the whole track sound a bit post-punk/emo, their nascent quality oozing with emotion. While this song is fast-paced and rock and roll at that, you still get imagery-laden lyrics that twist the narrative of nights out. Juxtaposed with songs like this are the quiet and stripped, like closer “Sundress,” that is tender and easy both in lyrics and sound, rounding out the album on a wistful note.
Not only does the band do slow and tempered well, but they also exceed in the realm of spiraling out of control via their slacker pop/rock. For a debut album, Shit in The Apple Pie is fairly impressive: all nine songs are audibly well-crafted, leaving you with thirty minutes of concise pop music. Look out for Pupppy.
Looking for an intricately crafted folk tune? Well, Baltimore’s Soft Cat has you covered on that end with “Somebody.” Here you’ll hear a gorgeous blend of guitars, strings, piano and mild, yet beautifully tempered vocals. I dig this song because it beautiful and calm, simply the perfect start to your week or day, or a reprieve from your reentry into the work week. This group is coming back with their third full length album, All Energy Will Rise, come April 7th via Father/Daughter Records, so be sure to get your hands on that.
This could be a really awesome year for Diet Cig; the duo is already building quite a name for themselves, which is a great deal considering they haven’t even released their EP, Overeasy. The songs are immediately accessible, and while I can see some similarities to bands like Tegan and Sara or Vivian Girls (minus the wall of noise), but I hear a lot of Juliana Hatfield. I’m having fun with the lyrical playfulness; they’re relatable, yet they still have a harsh punch for their intended audience. Look for Father Daughter to release the EP on February 24th.
It’s been almost a year since I’ve written about Never Young; they started out 2014 with a bang, and they look to do the same with their new release for 2015. The group specializes in huge walls of distorted sound that ring in your ears hours after you’ve turned their music off. Still, while that wall is likely to anger your neighbors and the sound ordinance, you can hear a gentleness lurking in the middle of the track; it’s juxtaposed to the brutal vocal delivery that operates atop the majority of the single. They’ll release their new Never Young EP on March 10th via Father Daughter Records.
Our friends over at Father/Daughter Records have had a busy week. The brought us the new Diet Cig track earlier this week, and now they’re bringing another catchy female-fronted pop track from Anomie, which is the recording project of Rachel of Field Mouse (no known relation to Field Mice!). This tune is a straight-ahead rocker; it’s the sort you just turn up to get some energy when you’re raring to go out. Her Anomie EP will be released by the label at the beginning of February (the 10th!), so if you just need a pick me up or a great song to send a friend, try this one on for size.
We started out the morning with some heavier sounds, so let’s flip that over and visit the pop spectrum, albeit for a moment. This track from Diet Cig made it’s way to the world yesterday, and I’m jumping on board with the band’s catchy new song “Scene Sick.” The tune starts off well-enough, with a light ditty making its way to your eardrums, but the finest moments, in my eyes, are in the latter part of the song when guitars are turned up and the hooks sink their teeth into you. The group’s Over Easy EP will be available at the end of February courtesy of Father Daughter Records.
We’re drawing nearer to the release of the new album from Happy Diving, and their new single is really keeping me going today. It’s got an old school feel to it, in regards to guitar pop, which reminds me of a more rocking blend of what Austin’s the Impossibles were trying to do in their later days. Sure, there’s an ode to Weezer in that and an innocence in the lyrical content, but wait until the song’s screeching guitars feedback into your ears, crashing down through your speakers; it’s a special bit for your listening pleasure today. Big World is released on October 21st via Father Daughter Records.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/05-Sad-Planet.mp3]
Download: Happy Diving – Sad Planet [MP3]
While we’re all getting our guitar rock on, we tend to forget that the style’s always sort of been there, just waiting for us to get our jam back on. I feel like the dude’s in Happy Diving were probably always into it, always hoping their friends would hear their songs and get tossed back into the golden age of guitar jams. Their latest single is full of solos and feedback, yet still it’s all about turning your amps up and having a blast with your friends. This track will be featured on the band’s new album, Big World, which will be released by Father Daughter Records on October 21st.