There’s a lot of music coming out right now, but none is more fascinating to me, perhaps, than that of Alex G. He’s a crafty songwriter that has amassed a large following rather quickly, though there’s still quite a few who aren’t aware of his gifts. He’s signed on with Orchid Tapes (another hit for the label) to release his album DSU; it’s filled with these carefully drawn musical vignettes, steeped in oddity and pop traditions. This song is a touch more quiet than others, but it still encompasses that beauty that’s kept me enraptured. Order your copy HERE.
If you’re into lo-fidelity pop music or quirk-pop, you should really keep your focus on Orchid Tapes. It seems like every band they’re supporting is incredible, and it looks to be the same from The Bilinda Butchers. This group has a little bit more of a straight-forward approach, as opposed to an Alex G or Elvis Depressedly, but that makes the songs immediately accessible, using dreamy guitar lines and warm vocals. You’ll be able to grab the band’s Heaven LP from the label on July 15th, so keep an eye out for more good tuens from the label.
Our friends over at Father Daughter Records are building themselves quite an incredible roster, and they’ve just added another act you’ll want to keep watch on in the future. Rivergazer is the full band version of songwriter Kevin Farrant’s vision; it’s pop music at its simplest, which is often hard to pull of successfully. This short little number rolls in with a bit of bounce from the keys, and the vocals pushed way up in the mix. If you’re looking for melodious pop music then you need look no further than Random Nostalgia, which has a street date of August 12th from FDR.
I’ve got a soft spot for old school style rock n’ roll that borders on the edges of punk rock. There’s a gruffness to the vocals on this new single form The Tim Version, which reminds me of folks like Chuck Ragan who went a softer route after years in the hardcore world. Musically, there’s that classic bar rock sound, with just a hint of pop thrown in; it’s the sort of guitar play that has gone on the make bands like Hold Steady and the Replacements house hold names. This single will feature on the band’s new record, Ordinary Life, which has a release date of August 12th via No Idea Records.
After a rather quiet beginning to 2014, Chapter Music is gearing up to finish the year in strong fashion. We shared a track from Geoffrey O’Connor last week, and now we want you to take a look at Laura Jean. The construction of this track is quite careful, with barely any pace at all to it. Such an approach allows for LJ’s voice to shine brightly, with a little bit of accent from her friend Jenny Hval. as the instrumentation begins to build you find yourself completely wrapped up in the realm Jean has created with her vocal performance. This is the first single off her up-coming self-titled album, which will see a street release date of August 22nd.
I feel like this is an obligatory post for our boy B. Gray while he’s out on the road doing that real job thing. He loves Superhumanoids, and this single is definitely another reason to be excited by the group’s work. I love the little electro glitch sample that seems to serve as the driving force in this track, while guitars splash upon that backdrop. The impressive vocal performance doesn’t damage the song’s emotional pull either. You can find this track on the band’s new Come Say Hello/Hey Big Bang, which was just released…and also check out their full-length, Exhibitionists.
I sort of feel like Avi Buffalo was the great band that many people forgot about, which is fair, as the band’s fallen mostly silent since the release of their debut of their self-titled album in 2010. But, an amped up schedule of touring, including this year’s SXSW (where I caught them) indicated that they were ready for a return. This track does a great job filling in on the promise that their debut offered, using spritely hooks to capture the listener. After repeated listens, count me in as one of the many that’s on board with anticipation for the group’s new album, At Best Cuckold, which will see a release of September 8th via Sub Pop.
Manna is an Algerian/Finnish songwriter who has just recently announced her signing to our favorite little label, Soliti Music. Her sound rests on her voice, at least on this track, with her vocals starring in the stripped down performance. There’s little more than a flash of strings and piano, but that sultry vocal gets you every time. I’m also really interested in her understanding of the English language, as these lyrics are pretty remarkable for an artist who speaks it as a second language. Be on the look out for her new album from the label this fall.
The introduction of this outfit comes with a bit of sadness, as Southern Boutique taking a full-time role means the dissolution of one of our favorite acts, Tiger Waves. The former act crafted these incredible pop soundscapes with warm harmonies, often employing multiple layers and sounds that made their music more dyanmic than most. But, in the case of Southern Boutique, those pieces still remain, albeit more fine-tuned than ever before. This is their first official single, and it employs the same spectacular melodies that made them so endearing. I have no doubt that with a renewed focus, the group will blossom into one of the most unique acts in Austin, winning over everyone. You can expect to hear more from the band when they release their new album later this summer. Grab their new two song single HERE for the NYP payment method; it’s worth a solid donation.
Personally, I’m struggling this week. It’s my last week with my students, and as 13 year olds, they’re likely to be a little rambunctious, so I’ve got to match their energy. This new tune from My Gold Mask does just the trick, with a pulsing rhythm that moves the song forward. Gretta sounds a little bit bratty, but in that endearing sense that empowers women and makes boys swoon. There’s moments of this track that remind me a bit of Raveonettes, but of course, if you up the dance attitude. Expect a new album from the group later on this year.