When it comes to ATH and our areas of expertise, I like to think I’m the go to guy for song lists and bad ass playlists. If you’re doubting me, just ask anyone who used to attend our council meetings back in the day and they will assure you I know what’s up. So I spent some time going through my 2018 most played and most liked songs to create a playlist for you and your kin. Somehow I ended up with 45 songs… Why 45? I honestly have no idea, that’s just how it came out. After the jump you will find full song list and a few playlist streaming options.
Rat Fancy have graced our pages many a time before, and I even included them in my suggested acts to catch last year at SXSW. They just dropped a new tune with a heavy-handed pop vibe that should jump on your radar today. The riffs and bass lines are gritty, almost grungy, though Dianna always has this polished glint to the way she releases her vocals. It’s hard to turn away from the hooks they craft, letting waves of pop sensibility bash you over the head…not a bad thing in my book. No word on a new release, but let’s hope something new comes our way in 2019.
Admit it…you’re already tired of year-end lists; you want to hear a great song or two before you go home for the Holidays. Luckily, Australia’s Annual Leaf have just dropped a wonderful collection of new songs that warrant your attention. I mean, I’d go ahead and give this band all my money for the opener alone. It teases you, with this really slow guitar for a few seconds, but if you hold tight, the quick turn to bubblegum pop stylings will have you softly tapping your toes as Matty and Mel let their voices intertwine. If I were you, I’d go grab the Raspberry Intense EP now!
You all know how I love a good bit of dream-scape with my pop music, and this Jupiter Sprites tune definitely hits the spot. The guitars initially seem like they’ll be offering up some brighter future for us all, jagged and bright from the get-go. But, once the vocals come in, layered and atmospheric, the song’s bent turns into the depths of your subconscious. It does keep with a nice contrast, as the guitars beneath still seem to be battling the voices…all the way through to the electronic flourishes near the song’s last third. If this is up your alley, then look for the band’s self-titled EP out on February 1st.
I’ve enjoyed my ACL and SXSW Gimme 5 playlists from artists so much that I’ve decided to start running some at random times during the year. Well not totally random, as I plan to focus on artists coming through Austin soon to help build up some hype for their show. It’s also interesting for me to find our what other musicians are listening to before, or even after their show. Kicking off my newish feature is Nashville based songwriter Lydia Luce who is stopping through town on Friday at Mohawk. Hit the jump for some words from Lydia and her 5 song playlist.
Hemhora and the Glass Band is a conglomerate pop group, made up of various members of Heligoats and Hungry Mountain. Together, these members are crafting dramatic pop music, built to maximize emotion for every listener. How’s that done? Well, you’ve got to take care with the song’s craft, from rolling notes of bells or strings being carefully plucked, it all builds upon itself, allowing the vocals really bring things home. Speaking of the vocals, they walk the fine line between Eef Barzelay and Travis Morrison, so it has this traditional folk feel with just the slightest bit of oddity, continuing the band’s draw for listeners. You’ll find enjoyment below, and if that is indeed the case, then might you consider picking up their Helix Pattern Blues via Greyday Records.
Austin has given birth to my love of music, and since that’s our home base, I wanted to repay that, so I asked a few folks to share their Austin stories with me. Today, I’m sharing a story from our city about Primitive Circuits, written by Andy R. Lemon (also of Teenage Cavegirl). After you hit the jump you’ll find the rest of his story, as well as a few unreleased tunes from the now defunct band!
An Obituary of an Austin Synth Band
Ever find yourself at a combination bowling alley/roller rink/arcade looking up from your pedal board through a Teen Wolf mask over to your best friend who’s dressed like a vampire and playing more synths than Beethoven in Bill & Ted to find yourself surrounded by huge neon robots poppin’ and lockin’ to your version of Sugar, Sugar by The Archies set to the drum sample from Tone Loc’s cover of Wild Thing by The Troggs, and wonder, how did I get here? Read more
I’m probably most familiar with Gabriel Birnbaum due to his work in Wilder Maker, who I’ve written about quite a bit. Now, Gabriel is doing a little solo work, and he’s just released a track off his forthcoming LP. Going through this track repeated times, I’m drawn by the contrasting guitars, fighting with one another throughout. One guitar has this almost feathery strum, giving off a light-hearted vibe; the other guitar takes on a more forlorn tone, bending around Birnbaum’s voice at every turn. No word just yet on when the album will be finished, but what a wonderful first entry we have here.
I love a good Cass McCombs tune, especially as I’m kicking my heater hoping that it turns on to keep me warm…for now this song will do. It opens with some meandering notes, almost ominous in tone, but surprisingly, McCombs’ voice matches that ominous tone until way later in the track…and even then it only seems to evoke promise when Cass sings “Estrella.” Perhaps the expansiveness behind his voice is indicating where his next album will take us. It’s titled Tip of the Sphere, and it drops on February 8th of next year via Anti Records.
Hey, end of the year time and we’re looking forward towards our label side of things in 2019. We’ve got several releases planned, and we’ve already announced a cassette with Tel Aviv’s Bones Garage…and so we should also share will be doing a tape with The Hermits! You’ll be able to pre-order it HERE, but I figured we’d share one of the song’s from the record; “Ruby Red Summer” originally appeared on Tour Tape EP. It’s a rad jam, rocking and teasing the listener until the huge hook in the end is released through your speakers. You like it? You want it? Go HERE. Keep your eyes peeled for a new single later this week!