It’s been a hot minute since we’ve heard from Juan Wauters; his last release was back in 2015 with Who Me. But, worry no more, as he’s finished up some traveling through Latin America and will return with La Onda de Juan Pablo. His travels began in Puerto Rico, where the following tune was begun; he was struck by a couple of characters playing boleros, thus crafting his own. It immediately has this almost traditional light-hearted vibe, particularly in the supporting vocals. You’ll also note that Wauters is singing entirely in Spanish, something that continues through the whole of the new album. I know I’m fond of the style, and if you find yourself in the same boat, look for the new album on January 25th via Captured Tracks.
You’ve got to trust the people you know, and it seems like almost every one of my favorite Austin artists (not to mention folks who we’ve worked with) have worked with Shawn Jones and his project, The Lovely Sparrows. But, he’s been relatively quiet since 2011, moving out of the city limits to refocus on his craft. It seems he’s returned with a pocked full of some of the best songs he’s written. On this number below, I was immediately struck by the driving bass work, and the subtle jangle of guitar dancing in step with the drumming of Matt Shepherd; it’s perfectly matched in production, adding these delicate layers that build the song up. He’s also always been a masterclass lyricist; I’m particularly keen on the line “if it’s artificial baby let it die.” You’ll definitely want to be sure spend a great deal of time with Shake the Shadow, out on November 16th via Abandoned Love Records.
For Austin fans, there’s a release show on 12/13 over at Barracuda.
Not too long ago I raved about “Losing Touch,” the latest single from Way Dynamic, so today I’ll treat you to the video version, if only to reignite your interest in this great song. I don’t know how you can be a pop fan and not enjoy the feathery vocals draped over the strummed acoustic guitar and minimal rhythm section present here. And, don’t even get me started with how ridiculously good that chorus is. The band release their new EP, What’s It All for Now, this Friday. Shout out to our friend Lach whose playing drums in the video! Go listen to this song a lot, right now!
There’s not a lot out in the world that sounds like Brutus VIII, the project of Jackson Katz (Slow Hollows). He just released his album AHackney Pursuit within the last few weeks, and now there’s this great video for “Watch Me Dive.” The song has this pulsating rhythmic push, driving you forward, and the deep throaty vocals are definitely something that gives the sense of a enchanting peculiarity to the track. The video is black and white, with a no-faced stranger dancing and grooving to the music. It’s not your run of the mill electronica, and for that, I encourage you to go enjoy the song.
Let’s face it, punk rock went mainstream long ago; it lost its luster, grew commercial, but from time to time, it’s managed to find its way back to us. If that sentiment registers, then you’re going to want to grab the self-titled LP from Fatty Cakes and the Puff Pastries. The Fresno outfit has established themselves as the ‘body positive queercore riot pop” outift that you never knew you needed; the single below has the band rejoicing with “I’m a weirdo.” It’s freeing, they’re celebrating their imperfections (as we all should), and while they do it, they fill the song with this infectious rhythm and discordant guitars giving you the 1-2 punch of glee and grit. The self-titled LP drops this Friday via Emotional Response Records.
Tomorrow is the end of the midterm, and everyone is making the final push to get the vote out; Boyracer joined in on the fun by banging out a quick cover of The Style Council’s “Walls Come Tumbling Down.” They collected a bunch of their friends to hold up the lyrics, and you might just see a certain ATH member holding his baby up in the mix. Take a listen to the song, watch the video, get out and vote…if you haven’t already. Please.
All of this is courtesy of Emotional Response Records.
If I were to set the scene for you, I’d start by asking you to recall your favorite guitar rock band. Turn the volume down, add a little pop sensibility and you get the brand new Soccer Cousins tune. This isn’t meant to demean the band’s effort, rather to call your attention that your favorite rock gods probably all have a penchant for writing a catchy ballad like the tune below. I like the increased tempo bouncing the song along in the last minute of the track…carrying an infectious nod all the way to the track’s close. The new single is available now, with a promising new EP in the works for next year via Gentle Reminder.
There are certain paints that just pervade your soul; they sink deep into your humanity and refuse to let you go. Pedro the Lion/David Bazan is one such artist. Almost every album he crafted as Pedro has a certain spot in my own musical evolution, or even in my own personal evolution, thus I’m really excited that he’s revisiting the old name. Immediately he begins to tell the story of Christmas morning in 1981; it’s his lyrical work that’s always made him so accessible, wishing we could all be so poignant in our words. Of course, this is a new version of the project, so you get that full-band sound once the song gets into gear. Maybe people forgot how great Bazan was, but here’s to hoping we all lend him our ears; Phoenix will be out on January 18th via Polyvinyl.
Bradford Cox and Deerhunter are never far from my mind; I feel like Cox has crafted some of my favorite tracks over the last decade or so. Now we’ve got news of a brand new LP, one that gets production credit from Cate Le Bon; I feel like her influence can be heard almost immediately, riding through the background of the track. I love how the song swells to a bold punch around the 1 minute mark, creating this sly punch. That power gets emphatic as the song draws near a close, so it’s hard to turn a blind eye to Cox at his songwriting best. Look for Why Hasn’t Everything Already Disappeared via 4AD this January.
I won’t shy away from a band that makes a humorous Gabriel Garcia Marquez allusion, especially if they’re crafting delightful pop like Attic Lights. The Glaswegian quartet come at you with these hearty harmonies, particularly glorious during the chorus of this tune. I’m also drawn to the way the band expand on the jangling style, adding just a hint of twang and a tinkering piano line; it allows for a more organic sound that really shines on all the melodic moments coming through the speakers. Love in the Time of Shark Attacks will be out in January via Elefant Records, but for now, you can grab the digital single with an exclusive B Side.