Hooked On This Weird Milk

There’s always been something in the British waters, and music, that have gotten to me. I’m especially keen on the country’s pop breeding ground, which is where I find Weird Milk fitting in. They employ some sharp guitar cuts, and the melodic vocal approach reminds me a lot of mid-career Mystery Jets…that’s my favorite period of that band. This is the band’s first proper single, and it’ll be released by Ra Ra Rok Records on March 24th, but stream the jam below; it’s okay to embrace good pop music folks.

Impressive New Video From Mystery Jets

MI0003986376We love Mystery Jets. Seriously at this point the guys should just come on over to the ATH label. Guys? Anyway, the real purpose of this post is to share with you a breathtaking new video for the band’s latest single “Bombay Blue”. This thing is an epic piece of art worthy for the tag of video of the year. Incredible work gentlemen.

This track appears on the new Mystery Jets album Curve of the Earth which is available for purchase now.

New Album From Mystery Jets!

Mystery JetsI would rarely ever share something so cliche as an album trailer unless it comes from one of our all time favorite groups like Mystery jets.  It also doesn’t hurt when the trailer might be one of the best I’ve ever seen, and at the very least, the first I’ve ever seen to really get me excited for a new album.  With a title like Curve of the Earth, combined with this epic new trailer, it looks like we may be in for something truly special.  This guy definitely can’t wait for the 5th installment in the Mystery Jets discography.

Curve of the Earth will drop on January 22nd.  Pre-order already up here.

Fashionably Late To The Party: Flyte

flyteOk, bear with me here. This track has been out for a little bit, but I just heard it and knew it was something that I needed to share with you all. Flyte are a group of four gents from London who create alternative rock jams, and they’ve got a real winner of a track with “Closer Together.” When you click play on the song below, you’ll be greeted with endlessly looping guitar riffs that overlap and meld into each other. Meanwhile, the vocals compliment these guitars with their own half-falsetto’d blend of catchy hooks. To me, this band has a Mystery Jets meets Foals sound to their indie rock, and I’m really digging this song, especially the instrumental build at the very end.

Top Albums of 2012: 50-1

Here it is.  I know you’ll hate it; I know you’ll disagree, but that’s not the point in making an arbitrary list.  We here at ATH worked really hard to fit in the tastes of the four of us, and when we decided upon our Top 50, it really boied down to simple math.  What albums did we love when they came out?  Do we still enjoy spinning those records months later? If they’re in the Top 50, then the asnwer is probably yes.  I mean, our Top 2 records came out in January, and still play a vital part in my weekly listening.  There’s no disclaimer here.  We are who we are, we like what we like, and we hope that’s okay with you. If not, drop us a line and let us know where we went wrong.

Read more

Great New Pop from Saint Motel

The generous dudes over at Saint Motel sent us this track this morning, and I’m so glad they did.  Some groups just have a knack for writing a simple pop tune that is able to rise above standards and find it’s way into constant rotation in your musical life.  The LA quartet is setting up to release their debut, Voyeur, some time this year, and I expect that it’s going to fall somewhere in the vein of bands like Mystery Jets, carefully writing catchy pop numbers I won’t want to share with anyone but myself.  But, just for today, I’d like to share this one with you.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/05-1997.mp3]

Download:Saint Motel – 1997 [MP3]

Mystery Jets – Radlands

Rating: ★★★★½

The boys in Mystery Jets have come quite a long way, staring first with their angular guitar pop and moving forward into a full-fledged pop group.  But, with all their success, the band needed a move to Texas for a different perspective, leading to their most accomplished album to date.  Radlands, despite some roots in Texas, remains a uniquely MJ affiar, one that shows the group far advanced in their songwriting prowess.  For my ears, they’ve crafted a pop album that hits on almost every note, from start to finish, a feat worthy of high praise alone.

“Radlands” opens the album with just the echo of a guitar, soon joined by Blaine Harrison’s vocals.  It takes a moment before you hear the slight introduction of strummed guitar, which then bursts into a full-band affair.  As the guitar rings, you hear Blaine take control with his soaring vocals, but then the group settles back down to the vocal/guitar approach again; few people are making such well-crafted pop songs like this. And it doesn’t just stop here, with the first several tracks from Radlands easily being called knockout punches.  You’ll find a bit of a Texas jangle when you listen to “You Had Me at Hello,” which features perhaps one of my favorite choruses from the group’s career.  Personally, I dig the fragility in Harrison’s voice on songs such as “Someone Purer.”  He can belt out a chorus with great strength, but a great deal of his power comes from his ability to reign that in when it’s needed most.  If you’re looking for a traditional pop moment with verse chorus verse chorus, just give this track a listen to find yourself pure pop gold–it even has some “ooh oohs.”

One thing I’ve always appreciated about Mystery Jets is that while there’s some elements of high brow music, they still remain youthful and playful.  This album’s playfullness comes via “Greatest Hits.” It’s a song for writers, answering the age old question of the influences for the band as a whole; at one point, the group gives a nod to Neutral Milk Hotel, Belle and Sebastian, The Kinks and the Minutemen all in a twenty-second span.  There’s whimsy all over these tracks, which is one reason why I think the group writes some of the best pop tunes around–they’re songwriting is serious, but their heart still says music should be fun. Radlands also indicates the band’s willing to takes risks, especially when you look at the duet between Sophie Rose and Blaine.  It’s definitely a tune that seems influenced by the group’s recording in Texas, and like all songs on this record, it succeeds; it’s clever, and yet heartfelt. 

Sitting here writing this review, I’m trying to think of how to include every single song in this review, as I know I left off some hits like “Sister Everett.” But, it’s probably too long-winded to try and touch on all the highlights of this album, although  I easily could do so.  Radlands is one of the best simple pop albums to come my way in a long time.  There’s no spectacle, there’s no hype, it’s just great songwriting wrapped up in the perfect way.  For this reason, and a ton of others, Mystery Jets remain high upon my list of best pop groups; cheers to you lads.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/03-Someone-Purer-1.mp3]

Download: Mystery Jets – Someone Purer [MP3]

More New Tracks from Mystery Jets

Just a week or so ago we brought you a new jam from one of our favorite groups, Mystery Jets.  Now we’ve got another tune to share with you from the band’s excellent new record, Radlands.  There’s definitely a slight change of the group’s sound, though you could see that coming with their last effort, Serotonin.  On this song, you’ll see the more subtle pop structures the band has been working with, rather than the jangly pop they began their career with years ago.  Either way, I’m always going to love jamming with these dudes–such good songs.  The album hits American stores on June 5th.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/09-Sister-Everett.mp3]

Download:Mystery Jets – Sister Everett [MP3]

New Jam from Mystery Jets!!!

RayRay and I have long adored Mystery Jets, regardless of their sonic changes throughout the years, so I never get tired of hearing from these dudes.  And, to top it off their new album Radlands, which comes out April 30th, was recorded while the band spent time here in Austin (it’s even reflected in the album art).  It seems the band has found a great groove with this new record, showing their progression as a group while still maintaining that fantastic pop sensibility that made me such a huge fan.  Just give one listen to the chorus alone, and you’ll be as excited as I am for this new release.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/03-Someone-Purer-1.mp3]

Download:Mystery Jets – Someone Purer [MP3]

1 2