The ATH Top 50 Albums of 2015

Albums ListYear-end lists are everywhere…and I can see why they’re important to people. But, seeing as we generally walk off the beaten path more often than not, our list of the Top 50 Albums of 2015 is in no particular order, save alphabetically. It seems pointless to rank one piece of art higher than another, especially when the four of us at ATH all have varying tastes. We just put this list together of the albums we loved the most this year. Are we saying they’re better than records by Grimes or Kendrick Lamar? No, we’re just saying that these are the records we loved more than others. So, you can read on for what we thought was hot.

Also…put links to individual stores where you can buy the albums from the bands…as that’s how we all survive in this music world.
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Show Pics: Small Black @ Sidewinder (10/16)

Small BlackThis was my first trip to The Sidewinder. For a “new” venue, things seemed pretty well sorted. We’ll have more on that in a bit.

Small Black headlined on release day for the new record, Best Blues. THeyh had a pretty strong showing last time through as part of SxSW, but I was really interested to hear the new songs as they are positioned as the break-through. New record, new tour, same nice people. ATH faves Painted Palms opened.

Click through for pics and a few notes…

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Show Preview: Small Black @ The Sidewinder

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Date 10/16/15
Location The Sidewinder
Doors 8pm
Tickets $12 @ Que App

Friday is yet another busy evening in Austin, but if I were you (and I’m not), I’d head over the brand new Sidewinder for a great show by Small Black.  Making the show even more enticing for all you live music fans is the opener Painted Palms who will surely bring the jams.  Both of those bands on one bill for the low low price of only $12 is way too good to pass up.

 

 

Painted Palms Deliver Another Hit

paintedpalmsI am getting behind this new Painted Palms record in a big way. The previously released track had a slower groove to it, quite reminiscent of Jagwar Ma. “Tracers” brings more of the dance party using beachy vocals and digital pop goodness, quite reminiscent of Cut Copy with Yaz‘s synth punctuations.

Horizons was recorded with some former-DFA wizardry from Eric Broucek and will land on September 4th via Polyvinyl

Painted Palms Give Us a Hit

Painted Palms has given us so many hits over the last couple of years it’s hard to believe the band has even more sweet jams to give.  Today comes news of an upcoming album and the release of yet another one of those great songs I was just mentioning.  This one is called “Disintegrate” and is surely a song that will make your weekend, or even summer, good times playlist.  I’m already dropping it into mine.  Carry on.

New album, Horizons, is due out on September 4th via Polyvinyl Records.

Show Preview: Painted Palms @ Holy Mountain (6/11)

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Date 6/11/14
Location Holy Mountain
Doors 9pm
Tickets $10 @ Transmission

A great show is going down on Wednesday night at Holy Mountain with two up and coming bands that have previously received the ATH seal of approval.  Headliner Painted Palms is a band I caught during SXSW and was pleasantly surprised that the band could recreate their electronic sound in a live setting.  Of course the show lineup gets even better with Shy Boys, who have been talked about on numerous occasions here on our site.  See ya there?

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Painted-Palms-Upper-Floors.mp3]

Download: Painted Palms – Upper Floors [MP3]

SXSW Interviews: Painted Palms

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Painted Palms is a band that we’ve really gotten into over the last year with their upbeat, catchy singles that are continually ringing in our ears.  To say we’re excited to see the group during SXSW would be a major understatement.  We’re pumped.  Founding father of the band Chris Prudhomme was kind enough to answer our burning questions and his responses can be found below.

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Painted Palms – Forever

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Rating: ★★★ · ·

When you’re given the personal stamp of approval from Kevin Barnes that becomes a pretty big deal, but it’s how one lives up to those expectations that really cements a group’s legacy.  Throughout the duration of Forever, you can hear what Barnes saw in Painted Palms; the record is brimming with melodies and hooks, making for a strong debut.

“Too High” opens up Forever, with this pulsating electronic beat before the playful vocals jump into the fold.  It’s a track that rests during the verses, then bursts forth exuberantly during the chorus.  It’s a pretty tried and true formula, and one that surely will find toes tapping and heads bobbing.  But, the record doesn’t jump too far off this beaten path for the first few tracks, though some of the pacing is alternated around the formula.  However, “Forever” definitely ups the ante from the moment you press play.  It’s got this weird vibe to it, relating to the realm between Of Montreal and early MGMT; you know you all love that.

For my ears, “Soft Hammer” is where I see Painted Palms excelling.  The track features one of the clearest vocal performances on the album, but it’s the structural building of the song that’s really compelling.  There’s more of a folk approach to begin the tune, yet it builds this increased tension for a time by piling an electronic instrumental wash atop it all, then reverting to where it all begin.  By controlling the melody throughout, and holding onto it until the end, I realized just how much of a grasp the duo has on perfecting harmonies; this is evidenced through the entirety of the effort.

While I felt like some of the songs suffered by the production, at least in regards to the sound of the vocals, there’s definitely more than a number of hits that are going to be pleasing for the ears. You can take some of the previously mentioned tracks or you could just jump in at “Spinning Signs,” which employs a pulsating bounce that drives the track home for the listener.  Or download “Empty Gun” and you’ll be rewarded again with gratuitous hooks and sugary melodies that have made the band such a staple in the Interwebs.

My experience with Forever ended up being varied.  There’s definitely a bunch of tracks I’ll be playing over and over again for some time, but there were also some disposable songs that might have molded my opinion of the album early on during my listening.  One thing’s for sure though, Painted Palms aren’t going anywhere, and this record is the perfect place to start making a name all on their own.

Top Songs of 2013

best songs ath 2013We’ve put our pretty little heads together ladies and gentlemen to bring you our favorite songs from this past year.  It was a difficult task with our ever growing staff, but we feel like this list best represents the diverse taste of our staff.  Love it or hate it, it’s ours to call our own.  Hit play and put your head down or dance or shimmmy or drool or whatever works. Most of all we hope you hear something you missed, something you want to buy or something you want to see live.

Scroll past the playlist for full the run of the bestest songs ever this year.

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