Auroravare – s/t


Ever find yourself getting lost in a song, only to snap back and realize you’ve been somewhere else entirely for the past few minutes? Maybe you were walking down the street with your headphones in and looked up just in time to avoid walking into that phone pole. Or maybe you were studying in the library and looked up to see everyone was staring while you were sub consciously fist pumping the air like some Jersey Shore idiot. Admit it, if you’re reading this you are enough of a music lover to have been there, probably more than once. Auroravore is one of those bands that will take you to that place.
While the band has been a mainstay on the Austin music scene for long enough to be called veterans, they had a quiet year until the end of 2013 when they released their eponymous debut album in December. The album is a cohesive 9 song piece of work. On first impression it immediately evokes Of Montreal’s groovy psych pop and the pastoral layers and playful instrumental melodies of Air. The heart of this band is in the interplay between the keyboard and guitar, and anyone who has had the pleasure of seeing this band live can attest to the fact that they bring a Fender Rhodes and Moog Voyager to every show. In this day and age of cheap, light, and versatile digital synths and keyboard, lugging vintage gear around to shows is a tonal testament to dedication.
Auroravore is successful in creating a unified aural feel to the album. They never lose their groove or fall out of the pocket. Song after song the Keyboard and guitars make parallel runs evoking electronic droplets of notes. The tone of the music is a cascading groove of layers. At times, this is a double edged sword. After multiple listens, I found my attention beginning to drift. My “in the zone” would occasionally turn into a “zoned out”. While tonal cohesion can be a strong point, looking forward this band will need to grow out of the eighth note pentatonic melody lines if they want to maintain the audience that this album could attract.
The key track for me in this album is “Who Goes Home”. While there are certainly more danceable songs (Falls Down or Comfortable), this track is a perfect slow burner, mirroring the lyrical subject with the musical arrangement. The lead vocals play a call and response with the keyboard and guitar, alternating a lilting falsetto narrative verse with a percussive quarter beat guitar hit. All of this energy and emotion is wonderfully curated by the drummer’s groove. The song culminates with repetive phrasing of the track title, and cadences with a final instrumental ascending melody, leaving us wondering who went home.

Show Review: Bells & Parks @ Holy Mountain

bellsandparkVersailles, the ambitious and aptly titled EP of Austin new comer Bells and Parks, strives to create the detailed soundscapes and layers reflective of their self appointed Baroque/Dream Pop genre. A follow up to to the March 13th single “Streams”, Versailles is executed with the focus that was missing from the group’s freshmen effort. While “Streams” sounds like the excited songwriting effort of a new Micro-Korg owner, Versailles is more contained and thought out, with mature use of synth layers to inform the songwriter’s vision rather than overwhelm it.

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Friday Top 5: Fx3 Bands To See

Fun Fun Fun Fest starts today, and not like tonight, it kicked off around noon. You’re already late! Some of us are disappointed that the festival was forced to move away from its stomping grounds at Waterloo Park, and now set up at the large landscape of Auditorium Shores. No matter how dusty or crowded it gets, there are so many great bands performing that will keep you bobbin’ your happy little head. Here are the top 5 acts that I am most stoked about seeing.

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Friday Top 5: Heat-Related Songs

When the humidity is so thick you can cut it with a knife and the seats of your car actually burn your skin, it can be hard to enjoy summer. We have all been dealing with this 100+ degree weather that continues to make us miserable, so might as well suck it up the rest of the summer and listen to some tracks that makes us forget how high the temperature really is. The heat ain’t nothin’ new. These old tracks have captured the meaning of summer, love, and the sweltering heat; and make the heat a bit more bearable.

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Friday Top 5: Beers of Summer

With the daily temperature peaking at 105 most days, we can tell that summertime is upon us.  When this season hits, I always look forward to all the summer-release beers that show up on the shelves.  Many beer companies take advantage of their customer’s need for a refreshing brew during the summer heat, and beer is definitely the best way keep cool and unwind after a long, hot day.  I enjoy looking around hoping to find a cheery and delightful depiction of a summer paradise on the label, and give it a try.  Good summer beer isn’t just light and drinkable, but is easy to pair with barbeque and poolside sipping.

Several ATH folks and friends gathered around to conduct a summer beer taste-testing session, and selected 11 beers to complete our ratings.  We realize this does not encapsulate every single summer seasonal, but we grabbed what we could find.  We were served a sample, discussed the flavor, created a nickname and rated it as follows: Great Summer Beer, Average and Never Again.
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Friday Top 5: Indie Songs That Make Girls Swoon

I take advantage of the fact that I’m the only female Top 5 contributor, and I like to add my lady perspective to the male dominated ATH crew. What better way to lend my girly advice to you boys out there looking to win over the ladies with a musical selection. Ladies, you will probably just agree and be awaiting a mixtape with the following tracks on your playlist. So here are a handful of love songs for all you indie-romantics.

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Friday Top 5: Unexpected Appearances at SXSW

It’s March in Austin, TX. It’s the time of year when a particular festival takes over the music capitol of the world, known as South By South West. Since this time last year, we’ve been recovering from the week long flow of free booze, sunburnt skin, worn out shoe soles (and feet for that matter), loss of hearing and lack of sleep; and we’re ready to do it all over again.

The waves of RSVPs are flooding our inboxes and lighting up our Facebook notifications, and before we know it our arms will once again be plastered with multi-colored wristbands. I have only been attending SXSW the past few years, but during that time my friends and I have witnessed many surprises take place and rumors come true. So, here are a few of my favorite.

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FT5: Bands To Watch In 2011

With all that’s going on in the music world, it can often times be tough to keep up with the enormity of new bands that seem to pop up on a daily basis.  Lucky for you, we try to stay hot on the scene as much as possible to keep you in the know.  So since we’ve officially put the lid on 2010, we thought we’d share with you 5 bands to keep your eye on in 2011.  All these bands will soon be playing huge stages and selling out shows across america so I’d recommend getting into them now before their music pops up in a McDonalds commercial.  Follow the jump for more.

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