If you listened to me, as I sincerely think you should, you caught Will Courtney‘s latest release, At Home with Will Courtney and the Wild Bunch. The EP is a collection of Will and his bunch recording their own versions of some of their favorite songs; you can grab it over HERE when you’ve got your wallet ready. Seeing as music never goes away, the band has worked up a really great video for their version of Nick Lowe’s “Cracking Up;” it was shot by the band’s own Travis Garaffa, using stop-motion animation with still footage of the various band members. The band’s version of the song definitely plays up some of the country twang Lowe used in the original, but of course its done so well you might not know if we hadn’t told ya! Enjoy the video and grab the EP!
I’m super impressed with Mobley‘s work this year. He gave us A Home Unfamiliar, where he helped curate 30 songwriters and artists to come together and create a visual album…which gave us some of our first Jim Eno (Spoon) solo work. But, he’s also been working on his own songs, which is where we find him with his latest, “James Crow.” The video’s narrative follows up on Part I, which came to us with this year’s single Nobody’s Favorite;” its all part of a visual storytelling project that will coincide with his forthcoming EP, Young and Dying in the Occident Supreme. Really dig the breakdown the 1:45 mark, works well in contrast to the energetic pop burst. Dig it.
A few years ago, Mike and I caught Pelvis Wrestley; we immediately knew that we wanted to work with them in any fashion. Luckily, as we heard they were ready to release their debut LP, we reached out and agreed to do a cassette version of Vortexas Vorever; you have no idea how we are excited to be working with this bunch.
Here’s what Benjamin Violet had to say about the track that comes with this glorious announcement: “In Heaven takes us to toxic positivity, the shadow-self, and back home again.With nods to Ennio Morricone and Angelo Badalamenti, this track is a psycho-spaceage fanfare to celebrate every moment you ever chose to confront your own personal boss-level. In the absence of nurturance, every abuser might as well be dead to you.”
Vortexas Vorever will be available in all the cool spots, and you should definitely grab a tape while you’re at it; pre-orders are HERE.
Austin’s Sun June probably need no introduction out there, but rest assured, they’re one of the best exports we’ve had in our fair city in a good bit. Today we get news that they’re signing on to work with Run for Cover Records (they’ll still work with Keeled Scales too!) for their next album, slated for release in 2021. They’ve made said announcement with a new single, and a video featuring their local ATX neighborhood. It’s hard not to be mesmerized by Colwell’s voice in this one, with this powerful softness that exudes confidence. Behind her, the band work on creating this delicate space, perfecting notes that hang in a Hill Country landscape. Simply put, this song feels like home. Look for more from the band as we try to escape 2020.
Our friends over in Stiletto Feels are ramping up the push towards their sophomore LP, Push Back, the follow-up to 2015’s The Big Fist. Predominantly the project of Geoff Earle, he’s surrounded himself with some local heavy-hitters to build up the band’s sound, featuring members of Ume, Octopus Project, the Sword (and Skate or Die). This song trickled out earlier this summer, but now there’s a video treatment to the track to further entice you, filmed solo by Earle so as to follow social distancing guidelines. I love Geoff’s enthusiasm, moving between punching the air and playing some air piano as the film moves about downtown Austin. Musically, I love the contrast between some of the percussive elements hard-hitting and Earle’s drawn out croon of the chorus; it builds in that natural hook that keeps listeners interested. The band drop Push Back on October 2nd.
This Friday, Royal Forest will finally release their new album Waiting Drum; it feels like its been a long time coming, though that in part has to do with the band’s attention to detail in the process. This new LP, for instance, was recorded in a nearly century old farmhouse in Arkansas, which inevitably left its mark on the group’s sound. Digging through the latest single, I’m really impressed with the way they’ve created this dense lushness in their sound, with each note seemingly brimming with thoughtfulness; really love the song’s latter half where electronic textures are woven in and out. That said, the vocals help the group maintain a certain pop sensibility that makes their organic musical exploration accessible to even the pickiest of listeners. If you’re willing to go on this journey, grab Waiting Drum this Friday via King Electric Record Company.
If you’ve ever met Jared Leibowich you’d know that he’s devoted to his craft; he’s writing non-stop, whether that’s for Jarebear, the Infinites, his solo stuff, or the Zoltars. We were actually super fortunate to help put out the last Zoltars effort Telling Stories, but the band is ready to return with Mystery Kids. Today we’re more than happy to share the aptly titled “August 24th,” the lead single from the new LP. I think my favorite piece about this tune is the crisp way the guitar notes turn, popping out of the mix perfectly. And that chorus, fuzzier guitars and a swell of Jared’s voice supported by some textured backing notes. In the second go round, the song gets more emphatic, almost in a sort of a fanatic stage diatribe; it’s actually a cool touch that I think gives the song just enough of an edge. Mystery Kids will be out on October 1st via Rock Tumbler Records.
Earlier this year when I helped organize Slack Capital 3 (with Eric Bill/Howdy Gals), we got an early peek at new music from Jana Horn when she let us use “Time Machine” for the compilation. Now, she’s announced her debut solo LP, Optimism, and dropped another powerful tune I’d love you to enjoy. While her musicianship has always been extremely moving, this new single shows the strength of her voice alone in the world. There are some barely audible strums faintly hanging from the distance, carefully uplifting Horn’s airy vocals. She’s one of my favorite Austin songwriters, gifted in so many ways, so you’ll definitely want to check out Optimism when its released on September 18th.
Whether he’s working at Mr Pink Records or playing with the Midnight Stroll/Night Glitter, it’s a wonder that Jonas Wilson has the time of day to sit down and write his own solo work. But, perhaps our current climate has allowed the Austin musician the time to celebrate his own craft, focusing on his love of piano and harmonica, though spun through his own droning lens. It’s like this slow moving train wreck before you, yet you find yourself captivated, staring as it erupts into a beautiful ball of fire. I was super into the fuzzy bounce of the last minute, so maybe that’s where that analogy comes. If you’re into chilled out dark pop, then you’ll want to keep an eye out for Science Fiction Post Blues.
Austin’s got tons of really incredible songwriters, and Mike Lee has definitely been one voice we’ve fawned over since his early days on the local scene, first with Letting Up Despite Great Faults and then Fanclub. But, he’s turned his current focus to a new project, Family Mart, and we get our first little taste below. Upon the first few listens, one of the things I adored about this track was the way he employs that dreamy guitar jangle, but instead of rushing it, he gives the song plenty of space, letting the drum beat keep the pace for everyone. It ends up leaving all these space for the soft tones of his voice to fit in between the cracks; it ends up pushing the melodies to sort of rise to the top. Plus, we get a bonus when his voice finds a foil with his friend Ali Wagner (Hex Boyfriend); her addition builds in this delectable contrast…not to mention the tune does get a slight bit fuzzier, which I certainly don’t mind! Without further delay…we present you with Family Mart!