Last fall, we teamed up with Resurrection Records to co-release the sophomore LP from Austin’s Mean Jolene; Try Harder was an excellent follow-up to Salty, with the band taking on a streamlined focus after some line-up changes. One of the standout tracks, and my personal favorite “Dark Harmony” today gets the video treatment, directed by the band’s drummer Adam, and edited by guitarist Stevesie. The thing I love about this song is the sort of understated anthemic nature; it’s like they’ve slowed down this big arena rocker so they can draw you in with the sweet voice of Jolie. It’s hard not to be charmed by this one, especially when accompanied with the band at their exuberant best in the video. Go grab the Try Harder HERE.
Please do not sleep on Indigo Bunting; they’re one of the last hidden gems in the Austin music community. Sure, they’ve popped up here every time they drop something new, but the city by and large is sleeping on what might be one of the best acts in town. Today, they quietly share what might be their two best songs to date, so we’ve got to share them with you. “I Fell Through” is this drawn expansive brand of psychedelic pop viewed through a folk kaleidoscope; you should have this tune on repeat all day long. But, just because they can craft the dreamy side of things, don’t think they won’t switch it up on you and bring a buoyant number your way, like “Detail of Preceding.” This number has these lightly jangling guitars and this feverish vocal delivery that might make some folks think of Panda Bear. Fuck, this band rules. Listen.
While he rose to popularity as one of the founding members of Balmorhea, Rob Lowe, aka RG Lowe, is no stranger to the solo effort, having released Slow Time in 2017. He’s back now with the announcement of Life of the Body, his follow-up, and once again on Western Vinyl. The angelic tones established in years of choir is omni-present throughout this tune, but the length and accompanying flourishes harken back to his other work. I loved the loud burst at 2:21, even if its merely a second; its about the thoughtfulness in Lowe’s craftsmanship. These are songs that go above and beyond the expectations of your average pop fare; Life of the Body drops May 22nd.
Austin’s Holy Wave have been around for a bit, building their status as one of Austin’s premier psychedelic bands. With the announcement of the band’s new album, Interloper, we get to hear the band expanding their sound beyond our expectations. Honestly, they’re dealing more with this intoxicating krautrock, where they’ve fused these propulsive electronic elements with their more traditional bits. It’s created this organic atmosphere that seems out of this world; it feels like they’ve taken the experimental aspect of their sound and shipped it off into space…with just the slightest hint of melody in the vocals.
We’re sort of in love with Half Dream over here, especially after the moving “Celia” dropped a few weeks ago. It would be really easy for us to wax poetic about the power of Paige Berry’s voice; you’re going to be blown away again within the first 15 seconds, particularly by the angelic tones that tease you into the track. For my two cents, the success of this song comes in the balancing act between the band’s more forceful performance and the delicacy with which they approach the interludes. Just before the 1 minute mark drums ring out announcing a brief foray into sonic bombast, only to recede into the whispers briefly for Berry’s voice before galloping to the end. Such juxtaposition crafts a sort of push and pull within the song, building your emotional investment as you listen. They’ll celebrate this new single with Rattlesnake Milk and our own Mean Jolene Friday night at Hotel Vegas; Monster of Needing comes out on April 2nd.
Almost exactly a year ago we were fortunate to put out the excellent self-titled LP by the Hermits. And, the great thing about great songs is that they never die, so the band wanted to share their video for standout track, “No Replacement.” This is one of my favorite tunes from the record (and their phenomenal live sets); I love the way the guitar seems to skitter back and forth, unleashing this crashing wave of psychedelic noise right in your face. For me, the band has always seemed to be just this creative blanket of weird draped over a really heavy pop band, and I couldn’t be happier to have had even the slightest hand in getting this song (and the rest) into the world. We’ve got a handful of copies of the tape left over HERE, but be sure to just stream the LP as much as possible! Plus, keep an eye out for shows…as the live band now features a new Hermit; there are four Hermits!
Another year and another ATH vs SOTO SXSW Party is ready to roll! Luckily for us, we get to draw on the great Austin acts that are already living here, and one this year’s guests will be Dorio. The band will likely be playing songs off their forthcoming album, Yesterday the Sky Was Blue, with the title track just being shared with the world. I love the bob of this song; it seems to have this playful bounce, almost nostalgically playing with psychedelic undertones, though plodding along happily…which seems to be the detailing of the lyrical content as well. This is just one of those feel good tracks that puts a grin on your face; I expect the LP to do the same when it’s released by Citrus City on March 27th.
Our friends in Big Bill have long been concerned with societal values, and while that’s largely the message in their newest single, this one’s even more political in nature…a direct attack on the DNC. The song came to the brain of guitarist Cody whilst watching the Iowa caucus debacle…so the band rushed to record this catchy punk anthem for you as quickly as they could; this is a matter of national importance! So, while they work on their new album, they want you to hear this jam with all proceeds going to their chosen candidate, Bernie Sanders.
Last year’s Swim Team EP put everyone on notice, in Austin and beyond, of the powerful force that is Christelle Bofale. She’s got this incredible voice, slightly smoky and able to stretch to the highest pitches effortlessly. This tune opens up steadily, with Bofale offering up her voice atop measured guitar notes; there’s a gentle change in the winds just at the 1:11 mark that really illustrates what a gifted songwriter Bofale is. Those winds blow further with this incredible vocal breakdown over muted guitars in the song’s last minute; you’re going to want to be sure that you stick around until the end. She’ll be performing at SXSW, so if you’re here, go ahead and pencil in a performance or two.
One of our favorite ATX acts dropped this delicious tune last Friday, and since we’re back in full force, it only seems natural that I’d get this Ringo Deathstarr tune out there for you. I love how the song starts off with this ominous mood, like you’re descending into the depths of the Earth with no return in sight. But, once the vocals come in, the song peels back and allows the guitars to swirl around the more crystalline feel of the vocals. The rhythm section keeps harnessing that darkness, building in the perfect balancing act between dark and light on the wondrous first single off the band’s forthcoming self-titled LP; it drops on March 27th via Club AC30.