• SXSW 2019 – A Recap

    Yet another SXSW is in the books and it’s time for the ATH crew to reminisce a little and offer some highlight from the week behind us. I think we’ve

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  • SXSW: 6 Bands To Watch

    Well SXSW music is officially here, and as I sit and ponder my existence while at work, I thought it would be fun to share some advice on bands to

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  • RayRay’s Top Songs – 2018

    When it comes to ATH and our areas of expertise, I like to think I’m the go to guy for song lists and bad ass playlists. If you’re doubting me,

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  • Best of Indiepop 2018

    Everyone has their own definition of indiepop; but I tend to ascribe to the original craft where DIY aesthetics and a softer response to punk were all the rage. But,

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  • ATH Top Albums – 2018

      This is our year end list for albums of the year. There’s four of us here, so it’s hard to come to a consensus, but we did our best.

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Straight Rocker From Gaffa Tape Sandy

Nathan and I developed a love affair for English based band Gaffa Tape Sandy a couple of years ago and we’ve been eagerly awaiting more music from the band ever since. Somehow we missed new single “Headlights” dropped back in March, but luckily the band have another new single called “So Dry” ready to share today. To be perfectly honest, this is exactly what I needed today as I delve through new music full of bleeps, bloops and effected vocals. Not here, this trio again delivers a powerful track mixing all the best edgy elements of The Thermals with the sensible song construction of a band like Weezer, but with even better melodies. I love it.

Gaffa Tape Sandy will release new EP Family Mammal on August 9th via Alcopop! Records.

Lina Tullgren Announces Free Cell

It’s been a few years since Lina Tullgren shared their debut with the world, but today news comes our way that they’re ready to drop a new LP, Free Cell, in our laps. In the story of the album, it seems that Lina was isolated for much of the writing, forced to grapple with songwriting in their own manner; you can sort of feel that solitude in this very single, though it offers up these bits of light as glimmers of hope hanging in your ears. Personally, I’m really drawn to the guitar work on this; they mess with time signatures and traditional manners of song, particularly in the closing minute. Free Cell already sounds so full of promise that I can’t wait, but I’ll have to, as its not out until August 23rd via Captured Tracks.

Sarah Bethe Nelson Shares Video for Weird Glow

I cannot stop playing this new tune from Sarah Bethe Nelson; I know that’s hyperbole, but seriously, I just want to listen to this track all day. It has this light approach to guitar pop that walks a fine line between indiepop and power-pop, though it probably leans more towards the power side of things. Her voice has this warmth to it, while also holding onto this natural sense of freedom; I envision it like that feather in Forrest Gump, rising and falling, blowing wherever it wants to blow. The Weird Glow LP will be released this Friday courtesy of the fine folks over at Burger Records.

Breezy Indie Pop from Mauno

Mauno is a two piece (with help) who will be releasing an LP of their delightfully weird pop tunes at the beginning of August. From that release, they’ve just dropped “Vampire,” which is a lovely and light indie rock tune. What I love the most about this tune is the vocal delivery. Nick Everett has a melancholic, lukewarm voice, which is sweetened by Eliza Niemi’s addition during the choruses. The building, but still soft percussion and guitars are equally as compelling, and I’ve been back to listen to this track about 10 times.If you dig the track below, you should definitely check out this video of Eliza Niemi and Nick Everett attempting to sing along with this track whilst on the last 3 minutes of an hour long ride on a stationary bike. They keep it together pretty well! Pre-order Really Well here before it’s out August 2. Oh, and lucky for you here in Austin, they’re playing Cheer Ups on July 2!

Red Sleeping Beauty Ready New EP

It’s barely been a few weeks since Red Sleeping Beauty dropped the highly recommended Stockholm, and all ready the group are turning around a few extra tunes to go with the Tonight EP/Single. I mean, it only takes an instant to be submerged in a pool of refreshing synth pop; the beats are light and playful from the get-go, driving forward with energy as the chorus comes to fruition. This band just continues to offer up these delectable pop treats that are primed for quick consumption; you’re not going to find too many folks crafting better pop than this trio. The Tonight EP will drop July 12th via Matinee Recordings.

Banging Track From Blood Cultures

The mysterious artist group known as Blood Cultures are returning this year with a planned release of a new album called Oh Uncertainty! A Universe Despairs coming in September. Prior to the new album, the group have shared this absolute banger of a new song “Best For You”. The song has a beautifully crafted beat driving things throughout with some sparse vocals and timely synths to create something truly unique. At first it reminded me a bit of an older Daughn Gibson song, but with a more appropriate, ahem, vocal delivery. Here’s to more from the group we still know very little about.

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Cruel Summer Release Part Time Punks Session

Big fan of Cruel Summer over here, and it’s always great to see bands to live recordings and reimagining of their own tunes, especially when it comes to Part Time Punks. The San Francisco outfit just dropped their PTP Session II, and it’s also got a very limited vinyl release you have to get your hands on. In honor of that, we’re sharing a video for Skyless, which first appeared on the band’s Ivy in 2017. I think the video matches the track perfectly, with this sort of dreamy popgaze running in black and white for the first minute twenty-five seconds, then the color jumps in and the track simultaneously runs off; this furious moment sounds like early Sonic Youth being crafted by indiepop nerds (and I mean that in the best way!). Check it below, and if you love it, hurry because only a handful of the 8″ records remain!

Slept on Stars on Fire

Last week Jigsaw Records quietly released Blue Skies Above, the debut EP from Stars on Fire; I trust the label, so I had to go and spin it on repeat in order to fully digest it. Those who follow my personal tastes will realize that this album is everything I love, and yet none of the things I love. Opener “Shutdown” is a fuzzy little shuffle, bordering on jangling, but focusing on the noisier bits; it sounds a little like that first Pains LP. Jump around a bit to find “Model,” which is more of a post-punk rambling; I love the deep tones of the vocals and the natural balance. “Paper Driver” sounds like something our friends in Fanclub would have released, though special in that its mostly instrumental. You see, this is all over the place, and yet its cohesive in that sense…its like a sampling of all the great things about pop music. Stream it all below.

CRV Share Racecar

Brooklyn outfit CRV have ties to Austin, so it only makes sense that their sound would hit home with us here at ATH. This one opens up playfully, draping warm vocal waves across trickling guitar bits, jutting right up against the 1 minute mark. But, it’s there that the percussion builds, readying the punky drawl that scorches the rest of the track; it’s here you’ll find the band flexing their musicianship, offering up guitar noodles blended within the confines of indie rock grooves. Then, as if returning to where it all began, the group slow things down, sauntering calmly to the song’s close. If you dig it, the band release Compact Recreational Vehicle this Friday on all the platforms!

Brand New Music from Flying Fish Cove

I guess when you’re on, you’re on, or so is the case with Flying Fish Cove. The band have only recently released the most excellent At Moonset LP, but now they’ve turned around to prep your ears for a new EP. Their first single from the EP has the band at their best; I think you could compare them to Alvvays here. There’s this natural softness in Dena’s voice that creates this soothing emotion that washes over you, letting you know everything’s alright; she gets a little help from a male backing role, but it’s all her show. The rest of the band sit back, lightly filling in the space with some of the best pop sounds you’ll hear today. You can’t stop the hits coming from this bunch right now, but you will have to wait for the new EP; it drops on June 21st via Jigsaw/Lost Sound Tapes.

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