Shivery Shakes – Shivery Shakes EP

Rating: ★★★★☆

It’s hard to rise to the top in Austin, but over the last year Shivery Shakes have certainly made a nice name for themselves.  For the first time, the masses will get a chance to hear recorded tunes as the group releases their Shivery Shakes EP; it lives up to all the promise we’ve been fortunate enough to see grow over the last year.

A bubbling bit of bass begins off “Our Nights” before the boys start to their jittery jangling.  You’ll find a bit of youthful innocence in the group’s approach on this jam, which is exemplified by singer William’s voice, not to mention the gang vocal approach.  Personally, I dig the nice surf-ish guitar solo that comes in near the end of the number.

By the time you get into “Say,” you start to see the boys hitting their stride, as a little bit of that live energy begins to seep though the sounds on the EP.  You can almost feel yourself swaying with the cutting guitar lines, just as one would do when dancing with the Shivery Shakes in the live setting.  Perhaps, the vocals are a tad rough, but that exuberance is exactly what makes the group so charming live, so lets not get nit-picky.

The effortless cool of “Stay Young” should help make the band branch out beyond the realms of Austin.  At first, you get a bit of that sunny shakiness the band often employs, but the chorus is where they really kick your teeth in with pop goodness.  As William begins his guttural shout with “I’m too young to die/you’re too old to lie” you can really feel that energy coming through your speakers; it’s a remarkable feat for a first effort.

All day long though, “Temporary Vacation” has been where it’s at in my head.  For some reason, the story of creating your own vacation while dancing with a friend/lover in your living-room with your favorite record spinning fits my current daydreams. The group employs a bit of a stomp too about midway through the track, which offers up just enough differentiation to keep the sound of the EP fresh.  Oh, and it’s got whistling too!

“Wait” closes out the short effort in grand fashion.  There’s grit on these guitars, despite their ability to flesh out gorgeous pop melodies.  William’s seemingly distant vocals are accompanied by the rest of the group joining him to provide a sublime choral moment.  This is one of those songs where you can see the group fit all their influences and touches into one tight song.

In conclusion, Shivery Shakes are a rising star in Austin, but with songs like this, they should hopefully start to seem some recognition elsewhere.  They combine bits of Cali sun-pop, group harmonies, jangling guitars and steady drumming; in doing so, they create a short effort that’s both breezy and cool, begging to be turned up loud while you open the windows and let that Spring wind blow through.  Well played lads.


Download:Shivery Shakes – Wait [MP3]


Meet Bleeding Knees Club

It’s great when you get awesome tips from musicians you love, and so I was pleased to stumble upon Bleeding Knees Club when they were referenced by Dev Hynes…most recently of Blood Orange. They’re just a duo, but they’ve got a pretty powerful bit of sound.  Their record, Nothing to Do, just came out today, and surely they’ll find a huge audience for themselves here in the States. I guess you could throw it into the pile with the rest of the garage rock genre, but for me, there’s a bit more youthfulness (innocence if you will) that makes it a pure fun.  Have fun bouncing around to this number all day!


Download:Bleeding Knees Club – Same Game [MP3]

Cool Vibe from Electricity in Our Homes

I stumbled upon this great track from Electricity in Our Homes, and I really wanted to share it with everyone. At first, I started to think of their album, Dear Shareholder, as a bit of constructionist pop-art, but the more I listen the more I can’t help but compare them to the early work of our dear friends in Colourmusic.  It combines odd time structures and off-kilter melodies/harmonies; somehow, it all fits nicely together giving you a nice groovy listen that’ll keep your toes tapping throughout the day. You’re definitely going to want to give the following number some repeated spins today!



New Music From Races

Here’s a new jam from one our favorite bands, Races, who also happen to be coming into town for SXSW.  The new tune is called “Lies” and appears on the band’s upcoming new album entitled Year of the Witch.  You can get your hands on that one right after SXSW on March 27th via Frenchkiss Records.  This one makes me look forward to seeing the band live when they’re in town in a couple weeks.  Dig.


Download: Races – Lies [MP3]

Super Rad Jam from Royal Headache

I’ve known this number was coming down the pipeline for a bit, and I just couldn’t wait much longer to share it with you!  Royal Headache is an Australian quartet destined to break out with their blend of joyous garage-soul fusion.  Royal Headache is fortunate to have their self-titled album picked up for US release by the always excellent folks over at What’s Your Rupture; they’ll have it ready for you on May 8th.  There’s this infectious energy in album track “Girls,” be it the steady pop streaming guitars or the playful crooning of Shogun on vocals.  We’ll all be fortunate to witness their invasion in June, after they stop by Austin to play several  Chaos in Tejas dates.  Get ready to fall in love with rock n’ soul.


Download: Royal Headache – Girls

SXSW Preview: Psychic Ills

Ready for more SXSW rock?  Well, the Psychic Ills aren’t necessarily going to bring you straight ahead rock n’ roll; the band has done lots of experimentation with their sound since their inception in 2003.  Most recently, they released Hazed Dream on Sacred Bones Records, signaling a slight departure from their more traditional sound. It’s definitely going to get lumped into the psychedelic genre, which is probably an easy descriptor, but I laud the band for their vast experimentation over the years.  I hear bits of Spiritualized in songs like “Mind Daze” from their recent release, yet the song evokes different qualities depending upon your own personal tastes.  In reading their bio, you’ll see that the experiments and testing of waters doesn’t just revolve around their efforts in music, but extends to their association with very art mediums while living in NYC.  You lump that in with all their musical trials over the last several years, and you’re in for a fascinating show that will definitely leave you wanting to follow them around Austin for the week. 


Here’s a list of their shows, for you stalking plans:

TUE 3/13 @ Whiskey Room (Sacred Bones event)
WED 3/14 @ Elysium (Sacred Bones official evening showcase, 12 AM set)
THU 3/15 @ Urban Outfitters,  2 PM set
                     @ Spiderhouse/29th Street Ballroom (Austin Psych Fest party, 6 PM Set
SAT 3/17  @ Red Eyed Fly (Strange Victory/Village Voice/The Wick party, 3 PM set)

Experimental Industrial Tune from Adreon Henry

Adreon’s name should hopefuly be familiar with Austin audiences, but his former band Single Frame might not be nation-wide knowledge. Still, if you listen to the following track from his upcoming The Sandman Doesn’t Sle EP, written under the Strange Calls moniker, you’ll definitely wonder what’s going on in there.  Apparently vocals are run through car engines, and slide’s are created with bicycle handlebars, giving that odd sludgy sound to the track.  It’s not for everyone, but you have to appreciate an artist (an Austin one no less!) who is eager to push the boundaries of musical instrumentation. But, if you’re looking for a more accessible sound, you might find it by way of his other project, videoing; you can listen to that group’s upcoming album, Reader. right HERE.


Download: Strange Calls – Night Off [MP3]

Fuzzed Out Rocker from Sleepy Sun

For their last effort, Fever, Cali’s Sleepy Sun got us off rocking with their own brand of psychedelic stoner rock, however, they still gripped tightly to a sunny side of songwriting with songs like “Rigamaroo.”  Their new effort, Spine Hits, aims to be a different beast, at least upon this first few listens.  You can grab the album on April 10th via The End Records, but for now just take a little listen to the first single. My ears sort of feel like there’s a bit of Brit-pop hiding behind the fuzzier elements of rock here, but I’ll let you be the judge. Check it!


Download:Sleep Sun – Stivey Pond [MP3]

Frankie Rose – Interstellar

Rating: ★★★★½

Not too long ago, Frankie Rose brought you her first debut solo album under the moniker Frankie Rose and the Outs. It was an album filled to the brim with ethereal jangly pop weighed down by the dark, whispery vocals of Frankie herself. It’s been a year or two since this self-titled album and now she’s back with a second solo effort.  In that time it seems that Frankie decided The Outs were ‘out’ and that she would go for the sophomore completely on her own. In this choice, she shows but a shadow of the new step of confidence that comes on Interstellar.

If you take a look at the cover of this album, you’ll find that it matches the name of the album, as well as the new direction of sound that it takes: dark, groovy, psychedelic. The album opens with the title track, with waves of synth floating in, crafting a space-y, outer galaxy feel. Frankie wafts in after, her voice as whispery as before, but by no means meek and she only gets a few soft words in before the song picks up. This energy picks up where the last album left off, showing that Frankie intends to go farther than she had before. There’s a new ferocity that seems to be egged on by the extra layer of synthesized atmospheric noise.

Said energy continues to the second track, “Know Me,” whose guitars seem to be swirling everywhere at once, backed with the energetic drumbeats that keep the song at its frantic, yet ever controlled pace. It’s controlled chaos; so many elements combining in a three-minute treat that will have you grooving right along. “Gospel/Grace” gives you some deeper, rolling beats that change the pace a bit but keeps the driving energy that is ever-present on Interstellar. This energy is what sets this album above the previous and what keeps it moving all the way to the end.

Frankie pushes her way through ten tracks in what feels like no time at all. She keeps you entertained all the way through; there isn’t a lull in energy, as the middle numbers don’t dissipate from the enticing qualities that make the beginning of this album so good. Even on the last track, “The Fall,” which lacks percussion in general, you still have the ethereal power that hangs behind Interstellar, transfixing you to start all over again, relishing in the dreamy, supernatural, atmospheric pop that is so piercing to the ear.


Download: Frankie Rose – Know Me [MP3]

Show Preview: Grimes @ Lamberts (2/29)

Date Wednesday, Feb. 29th
Location Grimes
Doors 930p
Tickets SOLD OUT!!

It’s a shame and a bonus that the much heralded Grimes is playing at Lamberts on Wednesday evening.  On the plus side, she sold the show out rather quickly, but on the down side, fewer people will get to experience the hubbub surrounding the young singer.  Still, those that adored her recent album, Visions, will probably get to see one of  her more intimate shows on this tour; you’ll all be luckily packed in tight to see her performance.  Opening the night is another excellent act, Born Gold, so don’t get all Austin and skip out on the opener. Didn’t see any tickets on Craigslist yesterday, but people sure seemed willing to sell tickets for some Drake character. Sample some joyous tunes from Grimes.


Download:Grimes – Genesis [MP3]

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