Relick‘s been making waves here in Texas for the past few years, and you can now stream their great new Twin House EP! These six tracks definitely have a central musical theme, taking on touches of the world left behind by Rilo Kiley, but I also think that singer Amber Nicholson has a tendency to sound a little bit like Neko Case…which is never bad in my book. A lot of the tracks have that indie rock influenced Americana approach, but I love how they throw “Sun” into the mix to change things up and provide some musical differentiation. They’re self-releasing their Twin House EP next week, so stream it while you can!
I really have no idea what lurks behind the name of Gobbinjr or the brand new album manlang, but musically, it really quite intersesting, if not quite pertinent to this week’s listening rotation. It’s all the work of New York’s Emma Witmer, and there’s a couple of tracks I’d like you to listen to today. “BB Gurl” is the first single, and it’s a bit of twinkling pop, akin to early sounds of Rilo Kiley. Still, there’s this dreamier sound hiding behind the song, which is why I wanted to share “No Name” too, as it’s one of the album’s best tunes. It takes on a more solemn approach, and in doing so, it tugs at the heart quite a bit…stellar tune. You can order it from Gold Flake Tapes if you’re interested, as you should be!
I love real sports, but this is referencing Sports, the band, who’ve just signed on with Father Daughter Records to release their Sophomore album. It’s a short blast of indie rock, bordering on the line between me and pop-punk; it reminds me of what Rilo Kiley might have been had they gone in a completely different direction. In just over a minute, you’re tapping your feet, trying to sing along, all the while grinning with enjoyment. Their new effort, All of Something will be out on October 30th. You have a minute? Enjoy your sports!
I always wondered what happened to Blake Sennett after Rilo Kiley disbanded and his group, the Elected, had gone quiet. It appears he’s been working with a friend under the moniker of Night Terrors of 1927. Yes, it’s a bit much to say, but I’m digging the music that they’re creating. It features this folk-influenced grand ballad approach, though they are trying to diversify by offering some electronic beats in the background during the chorus. I think the song would survive without that touch, but the soft spot in my heart for Joey the Rat allows me to look the other way. See what you think as the band ready the release of the Guilty Pleas EP on November 5th.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/youngandvicious.mp3]
Download: Night Terrors of 1927 – Young and Vicious [MP3]
It’s been quite some time since we’ve heard anything from anyone aside from Jenny Lewis in the Rilo Kiley camp, but it seems that the once retired Blake Sennett has put down some tracks of his own. He’ll be releasing his newest record under his The Elected moniker for Vagrant Records on May 17th titled Bury Me in My Rings. Listening to this song reminds me of the early work of RK, when used solid harmonies to provide a bit of summery pop to listeners. I’ve always liked Blake’s voice, ever since his early days on Boy Meets World, so I’m happy to hear him back doing what he does best. Lets hear it for Joey the Rat.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Babyface.mp3]
Download: The Elected – Babyface [MP3]
What can we expect when our favorite artists fall in love and write music together? It didn’t work for Yoko and John, but would it work for Rilo Kiley songstress Jenny Lewis and her beau, Johnathan Rice? Well, I’m Having Fun Now, the first album under the Jenny and Johnny moniker, really sums up the attitude of the duo, as that spirit, at least musically, embodies everything about the album. Honestly, you’ll probably be having a lot of fun as well listening to this record.
When Johnathan Rice‘s voice kicks in on “Scissor Runner,” it’s a warm entry, and you begin to wonder when Jenny will show up. Seconds later she greets her man with her distinguished vocals, sounding a little bit more like the Jenny Lewis of yesteryear. Beginning at this point launches the record in the perfect direction, exhibiting a duo completely comfortable with one another, both in and out of the studio. They even stop to incorporate some of the current California jangle pop with “My Pet Snake,” the first track that really features Jenny. Her voice hasn’t sounded this great and confident in years, which may surprise some, as Rice helped her produce the much lauded Acid Tongue. So far, so good.
“Big Wave” is another one of the record’s great tracks, and it’s one of those tracks that really takes you back. Jenny sounds a lot fresher with her vocal performance, and while many love her country-fied leanings, she can still carry a solid pop tune. It’s not the most incredibly innovative songwriting, but the casualness on display suits the duo perfectly; it’s like they were both born to write I’m Having Fun Now. Even Johnathan sounds great when he takes the lead role, such as on tracks like “Animal.” There’s a hint of devil-may-care in his delivery, yet there is a certain sense of confidence, perhaps from knowing his lover/best friend is by his side, as Lewis really brings her powers to the chorus here.
An edgier Jenny Lewis, who still writes her lyrics in much the same fashion as she always has, is on exhibit with songs like “Straight Edge of the Blade,” transporting listeners back to the days where she seemed so care-free. This is perhaps the best accomplishment of Jenny and Johnny, bringing the best out in each other, supporting each other and uniting in strength. “New York Cartoon,” much like parts of “Scissor Runner,” uses vocals from both parts singing in unison. It’s the perfect accompaniment, and you can clearly see why they’re such a match. These touches of balance and harmony lie in wait for listeners throughout the album.
In conclusion, you couldn’t really ask form more from the two songwriters here. There’s hints of both their passion in these songs, sometimes edgy, sometimes mellow and warm. Perhaps you won’t find the music the most innovative out there, but occasionally its those groups who clearly know each other so well that they bring the best out of one another that really hit home for us. Jenny and Johnny have shown us just that with their organization of I’m Having Fun Now; the record shows the two having fun playing together, which leads to fun for us. The ball is in your court Ben and Zooey.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/Jenny-and-Johnny-Scissor-Runner.mp3]
Download: Jenny and Johnny – Scissor Runner [MP3]
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The last time we caught Dawes, they were winning over the audience opening up for Delta Spirit. Now they’re headlining their own set up at Emos this weekend, bringing you their blend of Americana and California-tinged bluegrass. Luckily, the openers aren’t too shabby either; Cory Chisel & the Wandering Sons have the middle slot, and Jason Boesel opens. You’ll know Jason from his role in Rilo Kiley and his work on various Bright Eyes records. See you Saturday night![audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/Hand_of_God.mp3]
Download: Jason Boesel – Hand of God [MP3]
It’s been awhile since we heard anything from the other half of our favorites Georgie James, but finally, Laura Burhenn is back. She’s got a new group called The Mynabirds who will be releasing their debut album, What We Lose in the Fire We Gain in the Flood, on April 27th on Saddle Creek Records. We’ve got a sample track for you to get to know the band. If you ask me, it sort of sounds like Rilo Kiley if they were out to have a ball.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/TheMynabirds_NumbersDontLie.mp3]
Download: The Mynabirds- Numbers Dont Lie [MP3]
What? You still listen to THAT album? That record is so 2004! Well, that’s okay, because we really like that one too, which is why we decided to come up with a list of our favorite albums of the last decade (2000-2009). Sure, these might not be YOUR favorite records, or the most critically acclaimed, but we sat down and really thought out every record from the past ten years that we keep coming back to in our collections. You’re likely to disagree with some of these, and we won’t tell you we’re absolutely right we just know that these happen to be OUR favorites. If you think we totally blew it here, feel free to tell us so, but be nice, as our egos are kind of fragile. Follow the jump for more.
I think you all knew that ATH would go here at some point and alas today is the day that I take the leap and display our true male hormone driven selves with a top 5 about the hot ladies of indie rock. I won’t beat around the bush here, this post has little to do with the musical talents of these ladies, and more to do with how they drive me crazy with their good looks. I promise not to offend anyone and also promise that these women have made my list because they are empowered and musically talented women who also just so happen to be pleasing on the eyes. I love them all and would probably just turn into a bumbling idiot if they ever actually spoke to me… You will see a lot of familiar faces on the list and probably take issue with some big names being left off. I love you too Feist and Neko, just not quite enough for you to break into my Top 5. If you really wanted to mess me up, you should have gotten to me sooner! Follow the jump for our full top 5 breakdown.