Richard Davies is one those songwriters who is adored by other songwriters; he’s made claim that Cobain and Pollard have both fallen in love with his music at some point or another…and now he’s releasing a double album with his band The Moles. The group of musical rabblerousers has members in various cities across the globe, which will allow them to perform songs from Code Word in various locales. Luckily for you, we’ve got a preview of one of the album tracks. “After May” is a bit of a ballad, with Davies working calmly over a strummed guitar with some space-aged electronic noodling cutting in and out; it gives the tracks just the faintest whiff of peculiarity. It’s just a small taste of what Richard can accomplish, and with a slew of contributors, each listen is likely to be as varied as the new LP; it drops this Friday via Super Secret Records (with an ATX Beerland show on Thursday).
Tomorrow you’ll be able to get your hands on Crazy Love, the latest batch of song’s from Austin’s Will Courtney. On his final single before the release, he had me with the opening piano prelude…it doesn’t take too much. Then the track settles in with Will’s voice carrying a light bit of scratchiness, like a cooler Tom Petty…that is until he reaches the chorus. He stretches himself, reaching for higher vocal notes, which in my mind recalls the best of the Americana genre, especially when its accompanied by the layered musicianship behind it. You can tell with every note he hits, and every layered bit of instrumentation that Courtney’s fine-tuned all those bits of promise he’s shared with us over the years. Crazy Love will drop Friday via Super Secret Records.
Sean Morales has been working in the Austin music scene for some time, most notably as a member of James Arthur’s Manhunt. We now find Sean stepping out to craft his own debut, which is a stark contrast to JAM. Guitar notes are picked carefully at the start, so close to the mic that you can hear the strings if you put your ear to the speaker. Morales’ voice comes across like a whisper, barely willing to step over the guitar sound; he’s joined by an accompaniment at one point during the chorus. Then the song fades out with added textural layers and improvisation, rounding out the perfect vision that Sean’s created with this tune. You can expect the rest of his debut Call It In to follow suit; it’s being released by Super Secret Records this Friday.
I’m hoping it rains today, as this track from Adam Ostrar is perfect for watching the rain stream down your windows. It has that magical touch that Nick Drake had, airy vocals draping themselves atop careful little trickling guitar lines while percussion keys and percussive elements add depth to the background. Some balladry is so intimate you won’t want to share it with anyone else, and Ostrar is giving us precisely that. Look for his new record Brawls in the Briar on October 13th via Super Secret Records.
We’re a few weeks away from the release of PLAX‘s Clean Feeling, so why not celebrate that with a brand new single from the group. While the discordant energy seems to have a strong pace, it’s interestingly offset by the vocals stalking the listener, seemingly from a distance. That juxtaposition offers the perfect tension, almost as if you’re dangerously spinning out of control with the group. Clean Feeling is set to be released on August 11th via Super Secret Records.
If you’re looking for a new Austin supergroup to adore, then Plax is the latest to cull members from various bands to form a new entity; they’re spawned from members of Skeleton, OBN IIIs, Spray Paint and Sweet Talk (all bands we enjoy!). Their sound is a fast paced bit of post-punk, fueled by the semi-growl of Victor Ziolkowski. This song is spastic and jittery in all the right places, while the quick drum work gives a sense of pace to the tune. The band will release Clean Feeling on Super Secret Records on August 11th.
Tomorrow you’ll be able to get your hands on Quin Galavis‘ new album, The Battery Line. We’re here today with the last single you’re likely to hear before the release, and I think it perfectly illustrates why Quin’s one of Austin’s most valued songwriters. You’ll hear guitar work that leans towards the heavier side of things, pushing distorted riffs with a hint of danger. That being said, the song’s accents such as keyboard work and string accompaniment balance the song, never fully giving in to either rock or pop. Plus, there’s a calm in his voice that soars when it reaches the chorus. Look for The Battery Line at your local shops tomorrow, courtesy of Super Secret Records.
Everyone is already looking forward to doing it again. More on that later. I took photos, we did our shimmy thing, records were sold, merch was sold, group shots, industry discussions, ball-busting, cider sampled, dogs joined in, kids were indoctrinated into collecting vinyl.
Modern Outsider, Super Secret Records, Western Vinyl, Holodeck Records, Launch Cycle, Chicken Ranch Records, Keeled Scales, Saint Marie Records, Nine Mile Records and, as Nate said, our own little ATH Records all had the booths up and running. We had the musical stylings of The Sour Bridges and A. Sinclair.
Please enjoy my little photo essay on the Austin Record Label Flea Market. Click through to see what you missed or reminisce…
When you glimpse the length of this song, you’re likely to be a little taken aback by the near 9 minute opus Austin’s Suspirians have crafted. But, do your best to pay attention, as the trio takes you on a brooding jam filled with heavy riffs and squalling vocals. I actually love the steadying pace of the tune’s opening minutes, working riffs, guitars and vocals all into one wall of blissed out heavy noise. They almost take a stab at a psychedelic jam, yet their howling vocals bellowing in and out keep the song from sounding mundane. Ti Bon Ange will be released by Super Secret Records on June 9th.
One of the great thing about living in Austin is the abundance of bands trading friends and members to begin new projects, such as Lung Letters. The band takes members from acts like A Giant Dog and Flesh Lights, both whom we adore. As you’d expect, there’s a heavy handed rock n’ roll at work here, with Jeremy Steen handling the band’s vocal ferocity. If you’ve managed to catch the act live, then you’re already on board, but for those who haven’t, this track does a pretty good job of capturing the group’s energy on recor; there’s an animalistic quality not many can claim as their own. I’m particularly enjoying the moment between 1.45 and 2.30, bringing in some sly little hooks (reminds me of late 90s post-hardcore) before erupting into finale. Look for the Passing Days EP this Friday via Super Secret Records.