Long have we supported Jesse Lortz, ever since his early days with Dutchess and the Duke; he’s since moved on, working on his new project Case Studies. He seems so much more comfortable stepping into the light on his own, with a great drawl to his voice, evoking every last drop of emotion. The song’s built around the backbone of a piano, but the solo guitar work near the end of the track really emphasizes the accomplished range of Lortz as a songwriter. His new album This Is Another Life will be out on June 11th via Sacred Bones.
The last track we offered up from Spectrals was an upbeat affair, somewhere in the vein of modern power-pop. But, this new single definitely shows the songwriting prowess that’s present on the band’s new album, Sob Story; the title track is an ambling number with bending guitars and a soulful croon walking you through it all. It’s almost as if this is a country track, which definitely hits home with us down here in Texas, yet more importantly, I’m just excited that the album’s going to have various avenues for listeners to enjoy. You can pick up your copy from Slumberland Records on June 18th.
Man, I’ve been listening to the latest single from Lemuria pretty much non-stop for the last hour or so. Sure, it’s got a pretty clear homage in sound to the alternative rock of my youth, but with the combination of male and female vocals, it just kills. Throughout the song, it’s pretty steady in both hooks, but they even add a stylish pause near the end of the track. If you’re into the sound, and I think you really should be then you’ll have your chance to hear even more from the band when they release their album, The Distance is So Big, on June 18th; it’s filled with hit after hit.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/07-Oahu-Hawaii.mp3]
Clearly I’m in the mood for upbeat tunes today, and this one is definitely another to add to my list for the day. Honeymoon is a duo from LA, who are in the process of working on a full-length release. While their at it, they’ve leaked this new song, which shows them dabbling with various elements from across the musical landscape. It all revolves around pop, but they branch across varying genres to include space-age oddball moments, but also reach across varying decades for touchstones. Give it a listen and let me know what you think.
Those of you following the indie pop world with a keen eye know that one of the best little labels is Manic Pop Records from Minnesota. The label is quickly making a name for itself by releasing gem after gem. One of their upcoming releases is this new 7″ from Chicago’s StarTropics. I can’t get this tune out of my head right now. At the beginning, I thought it had this Drums affectation, just basing that off the rhythm section, but it then begins to explore a more gentle sonic realm. You can pick up the By My Side/Tempest 7″ on May 22nd.
The last few years has seen some incredible voices come into the foray, such as Justin Vernon. I don’t know why, but when I think of Barbarossa singer James Mathe, I get the same sensation from him. While he started out as more of an acoustic troubadour, you won’t see that in the rhythmic pulse of his latest single, “Turbine.” You’ll find the song on his latest effort, Bloodlines, which is being released by Memphis Industries on August 8th. By all accounts, this won’t be a stripped down affair, as Mathe aims to broaden his sound. But for me, it’s all about the voice–just take a listen.
Out of the ashes from Pete and the Pirates came Teleman, made up of several members of the band. They’ve previously released one single, and now it seems like a new one is on the way from their very own imprint, Encona Records. This new single is more what I expected from the new group, providing more energy than their previous single. Still, it holds onto the careful pop vibe, especially apparent on this tune during the chorus. At the rate they’re going, it’s only a matter of time before the group has a full length on the way. Look for this single on July 1st.
Just this last week the folks over at Burger Records released a cassette from Dutch band Mozes and the Firstborn. I like how the group opens up this lead single by jumping right into the chorus, than going backwards by offering up the verses. The vocals remind me of Austin’s The Strange Boys, those there’s a different folk spin on the group’s approach. A relaxed pace and a catchy chorus make this song worthy of repeat listens throughout your day, which will hold true for the band’s self-titled cassette. It’s available now, so do what’s good for you and pick it up.
Astrid Swan was the first signee with my favorite little label, Soliti Music; her first release was all Pavement covers. On this new single, you’ll see her expansive creativity, as she works the song in slowly for almost two minutes. About that time the piano begins to bounce more heavily, with off-kilter percussion accentuating the vocal. It’s definitely a song that’s going to take careful listening, but I think for a rainy day here in Austin, it’s perfect. You can find her new album Astrid4 coming to you sometime in the fall of 2013.
I don’t know if you were paying attention, but I praised Growing Seeds, the last LP from Lust for Youth, the project of Hannes Norrvide. He’s going to be releasing another LP this year, Perfect View, and I’m already in love with what he’s offered up as his first single. Musically, it’s dark, and while it might not be the most expansive piece, it’s definitely captivating. The lyrics are said, almost shouted, which provides another haunting layer to the sound. Sacred Bones will be releasing the album on June 11th, and you can bet I’ll be in line for that one.