Those of you who aren’t living in Finland probably have no idea who Astrid Swan is, and that’s okay, though sad in the long run. The track below comes from her 5th album, Astrid4, and this is one of the many great moments you’ll find. Her voice is quite strong, which is probably what first attracted me to the singer’s work, but the accompaniment here is what completely sold me. While the stile is different, incorporating various horns and woodwinds provides listeners with something that’s rare in pop music…a classical touch that’s creative and not forced. You can pick up Astrid4 from Soliti Music now.
You’ve got to keep an eye on things over in Finland, with Soliti Music really putting out some incredible acts. The next slated release from the label is going to be the sophomore LP from Black Twig. Heliogram is the name of the album, which should see a February release; it’s going to be an exciting piece if it contains songs like the one below. I love the guitar playing here…it sort of jangles, but it mostly rings in a melodic, discordant manner. Set it up right next to the softly delivered vocals and we’ve got a gem of a tune on our hands. Looks like we need to head to Finland![audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/02-Pastel-Blue.mp3]
Download: Black Twig – Pastel Blue [MP3]
One of my favorite acts from abroad is the Finnish act, The New Tigers. They’ve been signed onto Soliti Music for some,and their new album, The Badger, is set for a broader release today. In the ringing of the guitars from the introductory moments, you get the feeling that this is going to be an upbeat affair, which it is for the most part. But, the vocals, lightly backed by a female harmony, fit in perfect do offset the energetic feel, albeit only slightly. You can also CHECK OUT a great video fo the song, featuring the group on their adventures in London. It’s hard not to like a song this good.
I’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]
I’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.
I’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]
Not 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]
Our 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.
I’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]
Astrid 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.