When I hit up RSD last weekend, one of the scores that made me happy was the split 7″ featuring a new tune from The Donkeys. Not a few days later they’ve got a new musical offering to get you excited for their forthcoming album, Ride the Black Wave. This is one of those deliciously solemn tunes, best listened to while you’re hanging out in your own space, physically or mentally. I appreciate the fact that it’s also a breezy number, finishing up in under 2 minutes; there’s still careful string arrangements and slide-guitar, so it shows you that you’re not always forced to jam on. Grab their album on June 3rd via Easy Sound.
Just when I thought I was ready to give up on well-crafted pop music like the National, this tune from People Get Ready jammed itself into my inbox. At first I was struck by the vocals, as that’s usually a huge draw for me as a listener. Then the construction of the song took a hold of me, as I marveled at some of the careful guitar work and the backing vocals that fill in some gaps. It’s a pretty interesting sound, and I think it’s worthy of your time on this Thursday. The group will be releasing their new album, Physiques via Brassland on June 24th, so stay tuned for more great tracks.
I’ll be the first to admit that I was pretty floored by the last Grass Widow effort, so since their departure, I’ve been keeping an eye on what Hannah Lew has been working on. This track from Cold Beat fills in pretty nicely as her new project, still kicking out those great guitar lines that serve as the background to her vocals. Personally, I love how the vocals work atop each other here; it’s like one person is singing while the rest are working in juxtaposition, yet it all fits nicely. If you’re going on this song alone, sounds like the band’s debut, Over Me, won’t be too far removed from what Lew’s done before (and I mean that in a good way); the record hits on July via Crime on the Moon.
Austin Psych Fest is just a few short days away, so I reckoned we oughta ramp up our coverage. Today we caught up with Secret Colours for a quick pre-fest interview. I really love the Chicago band’s responses, and I appreciate greatly the thought drummer Justin Frederick put into his answers. The band will be playing at 5:45 on Sunday at the Reverberation Stage. Let’s get ready to enjoy ourselves at one of Austin’s best festivals.
The great thing about our fair city is that with all the huge traveling shows drawing people out, we can also sneak off to our favorite venues to catch a lot of the great local acts. And, for those of you out on the town already…you’ve had a few drinks so far, so you may as well go the extra mile and catch one of these three suggested shows below. I promise you won’t be disappointed in your night. Check out these gigs:
Here’s some tracks by some of the bands playing (A.Sinclair, A Giant Dog, Sour Notes) on the evening, hoping you go local, then go home.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/04-Shiny-Things.mp3] [audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/ToPutItBluntly.mp3] [audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Mannequin-Wire-Cover.mp3]
Looks like one of my favorite acts will be releasing a new album this May. The Wind-Up Birds came to my attention a few years back, and I’ve really enjoyed the work they’ve put in so far. This new tune is the first single off their new record, Poor Music. I love the way the guitars sound, while the vocal delivery definitely bears some resemblance to Art Brut. Be it the jagged guitar or the way they quickly burst into a more forceful music foray within the tune, it still catches my ears. Look for their new record just before the summer hits.
I really love a track that just gives into the soul of the song, discarding all the bullshit to the side. That’s the feeling I get when I listen to pretty much every song on the up-coming Eureka California album. Their songs are catchy, as you’ll see below, but aside from standard song structures, the group doesn’t worry about much else; they dive into their songs with reckless abandon, emboldened by the spirit of just playing good rock n’ roll. You can pick up their new album, Crunch, from HHBTM Records as we speak.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/08-Twin-Cities.mp3]
I don’t want to seem like I’m barking up the Slumberland Records tree, but they have yet another great band to work with, The Proper Ornaments. This is one of those bands that I feel like has been vastly underrated throughout their short existence. But, certain circles of pop aficionados, myself included will swear by the band. They’ve just signed on to release Wooden Head on July 8th, and I assure you, that such care will be placed on these songs that you’ll find it virtually impossible to ignore each track. It’s a little twee, a little like Real Estate, and a whole lot of amazing. Check the first single:
When we first heard from Landlady, the project of Man Man‘s Adam Shatz, we were ecstatic to hear what this new group offered. Now that we’ve got another single to sink our teeth into, things are looking even better than before. The vocals are patiently delivered, moving slowly to match the pace of the track as it moves effortlessly between louder rock moments and ornate guitar picking. You’ll be able to hear the entire thing from the band when they release Upright Behavior on July 15th via Hometapes.
I’ll make no secret of my appreciation for Slumberland Records. Be it their back catalog, their re-issues, or the new acts they’re putting act, they always seem to be in line with my own tastes. Today they had a huge day, announcement-wise, putting up two great new songs by Devon Williams and Gold-Bears, both artists we’ve fawned over here. The first track below comes from Devon’s new album, Gilding the Lily (June 3rd); it’s a mellow pop tune with the melodic touches we’ve come to expect from him. The second is an up-beat rocker from Gold-Bears new record, Dalliance (June 3rd), which might just be one of the best songs I’ve heard this year. What a great way to wrap up the week in music with these two great songs.