Even as the year begins to head towards the exciting landscape of meaningless year-end-lists (our site included!), Austin’s still buzzing with fresh tunes all over the place. Just yesterday, we got a couple of new tunes out there that we really enjoyed, so I’m flexing for the ATX…and oddly, both of these have a personal connection here. So…
First up is the new tune from Astrobleme, the project of Matthew Shepherd; he plays in a few bands we like, such as Feverbones (we put out their LP) and Abram Shook, among others. His new tune’s got this blossoming pop sound, though it incorporates these slight dreamy touches to embellish the edges of the song. I love his guitar play here too, which may surprise you since he’s best known for his talent behind the drum kit. He promises more tunes to come.
On the flip side of the Austin coin is Nolan Potter’s Nightmare Band, who’ve sort of exploded onto the scene with their psychedelic flute-core and great live shows…the band also features one of my former students on drums (he also played in Tres Oui). Here, however, they’ve got this heavy space-age sound, fueled by these deep riffs and electronic flourishes. They’ve got a new LP coming out on Castle Face, so you’ve got John Dwyer’s blessing.
I kept thinking hard upon how to describe this new tune from The Figurants. How could I explain to you my adoration for this track without using the every day pigeonholing techniques? It’s tough, but I feel like the band reminds me of that one guy everyone worked with who wrote songs while hanging out on break smoking cigarettes; it’s just on the edge of arty, but teetering along the line of neediness. It definitely makes sense that the band call Seattle home, as there’s a certain lineage to the Northwest I hear here. Is nerdcore a thing? Can we make it happen? Whatever, this song rules. You’ll find it on the band’s new album, Indoor Words.
I recently made a playlist that was attempting to fit my top 100ish songs into a single list. Early on, it was apparent that I needed a rule that only one song per artist could be included to maximize the artists and genres in the playlist and truly be a list that represents my listening habits. That was usually easy as for so many artists/bands, I have a clear favorite song. For others it was a difficult process. One of those bands was Toadies. How do you pick from “Possum Kingdom”, “Away”, “Tyler”, “Backslider”, “Happy Face”, “I Come From the Water”, and “I Burn?” Also, how were all those songs on one album (Rubberneck)? I also realized during this process that I had never seen Toadies live. So I confess a shiver when Spotify sent me a helpful email a couple months ago that Toadies would be at Dallas’ South Side Ballroom on October 11. Hit the jump for more.
ACL may be done and gone, but our post-coverage will still be trickling in this week as we recap both weekends of fun. When I said my Gimme 5 feature was over, I meant for you to maybe not take me too seriously and expect one or two more. So though the festival is over and this is not a preview, we all love playlists and I’m sure you’ll enjoy this one from Nashville based Judah & The Lion. Hit the jump for their words and songs.
I was stumbling through the pages of shows for the week, trying to map out my week, and in doing so, I came across this band MILLY; I’d heard about the band from the Dangerbird Microdose series, so I just sort of dug in and really fell in love with this tune. The band play tonight at Empire Control Room here in Austin. It’s definitely got this vibe that’s on par with what I’ve been listening to the last few months; it has this intimacy, with multiple vocalists playing a role in the song. I love that, but I’m also drawn to the fact that it has this feeling like we’re all sort of fading away, disappearing into the pieces of matter, shattered by the ringing of the guitars here. It’s a cool vibe, so get on it.
It’s funny that Portland trio Lubec have titled their new EP Against Nature; it feels like the perfect fit to the band’s sound at the moment as they take all these forces and work them against each other. Five seconds into the track and the guitars come crashing through the speakers; it has this discordant math-iness to it, which, in a sense, sort of recalls the style of Braid/Hey Mercedes. But, you contrast that sort of brash artiness with the group’s inclination towards pop sensibility, which is present here through Caroline’s vocal work, juxtaposed with the rougher surface. You could flip that too, talk about the heaviness as it would relate to a thunderous Northwest storm, only to find itself in a calming middle moment, moving to a fade out that forces reflection…it’s the precise way in which this very tune unfolds; the perfect amalgam of nature’s forces, all acting at once, against each other, and yet together. Such is the great execution of this song…and EP. Look for it this Friday via Disposable America.
When I heard this tune, I thought it was a new approach from my old pal Dylan Mondegreen, but I was wrong, as it was Portland act Mondegreen (no relation, oddly). The tune below is this drifting pop song, which immediately reminded me of Beach House in the way it opened up; they play with the same building tension too, though I will admit this track unleashes a little bit of power, ever so carefully towards the song’s latter half. If you’re into discovering bands and such, go check out the group’s most recent LP, Returnity.
It’s been just over a year since Club 8 released Golden Islands for Labrador, but amidst the release, they begin to work on a batch of songs they hoped would end up as a double album of sorts. We now get a first listen, and while it definitely plays into the hands of the band’s pop history, this furthers the band’s experimentation with its usage of space and lush arrangements. The vocals are so careful, you sort of get that sensation of weightlessness, feeling your body sort of release and float off into clouds…at least that’s what I hope it feels like…unless you’re Marge Dursley. For now, we wait for future news, but in this glorious fashion, lets just get ourselves lost.
Pale Puma is the moniker of Amsterdam’s Django Duijns, who started this project just this year, but has already made some great strides. This single, “Solid Gold,” is being put out today by Manimal, you know those same folks who bring you tunes from Bat For Lashes and Warpaint. “Solid Gold” is a real treat; the buttery vocals collide with the sexy and tightly wound guitar riffs that make your head bob. There’s a whole lot of layers here for a solo project, and it’s easily a track that you’ll revisit. I’d keep my ear to the ground for more from Pale Puma.
If you weren’t aware, Maybird is an outfit from Rochester, NY, that is crafting catchy psych rock mixed with roots elements. They dropped their album, Things I Remember From Earth, back in May, and now they’ve got a new video for the short, but sweet track “Montreal.” What’s so lovely about this tune is the way it’s not even two minutes, and yet, it’s got all the makings of a tune that will get stuck in your head for days. The whole track bursts with energy, and the chorus has this incredible build to it that escalates the tune from bubbling to boiling. Take a listen below and enjoy.