Some Psych Pop From Keeps

unnamed (9)Here’s a nice bit of psych pop I found today coming your way from Nashville based outfit Keeps. The song I have for you, entitled “Translucent Girl”, could be likened to a mixture of Surfer Blood and Tame Impala with a bit of 60’s style pop thrown in there somewhere. Though it might be winter, this song will fit right in with it’s spring time album release date.

Brief Spirit will hit streets on March 4th via Old Flame Records.

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We Hear More from Ski Lodge

darkwaveIt’s hard to tell exactly what is going on with Ski Lodge these days. At one point, I thought Andrew Marr was ready to go in his own direction and leave the name behind. But, here we are with another great new track from the band, at least in my mind. Seems to me that Marr has peeled away some of the shimmering indiepop tendencies from early on and traded them for a more synth-driven bit of dark wave. This tracks’ nice, but whether or not it packs the same punch on a full-length is yet to be determined in my mind. Still, the title of the upcoming release is New Life, which may just mean there’s something fresh being breathed into the life of this act. Look for the EP via Old Flame Records in early 2016.

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Rocker From Shark?

10945857_10152496773606841_1340772088358167219_o (1)It’s been awhile since I last shared with you some new music from Brooklyn based outfit Shark?, so I’m excited to be giving you this new joint today.  This one is called “Hangnail” and is a true rock and roll number displaying some of the finest traits of the genre in one song.  You can almost feel the badass tendencies coming through the vocals and sludgy sounds on the track.

Shark? have a new EP entitled Becky and Debbie due out next week on Old Flame Records.

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I Like Me Some Radical Dads

UntitledI am admittedly a little late on this one as things have been quite crazy in my life and the music world has been on hold.  Today I’m going to share a few songs as I get back in the game with this awesome track from longtime ATH favorite Radical Dads.  As I just said, I’ve followed this band for while and this new tune does even more to promote my fandom.  Check it out below and enjoy a lil bit of rock to improve your day.

Pick up new album, Universal Coolers, on February 24th via Old Flame Records.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/05-Dont-Go.mp3]

Download: Don’t Go [MP3]

Upbeat Number from Life Size Maps

LSM_LP_Art_hiresYou’re probably tired of hearing about Brooklyn bands, but Life Size Maps seem to be offering something slightly different from your average fare.  The group is crafting pop music of the purest form, utilizing synth hooks and a chorus that will surely find a home in your subconscious.  You’ll tap your toes, you’ll sing along, and you’ll realize that the simplest route is sometimes the best.  Take a ride with these lads, and enjoy your day. Old Flame Records will be releasing the group’s self-titled LP during the first weeks of April.

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Radical Dads Kick Ass

radical-dadsRadical Dads kick some major ass with their music.  They create a style that’s full of rockin’ vibes devoid of any fancy electronics or beep boops.  I can always dig that and I’m definitely into their latest single called “In the Water”.  As we’ve come to expect from the band, the tune brings a ton of great energy with a few spastic moments here and there to keep things interesting.

Radical Dads have a new EP entitled Cassette Brain due out October 7th on Old Flame Records.

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Another Tune from Sw/mm/ng

swWe’ve been enjoying our listen to the latest single from Sw/mm/ng, just to get ready for the release of their debut LP.  There’s really two elements going on in this track: the main course goes straight for the indie rock hooks, but the guitars wonder through the background, cascading in various directions.  One of the things I love about Feel Not Bad, the title for the album, is that the entirety of the record features 4 to 5 minute songs, yet they don’t seem to weigh you down, as one might expect. Look for the record on August 26th via Old Flame Records.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/05-All-I-Want.mp3]

Download: Sw/mm/ng – All I Want [MP3]

Bright Pop from Sw/mm/ng

swimmingSummery spirit is in full swing around here, and this track from Sw/mm/ng is the perfect way to keep that mood going.  But, while there’s definitely a light-hearted tone to this new single, the band takes on a stronger emotional strategy, similar to the work that the Walkmen completed.  Part of that attitude comes in the rhythmic pounding, while the rest is completed by the careful drawl that’s present in the vocals.  If you’re enjoying this (and you should) then pick up the band’s new album, Feel Not Bad, on August 29th when it’s released by Old Flame Records.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/02-Some-Dreams-Come-True.mp3]

Download: Sw/mm/ng – Some Dreams Come True [MP3]

 

Another Track from The Pharmacy

Pharmacy-blog-534x380I’m really expecting this new album from The Pharmacy to catch a lot of ears, especially considering that I felt their first album, Stoned and Alone, was vastly underrated.  This brand new single has a slower pace to it, which illustrates the band’s growth since their first release.  The guitars are taking their time, weaving a world of country-tinged chords that allow for the vocals to really take in all the focus.  If you’re a fan of Natural Child, then Spells will definitely be something to look forward to; it’s being released by Old Flame Records on August 12th.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/03-Anna-Bella.mp3]

Download: The Pharmacy – Anna Bella [MP3]

Dead Stars – Slumber

deadRating: ★★★★☆

After a couple of great EPs, New York’s Dead Stars have completed their debut full-length, Slumber.  As an early fan of the band, let me tell you that it’s more than lived up to my expectations.  It sounds like a composite of Dinosaur Jr and Nada Surf, using great guitar work to enhance the group’s melodic sound.

When “Someone Else” opens the record, you can hear the band pushing forth with distorted guitar work and a pounding rhythm section.  It’s the best way to open this record, providing listeners with a glimpse of the band’s brand of guitar pop.  But, while there’s a definite wall of noise, beneath it all lays the secret to the group’s success: it’s all pop inside.  Just take one listen to the tone of the vocals and you’ll get precisely what I’m talking about.  But, while the opening tune on Slumber is rather loud, the group does possess a natural skill to pull back, as they do on the next few tracks, “Summer Bummer” and “Walking Away.”  These two tracks offer up gentler takes on guitar pop, with a more relaxed feel and a larger focus on harmony.

Still, the bread and butter for the band, in my opinion, are when they turn up and rock it out.  “Crawl” is the perfect vision of this attribute; the guitar has a sharp edge to it, and the song seems to almost work too fast, creating this excellent tension that’s fully unleashed when the band angrily launches into the chorus of “I can crawl away if you want” for the third time, just before the track abruptly ends.  Your last look at like-minded tunes comes via “Wasted,” which is placed perfectly near the end of the record.  The distorted guitar work gives just the right amount of energy, balancing out the softer end of the LP.

While Dead Stars choose to slow things down a bit on that latter half of Slumber, you’ll still find some really special songs lurking about, such as “Older.”  It’s a strummed ballad with a really soft touch on the vocal; you could easily see the band fleshing this out into another distorted guitar pop tune, but their reluctance to do so actually makes the song more refreshing, providing a little bit of differentiation within the confines of the album.  I’ve also grown to enjoy “Never Knew You” quite a bit.  There’s some recording touches like the clicking of the drum sticks in spots that really add a cool touch.

In the end, Dead Stars have completed an album that’s perfect as summer really gets underway.  It’s filled with songs that you can blast on your stereo while you sing along to your favorite lyrical pieces.  With guitar pop regaining it’s prominence in the rock n’ roll world, you’re not likely to find it executed any better than on Slumber…so what are you waiting for.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/04-Crawl.mp3]

Download: Dead Stars – Crawl [MP3]

Available now via Old Flame Records.

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