I’ve played this song on repeat at least ten times, and I can’t help but be transported back to my adolescence, fueled by angst and hooks. In two minutes, one of the UKs hottest acts, Bird Skulls, blasts through with distorted guitars at breakneck speed. It’s a bit of grunge, but a bit of punk rock, so in essence, it’s sort of like everything we all loved about the late 80s/early 90s. You can get your hands on their new single cassette from the kind folks over at Art is Hard Records, and they’ll throw in a nice little winter hat to make your life warmer. I’m glad people still make music like this.
Part of me wishes it would one day get cold in Austin, that way I could really delve into some of the music that seems perfectly fitting for this time of year. On the newest gem from Day Joy, you can really get lost in the layered textures, emotionally pulling you in with touches of string arrangements. Even the echo of pre-recorded sounds is somewhat haunting, yet the effortless harmonies inherent in the song seem like they’d fit right in if one was to be sitting fireside. It’s such a joy to discover bands that really work to hone their craftsmanship. You can find this tune on Go to Sleep, Mess–it comes out on February 12th via Small Plate Records.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/dayjoy_purple.mp3]
Download:Day Joy – Purple [MP3]
You know I love to give appropriate levels of hype to the great Aussie scene (Aussietownhall sound okay to you?), so I’m continuing my adulation with a shout to Gung Ho, one of my favorite up-and-comers from the scene. The band just recently released this incredible new single, and if you’re smart, you’re going to one to keep an eye out on these dudes. I love the bubbling bass line combined with the vocals that seemingly float through your headphones from a distance. Slight hints of sharp angled guitars cut in and out of the track, adding an extra layer to the already existing quality. Give it a go.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/Gung-Ho-Strangers.mp3]
Download:Gung-Ho – Strangers [MP3]
The year of 2013 is shaping up to be quite a nice one already, and one of the leaders of the pack is Slumberland Records. Glasgow’s Golden Grrrls get things going on February 26th with the release of their self-titled record, filled with eleven gems that will surely help wake you from your winter slumber. For me, the interplay between male and female vocal parts is reminiscent of the purest time in indie rock, when melody and playfulness went hand in hand. I also think you’ll like the way there’s just a hint of jangling guitars coming from the three piece as the drums bang out a steady groove to keep your toes a’ tappin’.
|Date||Tuesday, December 4th|
|Tickets||$18 from Mohawk|
Whether you choose to be a fan of the constantly evolving band Of Montreal or not probably remains irrelevant at this point in the year. Mohawk is winding down their outdoor show schedule for 2012, and this is pretty much a must attend show. Kevin Barnes and company are always extremely entertaining, and you never know quite what you get when you see the group live. Are there going to be elaborate costumes? Maybe. Will the tunes be enjoyable? Yes! You should just do yourself a favor and show up. French Horn Rebellion will be opening the evening up, making this a great bill. Oh, and Kevin Barnes will be DJing at a very hip after-party over at Red 7 following the show!
Download:Of Montreal – Coquet Coquette [MP3]
After the dance party last Wednesday night, Nathan and I decided to go local and take a stab at the new venue living in Beauty Bar’s space on 7th, Holy Mountain. The bands on the bill were certainly worth two nights in a row of missing a few hours of sleep. Letting Up Despite Great Faults has one of our favorite local records of the year and She Sir played our SxSW showcase a few years back, even lending gear to use for the night, and have recently busted out a few new tracks.
Click through for a few thoughts and some pics…
Man, when a musician likes to hang their hat on bilingual jams, I can respect that, especially when it’s done in the vein of Helado Negro. The group, the project of Roberto Lange, is dabbling into its first foray with English singing, though I hope there’s just bits of Spanish throughout. He’s signed on to release his recent album, Invisible Life, with Asthmatic Kitty on March 5th, and the smooth quality of his voice is what originally attracted me this song. Then, the folds of electronic beats began to make their way through the track, taking you on a journey of a man lost in his thoughts as he walks through his new home, Brooklyn. Of course, it could also just be about really tasty black ice cream…you be the judge.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/Helado-Negro-Invisible-Life-Dance-Ghost.mp3]
Download:Helado Negro – Dance Ghost [MP3]
Finally, the wait is over! After two years, the triumphant return of Northern Portrait is upon us. Just one listen to this new single and I guarantee you’ll be foaming at the mouth with anticipation. The song casually opens, with a faint beat in the background and a jingling tambourine…and then we’re off at the 35 second mark. From that moment on, my body tingled with the pleasure of listening to perfectly crafted indie pop that’s hard to match. It’s looking like 2013 is going to be a great year for the band, starting with the Pretty Decent Swimmers EP, which is a 10″ being put out by our dear friends at Matinee Recordings. Yep, I’m in love.
If only I was in town Saturday night, I’d surely be at the Parish on Saturday night for a nostalgic show featuring David Bazan playing the Pedro the Lion classic Control. Now I don’t see any word of an opener on the website, so attendees are all in for a special treat to take us back to our younger days. My apologies for those of you without tickets, because the show is sold out. This show post made me go back and listen to that classic album from 2002, and you should really be there to relive the glory.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Penetration.mp3]
Download: Pedro the Lion – Penetration [MP3]
I know I’m struggling here on Friday, so I definitely needed an energetic pick up, which is lucky for me since I just got this great Low Culture tune. There’s no pretense here, it’s just fast paced rock, in the vein of what I’ve deemed power punk. It’s filled with hooks, especially in the chorus, yet there’s just a hint of gritty anger that blows your hair back. They’ll be releasing their album, Screens, on my favorite Dirtnap Records on January 9th of next year. You need energy and fun? You get Low Culture.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/01-Screens.mp3]
Download:Low Culture – Screens [MP3]