We recently announced that our label arm, ATH Records, would be stepping outside of Austin this year; we were stoked to announce we’d be working with Swansea Sound, featuring members of Heavenly, Pooh Sticks, Catenary Wires, etc. Well, now we have another fresh video from the band’s forthcoming Live at the Rum Puncheon. It’s the opening track on their LP, with Hue starring in the front of this tune, in both song and video. It’s good to see that Amelia’s catching up on her reading, particularly as there’s a great Felt/the Servants/Talulah Gosh flier right behind her for a show I wish I could have attended. Speaking of shows, if you’re in the UK, the band have a handful of shows to celebrate the release of the album. There’s tons of folks involved here (Skep Wax, etc), but if you’re in the US, you can grab a tape HERE or an LP HERE.
Over the years we’ve spent a lot of time getting to know the musical work of Jake Ward, 1/2 of ATH Faves Eureka California; today he’s operating solo under the name Mild Mild Country, and he’s about to release Never Had a Touch to Lose. Our first listen from the new album is “Snake War,” thus is should make sense that the song’s predominantly based on the snake-like weaving of dense synth landscapes crafted by Ward in his home studio. The natural serpentine movement almost feels like Jake’s exploring the world through synths, feeling things out with his forked tongue before switching directions and coming back for more; it’s 13 minutes of great synth pop finding its way into the world. Perhaps it will find its way into your lap on October 22nd when the album drops via HHBTM.
Surprise! We’re working with Swansea Sound! The band, made up of members of Pooh Sticks and Heavenly (as well as Catenary Wires and Talulah Gosh) will be releasing Live at the Rum Puncheon on November 19th; it’s a join affair with various media available; we’ll be handling the cassette version here in the States on ATH Records. While a few of the tracks have been tossed out as early singles, not to mention the incredible E-Bay auction, everyone involved felt it only worked to announce the album with a brand new track for you all to enjoy! Plus, if you head to the band’s site, you can hear the song in Cymraeg. We’ll keep you up to date with things, but we wanted to celebrate and with you all and tell you how stoked we are to be part of this. Keep up to date with various ways to grab the album by checking in on the group HERE.
I remember sitting in my dorm room in the late 90s listening to an Elf Power record when “Loverboy’s Demise” came on; there was something about it that had this lo-fi pop sensibility that just felt like home; it felt like that’s where I belonged. Why does that matter some 20 years later? Well, few bands have matched that feeling…and still fewer songs…that is until I found this American Culture track in the old inbox. It’s dirty, like it needs a good scrub, but the core is so catchy and leaves me coming back time and time again to find that same feeling. If you’re looking for your musical home, then perhaps you’d be best served by ordering the new For My Animals, which drops on March 19th via HHBTM.
Fresh off selling their soul on E-Bay, Swansea Sound return with another solid single to add to your collection of pop music. They’ve always got great messaging, and here they seem to be calling to arms all the indie labels to unite! I’m on board! Musically, you can’t really argue with the back and forth between Hue and Amelia; how does Amelia’s voice sound so timeless and pristine? Put all that sugary melody together with the bop of Rob and Ian, and the band have another certified hit on their hand. This tune appears on the group’s new 7″, dropping on March 12th via Skep Wax and HHBTM!
It’s been a great year or two for the history of Athens’ music scene, with reissues for Pylon and Love Tractor; now we can add Oh Ok to the mix too…they’ve just announced a reissue of the Complete Reissue (the Complet-ist Reissue perhaps?!). The band is made up of Linda Hopper (Magnapop) and Lynda Stipe (yes, Michael’s sister), whilst also featuring Matthew Sweet at times in later line-ups. This short introduction should have you lacing up your shoes and readying your pogo-moves; the rhythm section matching every twist and turn of the vocals. Quick and catchy, you’ll find this tune on the LP when it drops on January 29th courtesy of HHBTM.
One thing we remembered – and re-lived – in 2020 was the spirit of indie DIY. We wrote songs, recorded them at home, took our own pictures, made our own videos. So we decided it was about time to start a label. The first physical releases on Skep Wax will come out next spring. We will be co-releasing the next Swansea Sound single with US label HHBTM and Japanese label Formosa Punk, and we will co-release the new Catenary Wires songs with US label Shelflife. Its great to be working alongside these other labels. We always loved the idea of the International Pop Underground, and in 2021 we hope to breathe new life into it. If we discover we are any good at running a label, we will start thinking about releasing other bands music on the label. Very excited about this!
You can see all the work at Skep Wax Bandcamp.
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It’s been a really big year for all things old school Athens. First, there was that Pylon box set, and then came the Love Tractor reissue of their 1982 self-titled debut. We reached out to Mike Richmond to throw a few questions his way, and in return he offered to share his recipe for Veggie Breakfast with Sausage. If you love what you hear, you can grab the LP in various formats from HHBTM (who graciously helped us get in touch with Mike!).
There’s a long story behind the upcoming release of Danieled Auntlord: The Daniel Johnston Covers Tape. Back in 2007, Daniel Johnston played the legendary Athens Popfest, going down as one of the most unforgettable moments in the festival’s history. Jump into 2016, and the festival, curated by Mike Turner of HHBTM, was welcoming Daniel back as one of the headliners, but in order to do so, they had to fashion him a live backing band. Mike and his team gathered Jesse from Antlered Auntlord as well as Jake and Marie from Eureka California; they recorded a tape covering Daniel’s songs and sent it to Johnston so he could prepare. But, here we are now in a year that could use some guiding light, so HHBTM has decided to release those recordings via cassette on December 5th, rounding out the year reminiscing about one of the world’s greatest artists. Here’s the Danieled Auntlord version of “Casper.”
Tomorrow is the next installment of Record Store Day, and while not always a fan of RSD, it’s definitely important to support every single indie record store to help keep them all afloat. Plus, you get to find some gems that you might not otherwise have had on your radar, like the 60 Degrees & Sunny/FESTI-Vals 7″ from legendary Athens outfit Love Tractor. If you’ve listened to their debut self-titled LP from 1982, these songs should be familiar, but they’ve been reworked with help from members of REM/Sugar/Glands, so you get a fresh sound. The new reworking offers you a nice visual accompaniment featuring various weather phenomena. What I love is that it gives you an early glimpse at post rock, before it became boring; actually, check that, this is like instrumental music for Flying Nun fans; it was cool before they were cool…you’re going to have it on repeat all day. The 7″ comes out tomorrow via HHBTM, with an expanded reissue of the full-length on November 6th.