FFF Artist Spotlight: Mikal Cronin

mikal croninWe’re a week out from Fun Fun Fun Fest 2015, and you should probably be getting your schedule nailed down, so I’m here to help you out. Mikal Cronin is an act that’s sure to make your list of highlights on Monday after the fest when all is said and done. Once you press play on the single “Made My Mind Up” from back in January of this year, you’ll be enamored with the breezy alternative rock that Cronin brings to the table. The driving electric guitar, embellished with tinkling piano and soaring vocals will certainly be wonderful to start your fest off at 2:25 on Friday afternoon on the Orange Stage. Or perhaps a good way to round out your first day of festing Friday night at 10:45 at The Mohawk. 

P.S. Have you picked up your wristband at The Funderdome yet? Get to stepping.

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Another Day, Another Sunturns Hit

sunturnsWhen I first heard of Sunturns and their Christmas oriented pop project, I was on the verge of dismissing it. But, I’ve quickly come around on falling for the band, all based upon the power of their delectable indiepop hits. You see, while the songs spin around Christmas ideas, they still have this emotional draw in the lyrics, drawing from personal experiences around the holiday. Honestly, if you didn’t hear the word Christmas, you’d likely just fall in love with the song. It’s heartwarming, both lyrically and musically; the band have crafted 10 original songs and a Ramones cover for their Christmas II album, which you can grab from the good folks over at Fika Recordings.

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More From Martin Crane

martinWe’ve already heard the title track of Martin Crane‘s new LP Physical Therapy which got us all excited to hear even more new music.  Today he’s appeasing our desires with this sweet new song entitled “Gunk of Stars”.  This one is even more upbeat and poppy when compared to the first single (which was hella catchy in it’s own way).  I’d dare say we have a true pop gem on our hands here folks.  Look at Crane, being all accessible and shit.

Once again, don’t forget to pick up Physical Therapy on November 20th via INSCAPE.

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Soaring Beauty from Over Sands

over-sands-press-photo-2I just wanted something that felt like drifting, something that felt like floating away. Luckily, this Over Sands track sort of carried itself into my inbox, bringing with a huge sound and this twinkling bit of beauty. It’s the sort of tune that drowns out the world around you, clearing your thoughts away…just sink into the track. Be it the electric wash or the airy vocals bursting through your speakers, you’re going to give in to this number. You’ll be able to hear this one on the project’s debut EP, which comes out late November courtesty of B3SCI.

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I Want You All to Meet Guy Blackman

guy-blackmanA long time ago I met Guy Blackman at SXSW; he was working with our favorites The Crayon Fields/Twerps (he’s the head of their label) and checking things out in our city. I have to say, he was one of the most down-to-Earth and genuine people I’ve come across. And in that, it’s led to a lot of acclaim and success for the bands on his label, Chapter Music. But, he’s also been making music on his own account for a long time…and he just released a brand new track yesterday. It’s a smooth synth-pop jam, providing a solid groove that allows for Blackman’s voice to carry the rest of the song. Pop fans clamor for hits like this, and you’ll be able to get your hands on it as part of Kingfisher Bluez Buddy System Singles Club. What better way to kick back on a Friday than with this ridiculously rad jam?

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Check This Beautifully Dark Wall of Death Sound

wallofdeathYou’d think with Wall of Death as the band’s name that you’d get something dark and heavy. You do, except it comes in via the emotional pull of the track, rather than the music. When listening to the song itself, you find yourself in a strange place; it’s a place that revolves somewhere in the space between Air and a more ghostly Fresh and Onlys. I know, it sounds pretty ridiculous, in a good way, but you’ll have to take a listen to hear precisely what I heard on my first several run-throughs. This tune is the title track to their new album, Loveland, which hits on January 29th via Innovative Leisure.

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ATX Spotlight: Hear New Total Unicorn + Show @ Cheer Ups (10.30)

unicornNot to be redundant, but Friday night looks like a hot night in town for show-goers. One of the things on our list is to hit up the SHMU album release at Cheer Ups. But, as equality is of great import, you should also know that Total Unicorn will be there too, celebrating the release of their Relaxation Tape. Listening to this tape, you’re likely to be surprised by the broad range of influences the group is using in their work. There’s musical nods to EDM, electronica, hip-hop and even touches of operatic indie rock; you’ve got to take your hats off to the group’s ability to incorporate so much into their music, yet still make it accessible to pop fans. It’s, dare I say, the “total” package, musically speaking. Be sure to check the group out tomorrow night, and don’t forget to grab yourself a tape.

Eleanor Friedberger Returns!!

eleanor-cropped-pantsI’ve always been enchanted by Eleanor Friedberger, ever since I caught her and her brother back in the day at a local record shop in town. Her music, as well as that as her other project (Fiery Furnaces) has always seemed to change and be molded to fit various whims…yet it’s always been interesting. Today, news broke via varying sources that she was putting out a new solo effort on January 22 of next year; it’s titled New View. Her voice in this track, and actually the track itself, sounds like a Neko Case penned New Pornos song; there’s a great bit of accompaniment, but Elanor is clearly the star. Didn’t expect this, but definitely made my day.

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FFF Artist Spotlight: Toro Y Moi

toroI feel like you all should already be familiar with Toro Y Moi, but on the off chance that you aren’t, or perhaps forgot that this gentleman will be gracing our presence shortly at Fun Fun Fun Fest, I thought I would remind you just what we have to look forward to. Toro Y Moi, or Chaz Bundick, has carved out a name for himself over the past five years with his groovy pop tunes with heavy psych influences. His music will be perfect for the festival setting– light enough to dance to in the sunshine, but grounded enough to hold your attention.  Listen to “Buffalo” below off of his most recent release, What For? and be sure to check out the swirling and quirky psych pop from Toro Y Moi at 4:45 Friday on the Orange Stage, or a DJ set from the gentleman (Les Sins) over at Vulcan Gas Company at 11:45 Friday night.

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New Indiepop from Postal Blue Track

11950409_10153316561218409_2287393894174405588_oYou’re best served by having friends on the Internet that have great tastes, that way they can share with you, like the news I caught the other day about new music from Postal Blue. The Brazilian project hits it out of the park with this steady indiepop gem, forcing warm vocals through the speakers with a  jangling guitar keeping things steady. It still amazes me sometimes how individuals can craft such beautiful pop music all on their own, creating such timeless songs…so hats off to Adriano here. Look for his album, Of Love and Other Affections, in early November from Jigsaw Records.

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