Stream a New EP from Connections

connectionsOne of the great little-known bands I’ve come across in the last few years has been Connections; I got turned onto them by a friend at the record store. They had a great effort, Into Sixes, that may have been drastically overlooked this year, but this new EP deserves a lot of attention. It’s a short little EP, offering up some more gems for fans of catchy power pop fans; it was just released this week by Hozac Records. I promise, you’ll love every song on the 5 Imaginary Boys EP.

Driftwood Tune from Grand Lake Islands

grandioseI guess as the faux-Winter sinks in, it’s time to regress into sad-bastard tunes, and nothing is as fitting as this song from Grand Lake Islands.  It’s this dense piece of folk-pop that carries your mind down lonely roads.  But, there are some little touches where they subtly go in directions that I didn’t expect.  For instance, the chorus has the opportunity to erupt, and no one would blame them, but instead they just carry into a darker tone.  It’s songs like this one that have me anticipating their new effort, Song From Far, which will be released on Janury 20th via Good Mountain Records.

Have You Listened to Buxton?

buxtonBuxton seems like it’s been one of Houston’s best-kept secrets; I know tons of folks who’ve caught wind of the band, yet they never seem to get that one would expect.  But, they’ve just completed their third record, and this appears to be the one that’s going to reach the masses and gain the following they deserve.  This tune starts off with a stuttering guitar line before taking it’s stride with a nice little bopping drum beat. You’ll hear the musicianship that’s present on this new LP, Half a Native, as the song unfolds, with nice little doses guitars twanging.  Look for their new LP this March via New West Records.

Stream the Unblinking Ear Mixtape

unblinkingearFriday’s are best if they’re polished off with a nice mix tape, or a nice stream for the end of the day.  I figured you’d be best to wrap up the day with one from a whole bunch of bands that’ll keep your spirit up…not to mention it includes songs from some of our local favorites like Simple Circuit, Sally Crewe and Sweet Talk, not to mention ATH alumni, Literature. If you pick it up from the folks at Unblinking Ear Records, then you can read all about the recordings…such as where the work was done, who took part, etc…you know, if you’re into liner notes.  Anyways…every track offers something different, so enjoy your weekend and these tunes.

Dream Pop from Darlings

darlinFriday’s push you to the weekend.  And weekend’s are for fun.  So you’ve got to have some fun music to kick that off, right? I think this tune from NYC Darlings will do just the trick.  There’s a guitar chord that rings in your ears, while the vocals push the hook to the max; it’s just the right level of fun, though not in a cheesy fashion.  You’ll be able to find this tune on Feel Better, which is being issued by Wild Canary Records on January 20th, making that a busy day with tons of hits scheduled for that release date.

Enjoy A New Taft Track

tiftTaft has tons of ties to Austin, be it their label Punctum Records or some of the band’s live members, so we’ve got to support that giant circle of community. It doesn’t hurt that their lead single off their upcoming release, Groove Redundant, is ridiculously solid.  The song takes what I hear as a stripped down approach to the craftsmanship of Kevin Barnes, though I feel as if that’s an easy way out due to some of the vocal tones.  Still, the music revels in this world of playfulness, though the subdued nature of the song’s arrangement might indicate otherwise.  Look for the LP to be released on February 10th.

Another New Jack Name Tune

matthemchaungheyDue to Internet blog strategy, I haven’t been able to share this tune with you, so if you’ve jammed to it, you’re free to skip.  Jack Name‘s quickly earning a special place in my heart with his latest slew of singles; this tune in particular has his voice hiding in the song’s mix, though you can hear the eerie pop sensibility sliding through. I like how he chose to leave it as such, as he clearly could have turned that up and left the number as just a bombastic pop hit…it still is in my mind.  This is just another reason I’m looking forward to the tunes that will come on Weird Moons, which is released on January 20th via Castle Face Records.

The Return of Emma Kupa

emSince my fawning of former-Standard Fare leader Emma Kupa never seems to dissipate, I’ve got to promote the announcement of her new mini-album for Wiaiwya.  It’s not like she’s kept silent since her former act called it a day; she’s in Mammoth Penguins and she did that great single with Darren Hayman that made our year end list, but now she looks to go out on her own, albeit for a bit.  Her approach in the song below shows some slight changes, with a more subdued folk approach and a change to the subject matter (turning from love to family).  I love the strength of her voice too. The little album will be available in the Spring, but for now, just enjoy this dreamy track.

Premiere: Huge Sounds from PINKSHINYULTRABLAST

PSUB-7aTwo days and two remarkable hits from Shelflife Records, but this time the label is bringing you the Russian five piece PINKSHINYULTRABLAST.  While there’s a concise formula, this song exemplifies the band’s ability to move in and out of varying sonic realms.  On the band’s first single, they open with this jagged post-punk guitar line that’s infused with this glittering touch, but as the song progresses there’s a harder edge that comes through the amps.  It’s all part of the diverse noise the group brings to the table, all the while maintaining this intoxicating beauty.  They release their album, Everything Else Matters, on January 27th.  Expect huge sounds and huge things for this act.

Fresh Tunes from Dick Diver

dickI fucking thought the hits from Wednesday were solid, but I’m stoked with the tunes I’ve got for you today, especially this new Dick Diver tune.  The Aussie outfit has long been one of my favorites (I might have even been their first US supporter, maybe!).  They’ve just offered up this great new single, which actually shows the band with a poppier and more forceful tone, which could come from the fact that the band is working with lyrics co-written by poet Michael Farrell; it could lead to some incredible things on their new LP, Melbourne, Florida (I’d like to state for the record that I once drank too much Kentucky Deluxe by the case in that odd beach town). The album will see the light of day in early March via their long-standing label Chapter Music and new US rep, Trouble In Mind Records.

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