Cool New Tune from Pictorials

We don’t typically associate Portland with post-punk sounds; that seems to be more in line with their friends nearby in Seattle.  But, I’ve been really enjoying this new track from Pictorials, a band that came together after other projects failed to meet their needs.  The group gave up on their trained instruments, trying to create a sound all their own.  If this is a good example, then their debut Learning EP is shaping up to be quite a gem.  I’ve enjoyed the mood, which has created a slight swaying of my arms and body, giving me a nostalgic feeling for my appreciation of good old fashioned art-pop.  Bet you like this jam.


Download:Pitcorials – Sense of Vanity [MP3]

More New Music from Prince Rupert’s Drops

Back in early August, I brought you this swaggering psych rock tune from Prince Rupert’s Drops, just before they’d announced the official details of their LP.  Well, the first official single is finally out there, happily floating around.  The album is titled Run Slow, and it will be released by the new label Beyond Beyond is Beyond Records on November 13th.  This new tune still holds to that swing that I appreciate about the group, plus there’s some inclusion of various psych rock staples; personally, I like the fact that they’re still willing to dwell in the realm of approachable pop, making it much more consumable on first listen. What say you?


Download:Prince Rupert’s Drop – Almond Man [MP3]

Andrew Bird – Hands of Glory

Rating: ★★★★☆

It would be an understatement to say that Andrew Bird is an accomplished musician, as his work in the musical field spans a great distance. Through his work with Bowl of Fire as well as his own well-developed solo career, he has made a name for himself in the singer/songwriter category. He has generated quite a number of fans to support him and was asked to write an entire soundtrack for a film. Folksy tunes are his game, and his talent shines through everything he does—Hands of Glory is no exception.

Though this album is a fairly short release at thirty-five minutes, Bird doesn’t compromise on substance in the slightest. The first song is an excellent example of the brevity, yet complete nature of each individual number on Hands of Glory. “Three White Horses,” at three minutes, blazes by, building to a dramatic crescendo at its finish. It’s pretty classic to Bird’s style—folksy and slow burning, at least in the beginning of the song. It starts with a bass-line and Bird’s bluesy voice, accompanied soon by backing harmonies and the track is mild, but then explodes into something more fiery; the wall of sound builds and then breaks in emotion that can be heard in Bird’s vocals.

The emotional quality of this album can be felt the entire way through, but it never gets too heavy. You have deeper cuts like “Spirograph,” on which Bird’s voice matches the guitar riff in a melancholy melody and the songwriting of this gentleman is exceptional if you really listen. But there are also lighter numbers like “Railroad Bill,” which evokes a classic country-blues number, complete with a barnstompin’ beat and a fiddle solo to match.

It all comes to a close with a blissfully serene nine-minute number whose simplicity overwhelms you. “Beyond the Valley of the Three White Horses” is a treat to behold—the elegant over-arching string-work drifts in and out, alternating with opposing casual guitar strumming. I find myself swooning over the beauty of such a song, getting lost in the heavy violin sound and then picked up once more with the guitar and Bird playing out in his gentle way. Though it is nine minutes long, there isn’t a point in the song in which you even think about its length. On the contrary, you wish it would continue.

Here in Austin we’ve just experienced our first real cold snap of the season, signaling perhaps the hope of fall, but if you’re anywhere else really, cold weather is here. Hands of Glory makes a great listening companion to warm your inside with folksy bliss as you watch the leaves change colors. So throw on a sweater and jeans and let Andrew Bird keep you company.

Show Preview: Superchunk @ Mohawk (11/1)

Date 11/1/12
Location Mohawk
Doors 7pm
Tickets FREE with FFFfest wristband

Well now this ladies and gentlemen is one hell of a show we’ve got going down in Austin on Thursday night at the Mohawk.  Our headliner for the evening is legendary band Superchunk on the outside stage. That alone should be enough for most of you, but let’s also mention that supporting outside bands are Imperial Teen and Joyce Manor so that should sweeten the deal.  Oh and you’ve also got some awesome up and coming bands playing the inside stage known as Terrible Feelings, Mind Spiders, Wiccans, and The Impalers.  I wish could say that’s all folks, but also remember that the entire show is FREE with your Fun Fest wristband.  Thanks you Mohawk and thank you Transmission.  You rule.


Download: Superchunk – Digging for Something [MP3]

Brand New Tune from Esben and the Witch

Wow, I didn’t expect this to come out so soon, and I didn’t expect to be so enamored with the newest tune from Esben and the Witch.  The group announced yesterday that their new album, Wash the Sins Not Only the Face, will be coming out January 21st via Matador Records.  Opening with a ringing guitar, then moving in with the vocals; from here the song ebbs and flows, leaving the guitar to echo and dance in the background.  I’m glad we’re slowly starting to hear great new sounds for the new year, assuming we make it that far (damn Mayans).


Download:Esben and the Witch – Deathwaltz [MP3]

Cool Vibes from The Pear Traps

I stumbled upon this gem the other night, and I’ve been playing this track, and it’s accompanying EP pretty much non-stop the last few days, aside from the other stuff I’ve been spinning.  The Pear Traps are a group from Chicago, and they’ve crafted this short little EP that’s just chock full of mellow harmonies; this track is the second on their Elsewhere EP.  While it begins patiently, there’s a slight increase in the group’s urgency, which is quite brilliant in my opinion, especially the way the guitars seem to dance in the distance.  You can grab the EP from the band for the extra special NYOP (I encourage you to donate to support the band!)


Download:The Pear Traps – Sister [MP3]

Fun Fest Preview: The Helio Sequence

We’re only a a short week or so away now from the upcoming Fun Fest this weekend and it’s time for us to start really delving into this lineup.  It’s hard for me to pick just one band to focus on so we’ll be bringing you several previews this week with bands we deem worthy of your time.  Today I’d like to turn your attention to veteran indie outfit The Helio Sequence.  Follow the jump for a little info on the band and their set time.

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New Hit from September Girls

I love writing about the bands on Matinee Recordings; it makes it so easy as they almost never miss.  The newest installation to their storied stable is Dublin’s September Girls, a five piece group specializing in bringing a blend of atmospheric post rock and girl group harmonies.  It’s pretty much a perfect blend of all your favorite things, uniting noisier pop with your tendency to wax nostalgic about a more pure rock n’ roll sound.  You better get your hands on it now, as the history of the band shows that there music is being gobbled up quickly all over the globe, so chances are this 7″ EP won’t be around for too long.

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Show Preview: Divine Fits @ Stubbs (10/31)

Date 10/31/12
Location Stubbs
Doors 7pm
Tickets $20 @ Frontgate

Tomorrow is everyone’s favorite spooky holiday and a great way to celebrate would be heading over to the Divine Fits show over at Stubbs.  With one ATH crew member already verifying that the supergroup can pull of one hell of a live show, this is sure to be a must see show.  Oh and let’s not forget that ATH approved band Cold Cave is providing opening support, so now I just don’t see any reason why you wouldn’t be here.

We’ve also heard that a costume contest is going down along with some horror movie snippets between band performances.  I’m in.


Download: Divine Fits – Would That Not Be Nice [MP3]

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