Shana Falana Announces Darkest Light

When I think of Shana Falana, I tend to think of a thoughtful songwriter who generally crafts these strikingly dreamy numbers that ooze pure passion, especially in the live setting. That said, this brand new single from the forthcoming Darkest Light might take some listeners aback, but only for a moment. Sure, the vocal performance takes on this almost angelic tone, but there’s this turmoil lurking in the track. Take for instance, the absence of drums, it leaves this cavernous void that can only be filled with by voice and the careful playing of guitar notes; it gets some depth with layered strings far off in the mix. It’s striking to see the balance and composure the execute such a song, which leads me to believe this is a project at the top of its game. I look forward to Darkest Light; its out on October 25th via Arrowhawk Records.

Deadbeat Beat Share The Box

When I pressed play on the latest single from Deadbeat Beat, I was digging on the indifferent vocal delivery; it reminded my of various acts I love like Dumb or the Zoltars. But, what sold me on the band’s sound was the very slightest touch, but opened up the song to the brand of pop sensibility I adore; you’re right, it is the “do do do” backing vocal. What can I say? You brandish a hook, and I’m a pretty eager fish to catch onto. Aside from the vocals there’s this scuzzy shuffling guitar line that occasionally rings out discordantly amidst some tight cymbal work. The group release How Far on August 2nd via Arrowhawk and Crystal Palace.

Small Labels and the Side Hustle Pt. 1

As someone who runs a label (and works on this web site), a lot of folks outside Austin probably assume it’s a full time gig. Truth be told, my main gig is as an 8th Grade Teacher, then a soccer coach, then the site and the label. It got me to thinking of all the other small labels that are out there that I follow closely; they’ve all got their own stories, their own side hustles to make things work in order to bring you the music they believe is the best. So I reached out to a few of them of them to see if they’d briefly share their stories; today we have words from Lost Sound Tapes, The Nothing Song, HHBTM and Arrowhawk Records. Read more

Another Hook Laden Hit from Blush

It’s a shame that Blush are releasing their debut album this Friday. I only mean that in the sense that a month earlier and it would have been almost guaranteed a spot in many year-end lists, including my own. Opening with a casual bit of guitar, the song quickly seduces listeners with Maura’s vocal performance; she’s got this natural cool that just pours through your speakers…the sort of assured indifference made for rock stars. A sly little beach pop nod at the end, and the song is over, leaving you to seek out more…and you can have just that when the group release their self-titled LP Friday via Arrowhawk.

Fresh Tunes from Blush

What began as bedroom project for Maura Lynch has now evolved into Blush…a band fleshed out by members of Pill and Pop. 1280. The impressing bit in this new single is that the group still manages to capture the intimacy of a bedroom recording; Maura’s vocals are almost like quiet whispers, so as not to wake the others in the house. Still, there’s plenty of little artful flourishes, like the sharp guitar plucks that permeate through the track’s natural melody or the buzz in the quiet distance. Look for the band’s self-titled LP to drop on December 8th via Arrowhawk Records.

Exciting Jam from Juan de Fuca

Juan de Fuca isn’t one man; it’s an act from Athens (Georgia), brandishing a slightly noisy take on modern indie rock. The guitar chords within this single offer a slight nod towards the arena of gaze rock, though there’s a bit more swagger to them. The vocals have this echo-y coat washed atop, giving off the impression of live performance. It’s like some weird world where Fresh and Onlys meet up with early Walkmen…trying to make beauty rise through the noise. Look for the group’s new Solve/Resolve LP to drop on January 12th via Arrowhawk Records.

Another Great Track from Pinecones

pineyNicole picked up on the boys from Pinecones late last year, and I’m jumping on that bandwagon this week. The Athens/Atlanta based group definitely have some similarities to some other proto-punk bands of the moment, though they seem to have a bit more ferocity behind their personal brand.  This song in particular constantly feels like it’s a runaway train, almost falling off the tracks, only to come to a nice little resting respite before blasting off towards the end.  Look for their debut LP on Arrowhawk Records this April.