Brand New Track from Tiger Waves

I’ve raved and raved about Tiger Waves for the past few months on this site, even tossing their last effort into our Top Texas Albums of 2011.  And now I’m going to heap more praise on the band, as they’ve just unleashed a few more preview tracks from their upcoming record, Don’t Be Yourself.  There’s this trace of modern lo-fi in the tracks, but I can’t help but see a slight connection between some of the dark pop groups that burst out of the late 1960s, like the Zombies.  Every time I listen to these tracks, I just start to itch for the complete full-length to come my way.  If the following track is any indicator, this is going to be one helluva record you won’t want to miss in 2012.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/Tiger-Waves-New-Album-Preview-03-From-The-Start.mp3]

Download: Tiger Waves – From The Start [MP3]

Friday Top 5: Mix Tape Closers

That’s right, I said mix TAPE. The days of sitting in front of a boombox waiting for a song to come on the radio may be over, but I refuse to say “Mix CD” or to refer to a “digital playlist.” Too many syllables. Just doesn’t roll off the tongue like “mix tape.” Yeah, I know a while back ATH ran a “Top 5 Album Closers” list, but this is different. Because I added the whole “mix tape” angle. So it’s totally not the same thing. You’re buying this right? What’s that? You don’t give a flying squirrel’s ass anyway? Oh thank God. Because I forgot I was supposed to write something this week, so I just threw some garbage together at the last minute. These songs really are good mix tape closers though, I swear.

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The Crayon Fields – All The Pleasures of the World

thumb_crayonRating: ★★★★½

In a year that offered lots of mediocre albums, 2009 had so many new records that it was hard to digest them all in due time for reviews.  Yet, I always intended to touch on this album, as I’ve loved The Crayon Fields since Animal Bells came out a few years back. 

“Mirrorball” made the list of our Top 50 songs of 2009, and it still draws a lot of power, months after it first hit our ears.  Singer Geoff O’ Connor has a real breathy vocal projection (like a pop whisperer), one that will recall Colin Bluntstone of The Zombies for many listeners…it’s just one of the many touchstones for the group.

One thing that differentiates the characterstics on All the Pleasures of the World from Animal Bells is that there seems to be a little bit of darkness lingering beneath each of the songs.  On Animal Bells, you had songs like “Living So Well,” which were full of sunny beach pop and gang vocal effects, but this doesn’t fit here.  On the album’s title track, amidst singing of pleasures, O’ Connor seems sort of resigned to see the pleasures, though not necessarily take part in them.  Perhaps the extra layering of instruments has made a more dense soundscape from which the band took off this round (some of the best being from the solid bass work). Just a guess.

When one comes across songs like “Celebrate” you can see how a Clientele reference might creep up in a review, but you might also note that the similarites are existant, yet polarizing.  Where The Clientele often feels extremely cold, and their melodies have a sense of brooding danger, The Crayon Fields put a little bit of energy into their artistry.  By this I really mean one thing: The Clientele gives you foggy melodies; The Crayon Fields blow the fog away with a touch of beach-side sunshine. 

You’ll also find a lot of the guitar-work of Glaswegians Belle and Sebastian lying beneath this album.  You can almost pick up on the homage being given in songs such as “Disappear” where there is a hint of swing and sway to the general atmospheric creation.  It’s not a bad thing to highlight, as I’m a fan of the former band, which also probably shows why I’m a huge fan of the latter.  Really, is there any ground for originality nowadays?

So, here I am, a few months after the release, though you will still find it hard to get a hold of All the Pleasures of the World in the U.S.  Be that as it may, you’ll do yourself, and the dollar, justice if you go out to your local hotspot and purchase the latest from The Crayon Fields, and the last one while you’re at it.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/crayon-fields-mirror-ball-7_-version.mp3]

Download: The Crayon Fields – Mirror Ball [MP3]