I listen to more music that I should, and among it all, at the moment, nothing is quite as special as Cats of Transnistria. A wash of atmospherics open this number before strings and curling guitar lines add an ominous tone. That works perfectly to contrast with the angelic vocal performance that floats dreamily atop the sonic landscape crafted by the group. Then the group moves you in an entirely different direction, almost as if you’ve entered some forbidden forest with them before those strings come back to suck you into the realm. You’re not going to find another act operating so beautifully; look for their new album Opium to hit on February 2nd via Soliti.
The folks over at Secretly Canadian rarely disappoint, and today is no exception as Suuns have announced their new album,Felt, will be out March 2 via that label. From this upcoming release, the band has shared a new single called “Watch You, Watch Me” which you can watch below. It’s a high energy number– there’s essentially no empty space in the mix, as instrument overlaps instrument, vocals distorted to sound like another wave of synthesizers. Different than anything else you’ll hear today, give the track below a listen and get stoked for Suuns’ new release.
I’ve personally been obsessed with everything done by Jesse Marchant over the years, wether as JBM, or more recently, as himself. The guy pumps out song after song, each one hitting a special note with me. We’ve already heard a few singles from Marchant’s upcoming, and quite spectacular I might add, new release. I figure we could do with one more to tease the new album so I suggest you check out “Heart of Mine” below and bask in the beautiful glow of the sound. Seriously, this guy is on that “can do no wrong” level for me.
Marchant will release Illusion of Love via No Other on January 26th. Pre-orders live now.
We’ve written about Dryspell before, and they just dropped this delicious new tune yesterday in preparation for the release of their new EP in March. The song begins as many guitar pop tracks would, distorted guitars fighting one another for your attention. Perhaps the best moment comes in what would be perceived as the chorus, the vocals take on almost a Win Butler-esque quiver just before the group blasts off into their jam. These guys are definitely channeling something special this go round, so keep your eyes peeled for the release of their EP come first of March.
Free Week is great. The concept of having people fill venues so bartenders and stage crews have a little cash in their pockets is totally a get-behind theme. Now, my epic level of cynicism that creeps in from time to time means that I will give the evil eye to anyone mad about one-in-one-out at a venue. These bands are playing all over town, all year long and sometimes opening for a touring band you would think is too expensive to go see. #value Let’s go, Austin, spend that twelve bucks.
My Free Week rant is over. Let’s get on to some notables and photos. A. Sinclair is a constant fave for rock and or roll. Abram Shook lends credibility to any music catalog. That performance had two-thirds of Feverbones; they are wicked excited for the new record, naturally so are we. Tres Oui‘s invisible bass player had a killer set (#sarcasm). Space-sparse of Soft Healer was a reset. I got to see The Infinites at Beerland as a full band. I do miss a little of the DIY nature of looping to fill sounds, but the layered gazy post punk sounded really rad with guitars filling the room. Fave thing of the time I spent Red Rivering.
Peep the gallery. I spent time taking photos of friends and the people that make Free Week go. I even used a flash. Crazy right?
I love y’all.
Sean Morales has been working in the Austin music scene for some time, most notably as a member of James Arthur’s Manhunt. We now find Sean stepping out to craft his own debut, which is a stark contrast to JAM. Guitar notes are picked carefully at the start, so close to the mic that you can hear the strings if you put your ear to the speaker. Morales’ voice comes across like a whisper, barely willing to step over the guitar sound; he’s joined by an accompaniment at one point during the chorus. Then the song fades out with added textural layers and improvisation, rounding out the perfect vision that Sean’s created with this tune. You can expect the rest of his debut Call It In to follow suit; it’s being released by Super Secret Records this Friday.
Last October, Nap Eyes blew into Austin on the backs of Alvvays; I hoped, and prayed, that people would show up early, remembering the perfect morning when I caught their set in a small room during SXSW the year they dropped Thought Rock Fish Scale. Today they return with news of a brand new record, and our first taste leaves off exactly where we left the band. The vocals are given in almost haphazardly spoken manner, and I love how strong they are in the front of the mix. What I didn’t expect, and am appreciative of at this moment, is how crisp the guitar licks sound on this track…even when ramped up to jangling speed. The band are set to release I’m Bad Now via Paradise of Bachelors on March 9th.
In certain circles, the Monochrome Set are the legendary sort; they’re the band you secretly slide into a compilation for a crush, hoping that said person will realize either, how cool you are or how odd you are. They’ve been fairly active since the late 70s, save for a period in the 00s when all was silent. Luckily, recent times has seen the band reformed and working vigorously, with the announcement that they’ll be releasing a new LP titled Maisieworld via Tapete Records. The band still have this spritely quality, and I’m quite fond of the playful keyboard work in the back of this track; you’ll find it hard to ignore the natural swing of the track. Clearly the band still have few peers; look for their new effort on February 9th.
I’m an avid fan of Nada Surf; they’ve always found some way to connect with me personally. For me, Let Go, is my personal favorite…so it’s great to see others take notice by covering all the songs on the LP for a charity of release titled Standing at the Gates: The Songs of Nada Surf’s Let Go. There’s some heavy hitters on the list like Aimee Mann and Rogue Wave, but today we get to share with you this Ron Gallo version of standout track “Happy Kid.” It begins slowly, but takes on the song’s true spirit once it bursts forth just before the 1 minute mark. This LP will see a release on February 2nd, but don’t forget the group will also be touring the whole of the US playing Let Go in its entirety!
If you’ve been anywhere in the Interwebs over the last year, then you’ve surely seen the name Soccer Mommy pop up a time or two (even here at ATH). It looks like Sophie Allison’s star continues to rise with the announcement of her album, Clean, which will be released by Fat Possum. At the age of 20, Allison carries a certain confidence in her songwriting that many veterans can’t come near; the soft hush that hits at the chorus is a pretty special moment, repeated to craft that dreamy essence before the guitar lightly feeds back. Look for this record to be a huge hit when it’s dropped on March 2nd.