New Music From Ratatat

This is a bit of a sentimental post for me since Ratatat was the first band I actually posted about on our website two years ago.  We’ve come a long way since then and it’s kinda funny that the electro duo are dropping a new album around the same time we got our start.  I’ll save the tears…. Ratatat’s upcoming LP4 will be hitting stores on June 8th via XL Recordings.  The album has officially leaked at this point, but we’ve got new MP3 “Drugs” for you people that like to keep it legal.  I’d expect to hear this thing all over the indie dance floors this summer.

Update: Song removed at label’s request.  We were using the wrong single so here’s the official one “Party With Children”.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/Ratatat_-_Party_With_Children.mp3]

Download: Ratatat – Party With Children [MP3]

Titus Andronicus – The Monitor

Rating: ★★★★ ·

“Good morning class and welcome to your American Civil War lesson. Today we will be discussing the fledgling US Navy and the Ironclad battle ship, The Monitor. Hey, WHO THREW THAT!? Titus! I know it’s you, damn trouble making teens with your loud rock and or roll music.”

After the roaring and ironically tame named debut, the Airing of Grievances, the New Jersey-based indie punk rockers are back with their sophomore album, The Monitor. With the new release, the band is taking a stab at the Civil War era, with the release serving as a period piece of sorts.  The title is in reference to the USS Monitor, which was the first commissioned warship by the US Navy during the Civil War.

That in no way means the group has changed their sound, so that means there’s plenty of low-fi, shoe gaze still involved, with a healthy dose of the ever-present fervent lyrics from front-man Patrick Stickles.  The moniker by which the young quintet refers to themselves is obtained from an obscure Shakespearean tragedy, known for it’s over the top drama and violence. Over the top, dramatic, and violent is a good way to describe the group and similarly their amazing live shows, which is providing much buzz for the group across the Country and abroad. In addition to that reputation, it’s obvious that these young men are cultured and know their history and that’s refreshing in itself.

Known for their raucous live shows in small, intimate venues, Titus Andronicus is set to have a very busy Spring Break.  The band has positioned itself to be one of the busiest bands around during SXSW which will give us a good great chance to hear the new album where it is best heard, in its face-melting, ear shattering, sweat-inducing live setting.  The new release also features appearances by members of Wye OakVivian Girls, and The Hold Steady amongst many others, which according to the record label XL recordings, all play a specific role as Civil War-era personalities.

The opener, ‘A More Perfect Union’, begins with the significant Abraham Lincoln quote, ominously stating “if destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author, and finisher.” Quickly, the group picked up where they left off in their debut, pounding into a seven minute jam with impressive melodies complimenting Stickle’s ‘agitated Oberst-esque’ lyrical stylings with fantastic results. Its good foot stomping Americana, proudly heralding “Rally around the flag!”, and proclaiming “I will not retreat a single inch, and I will be heard.” Not truer statement can be said about Titus Andronicus.

Throughout the record are more sound-bytes from the Civil War era, which hold much intrigue alone, but are especially portentous when heard alternate Spickle’s vocals and Eric Hold’s percussive fervor. The record is more or less about the conflict and subsequent unresolved misfortune followed by the ideals from the relationships forged nearly 150 years ago continuing today. However these principles have shaped our modern society, “you’ll always be a loser” quips the self-deprecating theme ‘No Future Part 3: Escape From No Future’, “and that’s ok.”

The two-part single, ‘Four Score and Seven’, which is set to be released on a 2-sided LP, is a great meditation on the subject of war and its absurdity. This track marks a turning point in the album, with the entrance of a brass section and beautiful interlude into the second half of the track which less introspective and more irate at the horrors of conflict more often seen.

‘To Old Friends and New’ displays a new side of the band with a touching duet with the Vivian Girl’s Cassie Ramone, which slowly builds to a crescendo proudly proclaiming “It’s alright now”. This touching moment is unexpectedly followed by ‘…And Ever’ which seems out of place at its ninth spot due to the drastic segue from the former’s tenderness and overall tone. Finally, the band finishes off the record with a powerful message of acceptance, liberation, and ultimately death. Per the band, the release is their way of celebrating the 148-year anniversary of the ship and much like the USS Monitor, this lengthy album fights a first-class battle and proves its worth in a great lyrical clash; only to sink quietly into rough waters following the afore-mentioned closing track, ‘The Battle of Hampton Roads’. And as we have all learned today, this battle served as the height of the Monitor’s service career and fittingly is a high water mark for the band. Any questions? Very well, class dismissed.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/Titus-Andronicus-Four-Score-and-Seven-Part-One.mp3]

Download: Titus Andronicus – Four Score and Seven (Part One) [MP3]

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/Titus-Andronicus-Four-Score-and-Seven-Part-Two.mp3]

Download: Titus Andronicus – Four Score and Seven (Part Two) [MP3]

New Music From Holly Miranda

holly+miranda+mirandaThe beautiful Holly Miranda is prepping her new album The Magician’s Private Library due out Feb. 23rd via XL Recordings.  Below we’ve got a chance for you to check out first single “Waves” from the upcoming album.  Holly is another one of those ladies with a voice that I find irresistible.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/HollyMiranda_Waves.mp3]

Download: Holly Miranda – Waves [MP3]

New Tunes From Titus Andronicus

ta_mm_04Shortly after the release of their 2008 album The Airing of Grievances, Jersey band Titus Andronicus are returning in 2010 with a new album entitled The Monitor.  The band’s sophomore LP is said to have a civil war theme to it with some spoken word/acting guest appearances by members of the Hold Steady, Vivian Girls and others.  Prior to that release Titus plan to release a 7″ single featuring the two songs we have posted for you below.  These two tracks were apparently meant to be joined into one song and were only split to fit neatly onto a two sided 7″.  I’d suggest firing up our ATH radio so you can hear the two songs together in all their epic glory.  Physical copies of the 7″ single will be available Feb. 9th and the new LP drops March 9th on XL Recordings.  More info and track listing can be found on the PFork.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/Titus-Andronicus-Four-Score-and-Seven-Part-One.mp3]

Download: Titus Andronicus – Four Score and Seven (Part One) [MP3]

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/Titus-Andronicus-Four-Score-and-Seven-Part-Two.mp3]

Download: Titus Andronicus – Four Score and Seven (Part Two) [MP3]

New Tunes from Jonsi

jonsiAs there seems to be a temporary lull in the career of Sigur Ros, their members seem to be making the push forward with music of their own. Jonsi has  a new album coming out in March on XL Recordings, and oddly, this opening track seems similar to a more symphonic Mew piece, which also features lyrics in English!  It’s really like the soundtrack to Peter and the Wolf meets Mew. Try it.  And find Go, the album, out March 22.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/Jónsi-Boy-Lilikoi.mp3]

Download: Jónsi – Boy Lilikoi

New Music From Elvis Perkins

2007_10_elvisperkinsElvis Perkins is a busy man who continues to put out new music with his recently formed band Deerland.  Mr. Perkins and the boys are continuing their hard work strategy with another EP dropping this fall called The Doomsday EP.  First single from the EP, “Slow Doomsday”, is available below.  You can get your hands on the new material October 20th via XL Recordings.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/06-slow-doomsday-1.mp3]

Download: Elvis Perkins in Deerland – Slow Doomsday [MP3]

New Music From Elvis Perkins

Over the holidays we told you about some new tunes Elvis Perkins in Deerland had streaming on their website.  Now we have an MP3 of one of those tracks we found over on Stereogum today.  This new song is called “Shampoo” and will appear on new album Elvis Perkins in Deerland out March 10th on XL Recordings.  Sounds like something that would fit in pretty nicely with stuff from Mr. Perkins’ 2007 album Ash Wednesday.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/elvis-perkins-in-dearland-shampoo.mp3]

Download: Elvis Perkins in Deerland – Shampoo [MP3]