Bluesy Folk Rock From Julia Jacklin

unnamed-53Australia tends to give us some pretty great gifts music-wise, and Julia Jacklin, originally from the Blue Mountains, is no exception to this. The track below, “Coming of Age,” shows off the skills that Jacklin has. The sound is pretty big from the beginning; the guitars are hazy and garage-tinged, but the vocals are quite the folk-rooted croon. It’s a right catchy and delightful number that hybrids two different genres quite flawlessly. Jacklin is new to the music scene, which makes this track all the more impressive. Make sure to look out for more from Jacklin, and get ready forDon’t Let The Kids Win, which will be out October 7th via Polyvinyl Records.


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Enjoy New Sonny & the Sunsets

sonnyI think it’s time we all give credit to Sonny Smith, leader of Sonny & the Sunsets. For six “official” albums and countless other releases/projects he constantly is redefining his sound. While I have my personal favorites, I’m really stoked on his new approach. On this single, it seems like it’s a crash of new-wave style and the Television Personalities, so I can clearly get behind that sound. It’s interesting, yet still has some of the same stylistic approaches all Smith records wear; it’s great to move and change. His new LP, Moods Baby Moods, comes out on May 27th via Polyvinyl Records.

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Quiet Beauty From Aloha

untitledLet’s get real here, I honestly had no idea that old favorite Aloha were still making music together in 2016. Last I’d heard they put out an album about 6 years ago and I hadn’t heard much noise from the group since. Apparently this is due to my lack of interest in reading other sites… So as news to me, here’s the latest single from the guys called “Don’t Wanna Win”. I’m really enjoying the hushed qualities and the incredibly tight instrumentation in this song. Cheers to making more great music together.

Aloha will dropLittle Windows Cut Right Throughon May 6th via Polyvinyl.

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Fresh La Sera Single

laseraNot only does La Sera have a new record coming out, but the band, primarily the work of Katy Goodman, now has a new sound, courtesy of her husband, Todd Wisenbaker. On this single, we get a perfect view of the dynamic between the two as they trade choruses back and forth. Musically, the band seem to have removed some of the more punk-influenced riffs in favor of a broader, more classic sound; it’s feels like an old school MTV hit to me. The new LP, Music for Listening to Music To, will be released by Polyvinyl Records on March 4th.

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Sleek and Dreamy Synthpop from Radiation City


If you’re looking for a track that’s going to slowly embed itself into your mind and make you listen to it all day, then look no further. Radiation City, a five piece out of Portland, have just the right track for you to get lost in. This song, “Juicy,” lives up to its name quite well– the synths and guitars melt together into a swirling dreamscape of sound. The vocals are are just the right amount of sweetness to combine with this dreamy texture and double up on the ethereal nature of the song. This group has just signed to Polyvinyl Records, so you can bet we’re about to hear more good things from them. Take a listen to the track below and get lost in its lushness.

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White Reaper – White Reaper Does It Again

White-Reaper-Does-It-AgainRating: ★★★½☆

White Reaper’s claim to fame first began after their explosive live act started turning heads and ears in Louisville, which led them to take off on a little tour in which the live act caught the attention of crowds nationwide. A little time has passed since this tour, and the four piece of young 20-somethings have used this bit of experience to craft this bombastic and raucous full length debut, White Reaper Does It Again. This record, though on the short side, is a rambunctious and explosive first album with select tracks that will surely be jammed in your head for a long time in the future.

The record’s start is explosive and immediately gripping: the first track, “Make Me Wanna Die” has enough fuzz on it to give you imagery of tv static all while you jam along. The instant you press play on the album and this song comes rapidly flooding through the speakers you can hear the band’s direction and genre fairly instantaneously— they waste no time in getting to the meat of their material. As I already mentioned, the electric guitar is ferociously fuzzy, raging through the track at high volume, the vocals from Tony Esposito are also heavily distorted and yet they crisply resound. Meanwhile, one element stands out quite cleanly from the mix, and that’s the intermittent organ sounding keyboard riffs which pop away from the mass of reverb and grit, acting like a cool wave of water to splash you in the face from the white hot guitar, vocals and cymbal-heavy drums. It’s a bright start to the record, and surely one of the bright stars on White Reaper Does It Again.

As the first track suggests, this album is a blistering shot of adrenaline to the heart from the beginning to the end and the band doesn’t ever really slow it down or pause for a break. Even in the middle of the album, where one might expect a lull in the garage rock, White Reaper give you the killer back to back duo of “Candy” and “Sheila.” The first of these two tracks centers around the rapid fire vocal delivery from Esposito, which is at once sweet and fierce. His voice, perfectly distorted, snarls and spits verse after verse, matching the guitar riffs and playfully bouncing around. These vocals are pushed to a new level on the next track, “Sheila,” on which I’m reminded of the vocals from Surfer Blood. This track simmers at the beginning, and the vocals serve as almost an agitator to bring the song to full volume. When the band bursts into the chorus, they truly shine, and all the elements come together for a buzzy whirlwind of garage rock.

While this is quite the impressive full length debut, I’ve found that some tracks simply stand out a little brighter than the rest. This is not to say those that I haven’t singled out here aren’t good or worth spending time with— on the contrary the whole record is quite gripping, but with further extended listening, there are certainly numbers that will stay with you for longer than others. Figure out which ones those are for you and spend some time with White Reaper Does It Again.


Just Another Rad White Reaper Tune

whiteyWe’re less than a month away from the release of White Reaper‘s new record, and as we draw near, they wanted to offer up another song to get its hooks in you.  There’s a heavy-handed chugging guitar chord leading the tune along, but the eruption of the pop hook that serves as the chorus is destined to have people playing this tune all over the place. Looks like the band aim to take the space that seems vacated now that Surfer Blood aren’t as prominent. Arena rock built for small clubs. Look for White Reaper Does it Again via Polyvinyl on July 17th.

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Hope You Didn’t Miss This White Reaper Jam

whiteyThe latest single from White Reaper has been floating around for a few days, so I’m circling back hoping you didn’t miss the band’s new tune.  Guitars build here in alternative fashion that recalls some of the work that Weezer was doing upon their reformation, chugging down on those heavy riffs.  But, even if that’s not your thing, you should wait until the 1.5 minute mark where the song erupts into the chorus; it’s an emphatic punch that continues to build on the band’s bombastic live shows.  You’ll get to hear the group’s new album, White Reaper Does It Again on July 17th when it sees a release from Polyvinyl Records…so get yourself ready.

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Jacco Gardner – Hypnophobia

jacco-gardner---hypnophobia (1)Rating: ★★★☆☆

If you were clued in to anything about this album based off its name, it should be the psychedelic genre that Jacco Gardner employs. Patch this together with the album artwork and just like that you can already begin to see where Gardner is leading you with this sophomore effort. What these two signifiers don’t inform you is that like a drug trip, Hypnophobia slips in and out of lucidity; there are times when the music completely engages you and others that encourage you to fall away from focusing on the tunes at hand.

The overall tone of this album is fairly one note, which is why the aforementioned phenomenon is able to occur over its course. That’s not to say that this one dimension sound—heavily mysterious/spooky 70’s synth matched with wandering guitar riffs and Gardner’s soulful yet wispy vocals—isn’t enjoyable. On the contrary, to say that any of the songs on this album aren’t good would be false, but there’s a loss of suspense in the repetitive nature of the sound here. By around the third or fourth track on the record you begin to feel that you’ve heard all there really is to hear from Hypnophobia. While that isn’t necessarily true (some of my favorite tracks come on the end of the record) the lack of variety in the twee psychedelic genre wears a little bit on your hopes.

There are definite numbers that will have your attention more than others. For me, among those are “Find Yourself,” and “Before The Dawn,” both of which are more upbeat and rambunctious numbers for Gardner. It is in this space where Gardner seems to shine the brightest: “Find Yourself” enters your headphones swiftly and with force: the tinny synth here bounces around almost violently, which pushes the song from meek to commanding. Surprisingly, Gardner’s vocals are heavily distorted on this song, but they too feel more forceful than on the other tracks of the album, and lead you to the catchy chorus that somehow ironically makes me want to lose myself in the track. “Before The Dawn” creates more of a swirling kaleidoscopic listening atmosphere, but then the electric guitar joins the mix to ground you with the vocals, akin to the feeling of walking through an optical illusion tunnel.

To me, this seems like the kind of album that you put on to comfort you in the background of studying, working, reading, etc. It’s easy to get lost in, but still occasionally pops in to pull you back to it. Perhaps you feel differently—the only way for you to find out is to have a listen for yourself to Hypnophobia.

More from Jacco Gardner

jackoJacco Gardner has been an ATH favorite, and as he prepares us to listen to his new record, Hynophobia, it seems that’s he constructing music that fits the album’s title.  The first minute of the album’s title track has this hypnotic build to it, wrapping up the listener in the aesthetic pleasure of Gardner’s work before allowing his whispering vocals to gently croon in to the track.  It’s his patience in songwriting that really has drawn me closer to listening to his music; you’ve got to have a patient ear, but in doing so, you’ll ultimately be rewarded by your repeated listens.  Look for the new LP on May 5th via Polyvinyl.

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