Austin Free Week: Weekend Highlights

It’s time for Free Week to come to a close, but Austin isn’t going out without making a final bit of noise for you all. There’s two days left of free rock n’ roll, so this is your last time to take advantage before you have to start paying to see all these great bands. With two days left I’m going to toss out my ideas on where you should find yourself Friday and Saturday night.  Don’t forget to tip your bartender! Read more

Solemn Track from Carmen Villain

I’d find it really easy to dismiss the work of Carmen Villain as some sort of kitsch, seeing as she spent a part of her early adulthood as model Carmen Hillestad.  But, after listening to the first single from her upcoming album, I find her enchanting for a wholly different reason.  There’s a slight rasp to her vocals, and the accompanying music quietly supports her quieted approach.  The album is titled Sleeper, and it’s being released by Smalltown Supersound on March 12th.  After multiple listens to the single, I definitely see the title of the release as quite fitting.

[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/69303873″ params=”show_artwork=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

New Music from The Woolen Men

It’s always interesting when you can see a geographical stamp in a band’s sound, so it’s no surprise that new music from The Woolen Men bares some homage to the Pacific Northwest.  Sure, this most comes through in the bands vocal stylings, with hints of woodsmen, though the aesthetic of recording and running things on your own has also played a huge part in the region’s output.  The band just signed on with Woodsist to release their brand new self-titled LP, which will be in stores officially on March 5th.  I have a feeling a lot of you are going to find this release something you can really get behind.

[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/73537903″ params=”” width=” 100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

New Track from Eat Skull

2013 has a lot of great things coming our way, and I wasn’t really expecting to be as blown away by this new Eat Skull track, which only adds to my list of lofty expectations for the new year.  At first, I sort of felt like I was immersed in a Wes Anderson moment, but then the song sort of began to fill with a bit more noise, so if it’s an Anderson homage, then perhaps this is one of those rare action scenes.  I love the distance between the vocals and the listener, creating a haunting, yet enchanting, bit of psychedelia.  Their album III comes out via Woodsist on February 19, and here’s your first taste.

[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/73281042″ params=”show_artwork=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

More New Alterna Jams from Birdskulls

A few weeks ago I brought you the lead jam from Birdskulls AA Single, which is being released by our friends over at Art is Hard Records, so I’m happy to return with another track off the single.  The sound of the guitars has a definite familiarity, but on this run through, I’m finding the underlying growl of the vocals more intoxicating with each listen.  While the pace might not be as quick as previous track, “Mispresume,” you can see the group pushing themselves to reinvigorate a classic alterna-jam sound, fueled by grit and their undying passion.

[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/70629345″ params=”show_artwork=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

Grim New Tune from Wax Idols

With the release of No Future, Wax Idols quickly made my radar as a band to keep an eye on, and news has finally come out that the group’s second outing is being geared for release on March 26th from Slumblerland Records. Listening to the first single from Discipline & Desire, you can tell that the group has put a darker mood into the record, replacing the anthemic power-punk with a more haunting array of sounds.  For one, singer H. Fortune has a more pronounced, albeit more gloomy, vocal presence, while the rest of the band does their best to round out the complete emotional state.  This is shaping up to be a nice gem for your March listening pleasure.

[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/70084626″ params=”” width=” 100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

Another New Jam from Cayucas

It seems that we’re in for a whole lot of infectious pop if things continue to go as planned for Cayucas.  They are releasing their debut 7″ for Secretly Canadian this month, and this tune is another that wears a bright sunny influence.  It’s almost got a tropicalia feel to it, which definitely is something that I enjoy.  If you listen closely you can hear the warm backing vocals just barely pushing through, creating an effect that only strengthens the relaxed feel of this song.  I’ll have no problem playing this number over and over again.

[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/63020471″ params=”” width=” 100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

Art Pop from Beachniks

I’ve heard rumors of Beachniks for some time, but I really haven’t been able to come up with too much information on the group.  That is until I stumbled across news that the band would soon be releasing their album In Color on Neotomic Records sometime early in the new year.  I can’t tell you how great their lead single is; it reminds me of the clever interplay that was always present on albums by Comet Gain…yet it still maintains a sense of harmony and artfulness, enabling me to act all smug when I listen to it.  Actually, I don’t even care about acting cool…this is just a great jam.

[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/67394291″ params=”show_artwork=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

WTF? Ducktails New Jam

Man, I’m really stuck on the fence with this Ducktails track that just came out.  Matt Mondanile has added a posse of contributors for his newest record, The Flower Lane, but I’m not sure I’m sold on their collaborative appeal.  This tune has Dan Lopatin who uses some hipster-approved moniker, and while I appreciate the effortless keyboard work behind the song, I just don’t think it’s quite as enticing as the work done on Ducktails III.  I don’t mind loops and such, but in his early tape days, Matt was using guitars crafting this dense pop collage–seemingly not the case.  I’m not jumping off the fence entirely, but I’m approaching the January 29th release date on Domino with a little trepidation.

[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/69873592″ params=”auto_play=false&show_artwork=false&color=ff7700″ width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

Great New Indie Pop from Alpaca Sports

It’s been what, a few months since I last raved about Alpaca Sports?  Well, the group has a brand new 7″ on one of my favorite little labels, Cloudberry Records.  The 7″ has a few tracks we’ve previously covered, but this is by far my favorite the group has put to tape.  There’s a slight little orchestral maneuver hiding in the dark here, but it really helps to accentuate the jangling guitars and the warm voice of Andreas Jonsson.  Songs like this often seem really simple in the greater context of things, but not too many bands are pulling of the execution as like what you’ll hear below.  Enjoy.

[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/69816819″ params=”auto_play=false&show_artwork=false&color=ff7700″ width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

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