Been a hot minute since we’ve heard from Caroline Sallee and her project, Caroline Says…until today. Today we got news that there’s a new Ohio River EP coming out in the not-to-distant future, courtesy of Western Vinyl. The song is said to be about returning to a quaint Southern town whilst looking through a new lens; finding a fondness in the past, but perhaps a bit of sadness in the realization that nothing stays the same as our memories. Musically, it’s perfectly matched with the river image, as the song sort of moves in that fashion; the musical waters are twisting, snaking, crawling to the mouth of the . It’s there we find Sallee’s vocals, washing over the song, lapping at the melodic edges with this smoky grace. The band will be on tour with Hovvdy throughout the end of October and into November; the EP drops on November 22nd.
Even as the year begins to head towards the exciting landscape of meaningless year-end-lists (our site included!), Austin’s still buzzing with fresh tunes all over the place. Just yesterday, we got a couple of new tunes out there that we really enjoyed, so I’m flexing for the ATX…and oddly, both of these have a personal connection here. So…
First up is the new tune from Astrobleme, the project of Matthew Shepherd; he plays in a few bands we like, such as Feverbones (we put out their LP) and Abram Shook, among others. His new tune’s got this blossoming pop sound, though it incorporates these slight dreamy touches to embellish the edges of the song. I love his guitar play here too, which may surprise you since he’s best known for his talent behind the drum kit. He promises more tunes to come.
On the flip side of the Austin coin is Nolan Potter’s Nightmare Band, who’ve sort of exploded onto the scene with their psychedelic flute-core and great live shows…the band also features one of my former students on drums (he also played in Tres Oui). Here, however, they’ve got this heavy space-age sound, fueled by these deep riffs and electronic flourishes. They’ve got a new LP coming out on Castle Face, so you’ve got John Dwyer’s blessing.
Nevil have rather quickly ascended the ranks in the Austin music scene, with everyone talking about the group’s great live sets. So, while I obviously can’t share that with you, why not drop this brand new track from the trio. I love the song’s patience on this one; it’s the purest essence of a slow burner, yet they never lose you, tightening their grip with just the slightest raise in volume here and there. If this is the direction the group’s going with their music as things carry on, you better believe I’ll be right here waiting to throw more praise their way.
All year long, the Sour Notes have slowly been releasing 7″ after 7″, and we’re really excited to share with you the B-Side from the latest Shoulda/Enough 7″. This song gives a glimpse into the band’s process, and their desire to do multiple 7″s in a year. it came to be after the band switched gears and changed directions on another B-Side, ultimately sticking with this track as it touches on the concept of pursuing your art despite the uncontrollable factors that sit in your way. Musically, I feel like the band are in a great place, especially when lining things up with my tastes; Jared’s voice sounds really solid hanging in the midst of those huge guitar sounds. This is guitar pop at its finest!
The band celebrate the release of this new 7″ with Thelma & the Sleaze, Royal Forest, The Black Drumsetand Fanclub on Friday over at Cheer Up Charlies. Event info HERE.
Really excited to know that Rosie Tucker will be making their way to Austin here in a few weeks; I loved Never Not Never Not Never Not quite a bit, as you can tell if you visit this site. They share a new song titled “Ambrosia,” spinning a story of longing around everyone’s favorite salad; it seems fairly mundane, but the wordplay is so spot on that it’s hard not to fall head over heels for everything here. For me, there’s something in the vocal enunciation that just wins; I’m glad all I have one more song to sing at the top of my lungs when the band blast off on a huge West to East tour through all of October, including a stop in Austin on October 9th at 523 Thompson.
You’d think a band comprised of members of Ex Cult and NOTS (formerly) would have some sort of monstrous presence in a new project. But, that’s exactly why I love Aquarian Blood, and in fact, why I’ve always loved rock n’ roll. This isn’t a banger, or a ripper; it’s a stripped down ballad that’s about as intimate as they come. The vocals are wholly solemn, almost weary from a live well-lived. I guess for me, the band just hit that sweet spot of not-quite folk; you can hear the musical lineage on both sides of the coin, particularly with the great arrangements fleshing out the tune. This tune will be on A Love That Leads to War, the new LP out October 11th via Goner Records.
Plus! If you’re in Austin, you can catch the band with Thigh Master at Hotel Vegas tonight!
Austin’s Masculine Pain are fairly new to the scene, though its various members are longtime staples of the music scene here. You’ll recognize the vocals of Eric Braden of Big Bill, while Nate Cardaci of Tres Oui/Literature and Tim Bond round things out. This one’s a slow-burner, building over beats and a bobbing bass line; it’s the perfect setting for Braden’s vocal delivery, matching each syllable to the movement. Dreamy guitar notes filter in from the background as Braden sings “I’m not in control.” For me, the climax comes right at the 1:50, the mood twists, guitars and synths wash in more of a dream vibe, and as the vocals match, it’s this huge wall of euphoria blasting you right in the face; I should have been expecting this. Putting great songwriters together doesn’t always work, except when it does…and here, it does.
It’s really hard not to get personal when writing about Daphne Tunes; I’ve been writing about lead songwriter Santiago RD for what seems like years, not to mention releases I’ve done with he and the rest. But, I try to always work with good humans…and this band is full of some of the best. Alas…there’s a song at play here, I swear. Let’s take on those guitars first. Here they have this almost 80s soft rock swagger, mixed in between some really soft guitar jangles that leave plenty of space. Why space? Well, because Santiago has one of those special voices you wish could accompany you anywhere; he weaves his vocal lines so naturally into the fabric of the song that it almost becomes this added layer of melody. Hands down one of my favorite voices in Austin. Hearing this song just makes me feel like the world does indeed have promise, like we have reason to celebrate. It’ll appear on the band’s new album, Volume 2, which will be packaged with Volume 1 on nice shiny vinyl on October 4th, courtesy of Uncool Records.
Dorio has fortunately crossed our path on several occasions this year, once with the track “Shortcuts” and also as part of our annual ATH vs SOTO show. We come across the project today as they’ve dropped another bouncy pop number that’s the perfect ear worm for your listening rotation today. The bounding piano line looped into the track, along with the percussion set the perfect playful mood in motion, allowing Chaz to coolly rest his voice atop the notes. It’s the sort of song you can see a crowd joyously pogoing before you with these insatiable hooks blasting through your speakers. Keep an eye on this here act, ya hear?
As long as we’ve run this site, there’s been a Ram Vela in our lives. He’s been buds with RayRay forever, and his old band Whitman played countless ATH shows. But, he’s been quiet for a bit, focusing on other things. But, as of late he’s been working with his new band Ram Vela & the Easy Targets; he’s been in the studio with Taylor Muse from Austin’s Quiet Company. As of today, he’s got two pop rock nuggets ready to go for you; they’re heavy on riffs and hooks, two things you can always count on Ram to give you in his songwriting. I love the breakdown in “Garage Apt,” while “If I Fail” is more anthemic, built for crowd sing-a-longs. Ram and the band will be playing at Mohawk next Friday with Quiet Company.