We’ve really tried to make sure that Ama was on your radar throughout the last few years; Blair Robbins’ project has been one of my absolute faves for some time now…so here we are with the band dropping Both/And over the weekend. You might catch the homage to Elliott Smith in the record’s title, but I assure you the songwriting here is far more than a mere nod. Take my favorite track, “I See You See,” with it’s wind-swept guitar notes and airy vocal performance; the chorus has these notes that will draw in fans of Alvvays and the like. I’ll be honest, I spent a lot of time with this whole LP this weekend, and its honestly one of the most complete records you’re going to hear this week…each song’s a separate hit. Just sit back and start your day here.
A few folks come in here from time to time to hear about shows in the ATX…and tonight there is an abundance of options. No need for words…just a quick point to tonight’s gigs.
Why Bonnie EP Release w/ Ama, Being Dead and Littlefoot @ Cheer Up Charlies – 9 PM
Guided by Voices @ Mohawk – 6:30 PM
Kissing is a Crime, The Oysters, The Sophies and Brendan Bond @ Hotel Vegas – 9 PM
Hockey Dad, Cold Fronts and Mt. Eddy @ Barracuda – 9 PM.
Want to hear these bands? Hit the jump! Read more
AMA are already one of our favorite acts here in Austin, and they reached out to drop us a fresh track and news of their Trilogy EP. Our journey begins with a fuzzy riff riding the wave of crashing cymbals before singer Blair coyly slides right into the song. Her performance has her sitting back ever so slightly in the mix while the riffs echo through your speakers. It’s a crunchy rock number that rivals the best of like minded acts, offering heavy riffs balanced by melodic vocals…and more than enough DIY spirit to prove to your friends how cool they are. The band is currently on a short tour, culminating in an Austin release show on March 9th over at The Electric Church.
Slack Capital 2 is a compilation of music by 27 of the greatest bands in Austin. All proceeds from the comp go to SafePlace, which provides support for victims of domestic and sexual violence. We’re unveiling one song per day until the the release party on April 14.
Song of the day: Ama — “Story of Light”
An immediate, delicious, 90’s guitar rock throwback, “Story of Light” is a perfect slice of effortless cool. “If you can see it/ you can feel it,” Blair Robbins sings with insouciant ambivalence, as guitars churn. Later, the beautifully turned-out line “Wake up in the mornin’, and face the day” works both as tiny authentic moment of summoning strength and as a sardonic joke, depending on your mood. The rhythm section of Evan Kaspar on drums and Ray Garza on bass keeps things in the pocket and urgent, and Robbins and Alex Peterson trade in messy-yet-perfectly ornate guitar lines that work as addictive micro-hooks. It’s really just a perfect new gem by one of the top bands in Austin today.–Eric Braden
Order Slack Capital 2 HERE.
See you tomorrow night at Barracuda for the Release Party.
The jams were copious as were the tender moments. The showcase highlighted the talent in Austin with bands watching bands that shuffled up to be other bands. We had international celebrities in attendance, as well as every familiar face possible. I took photos, some with an Instax. We ate sausage wraps and drank beaverages. It was perfect air for a whisky.
Click through and be impressed.
Those of you following Austin’s AMA closely might be a touch surprised with this new single, as it presents a softer sound than what’s been presented in their recorded material to date. Honestly, I’ve always loved the songwriting of Blair Robbins, but this tune’s offering up something remarkable, pulling every ounce of emotion out of listeners; I love when her voice almost strains to stretch the notes out. This song’s casual style brings a certain level of charm that’s intoxicating, putting the rest of Austin on notice that Robbins is here to make a name for herself. It’s up for the NYOP option, but throw some funds so they can get back to writing more hits.
A day after we dropped our ATX Christmas Guide, featuring tons of local talent, we’ve got another talented group offering up their new single, Ama. The band’s long been known to us, but the balance of this track exemplifies the group’s talents; they rock hard amidst the cool verses on display from vocalist Blair Robbins. You offer me impressive guitar work and hook-laden vocals and I’m in, which is why I’ll throw down behind this act. No word on a release, but you can help them out by throwing a buck or two their way over on their Bandcamp.
A few weeks back, I watched something like 75 bands play in various spots across Austin, but only a few of the newer acts stuck; Dreamboat was one such band. They play this evening, bringing their energetic pop; it’s all hooks and all fun all the time. Plus, they’ll be joined by AMA, another one of my favorite local acts from Free Week. The show begins at 10 PM over at Sahara Lounge, also including Batty Jr/Ponyboy and the Horsegirls. Stream the great Strong Legs EP from Dreamboat below…memorize the songs so you can sing along at the top of your lungs.
There’s still some Free Week activities for you over at Barracuda this week, which you should attend, but the main stretch of Free Week is over. I had a pretty solid time, bouncing all down Red River, catching over 60 great Austin bands (and a few from out of town). It’s a really special time for the Austin music community and its fan, so I’m going to leave you with some notes, as well as some highlights and things you should look forward to in 2016. Read more
There’s an old guard in the Austin music scene, filled with bands who’ve been playing together for years. But, at some point the youngsters in town are going to take over, which is where we find Mr. Santiago and Ms. Blair, the duo working together as Rain Collectors. Both artists have their own acts, Growl and AMA, respectively, but they step outside of these two projects to craft gentle folk music together. Their new single relies upon very few lyrics, choosing instead to revolve the emotional pull around the tune’s structure, filling in empty space with piano and drums to add extra textures to the track. For those worried about when the talent in Austin will run out, rest assured, there’s new territory being explored by the young guard, and Rain Collectors is one of those acts to keep an eye on; look for a new EP later this year.