Finally, the wait is over! After two years, the triumphant return of Northern Portrait is upon us. Just one listen to this new single and I guarantee you’ll be foaming at the mouth with anticipation. The song casually opens, with a faint beat in the background and a jingling tambourine…and then we’re off at the 35 second mark. From that moment on, my body tingled with the pleasure of listening to perfectly crafted indie pop that’s hard to match. It’s looking like 2013 is going to be a great year for the band, starting with the Pretty Decent Swimmers EP, which is a 10″ being put out by our dear friends at Matinee Recordings. Yep, I’m in love.
Personally, I couldn’t be more excited about new music from Girls Names. For one, the band’s drummer Neil has won me over with his Sea Pinks project, but I like the darkened underbelly hinted at with Girls Names. Apparently after releasing Dead to Me, the band began to rework their sound, which is completely acceptable, but none the less important to the group’s developing sound. This tune is a good four minutes shorter than their previous leaked single, but I think you’re going to like the feel of the tune. It’s got a wayward jangle, but there’s a wafting quality created by the guitars and the vocals that carries the mood of the ]track. If you dig what you’re hearing (and you should!) then you can pick up their new effort, The New Life, on February 26th from Slumberland Records.
For those of you clamoring to the era of late 70s rock n’ roll where glam met pop met punk, you’re going to love listening to Games. I came across the band a bit back while catching up with the work of Hozac Records, but the rocking blog, Raven Sings the Blues, just tossed up this gem a few weeks ago so I’m forced to share. On this track, the group has a softer edge, giving them a hint of refinement, as opposed to some of the other/faster groups that kick out the jams. You can grab the self-titled debut from Games right now over at Hozac!
And out of the ashes of Pete and the Pirates comes Teleman. Yep, I’m a little bummed there’s no more Pete and the Pirates, but this brand new single from the newer outfit is pretty special. It opens slowly for the most part, using the vocal to really draw in the listener. Moving along, it adds hazy bits of keyboards and a simple drum beat before carrying you off to a blissful pop state. You can find this track on the group’s debut single, which will be part of the new Moshi Moshi Singles Club; it comes out on January 14th, so get those wallets ready.
Mondays are always a mix of emotions, battling between exhaustion and caffeine highs, so I figured it’d be best to wrap the day up with something soothing to send you off into the evening hours. Bell Gardens is a recording project between Kenneth J. Gibson and Brian McBride (the latter of Stars of the Lid, not USMNT Soccer fame), and their recent release, Full Sundown Assembly, is cinematic beauty. Pop songs sprawl, aided by extensive instrumentation to back the structure of the tunes. I see this as an American version of Spirtualized; it’s drenched in soulful songs, yet carefully accentuated by Gibson and McBride. Perfect way to wrap up a Monday.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/04-Nowhere.mp3]
A short while ago I raved about the new 7″ from The Spook School, and they’re wasting no time getting back at it again with this excellent new cassette EP on Soft Power Records/Vinyl. When the song opens it’s just casual twee pop, which is all well and good, but when they blast off at the 20 second mark, you’ll feel your heart jump for joy. It’s a joyous jangling pop tune trading male and female vocal parts throughout the tune. If you’re in search of some ramshackle indie pop to get stuck inside your head for days, then you’ve come to the right place!
You’d think that with a track title like “Summer Girls” that there’d be a heap of sunny pop resonating in your ears, but that’s not necessarily the case with the latest single from Virals. Okay, so there’s a slight bit of those jangling guitars sounds, but what struck me is the wash over the vocals. It takes on a different role, giving the chugging guitars a bit of an indie pop edge–you know I like that. It’s all part of the highly anticipated debut from the group, culminating in the release of Strange Fruit via Zoo Music on January 14th. Yet again, something to look forward to in 2013.
Yeah, this track surfaced on Friday, but what better way to start off on a Monday than by listening to the blissed out pop from The Mary Onettes. Their at work on their third LP, Hit the Waves (Labrador-March 2012), with changes in the music expected by the band; some of those changes are apparent in this first single. Sure, you can see the nostalgia remnants, but that hazy darkness birthed on their first self-titled LP seems a distant memory. Who knows where this will all end up, but I’m always glad to jam to a tune by these guys, so here you go. Happy Monday.
It’s that time of year when we start to get a sneak peak at how our 2013 is going to shape up, and it’s looking like a good year already. Aly Spaltro and her project Lady Lamb the Beekeeper are definitely on my list, especially now that Ba Da Bing have announced the release of her album, Ripley Pine, which comes out on February 19th. In a short time she’s garnered a lot of praise for her intimate performances, and her background story of a video store clerk turned songstress is sure to play into the narrative of her record. Enjoy the sample of good things to come.
Okay, so this isn’t exactly a new jam; it’s from the Plateaus self-titled album that I raved about just a bit ago. But, they put this song out on the net yesterday, and it’s one of my favorite tunes from the record, so I had to have it up here on the net for you. While some of their songs are faster and grittier, this one’s got a bit of pop polish, which is where I first found my love for the band. There’s tons of punk rock and pop rock jams filled on their Art Fag Recordings debut LP, so if you pick it up now you’ll have plenty to sink your teeth into.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/03-The-District.mp3]