Tycho is a mainstay in the ATH IT Department. Frequently used to pass time or focus concentration, records from Scott Hansen’s “side project” are made for space age lounge listening. His profession prior to becoming Tycho was graphic designer; his records often include gorgeous covers and videos feature his design and photography (just watch the video). Meanwhile, his live performacens have gone from MacBooks and midi, to a full band that brings recorded material to life.
Fans of Tycho will find this track instantly familiar, somewhat a throwback to just before the his last studio release Epoch. A new record is due later this year, but this preview/bridge track is available via Mom+Pop and Ninja Tune on all the services.
Courtney Barnett has been teasing us all week long with a new album, and today you finally get a chance to enjoy a complete new single. I love how the track opens with her casual guitar work before she blasts into a heavier portion of the tune with her foot stomped down on that distortion pedal. Pretty sure tons of folks will be relishing this song, not to mention the deserved fawning and anticipation that comes with a Barnett album cycle. Tell Me How You Really Feel will be out on May 18th via Mom + Pop/Milk Records.
Hinds have just announced that they’ll be dropping their new record, I Don’t Run, on Mom + Pop on April 6th; they’ve done it in a fashion that’s straight to the hearts of the ATH team, with a soccer (futbol) themed video (their whole web site shares the theme if you’re so inclined). The video, and the song itself, encapsulate everything that’s great about the Spanish quartet. No matter what video they create, they always seem like they’re having one hell of a time; they make you wish you were in on the party. Plus, they always toss out a catchy lyrical nugget that has you screaming at the top of your lungs as you sing along; you can’t help yourself. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t see too many folks out there having as much fun as Hinds…and that will always win me over.
Within the past few months it seems that this group of four girls from Madrid have been all over the news in the indie scene. Hinds(formerly Deers) have released a fair number of singles over the past year, building up the buzz around their lo-fi garage tunes and with good reason; each of these singles has been catchy and fun to sing along to, all while those slightly gritty guitars jangle on infectiously. Leave Me Alone is an impressive debut, filled with lo-fi tunes with a pop twist to them, though not much more than what the singles have been hinting at.
What’s great about this record is that it is unapologetically messy and raucous and never really too much so. Hinds reach a balance of precision carelessness, which you get on the louder, in-your-face tracks like “Castigadas en el granero, or Warts,” or any of the singles that youve probably already heard. The vocals on these track trade off between quick lipped solos and -sometimes together-sometimes not- distorted girl gang shouting. On paper, this doesn’t sound like something that would make a lot of sense, but it works alongside the tight knit guitar riffs. “Chili Town” is a prime example of how well this dynamic can shine and the band uses the variation in vocal style to give the track a tonal variety and climactic chorus associated with your favorite pop tunes.
The album ends with a succession of slower, less rowdy tracks, but the vocal performance doesnt shift: theyre sloppy-chic till the end. Of these ending tracks, “Walking Home” is the standout. With its the surfy guitar riffs and start and stop instrumentation it grabs your attention and holds you through the last notes of the record. The guitars on this song are catchy and light, while the vocals bring the lo-fi aspect to the mix.
And so at the end of Leave Me Alone Hinds have given you exactly what you came for, so you can’t complain too much; there are no bad tracks on the record. My only real qualm with this album is that these ladies dont stray too far from one style of track and one singular sound. Dont get me wrong, it’s a good one, but the lack of variety prevents excellency and lands on mediocre. Nonetheless, Hinds are destined to remain a buzz band through 2016, and I’m interested to see where they will go next for a sophomore record.
Occasional Austin person, Alan Palomo, is readying a new Neon Indian release. I have been luke-warm on the NI lately, but this little ditty starts out slow and evolves into a full on Italian Disco party. It is almost like he made the track that Toro Y Moi is running away from these days. I can dig on this as a summer playlist entry. I love the outro and it teases the next track a bit. Sounds like the new record will be a front to back party.
Vega Intl Night School is due October 16th on Mom+Pop records so expect some new merch to be had during FFFX (Blue Stage on Saturday).
When Aly Spaltro recently signed with Mom + Pop Music and gave us a taste of what she had in store for us on After, I had a sense that this album would be something special. In an age in which the concept of a cohesive album feels sometimes forgotten, a single becomes what we look to in order to gauge the worth of an artists’ unreleased work. “Billions of Eyes,” in all its garage spunk and jangly guitars, is misleading in that its warmth and exciting sound may convince listeners that this is as good as it gets for Lady Lamb The Beekeeper, but as a true single should be, it is merely a hearty slice of After.
This album starts incredibly strong, with its first four tracks each battling to be your favorite tune. “Vena Cava” opens, immediately showcasing Spaltro’s bluesy and powerful vocals that Then you’re hit smack in the face with pop goodness from the aforementioned single “Billions of Eyes,” which is both a catchy and emphatically well written track about finding positivity amidst stress. “Violet Clementine,” comes next, mixing it up with its theatrically folksy roots, and even bringing in some killer horns near its end, wowing you with all this song has to offer. “Heretic,” the fourth track on this album, is four minutes and fifteen seconds of sunshine, alternating between the glossy chorus that begs you to sing along with Spaltro as she hits the notes effortlessly and the more grounded verses in which the rambunctious guitars take over.
But Lady Lamb doesn’t stop after this ridiculously infectious line up of hits. No, the rest of the album keeps on this pace, throwing you more and more tunes to fall in love with; there isn’t even a mildly mediocre song on here. After transitions through several genres, from outright garage/jangly pop, to more simmering percussive based jams like “Spat Out Spit.” I don’t mean to downplay pop music, but there’s a craftsmanship here that you wouldn’t expect from such euphonic pop music. Each instrument and note feels right in the mix—it’s pretty and easy to listen to, but neither vapid nor trite. The lyrics and the seemingly endless combinations of instrumentation and Spaltro’s enrapturing vocals prevent you from ever straying from the music.
After is everything at once: one moment it’s soft and delicate, the next it’s a gale force wind of sputtering rock, but above all, it’s all a delight to listen to. With every trip through its collection of tracks that work together quite well, I find myself latching on to more of the tracks than the previous listen. I expect this album to find itself on top of year-end lists, as Lady Lamb The Beekeeper has knocked it out of the park with this one, giving you pop hooks as well as depth of sound. This is one of those records you will tell all your friends about.
There’s not a whole lot to this track, especially in its opening moments, as it’s strummed guitar and vocals. That’s the back to basics approach that Australia’s DMAs are offering up today, which is actually a pretty nice little jam. There’s a hint of percussion added on the back end of the tune, but for the most part, this is just a really simple ballad; who doesn’t love a good ballad? There’s some touches in the tune showing that the band has room to play, musically speaking, but for now we can just enjoy the simplicity here. This tune will feature on a 7″ from Mom + Pop in Novemeber.
You need something on this hump day to help give a little pep in the step? This anthemic piece of pop music from Montreal’s COOPER is going to be just the thing to do it. It’s a pretty simple song in construction and structure, but the hooks and the vocals are undeniably catchy, allowing for listeners of any sort to find themselves attached to the track. There’s no word on what else Kate Cooper is working on, but you can grab this single from Mom + Pop as we speak…then you can play it on repeat as often as you wish. Don’t deny the hook.
The release date for new Smith Westerns album Soft Will draws closer this week, as we all eye June 25th to pick up our physical copy. With the release date close upon us, I’m sure many folks have had the chance to listen to most of the album (if not all of it). Prior to the physical release, the band have offered up this new track “Idol” as a free stream on Soundcloud. The bright, haze inducing pop is still a driving force behind this band.
Tokyo Police Club have another new song from their upcoming LP Champ floating around the internet today. The new track is called “Wait Up (Boots of Danger)” and shows even more pop goodness from the Canadians. Hoping this will be one of the better pop albums of the year. You can pick up your copy of Champ on June 8th via Mom + Pop Records.