It’s hard keeping updated with the ever-growing masses of music coming out of Austin, but every now and then you just have to stop and revisit the good tunes this town has to offer. Lately I’ve been listening to some of the tracks from Wheeler Brothers, who’ve just put out their album, Portraits. It’s definitely appealing to my softer side, the one drenched in my dad’s love of Americana and folk music. But, don’t think this is going to be an entirely weepy affair, as the great thing about the country-tinged outfit is that they still maintain a great bit of pop sensibility. Sink your teeth into this song, and go get yourself a copy of Portraits.
Download: Wheeler Brothers – Home for the Holidays [MP3]
Iceage burst into town, fueled with an entourage of massive hype and adoration. It was a night full of quick riffs, stage stalking and bursts of machine-gun delivery vocals. You won’t find too many complaints from this writer. Read more
Chicago’s Brain Idea has been bubbling beneath the surface of indie-rock stardom for some time now, but it’s going to be their most recent release on Mexican Summer, the Cosmos Factory EP, that’s going to be winning every one over this year. It’s a brief little collection, but those of you with nostalgic leanings for all things New Zealand sounding will find your home with this little effort. There’s that echo blend between atmospherics and bits of melody, and it’s completely winning me over this evening. I’m sure many of you will find appreciation in the EP, and their back catalog on Permanent Records.
Download: Brain Idea – Oh I’m Free (Earn Your Card) [MP3]
Hey guys, it’s that time of year again. As you all know, we get a lot of CDs and promos coming our way through the year, and we’re super grateful for it all. However, one can only amass so much in a lifetime, so I’m cleaning out the closets. I usually get the promos, so I’m giving them all away, at least the ones I’ve gotten in the last few months, most of which I’ve already purchased on vinyl, so I have the music still. There’s some gems in here like Quasi, Moby, Shabazz Palaces, etc. All you have to do is tell is leave a comment and tell me what your favorite album of the year is so far, I’ll pick the one closest to mine, and the package is yours, free of charge. So get at us; you’ll be happy you did. Unfortunately, this is a contest only for our Austin clientele.
We worked with the guys in Chapter Music to bring the excellent Crayon Fields to our SXSW show a few years ago, so I always like to keep track of what the label has going on. They’re about to release A Fool Who’ll by songwriter Laura Jean on September 3rd, and I’m sure they’d be happy to send you a copy via the old fashioned mail. Jean’s playing a somewhat muted guitar, quietly whispering “im missing you” to begin the track, but it’s her vocal performance that grabs you once the drums join in on the accompaniment. This is definitely a heartbreak song, and I’m definitely a huge sucker for such types. What are your thoughts?
Download: Laura Jean – Missing You [MP3]
Portland seems to attract music of the shanty sort, much like All the Apparatus. The ensemble cast have just completed and released All the Apparatus, the self-titled album that will surely have you fawning. An easy comparison would be to make a Decemberists association, but the heavier vocals give me a the feeling of a more complex Murder by Death. It’s sort of like a folk-core version of Efterklang, but maybe that’s a stretch. Regardless, the group makes sweeping music for sweeping your house, and for all those other times when you just want to listen to really great tunes.
Download: All the Apparatus – Portland’s Rose [MP3]
When news came a few weeks back that Cut Off Your Hands were going to have a new record, I expected sort of angular post-rock, like their debut. But, the more I listen Hollow Out, which hits stores on August 16th via Frenchkiss, the more I realize I couldn’t be further from the truth of it. There’s definitely a Brit-pop feel to this latest single, letting you know that the band’s willing to explore all sorts of territory on this latest effort. And, if you’re into what you’re hearing, then be sure to go grab their 2008 Happy As Can Be EP for free right HERE.
Download: Cut Off Your Hands – Hollowed Out [MP3
I’m pretty sure we raved about War on Drugs with their Future Weather release, a record that turned time and time again around my house. The band is preparing their new release, Slave Ambient, on August 16th, and I can already tell that it’s going to cause some problems in my daily musical rotation. There’s something about the way they craft the songs, using distant vocals in order to allow for the guitar lines to spin and swirl around them. It creates a great effect, and one that endlessly begs to be put on again and again. I think more people should write songs like this, but hey, that’s just like, my opinion, man.
Download: War on Drugs – Come To The City [MP3]
Not much really needs to be said about Bob Pollard these days. He’s pretty much conquered everything out there, yet he still keeps on kicking out great jams. Such is the case with this new track, “Christmas Girl,” which will be featured on the new Boston Spaceships record, Let It Beard. It’s going to be a double album, and if the tracks are half-as-great as the one we’re featuring, then it’s going to be one hell of a collection of Pollard tunes. There’s also an awesome video contest that goes along with this song, and it’s being sponsored by the good folks over at Spinner. Make sure you get your hands on the record when it hits stores August 2nd.
Download: Boston Spaceships – Christmas Girl [MP3]
A slew of jams popped up yesterday by the likes of Real Estate and Cymbals Eat Guitars, but the one I have been enjoying, actually a few weeks before yesterday, is this pop hit from Jacuzzi Boys. Based on what I’ve heard from their upcoming record, Glazin, which comes out August 30th on Hardly Art, they’ve got to be one of my two favorite bands of the moment…the other being Texas’ own Bad Sports. I mean, it doesn’t get a whole lot better than gritty licks and power-pop kicks. If you’re in need of a pick me up, put this track on 11, and go to town–the day will only get better from here.
Download: Jacuzzi Boys – Cool Vapors [MP3]