Earlier this year, Boston’s Community College released Comco (or s/t, however you see it). There was this earnest fragility in the songs, present as soon as you pressed play. Today I’m really happy to share this live video of standout track, “Broken Back,” recorded live on VHS over at Big Nice Studio. The choice of medium is important, not only in the presentation, but in its effect on the viewer as the song moves along; it brings in this personal intimacy, as if the band was helmed by your favorite older brother and his friends who’ve been practicing in your garage for the last six weeks. Musically, it has that blend of slow-core (Bedhead) meets emo (Hovvdy) vibe, but its brevity allows for repeated listens which you can have if you grab the tape from Disposable America.
Goodside are a band who hail from Sydney, and are making their debut into the blogosphere with what appears to be their first single, “I’ve Been Feeling Something Lately.” It’s a dreamy rock tune, with the vocals of Casey Logemann taking the spotlight. Her voice is playful, and this playfulness is doubled down by the backing vocals that come in for support on the choruses. The guitars duel in their riffs, while the percussion creates a jazzy tone during the verses and then pick up during the choruses for a more driving sound. Take a listen below, fall in love, and get ready for Goodside to blow up with their debut EP, which will be out later this year.
Sid Steppes may not be a household name just yet, and perhaps that’s not what he’s after. But, having spent some time with his new single, I’m completely caught off guard by how blissful it is. It’s this weird place where I draw comparisons to Bowie or Spaceman, though perhaps that also gets tied in through the video’s space footage. It all works so well, giving off that impression that we’re just sort of drifting through our life at the moment; I’m perplexed at how such a new artist can pull all this together in one perfect little nugget for listeners. His new album Trails will be out on May 31st, if you’re as interested to see what’s coming next as I am.
Crushed. That is how we all felt when Sound On Sound was cancelled. Looking back at that lineup, you get a swell of what could have been, especially knowing what our local family doing the production work put into it.
One of the big gets was Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Even in 2017, it had been since the festival circuit in 2009 that I got to see them live, which I didn’t get to photograph. That ACL set was a headlining gig when the Beastie Boys had to cancel, accelerating their profile. I missed out on the 2013 SxSW NPR set shooting Iggy and the Stooges. As a music photographer, Karen O is a performer you want to shoot any chance you get (unless Iggy Pop is next door). FINALLY, the stars aligned and they made it back to Austin playing ACL Live and a photo pass landed in my mitts.
Photos and a few thoughts…
Hey man it’s Austin, so are you really surprised at this point when we find yet another new band worthy of sharing with the masses? My new band smell find of the day comes from Austin based musician Brian Cyborg and his musical project known as Simian Cyborg. Based out of Austin, Cyborg has been working recently on recording a bunch of tunes in his own home late at night when the kids are asleep. A sampling of his tracks can be heard below with “staring intently at the stars”. I was immediately drawn into the music because it reminds me of the late emo, or even post-emo stylings of a band like American Football or The Promise Ring. It’s a melodic, repetitive number worthy of standing next to some of the best songs in the genre.
Simian Cyborg has a few more songs you can check out over on bandcamp.
Sometimes you’ve just got to trust someone’s resume, and W.C. Beck has definitely earned his stripes through the Americana scene, most recently with NYC act Monteagle. But, while his current outings might hit out at that, his new solo work takes on a broader, almost country vibe (no complaints from this Texan). He’s got this naturally soulful voice that winds down the long stretch of dirt highway; he also gets some excellent help form the superb organ grinder and horn section, both building the ballad into an elevated piece that’s perfect for ambling about today. If you dig his style, Beck will release First Flight on June 7th!
Paul who? Paul Den Heyer is the Liverpool songwriter, oft compared to Mojave 3 or Slowdive. But, what you’ll likely find is that his songs, like the single below, are much softer in their approach, as if Norman Blake had recorded bedroom demos allowing Paul to recreate them. There’s this longing softness, that place where your dreams take you when your mind wants you to escape from all that surrounds you, yet in that you find comfort; it’s the best sort of pop music out there if you ask me. This track appears on Everything So Far, the new LP, which is out May 17th via A Turntable Friend Records.
I fee like it’s been a long time coming for the debut from Trudy and the Romance, the UK outfit turning crooning lounge songs into broad-sweeping pop numbers for mass consumption. I love how this track builds and builds, really not even taking off until it hits the 1.5 minute mark. The doo-wop vocal arrangements really add a layer of style and class that seems long-forgotten, but I’m still likely to swoon over it…as you should be. Sandman will be dropping on May 24th via B3SCI Records, finally giving Trudy fans what we’ve all been waiting for…hope it’s as good as we dreamed it up to be.
Low Horizon is an up and coming 4 piece band straight out of our friendly neighbor city to the East, Houston, TX. The band is a totally DIY effort, recording music on their own with plans to self-release a debut album on May 10th entitled Eternal Depressed Summer. For a preview of the band’s work, we’ve been cleared to share this new single, “Eternal Summer”. For me, the band create this infectious blend of 90s indie rock with an updated, higher quality production to deliver something new and unique. Nice to meet you.
You can pre-order Eternal Depressed Summer over on the group’s bandcamp page.
This one time, I through this SXSW party called “Welcome to the Jangle;” it was really awesome and might have been the peak of my booking abilities. But, on that bill was Wildhoney; they even crashed at my house. They were super nice and grateful, only making me love their music even more. Fast forward to today, and they’ve just recently shared a cover of “Kiss Me” by Sixpence None the Richer to hold us over while they work on a new album (that’s my hope at least!). Upon listening, it’s immediately obvious that they’re going to alter the song’s original structure; it’s slowed down from the get-go, allowing the melody to be stretched as far across the universe as possible. The song never loses sight of the original, however, holding tightly onto the natural pop origins. Can’t wait to have this in my collection; it will be released on SLR30 Single Series at the end of June.