I loved the records that Jaill put out on Sub Pop Records, but the group’s moving on, agreeing to work with Burger Records for their brand new LP. It’s interesting seeing the growth of the band over the past several LPs; they get catchier with each album, making it hard for any music fan to turn their head away. There’s still some kicking riffs here to get your amped up, stomping or bouncing around your cubicle (bedroom, whatever). I hear a slight hint of Dan B from Destroyer in the vocals, which is never a bad thing for us here at the office. Look for Brain Cream to be released by the label on June 30th.
I’m aware that many of you heard the buzz about this track towards the end of last week, but I’d regret not posting such a beautiful and innovative tune on our site. Coming your way from J. Tillman, a.k.a Father John Misty, is this glorious new single “Bored in the USA”. It’s a tough one to pin down; the joint is clearly a singer songwriter track at its core with some ironic and “white people problems” lyrics that will easily speak to a guy like me. Call it or define it however you will, I think it will easily be one of my tracks of the year. Be patient, listen close, and enjoy the shear beauty.
Lots of folks online are also buzzing about the recent Letterman performance of this track so I’ll link that right here. Definitely want to check that out if you have the time.
Let’s all mark our calendars for February 10th and the release of new album I Love You, Honeybear on Sub Pop Records.
Avi Buffalo, it’s been a while. Four years, in fact, since Avigdor Zahner-Isenberg and his crew put out their mildly-radar-hitting self titled debut in 2010. You may remember this release, but chances are you may have missed out, so a reintroduction may be in order. Avi Buffalo is a group of youths from Long Beach, California, lead by the aforementioned gentleman who brought to life their growing album of “off kilter pop.” At Best Cuckold, this sophomore record, produces the challenge of recreating their success of the their first release, as well as growing from this initial sound.
“So What” picks up right where Avi Buffalo left off, with the reverb soaked high pitched, whisper vocals, the jangly twang of the guitar parts, and the sandy sounding drums pounding away. Though, as the song bounces its way along to the chorus, the band adds in elements, like a bit of saxophone and gang vocals, both coming together with the lead as well as doing their own thing to create different textures through its repeats. The whole track has this shimmery sheen to it, as if the group has rolled their music in sunshine—a simple but good beginning to the album.
On the whole, At Best Cuckold feels somehow lighter and airier than the band’s first release, and these moments of delicateness are the highlights for me on this album. Middle of the road tracks, “Two Cherished Understandings” and “Overwhelmed With Pride” both work together in the gentle warmth that is the theme of the album this go round. The first of these two tracks isn’t even two minutes in length and yet it has me coming back to it over and over again. Synthesizers waft in past some laid back gentle guitar, and the vocals—breathy, barely there—give it a feeling of easy nostalgia, something akin to an indie-pop lullaby. Carrying on this lullaby vibe, “Overwhelmed With Pride,” also brings in the horns, piano, and non-falsetto’ed vocals to put some depth and length on this stripped folksy tune that coolly comments on the pride that comes with being a human being.
But there isn’t just simple and delicate beauty here, but a strange and twisted side to this record that we first came to know on the band’s debut. You can hear this in the odd lyrics on numbers like “Memories Of You,” and “Think It’s Gonna Happen Again” in which the vocals also seem to twist into a caricature of itself. Just when you think you’ve got them pinned, Avi Buffalo keeps you guessing as to which direction they will steer you next, which is a large part as to why this album works in its twisted way.
Shrink Dust is the fifth release from Chad Vangaalen, so you’re likely to know what you’re getting into when you press play. You’ll find bits of ambling noise and samples, but most importantly you’ll find the heartfelt vocals that make Chad’s music so enticing. In fact, this is how things start off here, which captured my attention immediately.
“Cut Off My Hands” begins with a calmly picked guitar, recorded in a manner that lets you hear Vangaalen slide his fingers up and down the fret board. Then he enters with a stunning vocal performance; it’s the perfect pitch to fit the sound of his guitar, though I’ll admit the track gets a little bit muddy with excess touches of noise. It’s similar in structure to what you’ll get when you press play on “Lila,” another down-trodden tune that’s dominated by its simplicity. A slight touch of gang backing vocals and a solid guitar solo elevate this song just a touch, leaving it as one of my favorites on Shrink Dust. But, as many listeners will note, the guitar/voice combo is not the only area where Chad Vangaalen excels in his songwriting.
Lately, he’s had a knack for incorporating multiple layers of sound into his tracks, building on top of a very simple song structure. Your first venture into this arena comes via “Where Are You;” this song features an affected vocal that adds a bit of an echo, while there’s a wash of floating noise that goes atop it all. His vocal delivery of the chorus of “where are you” borders slightly on the psychedelic vein, but not nearly as much as he opts for with the guitar sound on “Leaning on Bells.” Chad adds a little bit of bounce with the trudging guitar lines, but the way the syllables are drawn out on the lyrics is definitely reminiscent of the modern psych touch. Yet, what supersedes any of this is that Chad Vangaalen has quite a diverse sound in the grand scheme of things.
“Monster,” another of my personal favorites, has this warble to it. A wavering vocal if you will. But there’s a swelling chorus that adds a perfect bit of pop to the fold. And while that song operates in the ballad format, it’s followed by the more folk oriented piece titled “Evil.” And just as that finishes, you’re off into the previously mentioned psych track, “Leaning on Bells.” For my two cents, that’s what makes listening to Shrink Dust so ultimately rewarding: none of these songs sound exactly like the one before it, though they’re all obviously related in theme and sound. Chad Vangaalen isn’t going to give you the same song twice, so you’re likely to spend hours listening here without getting labored by too many like-minded numbers. A little bit of time with this record, and you’ll be swearing on the Vangaalen bible.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/06-Monster.mp3]
Download: Chad VanGaalen – Monster [MP3]
Daughn Gibson is an artist who receives a lot of praise around these parts, and rightfully so. It’s an interesting style of music, think Merle Haggard with synth beats, that evokes everyone’s inner fist pump in the air. Daughn has a new track for us today called “You Don’t Fade” that will appear on his new album Me Moan due out July 9th via Sub Pop Records. Of course the deep vocal range is there, making us all try to mimic, but failing miserably. The beats are also once again solid as ever.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Daughn-Gibson-You-Don_t-Fade.mp3]
Download: Daughn Gibson – You Don’t Fade [MP3]
As if you couldn’t tell by their name, Washington based Survival Knife are not a band that plan on wasting your time with their musical delivery. These guys, and one gal, get right down to business from the get go with some very fast, loud, and in your face rock n roll that fits in extremely well with label mates like Obits or King Tuff. The new song I have for you below “Name That Tune” plays exactly how I just described the band; the guitars are loud and it’s full of non bullshit styles. I digs it.
This new song by Canadian based Metz isn’t exactly new, but it is the first time that the single has been available for free online. The song, “Dirty Shirt”, was originally only available as an exclusive 7″ single, but will be available as a digital single with the B-side “Leave Me Out” on December 4th via Sub Pop. I hope you’re enjoying this sludgy punk rock tune as much as I am on this Friday afternoon.
We’re all wiped out from a late night finish on the first Fun Fun Fun Fest evening, but we’re back up and at em’ ready to head in to Day Two with some rehydration and sunscreen. Here’s my picks for Saturday, and they might not be your run of the mill pick, so be sure to pay attention! Follow the jump for more. Read more
It’s Fun Fest time right about now if you weren’t aware, and ATH is kicking things into full force to get you pumped for the festival. As usual, part of our pre-coverage will be a few interviews of artists that we’re excited to see over the weekend. Today we’re bringing you our very first one with a feature on up and coming artist Daughn Gibson. He just put out his surprisingly awesome new album All Hell earlier this year, and we’re really looking forward to seeing him play again. Follow the jump for questions and answers from Daughn.
Just found this gem of a tune “Fireflies” coming from Sub Pop beauty Still Corners and had to share. I dig the electronic 80s style vibe, but of course the sultry vocals are what really seal the deal for me. What can I say, we ATH kids have a weakness for the vocal ladies.
The song is part of a 7″ single coming your way on October 26th via Sub Pop Records.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Fireflies.mp3]
Download: Still Corners – Fireflies [MP3]