Pleased to Meet You: Witching Waves

withcingwavesBefore this morning I had little to no knowledge of Witching Waves, but I’ve spent the better part of my morning scouring the Internet for information on the London trio. They’ve got a record of covers, a few singles and the Fear of Falling Down LP, which came out in 2014…making waves all the way across the sea. The band have just finished up recording a brand new album, signing on to work with HHBTM for the release of Crystal Cafe. Think of angular female-fronted punk/post-punk, along the lines of Grass Widow…with a slightly more pop-centric focus. Look for the album in early 2016, but while you’re waiting, enjoy this killer new track to round out your day. 

The World Wants You to Listen to Cold Beat

coldbeatI really like this new Cold Beat single; I’m hooked on the synth propulsion that opens up the song. But, like all things associated with Hannah Lew, there’s this beautiful harmony working beneath, even if there’s a touch of sterility in the song’s craft.  I’ve always been a fan of Lew’s new project, but I think when Into the Air gets a release, it’s going to be the one that really breaks through to a larger audience…perhaps even encouraging them to go back the oft-overlooked Grass Widow. Look for the new LP on September 4th via Crime on the Moon.

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/218612025″ params=”color=ff9900&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

Fresh Tune from Cold Beat

coldbeatThose of you who’ve missed out on the work of Hannah Lew, please go back in time and visit Grass Widow.  Or, you could look at her most recent release Over Me with her current project, Cold Beat.  She’s started her own label, and she’ll be releasing the group’s second album, Into the Air, which takes on a different thematic perspective this time around.  Interestingly, it seems that Lew is writing of her struggles to survive in San Francisco, despite changes to the city’s cultura landscape; that’s something that seemingly rings true to with a lot of large cities of late. Give a listen, and look for the album on September 4th via Crime on the Moon.

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/212594670″ params=”color=ff9900&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

Fall In Love with Cold Beat

ColdBeat_byRingoI’ll be the first to admit that I was pretty floored by the last Grass Widow effort, so since their departure, I’ve been keeping an eye on what Hannah Lew has been working on.  This track from Cold Beat fills in pretty nicely as her new project,  still kicking out those great guitar lines that serve as the background to her vocals.  Personally, I love how the vocals work atop each other here; it’s like one person is singing while the rest are working in juxtaposition, yet it all fits nicely.  If you’re going on this song alone, sounds like the band’s debut, Over Me, won’t be too far removed from what Lew’s done before (and I mean that in a good way); the record hits on July via Crime on the Moon.

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/145186221″ params=”color=ff9900&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_artwork=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

Top Albums of 2012: 50-1

Here it is.  I know you’ll hate it; I know you’ll disagree, but that’s not the point in making an arbitrary list.  We here at ATH worked really hard to fit in the tastes of the four of us, and when we decided upon our Top 50, it really boied down to simple math.  What albums did we love when they came out?  Do we still enjoy spinning those records months later? If they’re in the Top 50, then the asnwer is probably yes.  I mean, our Top 2 records came out in January, and still play a vital part in my weekly listening.  There’s no disclaimer here.  We are who we are, we like what we like, and we hope that’s okay with you. If not, drop us a line and let us know where we went wrong.

Read more

Grass Widow – Internal Logic

Rating: ★★★★☆

Judging by the bio that Grass Widow throws up, you’d expect them to be sort of your run-of-the-mill post-punk girl group, but that’s a whole lot of cliche in one sentence; there’s so much more to the group’s album, Internal Logic, that it stands against your attempt to pigeonhole the group.  No matter what, this is something you’ve got to get behind, and you’ve got to do it right now.

All in all, the album clock in at just under 30 minutes, so you don’t have too much time to dwell on particular songs, and that works in the favor of this San Fran trio.  There’s a dark bubbling bass that opens “Goldilocks Zone,” the record’s first track, and the sparse guitar lines provide an added level of demonic pretense; it’s completely offset by the female vocals–possibly the best of the female vocals I’ve heard this year.  Near the end of the track it shoots off in a more guitar driven direction–it’s a nice little touch. For my money, I think the only thing that makes these girls post-punk is the fact that they’re writing songs thirty years after the initial explosion; these girls write punk songs.  “Milo Minute” is probably one of the most enjoyable punk rock songs I’ve heard in awhile, but I suppose some detractors might say the vocals are anything but punk rock.  That’s the attitude Grass Widow seems to take for the entirety of this album; they use what they have (3 girls singing) and apply it to the punk rock they love.

Of course, that’s just one dynamic on Internal Logic.  Other times, these girls don’t seem to have any interest in punk rock, rather they steer in a more alternative direction with warm vocals and somewhat discordant guitar sounds.  “Under the Atmosphere” utilizes some similar skills from earlier on in the record, but the construction of the song definitely lends to a more pop-centric feel: one that will surely win adoring fans. Still, they have the ability to combine both their favorite worlds, which is why the record’s such a refreshing bit of music to play over and over again.

The second side of the affair hits a lot harder and faster, yet still holds onto the girlishness that makes Grass Widow so endearing.  And in playing faster, they also illustrate some remarkable musicianship, shifting pace and styles within songs.  For some reason, I listen to songs like “Advice” or “Disappearing Industries” and I hear bits of Wire with the modern popularity of girl-pop thrown in to it.  It’s a unique combination of sounds, and one that makes listeners of Internal Logic beg for more.  We all love a lady and her guitar, but give me three chicks who can clearly outplay a lot of the boys, and I’m blown away.  Do yourself a favor and turn this up on the old stereo, and witness the prowess of a band at the top of their game.

[audio:https://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/GrassWidow-MiloMinute.mp3]

Download:Grass Widow – Milo Minute [MP3]

Great New Track from Grass Widow

I’ve been keeping an eye on Grass Widow since our friend Toby over at FinestKiss posted on them long ago, and lately it seems I’ve been hearing a lot more press about them–surely a good sign!  The group’s third full-length, Internal Logic, comes out on May 22nd via their own HLR label, and I’m growing more excited as new tunes leak out.  This newest jam definitely has a lot more blank space for the group to meander, but  I like the quirky brooding quality of the guitars; you also can’t argue with great female vocal harmonies.  Get excited for this release!

[audio:https://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Goldilocks-Zone.mp3]

Download:Grass Widow – Goldilocks Zone [MP3]