It makes sense thatPhosphenes began their work around a collective of like-minded visual artists. Their songwriting, especially in this tune, seems to work in varying movements folded into one another, with each layer unraveling as it crosses through your ears. At first, we’re offered a light, almost space-age backdrop, slowly waiting for Julee Bee to work her way through with her strong vocal performance. But, the song doesn’t stop there, shimmering with this pulsing wash of electronica as Bee drapes her voice across it all. Then we settle back in, calmed, ready for the next momentous rise and fall within the track…riding the crest of pop sensibility to the song’s close. Look for their new LP, Find Us Where We’re Hiding via FAYZ Records on May 25th.
The Sour Notes just recently released their latest album, Darkest Sour, but they’re not stopping there. Encouraged by participation in various “hoot nites” in Austin, the band have recorded a full album worth of covers titled This Is Not Our Music. Today, we happy bring you their cover of “Gloria” by Patti Smith (well, it was by THEM, but they’re doing the Patti Smith rendition). Jared does a great job with his performance, pulling off the natural bravado of Smith in every delivered note. For me, the best thing is that it gives us a glimpse into the minds of the band. We all love to pigeonhole bands, tell them who their influences are, but here we have a band stepping out and saying, here’s what we love! I’m excited to hear some versions of Jawbreaker and Wire that they’ll have out soon enough!
This brand new single from Hi Lo Ha is a marvelous adventure in indie rock songwriting. Contrary to popular fads of implied urgency, the group sit back and let this song unfold over six minutes. The percussive element is spot-on and simple, giving the song the needed backbone for meandering guitar chords and twinkling keyboard notes that faded off into the distance. The line of “I’ve got you now,” is in reference to the connection between the listener and the band; it’s often the one thing that’s most meaningful to an artists when everything else seems stagnant. Look for Ain’t Gone Tonight to drop on April 13th.
Having vaguely known about Pete Astor through The Loft, it wasn’t until the 2016 release of Spilt Milk that I fully delved into his music. From that point on I’ve grabbed all the old stuff, but I’m really excited for his new LP, One for the Ghost. Today we’re sharing the title track from said album, envisioning you all rushing to your computers to figure out who is the man behind these charming songs. Not sure where you fit Astor’s musical stylings of late…somewhere between the popularized jangle and the grit of casual guitar pop; it’s almost as if this is troubadour-esque…but with a little bit more poetic punch in the lyrical content. Press play, be charmed and grab the new LP from Tapete Records on February 16th.
Chicago’s Panda Riot have a pretty heavy sound, but while the song’s construction seems filled to the brim, the pristine vocals knife their way, giving off a softened vibe that gives the song a shimmering quality. At times the electronics pulse and throb, highlighting the internal hooks; they also hit hard in unison with the ringing of the guitars, creating a wall of magic noise. The video, which was shot by Jeffrey Nesker seemingly rides the same vibe of the song, but instead of the heady electronics versus pop, you’ve got images of day versus night…a fitting touch that doesn’t go unnoticed. The group will release their new album Infinity Maps on February 14th, just in time for you to share it with your loved one.
Last year RG Lowe stepped out of the limelight of Balmorhea to begin crafting an R&B influenced album, Slow Time, which was met with rave reviews. He’s already back with a brand new single for Western Vinyl, and you can stream the A-side of the release below. You’ll marvel at the power of his voice, and delight in the little guitar lines moving just beneath the front of the mix. To celebrate the release of the single, RG Lowe will be playing a ridiculously stacked bill over at Sahara Lounge. His labelmate Caroline Says will be playing, along with perennial ATH favorites Taft and Batty Jr. Plus, it’s an early show, so you can roll right over after that work happy hour; Doors open at 7:30, with music kicking off at 8. See you there!
On February 16th, Low Valley Hearts will release their new album Piece of Your Mind, an album seemingly set to invade your psyche, subversively implanting the band’s music in your brain for extended periods of time. Today, we have the band’s hypnotic new single, “Garden of Something,” offering the band’s futuristic pop music, swelling from start to finish with a huge wash of dreamy melody curated by a very minimal musical approach. I love how the synth waves seem to wrap the guitar and harmonious gang vocals in a blanket of spaced-out atmospheric bliss. Then again, maybe this song is just about the joy of gardening and flowers…you be the judge.
Hebdo has a song reminiscent of many current folk artists, bleeding roots rock vibes with acoustic guitar strums. In his latest effort below, you get the feeling that there’s a traveling spirit blowing through his songs; you can hear the stomp of the percussion contrasted against the rolling guitar chords. His voice carries a sense of yearning, of searching for something; it holds a slight rasp just beneath the polished melodies. Even the image featured in this youtube clip hints at moving, at rolling along down the road of life. Such is the spirit of Hebdo, and one revered here at my home. Look for his new EP later this year!
I like the immediacy of this new track from Noble Son; it hits the listener right off the bat with its guitar circling the stomp of the drum work. A playful piano line adds an extra layer to the song just before Adam Kirschner delivers his first vocal line. He’s got a distinctive set of pipes, but I love the operatic power it holds the most, soaring above the mix in a marvelous fashion. It’s strange, but perhaps the best compliment I can offer this tune is that I never hear the same thing…at times I am attracted to the unfolding bounce, other times it’s the tinkering piano line…all pointing to an album of great promise. Joy in Violence will be self-released on March 30th, with a slew of Canadian tour dates around the release.
Sean Morales has been working in the Austin music scene for some time, most notably as a member of James Arthur’s Manhunt. We now find Sean stepping out to craft his own debut, which is a stark contrast to JAM. Guitar notes are picked carefully at the start, so close to the mic that you can hear the strings if you put your ear to the speaker. Morales’ voice comes across like a whisper, barely willing to step over the guitar sound; he’s joined by an accompaniment at one point during the chorus. Then the song fades out with added textural layers and improvisation, rounding out the perfect vision that Sean’s created with this tune. You can expect the rest of his debut Call It In to follow suit; it’s being released by Super Secret Records this Friday.