Introducing Paperfangs (For Fans of Dream Pop on the Electric Tip)

I’m really pleased to have discovered Soliti Music over the last year; they introduced me to Finnish acts Big Wave Riders and New Tigers, put out the new Cats on Fire, and now this wonderful new signing, Paperfangs. It’s a more electronic dream pop then the majority of the stuff I’ve been into lately, but those down-trodden vocals and mixture of samples near the end of this track really stuck with me.  Before they get huge, you can also go HERE and get ahold of their latest AAVVAV EP, which is the precursor to what I can only expect will be great work with Soliti.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/02-I-Felt-the-Ocean-1.mp3]

Download:Paperfangs – I Felt the Ocean [MP3]

More New Music from Cats on Fire!

Cats on Fire have to be my favorite Finnish group, though there have been some great ones of late.  Their first record Our Temperance Movement played on my record player for a solid year, and this new effort All Blackshirts to Me will is shaping up to be one of my favorites in 2012. It’s slated to be released by our friends at Soliti Music and Matinee Recordings, with the overseas release date stated as March 28th. On this new jam, it starts off with just a bit of trickling pop vocals, then it reaches this pinnacle, which honestly has me spinning around my room in absolute glee. Definitely can’t get enough from these guys, can you?

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/A-Few-Empty-Waves.mp3]

Download:Cats on Fire – A Few Empty Waves [MP3]

Black Twig – Paper Trees

Rating: ★★★½ ·

It’s clear from the recent rise in Finnish music trickling overseas that there’s quite a bit of great music being created in the country; Black Twig is another act determined to share their creativity with the world.  Paper Trees is their first proper album for the newly created Soliti Music, and while the label may be small, they’ve got some huge sounds to promote.

There’s definitely a diverse sound when you take your first trip through Paper Trees. For me, the biggest standout track was “Death Scene,” the albums fourth track.  It’s got a certain earnestness to fit as much as possible into the song, not unlike recent releases from Cloud Nothings.  Yet, you’ll find one large unifying force lurking in this song, and the album itself; the pleasant vocals help maintain a perfect sense of pop sensibility.

Going back to the beginning, you’ll realize that this seemingly effortless bit of cool was present all along.  Album opener “Four Notes” has a decently jangling guitar line, but the breathy vocals keep the song steadying in the waters of traditional pop tunes. But, just as you think the band’s settled into traditionalism, they warp up the song with squalls of feedback and noise, though not in an overbearing sense.  Such touches are present off and on throughout Paper Trees, demonstrating that Black Twig are definitely working out their sound. And in playing with such sounds, you end up with experimental tracks that seemingly come out of nowhere.

“Kouvala (Slow)” is one such track; it’s a sprawling piece of post rock stretching over seven minutes long.  Vocals on this track are practically non-existent, but the restraint the band displays in the songs construction perfectly displays their supposed intentions, leaving listeners with a taste that is more than just your average pop record.  It’s also indicative of the second-half of the record, which seems to hold a dark, nosier side of things in place. You’ll just have to listen to album closer “Antichrist” to see that the band can sufficiently produce edgier moments with chords knifing in and out of atmospheric negative space.  It will also leave you with the feeling that Robert Pollard just wrote a four minute track, as the vocal stylings and mixture of noise and traditional pop fare both lean towards the aforementioned musician’s work.

Paper Trees seemingly goes all over the place, from screeching post-rock to quieter moments of blissful pop, and yet it’s tied together so well that you’ll hardly notice the change in mood from one point to another.  Black Twig surely are a potent songwriting force; it’s clear in the way the songs are written, and the way the record plays out: you’ll find yourself jamming to this one over and over again, grateful that Finland is finally making its musical mark abroad.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/04-Death-Scene.mp3]

Download: Black Twig – Death Scene [MP3]

Brand New Gem from Cats on Fire

I’ve waited since 2009 for Cats on Fire to introduce me to brand new music.  They’re set to return in 2012 with a brand new effort full of new tunes on Soliti Music sometime this coming Spring.  My first listen to this brand new track, “My Sense of Pride,” reveals everything that I’ve waited for over the last few years: it’s got elements of light twee, but in a casual way where it avoids the realm of nostalgic kitsch.  There’s also a bit of solemnity to the track, which for those who’ve listened closely, has always lurked quietly beneath the surface.  I’m going to come out and say it though; this is possibly one of the best bands around, so take heed and enjoy this new offering.

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

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

New Rocker from Black Twig

There’s not a hotter label in my mind right now than Soliti Music, and the killer label has been generous enough to share us this incredible new track from Black Twig.  The group will be releasing their album Paper Trees via the label on January 11th, and as of right now, this is one of my most anticipated records for 2012.  In this newest single you’ll find jagged guitars jangling, but it’s the vocal that really grips you; it’s calming, which juxtaposes the furiously beautiful noise that bounces through the rest of the song.  If you’ve heard anything better this week than this track, then give me a heads up, as I don’t think you will.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/04-Death-Scene.mp3]

Download: Black Twig – Death Scene [MP3]

More New Music from The New Tigers

I’ve already spent a lot of time over the last month raving about The New Tigers, so when our friends over at Soliti Music sent us two brand new songs, I got a little bit giddy.  These two tracks are left over, apparently, from the recording session that created the band’s recent self-titled record.  Much like the album, there’s a whole lot of noise living right in your face, but lurking behind it all is the soft pop sensibility that makes the band so dynamic.  These are the kind of songs you just want to listen to over and over and over again.  Here’s “Toffee,” the first of the two tracks.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/toffee.mp3]

Download: The New Tigers – Toffee [MP3]

The New Tigers – s/t

Rating: ★★★★ ·

It’s got to be hard to get your music across the Atlantic, especially when you’re a little known band from Finland.  Fortunately for you, The New Tigers self-titled album has slowly begun to trickle across the seas, bringing us fuzzy pop that’s sure to appeal to listeners of all sorts, crafting tunes that will resonate with your ears time and time again.

Of course, one of the greatest things about listening to The New Tigers is their ability to build their pop from within a realm of lo-fi noise, but then let the songs sprawl out into the great unknown.  Album opener “Clocks of Destruction” is one of two such tracks, building in momentum just near the minute mark, but fading into crafty noise, like Broken Social Scene would pull of when they were in a jamming mood.  It takes a special track to build on what could easily be a two minute pop song and still maintain interest throughout.  “Pocketful of Sand” is the other such track, but it takes just a bit longer to reach the vocals, but they’re so light that you’re likely to just see them as a floating piece of the inherent melody the band has built.  These two tracks alone make for a special listen, but this isn’t all the band wants to offer you.

“Transitions” is a much quieter offering from the band, providing listeners a moment of rest and relaxation as the song itself slowly prods along.  Softly the song meanders along, letting you know that this doesn’t always have to be a forceful trip to the noisy horizon; The New Tigers can win you over with a slow number as well. You can then jump right into the bubbly “Door on the Floor,” a more light-hearted bouncing track that resembles Pains of Being Pure at Heart during their quieter noise-pop days.  It’s great to offer sprawling tracks, but being able to contain yourself is a trait that not every band seems to possess, so its nice to see these guys exploring structure and length.

Perhaps one of the secret gems on The New Tigers lives near the end; it’s called “Velvet Jam.” The more I listen to this track, the more I seem to absorb, pulling me further into the song itself.  There’s bits of jangling guitar, ramshackle drumming, and wispy vocals of the softer sort, carrying the melody along perfectly.  Personally, I like the touch of the knifing guitar line that cuts in and out during what seems like the chorus, just before the jangle kicks back into the track.  It’s the sort of song that begs you to listen over and over again.

It’s interesting when listening to The New Tigers how much they sound like a lot of the American bands we all adore, yet at the same time, they’re able to add their own little pieces, allowing the record to sound vibrant and refreshing. Just one listen to the self-titled record will surely not be enough, as you’ll have to go back again, just to check if it’s as wonderful as it sounded.  I got news for you: it is.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/05-Pocketful-Of-Sand.mp3]

Download: The New Tigers – Pocketful Of Sand [MP3]

The New Tigers is out now on Soliti Music.

F**king Great Track from The New Tigers

I caught wind of this group back in the summer when I discovered the great new label, Soliti Music.  They’re dealing predominantly, at least as of now, with Scandinavian acts, and The New Tigers are one of those acts.  They released their debut album recently in Finland, and I hope I can somehow get my hands on it over here in the States. This track just sprawls in the most beautiful way, launching into this blissful moment that carries you away.  Seriously, I jammed to this once in the past, but just recently found myself getting lost in this number.  And if this isn’t enough, you can also check out another track HERE.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/05-Pocketful-Of-Sand.mp3]

Download: The New Tigers – Pocketful Of Sand [MP3]

New Music from Black Twig

I’ve been keeping my eye on Soliti Music, the label that released the Big Wave Riders EP earlier this year.  Just the other day they unleashed this excellent gem from Black Twig.  The group is gearing up for a January release of their album, Paper Trees, and I’ve been pretty impressed with what I’ve heard so far. It reminds me a lot of The Mary Onettes, but just a touch more fog coating the music, yet still maintaining that pop sensibility I adore.  If you’re into that sort of shoegaze pop track, you’re going to really enjoy jamming out to this number all day long.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/Lake_Song.mp3]

Download: Black Twig – Lake Song [MP3]

New Track from Big Wave Riders

We talked about Finnish starlets, Big Wave Riders, a bit ago, but as the date nears closer for the release of their Behind These Walls EP, which will be available to you on September 7th, they just keep releasing more tracks. You’ve got to check out the latest, especially with hints of high-stepping grooves laying just beneath the surface, then exploding during the chorus–even with a screeching bit of guitar solo to wrap the song up nicely. There’s just this bit of craftiness living beneath the feeling of fun that you’ll probably associate with this song, and who doesn’t like to see those two things meet up? Enjoy folks.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/02-behind-these-walls.mp3]

Download: Big Wave Riders – Behind These Walls [MP3]

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