Relaxed Number from Delay Trees

delay_trees_promo_2013_2I’m in love with the modern genre that I’m going to dub casual-pop, or cas-pop for those who want to hype it up.  It’s a genre focused on airy guitar work, warm melodies and occasional lo-fi tendencies…such as Real Estate or Twerps.  The genre’s made its way over to Finland and Delay Trees.  They’ve just offered up their first single as a teaser to Readymade, which is their new album; it’s slated for an early 2014 release via Soliti.  I liked their last album, but if they keep writing such incredibly well-crafted tunes like the one below, then I’ll surely declare my love when it hits the streets.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/06-Perfect-Heartache.mp3]

Download: Delay Trees – Perfect Heartache [MP3]

 

New Ballad from Prince of Assyria

princeofassyriaI’m feeling pretty overwhelmed with life in general at the moment, so I definitely need some mellower tunes to help calm the world.  Today, I’m happy to share with you one such tune from Prince of Assyria, who’ve just signed on to Soliti Music for the release of Changing Places in early 2014.  This song moves rather slowly, but in doing so, it allows for the extremely emotional vocal to rest atop the lightly strummed acoustic guitar.  You’ll also hear some nice orchestral arrangements haunting the background, which help to establish a forlorn mood.  I think some people will definitely be interested to hear this mellow gem.

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Soliti Music Sign Gim Kordon

V__3F9BI’m always down to support our friends over at Soliti Music, especially because it helps us work on our global view of music.  The Finnish label has just signed their very first act to speak in their native tongue, Gim Kordon.  They’ve got a track floating around today to celebrate the signing, indicating where the band might be going with their debut in 2014.  They’ve dropped names like Dino Jr. and Sonic Youth,  and while I can see those, something here definitely smells of Superchunk too.  Sure, I don’t understand a single word, but sometimes it’s just the music that moves you!

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/TOKA-MIXAUS.-7.6.mp3]

Download: Gim Kordon – Ei Ole Helppoo [MP3]

New Music from Astrid Swan

astrdNot too long ago we told you that Astrid Swan was working on wrapping up her 5th studio album, Astrid4.  Today we bring you another new track from that release, which shows the minimalist artist broadening her sound.  The piano is definitely playing the skeletal background role here, with rolling drums and horns lurking in the background.  Their union provides an emphatic punch to the song itself, allowing for the sensible pop listener to fall head over heels.  This record will see a release by Soliti on October 25th.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/02-Four-Months-To-Kill.mp3]

Download: Astrid Swan – Four Months To Kill [MP3]

Brand Spanking New Tune from New Tigers

newtigersOur good friends over at the wonderful Soliti Music have just announced that The New Tigers are back again with a brand new record; they’ve added a new drummer due to the mix too.  On this new tune, there’s a playful attitude that wraps itself around the ramshackle drumming and ringing guitar sound. I like the fact that the group is still sticking to writing longer songs, at least that’s what’s evidenced here; it allows for various movements within each song, which always excited me.  The new LP is titled The Badger, and it will be made available on September 20th; hopefully it brings them to the States.

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Soliti Music Turns 2

soliti-turns-2-blue-640x634I’m really excited for my far away friend Nick and his wonderful label to be celebrating two successful years.  Soliti Music has brought us gems from Cats on Fire to The New Tigers to Big Wave Riders, and in honor of that celebration, the label is giving up an 8 track compilation of tunes that are either unreleased or demo versions.  They’ve even got a few words about each of the songs, which you can find HERE.  But, if you want to get your hands on some great tunes, or perhaps even discover your new favorite band, then click HERE.  For now, here’s my favorite track from the label.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/My-Sense-Of-Pride.mp3]

Download: Cats on Fire – My Sense Of Pride [MP3]

New Music from Astrid Swan

astrid-swan-promoAstrid Swan was the first signee with my favorite little label, Soliti Music; her first release was all Pavement covers.  On this new single, you’ll see her expansive creativity, as she works the song in slowly for almost two minutes.  About that time the piano begins to bounce more heavily, with off-kilter percussion accentuating the vocal.  It’s definitely a song that’s going to take careful listening, but I think for a rainy day here in Austin, it’s perfect.  You can find her new album Astrid4 coming to you sometime in the fall of 2013.

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Black Lizard – s/t

blacklizard_frontcover-640x639Rating: ★★★½☆

In my mind, it’s got to be hard to start to craft your own sound, unburdened by the music one consumes, unless of course you’re in a semi-remote area, such as Finland.  It’s clear when listening to Black Lizard that they bear the touchstones of many acts, but their self-titled debut sees the group creating something entirely their own; it’s an album with diverse sound that will please any listener.

Sonic exploration seems to be the key to the album’s opener, “Honey, Please.” Like a storm, it rolls in quietly on the back of a ringing guitar, with happily haunting vocals drifting atop.  For me, the marvel is the restraint show on the tune, as Black Lizard seemingly stay in one mode for the entirety of the track; I’d be apt to just let go with a wall of noise. However, the band moves into more psychedelic territory on the following “Boundaries,” which is in danger of having some of the atmospheric guitars bleed all the way through your speakers.  Percussion on this tune takes a more tribal approach, while the vocals still have that foggy coating, even with a bit of clarity opening up briefly before the song fizzles out in a haze.

Even though the more broad reaching tracks on Black Lizard definitely hold a spot on my weekly playlist, I think that one of the facets that works best for the band is when they go for simplicity, such as on “Dead Light.  Sure, the pacing in the beginning has that slow opening, but when the chorus lets loose with distorted guitars and vocal swagger, it’s perhaps one of the best moments on the album: a sure hit. “Forever Gold” is similar, especially in the realm of length, but it’s a quick banger that allows the band to tightly weave their sound into a neat little package for listeners.  It’s not that the group gets too expansive, I just enjoy when they get a bang-on chorus that makes me bob my head, and that’s present in both these tunes.

If I were to counsel the group, I think my advice would be to allow for the vocals to shine through a bit more though, just a bit.  “Love is a Lie” is one of the most memorable tracks on the album, and it’s success is that it combines that stomping rhythm, bits of distortion, but also vocals you can attach yourself to, allowing listeners to fully invest themselves in the record.  But, aside from that small slight, Black Lizard clearly are defining a sound all their own, making this an effort worthy of your time. You want post-rock? Shoegaze? Psychedelia? It’s all here, and it’s all execute with a style that perhaps could only be captured in the land of Helsinki.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/BLACK-LIZARD-Love-Is-A-Lie.mp3]

Download: BLACK LIZARD – Love Is A Lie [MP3]

Black Lizard is out now on Soliti Music.

 

Great Track from The New Tigers

thenewtigersWhile line-up changes are never fun, they sometimes push bands into new horizons, which seems like the place where The New Tigers will go after losing drummer Kece. For me, the first thing I noticed was the spritely step in the bands sound; it’s immediately more playful than anything they’ve created before.  You’ll still find swirling guitar work in the background, but the light-hearted attitude is immediately charming.  You’ll be able to find this track, and others on the band’s second LP, which will be released by our great friends over at Soliti Music.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/The-New-Tigers-Quicksilver.mp3]

Download: The New Tigers – Quicksilver [MP3]

New Rocker from Black Lizard

BLACKLIZARD_promopic1Late last year I brought you news of the great signing by Soliti Music, Black Lizard, offering us a dark bit of psychedelic folk.  This time, the group returns with a new single for their self-titled album…and it’s got a similar sound, though one that has a little bit more of a hazier coat of noise atop it.  Their album will be available from the label on April 5th, and it even has a little help from Anton Newcombe.  I have a feeling that once this is out, it’s really going to make its way overseas and create a huge stir in the States.  Good thing we were here first!

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/BLACK-LIZARD-Love-Is-A-Lie.mp3]

Download: BLACK LIZARD – Love Is A Lie [MP3]

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