Beautiful Pop from Lightships (Gerard of Teenage Fanclub)

If you’re a fan of 90s indie pop/rock, what have you, then you’re surely geeking out already about Lightships, the new project from Gerard Love of Teenage Fanclub.  The line-up includes members from TF (past and present) as well as Belle and Sebastian and the Pastels; that alone is enough to make anyone swoon.  Lightships will be releasing Electric Cables on April 2nd, but they just dropped off this wonderful new single this week. It’s exactly what I expected it to sound like: beautiful.  I cannot wait to get my hands on this one.



New Mellow Tune From JBM

It’s taken me some time to come around to the stylings of Jesse Merchant, a.k.a JBM, but I think his new record Stray Ashes has turned me into a permanent fan.  The subtle songwriting approach from JBM isn’t going to make you want to jump and dance so don’t come here looking for that.  No, these tunes are going to make you stop, take a long listen, and really appreciate the subtleties of each song.  It’s a contemplative album that continues to get more intriguing with each passing listen.  Keep your eyes peeled for the May 22nd release date on Western Vinyl.  Until then, we have this beautiful new song “Winter Ghosts” for you to enjoy below.  While you’re at it, check out new song “Only Now” over at Paste for even more greatness.


Download: JBM – Winter Ghosts [MP3]

La Sera – Sees the Light

Rating: ★★★★☆

In 2011, Katy Goodman stepped away from the Vivian Girls and made her first record under this new moniker. That album was the essence of a dream, with echoes upon echoes of vocals layered on ethereal pop instrumental in the background. A lot must have changed since then; relationships broken, new attitudes adopted, and an overall new sound for La Sera on Sees the Light, a sound which goes in a bold, good, direction.

From the very start of the album you can pick up on the new changes for the band. If it’s any indication of a change, the first track on the self titled release of last year was “Beating Heart,” whereas Sees the Light begins with “Love That’s Gone,” and we have the new, bitter and resolved Katy Goodman. Instantly you can hear this change in the music: the dreamy washes of echo on the vocals are gone, the drums are more centralized, giving a real and solid feel to the song. It’s as if the honeymoon period of dreams is over and what’s left is a woman scorned, trying to move away from the gay melodies of yesterday.

After the first song gets things going on Sees the Light, the second song, “Please Be My Third Eye,” takes it up a notch, increasing the pace and the level of intensity; the drums are always pushing, the guitars are guttural, and Goodman commands the song, pushing it around to show her strength. This strength continues on through the next few songs, and then enters into a more reserved state on “It’s Over Now,” which is the first real breakdown on the album. The placement of this slower, more morose song this far along into the progression of tracks helps to convey some emotion that is perhaps lost on the faster songs; Goodman doesn’t ignore the pain completely, she just channels it in different ways.

Essentially, it’s a break-up album, but whereas most of those tend to linger on the whiny, sorrow-filled, my heart was broken-listen-to-me cry-about-it, songs, La Sera focuses on channeling this sorrow into faster paced, bolder, and overall stronger pop tunes. It’s not a step to weakness, but rather a step away from it, and a focus on the strength that has always lied behind those spunky, girlish vocals. The emergence of this lingering power is what separate Sees the Light from the previous album and allows it to stand as a cohesive album as opposed to a series of cute songs strung together.


Download: La Sera – Break My Heart [MP3]

Catchy New Jam from Reptar

We’ve been all about Reptar for quite some time, and they seem to have gained a huge fan base in a short time.  So, we’re happy to offer up another new track from their forthcoming album on Vagrant, Body Faucet, which comes out on May 1st.  As you’d expect, there’s huge hooks to get your energy flowing and your feet dancing.  You’ve gotta love this sort of track, living somewhere along the lines of a punky dance number.  This is the sort of track that huge stars are made from, so give it a chance.


Download:Reptar – Orifice Origami [MP3]

Show Pics: Best of Day Parties @ SxSW 2012

SxSW 2012 will not go away. It refuses to be ignored. It boils rabbits (that is a movie reference before anyone gets mad at SxSW).

I have a mess of pics from the day parties. This is a hot mess. I am still doing forensics on who and where based on when. I have a rough idea of where I was, but add in an occasional adult beverage, the fact that these were taken five days into my SxSW and I have a lousy memory, you can understand if the details evade. Regardless, these are some my favorite shutter clicks from the unofficial that has become official.

From MWTX to The Fader Fort presented by Converse (professional obligation there, you can thank Converse for saving Fader Fort), I got all kinds of bands performing in daylight. Yech, daylight…

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Swedish Pop Punk from Terrible Feelings

We’re running a very rock oriented Thursday it seems, so Sweden’s Terrible Feelings fit right in with that motif. The group recently signed on with Deranged Records to release their album, Shadows, this April.  For my ears, it’s definitely got something going on, beyond stereotypical punk/pop; there’s something in the vocal delivery that harkens back to days before punk was even born, lending itself to sort of a haunting effect.  Sweden seems to think they’re full of angst and darkness, and I see that, but over here in the States, it’s just good old fashioned rock n’ roll–the kind we love here at ATH.


Download:Terrible Feelings – Intruders [MP3]

New Rocker From Screaming Females

Thank you friends over at The Gum for pointing us to this new jamming tune “Expire” from Screaming Females.  It’s full of all the great things you should love about the band.  A new album, Ugly, is due out on April 3rd via Don Giovanni Records.  The band also has some must see dates coming up in Austin on May 4th @ Red 7 and on June 1st @ Beauty Ballroom for Chaos in Tejas.


Download: Screaming Females – Expire [MP3]

New Country-Tinged Jam from Natural Child

The offices over at ATH have been really crazy lately, so when we stumble across a truly fun track, we’ve got to throw it in the mix!  I’ve spent the last few days jamming to this track from Natural Child, the newest sensation out of Nashville. The group will be dropping their new LP, For the Love of the Game, on April 20th via Burger Records, just before heading out on the road with our favorite Hunx and his Punx (including an Austin date on 4/18). This almost has a bluesy-feel to it, which is no surprise coming from Tennessee, but it’s got just the right amount of garage grit to make it a stomping tune we can all get behind, right? Buen proveche.


Download:Natural Child – Ain’t Gonna Stop [MP3]

New Music From Ty Segall & White Fence

It seems that we have another super group on our hands that everyone should be pumped about in the form of ATH favorites Ty Segall & White Fence.  The guys have an album coming out as a duo on April 24th via Drag City entitled Hair.  Until then, here’s a first taste of the new collaboration with this sweet new tune “I Am Not A Game”.


Download: Ty Segall & White Fence – I Am Not A Game [MP3]

New Music From Like Pioneers

Below you’ll find a new song called “Boggs” by indie rock outfit Like Pioneers.  The song is a fairly straightforward rock number that eventual turns into an extended 6 minute jam.  It’s pretty similar to older Broken Social Scene eh?  Yeah it is.  This Chicago based group have a new album entitled Oh Magic coming out on May 22nd via Abandoned Love Records and you should definitely pick it up.


Download: Like Pioneers – Boggs [MP3]

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