Top 50 Albums of 2016

top50You’ve all been waiting, anxiously. Waiting for our arbitrary list of the opinion of four folks who run this site, and what we think were the best albums of 2016. It’s really really important. We’re going to make our site great again with this list. We’re going to win, bigly. But really, it’s just a list of the stuff we loved the most that we covered throughout this year on our site. The comment section is open, so feel free to tell us where we’ve gone wrong or what we’ve got right or anything else fitting. Read more

Brand New Old Music from Dayflower

dayflowerOne of our favorite discoveries this year has been Dayflower, and they just sent us a note that they had unleashed a brand new song recorded a bit ago…just now seeing the light of day. This one is heavy on the samples, but the washing of guitars for texture is what grabbed me. I love the way it allows the vocals to sort of playfully move in and out of the song; it sort of reminds me of a more electronic take on what Deerhunter‘s been doing…or maybe even Radio Dept. Regardless, this project always brings us great hits, and here’s yet another one.

Bedroom Gaze from Marble Arch

marblearchNot sure where I first stumbled upon Marble Arch, but my bandcamp scouting reported that a new tune was up…and it immediately filled a hole in my listening rotation. Honestly, it’s a dense bit of bedroom pop, organized around electronic beats/samples; it doesn’t fall too far from the realm of Radio Dept., except this is a wee bit more dreary in its atmospheric positing. It’s rainy day music done perfectly right, but you can listen to it any time really…or at least that’s my recommendation.

Chilled Pop from Lady the Beard

ladythebeardSettling into a short week are we? Then perhaps you’d like to chill out at your desk with some relaxing vibes? Take a listen to this Lady the Beard single, looping beats over a bright guitar line. Reminds me of a Californian version of the Radio Dept, hiding the vocals just behind the mix and coating them in a little haze. If you listen softly there’s a nice little vocal accompaniment lurking in there too, giving you the ultimate relaxation on this Tuesday morning. Find a way to enjoy yourself today.

The Skating Party + The Death of Pop

lathecutHidden Gem Records have just released this ridiculously beautiful split lathe 7″ from The Skating Party and the Death of Pop. The Skating Party tune is marvelous, sounding like a less electronic version of Radio Dept, brimming with an undercurrent of pop sensation that’s inescapable. On the flip, the Death of Pop tune unfolds with a slight hint of jangle, yet still beholden to dreamier soundscapes (with slightly more energy). You can grab this special collection of songs from Hidden Gem HERE.

Felt Like Posting This Radio Dept Song

occupiedA few days ago this Radio Dept song was birthed into the world, and while I’m a bit behind things, I had to get it up.  The band has long been one of those mysteries in the music world that begs your attention, yet declines to play by the normal rules.  They release on their own terms, like they did this week with their Occupied EP.  As per usual, they mix electronic music with varying arrangements, though this track relies more heavily on those beats.  It’s a smooth piece of electronic pop, embraced by casual vocal delivery that dares you to turn your ears away.  You can grab the EP from Labrador Records in stores now.

Political Return for Radio Dept.

RADIO_2It’s been quite some time since we’ve actually heard new music from Radio Dept., who just happen to be one of my favorite acts; they’re like my own personal Swans (Swans are better than Radiohead, right?). They’ve always had a slightly political bent, so it’s no surprise that the first bit of new music we hear from them is a protest song with a vocal sample that basically calls for the death of fascism.  There’s a pulsing electronic undertone, yet as always they coat it in these beautiful washes of warmth that just scream for me to listen over and over again.  This might be a one off, but I’m crossing my fingers it means way more than that.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/The-Radio-Dept-Death-To-Fascism.mp3]

Download: Radio Dept. – Death to Fascism [MP3]

 

 

Austin Spotlight: SHMU Releases Chroma Key

shmuHonestly, I don’t entirely know what to say in order to get you into Austin’s SHMU. There are these weird glitch elements thrown into a pot chocked full of bubbling pop melodies, creating this spectrum of musical experimentation pushed to its limits. It’s off-putting in a fascinating sense; you’re attracted to the oddity of the goings-on, yet you can’t identify precisely what it is you love.  It’s like the Radio Dept. and Working for a Nuclear Free City got mashed up by the makers of Atari. Regardless of how you want to identify the music, I think you’ll all be better off today if you spent some time listening to the most recent release, Chroma Key. It’s a pleasing head-scratcher, to say the least.

Fun Fest Lineup Is Here

We’ve all been waiting for today, and we’ve all been super hyped on the 2011 Fun Fun Fun Fest. Honestly, the leaks and the info today on turntable.fm all seemed a little heavy on the hip-hop/electro side of things for me.  But, now that the line-up is on its way, there are some great gems. I mean, my man crush Ted Leo will be there. I’m stoked on seeing Cloud Nothings and Radio Dept, so much so, that I’d go alone for all that. But, as Transmission always does a great job putting this together, everyone’s going to find their own genre/niche of bands to get excited for.  So, do yourself a favor, head over to the SITE, and see who your favorites will be. Then leave us a comment and let us know…maybe you can give us a heads up on what’s hip. Also, don’t forget tickets go on sale for the 3rd round today.  Label me officially stoked!

New Tunes from Radio Dept.

The+Radio+Dept+radiodeptSweden’s Labrador Records have a stranglehold on all things Swedish pop, and I’m grateful for it.  Just recently they released a new Radio Dept EP, which features several of the songs off the bands upcoming album Clinging to a Scheme.  Not much is really known about the record at this point, other than it should hit during the Spring.  This track, “David,” has a sort of shoegaze-synth-pop-croon to it, and everything just sort of moves along from there.  You’ll be digging this track all day long.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/Radio-Dept-David.mp3]

Download: Radio Dept – David [MP3]