Literature – Chorus

litRating: ★★★★☆

Back in 2012, Literature should have made your radar with Arab Spring, their debut LP that ATH Records helped put out. If somehow you managed to miss that gem of a first record, not to worry, the four gents are back to give you another opportunity to fall in love with their jangly guitar centric rock music. One listen and you’ll be devoid of excuses not to be smitten with Chorus and this band.

At the risk of sounding cheesy, I’m going to liken this album to those instances in your life, or in the movies when everything around slows for a second in a moment of golden enlightenment. For the twenty-nine minutes that Chorus lasts you are swept away in a fury of glittering and shimmering tunes. Each song has a pearlescent quality to it—the guitar licks ripple and glide with each other in endless loops while the percussion is like the foam on the edge of the waves of synth as they crash in. The album on a whole has the golden vibe, but there are also some extra special standouts that will have you instantly wanting to replay them over again.

A few of these songs that have got me especially hooked are back-to-back middle of the album stunners “Court/Date” and “New Jacket.” The first of these two songs starts with an infectious guitar riff that peels right through the center stage, then you have Nathan Cardaci’s voice that comes in deep and rich, but gets pushed to its peak as his voice weaves in and out of the instrumentation. The drums never stop, constantly simmering and then breaking into this epic deep rolling builds during the choral hook. Before you know it you’re on to “New Jacket,” which is less power from the start and more of a tune that builds at its end. There are still the glitter guitars from the start and Cardaci’s breathy hazed vocals, but the guitars feel passive until the song grows and grows to the last minute of the track. Really, I had a hard time critiquing and describing these two tracks as they are so infectious that I would start to play them and have the phenomenon of getting lost jamming.

Thirty minutes comes and goes, but like the movie montages, it’s somehow the apt amount of time for everything to happen; Literature don’t overstay their golden moment. Despite the vast majority of the tracks bordering on spastically fast, the speed of this record works perfectly with the music they have created. Yes, the record is brief, catchy and straightforward, but frankly I feel like the music scene these days could use more records like this to get lost in.

Another Hit from Literature

artworks-000086575693-phkdjg-t500x500Listening to the new Literature album, Chorus, I get a little teary eyed that I only got to help put out their first record, Arab Spring.  I wish I could be part of this great new release.  There’s tons of great indiepop moments throughout, filling the LP with soft touches and energetic bursts of delighting pop music.  This latest single is one of the more spirited tracks on the album; I personally am in love with the sound of the guitars on the mix here.  It’s a great fucking album, and you’ll be bummed if you don’t get your hands on it as soon as you get the chance; it is being released by Slumberland Records on August 19th.



ATH Alumni, Literature, Sign to Slumberland Records

litThe first record we ever put out on ATH Records was in conjunction with our good friends over at Square of Opposition Records; it was with Literature, who were at the time, an Austin act, before moving off to Philly.  That album, Arab Spring, has already gone through several presses, and we still have a few laying about, but more importantly, their new album has just been announced with Slumberland Records.  The lead single is enough to show you why they’ve quietly built a huge name for themselves, just off the gifts of their songwriting.  You’re going to want to pick up Chorus when it’s released on August 19th…and if you’re inclined, you can pick up their first LP HERE or HERE.

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ATH Records Holiday Sale!

athrecordsIn case you didn’t know, we have a small little label here at the site.  We’ve put out two great releases, and we have another in the works (featuring our first non-Austin band). Since it’s the holiday season, I figured I’d offer up a sweet deal to you folks. I’m calling this the ATH Records Holiday Pack, meaning you get the Grape St. A Date with You LP and the Literature Arab Spring LP together for $15.  Basically that’s like buying one record, and getting another for 75% (plus S&H), or think of it as two great LPs for the price of one!  You want your friends to have better tastes? Maybe your parents? Get them the Holiday Pack. I’ll take it down on the December 20th, but for now you can order HERE.  You can have the songs below for free; it’s not about the money, it’s about the good music getting into your ears.


Download: Grape Street – A Date With You [MP3]


Download: Literature – Grifted [MP3]

Catchy A-Side from Literature

You know we love raving about Literature, who’ve recently departed Austin for Philadelphia, so I’m happy to share with you the A-Side to their new Tie Dye 7″, which the band is putting out via Square of Opposition Records (it’s up for pre-order right now!).  When the song starts off, it’s got that catchy jangle that made me love their sound, but what’s interesting is that as the song begins to fade out, they add a new layer to their sound.  It’s a wayward sounding group harmony with just a bit of fuzz on it.  Oh, and if you didn’t buy their debut Arab Spring, you need to get it HERE since I only have about 10 left!


Download:Literature – Tie Dye [MP3]

New Jam from Literature

Our boys in Literature have had a pretty solid year thus far, having released their debut Arab Spring LP with us earlier in the year.  They’re back at it again with the new Tie Die 7″, which will come out via our partners for the LP, Square of Opposition Records.  On the B-Side for the release you’ll notice that the urgency of the power pop the band used in the past has receded slightly, allowing for their melodies to take their time coming through the song.  In what’s already been a banner year for the band, they continue writing great songs, maintaining their spot as one of our favorites. Oh, and if you haven’t bought their LP, you can still grab a few HERE.


Download:Literature – Apples [MP3]

Announcing the ATH Records Web Store

The day is finally here! We’ve had some tweaking to the site in the work behind the scenes by our excellent partners, Paravel, and I’m here to announce the first update.  I hope you know by now that we’ve started a non-profit (aren’t they all) record label, and our first release was Literature‘s Arab Spring (partnered with Square of Opposition). It’s a great record that has gotten lots of national press, so you should definitely check it out (and buy it!).  You can purchase the album directly from us by going HERE.  There’s also a little tab on the lower right of the home page, and we’ll be updating it with all our releases.  If you prefer to get your vinyl in a non-Internet environment, it’s all over Austin at End of an Ear, Waterloo and Trailer Space. Here’s a few great tracks to stream so you know exactly what you’ll be getting. Keep an eye out for more updates on the site, and on the record label!

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Literature – Arab Spring

Rating: ★★★★½

No mincing it, we love this band. So much so that Nathan has Austin Town Hall backing the vinyl which can be ordered here. So why do we need to review the record? Probably because it is warranted. A recent blog post by Michael Corcoran lamented the mediocre Austin music scene. I simply retorted you aren’t trying.

Make no mistake, there are jams being laid down by several bands born of the Live Music Capital and Literature is one of the bands doing it in their blue collar, super pop way.. So let’s examine Arab Spring.

The album opener is a gentler affair, easing into the poppy blasts that are coming. And blasts they are with the longest track weighing in at an impressive 2:51. This pace creates the punk tension, stay on top of it, or you might miss something. So, “14 Seconds” features a break midway of guitars, a recurring theme for the rest of the album. Great introduction to the band and the interplay of Kevin and Nathaniel on vocals.

“Lily” starts to really show off the melodic constructions, from the vocals to the building guitar layers. Has a feel of Arctic Monkeys in the best way, without accents and over indulgence. “Push up Bra” brings unleashed pop, jangly riffs, quick lyrical delivery and festive backing vocal destined for sing along participation. “Criminal Kids” starts the swing into my favorite span of the album. “This town scares me.” – attributable to Corcoran? The band follows with “Arab Spring”, the title track, “Then there is you, and others too, that will be left uninvited.”

“Grifted” and “Rooney” are two songs I would use to show off our Austin scene. The former is my high point, best opening hook I have heard in a long while. Nice breakdowns and layering as the vocals resume and proper use of keys to settle the song in for the outgoing jam. The latter is the biggest song on the album, another great guitar hook that climbs and gives way to loud chords. The short run time just makes you want to play it again, right away. Again, trading vocals, trading guitar lead, all while Mike and Seth run the show with the rhythm section.

The album’s finish is composed of a three song set. “O.J.” is the tender vocal moment with a great climbing and falling bassline from Seth. “Esquire Esquire” asks what am I supposed to do? when I can’t win, can’t lose. The finale, “I am Right Here”, doesn’t let us off easy; staccato, fast, short and sweet. Vocals are delivered in a matter of fact way.

So what do I want to complain about? It is over too soon. But it has to be. Arab Spring as a collection of songs is fast, to the point and leave you wanting to do it again. Literature captures the essence of pop, bridging gaps, sometimes more serious and sometimes more playful. Most important, the album shows where we are going. Things are breaking down and our “scene” is getting back to basics. It is time to have fun at shows. It is time to get sucked into two minute blasts of energy, take a short break and do it again.


Download: Literature – Grifted [MP3]

Here is a little video of the song “Rooney” taken a few months back…

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More Hooks from Literature

We’re nearing the release date of Literature‘s Arab Spring (April 10th), which will be our first AustinTownHall Records release, working with our friend Chris over at Square of Opposition.  Sure, I’m easily biased as I believe whole-heartedly in this record, but I wanted to share another track to convince you that you’ll need a copy in your hands!  “14 Seconds” opens the album, setting the mood for a jangling indie pop record that inevitably gets you to swing your hips as the record completely sucks you in.  You definitely need to head HERE to get your pre-order on before you have to hunt down this brilliant release!


Download:Literature – 14 Seconds [MP3]

Literature Pre-Order Now Up

Okay, admittedly we’re going to give a little plug here for ourselves, but I’m totally okay with that.  As we’ve mentioned here before, we’re going to be helping put out the new album, Arab Spring, from Austin’s own Literature.  It’s a project we’re stoked to be part of, and one that we hope will help us launch our non-profit label (aren’t they all?) to help Austin/Texas bands.  Anyways, for those interested in getting your hands on it, you can preorder the album today from our partners (the other benig Cop’s Kids Records)  in this venture, Square of Opposition.  Go HERE to get yours now, and sample one of the sweet tracks from the record below!


Download: Literature – Grifted [MP3]

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