Local Austin favorites The Sour Notes are gearing up for the release of their next LP, Darkest Sour...and good news for you is we have a brand new single to share with you, and it might just be the band’s best track yet! “On Yer Mark” walks on the poppier side of indie rock, dwelling in that light-hearted realm that’s been owned by acts such as The Pains of Being Pure at Heart. The guitar chords have that angular jangle while keyboards push through the crowd. Jared Boulanger’s voice has the perfect softness to ride the song out, especially when we get the female accompaniment to polish off the pop substance. I’m just sitting here smiling, and I’m sure you’ll be doing the same. Plus, if you’re in Austin, the band play Thursday evening over at Cheer Up Charlies…and I’m sure their set will include many new hits for your ears!
Photo Credit: Vineet Gordhandas
Those of you that know of my appreciation for indiepop and the like will surely be aware of how much I adore Austin’s She Sir. Today we’re here with this brand new tune to announce the release of their new LP, Rival Island. Even if you’re not aware of the band, this is a great place to start, as the guitar work here is exactly what makes the band so special…sometimes it’s jangling, sometimes it’s circular, sometimes it’s dreamy. Russell’s voice sounds perfect behind it all (soft and understated), providing what continues to seem like effortless pop of the best sort. There are few, if any, that do it better than She Sir, so look for the new album from Shelflife on July 21st.
Houston’s Deep Cuts have been on our radar for some time, as they’re always putting out important pop music in the Lone Star State (or so says I). They just passed this brand new single our way, a song highlighting the sentiment of being surrounded by pseudo-friends and deciding whether to sit back and enjoy it, or just go on and get high. Even with the dark sentiment, you can’t escape the band’s uplifting pop vibes coming your way.
And speaking of pop music, the band put an incredible spin on Sade‘s “Hang On to Your Love,” taking the natural groove and dripping it with textured synth and a more impactful beat. The band has a slew of Texas dates, and then they hit up Brooklyn for an AdHoc sponsored show on July 7th. Rest easy “Friends,” pop music will save you.
One of the great thing about living in Austin is the abundance of bands trading friends and members to begin new projects, such as Lung Letters. The band takes members from acts like A Giant Dog and Flesh Lights, both whom we adore. As you’d expect, there’s a heavy handed rock n’ roll at work here, with Jeremy Steen handling the band’s vocal ferocity. If you’ve managed to catch the act live, then you’re already on board, but for those who haven’t, this track does a pretty good job of capturing the group’s energy on recor; there’s an animalistic quality not many can claim as their own. I’m particularly enjoying the moment between 1.45 and 2.30, bringing in some sly little hooks (reminds me of late 90s post-hardcore) before erupting into finale. Look for the Passing Days EP this Friday via Super Secret Records.
With all the nods to pop music, you very rarely find something as endearing (and creative) as Edmonson‘s Strange Durations. Through ten songs, the brothers from Gainesville build layer upon layer of extravagant harmony, experimenting with various flourishes throughout. Songs like “Turnings” see the band experimenting with balladry, with a bouncing piano that moves into a more elegant territory as the vocals reach for angelic tones. I love how the lyrical content reflects the changes in the mundane, such as on “Mobius Strip;” it’s a thematic element that allows every listener a chance to find their own phrase to latch onto in the end.
Don’t rush through your listening of this stream, as it is not an album you can fully absorb without giving attention to the finer details within its confines. There’s such care to every movement, and every note that you’ll quickly find yourself lost deep within Strange Durations. It’s out today via Elestial Sounds Records.
You’d be excused if Tunabunny haven’t quite landed on your radar, but you’d also be missing out on one of indie rock’s special secrets. They’re set to release their 5th album, a 28 song double LP titled PCP Presents Alice in Wonderland Jr, hitting on June 23rd via HHBTM. Rumor has it that this is their response to the White Album, and our first listen should put you on notice that you’re in for a great ride. The subtle groove working beneath the track is sublime, but the vocals have this seductive sugar to it that allows the band to walk the fine line between artand pop sensibility. If you can’t find yourself falling head over heels for this tune, then I think your speakers are broken.
Do you ever get the feeling that the old hits just aren’t the same, that they don’t hit the spot like they once did? That seems to be the sentiment expressed by ex-Sweater Girl Diana Barraza on her latest song with Rat Fancy; you have to grow and find new gems to adore. Musically, the song pulls from the sunnier side of pop, with a steady bounce from the rhythm section that make the likelihood of toe-tapping rather high. Barraza’s voice has a cool summery breeze, floating through the brief song with grace as added keyboard textures ramp up the pop sensibility. Loving it? Yes, you are, so grab the band’s Suck a Lemon EP from HHBTM on May 26th.
Nathan Oliver enters the setting of this song in the most simplistic fashion, throwing out monosyllabic “bah bahs” in quick succession; it serves to immediately grab the listener’s ears, bringing in an immediate sense of joy. Oliver then moves to a steady pop croon, related to the realm of old indiepop; while it’s settling, it jumps into a more emphatic burst during the chorus as drums crash and vocals are hurled through your speaker. I love the balance between a slight heavy edge and the natural pop sensibility that Nathan’s using…particularly in the last minute of the tune. He’ll be releasing Head in the Sand, his new LP, via Potluck Foundation on June 9th.
Jacob Schaffer has spend a great deal of time in bedroom, crafting songs that represent his interpretation of the world as he sees it. For the announcement of his debut album, Gold Chi, he’s dropped this tune, which does hold slightly onto the bedroom recording experience. He does push the envelope a bit just beyond the 2 minute mark, before settling back into the mellow vibe he’s pursued. It’s a pretty chilled out experience, but one that holds a great deal of promise as we near the release of his debut. Looking forward to what his songwriting holds when the record drops in May.
It seems like folk/blues influences songwriters are a dime-a-dozen, but lets not dump Moses Nesh into that bunch. His style is something far removed from the modern genre, but if anything, its much closer to the origin of the style. He employsornate chord work, and his vocals are often obscured by what seems to be a desire to use the voice as another instrument, another layer to his soulful sound. Don’t worry, the chorus on this number has some clarity, reinforced by a female counterpoint that provides a taste of the sublime. One can only imagine what its like to sit in the presence of Moses, but the buzzing strings in your speaker might just bring your ears closer…bring you closer to whatever it is you’re seeking, as well as Nesh. His new album No Labor Saving-Machine is out this Friday via Keeled Scales.
He’ll be playing in Austin on May 4th with Julia Lucille at the Cactus Cafe.