Careful Electro-Pop from Standish/Carlyon

SC_PURPLE_1SQ-300x300Standish/Carlyon are one of the newest acts to sign on with our friends Chapter Music over in Australia, though the US release comes via Felte Sounds.  This is the second single from the duo’s upcoming Deleted Scenes LP, demonstrating how electro-pop can unfold before you when it’s created so delicately.  Just as you think the track can explode, it calms back down just as quickly, like one of those waves you think you’ll catch before it fades away into the ocean.  I’m thinking a lot of people are going to be interested in what this band has to offer us all in 2013, don’t you agree?

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/04-Gucci-Mountain.mp3]

Download: Standish/Carylon – Gucci Mountain [MP3]

Dick Diver – Calendar Days

DICK-DIVER-CALENDAR-DAYS-575x575

Rating: ★★★½ ·

When you look at the history of modern music, it seems that the second album is always where bands make it or break it.  You can either slide into oblivion with a mediocre effort, or you can establish yourself as a mainstay with a certified hit.  Listening to Calendar Days, I think that Dick Diver is going the latter route, branching out from their already solid established sound into broader territory that’s supremely rewarding.

While their first album was filled with twinkling guitar pop, “Blue & That” opens the album with a different agenda.  There’s not even a guitar on this track; you’ll find a synthesized drum track and horns.  It’s a statement track, especially when considering it’s song placement.  Dick Diver is growing up, and with that, their sound aims to progress as well.  Still, the bright guitar pop isn’t gone completely, as you’ll notice in the following track, “Alice.”  For me, the guitar sound reigns supreme on this number from the get go.  It creates a swinging element that will have you smiling while you tap your toes.

It’s difficult to follow-up a statement track and a gem with another hit, but that’s just what happens on Calendar Days when the group hits their stride with the album’s title track.  Steph Hughes takes center stage here, bringing in a more innocent vocal to the realm.  Guitars twang and drums push the pace forward; I particularly like when the whole gang joins in to accompany Steph’s vocals.  It all leads you up to what I think is the definitive track from Dick Diver, “Water Damage.”  There’s a dueling guitar sound, stemming from some slide guitar and the group’s typical jangling bright guitar work.  You throw that in with a trading back and forth between male and female vocal parts, and it’d be hard for anyone not to fall for this number.  And, if you’re reading along, that’s 4 for 4; quite a feat.

There’s something about this album that allows you to really get lost in the music.  “Two Year Lease” is one of the tunes that I’ve found myself gravitating towards as I’ve listened more and more.  It’s probably the least musical track on the record, but I actually like that approach, as the trading vocal parts are really worthy of letting your heart (and ears) drift.  But in just a few tracks, you’ll get one of the more upbeat tunes from the record by way of “Bondi 98.” It’s got a guitar that rings brightly and the vocal delivery adds a purity to the guitar pop the band have created this go round.  It’s a casual jam, but in that casual cool sort of way that we’ve all come to find endearing.  These are just a few more of the great songs that fill up this entire record.

Sure, some might say that Calendar Days is a touch to unfocused, but I think that would be an unfair assertion.  Yes, the band are trying some new things out, and some new styles, but in doing so, they’re successful, which leaves the door wide open for future songwriting.  It’s clear after spending days with this album that Dick Diver can write great songs, so only time will tell just how far they will go.  One thing’s for sure, no matter what formula they choose to pursue (or all of the above), it’s going to be a joyous listen.

 

 

The Stevens Sign with Chapter Music

2312597976-1I’ve had my eye on Australian band The Stevens for a bit now, and I’m really happy they’ve found an incredible home on our favorite label, Chapter Music.  In honor of the signing, the label will be releasing their self-titled six-song EP on 7″ on April 13th.  I love the way the guitars have this heavy-handed post punk feel to them, but then they take that notion and turn it into a softer little ditty.  It’s a great effect, providing you with this catchy song you’ll want to play over and over again.  Congrats to the label and the band for a perfect union!

Dick Diver Winning Us Over

DICK-DIVER1-575x385Long have we supported the good folks over at Chapter Music in Australia, who brought us the great music of Twerps and The Crayon Fields.  One of their lesser-known acts has really been making huge leaps and bounds, as far as popularity goes: Dick Diver.  The group is about to release their new record Calendar Days from the label in March, and we’ve got one of those new tracks for you.  I dig the brightness of the twanging guitar, accompanied by spoken word interplay between the male and female vocalists.  It’s a casual track, reminiscent of the relaxed pop gems from other great bands in the label’s stable.  Always happy to hear anything from the CM; it’s never going to let us down.

New Aussie Pop from Dick Diver

Well well well, it’s more great news from the great folks over at Chapter Music.  They’ve just announced they’ll be releasing the next great Dick Diver record sometime next year, with a teaser EP coming out next week featuring this track below.  I can’t say enough about Dick Diver; their songs always sneak their way into my head at the best times, creating a stupid grin that can’t be wiped off my face.  If you’re new to the band, which is okay, please check out their release, New Start Again, just as a sample of the great things about to come your way.

New Song from Crayon Fields

Man, what a great day with two great announcements. The first announcement is that are friends over at Chapter Music in Australia are celebrating their 20th anniversary.  It’s a great feat for any label, let alone a small label offering across the sea; they’ve been making huge waves in the States with acts like Twerps and Dick Diver.  The second announcement comes with the release of 20 Big Ones, a compilation celebrating the anniversary.  I’m stoked because it features this new song from Crayon Fields, the first band on the label that I fell in love with back in the day.  I’m excited by a new track, and I hope to hear more from them soon, as a new record should be on our way shortly. Cheers to Guy and his mates on 20 Years of being rad.

New Tunes from Twerps

If you remember last year, then you remember Twerps, especially if you followed our site closely.  They had a runner-up best of year song on our year-end list, and their self-titled album also made the cut.  News hit yesterday about a new 7″ from the Australian bunch coming your way September 17th via Chapter Music.  This tune’s a lot more upbeat than what you might have gotten from the group in the past, and Marty seems to be having a bit of fun with his vocal performance.  In my opinion, this band can’t do a single thing wrong with their music, and I’m sure you’ll feel the same after jamming this track.

New Jam (and tape) from Velcro

A few weeks back my friend Guy from Chapter Music turned me on to Velcro, a Melbourne band that I really dug.  They’ve just released a new tape overseas, and the lead track is pretty solid; I’ve been jamming to it all this afternoon.  They’ve also seemingly tossed it up for free on their BANDCAMP page, so you have the right to enjoy it, just in case you’re not into ordering tapes from abroad.  Regardless, these guys are really warming me over with their mellow affected pop tunes, and I have a feeling that it’s only a matter time before the rest of the world gets to see the talent laying in wait.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/07-One-Day-1.mp3]

Download:Velcro – One Day [MP3]

Great Old Song from Montero

It’s been pouring in Austin since yesterday, so I’m really happy that this song fits in perfectly with the weather.  To continue with my adoration of all things Oceanic, I’d like to reintroduce you to Montero…the project of Ben Montero (also featuring Guy of Chapter Music and Geoff of Crayon Fields).  At first, you’d think I’m just plugging my friends, and yea, I am, but this songs too great not to put it back on people’s radars.  This song comes from a 7″ they put out last year on Mistletone, and VICE caught wind of the band and made up THIS little mini-documentary.  I guess there’s never a bad time to listen to a good song, so enjoy this one friends; I do this for you all.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Rainman.mp3]

Download:Montero – Rainman [MP3]

Introducing You to Velcro!

When we hung out with Twerps the other night, their bosses so to speak, Chapter Music, suggested we get to familiarize ourselves with Velcro, the next big thing to come out of Australia.  The Melbourne group has released two EPs already this year, with my favorite being the first, Highest View.  There’s elements of bedroom electronic pop that they experiment with (fleshed out on their later EP Inadequate Lover) on the track featured below, but I like the innocence the song takes on in its simplicity; it gives you that endearing emotional appeal that a lot of bands seem to short for nowadays.  The rest of their brief catalogue sounds a bit like a Calvin Johnson meeting Diamond Rings in a sunny place.  Familiarize yourself with the band by checking out their BANDCAMP page (free EPs!!!), and then keep an eye out for more great things from the group.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Curfew.mp3]

Download:Velcro – Curfew [MP3]

1 5 6 7 8 9