New Music From Pre War

Many many moons ago, we posted about a brand new NYC band Conversion Party who caught our ear with their jagged guitars and rugged sound.  Since that time, the band has changed their name and sort of reconfigured the way they are going about things.  The sound isn’t too terribly different and could still be compared to a more rough neck version of Frightened Rabbit.  ATH is usually about that type of sound so of course we give it the seal of approval.  You can check out some other new tunes by the band over on their band camp site if you’re digging this one “On the Decline”.


Download: Pre War – On the Decline [MP3]

New Dancey Jam From Midnight Magic

Here’s a nice little tune called “Same Way I Feel” from NYC based dance outfit Midnight Magic.  It’s got a bit of a disco feel to it that’s likely to be showing up on an ATH DJ playlist next time around.  The impressive lead vocals from Tiffany Roth compliment the solid bass heavy backing beat and will certainly perk up your day.  You can pick up the anticipated debut full length from the group, Walking the Midnight Streets, on November 13th via label Let’s Play House.


Download: Midnight Magic – Same Way I Feel [MP3]

Bouncy Jam from Nude Beach

One of the acts I’m really excited for everyone to catch onto this year is Nude Beach. Personally, I don’t think there’s really anything else out there like this at the moment, with a fusion of classic pop rock and lo-fi garage. Their new album II will come out on August 14th via Other Music Recording Co, which has made some great signings.  If you’re looking to get transported back into the past a little bit, but hold onto a hint of your hipster credibility, then you gotta fall in love with Nude Beach; you won’t be disappointed.



New Music from Grassfight

New York trio Grassfight get a lot of nods for their kinship to Nick Cave, having solely to do with the vocals present in their music.  But, as the release of their new Icon EP 2 comes this week, I’m more focused on the music they’re creating.  The work on the high-hat is solid, and the cascading guitars that continuously assault your ears are precisely what I want an indie rock band to sound like nowadays.  There’s not a lot of frills, no added nuance, just straightforward rock n’ roll.  If you’re enjoying what you hear, keep your eyes out for the group, as we’re sure to get more from them soon…or so we hope.


Download:Grassfight – Nassau [MP3]

Led Er Est – The Diver

Rating: ★★★ · ·

One would imagine that the temperature and the greater environment of New York City would have a huge impact on the band’s coming out of the scene there, and listening to The Diver, you’re assumption would be right.  Led Er Est have constructed their second album, this time on Sacred Bones, with a very metallic cold sheen, further propelling them into the minimalist electronic scene.

“Animal Smear” opens with a very quick paces electronic rhythm, soon joined by a dark guitar line.  It’s vocal presence is a bit difficult to completely grasp at first, with Samuel Kklovenhoof’s voice maintaining a sterile echo that is present throughout.  For all intents and purposes, the record begins simply, not pushing the group’s sound too much further than Dust on Common, their first effort. However, there’s a pop sensibility that soon emerges for the group, which may garner more attention in the long run.

Your first glimpse at a progressing sound comes via “Kaiyo Maru.” The opening beat is a little bit basic, but the effects of implemented keyboards combined with Kklovenhoof’s voice give the track a softer pop underbelly.  If you could turn up the bass just a hint, and sharpen the dully synthesized drum beats, you might just have a glorified hit.  Interestingly, other tracks such as this one exist, such as “Iron the Mandala,” portraying the softer side of the band.  A great deal of The Diver seems like the band is just on the verge of pushing beyond their cold minimal sheen, yet they never take that full plunge over the edge; they choose to evoke emotions with the bare necessities…and the more I’m involved with the listening process, the more I see that it works.

Led Er Est‘s restraint in the overall production of the album demonstrates that their willing to remain subdued in light of the resurgence in bright electronic pop.  Listening to title track, “The Diver,” there’s an emptiness to the song.  I keep imagining myself walking through some large industrial landscape, one that’s been left barren and destroyed.  It’s a haunting number, and when followed by the impending doom of “Bladiator,” you begin to understand the dark sentiment that establishes the mood of the entire album.  It’s the perfect background music for a cold moment in life; one that doesn’t necessarily require the chilling weather of NYC in the winter.

The Diver, for me, finds Led Er Est in the middle ground, balancing somewhere between cold industrial electronic and dark pop.  Personally, I dig the entire thing as an album, but my ears definitely lean closer to the speakers during the poppier moments of the album.  Seeing as the group hasn’t been around for too long, you can see as this record as a band finding their way through the darkness in their music.  Perhaps in the future there’s a darker side, but I’m hoping for a little bit of light to continue to shine through.

Catchy Tune from Joywave

You’ve gotta kick the week off right, right? That’s what I was thinking, so I went and decided to post this upbeat number from Joywave.  The group is about to release their Koda Vista EP.  If this track below is any indication, this is definitely going to be the party record when all Spring takes over.  At first, the track seems to throw everything into the song, filling it with bombastic sounds, yet during the chorus you’ll definitely find a nice vibe that comes across in a very clean manner.  Just give this one a try, and I have a feeling you’ll be picking up the album from the group soon.


Download:Joywave – Who Do You Like? [MP3]

SXSW Preview: Psychic Ills

Ready for more SXSW rock?  Well, the Psychic Ills aren’t necessarily going to bring you straight ahead rock n’ roll; the band has done lots of experimentation with their sound since their inception in 2003.  Most recently, they released Hazed Dream on Sacred Bones Records, signaling a slight departure from their more traditional sound. It’s definitely going to get lumped into the psychedelic genre, which is probably an easy descriptor, but I laud the band for their vast experimentation over the years.  I hear bits of Spiritualized in songs like “Mind Daze” from their recent release, yet the song evokes different qualities depending upon your own personal tastes.  In reading their bio, you’ll see that the experiments and testing of waters doesn’t just revolve around their efforts in music, but extends to their association with very art mediums while living in NYC.  You lump that in with all their musical trials over the last several years, and you’re in for a fascinating show that will definitely leave you wanting to follow them around Austin for the week. 


Here’s a list of their shows, for you stalking plans:

TUE 3/13 @ Whiskey Room (Sacred Bones event)
WED 3/14 @ Elysium (Sacred Bones official evening showcase, 12 AM set)
THU 3/15 @ Urban Outfitters,  2 PM set
                     @ Spiderhouse/29th Street Ballroom (Austin Psych Fest party, 6 PM Set
SAT 3/17  @ Red Eyed Fly (Strange Victory/Village Voice/The Wick party, 3 PM set)

Mellow Bit of Cool from Spanish Prisoners

Late last year, Spanish Prisoners released their album, Golds Fool, via their bandcamp page.  Even with such a quiet release, the band made huge waves on the Internet, and definitely captured our attention.  They’re back now with the second single from that record, which includes two new remixes that you can grab HERE.  It’s a soft number, but it definitely reminds me of the band’s abilities to create emotion evoking songs that you can listen to time and time again.  They’ve also started a Kickstarter Page that will allow the band to travel, bringing their craftsmanship to your ears from coast to coast.  And don’t forget they’ll be popping up at SXSW too! Here’s the original track, “Downtown Chicagoland.”


Download:Spanish Prisoners – Downtown Chicagoland [MP3]

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