I’ve really enjoyed spending the last few days listening to Western Gothic, the new EP from Denver’s Animals in Exile. The project has alluded to psychedelia throughout their three releases, but here we see the band peel back the weight of the genre to share in the more organic vibe that serves as the underbelly. Combine that delicate touch to Redding Bacon’s voice and you get a sound that falls somewhere between the Shins and the Clientele; they have this slight inclination towards melody, only blended with a willingness to journey into a greater expanse. Pretty solid way to sort of delve into a case of the Mondays.
I love the way this new track from Je Suis France sets you up. You get this noisy, almost rambunctious rock moment, quickly opening with this broad sweeping pop moment that sort of has this youthful sense of longing. Slight turns in the vocals remind me, in a sense, of the Wrens in the way that they wrap these joyous pop nuggets in tightly constructed elements of noise. Discordant and yet warm, the perfect sort of indie rock for a man with twee tendencies. You’ll find this track on the group’s new LP, Back to the Basics of Love, available via Ernest Jenning.
I’ve been writing about Good Morning for several years now, but since Prize//Reward, the band really seem to have found themselves on a quick rise to popularity, leading us to the very recent release of Basketball Breakups. Tonight, the Aussie bunch bring their sounds to Austin for the first time (as far as I can remember), and why not celebrate them for just making it overseas, as it’s getting super hard for those overseas acts to make it onto our shores. I think the casual pop of the band has them poised to breakout over here, so tonight might be your chance to catch them on the ascendancy. Plus, they’re supported by two of our favorite locals in Daphne Tunes and Pelvis Wrestley. Tickets are scarce, so hunt one down if you dare!
I’m a sucker for big circular guitar sounds, the kind that seem to wrap around your ear with these delicious pop tentacles, such as the latest tune from Aussite outfit Quivers. They’ve pushed out a couple of tunes since the release of their 2018 hit, We’ll Go Riding on Hearses, but this might be the best one. I love the way Sam’s voice has this sort of heavy melody to it, blanketing the track in this general warmth; it gets some great added muscle when the accompanying vocals come in to turn up the charm on their end. It’s not quite power pop, and not quite indie pop; it’s somewhere in the middle, somewhere where you feel comforted by your favorite sounds, so give a listen.
We’re only about a month away from the release of Aligning, the new LP from Finnish outfit, Cats of Transnistria. You’ll probably need at least two of the weeks leading up to the release just to digest the tune in full. The song is almost a meditation, a slow unfolding of emotional atmospherics coated in Henna’s vocals. A slight elevation and bright pop turn comes in around the 2 minute mark, but its fleeting and quickly turns towards a continued billowing of darkly tinged pop constructs. Just imagine your favorite dream pop band stripped of those buzzing guitars, replaced with sparse chords and patience and a never-ending tension. The new LP drops on November 29th via Soliti.
Just a bit ago, Death Valley Girls dropped their excellent new LP, Darkness Rains, and while they just got back from a stint with the Distillers, they’re making their way across the States again with Crocodiles, stopping in Austin for Levitation Festival. The video fits today perfectly, splicing live footage of the band with horror flicks. But, more importantly, you’ll find the charm of the band in this particular tune. It’s heavy and playfully spooky, but being me, I always gravitate towards the really bright pop moments in their songs, like the semi-angelic seance of a chorus on this one. Just trying to spotlight all the great acts coming to Austin next week, but if you’re not here, check out their LP, available now via Suicide Squeeze Records.
Admittedly, I was hooked almost instantly when I heard the latest tune from New Hollywood. But, sitting here now, I’m not quite sure which part of the tune I love the most. At first, it was the initial hook, the way the vocal delivery kind of coolly beckons you over. Then it was the bright shift towards pop horizons in the immediate chorus. Still, right now, there’s this brief little moment vocal curl with the delivery of the line “on the way home” that really makes me a huge sucker for this track. Just one of those tunes that gives you the feels, and there’s never a bad time for those, is there?
It’s hard to keep track of all the acts in Austin, more so now that there’s no longer Showlist to let me know when the release shows are going down. But, nonetheless, I stumbled backwards into Inks Lake (one of my favorite camping spots as a kid!); it’s a new outfit made up of former members of Nice Strong Arm and Beth Israel. There’s definitely a post-punk sound, heavy-handed in the opener “The Wilderness.” Moving forward, the band add a little bit more energy in “Bison Dele” and close it out with more of a traditional indie rocker on “Live All Over Each Other.” It’s a quick four songs, but the Where Else EP did its job, as I’ve got my ears pinned back waiting to hear more!
You ever have one of those bands you wish people understood the way you did? You whisper their name in every one’s ears, but in the end, you’re also totally cool to just adore the band on your own? Well, I’ve been pushing Seazoo on ya’ll since Trunks, and with a new album slated for Spring of 2020 you can bet that I’m already pushing that hype train. I love how the guitars on this new single have a slight bit of scuzzy shuffle, kind of like some of the stuff from Grandaddy. And, much like that outfit, the band are spinning this into a bright pop hit; I’m absolutely head over heels for the chorus on this number. I’m going to keep encouraging ya’ll to get on this…as they’re one of the more delightful pop acts kicking about.
It’s been quite a few years since I last mentioned Brooklyn outfit Wilsen. Not sure where I’ve been, but the band just announced a new album today with accompanying new single/video “Ruiner”. It’s a bit of a haunting, broody, dream pop number which will at times offer joy, and then slow things down to soften the mood. I love the slower bits, paired with the more intense, louder moments. Wonderful work.
Wilsen will release new album Rainer on February 21st via Secret City Records. Pre-order