Ladies and germs, the moment you have been waiting for is finally here. Levitation Festival is back in 2023 with a first wave lineup announcement and WOW, this bill is stacked with some serious heavy hitters. Beach Fossils, Slow Pulp, Blonde Redhead, Death From Above, THE CHURCH, Panda Bear… LET’S GO! Yep the bill is loaded and you can expect the entire ATH team to be out in full force. Full lineup below and on that fancy poster. Tickets are also on sale NOW. Full lineup can be seen after the jump (for style purposes) or over on that very fancy pants poster.
Last week kicked off with a bang; we covered a whole bunch of tunes right off the bat, only to kind of fade towards the end of the week. Still, we managed to get up 20 tunes you should listen to, though the Mope City single isn’t out there yet on streaming services. Some Austin love came our way with Tearjerk and Balmorhea getting solid mentions, while we couldn’t help but to continue our fawning over Night Beats and their latest barrage of bangers. Threw in some new Shelflife releases from Lost Tapes and Youth Valley, and in the end, the new stuff from Shrapnel and Special Friend definitely won awards for my faves of the week. You’ve got an hour of legendary streams below!
With a little under a month to go, we’re about halfway through the new Beach Fossils record, as far as singles go. Today comes one of my favorites from Bunny, holding tight to where the band first caught my ears long ago, but with a more modern charm, as I’ve hinted at previously. There’s something in this that feels like it’s jangling pop, though worked through the lens of an act like Papercuts (who’ve always felt jangle adjacent); there’s this sharpness combined with this pastoral calm, all of it coming to a head when the snare hits snap and the “ahh” vocal soars. It’s really hard to dislike anything from this band at the moment; Bunny drops on June 2nd via Bayonet.
I felt like I let you down last week, having only really covered about 17 new songs, but in that, we tried to make sure there were some burners in there that would get you excited. What better way to start off this week’s recap than bringing you the world’s best power pop outfit, The High Water Marks and their new single. We got a new RVG tune, which is never a bad place to be, plus Beach Fossils continued to show their growth on the new LP. And, it wouldn’t be us if there was no Austin contingent, so we ran an acoustic session from Redbud, plus the latest from Dress Warm. Take a listen.
When listening through the latest single from Beach Fossils you can feel the sense of freedom and joy that Dustin Payseur has alluded to in the press bits for this album cycle. You can still easily slide into the sort of dreamy moments, but there’s this seeming weight lifted from the music, maybe just in the strumming of the guitars. There’s even a sentiment that feels omnipresent in the world the last few years, albeit spun through the perspective of a New Yorker: “living in New York it can grind you down.” Sure, that’s New York, but just the world in general can leave that weight atop your shoulders, so finding a bit of pop like this to kind of let the spirits free is vital to our existence. You’ll find this emotional reprieve on Bunny, which drops June 2nd via Bayonet.
There was a ton of great music dropping last week, which seems to be the norm for this Spring…not that we mind one bit. I tried to give some love to our Austin friends like Jana Horn and Letting Up Despite Great Faults, who both dropped new releases…and new tunes from Batty Jr. and Born Twins too, so keeping the ATX alive. It was good to hear new stuff from Estonia’s Pia Fraus, who’ve always crafted great landscape shoegaze. New stuff from Cindy and Beach Fossils wasn’t a bad way to slide into the week either, but we closed it out with a fun feature between My Favorite and Holy Wire. Check it all out.
With their first single from Bunny, Beach Fossils seemed to have picked up right where they left off on their last LP. But, now that we’ve got the second single, it appears as if they’r painting with more of a broad pop paint brush. Honestly, (and I mean this in the absolute best way) the song sounds a bit like Beach Fossils went down a deep Photo Album era Death Cab listening trance whilst recording this record. That chorus feels exactly like the early Ben Gibbard days when you just couldn’t get those songs out of your head, only this time it’s done with just a bit more of that angular vibe Beach Fossils bring to their own craft. There’s more warmth here, even in the drum work, so everything feels aligned to this huge pop stance. I’m excited to hear where songs like this fit into Bunny; it drops via Bayonet on June 2nd.
We covered tons of territory last week, particularly as we ran tons of little interviews in our Meet the SXSW Band features; it’s also the Spring season, so that means there are tons of announcements about new records and such. I was stoked to hear new stuff from Constant Follower and Mary Onettes, plus we premiered new tune from The National Honor Society and Hot Coppers. And, seeing as its SXSW, we got interviews back from Daiistar, Taleen Kali, Hamish Hawk and a ton more, all with little introductions plus their music. Or, you can listen to the jams below and see if they’re playing near you, wherever you find yourself!
While there have been a handful of releases in the interim (jazz album, single, etc), Beach Fossils have been fairly quiet since the release of Somersault in 2017. But, worry no more as the band announce Bunny today, their brand new record for Bayonet. Our first listen has us circling back to the group’s sound, building layer upon layer of synths and swirling guitars; this one had me hooked from those opening lines, and it only gets better as the chorus evolves and you get a little extra guitar focus that adds a beautifully dreamy wash to the song’s middle. Stoked to listen to the whole of Bunny; it drops on June 2nd via Bayonet.
Lists are arbitrary and burdensome, but why not join the fun everyone else is having? We gathered our lists, separate lists for all of us, then combined them into one that had 50 albums. What you get here are the four writers/contributors of ATH, giving you their meaningless opinions on what we thought was the jam in 2017. It’s alphabetical, and we put the initials next to it so you could track down your enemy!