Smooth Vibes from Beacon

Beacon_4_photo_by_Will_CalcuttI brought you a couple of hits from Beacon in 2012, and it seems the duo aim to keep making really quieted electro-pop that’s perfect for those mellow nights at your home.  When the song begins, you can see the care that’s placed on allowing the track to enter at its own pace.  Soon a more industrious tinkering of electronics comes in to accompany the warmth of the vocals; you gotta dig it.  The band’s debut album, The Ways We Separate, will be in stores on April 30th via Ghostly, so keep an eye out if you’re interested.

Gritty Gem from The Living Eyes

artworks-000040370353-zsrb68-t500x500I’ll continue my fascination with Australia today by tossing out this rad tune from The Living Eyes.  On April 1st the group will be releasing their self-titled record with help from Anti-Fade and Z-Man Records.  Unlike a lot of their Aussie peers, there’s more of a garage-rock, blues-oriented groove at play in this track. I like the control of the vocals, as I’ve seen many a band throw that wayward howl into similar sounding jams.  Just goes to show you all that rock n’ roll is alive and gritty all around the good old globe.

Eat Skull – III

eat-skull-III

Rating: ★★★★ ·

I’m late to the party on this one, having only recognized Eat Skull by name, rather than by their previous efforts.  That being said, III seems like a good place to start for me, as it’s already made me a champion of the work the band are creating.  If, like me, you’re new to the band, then come along as I take you on my first journey with the band, which has already been an exceptional trip.

“Space Academy” immediately had me sold on III.  It’s got a fuzzy guitar riff that opens up the album, followed by some chanted vocals that dictate to us exactly “how it’s going to be.”  My ears recalled bits of a Brit-pop stomper, albeit an extremely louder/scuzzier version.  Even as the song trails off into an instrumental guitar dabbling, I still found myself enthralled. “Dead Horses” soon follows, and it doesn’t do anything to dissuade my adoration.  For one, the band references taxidermy, my favorite pastime, on multiple occasions, but it’s also got this rolling pop-centric guitar line that lives in the middle of the track, which oddly works in harmony with the discordant accompaniment.  I’m psyched to watch these “dead horses decompose with taxidermy eyes.”

Eat Skull do decide to turn things into a different direction on the third track, “How Do I Know When to Say Goodnight,” which seems like a blend of glitch-pop and their ramshackle folk influences.  There’s an other-worldly chanting going on in the background that at times can be a tad grating, but otherwise, the experimentation of the group opens your ears to some incredible pop moments. I think the group’s dallying between genres comes to fruition, however, on the most inconspicuous of songs. There’s a heavy coat of bass fuzz atop light guitar playing, yet the vocals have this certain clarity that isn’t present on all the other songs within III.  You’ve got to have patience on this number, and I appreciate that, leaving me with my own personal haunting. Another gem you’ll find lurking in the musical madness is “They Burned You.” This jam has its own ghoul, which comes in the way of a looped vocal circling through the foreground and the background.  For me, my appreciation comes from the strumming guitar work and the rising and falling of the vocals.  It starts off your final leg of the journey that will take you through the joyous “Amnesty Box” and the more exploratory pop of “Catch Em Before They Vanish.”

It’s easy to admit that Eat Skull might not be for everyone’s enjoyment.  There’s certain elements that I can see as being inaccessible, especially if you’re one to quickly push through your musical collection.  But, if you’ve got the patience for listening, then find yourself peeling back the layers of III; it’ll take you to places you might not go, musically speaking, for the rest of the year, making this a memorable listen time and time again.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/01-Space-Academy.mp3]

 

 

Indie Pop Friday with Just Handshakes

841230_10151385453640805_840043184_oWhat a great way to wrap up a really good week in music! Just Handshakes are readying their debut full-length, Say It, but in the meantime, they’re offering up a nice glimpse via their new single from Bleeding Gold Records.  There’s definitely some nostalgic leanings in this track, but that aside, it’s just a glistening pop tune with a wonderful female vocal eager to make the world swoon.  If you can make it all the way through this track without letting a smile creep upon your face, then I do believe there is something wrong with you sir! Enjoy your weekend folks.

Electro Goodness from Barbarossa

1775When I first heard this new single from Barbarossa, Hot Chip sprang to mind.  The groove and the vocals do bear some resemblance, but the song unfolds in a different manner.  As opposed to an over-sexualized nerdiness, this track unfolds in a gentle manner, showing more restraint.  It’s not a club banger, but there’s a soothing mood created.  James Mathe is the man behind the music, and he’s just signed with the heralded Memphis Industries to release his first single, which we’re featuring below.  You need a mellow electro jam? Look no more.

Rocking It Out With Mikhael Paskalev

1170In 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.

More Glamorous Pop from Warm Soda

Warm_soda_FRONTsmall_1024x1024.144844Barely 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]

 

The Stevens Sign with Chapter Music

2312597976-1I’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!

Another Gem from Paperfangs

paperfangsOne 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]

 

New Music from Burnt Ones

BurntOnes2013_1You 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.

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