Obits Return and Rock Out

ObitsWe’re a little late on this new jam from Obits that dropped yesterday, but we love the band too much to pass on posting new tunes just because we might be a bit tardy.  So with that out of the way, here’s the new power rockin’ number from Obits called “Taste the Diff”.  Of course it’s about what you’d expect to hear from these veterans, it’s a jam with screeching vocals and a no BS attitude approach to songwriting.  We can all get behind that right?

A new album entitled Bed & Bugs will drop on September 10th via Sub Pop Records.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/01-Taste-the-Diff.mp3]

Download: Obits – Taste the Diff [MP3]

PYAITK: I Love This Song By Still Corners

Still CornersI saw Still Corners at SxSW a couple years back and was mesmerized. This song may help you understand why. It kicks me in all the right places to level my brain space and make me put the media player on one track repeat.

You can find this on the recently released on Sub Pop album, Strange Pleasures. <- vaulted into the list of my favorite albums of the year in one listen. So good. So very good. Update, added an mp3 stream as the Soundcloud is borked.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Still-Corners-Midnight-Drive.mp3]

Welcome Back: Lilys

It’s been a long time since I’ve even really thought about Lilys, but I’m so glad the band is back with a new tune.  The project was always that of Kurt Heasley, and they’ve bounced around stalwart labels like Sub Pop and Slumberland, landing their newest single on Speakertree Records.  You can find the following tune on a new split with Big Troubles, another band we adore here at ATH.  It’s a gem of a pop tune, including a little bit of the quirky stylings that always made listening to Heasley so special. Do yourself a favor and seek out the group’s catalog; it’s full of hits like this.

New B-Side from Holopaw

I’m not sure where my infatuation began with Holopaw, but I’ll claim myself as a devoted fan of the group, perhaps with their early work from Sub Pop and Isaac Brock…and their impossible to find third album.  They’ve just joined up with Misra, who released a 7″ from the band, and will also be releasing Academy Songs Vol. 1 on January 15th (just before my birthday!). This is the B-Side from the 7″, representative of the band’s ability to move in and out of various musical spaces within the span of a single song.  It’s always been something I’ve adored, not to mention the sound of Orth’s voice on everything they’ve done. Enjoy this one.

Fun Fest Preview: The Helio Sequence

We’re only a a short week or so away now from the upcoming Fun Fest this weekend and it’s time for us to start really delving into this lineup.  It’s hard for me to pick just one band to focus on so we’ll be bringing you several previews this week with bands we deem worthy of your time.  Today I’d like to turn your attention to veteran indie outfit The Helio Sequence.  Follow the jump for a little info on the band and their set time.

Read more

The Helio Sequence – Negotiations

Rating: ★★★ · ·

Oregon duo The Helio Sequence are over a decade into their career, carefully crafting intimate tunes that seem to be enduring in most people’s record collection, and hearts as well.  On their fifth full length, Negotiations, there are some stunningly brilliant moments of pop, though their intimate approach often heads in only one direction, which may (or may not) wear down listeners come the end of the record.

Coming out of the gate, The Helio Sequence clearly have lofty intentions.  “One More Time” has a vocal that rises almost immediately after its introduction, but a slight change in the pitch provides a different direction.  All the while, the guitar rings in the far background of the song, and the drums provide a perfect pace.  Negotiations continues to climb higher towards perfection with “October,” utilizing a soft vocal introduction, before it playfully turns you on your ear with the “go go go, if you wanna go” refrain.  Each time I listen to this track, I swear it continues to warm me, making it one of my favorite tracks from the duo.  But, while the opening segment is rock solid, it peaks out here, unfortunately.

There’s definitely a noisier approach to the duo’s craftsmanship as the record proceeds, using bits of feedback on tracks like “When the Shadow Falls” or a heavier bit of emotion on “Hall of Mirrors.”  Both songs are interesting to a certain extent, but their power is diminished by the album’s opening moments, which will still remain in most listeners heads.  Perhaps it’s not the most apropos conversation to have, but I feel like the rehearsal or studio time falls short on the latter half; it just doesn’t quite fit with the beautiful moments that came in early on Negotiations.

Yet, despite some mild pitfalls, there’s also an interesting mix of more traditional folk-influenced tunes that one could consider winning efforts, such as “Harvester of Souls” or “December.”  The former track is definitely a quieter track, mostly revolving around vocals and carefully picked guitar, with hints of atmospheric accompaniment use to provide depth.  On the latter of the two songs, the band tries to remain quiet to a certain extent, but they can’t seem to escape the formulaic approach that seeps through your stereos as you listen to The Helio Sequence.

I’m not going to lie; I quite like this record.  It comes to me at the perfect time of the year, with a slight change in the weather, and a slight change in what I plan on listening to during my days.  That being said, the more I listen to Negotiations, the more it has a tendency to blend into the background as I play it from start to finish.  You’ll find exceptional highs, especially near the beginning, and you’ll find some that fall short, but it’s very much a record by The Helio Sequence in sound and scope; I think that’s just enough to please the fans of the group.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/05HallofMirrors.mp3]

Download:The Helio Sequence – Hall of Mirrors [MP3]

Negotiations is out now via Sub Pop.

Poor Moon – s/t

Rating: ★★★ · ·

Side project of two members of Fleet Foxes or not, Poor Moon is essentially the child of Christian Wargo, bassist/vocalist for the aforementioned band. For years, Wargo wrote and recorded songs on his own before he decided to bring along Casey Wescott, as well as Ian and Peter Murray to help bring his bank of demos and songs to fruition. Thus was born Poor Moon—a band to adapt a collection of songs into a collective album.

Naturally, with musicians from such a well-known band in the folksy/indie scene, people will be drawn to Poor Moon for its ties, but those who come looking for the vast dependency on warm harmonies and big, swelling folk sounds will have to keep on looking, because for the most part, this effort showcases folk sound on a smaller, minimalist scale. Take the first song “Clouds Below” for example, begins with some gentle guitar plucking and the soft vocals of Wargo, which meander in coolly, harmonizing with the impossibly higher backing vocal to create a serene and simple opener. This sets the tone for the album, alluding to signs of a peaceful, folksy sound.

But, the band picks it up a bit from where they leave you after “Clouds Below” especially on the third track “Same Way,” where things get groovy. One of the strongest on the album, the song employs some opening ‘ooh’s’ and is backed by strong melodic xylophonic sound as well as big echoing drums that fill the previously empty background of the song. There is a quite an enjoyable breakdown towards the end of the song that is just long enough to give you a taste of the musical ability of the members of this band and it makes you desire a bit more depth from the songs of Poor Moon. Through the rest of the album, you listen for little pieces of this depth that the band demonstrated on this song, but sadly they are in short supply. It isn’t the lengthy and full storytelling and serene folk album that feels right for the genre and it comes across as a group of songs that were forced to sound similar, as opposed to the authentic and natural production of an album.

Most of the songs are relatively short for folk numbers that are reaching to be meaningful and impress a feeling upon their listeners, which leads me to my biggest complaint about this album; there just isn’t enough on here to really make an impression on those who take a listen the first way through. With repeated listens, it’s possible to grasp and really hold on to the music that has been so meticulously laid out for its audience.

New Tune From Daughn Gibson

I know many of you have already heard this track over the last couple of days on other sites, so I’ll go ahead and apologize for being a little late to the game.  That aside, something about this electronica/country/deep vocals movement going on by Daughn Gibson is extremely interesting to me at the moment.  It just seems more creative than your everyday electronica band and the unique vocals really add a nice touch to each track.  This new song below “Reach Into The Fire” is a single of sorts hoping to drum up some positive press for Daughn’s recent signing to Sup Pop Records.  A brand new album, to follow up his underrated solo debut All Hell from earlier this year, is said to be available sometime next year on his new label.

More New Music From The Helio Sequence

Last month we heard a new single from The Helio Sequence called “October” and I know the entire ATH crew was pumped to hear the band was back into action.  Today the band is offering another new song called “Hall of Mirrors” up for free download and it’s getting us even more amped up for the upcoming album.  As previously mentioned, Helio Sequence have a new album coming out entitled Negotiations which is available on September 11th via Sub Pop.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/05HallofMirrors.mp3]

Download: The Helio Sequence – Hall of Mirrors [MP3]

More Mellow Music From Poor Moon

Towards the beginning of summer, Nate shared with you guys a sweet little tune called “Holiday” from recent Sub Pop acquisition Poor Moon.  Today we have another new song entitled “Birds” from the band’s upcoming self-titled debut LP out August 28th.  Nathan compared them to Jens Lekman last time, and I totally see that here and throughout the upcoming release from the band.  I also see a little bit of ATH favorite band Crayon Fields in there somewhere and you know we’ve got to love that.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/10-Birds.mp3]

Download: Poor Moon – Birds [MP3]

1 3 4 5 6 7 12