New Music From Album Leaf

the-album-leaf-siffWhaaaa?  The Album Leaf are actually still around?  Apparently so and we couldn’t be more excited!  After a long hiatus from releasing new material (2006), the Jimmy Lavalle lead band are returning in 2010 with a new album.  The new LP goes by the name A Chorus of Storytellers and sees the light of day on Feb. 2nd via Sub Pop.  Until then, check out first single “Falling from the Sun” and get yourself jacked up for the new release.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/05-Falling-From-The-Sun.mp3]

Download: The Album Leaf – Falling From The Sun [MP3]

New Music From Retribution Gospel Choir

retribution_gospel_choir-somebodys_someoneAlan Sparhawk(Low) and his side/solo project Retribution Gospel Choir plan to release a new sophomore album in 2010 called simply 2.  Prior to that LP, check out this sweet new jam “Hide it Away” and decide if you’ll be picking this one up next year.  We probably will be.  2 is available January 26th on Sub Pop Records.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/6177.mp3]

Download: Retribution Gospel Choir – Hide it Away [MP3]

Sunny Day Real Estate – Diary

sunnyRating: ★★★★½

Long before emo was a curse word that you said to your friends, there were brilliant bands that were making the new genre respectable. Yes, 1994, and the music was absent of the whining and glam make-up.  Only one band really stands out in the early years, or at least has the ability to withstand the years of badmouthing: Sunny Day Real Estate. Diary was their debut, and although they may not have been able to top it, it’s the one album that stands the test of time, forever cementing the band’s legacy.

One of the most outstanding landmarks on this album is the superb drum work of William Goldsmith.  His drums fills are technically tight, and he sounds as if he hits harder than anyone else around. Each time the cymbal crashes, you can’t help but fall in love. Just listen to his work on the album opener, “Seven,” and you will be sold.  If not there, move to the next track, and the next; you will only gain more respect for Goldsmith as an underrated drummer.

One of the unique elements of Diary is the ability for the band to move back and forth between their soft and hard moments.  As the powerful “In Circles” comes to an end, you’re greeted by “Song About an Angel.”  It begins with singer Jeremy Enigk’s melancholy gentleness sort of wooing the listener, but steadily the band builds.  Enigk’s sparkling shriek breaks in, crashing upon your ears just as hard as Goldsmith behind his drum kit.

And herein lies the secret of the band’s success, even back during the early days of emo. Jeremy Enigk was, and remains, one of the most dynamic singers ever to walk the stage.  When he sings on key, you can immediately discern the power of his pipes, but he’s not a one-trick pony.  Let him break through with his recognizable belting, and you’ll see just why he captivated so many people for so long.

For me, looking back on this album, one of the aspects I love the most come in songs like “Rounds” or the aforementioned “Song About an Angel.”  Slowly, the band walks into a song, barely moving you, resting quietly on Enigk’s vocals.  Soon, the pace begins to pick up, bursting forth into an eruptive chorus.  And somehow, they even manage to break the formula near the end of the song, steering clear of the chorus altogether.  It all comes to rest upon Enigk’s voice.

We should be thankful that such an album was made, and even more grateful that Sub Pop opted to re-release the band’s work, with bonus tracks no less.  You can now find yourself vinyl copies of some of the most revered albums of the early 90s.  If you missed getting into Diary back in the day, then now is your chance.  Do it for yourself, and you’ll be happy.  If you happen to own it already, revisit, and you’ll gladly find that the band is more than nostalgia.  Sunny Day Real Estate sounds interesting and unique even today.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/09-48.mp3]

Download: Sunny Day Real Estate – 48 [MP3]

New Music From Grand Archives

grand_archives_04Grand Archives is a band we feel strongly about because they were one of the first bands we had the chance to interview when we started this site over a year ago.  Oh and we like their music too… The Seattle based band recently wrapped recording on their sophomore LP effort and first single, “Oslo Novelist” is available for your previewing pleasure now.  Keep in Mind Frankenstein will be in stores September 15th via Sub Pop.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/5804.mp3]

Download: Grand Archives – Oslo Novelist [MP3]

Oxford Collapse Call It Quits

oxford_collapse_2A sad day in the world of indie music news as one of our favorite bands of 2008 Oxford Collapse have decided to call it quits after over 8 years in existence.  We’ve enjoyed this band ever since we caught their show at Mohawk several months back and had the chance to interview them before their set.  You can read an official statement about the break up over on the Sub Pop blog.  Take some time today to check out the last single from Oxford Collapse called “Birthday Wars” or read our positive review of the band’s last album Bits.  Let’s hope the guys keep making music outside of this project.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/birthdaywars.mp3]

Download: Oxford Collapse – Birthday Wars [MP3]

New Music From Fruit Bats

fruitbatsWe’ve really been enjoying this new tune from folksters Fruit Bats and wanted to share it with you guys.  The song is called “My Unusual Friend” and will appear on the band’s upcoming album The Ruminant Band due out August 4th via Sub Pop.  We hope this sweet little diddy gets you excited for the forthcoming album.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/fruitbats-myunusualfriend.mp3]

Download: Fruit Bats – My Unusual Friend [MP3]

5/7 Flight Of The Conchords @ Bass

fotc04If you’re looking for what makes Flight of the Conchords so hilarious, look no further than Jemaine Clement’s perspective on the band’s comedic strategy, “We tell you lies, and if you laugh, they’re jokes.” Funny enough, that sounds about right doesn’t it? Lies or not, Jemaine, along with his partner Bret McKenzie, had everyone in the packed Bass Concert Hall laughing uncontrollably for most of their Thursday night set. We were in attendance and had one hell of a time. Follow the jump to hear our thoughts on the show and see some fancy pictures.

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