New Music From Snowmine

We make no attempt to hide our love of Brooklyn band Snowmine and the sweet sounds they have  been creating in their very brief career as a band.  Hell, we gave them top billing on our year end songs list, and even became BFFs at this year’s SXSW.  All that aside, the guys just sent us this new tune “Saucer Eyes” and it causes us to ever grow our fandom of the group.  Word is not out just yet on when we can expect a new album of material from the Brooklyn quintet, but you know ATH will keep all you fine folks posted for the news.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Saucer-Eyes-master.mp3]

Download: Snowmine – Saucer Eyes [MP3]

Show Pics: 2nd St. Showdown @ SxSW 2012 (3/16)

I was a happy kid. Sure, things could have gone a tiny bit smoother with sponsor issues and sound-guy car troubles early, but we pulled together like a community and put on an excellent day of music. Big thanks to all involved, my +1 for bartending early, the bands for helping each other out, whatever it took was whatever it took and the party felt like SxSW of old.

So here are a bounty of pics from the 2nd St. Showdown

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BGray’s SxSW Reflection

I had my camera. I took almost 4,000 pictures. That seemed like a lot, but once I factored in the number of bands, the odd things that have to be documented, the friends gathering for shenanigans and the eight long days involved, it really wasn’t surprising. I haven’t done the final tally, but it would be fair to say that I saw part of a set from around seventy bands.

It is my turn to give a rundown on bests and worsts of The Conference. The many highs were tempered by very few lows. I chased that BUZZ that drives the relevant music fan. My summary will be a little different because I did the whole damn thing; twelve movies, several Interactive and film panels and of course all the music.

So, plenty on the movies, panels and bands and a flurry of pics to accompany all that 411 after the break…

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RayRay’s SXSW Reflection

Everyone has a love/hate relationship with SXSW.  We’re all so happy at the beginning of the week only to hate life come Monday.  We here at ATH want to provide some recaps from our week of music and we’ll be doing that with some personal reflections from each member of our staff.  Follow the jump for more from me.

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ATH SXSW Show & Sampler (3/16/12)

It’s that time again folks, time for SXSW and another awesome show by yours truly here at ATH.  This year we’re teaming up with our amigos over at local label Sonora Records to bring what is arguably the best SXSW show around.  We’ve got a sweet lineup that’s been worked on behind the scenes for months now with some equally incredible local sponsors.  Here are the deets on the show after the jump.

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Song of the Year Battle

First, we’d really like to apologize for the site being down for a few days.  Clearly we had some issues, but we were enjoying Fun x 3 Fest, so we got to it as soon as we could.

Second, I feel like the guy in this picture today, so I wanted to toss something your way.  Aside from our post-grunge a-capella group during Danzig, we spent a lot of time talking about albums of the year, song of the year, and of course, the festival.  But, we can’t seem to agree on our favorite song of the year, so here’s where you can help. We’re putting up both the songs we feel are in contention, and we need you to give us your vote. Leave a comment and tell us which you like more. Or, if you hate us and completely disagree, tell us in the comments what your favorite is. Here we go:

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/05-Let-Me-In.mp3]

Download: Snowmine – Let Me In [MP3]

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/04-Who-Are-You.mp3]

Download: Twerps – Who Are You [MP3]

Snowmine – Laminate Pet Animal

Rating: ★★★½ ·

If you haven’t heard of Snowmine, and odds are that you haven’t, sadly, then let’s just say that you’ll probably fall in love with listening to Laminate Pet Animal.  It’s got references to all sorts of sub-genres beneath the indie umbrella, with each demonstrating the unique craftsmanship of this Brooklyn group. This record has the band poised to start their introduction to the masses.

“Beast in Air, Beast in Water” has a really ornate approach, using a dark percussive skeleton to kick off the entire affair, met with ghostly group vocals.  As the vocals quicken, your anxiety is met with a sweeping harmony of a chorus, including a nice little symphonic arrangement to provide extra depth.  Seriously, just let this chorus warmly wash over you.  And if you thought the band would only stick to one direction, their intentions to mix things up are made with “Penny,” the second track on Laminate Pet Animal. There’s a bit more of a driving momentum to this number, though it has a similar, though more melodic, vocal approach.  Again, you’re greeted with a gorgeous rising pitch vocal in the chorus.  Songs like these are easily appreciated by all.

Perhaps one of the more gratifying things about Snowmine is their willingness to explore the outer spectrums of indie rock.  “Danger in the Snow” has sort of a tribal beat that runs through it, and the rest of the song feels as if you’re meeting the more spastic younger brother of Grizzly Bear.  Once again, arrangements of horns and what not strengthen the sound, providing a more distinct sound for the group, rather than allowing them to live as pure mimics. But all this barely holds up to what the rest of the collection has in store for you…just wait for more direct pop joy.

Perhaps too much of the first half of Laminate Pet Animal is dictated by experimentation and lush arrangements, for once “Let Me In” breaks in, there’s no turning back.  This is perhaps the best song on the record, and perhaps one of the best tracks of the year to date.  It’s such an unassuming track, mingling along with trickling guitar lines, rim shots on the drum, and a wondrous melody that captivates you time and time again. Similarly, “Hologram,” closes out this effort from Snowmine with a slow-paced, piano-backed ballad.  Emphasis here is definitely placed on the craft of each harmony, making sure it coincides with multiple vocals tracks and various entrances and exits of instruments.  More than “Let Me In,” it delves a bit further into the creative side, but near the four minute mark, the speed picks up, carrying the song to a triumphant close.

Listening to this record is something everyone should participate in this week.  The songwriting is magnificent, as well as the emphatic touches of careful accompaniment.  Putting it all together perfectly is the key that makes Laminate Pet Animal such a success, and you’ll walk away from the effort wishing you had more from Snowmine to take with you.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/05-Let-Me-In.mp3]

Download: Snowmine – Let Me In [MP3]

More New Music from Snowmine

A few weeks back I brought you a stunningly beautiful track from Snowmine, and as we draw closer to the release of their record, Laminate Pet Animal, on May 3rd, more tracks are slowly leaking out.  This newer track takes it’s time to build you up, as you anticipate some sort of soudn explosion.  While the band does give in, it’s not quite as strong as you would expect, showing great restraint to maintain the band’s song structure and sound, rather than indulge in the quiet/loud formula of modern lore.  It’s hard not to fall for this band at the moment, crafting gently moving melodic pieces of wonderment.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/SNOWMINE-Beast-in-Air-Beast-in-Water.mp3]

Download: Snowmine – Beast in Air, Beast in Water [MP3]

New Track from Snowmine

Damn you Brooklyn! Why must you have such stupendous bands?  Can’t the rest of us share a little bit of that love?  Well, actually we can because we get to hear the incredible meandering pop of Snowmine, who are set to release their debut LP, Laminate Pet Animal on May 3rd.  Listening to the first single, “Nervous” reminds me of what you would get if you crossbred Suckers with Grizzly Bear.  I don’t know, maybe that’s lazy, but those vibrant melodies mixed with that odd percussion and delivery definitely left me with that feeling. See what you think about this track; I mean I know it’s good, but is my comparison right on?

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/SNOWMINE-Nervous.mp3]

Download: Snowmine – Nervous [MP3]

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