Whoa there! We have to choose? Sadly, yes. I mean, you can pull the old switcharoo, and go back and forth, but to really get both of these bands, you should probably stay at both. Here’s where I think you should go…
If you’re looking for news on that transcontinental outfit, then you’re looking for the wrong group. If, however, you’re a fan of bands like Sonny and the Sunsets you’ve definitely stumbled across some deliciousness. The Limes recently released their latest album Rhinestone River on Goner Records. For some reason, they’re not getting a lot of love, perhaps because of the name confusion. Still, one listen to this track here, and you’ll probably see all sorts of similarities with the modern world. Come on, give these guys a chance, and get down with me and my imaginary Memphis friends.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/06-Bottom-of-the-Hole.mp3]
Download: The Limes – Bottom of the Hole [MP3]
Magic Kids have had a phenomenal year thus far. They’ve droped their album Memphis, and they’ve been touring like crazy, winning acclaim left and right. We caught up with the band members via email just before they make their way to Austin for Fun Fun Fun this weekend. Follow the jump for full interview with Will, Bennett, Ben, Michael, and Alex of Magic Kids. Read more
Patrick Wolf is a magnificent genius. Everything he’s done has fascinated me, on various levels, but always involving his music. He’s set to release a new single in December titled “Time of My Life.” The track is a bit of a personal narrative, reflecting on a crumbling relationship. I’m hoping the release of his new material means that his sequel to The Bachelor, which you need, is soon to hit the streets. Please be true.[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/Time-of-My-Life-1.mp3]
Download: Patrick Wolf – Time of My Life [MP3]
We’ve got more great news from our friend over at Chapter Music in Australia. Geoffrey O’Connor, the lead man behind one of our favorites, The Crayon Fields, will be releasing a new solo record for everyone to enjoy early next Spring. Based on this first track, it’s a slower affair, illustrating Geoffrey’s ability to control the melodies within his mind. While it may be a slow-burner, it definitely has me excited, as I’ve loved everything I’ve heard from him up until now, so the guy can’t go wrong in my book. You might also go back and look for Geoffrey’s old solo work under the name Sly Hats.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/07-Now-And-Then.mp3]
Download: Geoffrey O’Connor – Now And Then [MP3]
After their dallying with a rock-opera it seems that The Decemberists are back at what they do best, offering up eclectic folk tunes with lyrical genius for those of you interested in those sorts of things. The first single has Colin singing with some female vocal contributions, and we’re excited to report the guitar sound harkens back to the golden days. Their new record is titled The King is Dead, and it will hit stores on January 18th on Capitol Records. I’m crossing my fingers for another Picaresque.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/Down-By-The-Water-1.mp3]
Download: The Decemberists – Down By The Water [MP3]
I’ve fallen in love with The Orchids over the past several years, so I’m glad my special order of their latest album, The Lost Star, finally came in the mail. I haven’t spent a lot of time talking about this band, but rest assured that those of you in the know of twee pop will surely adore their work. Now, for me, twee doesn’t have a negative connotation; it means sincerity combined with honest pop, and that’s always where my heart has been at. Give The Orchids a chance here, and make sure to check out their back catalog if you dig the new stuff. This isn’t going to let you down.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/The-Orchids-06-Shes-My-Girl.mp3]
Download: The Orchids – She’s My Girl [MP3]
Once again, the sounds from New Zealand are just too catchy to escape. While running through Finest Kiss, I hit upon Surf Friends, a great new discovery. They’ve just released their debut album, Confusion, which is chock full of angular guitar riffs and sugary melodies. As I listened to “You’re On My Mind,” I can’t help but feel a little bounce in my step as the pace picks up, the harmonies kick in, and the song takes off. Yea, the rest of the record is just like it! You can get it now from Power Tools Records.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/SurfFriends-YoureOnMyMind.mp3]
Download: Surf Friends-You’re On My Mind [MP3]
If you’re listening to The War on Drugs, or even interested in following the band, then odds are you’re a fan of Kurt Vile. While we can respect his individual works, it’s not Vile who makes a statement here, rather it’s frontman Adam Granduciel. Future Weather was written predominantly by Adam, with a little help from some other friends, and it might possibly win over more fans, letting him step out of the shadow of Vile.
During the opening moments of “Come to the City #14” you will find that atmospheric ambient noise associated with Philly at the moment, but as it subsides, it goes right into “Baby Missiles,” kicking off a great three song set. While you can definitely feel a bit of hazy, primarily in the background, this has more of an upbeat folk approach one might reflect upon if they’ve listened to Arcade Fire. The quickly spoken lyrics, that pounding drum rhythm, they all add up to that sound, and its so enjoyable, you can’t help but realize The War on Drugs is coming into its own. Heading into “Coming Through,” you’re likely to find a bit more of a somber tone, perhaps given by Adam’s vocals or by the established mood of the music itself. Guitars meander through various audio channels consistently, bordering on jamming, but there’s enough restraint here to keep a bit of focus. Lyrically, you’ve got imagery associated with parting ships, a possible nod to Vile. The sound of Future Weather goes even further into folk territory on the following track, “Pile of Tires,” with its ambling guitar effects, and its distant vocals, almost as if you were listening to the band from a far off stage. It’s got a certain warmth hinting at its influences, but it makes for a strong three song start.
The latter half of Future Weather EP is filled with just as much quiet beauty as the first half, leaving you wanting more than your getting, with only six complete songs present. “Brothers” is like a pure American classic rock hit, carrying the melody with an understated bit of sunshine, unable to escape the darker mood of the lyrics and Granduciel’s vocal quality. Seems like the sort of jam you want to sing-a-long to with your friends, if you’re in to singing classic rock tracks. The War on Drugs closes the EP out with a nice long track, yet it differs a little bit from the previous tracks, allowing the atmospheric touches to extend beyond their normal range. Vocals, like the music, comes across a bit drawn out, but it is refreshing to see a bit of a switch on the offerings up to this point in time. But, don’t turn away too quick, as the pace slightly picks up, even though the vocal delivery remains slow. A nice way to close out this effort.
By the end of this listen, you’ve probably forgotten the association with Kurt Vile. Adam G. has done a great job with The War on Drugs, and Future Weather cements his role as a songwriter in his own right. As the weather waivers between warm and cold, I can feel this spinning on my turntable into 2011.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/03-Comin-Through-1.mp3]
Download: The War on Drugs – Comin’ Through [MP3]
I came across the British group The Soundcarriers when I was checking in on another act, but I’ve since found that the latter can’t hold a candle to my new favorite UK import. The Soundcarriers use a combination of warm male and female vocals to push their songs forward, using a quiet hush over each song to allow room for small specks of melodic beauty to work through. The band just released their newest LP, Celeste, and it’s been keeping me nice and cozy ever since I got ahold of it. Give this a try.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/03-Morning-Haze.mp3]
Download: The Soundcarriers – Morning Haze [MP3]