This site has paid tribute to the work of Andy Pastalaniec with his work in various projects from Cruel Summer to Seablite, but now Andy’s earning his own stripes with his project, Chime School. This last week Slumberland announced they’d be working with Andy on his debut LP, which at this point, sounds like a fun-filled collection of indiepop ditties. There’s plenty of jangling going on in this lead single, though I’ll admit that the vocals actually feel like they might fit right into a 90s alternative pop playlist; there’s just something about the nostalgic warmth there that sets Chime School outside the modern fare…I love the clarity in those notes for sure. I mean, it’s a band from San Francisco, which is so hot right now, musically speaking. It’s also a band on Slumberland, so you get reliability. And, the tune rules, so pre-order the eponymous debut!
XOR is the solo project of Secret Shame bassist Matthew, and next week he’ll be releasing his debut solo record. For the last single before the release, it seems he’s aiming to hit right at the heart with the catchiest tune on the release. At times, the warmth of his vocals lines up with the synth work he’s crafted, melodically seducing the listener with these synthesized harmonies. If you’ve been caught up in the work of Black Marble or Soviet, or hey, maybe you like the last few New Order records, then you’re going to find yourself pressing repeat on this tune for a long time to come. Look for XOR next Friday!
It’s a big day for huge guitars over here at ATH, with me sitting over here trying to drown out the noise in my brain. You know what else goes on today? The Slow Painters will drop their debut LP, despite having been together for some 16 years…good things comes to those who wait. I love that this track just jumps right into a huge wall of clanging guitars; there’s no bullshit, no teaser, just noise. But, the reason I adore this band is their ability to balance that noise on a knife’s edge, ever so often stumbling into a nice pop territory. This song is one such tune, and its all about the melody in the voice just emanating through, giving the tune a perfect see-saw between quiet and loud.
The Drug Rugs are a five piece, jangly indie rock band hailing from Halifax north of the border. Though the band is young and new to the scene, you’ll immediately notice an incredibly grown up and mature sound. Take for example this new single “Sandbar”. It manages to blend elements of driving rock like Springsteen with more modern sounds of shoegaze and pop music. It’s a beautifully constructed track.
The Drug Rugs are currently hard at work on their debut EP with a potential release date in the fall.
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Having already written about the forthcoming Seazoo album, I’d be remiss if I didn’t drop this new single. While it opens noisily, all things considered, the group settle into a subtle groove, riding guitar lines and shared vocal duties. There’s a noisy little ambling in the song’s mid-point, allowing the group to flex their songwriting chops. But, little keyboard notes trickle in, joined by the male/female vocal duet, crashing down in pure pop fashion, taking us to the song’s end. Another little ditty that pretty much guarantees the band will have a hit on their hands when Dig is released on January 26th.
What do you get when you take former and current members of Octopus Project, The Sword, Ume, Skate or Die, Midnight Masses and Stiletto Feels all into one? You get a supergroup, of sorts; you get All Eyes crafting a brand of music you’re not likely to hear anywhere else in the Austin landscape. This tune opens with a bit of doom and gloom (perhaps the Sword influence), but the string samples hint at pop sensationalism. You don’t have to wait long to hear Jordan from MM spin her vocals atop the chorus. It circles back for the crashing rock moment, surrounded by swirling bits of noise, and then back again. You’ll never be able to pigeonhole these guys, and thank goodness for that. The band will have their live debut over at The Electric Church this Saturday night, with Teevee, Fire Walk with Me and This Cold Night. Go meet this great new Austin act!
Another week, and another track from rising label, The Native Sound: Vow’s “Green Light”. Musically, Vow often times resembles the construction of Beach House, though they seem to have polished off those atmospheric edges in favor or more direct contact with the listener; there’s an immediacy that comes with the delivery of of Julia’s powerful voice. It even takes a nice turn in the latter half of the song that recalls the early days of Metric. Ultimately, it leaves you with this soaring bit of indie rock that you’ll spin time and time again. Look for the band’s debut LP, Kind Eyes on May 27th.
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When names like Eels and Sharon Van Etten get thrown into a presser, I’m going to pay attention. Amaroun does definitely have some similarities, particularly in the slight gruff quality that spreads from her voice, but the music here seems far more intimate. There’s power in this song from the get-go, but it spreads and blossoms once the backing accompaniment fills in some of the sparse moments, swelling with these intoxicating moments that make it hard to pull yourself away. This single is her debut, so look for more from her in the future.
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For the last several years I’ve had a penchant for bedroom pop, wrapped in warped tape sounds, mixed with oddity a la Coma Cinema. This project from Philly’s Shelf Life reminds me of that, though the recording is a bit stronger, relying more upon the craftsmanship of the songwriting than on the process of lo-fidelity. The project is set to have its debut, Everyone Make Happy, released in September via Lefse, and this first single indicates a pretty remarkable start. Tracks like this don’t just spring up every day, which is why I’m going to fawn on this all day long. You with me?
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I wanted to find some tunes this week that really put some rock n’ roll back on our pages, but it’s been fairly hard in all honesty. This track from Diamond Youth comes relatively close, but there’s still this soft underbelly that lurks beneath the pop sensibility of the tune itself. The guitars definitely have a powerful ring, but you’ll be able to see the band twist the knife into your heart by offering something with a central melody. You’ll be able to get more of a feel of the band when their debut album, Nothing Matters, reaches the masses on May 19th via Topshelf Records.
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