If there’s one thing I love supremely, it’s the dreamier side of guitar pop. Luckily, there’s a new act in Austin playing about by the name of ThunderStars. It’s a pretty heavy guitar tune, kind of like taking great bits of Galaxie 500 and filling in the edges with even more fuzz. The rhythm section seems to exist mostly to provide the song with a natural heartbeat, only erupting when called upon to take a little bit of a musical excursion to build some texture into the tune. It’s all the bits of all the sorts of good stuff, be it dream pop or shoegaze or just alternative; the fuzz here just curls my pop toes. They’ll be releasing their album Number Stations on January 10th.
Our friends in Chill Russell love to brandish their pop rock licks all over our town, and tonight they’re going to be doing so with a new set of tunes beneath their belt. They’ve got a show tonight at Hotel Vegas, and they’re very likely to play this brand new single off their forthcoming EP (recorded with Frenchie Smith). They toss out some solid alternative riffs and attitude for the verses, but this track definitely gets its punch in the chorus; it almost sounds like they were listening to The Breeders “Cannonball,” with just a hint more venom in there. They release the single and celebrate in style over at Hotel Vegas at normal adult hours, doors are at 7 PM.
I knew without even listening to this great Fortitude Valley tune that it would rule. The project stems from the mind of Laura Kovic, who played keys in Tigercats (a band that rules), but she grabbed members from Martha and Night Flowers (more bands that rule), so you knew, knew…it was going to be good. I was absolutely right, as the song starts slow, building in the natural movement over Kovic’s warm voice; I love how the fuzzy guitar shoots off in the distance behind the more purposeful licks in the very front. I was charmed right away, but the big hook comes around the 2 minute mark when extra backing vocals are included to really pull on your pop strings. As of right now, the band are wrapping up their debut, so here we are on proverbial pins and needles.
I can’t get enough of this new tune from Catholic Action; it’s every bit as serious lyrically as it is fun, as a track. Taking notes from Eno and Byrne, building artistic messages into these delicious pop numbers. I’m super into the band’s propulsive vibe on this track, almost as if you’re on some sort of treadmill jogging in place while the vocals are blasted at you from afar. And the vocals, they have this off-kilter delivery almost 90% of the time, but their natural hook comes with the “d-d-d-d-despise” stutter line; it’s superb. The group are set to release Celebrated by Strangers on March 27th of next year via Palo Santo Records.
Everyone! Meet Chris from Young Scum.
2019 for me was one of those years where when its all said and done you wonder what did I really do or achieve this year? So much happened its hard to process it all at the end of December. Kind of like… making an end-of-year list and trying to remember everything you liked and listened to! It was an amazing year for music and my list was way bigger than this but I narrowed it down to my top 15 songs.
And if you didn’t already know how great they were, go check out the wonderful self-titled LP from Young Scum HERE.
In a blogosphere long ago, I once gave All the Pleasures of the World a 4.5/5 rating…that was back when I had the freedom to write full on album reviews. I stand by that rating, and if anything, I might just round it up to a 5/5. Lucky for the rest of the world, the Crayon Fields and their label Chapter Music are going to reissue the LP in a deluxe format, accompanied by some rarities, including a bunch of covers the band had stored away. The plus side for me is that this gives another reason to share the title track, now accompanied by a brand new video from the singer/guitarits, Geoffrey O’Connor. You can grab the reissue on February 7th!
I don’t know if you’re ready for this new tune from Pintandwefall; it might just be the sweetest tune you’re going to hear this week. The Finnish supergroup have been at it for over a decade, and here you can hear how the years have developed fine craftsmanship. The musical elements are kind of low in the mix, which is perfect, as the track is really all about the vocal elements. I love the lightly angelic tones of the lead voice here, but it wouldn’t be nearly as successful if you didn’t have the chorale atmosphere behind it; its vocal texturing at its very best. Such a powerful number; it will be on their new effort, Your Stories Baby, which is being released by Soliti Music on January 17th (apparently in honor of my birthday).
Diana and Greg are a power team. They work together on Greg’s Solidarity Club label, and together, they rock under the name Rat Fancy; this year they released the album Stay Cool via HHBTM, and it’s definitely worth your time. Since I’m giving a good deal of list making up to our friends and idols, we reached out to see what the two thought were the best releases of 2019.
Photo by Jessica Hinkle.
I’ve been off battling a cold all week, so it’s good to find a nice little rocker to squeeze into the playlist on a Thursday, just before we roll into the weekend. This Hussy (not to be confused with THE Hussy) tune is really great, and I honestly can’t quit playing it super loud. It offers this fuzzed jangling riff, coated in atmospherics that set up the immediate bounce of the vocals; I love the urgency in Sophie Ellison’s voice as the tension in the track builds. Sometimes you just need a jam of a song to come in and lift your spirits, and pretty sure this tune’s spot on in that fashion. Go on, have fun.
First, I’d like to thank Slumberland Records for the excellent 30 Year Single Series. I paid for it, as it is one of my favorite labels, and then forgot, except when the occasional package shows up on my doorstep with delicious pop treats! Is it over? I don’t know? If so, I scored some great hits! Second, the label in the last few years has dabbled in reissuing some great stuff…the Wolfhounds, the Springfields…and now East Village. To be honest, while I should know the band, I have no idea who they are other (other than a few short paragraphs on the Cloudberry blog long ago), but I find the sampler of their Hotel Hotrod reissue to be quite up my alley. Charming and warm, lightly jangling and of the indiepop persuasion…so yes, I’m picking this up too! If Papa Slumberland can get his hands on that Another Sunny Day compilation, I’ll be quite thankful. Go check out East Village; the reissue drops on January 24th.