It’s been said, when summer turns to winter in Austin, we put away our white T-shirts and get out our black ones. So it was appropriate for TOOL to come to the Frank Erwin Center in the month of January. Nobody had to change clothes they just had to show up. And show up they did. Thousands of black shirts and hoodies filled Austins nostalgic Drum, with the hopes of experiencing a “Great and Powerful” live performance. Hit the jump for more.
We knew that Andy Bianculli had something in the works when word came out that his project Star Parks had signed with Modern Outsider Records, so we’re glad the word is The New Sounds of Late Capitalism. It’s a playful number brimming with various movements within the song’s general structure that take the listener up and down. A fuzzy stomp kicks you into gear before fading into a more angelic float of vocals, accented by some real light keys that bridge the gap between the airy melody and the tapping of the drum work. You’ll find the hook-laden chorus harkening to some of Austin’s finest pop purveyors like Spoon, filled with the horns and all that extra jazz! The new LP drops on February 14th.
There’s so much great stuff coming out of Austin at the moment, and while Dorio‘s been on our radar for some time, the announcement of the new album and it’s accompanying single definitely have built the anticipation up on our end. Honestly, the song itself is great, but there are these little minor details that are making me swoon a bit. A slight touch in the backing vocals just perks the hair up on my backing vocals; it’s an intoxicating hook just adding depth to the tune. I’m also super in love with the faint change in direction just around the 2 minute mark, particularly the guitar work and whistling that follows. Get ready for Yesterday the Sky was Blue to drop via Citrus City Records on March 27th.
Subtle pop music is currently one of my favorite things; the sort of pop tune that’s unassuming, but just makes your soul feel good. That’s precisely the spot that this new single from Austin’s Robby hits with their new track “Stay Awhile” off their forthcoming LP, Impressions. The verses are steady, these careful little guitar lines mapping out the pop sensibility that comes in full during the choruses; I love the way the guitar has this gentle turn just before the words “stay awhile” are released. The band will be self releasing Impressions this weekend via their own label collective, No Wisdom; they celebrate the album with a show Sunday night over at Cheer Up Charlies with TVs Daniel and Lolita Lynne.
Just in case you haven’t heeded my previous warning, you’re going to want to get to know Xetas this year, if they’re not already on your rock n’ roll radar. They’ve got a new video from their forthcoming The Cypher, and I’m freaking in love with this jam. It opens interestingly, with these jagged chords kind of building this nervous tension; it’s juxtaposed by the calm delivery of Kana’s voice, which quickly turns into an explosive howl as the band meets for the chorus. I think my favorite moment comes around the 2:03 mark with the line “have you ever watched the mountain range, change.” The full album is out next Friday via 12XU.
While the Media claim Austin as their home base, this is an example of finding a pure gem in your own backyard. Honestly, the opening number is worthy of your time and energy…immediately. It has this delicate nature, this fragility like the song’s shattering in your hands that’s absolutely stunning. The song’s got this slide guitar fading away, leaving the strumming guitar far off, eventually leaving it isolated with the vocals. That voice takes on sort of this folk meets bedroom pop; it feels pained, but like that’s been accepted and welcomed…and luckily shared with us all. Globalist Blues is out now for NYoP, but had to share this stunning opener.
This debut effort from Austin outfit ThunderStars has me spaced out in the best sense; I find that the song employs great usage of time, drawing out the edges of the tune in the best way, so as to let the song slowly craft its own path. The vocal seem to lurk just beneath the surface of the mix, almost daring you to dive beneath and see what will unfold. It feels extremely dense, and yet sparse at the same time; I guess it’s heavy without ever actually being heavy. The group are set to release Number Stations this Friday via Mariel Recording Company.
Technically, our little break’s not quite over, but it’s time to get back into the music game with some things I hope you will dig, like the latest single from our friend A. Sinclair. I’ve always enjoyed the band’s work, but there’s something really special in this song. It’s like the urgency has been sort of pulled back, gradually letting the guitar notes sharply twist and turn their way through your ears; there’s even a slight twang to let the notes sort of hang out on the wind. It’s a rocker, but in the casual sense, letting Aaron’s voice work this calm drawl work beneath the brightness of the guitars. Let’s hope there’s more from A. Sinclair as this new year kicks on.
The great thing about living in any so called “music capital” is there’s still stuff you haven’t discovered, like Imp of Perverse. It’s the recording project of Sean Lochridge, who seems to have honed in on my love for really solid collage pop. He’s built layers of poppy little guitar riffs, buoyed by nice little textural synth touches that add some dense atmosphere to the track. The vocals are hidden, quiet in the mix, but it’s perfect in the way that it feels just like an added texture in the track, yet still stands out on its own. Happy to get turned onto this, and then hopefully get you hyped on it too!
Pelvis Wrestley have two things going for them: 1) an incredible band name 2) the music to back up said band name. They’ve got this great new single, “Susanna,” which they’ll be celebrating here in Austin over at Cheer Up Charlies (w/ Fanclub and Lord Friday the 13th). This new track revolves around a really heavy synth beat, propelling the song forward while Benjamin Violet hangs his pop sensibility along the vocals; I really love the rise and fall factor that coincides with the chorus on this one, particularly as it takes the song toward a soaring close. Come join the band tomorrow night at Cheer Ups if you’re in town, and keep an eye out, as rumor has it, there’s an EP on the way in 2020.