In my experience, music from Norway doesn’t sound quite like Mikhael Paskalev. At first opening it seems to have some sort of barroom jangling troubadour, with a nice little effect on the vocals, but then he changes the direction of the track, slowing it down to allow room for his pop-centricities to slide through. He’s about to release the below single on March 5th via Mom + Pop, so it should be making some waves just before he blows into Austin for our annual SXSW festival.
Barely a few weeks ago I brought you a rad little number from Warm Soda, and they’ve tossed out another one that deserves equal notice. “Waiting for Your Call” starts out with this chugging guitar progression, with a bit of background twang. It builds until the band twists your arm into a moment of pop goodness, aided by the soft vocal delivery. The guitar knifes in and out of the track, each time being accompanied by precision drumming and that smooth vocal hook. If you know what’s good for you, you’ll be going to pick up Someone For You on March 26th via Castle Face Records.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/06-Waiting-For-Your-Call.mp3]
I’ve had my eye on Australian band The Stevens for a bit now, and I’m really happy they’ve found an incredible home on our favorite label, Chapter Music. In honor of the signing, the label will be releasing their self-titled six-song EP on 7″ on April 13th. I love the way the guitars have this heavy-handed post punk feel to them, but then they take that notion and turn it into a softer little ditty. It’s a great effect, providing you with this catchy song you’ll want to play over and over again. Congrats to the label and the band for a perfect union!
One of my best kept secrets (unfortunately) is my undying love of this new album from Paperfangs, Past Perfect. This Finnish three-piece are crafting these really subdued electro-pop tunes. In my mind, I immediately feel as if they’re akin to PB&J, but I think their musicianship here is much more interesting. They’re not using gimmicks, just blissed-out harmonies with warmth lurking in the background. Their latest single is certainly one of the stand-outs on the record, demonstrating the sincere pop approach the band will utilize in winning your hearts. Take a nice long listen, and fall in love with the group: they’re album comes out via Soliti Music on February 22nd.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/9.-All-Girls-Are-Grey.mp3]
You looking for a bit of glam pop to brighten your day? Well, that’s precisely what you’ll get when listen to this new tune from San Fran’s Burnt Ones. The band just announced they’ll be releasing their second LP on Burger Records on April 30th; it’s titled You’ll Never Walk Alone (I hope these guys don’t like Liverpool!). There’s a fuzzy guitar that rings in the opening of this tune, just before the clapping and stomping begins. It’s immediately catchy, but it’s not sugary, using a little grit to make the song sound just a bit dirtier. Nice little ditty for a Monday.
I’ve been waiting for Shout Out Louds to replicate the deliciousness that was 100 Percent from their first LP, and I think this new track, Illusions, might just be that perfect step. It combines the element of indie dance music with the group’s current musical warmth, due mostly to the soft spoken female backing vocals. You can listen to this song and not feel a bit of personal exuberance; you better be tapping your toes or spinning about at your cubicle/bedroom. This tune has me thoroughly excited for the band’s new album, Optica, which comes out on February 27th via Merge.
You know about my adoration for all things Finnish right? Well, Kiki Pau win right off the bat, but also because they’re associated with both Dungen and Beyond Beyond is Beyond Records. If you’ve got five minutes, and I know that you do, you need to sit down, preferably somewhere quiet. There’s multiple movements within this song, and there’s no way you can really put some generic label upon the track–that’s probably a good thing. I like the light-hearted vibe entering in around the 3 minute mark. This tune and others appears on the group’s Pines LP, which was just released today!
Okay, so Mikal Cronin doesn’t go entirely soft, but in comparison to his work with Ty Segall, the only thing you’ll really find comparable here is the wall of guitar distortion that bursts into the background during the chorus. For the most part, the various verses carry a more general pop element, which should surprise people in the long run; you’re still going to find it appealing. The song has a central hook, and the combination of the soft and loud element will make your day. You can get his new album, MCII, from Merge Records on May 7th.
This new jam from Psychic Twin, a recent signee to Polyvinyl Records, is something that seems straight out of the bedroom pop of the 80s. It opens with this trickling it of synth work, but then the entrance of the vocals switch it up, giving it a more enchanting feeling. Personally, the fact that it doesn’t really stay in one place for too long is quite intriguing, listening to the song move back and forth between tropical and bedroom pop. If you’re into what the group is doing, and you should be, then find yourself picking up their Strangers 7″ on March 5th.
I’m a sucker for a man and his guitar, and that’s exactly what Matthew Siskin and his project Gambles has given me. Not only that, but I’m really enjoying his knack for word wizardry. Very few people can come across as affecting and honest as Siskin does in this new single, and my only complaint is there isn’t more to absorb. Even scrolling through his web site, I can’t help but be drawn to the aesthetic he’s putting forward. A bit of craft and poetry, and possibly a bit of hidden mystery. Sounds like it’s right up my alley, so I can’t wait to see him in February here in Austin.