Slick New Track From SWOLL

SWOLL is a Baltimore based electronic project featuring Matt Dowling (vocals), Ben Schurr (bass), Erik Sleight (baritone guitar), and Zak Forrest (lights). Having already released a critically acclaimed debut self-titled album, the band now has plans to release a new LP of material entitled Unwound. Of course a new single comes along with this album announcement and you can check it out below. Immediately this new single, and title track from the record, has drawn me in with a slick ass beat and some vocals unique and weird enough to stand out on the song. Could be a little bit Animal Collective with a little bit of the chiller side of Painted Palms as well. It’s a nice.

SWOLL will release new album Unwound on September 27th via Blight Records. Pre-order now.

Super City Impress With New Single

If you’re searching for something new and unique to listen to today, I suggest you check out the new single “Sanctuary” from Baltimore based band Super City. What I love about this song is it’s total inability to be pinned down to one genre. One commenter on YouTube called it “freak wave” which seems fitting as the song blends equal parts rock n roll with fun, danceable pop music. Call it what you will, you can’t deny those guitars are super badass.

Super City will release Sanctuary on September 7th.

Introducing Lauren Lakis

I’ve been streaming this new single from Baltimore based artist Lauren Lakis all morning and I’m finally ready to stop being selfish and share it with you guys. The track in question, “Lead Us On”, is both fuzzy and gritty, while still bringing some brightness with its raw and lo-fi take on shoegaze/pop. One can certainly feel swept away in the emotional and very personal feel of the track. Welcome to the music world Lauren.

Lauren Lakis will release her first solo LP entitled FEROCIOUS on June 22nd via Cavity Search Records.

Powerful Indie Rock From Us And Us Only

I used to be that guy who would delete emails or ignore posts with music videos associated with them. Not sure why, maybe it’s the low quality sound on youtube? Either way, if you haven’t noticed, I’ve come around to the medium and will definitely post great songs via video. Baltimore based band Us and Us Only has offered this great track and accompanying video called “Full Flower”. The song reminds me of David Bazan’s style if he somehow had the indie pop voice of a guy like Ezra Koenig. Dig.

Us and Us Only will release debut album Full Flower on July 14th via Topshelf Records.

Another New Great American Canyon Band

12792358_10156588098425068_8791836717133372911_oDear reader…do you have some time? If so, I implore you to listen to this new Great American Canyon Band tune; it’s a slow burner. Vocals roll in slow, like a storm building atop a gently crafted piece of atmospheric Americana. Lighter vocal touches come in to cover the empty space, and the song glides along as guitar strings are bent in your ear. We’re drenched in rain here in Austin, and this track fits perfectly, but in the grand scheme, it also fits nicely on the band’s new album, Only You Remain…it comes out on April 8th.

Show Preview: Wildhoney @ Hotel Vegas (7.23)

11700529_10106409461315020_3334396368786306187_oAustin’s got a lot of musical things going, even a growing hip-hop scene, but one thing I’ll admit it lacks is a truly solid indiepop scene.  It might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s one of my favorites, so I’m always clamoring for a great show.  We’re getting just that tomorrow night at Hotel Vegas as the dreamy Baltimore shoegazers in Wildhoney will be gracing us with their presence.  That alone is enough to warrant your attendance, but there’s three local acts that are just as good.  You’ve got Loafer, Rose Selavy (who have a 7″ coming up soon via ATH Records) and you’ve got Tres Oui.  Wait, you haven’t heard Tres Oui? Me either, but it’s the new project of Nate from Literature…one of the greatest indiepop bands out there. So, those of you with that softer side of indie rock in your blood, join us at 10 PM tomorrow night.

Keep Your Eyes on Expert Alterations

expatThere’s no doubt in my mind that I’m a huge indiepop fan; it’s what I clamor for on a daily basis, and the one thing I miss in Austin (give or take a few bands).  So, I went to hit up a show at Cheer Ups last week to catch one of those acts, Rose Selavy.  They were great, and I expected they would be; they’re still a fairly new band in town, working through the early stages, but I have no doubt they’ll make waves soon.  But, immediately following them was Expert Alterations from Baltimore.  One word to describe their sound: classic.  There was jangle, bubbling bass, steady percussion and a little bit of reverb on the vocals.  Honestly, it made my night, so here I am a week later imploring you to keep an eye on the band. Here’s their most recent cassette that should give you reason to love them.

Beach House – Bloom

Rating: ★★★½ ·

Let’s face it, there’s no one out there crafting music just like Beach House.  That is, except Beach House.  Seems redundant doesn’t it? Well, if you’re looking for a fault on the band’s fourth LP, then it might be that the group seems a bit cornered on Bloom.  While the music itself is beautifully emotional, it’s not too far from where they left off with Teen Dream; that’s going to appease hordes of folks, but it might also leave some detractors this go round.

Beach House has a knack of opening an album with brilliance, much like they do here with “Myth.” That twinkling keyboard line complimented by the lofty vocals of Victoria Legrand demonstrate that the duo will continue to find themselves atop year-lists, with few songs capturing the eloquent pop of this track.  When the group takes a slight turn near the 2 minute mark it’s clear to any listener that few songs can eclipse this one.  Bloom is filled with similar moments like this opener, but it’s hard to top your first impression of this listening experience.

“Lazuli” seems to have a bit more sparkle to its construction, which enables the track to stand out from many others on the record.  There’s an underlying quality of brightness to this track that’s not always present with regards to the wistful quality of Legrand.  You get the feeling that she pushed herself here in the studio, and it pays off huge dividends…these are the moments you long for from a group with such a distinctive sound.  Other moments such as this one exist on the record, and Bloom succeeds due to their presence.  “The Hours” is the shortest of the tracks on the record, and its brevity definitely is filled by the group pushing for a slightly different sound, be it the vocals or the guitar work.  And near the end, “On The Sea” gives us a completely different side of Beach House, using a less electronic side of the keyboard.  Really it’s Victoria who steals the show, and while there’s still that element of smoky fuzz in her voice, you’ll also notice a songstress giving the recording of a lifetime (in my opinion).

You see, Bloom has absolutely fantastic elements sprinkled here and there for the listener, so be sure to listen to the record through and through.  However, other tracks do find the group in some middling territory, seemingly unable to escape the remarkably distinct sounds they’ve created in the past few years.  Those moments were beautiful, but at times they do come across as a bit of audio overkill. Beach House is growing here, showing glimpses of new dynamics in their songwriting; they just haven’t completely distanced themselves from Teen Dream.  For some, that’s exactly what you’re looking for this go round; others, like myself, love it, but can’t wait to see where the group takes us on the next go round.


Download:Beach House – Myth [MP3]