New Tunes from Quiet Company

If you’ve been involved with the Austin music scene for a bit, we’re sure you’ve heard of Quiet Company, at least we hope you have.  The band is about to release their new EP, Songs for Staying In, and based on the lead track, it’s going to be one of those collections of songs that’s sure to get stuck in your head this Spring.  It’s straight pop music, but the sort that comes with lush orchestration and warm melodies.  You can catch the band this week for their CD release at Encore, though the hard release isn’t scheduled until May 11th.  Get on board now; these guys are going places.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/01-How-Do-You-Do-It_-1.mp3]

Download: Quiet Company – How Do You Do It [MP3]

New Tunes from Coliseum

We realize of course that we don’t always post the most rocking of tunes, at least not of this order, but we all come from a pretty solid punk background (at least I do). Kentucky band, Coliseum, have a new new album, House With a Curse,  which comes out June 22nd.  Since it’s produced by J. Robbins of Jawbox, it’s probably going to rule.  It’s a blistering tune, but it’s one I’ve been jamming to all day long. Happy Friday Folks!

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/coliseum-blind-in-one-eye.mp3]

Download: Coliseum – Blind in One Eye [MP3]

I Was Wrong: The Walkmen’s You & Me

We’re starting a new feature today, one that we hope you really enjoy.  The section is titled “I Was Wrong,” and it’s based on things we’ve either said or reviewed on the site that we’d like to apologize for, since we’ve come to realize now that we were wrong.  I know some people want me to apologize right off the bat for my Vampire Weekend review, but I’m not there yet, sorry.  The first edition goes to The Walkmen and their album You & Me.  When it first came out, I wrote this REVIEW.  I found it boring and uninspired, especially after listening to “The Rat” on repeat for years.   Now, as time has gone on, and I’ve invested more time in the record, and seen the band perform the songs live, things have changed up a whole lot.  There are songs sprawling with emotion, catchy basslines that walk you through the songs, and then there is “In the New Year.”  Sharp edged guitars ring in your ears before Hamilton’s vocals crash into the scene.  Listen to this song, now!  For that matter, go back and listen to the record, and see what I failed to see upon the first ten listens.  I made a rash decision based on hurried listening, and I’ve come to regret that entirely.  To you, dear reader, I’m sorry, I was wrong.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/the_walkmen_inthenewyear.mp3]

New Tunes from Woods

Hopefully you’ve already gotten your hands on this tune already, but it’s too good not to share it with those who haven’t.  Woods will be releasing their newest album At Echo Lake next week (May 4th) on Woodsist, and the blissful creativity in this song is just one of the many reasons that you’ll fall in the love with this record.  This is the perfect tune for the perfect Austin weather we’ve been having.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/woods-suffering-season.mp3]

Download: Woods – Suffering Season [MP3]

New Tunes from Magic Bullets

San Francisco’s Magic Bullets once shared connections with members of Girls, but don’t let that fool you! This band is everything you love about groups like Orange Juice and The Smiths.  It’s got new-wave post-punk guitar chops and a bit of yelping vocal to boot. You can find this killer track, along with many others when the band release their second album Magic Bullets on Mon Amie Records on June 15th. Enjoy kids.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/04-Track-04-1.mp3]

Download: Magic Bullets – Lying Around [MP3]

New Tunes from Gift Horse

During SXSW I opted to check in on another fabulous scene, that of Athens, GA.  I went to catch an amazing set from Twin Tigers, but I was also pleased to get a ridiculously enthusiastic performance from Gift Horse.  It was freezing cold (ya’ll remember that Saturday), but the energy from the stage kept me warm, albeit for just a little bit.  You’ll find a clever balance between soft and heavy in this tune “Plastic People,” which generally bodes well for the group.  You can catch more tunes from the band when they release their album Mountain of Youth on May 4th.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/05-Track-5-1.mp3]

Download: Gift Horse – Plastic People [MP3]

New Tunes from The Babies

A few people in NYC’s The Babies have full-time gigs in other known bands.  Some of you might have heard of Woods or even Vivian Girls, but trust me, this band doesn’t sound anything at all like that. It’s got a bit of jangle, but the vocals and the guitar work are a lot more geared towards getting you to bounce all about your room (or cubicle), and we can’t see a single thing wrong with that.  This track is off their new 7″ Meet Me in the City, which you can get your hands on by going to Make a Mess. It also features the B Side, “Somebody Else.”

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/Babies-meetmeinthe-city.mp3]

Download: Babies-Meet Me in the City [MP3]

Avi Buffalo – s/t

Rating: ★★★★ ·

Eventually you run across something unexpected and bewildering.  Such is the case for Avi Buffalo, who have released their self-titled album on Sub Pop.  The band originated with a kid in Long Beach named Avi who gathered his friends together, creating one of those albums you vaguely remember hearing about, but are bound to come across again and again in the next few years.

You have to wait almost an entire minute before you get to meet the band on opener “Truth Sets In,” but the warm gang vocals, and the odd harmonic guitar picking create a respectable opener; it’s not entirely overbearing, just an assuming number serving as a brief introduction to the band before they kick your teeth in with elation.  And you’ll soon be blown away by “What’s In It For,” the following song.  Something about Avi’s falsetto resembles the early Shins recordings (also on Sub Pop), and as you listen, you sort of get the feeling that Avi Buffalo will be one of those albums just like Oh, Inverted World that grows and grows until you have to listen to it once a week for the rest of your life.

You can feel all sorts of influences on this record, which is not a big surprise from a young artist such as Avi. “Five Little Sluts” begins with a bit of homage to Belle and Sebastian before it ambles down its own path.  “Jessica” pulls out some vocals reminiscent of David Vandervelde.  Even with the allusions to other artists, these songs take on a life all their own, making the entirety of the album familiar, all the while establishing the band with an original sound to which only they can lay claim.

“One Last” mixes up the game, using a female vocal to add a different texture to Avi Buffalo. It’s a playful folk song utilizing a bar-room piano sound to give the song a little pace.  It’s not the only number here that shows the range of the group, as the bedroom quiet of “Can’t I Know” adds yet another approach for the group. But, just as you thought they’d get all quiet on you, the band brings out “Remember Last Time.”  This pop gem has great vocal performances and clanging guitars that will ring in your ears for hours, and that’s really all you can ask for, right?  It might drag on a bit too long in lieu of a slight jam, but you can’t take that away from the opening moments of the track.   Then it all closes again with the dual vocal approach of “Where’s Your Dirty Mind.”  Gently strummed guitars and piano create the skeletal backbone of this one, but the vocals are the most endearing element of it all.  Rebecca Coleman has an angelic voice that will stay with you even when the song (and album) end.

It’s interesting listening to this album.  It has flourishes of great beauty, as well as moments of sprawling pop, yet it all sounds like a concisely constructed album geared to let the songwriting speak for itself.  While at times Avi Buffalo seem a bit unfocused, as if they’re unsure of their identity, what you do get is a young band who have an extremely bright future ahead of them.  If this album is anything, its a breath of fresh air in a lo-fi world, and one that just might make the long haul in your record collection.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/02-Whats-In-It-For_-1.mp3]

Download: Avi Buffalo – What’s In It For [MP3]

New Tunes from Comet Gain

This band has been one of my favorites for the longest time, and I’m super excited that they have a new 7″ titled I Never Happened.  It features the Comet Gain trademark jangle pop, which just grows on you time and time again.  This 7″ also shows some promising leads as to the new work of the band, as it features two songs that were started by the band, then finished by Love is All and Crystal Stilts.  If this is any indicator of the work to come from the band in the future, then it looks like I might have another incredible record to enjoy for years to come.  You can get the 7″ HERE.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/01-I-Never-Happened.mp3]

Download: Comet Gain – I Never Happened [MP3]

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