John Grant Has A Black Belt

Got this one in the inbox and felt like sharing. John Grant sets the synths to stun and lobs a softball in the wheelhouse. This track, called “Black Belt” will be on the forthcoming full length called Pale Green Ghosts due on May 14th. I thought of plenty of bands to reference, one being Matthew Dear, but just listen to it if you like squarewaves and sparse vocal-driven builders with breaks.

The album was recorded in Iceland. That’s kind of cool. It features backing vocals by Sinead O’Connor, so hide your pope pics. Sorry for those “jokes”.


Download:John Grant – Black Belt (via Soundcloud) [MP3]

More New Music from Seatraffic

seatrafficI really like the dichotomy of the sound Seatraffic are creating at the moment.  Your first direction has you leaning towards a sort of electro bedroom pop, but the feeling of the vocals has more of a sprawling psych rock feeling behind it.  It makes for more than just your casual listen, providing the band with another certifiable hit from a few singles they’ll be tossing out in the up-coming months. If you’re in search of something that’s fairly unique, let your ears feats on this new song, and look out for more in the future.


Download:Seatraffic – Superficial Heart [MP3]

Dick Diver Winning Us Over

DICK-DIVER1-575x385Long have we supported the good folks over at Chapter Music in Australia, who brought us the great music of Twerps and The Crayon Fields.  One of their lesser-known acts has really been making huge leaps and bounds, as far as popularity goes: Dick Diver.  The group is about to release their new record Calendar Days from the label in March, and we’ve got one of those new tracks for you.  I dig the brightness of the twanging guitar, accompanied by spoken word interplay between the male and female vocalists.  It’s a casual track, reminiscent of the relaxed pop gems from other great bands in the label’s stable.  Always happy to hear anything from the CM; it’s never going to let us down.

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Sweet Talk Record Release Tonight @ Beerland

sweettalkYou want to get down with some rock n’ roll? Then you better take yourself out to Beerland tonight! All you fans of the heavier/faster side of Austin’s rock scene will surely find yourselves rocking to the killer new tunes from Austin’s Sweet Talk. The band has just released their record, Pickup Lines, and you really need to go get your hands on it.  It’s a blend of crunchy punk rock, filled with hooks and call-and-response anthems.  But, why I love those dudes, you will also get to see some of the incredible camaraderie by Austin’s rock scene, with openers Bad Sports (techinically Ft. Worth/Austin), Fleshlights and Burnt Skull. We’ve mentioned all those bands before, and you have no reason not go go out and just enjoy our cities best acts.  Here’s one of the many hits from the new Sweet Talk record!



More New Music From Good Field


Way back in January, I posted a sweet new single from local Austin boys Good Field called “These Dreams”.  I haven’t really heard much from the band until they just sent out their brand new single “Tell Me Ida” found below.  It appears on a new self-titled album from the band which is due out on February 12th.  This is a great song from one of Austin’s most promising new band.  Get with the program!


Download: Good Field – Tell Me Ida [MP3]

Ducktails – The Flower Lane

Ducktails-Flower-LaneRating: ★★★½☆

The Flower Lane is the third studio album from this group, fronted by Real Estate’s Matt Mondanile. The band specializes in garage-esque, murky alternative rock music, though they take a step further into clarity with this release.

The album starts out on an unmistakably high note, with “Ivy Covered House,” which is one of those tracks that makes you yearn for that perfect sunny day so you can roll the windows down and just let the breeze ruffle your hair—it’s that glossy and smooth of a tune. This first number is just about as full of jangly guitar as possible and it is as though Matt Mondanile is evoking the style of his other band, Real Estate, which is far from a bad thing. Regardless, when the band circles around to the final repeated chorus after a short instrumental break, it’s impossible not to be onboard.

Though this is about as jangly as Ducktails go on this album, and the next few tracks put some distance between its sound and the others. Two tracks later on “Under Cover,” the band still has their swirling guitars, but have leapt into the realm of jazz, complete with saxophone interludes; it is safe to say that this isn’t a predictable Ducktails track. That being said, this album is quite a different step for the band, not only in a decrease of fuzziness via the production, as well as the different experimental directions they take.

But what is interesting about The Flower Lane is that if you skipped ahead to the latter part of the album, you’d probably be confused as to if you were still listening to the same band. Though they have already jumped a few genres earlier, there are a few tracks toward the end that don’t really seem to fit in with the rest of the tunes on this album. “Letter of Intent,” the second to last track on The Flower Lane, is really more electronic than anything Ducktails has put out up to this point in time, as it is a collaboration with Dan Lopatin on Synths, and the feminine vocal styling of Jessica Farkas of Future Shuttle. It’s a groovy number, but it really strikes hard as out of place after you’ve been listening to a primarily guitar motivated album. The track before it, at roughly two minutes long, “International Date Line,” retrospectively only feels as though preparation for the track that follows, but alas, it still doesn’t really sit right when the band returns to their ‘normal’ sound on the final track after it.

Even with this odd ending, this album is still one that has a number of good songs to entertain those who are a fan of garage rock. So if you haven’t yet, give Ducktails a spin.

New Jam from The Black Angels

blackangelsproofs-63481-Edit-239This new jam from Austin’s The Black Angels has been floating around just a little bit, but we’re just now getting a chance to post the tune for you.  Interestingly, there’s a slight change in the sound, almost having a more direct approach to the dark-tinged rock element, as opposed to their hazier past.  Clearly the band has something going, and I can only wish that rock n’ roll like this could break through to the masses.  On April 2nd the group will release their new record, Indigo Meadow, which is sure to be a new fan favorite.

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Being There – Breaking Away

beingthereRating: ★★★☆☆

It wasn’t too long ago that Being There released their debut record, but several spins into Breaking Away and you’ll see the growth in the London four piece.  The guitar playing is tighter, and the recording maximizes the pop sensibility of the group.  If you’re in need of a good pop rock record, then your best bet for 2013 is to begin here.

“Allen Ginsberg” gently begins things, with nothing more than the quieted vocal and a gliding guitar track.  While it’s the first track on the album, it’s also one of those that dictates the sincerity of the group.  But, they’re not eager to lay down an album’s worth of mellow pop tunes, jumping immediately into “Back to the Future.”  For me, the drumming wins out on this track, providing the backbone for the guitars to dig their way into your auditory heart.  Slight bits of twang during the chorus serve to bring the melody back into focus.

While I definitely appreciate the presence of upbeat numbers on Breaking Away, there’s a soft spot for the mellower tunes, like “Infinity.” The ringing guitars accompanied by acoustic strumming are reminiscent of some of my favorite tracks by The Lucksmiths, so it’s easy to see why I gravitate towards such moments.  Perhaps their brightest moments though come when they combine both elements, such as Being There does on the six-minute killer, “Silent Runner.”  You’ll hear a jingling tambourine steadying the track, with a nice melody warmly sung atop it all, but they play with the tension levels too.  There are bits of atmospheric guitar noise that swells midway through, making it more than just an average pop ballad.

Hints of a modern indie pop-gaze influence appear in songs like “Tomorrow” or “The Radio,” but I suggest you hold up to one of the more special songs that awaits near the end.  “17” is perhaps the hidden gem that many people with attention disorders might skip, due to its late presence.  I like the tonal changes in the mix for the vocals, but I also appreciate the steady pacing of the drums that work together with cascading guitar chords.  It’s a special moment that I’ve continuously played outside of my review purposes.

All in all, Being There have done an exceptional job of upping the ante from their first effort.  Sure, there are some derivative pieces here, but the overall feeling of the record more than makes up for that.  There’s enough mixture in the placement of songs to dictate repeated pleasure for listens all the way through, yet there’s also stand-out tracks that you can include in your mixes for friends.  Breaking Away is your chance to enjoy the simple pleasure of good pop music, and hopefully go on and share it with the world.


Download:Being There – The Radio [MP3]


Duck Duck Punch And Let Go

Depeche Mode has a new album coming out. I am hopeful. What does that have to do with anything?

I heard this while trolling tunes about the intarwebs, don’t remember what playlist thing it was (sorry source people). Duck Duck Punch is a synth band out of Minnesota. As many of you know, I am a full on sucker for synth bands, especially ones that list Depeche Mode and Gary Numan as influences. Bryan Rudell and Trent Waterman just celebrated the release of Human Chemistry, of which you can get four tracks for the price of an email on their website.

…and no Nathan, that does not say Dick Dick Punch.

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New Music From Aan


I’m really into this new song “Spiritual Provisions” from Portland based band Aan and wanted to share it with all you fine folks.  It has a great driving guitar of sorts throughout, with some very impressive belting vocals over a solid backing drum beat.  The song is actually a B-side off a new 7″ from the band.  If you’re into this one, they also have the A-track “Mystery Life” streaming on Soundcloud as well.  Physical copies of the record can be purchased from label Cool Summer Records on February 5th.

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