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.
One of the many records we’ve been fortunate to release was the debut LP from Marmalakes; they’ve been fairly quiet since then, mostly working on their various other projects…that is until this past week. They very quietly released this new gem, which is a pretty stripped down affair, using minimal percussion and keys to support the strum of Chase’s guitar and his voice. There’s a delicate nature to the tune, as if it would crumble through your fingers if you picked it up, losing its magic to the world. One thing this bunch know is great tunes written by greater people.
I want to be forthright and acknowledge that we’ve put out records by 2/3 of Masculine Pain (Big Bill/Literature/Tres Oui). That said, this trio has their pulse on their own brand of synth pop, crafting these seductive, nostalgic beats that are easily digestible, but primed for repeat plays. The band excels in the way they’ve layered the vocals throughout this tune; I think Eric’s voice is the perfect foil for Nate’s sweeping pop tendencies, particularly when they get into chorus mode…don’t be afraid to admit you’re swooning here. As of now, the band are just leaking out singles, so we’ll keep you posted if we hear anything else.
Mopac first caught our ear a few years back when the band released their Kayfabe LP back in 2017; they’ve been hard at work getting out and playing shows, and writing their new Burn & Soothe EP. One thing I really like about the tune below is the introduction of Christin Monts as one of the band’s driving forces; her vocal performance seems to push the band’s sound in a different direction than where they’ve been previously. It can maybe draw some similarities to Alvvays in the way the voice stretches the notes atop the mix, though the music still feels like its in the wheelhouse of the group. It’s a nice change of pace, and one that I think ultimately benefits the new EP…which is out this week!
Not only do we get to write about music every day, but we also put out a bunch of records! Our next release on ATH Records is really personal, as I grew up listening to Gabe Hascall and his band the Impossbiles throughout my high school years. He’s been away from Austin for a minute, living in Portland, but he’s returned, and blessed us with this incredible LP, Thousands of Thorns. Those that were familiar with his band Slowreader will hear some similarities, but this feels more personal, more intimate. I’ve been waiting and waiting to get this record into your hands, and the time is near, as Thousands of Thorns will be out on April 10th.
Rad Gnar is one of the new local Austin acts making waves on our end; there’s some ATH lineage too, as the band features one of the Ben’s of Basketball Shorts. But, while there’s some punk ethos working through the song’s lyrical content, you’ve also got to catch on to the hook-laden riffs tearing through your speaker walls. And, if you know Ben, you know of his allegiance to the cult of Built to Spill, which definitely plays a role in his songwriting here, using those riff structure and weaving them through the fabric of emo/punk. Rumor has it that there’s an EP on its way really really soon!
It’s Monday, so I don’t want to ruin your musical week, but you’re all going to love this brand new track from Half Dream; it’s going to keep getting played in your head all week…sorry about that. Paige Berry owns this song; her voice falls somewhere between Angel Olsen and Sharon Van Etten, mixing heavy tones with angelic sparkle that rises in the mix. I love how the band sets the song up, Berry and a few riffs riding through the Texas countryside before the drums drop in to thicken the mixture, adding in a natural hook to bury the song deep within your subconscious. This track appears on the band’s forthcoming Monster of Needing EP, which drops on April 2nd. But, if you’re in Austin, the group celebrate the release of this new single this Thursday at Hotel Vegas; you can find out more details HERE.