I think my favorite thing about this fresh Wares track is that I was actually unable to pigeonhole the song; it’s got sort of a collection of everything we’re all enjoying in the indie rock community. There’s hints in the opening seconds of emo allegiance, though as the song evolves, dreamier aspects open the tune up, occasionally leaving huge space for rocking breakdowns and Cassia Hardy’s voice. At times, she sings with urgency in her delivery, and at other moments she seems exasperated with the world. Perhaps that’s just a representation of an album titled Survival, with this song shining a light on the importance/joy of “consent and safe sex.” This new LP drops via Mint Records on April 24th.
I want to be forthright and acknowledge that we’ve put out records by 2/3 of Masculine Pain (Big Bill/Literature/Tres Oui). That said, this trio has their pulse on their own brand of synth pop, crafting these seductive, nostalgic beats that are easily digestible, but primed for repeat plays. The band excels in the way they’ve layered the vocals throughout this tune; I think Eric’s voice is the perfect foil for Nate’s sweeping pop tendencies, particularly when they get into chorus mode…don’t be afraid to admit you’re swooning here. As of now, the band are just leaking out singles, so we’ll keep you posted if we hear anything else.
R.E. Seraphin has Austin roots, as songwriter Ray Seraphin spent time in Talkies and our own Mean Jolene, but now he’s living the dream in California. The new project will soon be releasing Tiny Shapes, so why not get this single on your radar. Little guitar stabs and intricately pick notes set the landscape for Seraphin’s voice to deliver these smoky whispers. However, the selling point is definitely the chorus; the song seemingly stops, guitar chords ring and all your emotions crash into one another as Ray delivers the line “I want it all.” Tiny Shapes will be released this Spring by Paisley Shirt Records.
Don’t act like we haven’t been hyping up Seablite over the last year or so, and don’t act surprised when I throw another tune your way from the group! I love the latest recording; the band’s trademark fuzz is buried really deep here; still feels like your speakers are broken, but allows for the diamond to come out of the rough. And, boy, does it ever! The vocals come and rise to this sort of crystalline pinnacle, shining at the top of the cymbal crashes and rolling fuzz from beneath. They’re just keeping at the great tunes here. Look for High Rise Mannequins via Meritorio Records and Emotional Response on February 21st.
I’ve spent the last week or so really digging deep into Pure Soul, the newest LP from John Steiner’s recording project as Boy Romeo. Every time I press play, I can’t help but wonder how some folks get big and famous, while others toil in obscurity. For me, this whole LP is a brilliant collection of pop songs; it should be a huge record, even as indie standards go. You can just take the singles to start. “Let’s Roll” has this surf-y swagger filled with hints of doo-wop and vocal layering that would make Brian Wilson smile. “Sophie” brings in a high-stepping jangle, meant to kick your heels up and have some fun, even with a sly hint at 80s club dance floors. But, a great LP needs a ballad, which you get in “Daydream” as the album draws near a close. That doesn’t even cover a song like “Pastels,” which could draw Steiner some Dent May comparisons, but here we have him going all in with a big horn solo added to the mix. Oh, and you need an art-y song too? Well, there’s “Waiting for My Call,” which stretches a solid pop number into a synth exploration. This LP has it all, and you can have it all too if you grab a copy from Z Tapes tomorrow when the album drops! Here it all below!
It’s really interesting to hear what’s being accomplished in the electronic realm of things, like with the Seattle duo Hallows. I thought I had the song all figured out at first, bringing in this driving sparkling synth pop; it was like the sweeter little sister of Crystal Castles. But, then the song took a turn, switched vocalists, and catered to this dark, cavernous haunt, equally as enthralling, however. Things get even more exploratory in the last minute of the tune, bringing in both a little bit of the song’s natural pop tendencies mixed by the tune’s latter dangerous half. This track will appear on the group’s debut Subtle EP, out March 18th via Phage Tapes.
Mopac first caught our ear a few years back when the band released their Kayfabe LP back in 2017; they’ve been hard at work getting out and playing shows, and writing their new Burn & Soothe EP. One thing I really like about the tune below is the introduction of Christin Monts as one of the band’s driving forces; her vocal performance seems to push the band’s sound in a different direction than where they’ve been previously. It can maybe draw some similarities to Alvvays in the way the voice stretches the notes atop the mix, though the music still feels like its in the wheelhouse of the group. It’s a nice change of pace, and one that I think ultimately benefits the new EP…which is out this week!
Started off the day with a little bit of mellow tunes on my day, so its great that this Flat Worms tune popped into the inbox with news of their new record, Antartica. I love the fact that this song hits you right from the start, blasting through your speakers after 11 seconds of toying with your emotions. The vocals come in with this sort of disaffected stalking, circling about you as a slight guitar line cascades through the distance. Throughout the song they flex their chops, bringing in this sort of classic alternative guitar sound known for its punishment on your ear drums, perhaps due to the mixing work of Ty Segall and Steve Albini. Their new LP drops on God? Records on April 10th.
Moaning‘s always sort of been on the periphery of my listening. I’ve thrown on a few songs here and there, seen them live, but never wholly invested myself in the group. This might be the single that changes that. It has these heavy synth-driven tones from the get-go, and that gives the song this sort of weightiness amidst the song’s pop structures. I was really sold, however, around the 2:20 mark; there’s this huge explosion of pop momentum that turns the song on its head; it might be one of my favorite moments in music this year; they then go and turn it on its edge with some more angular post-punk exploration. Their new LP, Uneasy Laughter, will be out on March 20th via Sub Pop…and yet another band today that will be playing at SXSW.
Not only do we get to write about music every day, but we also put out a bunch of records! Our next release on ATH Records is really personal, as I grew up listening to Gabe Hascall and his band the Impossbiles throughout my high school years. He’s been away from Austin for a minute, living in Portland, but he’s returned, and blessed us with this incredible LP, Thousands of Thorns. Those that were familiar with his band Slowreader will hear some similarities, but this feels more personal, more intimate. I’ve been waiting and waiting to get this record into your hands, and the time is near, as Thousands of Thorns will be out on April 10th.