SXSW is here! Well not literally here, but it is getting ever closer as the days go by. I know it’s hard to believe, as many of us feel like we just recovered from the week long fest yesterday. Well it’s here people and it seems like a perfect time to start preparing. As usual, your friendly ATH staff will be providing previews, playlists and our much anticipated SXSW interviews/questionnaires. Now we send these out to a lot of bands in the hopes you can pick up some varying perspectives on the vast amount of bands coming to town and how they approach the week. Our very first interview this year comes by way of Los Angeles based Matthew Doty and his project known as Deserta. Hit the jump for questions and responses from Doty.
There was tons of music passed over during our little hiatus, but one that I was really looking forward to sharing was this delightful track from Dummy (featuring members of Wildhoney). It’s a five second wait before the band reveal their pop-heavy sounded; I love the way the “ba-ba” backing vocals are almost used as their own pop instrument rather than just a vocal. The main vocal sits back coolly in the mix, kind of hanging out while the fuzz swarms and pulses in and out of your eardrums; the song’s filled with all these little layers and textures you’ll keep coming back to sample each bit. It’s the sort of ear candy that builds the anticipation for a future release, which we’re told is slated for later this year.
I don’t know about you, but I love music that can be hard to pin down into a certain genre or one specific sound. Take for example this new single “Your Joy is Your Sorry Unmasked” from Justin Taylor Phillips and his recording moniker Crywolf. It’s a song which starts simply with some acoustic guitar over quiet, solo vocals yet builds and builds with these beautifully layered vocals and sparse percussion. As I continue to listen over and over, I am finding interesting and mesmerizing layers to peel back with each time I hit play. Quite a stunning song.
Los Angeles brother duo Cones built up a lot of buzz over the last couple of years having slowly dropped some singles here and there. After all the hype, the boys recently announced the release of their debut album entitled Pictures of Pictures out on September 20th via Dangerbird Records. As the release date draws near, a new single called “Laugh of the Party” has found its way to the interwebs. What you’ll find is a truly impressive piece of indie pop music which might remind you of a band like Generationals or even earlier, non sucky Vampire Weekend. It’s a hit. Maybe you should pre-order the new album now?
It seems like now is the perfect time for acts like Behavior to drop back into our consciousness; their new single “The Thirsty Garden” seems to take cues from the present batch of post-punk, while still brandishing its own distinctive flare. The first minute seems intent upon inviting you into the song, fueled by tension-building guitar and the indifferent cool of the vocals. Then there’s 30 seconds of angsty rising action that recalls (to me anyway) touches of Shellac or Fugazi, all waiting to be unleashed just after the 1:30 minute mark. From there, you get this odd time contract that throws you off, with this little gruffness at the 2:07 mark kind of hinting at a Paul Westerberg nod. It’s fucking cool, that’s what. The new record, Spirits and Embellishments comes out on October 18th via Post Present Medium.
I don’t know too much about Andrew Rinehart other than that he’s on a roll of dropping single after single, with the most recent being “Rose Gold.” While the video seems mostly like a playground adventure at Salvation Mountain, that exuberance seems to work in contrast to the song’s vibe. Sure, the guitars have this natural brightness to them, but Rinehart’s voice has this low register that seems to subdue your ears, like the best of thoughtful folk; it doesn’t really change much until the 3:30 mark before rolling back off into the California sunset. Don’t know if what’s coming, but if its this good, I’ll have my ears peeled.
You know you need sort of a soft-opening into your Monday musical agenda, right? Perfect for you that I have this Psetta tune ready to release you into the work week. At first listen, the song unfolds slowly, almost as if this were a chillwave adventure…that would be all well and good for Monday. But, just before the 1 minute mark, the song takes this slight pop twist, barely noticeable, elevating the track entirely. You can hear the sampled drums brooding beneath, allowing the melody to continuously build and build towards the song’s end. I just love how everything sort of moves within the confines of this song, snaking its way around. Happy Monday indeed.
The sun is out today, the weather is cooler than normal and it’s a perfect day for a sunny, breezy pop song! My man Terry Price, who records under the moniker Photo Ops, is providing the perfect summer tune today with his new track “Time For an Innocent Song”. It’s a lovely bit of music which catches your attention with a little acoustic ditty as it slowly builds into hazy pop number with hushed vocals and perfectly timed drums. It’s equal parts Fruit Bats mixed with CSNY and little touch of pop sensibilities. Check it out now.
Photo Ops will release a new album entitled Pure at Heart sometime later this year.
Mirrorball is a fairly new band to the LA scene, though its two members have long been working in the musical community. But, their new project has this shimmering fragility that you can identify with almost immediately. The guitar chords seemingly dance in the distance, while there’s an electronic noodling that wavers in the foreground. There’s this forlorn vibe, almost making you weep as the song moves along…and I’m not even sad. They’ll likely draw some comparisons to Beach House, which are apt, but as a new band, there’s plenty of ways they can grow. For now, this single appears as part of Dangerbird’s Microdose Series.
I love when you try to pigeonhole a band, then you find yourself completely caught off-guard by something else going on in the track. This track from Red Channel did just that, as I thought it was this pleasantly plodding pop number, wonky at parts, and definitely infectious. Then the song sort of twists, offers up a post-punk yelp, then jumps about to illustrate the band’s ability to maneuver within tight spaces, mixing in just a hint of art-pop into the groove; this leaves plenty of room for growth and experimenting in the future. Excited to hear the rest of this new 7″, dropping via Upset the Rhythm on April 19th.