Admittedly, Us Presidents wasn’t really on my radar, but when I heard Darren Frayne’s voice, I was immediately pulled right into this tune. There’s all sorts of references that spin through my mind, but ultimately, there’s just this stellar familiarity; it makes you feel the warmth of the melodies; it makes you feel like part of the texture of the song itself. Musically, there’s this sort of warped pop vibe, sort of like Coma Cinema meets the Flaming Lips, albeit, a very stripped down version of that strange union. This track appears on the new album, Summore, which drops on August 31st of this year.
The last we heard from Denton’s Birds of Night was back in 2015 when the group released their self-titled album; we actually wrote about it quite a lot. Just the other day they dropped us a line to let us know they’d recorded a brand new jam, with an accompanying video. On this number you’ll hear some of the group’s psychedelic influences, but you might also note that they’ve taken up a heavier tone…like a world where Black Rebel Motorcycle Club crashes over at the house of Queens of the Stone Age. The video takes the live performance and combines it with some of those tripped out touches apparent in their tunes. As of now, this is just a one-off number…but let’s hope this means more jams.
This is the second single from Denton’s Fishboy, and I want you to imagine that John Darnielle traded in his folk stylings for heavy riffs and pop sensibilities. They lyricism begs you pay attention to every line, every syllable; it’s also powered by a distinctive voice. But, there’s huge energy in the band’s songs, making it perfect for just about any time you need a little pick me up. I don’t know how much better this band can get, but when I’ll report back to you when I spend some time with their new album Art Guards…hitting your stereo with a kick this week!
Relick‘s been making waves here in Texas for the past few years, and you can now stream their great new Twin House EP! These six tracks definitely have a central musical theme, taking on touches of the world left behind by Rilo Kiley, but I also think that singer Amber Nicholson has a tendency to sound a little bit like Neko Case…which is never bad in my book. A lot of the tracks have that indie rock influenced Americana approach, but I love how they throw “Sun” into the mix to change things up and provide some musical differentiation. They’re self-releasing their Twin House EP next week, so stream it while you can!
Well, I hadn’t heard of John Rusch either, that is until I got turned onto the songwriter last night. Perhaps he’s writing tunes in his bedroom right now as we speak, and I hope they’re all as good as the hits he recently put up on his Soundcloud. Sure, some of the songs take on too much, but when you listen to every moment, and I did, you find some really incredible songwriting lurking (besides, it’s gotta be hard being a one-man band!). I particularly love his Vanessa Williams cover (streaming below). When everything else just seems like another carbon copy, try out something a little different.
A few weeks back we were fortunate to premiere the first single off the new Birds of Night tune, and now they’ve returned with another smoldering indie rock groover. The Denton band’s newest tune has them in the territory of early TV on the Radio, exploring the range of the vocals, yet there’s some continued progression of the seemingly non-stop soloing guitar; it creates a sensation of consistently being pushed forward, consistently enjoying yourself as your fueled by the sputtering energy. Their self-titled LP will be out on April 21st, so keep a look out.
My apologies to our neighbors to the north in Denton as we seemed to have missed out on their boys The Demigs over the years, but I am to make this right today. The band just sent me this new single today called “Arches” and I’m immediately taken by the sound being created here. Indie pop is the name of the game here and it represents the genre wonderfully. Bright guitars, monotone vocals, and a nice build up at the end create some lovely pop moments.
A new double LP entitled Welcome to Hard Times is due out on April 14th via I Love Math Records.
Just because we rep Austin doesn’t mean we don’t look around Texas for great tunes from our neighboring cities, which is where we ran into Denton’s Birds of Night. The group’s new single has this guitar that cuts through the pounding rhythm section, tied in tightly with a great Southern vocal that wears a Texas drawl proudly. It reminds me a lot of local band A. Sinclair, just offering up a heavy dosage of great no-frills rock n’ roll. Their album, Birds of Night, was recorded by Midlake‘s McKenzie Smith at his Redwood Studio, so you know they’ve already caught the ear of some Texas heavy-hitters. Here’s to them reaching beyond our state line; look for the album on April 21st.
It seems like it’s been forever since I wrote about North Texas’ Fishboy, and in fact it has (3 years!). Luckily, they’re readying a brand new album and graphic novel titled An Elephant, and I’m hoping it gets them a little love over the Interwebs. This track has a pretty rocking guitar opening, but it’s the chorus and it’s explosion of pop simplicity that really has me hooked. There’s nothing particularly special in it; it just has a nice little melody. These guys have always played by their own eccentric rules, lyrically and musically, so I have no choice but to appreciate them more and more. Give it a chance; the album comes out on November 18th.
Our good friends over at Austin’s Paperthin Media sent over this gem of an EP this week, and we see that the word is quickly spreading about Sundress. The Denton quintet are releasing their EP on August 16th, and it should only brighten the star of press for the band. On this single you’ll hear squalling guitars and a quieted vocal that rests just on the crest of the compositions. At times, your ears will hear a shift in levels, with the traditional rise and fall of your every day dream pop. I can’t wait to hear how their sound blossom and grows in the coming years, as this seems like a good musical investment for us all.