Chapter Music Releases Two New Singles

chaptermusicLong ago, due to my adoration of Crayon Fields, we made friends with the guys at Chapter Music.  In the last few years they’ve released hits from Twerps, Dick Diver, and many more, so we’re pleased to share with you their two new singles from this week.  The first is from Darren Sylvester, a visual artist in Australia; his album Off By Heart is released on October 4th.  Then, there’s Bushwalking, a post-rock trio with an arty sound; they’ll release No Enter on September 6th.  Enjoy these two tunes, then go browse the Australian label’s catalog for more undiscovered hits.

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Free Time – Free Time

freeRating: ★★★☆☆

It’s no surprise that Free Time has compiled a bunch of songs that sound an awful lot like Twerps, seeing as front-man Dion spent time with the group fleshing out their live sound.  But, make no mistake about it, he’s got a voice all his own, which makes Free Time a record that will wash over you with a bit of warmth and pop, fitting in perfectly to any daily listening occasion.

“I Lost Again” is the opening track, and it’s exactly what I expected from Dion.  There’s a leading guitar line that seems fitting for a day in observance of the ocean, with casually ringing guitar chords and vocals that seem drenched in an oceanic mist.  A slight vocal adjustment arrives during the chorus, allowing the song to drift to a certain degree.  However, “It’s Alright” is where Dion Nania puts his own stamp.  While there are some similarities to Aussie pop, there’s a bit more of a blues-y stomp/sway to the track; the track itself is a bit lighter, even playful.  I like the fact that you can feel a bit of an emotional swing to this tune. It’s these little touches that make Free Time escape a lot of its relationship with Twerps.

For instance, taking one listen to “World Without Love” will easily show you that Dion and his band aren’t content settling for an easy Aussie formula, not that I’d mind that either.  The vocal delivery is a bit more whimsical, using overlapping bits of spoken-word to maneuver in and out of the interwoven guitar parts…and is that a flute in the background? Or you can look at the track that serves as a precursor, “Just Once.”  On this number, things are a bit noisier, at least in regards to what’s going on in the background.  It takes a bit of formulaic indie pop and ups ante by coating the vocals in a bit of a wash, with strings striking hard in the distance.  These aren’t your run of the mill touches to what I expected from Dion.

That being said, one of my favorite pieces from Free Time does harken back to Nania’s musical relationships.  Opening with chiming guitars while he cooly, and casually, sings definitely works to the song’s benefit.  When the pace picks up, it’s hard not to get swept away in the track’s audial pull, directly latching onto your heart.  While listening to this tune, it’s easy to see where Dion’s been musically, but what I like about Free Time is the fact that it manages to stand out a bit on its own merit.  There are nods to friends and such, but as I’ve mentioned, he’s doing his best to make sure you know this is his band and his sound; for the most part, he’s extremely successful.


Download: Free Time – I Lost Again [MP3]


Dick Diver Winning Us Over

DICK-DIVER1-575x385Long have we supported the good folks over at Chapter Music in Australia, who brought us the great music of Twerps and The Crayon Fields.  One of their lesser-known acts has really been making huge leaps and bounds, as far as popularity goes: Dick Diver.  The group is about to release their new record Calendar Days from the label in March, and we’ve got one of those new tracks for you.  I dig the brightness of the twanging guitar, accompanied by spoken word interplay between the male and female vocalists.  It’s a casual track, reminiscent of the relaxed pop gems from other great bands in the label’s stable.  Always happy to hear anything from the CM; it’s never going to let us down.

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Top Live Shows in Austin in 2012

Our year end coverage begins with the three chiefs over at the ATH offices reveling in what was an incredible year in Austin, musically speaking.  Tons of rad bands blew us away with their live sets, and, well, there were just tons of bands.  I think we did more show coverage this year than in previous years, but as always, the great thing about our site is diversity.  We’re also linking back to our full reviews and photos of some of these nights, so you can get more of a feel of our thoughts, not to mention, checking out Brian’s great photographic 2012. Read on for thoughts on live acts from the three main contributors.
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New Song from Crayon Fields

Man, what a great day with two great announcements. The first announcement is that are friends over at Chapter Music in Australia are celebrating their 20th anniversary.  It’s a great feat for any label, let alone a small label offering across the sea; they’ve been making huge waves in the States with acts like Twerps and Dick Diver.  The second announcement comes with the release of 20 Big Ones, a compilation celebrating the anniversary.  I’m stoked because it features this new song from Crayon Fields, the first band on the label that I fell in love with back in the day.  I’m excited by a new track, and I hope to hear more from them soon, as a new record should be on our way shortly. Cheers to Guy and his mates on 20 Years of being rad.

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New Tunes from Twerps

If you remember last year, then you remember Twerps, especially if you followed our site closely.  They had a runner-up best of year song on our year-end list, and their self-titled album also made the cut.  News hit yesterday about a new 7″ from the Australian bunch coming your way September 17th via Chapter Music.  This tune’s a lot more upbeat than what you might have gotten from the group in the past, and Marty seems to be having a bit of fun with his vocal performance.  In my opinion, this band can’t do a single thing wrong with their music, and I’m sure you’ll feel the same after jamming this track.

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New Jam from New Faultlines

I’ve heard a few rumors about this band, and since they’re from San Francisco, I figured I could trust the sources.  While it’s not entirely like the usual fare coming from the city, I’m really digging what I’m hearing from New Faultlines.  You’ll hear a nice little jangling guitar being strummed throughout, which goes along with the feel of the vocals; yes, I know they sound a bit unhinged.  It gives me that fuzzy feeling the first time I heard Twerps, so hopefully that’s gotta be worth something in your book.  As of now, that’s all the info I can find on the band, but I’ll keep you posted when I hear more.

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Introducing You to Velcro!

When we hung out with Twerps the other night, their bosses so to speak, Chapter Music, suggested we get to familiarize ourselves with Velcro, the next big thing to come out of Australia.  The Melbourne group has released two EPs already this year, with my favorite being the first, Highest View.  There’s elements of bedroom electronic pop that they experiment with (fleshed out on their later EP Inadequate Lover) on the track featured below, but I like the innocence the song takes on in its simplicity; it gives you that endearing emotional appeal that a lot of bands seem to short for nowadays.  The rest of their brief catalogue sounds a bit like a Calvin Johnson meeting Diamond Rings in a sunny place.  Familiarize yourself with the band by checking out their BANDCAMP page (free EPs!!!), and then keep an eye out for more great things from the group.


Download:Velcro – Curfew [MP3]

Show Preview: Real Estate @ Mohawk (4/11)

Date 4/11/12
Location Mohawk
Doors 6:30
Tickets $13 @ Frontgate

With all the killer shows going down this week, you’re really gonna have to pace yourself so you don’t lose your job.  One of the many superb shows this week that you better get to is going down on Wednesday at the Mohawk and features great indie bands Real Estate and Twerps.  This is surely going to be a show you won’t want to miss.  Also stick around for the aftershow on the inside stage featuring Keep Shelly in Athens and Jonquil.  Duh.


Download: Real Estate – It’s Real [MP3]

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