Show Preview: Jaill @ Trailer Space Records (8/1)

Date Wednesday, August 1st
Location Trailer Space Records
Doors 700 pm
Tickets FREE (Donations Encouraged

The end of the week here in Austin is jam packed with killer shows, so you better start your night off the right way with a free show over at Trailer Space Records.  As always, it’s BYOB, with donations encouraged to help out the bands.  You’ll get to see Jaill, who just released the excellent Traps on Sub Pop, so there’s some solid pedigree (they’ll also play the following night at Red 7).  You can also catch The Coathangers, who just released a solid 7″ with Suicide Squeeze for the singles club, plus opening the night is Austin’s own John Wesley Coleman.  It’s free, it’s early, and you can buy records. No excuse not to see it.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Jaill-Waste-A-Lot-Of-Things.mp3]

Download:Jaill – Waste A Lot Of Things [MP3]

 

Brand New Beauty from The Helio Sequence

There are some bands who you wonder how they’ve remained in obscurity for so long.  I know it’s been four years since The Helio Sequence last released Keep Your Eyes Ahead, but even still, that record is super solid. And now, with the band set to release Negotiations on September 11th via Sub Pop Records, you expect big things, even if no one else does.  Listening to this track, it has the marks of the current indie climate, capturing both beauty and melody simultaneously, while still maintaining the intimacy I’ve always appreciated about the group.  If there was one band more people need to love, it’s this one.  Listen in to see if you don’t agree.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/The-Helio-Sequence-October.mp3]

Download:The Helio Sequence – October [MP3]

Jaill – Traps

Rating: ★★★½ ·

It’s quite interesting to see the progression of modern indie rock, noticing that many bands are going back to classic rock n’ roll sounds to win over fans.  Milwaukee’s Jaill are one such band, and their second effort for Sub Pop, Traps, sees them getting close to perfecting the formula.  There’s bits of classic rock, elements of psych, drunken swagger, and hints of recording in your garage; now seems like the perfect time for the band.

“Waste a Lot of Things” kicks the record off, and it’s here where I first noticed that Jaill opted to hold back a little bit on this new release, which actually works in their favor.  There’s a steadier pacing to the track, rather than more immediate tracks from That’s How We Burn. It ends up as a stomping track with crashing cymbals that reveals itself as you draw near the end.  Even with “Everyone’s A Bitch,” you get the feeling like the band could possibly blast this one off, but while holding back on the song’s speed, they’ve allowed for the hooks to grow stronger.  It’s very anthemic in it’s construction, even featuring in “ooohs” in the chorus; you gotta love it.

Traps won me over with less urgency and songs that resemble more of a ballad.  “Horrible Things (Make Pretty Songs)” says all that it needs to in the title of the track.  It features a strummed guitar, and even some female vocals harmonizing in the background; I don’t feel like these sorts of songs would have survived on That’s How We Burn.  “Madness” is another such song, which feels very much like a campfire song that was created in someone’s basement–I mean this in a truly endearing way, I swear. Light touches of keyboard and tambourine bring the rest of the track to life for the listener.

But, just because mellow tracks live here, this doesn’t mean Jaill still can’t throw out a rocker for you, even if it’s just a touch less furious than it was before.  “Ten Teardrops” lurks near the end of the record, hanging out behind some softer tunes, but it’s definitely a jam.  You’ll find jagged-edged guitars feuding with classic rock tendencies, giving the whole track a country-fied power-pop feel to it.  Bit of this sort lay all over the record, but aside from the earliest tracks, this is the most rocking in the latter half of the album.

Now, I’ll admit being taken aback when I first listened to Traps, as I was expecting something a little bit different.  That being said, after a couple of listens all the way through, my musical mind made the adjustment, and I think I ended up enjoying the record as a whole a bit more than their first release.  It’s progression, and it’s good; that and that alone is a reason for you to pick up this new Jaill album.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Jaill-Waste-A-Lot-Of-Things.mp3]

Download:Jaill – Waste A Lot Of Things [MP3]

KIng Tuff – King Tuff

Rating: ★★★½ ·

In the brief bio on Sub Pop‘s web page for King Tuff, and his new self-titled album, it alludes to the fact that the entirety of the record is just rock n’ roll and that you can’t really listen to it with critical ears.  For what it’s worth, the bio is pretty spot on, as King Tuff is something you’re just going to have to experience for yourself.  But, I’ll do my best to point out some highlights.

While “Anthem” is the official song to kick off the record, the best served song to begin your listening experience might be “Alone & Stoned;” it’s a bit on the poppier side, which could ease you into the listening experience.  King Tuff‘s vocals have a slight resemblance to Nobunny or Hunx, and his musical style is definitely similar, though this track does show you a nice bit of polish–though there’s still that element of playfulness.  That light-hearted attitude is something that definitely benefits the record, coming through on other songs like “Keep Movin” and “Baby Just Break.”

But, while KT can come across as setting out to have fun, he’s also got a penchant to infuse a bit of traditional garage rock into his tunes, just as he does on the album’s standout track, “Bad Thing.”  It’s fueled with guitar solos and an angrier moment that’s not present anywhere else on the record.  Personally, I dig the way the he slows the chorus down just a bit before blasting off into “I’m a bad thing” one last time.  It’s the hit single for sure, but stick around as this thing is full of other noteworthy tracks.

There’s softer ballad-ish moment lurking here and there, such as “Swamp of Love.”  It’s built around a strummed guitar and a piano backbone, but it illustrates that King Tuff might not be as tough as the name indicates.  He’s got other moments that come earlier, although possibly too short to be completed ballads, like “Baby Just Break.”  I think these are the tracks that standout the most to me, as I expected the whole record to have an certain amount of ferocity like “Bad Thing,” but aside from album closer “Hit and Run” there’s really nothing that’s just a straight out rocker.  Personally, it fits better this way; you get peaks and valleys on the journey, all with different bits of enjoyment, depending on the listener and what he/she is looking for in King Tuff. 

While it may not need critical ears to listen to this self-titled record, most of the audience will surely find it successful because of its ability to keep you from finding the songs stale.  You can get a quick rocker or a ballad; you can find hints of garage rock; you basically can find gem after gem waiting for your own personal discovery, so it’s probably best to get on it now–go pick up this album from King Tuff.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/King_Tuff_-_Bad_Thing.mp3]

Download:King Tuff – Bad Thing [MP3]

More New Music from Poor Moon

It’s clearly a chilled out week on the Internet, as shown by us over here at ATH; this new track from Poor Moon is just another such example.  There’s an element of tropicalia/lounge act going on in this song; it’s got a similar touch to Jens Lekman‘s work of late.  After recently releasing an EP, the group is slated to unleash a self-titled full-length via Sub Pop on August 28th, and I’m hoping it all shapes up to sound just like this here.  Something about summertime and warm weather makes this song really come alive down here in Texas, or it’s just a great song all around.  I’ll take it either way.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Poor-Moon-Holiday.mp3]

Download:Poor Moon – Holiday [MP3]

Beach House – Bloom

Rating: ★★★½ ·

Let’s face it, there’s no one out there crafting music just like Beach House.  That is, except Beach House.  Seems redundant doesn’t it? Well, if you’re looking for a fault on the band’s fourth LP, then it might be that the group seems a bit cornered on Bloom.  While the music itself is beautifully emotional, it’s not too far from where they left off with Teen Dream; that’s going to appease hordes of folks, but it might also leave some detractors this go round.

Beach House has a knack of opening an album with brilliance, much like they do here with “Myth.” That twinkling keyboard line complimented by the lofty vocals of Victoria Legrand demonstrate that the duo will continue to find themselves atop year-lists, with few songs capturing the eloquent pop of this track.  When the group takes a slight turn near the 2 minute mark it’s clear to any listener that few songs can eclipse this one.  Bloom is filled with similar moments like this opener, but it’s hard to top your first impression of this listening experience.

“Lazuli” seems to have a bit more sparkle to its construction, which enables the track to stand out from many others on the record.  There’s an underlying quality of brightness to this track that’s not always present with regards to the wistful quality of Legrand.  You get the feeling that she pushed herself here in the studio, and it pays off huge dividends…these are the moments you long for from a group with such a distinctive sound.  Other moments such as this one exist on the record, and Bloom succeeds due to their presence.  “The Hours” is the shortest of the tracks on the record, and its brevity definitely is filled by the group pushing for a slightly different sound, be it the vocals or the guitar work.  And near the end, “On The Sea” gives us a completely different side of Beach House, using a less electronic side of the keyboard.  Really it’s Victoria who steals the show, and while there’s still that element of smoky fuzz in her voice, you’ll also notice a songstress giving the recording of a lifetime (in my opinion).

You see, Bloom has absolutely fantastic elements sprinkled here and there for the listener, so be sure to listen to the record through and through.  However, other tracks do find the group in some middling territory, seemingly unable to escape the remarkably distinct sounds they’ve created in the past few years.  Those moments were beautiful, but at times they do come across as a bit of audio overkill. Beach House is growing here, showing glimpses of new dynamics in their songwriting; they just haven’t completely distanced themselves from Teen Dream.  For some, that’s exactly what you’re looking for this go round; others, like myself, love it, but can’t wait to see where the group takes us on the next go round.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/01-Myth.mp3]

Download:Beach House – Myth [MP3]

More New Music From Husky

We knew little to nothing about Australian band Husky when we heard that they signed a deal with indie giant Sub Pop Records.  Now that we’ve had a listen to some of the band’s tuneage, we are offering up our support of the band and their hushed experimental folk style sound.  This new song “History’s Door” will also appear on the band’s upcoming U.S. re-release of their album Forever So.  It’s purty good.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Husky-History_s-Door.mp3]

Download: Husky – History’s Door [MP3]

New Tune From Father John Misty

I’m sure many of you know this, but let’s at least do our due diligence and note that Father John Misty is the official solo/side project of J. Tillman.  I get a bit hesitant to call it the guys first solo album, as some will do, but I just don’t see how a guy with a slew of recorded material under his own name will ever have a “debut” LP.  This is the first LP under the FJM name however, which goes by the name Fear Fun, and comes out May 1st on Sub Pop Records.  The songs within the album will give you a somewhat more upbeat feel from Tillman as opposed to his more recent solo work.  Until the release date, check out this new song “Nancy From Now On” and let us know what ya think.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Father-John-Misty-Nancy-From-Now-On.mp3]

Download: Father John Misty – Nancy From Now On [MP3]

Great Jam from Jaill

A few weeks back Sub Pop announced that it’d be releasing the new album from the trio, Jaill.  Their last effort, That’s How We Burn, is a vastly underrated record, unless, of course, you’re in the know. Their new set of songs is titled Traps, and it’ll be out June 12th.  Just one listen to this and you’ll hopefully see why I’m so excited to hear the whole collection. It’s got just the right amount of hooks, a bit of quirkiness in the vocals, and even a bit of foot-tapping going on.  If this is how I kick off summer, it can’t get here soon enough!

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Jaill-Waste-A-Lot-Of-Things.mp3]

Download:Jaill – Waste A Lot Of Things [MP3]

New Jam from King Tuff

It’s crazy that Sub Pop just released this track by their newest signee, King Tuff, because I just bought the 3 7″ singles collection from Suicide Squeeze yesterday afternoon. KT used to jam with Happy Birthday, and he’s been banging around on his own for a long time as well.  The label will be releasing his self-titled debut on May 29th of this year, and I’m pretty sure you’re going to have a lot of fun jamming out to this.  Garage rock with hooks galore, just like the track we’ve got featured for you below!

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/King_Tuff_-_Bad_Thing.mp3]

Download: King Tuff – Bad Thing [MP3]

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