In my music catalog, I’m always searching for distinctive voices; the sort with imperfections that might lead others astray. That’s much the case with Bunny Boy, who today announces his new album Did the Angels Come to Kiss you. Put aside the voice, though I think you’ll understand those beautiful imperfections, those slight voice cracks that provide that intimacy/connection we all seek in our art. For my two cents, the delicate song construction and the message is quite special; the pop sensibility is uplifting, which seems to match the thematic element of the tune. Something special this way comes…and it comes on March 1st…Pre-Order HERE.
Resonars seem to have been around since forever, consistently putting out releases for nearly 30 years. Well, there’s good news, as the band have a new LP coming your way via Trouble In Mind Records. Much of the record has the group working in familiar power-pop territory, but that’s not the case in the tune below…which closes out the album. It opens with this huge circling guitar chord, ringing out whilst the vocals let us softly slide into the track. Drum beats drop in, harmonies soar and you’re transported to the highest levels of guitar-pop, where few deign to go. It almost feels like the closing number to some incredible medieval soundtrack where the hero gets carried off into the sunset. No Exit will be out on April 19th!
Daniel Francis Doyle has been one of my favorite Austin musicians for quite some time. He’s always been a unique part of the fabric of this town, whether that’s his looped projects, his bass in Deep Time or his current project Daniel Francis Doyle and the Dreams. Today’s shared single opens with ambient noise, like the onslaught of the tides washing upon the shore. But, at the 40 second mark, the song turns into a pulsating ditty where synths and guitars dance about your ears as Doyle delivers his vocals; I love the way he seems to let his voice rise and fall, depending on the emphasis of the note/lyric…like the stop right before the 2 minute mark. It’s too arty for dance music, but too good to ignore. Look for Unrecognizable on February 15th via Self Sabotage Records.
Just a week or so ago I was calling Herzog the American version of Sloan, and this new single today is doing nothing to deter my stance. They teasingly seem like they’re going to kick into some sort of angular spin, toying with sharp notes before the full band jumps into to carry me into pop heaven. While the power-pop sensibility is there, I think the emphatic punch in the track around the 1:15 (and 2) mark is a solid touch, just to ensure you don’t turn your speakers up too loud. Everything about this song, and this album, thus far, seems like I’m getting the coolest present I never expected, and I’m grateful for every precious melody coming my way. I hope you are too, and there will be more when Me vs You drops via Exit Stencil Recordings on February 22nd.
Hemhora and the Glass Band is a conglomerate pop group, made up of various members of Heligoats and Hungry Mountain. Together, these members are crafting dramatic pop music, built to maximize emotion for every listener. How’s that done? Well, you’ve got to take care with the song’s craft, from rolling notes of bells or strings being carefully plucked, it all builds upon itself, allowing the vocals really bring things home. Speaking of the vocals, they walk the fine line between Eef Barzelay and Travis Morrison, so it has this traditional folk feel with just the slightest bit of oddity, continuing the band’s draw for listeners. You’ll find enjoyment below, and if that is indeed the case, then might you consider picking up their Helix Pattern Blues via Greyday Records.
There’s something about Chase DeMaster’s writing for Get a Life that seems built for the every-man. It’s accessible and hook-laden, crafted with just enough flare of indifference to make the cool kids swoon. It probably doesn’t hurt that Yuuki Matthews (Shins) handled the production for the recording; it’s clear that there’s a sense of layered pop sensibility, particularly in the way vocals are trapped on top of one another. Of course, no great pop song is complete with out its ability to relate to the listener, so just spend time listening to all the people telling Chase to get a job in this song. You’ll know exactly how he feels, which likely means we’ll all find ourselves relating to the hooks and lyrics from the band’s new album, Our Band Could Be Your Life, out next February.
David Lance Callahan has been part of the music community as long as I’ve been alive (30+ years); he’s been part of both The Wolfhounds and Moonshake, but we’re getting to here him below entirely on his own. He’s crafted this delicate, pastoral tune, perfect to take us all into the Winter seasons,offering warmth for those close listeners. Callahan recorded these tunes at home, simply, utilizing little more than guitar and a sampler, with a few friends thrown in to provide the harmonies; the technique definitely provides the listener a certain intimacy that brings you into the world of the songwriter. You’ll find this track as an A-side tune for the SLR30 Single Series, and odds are you’ll find a new album in the works for 2019 as well. Don’t worry if you didn’t sign up for the SLR30SS, as Slumberland generally has a few extras on hand.
Oakland outfit Rays don’t want you to get too comfortable with their “sound,” and they don’t want you to get too comfy with your pop music. They enter the fray here with discordant guitars ringing and a rolling drum beat that sets the mood for a matter-of-fact vocal delivery. But, put your ear next to the speaker, real close like. You’ll hear a slight buzz throughout, an additional layer perhaps added by the bands newest member, keyboardist Britta; it also sounds like horns are brought in as well, so you’re getting far more than you bargained for with your average pop song. It’s frantic, almost spastic, yet wound tightly by superior musicianship so that your ears won’t know what hit ’em. Look for the band’s new LP You Can Get There From Here via Trouble in Mind Records on November 9th.
Admittedly, sometimes pop music can get stale or blend in with like-minded artists. Spooky Cigarette is not that band! Their newest song hints at the current underbelly of indiepop, using twinkling guitars amidst a marching rhythm section. But, the vocals of Frank Mindingall have this dreamy yearning, that seems to work separate from the rest of the act. It ends up creating this frantic tornado of pop music that sweeps you out of your chair and into your go-to dance move. There’s just this undying carefree attitude being tossed about that definitely draws everyone into their musical galaxy. Keep an eye out for this San Diego bunch, as it looks like they’re having a hell of a time.
Tomorrow you’ll be able to get your hands on Crazy Love, the latest batch of song’s from Austin’s Will Courtney. On his final single before the release, he had me with the opening piano prelude…it doesn’t take too much. Then the track settles in with Will’s voice carrying a light bit of scratchiness, like a cooler Tom Petty…that is until he reaches the chorus. He stretches himself, reaching for higher vocal notes, which in my mind recalls the best of the Americana genre, especially when its accompanied by the layered musicianship behind it. You can tell with every note he hits, and every layered bit of instrumentation that Courtney’s fine-tuned all those bits of promise he’s shared with us over the years. Crazy Love will drop Friday via Super Secret Records.