How is it possible we’re already through SXSW hangover week? It seems like only yesterday the ATH crew was hanging at Hotel Vegas, with Lone Star in hand, kicking off the week a couple of Sundays ago with the awesome lineup put together by Nathan and our boy Mr. Laird. As always, we move on, reflect on the fun behind us, and plan for the next great lineup or festival. Such is the beauty of living in the live music capital of the world. To look back on the festival, Nathan, Brian, and myself came up with an arbitrary list of awards with each of us picking our choice for the category.
Hit the jump for our awards, final thoughts and a few related pics from a fun, exciting, and draining week.
I adore the Spook School; I followed them around all of last SXSW, caught them at least 7 times. Today we continue our coverage by catching up with the band before they cross the Atlantic and make their way back into our hearts. Jump on and get a little introduction to the band, and be sure to guide them to the Vegan hotspots in Austin. Be sure to stream the gem from Continental Drift hanging at the end, featuring some of the best indiepop on any continent. Read more
While Mercury Girls are in the midst of wrapping up their debut, they’ll be a huge part of the Continental Drift compilation, which also features the likes of the Spook School, Tigercats and Wildhoney. One of their tunes just went up this week from the compilation, featuring the shimmering guitar work you’ve come to expect from a band with Kevin Attics; the quick drum work isn’t too shabby either. It all lines up perfectly to leave room for the soaring vocals, which inevitably hold the listener until the end. Be sure to get your copy from Slumberland and Fortuna Pop on August 26th.
My affinity for indiepop/shoegaze doesn’t ever fade, especially when one of my favorites, Wildhoney, come to mind. The band will be featured on what is already an incredibly anticipated release from Fortuna Pop/Slumberland Records…a four-way compilation featuring The Spook School, Tigercats and The Mercury Girls. This tune definitely looks more to the Wildhoney’s bouncier side, whilst still including that delightful wash of atmospherics atop. I’m a fan of the short bass solo in the song’s latter half before they blast back into infectious exuberance. You’ll have to get your hands on this when it hits on August 26th. Already pondering whether a compilation can be album of the year…on my end anyways.
You know The Spook Schoolis one of my favorite bands of the moment. I quietly (or not so) tracked the band all around town during SXSW, even throwing a couple of shows together, just so they’d have a happy home. Well, news breaks today that the band have a brand new couple of songs appearing on the Continental Drift Compilation via Slumberland and Fortuna Pop. They’re debuting it via video, which is perfect, as you can clearly sense the band’s enjoyment/humor coming through in the clips; it’s one of the things that also makes them such a special live band. Look for the compilation in August…but for now, just relish in the fact that great pop bands still exist. Also, sorry for the over-abundance of FPop stuff today, but when you got it, you got it.
Let’s get the artist notes and pics kicked off with our first party of the week. It was an all day affair, oh the huge manatees. So many great locals with some true talent from overseas. We were thrilled to get this SxSW started with so many friends. If you were there, you have probably told your friends about how rad the night was. I mean, Bushwick Bill was there to hang with the locals and talk about the biz. Only South By…
Click through for some thoughts from the team and plenty of pics…
Tons of genres out there, but if you’ve been following our work, you know that I’m really partial to the indiepop scene. I scour the confines of the Internet for any and the best of the genre, and admittedly get tons of tips. So, I looked back through what had come out and wanted to throw a little bit your way…just another list of what I think was the best in indiepop in 2015. Still staying away from numbering. Also…some of this has made my other lists, but I wanted to expand on my favorite genre a little bit. Read more
Year-end lists are everywhere…and I can see why they’re important to people. But, seeing as we generally walk off the beaten path more often than not, our list of the Top 50 Albums of 2015 is in no particular order, save alphabetically. It seems pointless to rank one piece of art higher than another, especially when the four of us at ATH all have varying tastes. We just put this list together of the albums we loved the most this year. Are we saying they’re better than records by Grimes or Kendrick Lamar? No, we’re just saying that these are the records we loved more than others. So, you can read on for what we thought was hot.
Also…put links to individual stores where you can buy the albums from the bands…as that’s how we all survive in this music world.
This song is for the math nerds and the pop fans, so be warned. Oh, and it’s also filled with exuberance like you w0n’t find anywhere else. At the beginning of the track, you’re seeing the Spook School build in their own brand of joyous pop, and then while the shouts of “I am bigger than a hexadecimal” are blasted, you can feel the band fueling up the tension. They unleash it as the video bursts through with a group of folks all happy to join in the bands proclamation. Still, don’t let the fun of the track take away that there’s still an underlying theme lurking here with the band, but I’ll let you (or them) come to terms with that. This song features on their new album, Try to Be Hopeful, which is out soon via Fortuna Pop.
It’s been a bit since I’ve heard from the Spook School, but by the sounds of their new single, it looks like the group is ready to come back with a vengeance. Their last album, Dress Up (2013) was phenomenal; it was upbeat indiepop. You get the hooks and charm, but it’s played with a heavier hand. Think of acts like Speedy Ortiz or Joanna Gruesome, but with a more charmed approach, making them slightly more appealing to those with softer spots in their listening hearts. They’ll be releasing Try to Be Hopeful this October via Fortuna Pop, with a promise to take on subject matters dealing with “sexuality and being awesome.” You can also check out this really great video of the band discussing issues of transgender with LJG HERE (it’s pretty great).