New Gem from Teen Daze

Teen Daze released two strong albums last year, The Inner Mansions and personal fave All of Us, Together. Both are chock-full o’ chilly waves of background music for your couch surfing cocktail party that can also hold up to critical listening.

Seems Jamison is staying busy, Glacier is set to release on 10/1 on Lefse Records. Pre-order is available here. No tour dates for Austin yet.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/03-Ice-On-The-Windowsill.mp3]

More New Music From Way Yes

Way_YesWay Yes is an Ohio based band that I took a liking to sometime last month with their airy and sort of tribal take on pop music.  Think Yeasayer mashed up with someone like Lord Huron.  Well today another new song has surfaced from the band and it’s showing that we should all have high expectations for great things to come.  I dare you to resist bobbing your head along to this great track.  Double dare!

As previously mentioned, Way Yes have a new album entitled Tog Pebbles coming out on May 7th via Lefse Records.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Get-Healed-Single-Version.mp3]

Download: Way Yes – Get Healed [MP3]

Tribal Pop From Way Yes

Way_Yes

This isn’t typically a song that would be up my alley, but I’m going to go out on a limb a bit here and share this new track that I’m kind of finding irresistible.  The track in question is called “Colerain” and comes our way from Ohio based pop group Way Yes.  I’m drawn towards the interesting tribal style percussion going on and the soothing nature that warrants many repeats through the speakers.  Hopefully you can see what I’m talking about after a couple of listens.

New album Tog Pebbles is out May 7th on Lefse Records.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/WayYes-Colerain.mp3]

Download: Way Yes – Colerain [MP3]

New Jam From Field Mouse

We’re clearly a little late on this new jam from Field Mouse so let’s just get that out of the way and move about our business.  The new song at hand is called “How Do You Know” and is a nice little number that fits into the shoe gaze pop genre.  Sultry vocals here from lovely lady Rachel Browne are what really intrigue me about the track and help it to stand out from others in the genre.  This sweet new jam is available on a 7″ single coming your way from Lefse Records on October 16th.  Pre-Order here.

Quiet Number from Levek

I’ve been listening to the Levek record for a few weeks now, and it goes all over the place musically, in an endearing way.  But, I’m completely on board with the release of the new single, “Girl In the Fog.”  It’s a soft, guitar-based track, allowing the vocals of David Levesque to live in the foreground.  For my two cents, I hear an approach similar to what Devendra Banhart used to do, though with a much more pleasant vocal.  This is one of the standout tunes on David’s new record, Look a Little Closer, which comes out next Tuesday via Lefse Records.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/08-Girl-In-The-Fog.mp3]

Download:Levek – Girl In The Fog [MP3]

Dana Buoy – Summer Bodies

Rating: ★★★½ ·

Having been a fan of Akron/Family for some time now, it’s interesting to see where their music leaves off and Dana Buoy takes over.  Summer Bodies is a great bit sunnier in its construction than any of the work he’s done with his band up until now.  That being said, you can definitely see the lineage between his solo work and his work elsewhere.

I wasn’t really sure what to expect from Dana Buoy‘s solo outing until I made it beyond the first minute of the opening track, “Anatomy of Now.”  For that minute, you get little more than vocals, but then a sort of indie-clad tribal element comes in to join Buoy.  There’s definitely a light-hearted mood created, but it’s not overly exuberant…I like a little restraint. “Call to Be” follows it up with another emphatic number, though this one is a touch darker in its musical quality.  The chorus line of the rising oh into “this is just a call to be” is possibly one of my favorite moments on the record.

One of the great things about Summer Bodies is Buoy’s ability to build anticipation for the listener, leading you into the glorious hooks slowly.  He does this with the opening track, and he does it again with “So Lucky.” But, while those two tracks have heavier (sort of) beats kick in, he can also build into a slow jam like he does with “Sattelite Ozone,” a song that mellows just as it begins to pick up.  It might go too far at time, as the formulaic approach begins to grow a bit expected, but it’s a cool touch that I definitely appreciate.

And as much as I enjoy the beats that encourage me to tap my feet, I appreciated Dana Buoy‘s ability to go in a different direction altogether.  “Futures Part” is one such song, again building slowly, yet there’s a gentle touch to the track as it unfolds.  Time and time again, you think Dana could just go far off into rhythmic bliss, but he’s showing his ability to hold back just enough and explore softer sides.  You’re probably going to overlook such tiny nuances, but in a day and age where songs come fast and heavy-handed (in regards to hooks and beats), it’s nice to find someone pulling up short.

Listening to Summer Bodies comes off a bit like a two-sided affair, yet it definitely has enough to tie everything together. Side A has the tendency to hit hard, using beats to catch your ears.  Side B wanders a bit, in a pleasant sense, showing that Dana Buoy still has the wish to use his gifts as a writer of exploratory pop songs.  Tied in together, the whole record has the ability to thrill and uplift, time and time again.  Label me a pleasantly surprised fan of Dana’s solo work.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/03-So-Lucky.mp3]

Download:Dana Buoy – So Lucky [MP3]

More Sweet Tunes from Dana Buoy

The Internet has already given some great coverage to Dana Buoy, who really is Dana from Akron Family.  His debut album Summer Bodies will be coming out in a few short weeks (May 8th) via Lefse, and we’re all pretty excited around here for the street date.  For me, I fell for this song because of the way it builds, using atmospherics, then his voice enters, then it continues to build with a bit of a background stomp until the end.  These sort of tracks are always entertaining, and for some reason, there’s a little bit of an emo affectation to his vocals that’s really working for me today. Just give a listen and see what you think.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/03-So-Lucky.mp3]

Download:Dana Buoy – So Lucky [MP3]

Dominant Legs – Invitation

Rating: ★★½ · ·

For the past two years, Dominant Legs has slowly been building their brand name, hoping to break into the larger spectrum of the blogosphere.  For the most part the San Francisco duo has succeeded, but the question remaining is whether or not Invitation, the band’s first full length foray would build on that success.  After many listens, perhaps the best thing is that the band hasn’t done anything to dissuade listeners from appreciating their recent rise.

Keeping in mind that the first few songs from an album generally are meant to establish a foundation for the rest of the record, it’s easy to say that Invitation begins just by sort of being “there.”  “Take a Bow” has a ringing guitar dancing throughout, with splashes of electronics bursting in, but for the most part, it’s sort of an unmemorable track. “Where We Trip the Light” attempts to step it up again, using a lighter mood and a bit more playfulness from singer Ryan Lynch.  Sure, the hook’s fairly catchy, generally speaking, but it’s not anything to really shake a stick at.

Perhaps there’s just a bit too much 80s nostalgia coming from Dominant Legs.  “Darling Girls” revolves around sort of kitschy electronics, remarkably similar to something one might find on a Richard Marx movie track, albeit one with a more modern singer.  Surely there’s a market for this sort of throwback association, but I’m not completely buying into it; it seems forced and contrived.  Similarly, “Lady is Sleek and So Petite” uses a very 80s electro-beat to make the song stand up.  For some reason, you can’t help but to recall various scores to movies that you vaguely remember and certainly care nothing about. Sadly, that sometimes is the feeling you get from this entire record.

In comparison to the group’s EP, Young at Love and Life, nothing on Invitation really has that freshness; it all sounds awfully bored and disinterested.  At times, the vocal interplay between Lynch and his bandmate Hannah Hunt is cute and affecting, but Lynch far too often seems like he’s trying to mimic a bit of Dan Boeckner, to no avail.  Even still, those bright moments get nixed by the inclusion of unnecessary saxophone solos.

For all the hype surrounding Dominant Legs, it’s hard to put this listening experience into words.  Song after song, I’m grudgingly reminded of my childhood, forced to listen to FM radio in my sister’s car.  Not a one of these songs is necessarily bad, but for the most part, none of them is really good.  You keep skipping tracks on Invitation, hoping to find one that catches you.  For me, it just never happened. I didn’t hate it, I just couldn’t find something worth coming back to again and again. It’s a large miss in my book, but fans of the band will surely find redeemable qualities in it.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/02-Where-We-Trip-The-Light.mp3]

Download: Dominant Legs – Where We Trip The Light [MP3]

More New Tunes from Dominant Legs

We’ve talked about Dominant Legs for some time, and more music just seems to come our way concerning the outfit.  They’ll be offering up their debut, Invitation, on September 27th via Lefse Records.  On this track, you can definitely feel the airy quality in the songwriting, giving a sense of lightness to the group’s sound.  That little bit of pop you need can easily be found as the song moves in and out, with Ryan Lynch’s vocals holding your attention as steady rhythm beats perfectly in sync with the tracks mood. This record has been playing a lot in my house, and soon you’ll find it’s a huge part of your daily rotation too.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/02-Where-We-Trip-The-Light.mp3]

Download: Dominant Legs – Where We Trip The Light [MP3]

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