Really Stoked on Michelles

I spend a lot of time wading through emails day after day, always looking for something that’s probably going to get overlooked, unjustly. This Michelles tune, for instance, is a prime example, filling my ears with great energy, though just enough of something different to keep me interested. It almost holds onto a touch of Britpop, and throughout it twists and turns with these perfect drips of ecstasy. Honestly, one of the reasons I think I’m listening repeatedly is there’s not a lot out there that I can compare this Chicago act to, and in saying that, that says enough. Good and refreshing. Dark as a Daisy, the new LP, will be released later on this year. Sample this tasty treat.

ATX Spotlight: New Desert Culture

Just another day in Austin, with another great song coming out of our fair city…this time by way of Desert Culture. On their latest single, the band seem to have that swinging psychedelia, though I think there’s an element of polish that seeps through. That comes during the chorus, and as that settles, the guitar notes seem to take on a loftier turn that holds onto some Southern swagger while still keeping some pop sensibility within the song. Daniel Vega’s and his band will celebrate this new release with a show tonight at Hotel Vegas…if you’re looking for something to do.

Another New David Bazan Tune

Yep, another day, another hit for Undertow Records. I don’t know what it is, but they have their finger on my record collection at the moment, offering up a new tune from David Bazan. He’s continuing his output with an electronic backbone, using a simplistic loop to create space for his introspective pondering. I like how the tones of the musical notes seem to match the deeper bits of Bazan’s voice, and of course, it’s always great to hear how David looks at the world…especially his world. Care, the title of the new LP, will be released on March 7th, and you better believe I’ll have it in a matter of hours!

Catchy New Bleached Tune

While the Can You Deal EP might have been recorded in a quick spurt, the song’s we’ve heard from the new Bleached EP don’t bare any resemblance of being rushed. For instance, on this latest single, it might be the best bit of sunny guitar pop the ladies have written. While there’s a sugary call in the verses, there’s this distorted moment around the 2 minute mark that’s really emphatic, offering the perfect punch, giving the song the perfect balance. The band’s Jennifer Clavin has even constructed a zine documenting how music will always be the soundtrack to our lives…both zine and EP will be released by Dead Oceans on March 3rd.

ATX Spotlight: New Ambient Tune from VVV

You’ve always got to keep an eye on what Holodeck Records is doing, as they’re the premier label in Austin when it comes to electronic music. They’re currently working on the release of VVV‘s Why El Paso Sky, and we have this great little drifting piece of ambient electronica for your ears today. It’s the perfect little piece, almost like a blip in a greater soundtrack due to its brevit. It has this unfolding element, settling in the middle into absolute quiet, then moving to the song’s close. It sounds like this release will be a journey through the depths of Shawhin’s cavernous mind; look for the release on March 10th.

Indiepop from Secret Meadow

It seems that the arms of Jigsaw Records are stretching across all continents, with the influential label now reaching its hands into Indonesia to work with Secret Meadow. The project is fairly new, or so we’re told, but holds great promise. Guitar chords spin around within the confines of the song, especially during the more instrumental latter half of the track. Spiritually, it’s uplifting, as most great indiepop should be, filled with fantastic energy and just enough coated darkness to add a layer of mysteriousness. Together, they label and band have just released Same the Old Fear EP, which you can stream below.

ATX Spotlight: New Daphne Tunes

We’re really excited to be releasing Growl’s new LP, but like most Austin bands, the rest of the group are constantly working on other projects. For singer Santiago, he’s been honing his craft in Daphne as of late. His voice always has this mellow shine to it, drifting through the ether; that quality is definitely present throughout this number. Musically, the band takes on a casual indie vibe, with a faint bit of piano/keys tinkering in the background. I think the feeling of the track is best exemplified by the line “I won’t shout it;” there’s no need to break out the noise here. Sit back, be cool and enjoy Daphne tunes today.

Brand New Secret Shine Tune

The last decade has seen a huge resurgence in acts claiming to nod to shoegaze, but it’s great to see one of the genres oldest purveyors making a new album. Secret Shine have just announced There is Only Now, which they’ll be releasing through Saint Marie Records. The first single is drenched in quietly squalling guitars, yet there’s a softness to the vocals, letting the band walk a line where the voice is almost an added textural element. I always thought the original sound in shoegaze came across a little harsh, but these guys (and gal) craft it melodically, which is music to my ears. The release will hit on March 17th.

Here’s Some More New Magnetic Fields

Not really sure how many folks will be working today, so why not run something we’re all going to love…at least I think we should. It’s a new video from Magnetic Fields, offering another glimpse at what’s to come with 50 Song Memoir. While we’re all pretty used to Stephin’s ukulele, he opts for a song entirely built on synthesizers. His voice is spoken word for the most part, except when he offers that deepened croon during the song’s chorus. I love the fact that Merritt always stretches his songwriting when he takes on these elaborate musical plans. The album is being released by Nonesuch on March 10th…and I’m oh so ready.

Bouncing Ballad from Sono Oto

The odds are, like me, you’ve heard the work of Mark Henry Phillips; he’s done musical work for the Serial podcast, and much more. But, now he’s working under the moniker as Sono Oto and prepping his first release. A few snaps of the drum sticks, and the piano and snare bounces him off into playful pop realms; it reminds me of a different version of Albert Hammond Jr, especially on the way he elongates certain vocal notes/syllables. While the song’s structure seems fairly simple, strings and other bits beneath illustrate there’s much more beneath the surface for Phillips. Can’t wait to hear the entirety of Inheritance on March 24th.

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