Fresh New Pop from Generationals

generationalsWe’ve long supported Generationals here on our site, and personally, I’m excited for their new album, Heza.  It’s clear that they’ve been messing with their formula just a little bit, which has some people a little weary; they haven’t let me down before, so why worry about such things now.  One thing the group always guarantee is infectious hooks that get stuck in your mind, and record player, for days or months.  I’m tapping my toes just bobbing to this song as we speak.  If you dig what you’re hearing, then get your hands ready for their new album when it hits stores on April 2nd on Polyvinyl Records.

[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/81123307″ params=”color=ff6600&auto_play=false&show_artwork=false” width=” 100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

Pump Your Fists with Audacity

tumblr_inline_mj08bavIaS1qz4rgpWe have to kick off Monday with a bang, right? I couldn’t think of a better way than to toss out this bouncing rocker from Audacity.  It’s got everything you need to get your day started: hard-hitting drums, catchy lyrics and bad-assery.  They’ll be releasing their Finders Keepers 7″ on Suicide Squeeze Records on March 25th, before a full-length record comes out later in 2013.  I like the way things are kicking off 2013 for these guys, and you’re all going to fall in love with their sound, I promise.  Have fun boys and girls, this is Audacity.  Oh, and they’ll be doing that SXSW thing, so if you dig, find em’ here in Austin.

[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/80980964″ params=”color=ff6600&auto_play=false&show_artwork=false” width=” 100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

New Pop Tune from Yellowbirds

artworks-000041576297-xpk0dd-t500x500I went into today not knowing anything about Yellowbirds, but once I hear their single from their forthcoming single, I had to search out more.  There’s something that burrows into your soul when you play this tune; I think part of it has to do with the recording, while the other part is surely the delicious bubblegum quality of Sam Cohen’s vocals.  He’s got a full band working with him, which definitely adds some depth to the sound that swirls around his vocals.  I’m really excited to see what it all sounds like together when Songs from the Vanished Frontier comes out on May 28th from Royal Potato Family. 

[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/80781092″ params=”color=ff6600&auto_play=false&show_artwork=false” width=” 100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

Heavy Handed Rocker from The Black Angels

blackangelsI mean, does anyone else really need to praise The Black Angels?  They’ve long been one of the stronger groups in the psychedelic resurgence over the last five or so years, especially in the live setting.  We’re not too far away from the April 2nd release of the band’s newest album, Indigo Meadow, and it’s shaping up to be a really strong album.  Based on my first few listens to the record, there’s almost more of a rock-centric approach to the songwriting, though the traditional bombast the band has embodied continues to be there. On this track, I especially like the soft moment around the 1.5 minute mark; it’s definitely a nice touch to this track.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/02-Evil-Things.mp3]

 

Golden Grrrls – s/t

gg frontRating: ★★★★☆

Sometimes things just feel right, and that’s precisely the feeling I get whenever I play the self-titled album from Golden Grrrls.  With warm weather hitting my city, I needed something that would be both energetic and creative, and this album fits neatly into that box.  Bring on the Spring, and bring on more spins of this record.

“New Pop” opens up the album for this Glaswegian trio, and there’s not a better way to start things off than by combining multi-part vocal (male and female) harmonies.  The distorted guitar, the cymbal play and the frenetic pace of the vocal delivery provides a perfect beginning for one of the brightest records of the year.  And it doesn’t stop when Golden Grrrls move into “Past Tense.”  There’s definitely a bit of a more folk feeling bubbling underneath this track, with less distortion being pushed to the front of the mix; it’s probably one of the tracks that wears the badge of Flying Nun Records influences. Ruari’s vocal appearance during the chorus might actually steal the show a bit, but the whole tune’s simply splendid.

Almost every track provides listeners with something to tap their toes to, even when they choose to go in a softer direction.  “Wrld Peace,” for instance, maintains the warm aesthetic of the multi-part harmonies, but the rolling movement of the drums on this song really stands out to me.  After going back over the record again, I realized that the drums standout on almost every track, at least in some regard, but there’s some many layers of sound going on in each track, that occasionally your attention drifts elsewhere…just be sure to give the drumming some props! Sometimes, all three members join in to offer counterattacking vocal parts, like on “Date It,” which might have been why I drifted away from the superb percussion.  You’ve got to have a careful ear to catch everything going on, which I think is one of the many successes within Golden Grrrls; the formula might appear simple at first, but the subtleties of the craftsmanship really is what allows for repeated listens.  You’ll find that same approach on almost every song.

But, that might be a drawback for some, as many of the songs can bleed together just a bit.  Still, it’s a slight blemish on an otherwise marvelous listen.  You’re not going to find a bad track on this record; it’s simply not possible.  There’s casual tracks of summery pop like “We’ve Got” or there are songs that grab you energetically from the get go such as “Take Your Time,” and they all give you a sense of inner joy.  For my two cents, the record is refreshing, taking a popular format, adding more harmonies and a little bit more focus.  It makes Golden Grrrls one of my favorite acts of the moment, and I’m sure it’ll be yours too.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/02-Past-Tense.mp3]

Golden Grrrls is out now on Slumberland Records.

 

 

Manchester Monday with Sorry, No

521422_449526295119320_1229524907_nSeeing as it’s been a good year for my favorite soccer team, allowing me to wake most Mondays with a win, I wanted to share a new tune from the city that’s recently been put out by Art is Hard Records.   Sorry, No is primarily the work of Luke Bather, with a little help from his friend; I like the stripped down quality of the track, which creates an intimate listening experience.  Word on the street is that a recording is in the process for an upcoming EP, which features the following track.  Sure, it’s not Madchester, but it’s still pretty damn good. Ra Ra Cantona.

[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/79371626″ params=”color=ff6600&auto_play=false&show_artwork=false” width=” 100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

Girls Names – The New Life

girlsnamesRating: ★★★★½

When a band makes a sonic change, sometimes you lose fans or confuse fans, but the slightest change here should be considered a leap, with Girls Names releasing what I believe is one of the best records that will come out in 2013.  The New Life maintains the group’s penchant for uniting jangling guitars with atmospheric psychedelia, but creates this brooding darkness that propels the group into a category all their own.

“Pittura Infamante” was one of the first singles leaked out, and almost immediately you could tell that the group had something building.  The bass line alone brings in a different level of darkness, with Cathal Cully hauntingly crooning atop the verses.  Yet, two things minimize the black effects: the guitars and the chorus.  Cully’s voice carefully sways from the moment he sings “across,” accentuated by some nice keyboard additives. From there The New Life moves even further into its ghastly presentation with “Drawing Lines.”  My ears can’t get over the vocal here, in a good way.  It sounds as if they’ve been recorded in some ancient cathedral, evoking the purest emotion from any listener.  Also, you’ll note that the first of the two tracks, excluding the introductory “Portrait,” are far greater in length than the work done on Dead to Me–their debut had not a song over 4 minutes, but here, you’re lucky to find the two that just barely fit under that mark.  It demonstrates a bit more creativity and budding craft as songwriters, all which benefit the record.

While Girls Names have created more sprawling adventures this time out, don’t let me convince you that it all has to be affected by doom and gloom.  The swirling guitars that eventually open “Occultation” surely display an added light to the record.  Of course, Cully enters again with that demonic croon while the distorted guitar reverberates in your speakers.  Sonically dark, yes. Emotionally light, check!  Towards the end, the song has its own negative space exploration before jumping right back into a spirited close.  But, just because the band can traipse off into their own sonic realms in spectacular fashion, that doesn’t mean you should ignore the shortest track on The New Life.  Neil’s drumming really pushes the pace here, and the brighter side of the group’s guitar playing really shines through.  Even when they do things in tighter fashion, they give you more than you bargained for.  Right now, I’m particularly in love with the chorus.

Hopefully I’ve given you some insight into what listening to The New Life will be like when you let that needle hit the record. However, those are just some personal highlights, and I think what each listener brings to the table will really play a huge role in how the record is perceived.  That being said, I couldn’t be happier for Girls Names–they’ve taken on their remarkable promise as a young band and taken things to an entirely different level.  Feel free to swoon over this record for the rest of 2013…and beyond.

[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/75483032″ params=”color=ff6600&auto_play=false&show_artwork=false” width=” 100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

The New Life is available from Slumberland Records on 2/26.

Fuck Yeah with Shellshag

sspromopic2013JIt only took me two seconds to realize that I was going to dig this tune from Shellshag. The opening bit of guitar noodling had me immediately hooked, and only furthered my attention as the band plugged in a bit.  It’s just a good tune to roll the windows down and turn up real loud, especially on such a nice day today.  The vocals are sort of throaty, but I appreciate that aspect–it only improves when Jen Shag softly enters in the background.  You can enjoy this track and more on the group’s new record, Shellshag Forever; it comes out on April 16th via Don Giovanni.

[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/79922001″ params=”color=ff6600&auto_play=false&show_artwork=false” width=” 100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

Journey Through the Dark (for 10 minutes) with Disappears

disappears_zoranorlicI don’t know how often some of you read these pages, but back during Psych Fest and FFF, I raved about Disappears.  They’re noisy rock n’ roll has always had a special place in my heart, especially their captivating live sets.  Today news came that the group is about to release their new Kone EP, and they’ve unleashed a sprawling track of dark experimentation to wet your appetite.  You’re going to spend about 3 minutes of your day falling into a darkened trance with the group before they offer you even a hint at a vocal.  Then you’re off into the world carefully crafted by the band, so I won’t ruin it for you…everyone has their own journey to take.

[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/80086678″ params=”color=ff6600&auto_play=false&show_artwork=false” width=” 100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

Rolling Folk Pop from The Lonely Wild

1175Something about the damp weather brings me home to blossoming folk tunes, such as this new number from The Lonely Wild.  When the song opens, it’s got a lengthy build in, accented by soft horn accompaniment in the background. Then the track sets its sights on evoking that emotional tug at your heart with male/female vocal harmonizing.  It’s a simple formula, but when executed so well, I find it hard to ignore.  If you enjoy what you hear, be on the lookout for The Sun As It Comes, which will be released on April 2nd via Ursa Major Recordings

[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/79981286″ params=”color=ff6600&auto_play=false&show_artwork=false” width=” 100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

1 548 549 550 551 552 563