Sour Notes are one of those Austin bands we all seem to take for granted. They work at their own pace, take some musical risks and for some reason, seem to constantly fly under the radar of what’s deemed “cool” in this silly town. On this excursion, the band completely shy away from vocals, instead building this heavy wall of indie rock sound, filling your cup with textural notes that overflow with nods to all the band’s various influences. Guitars toy with classic guitar pop from the 80s, though there’s an underlying bit of melody and synth washes spilling onto the floor. Always appreciate the band keeping it real real DIY.
We’ve been on board the Dummy train since their first EP, and let me tell you, you’re in for a real treat when you unwrap your copy of their debut Mandatory Enjoyment. On the last single before the record drops, the band have chosen to release an instrumental jam…but one that ties this LP to their first EP. When we first heard EP 1, you were getting the feeling that the band was just finding their footing, sampling a collection of sounds. But, in retrospect, and seeing how “Atonal Poem” fits into the new record, it feels more purposeful. It’s like they sat down to create a 7 course (or 12 song) meal, and in it, there are supreme highs, and subtle treats, and there are palate cleansers, like the closer we have below. Coming across like an instrumental sonic exploration, this tune caps off the record, allowing you the space and time to reflect on the whole of your experience. Mandatory Enjoyment hits on October 22nd via Trouble in Mind.
We take a break from our regularly scheduled brand of rock n’ roll to bring you an instrumental tune from one of our favorite, The Great Electric. This last week the band have announced that they’ll follow up last year’s debut with The Greater Electric. Here you’ll find the group texturing with layer after layer, and it all seems to slow to a halt right near the 2 minute mark, but the electronic pulse beckons you to stick around, and the sounds come falling back into you, looping around your ears with a wonderful groove that you just can’t run away from. Look for the new LP via WIAIWYA on October 1st!
Austin outfit Balmorhea have been mostly quiet since 2018, with various members of the band working on other projects. But, that time has allowed Michael Muller and Rob Lowe to really focus on creating expansive soundscapes, with ties to stories of French saints, Greta Thurnburg and general meditations on the state of the natural world. Their music, as always, is a truly immersive experience; you’ve got to let yourself go, allowing the slight nuances to move you in new directions in step with the song’s careful meandering. Never a bad day for a new track to come our way from this lot; they’ll be releasing The Wind later this year via Deutsche Grammophon.
We first got wind of Australian instrumental duo Brain Drugs when they shared “Nightshift” single with us, along with its accompany video. Today, we kick off a case of the Thursdays by offering a stream of their new LP, a way to ease into your day with a little bit of curiosity and wonder. For me, there’s this primal nature that seems to seep through your speakers, perhaps due to the simplicity of keyboards and drums; the drum work always seems like the soundtrack to a march of humans. Still, perhaps you turn to a song like “Moulds” that spews this warmth from the synth sounds. Little twists and turns weave you through this instrumental landscape, so time for you to maze your way through these sounds. All proceeds from the album go to Victorian Aboriginal Legal Services.
It’s seems strange to me that we cover so much music from Canada, yet our closest neighbor (here in Texas at least) gets minimal coverage. But, thanks to Devil in the Woods returning, I’ve been turned on to some great tunes, like this new single from Mexico City’s MUUK. It’s an instrumental number that works with sort of four distinct movements. At first, you get sort of a lost radio message, something that seems to hiss at you from the past. Then the song drops in, guitars sharpening themselves over ambient noises, building on the pulse of electronics. We venture into a soft respite with a meandering guitar chord sort of skittering about while the percussive element and soundbites intoxicate the listener. It all crashes down emphatically with the heavier hand coming in the song’s final quarter, releasing all the song’s earlier tension in one final closing moment.
Possibly a little late on this one so I’ll go ahead and apologize for my tardiness. With that out of the way, I’m pleased to share with you this new track called “Indian Ocean” from the legendary musician Johnathon Ford and his project known as Unwed Sailor. As always, the song is completely instrumental, has tons of rises and falls, and is a real thing of beauty. As someone who has always loved this style of instrumental, emotional music, I’m loving this.
Unwed Sailor will release Heavy Age on May 3rd. Pre-orders are up now.
Pennsylvania based instrumental outfit Heron made a name for themselves back in 2017 with their impressive debut LP You Are Here Now. Not to go quietly into the night, the boys now have a new single called “Splashdown” to continue the hype train moving on their music. Those who know me, probably realize this track is perfect for me because it blends equal parts Appleseed Cast and Explosions in the Sky. Both two of my all time favorites.
I’m one that’s attached to lyrics, so I don’t really go about looking for instrumental tunes. That being said, this new Fresh Snow tune somehow crept under my skin. It’s a brooding bit of gloom, built on multiple smaller movements; it’s not unlike what some might hear in the Stranger Things soundtrack that’s taken off of late…only a little heavier. It’s also one of those crazy tracks that you just want to see brought to the live setting, pulsing and throbbing, creating something altogether animal-istic. Their new album One comes out this Friday via Hand Drawn Dracula.
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You should already be aware of Deardarkhead, the long-running act of warm noise makers (Captured Tracks) even threw out a retrospective a few years back). They’ve been going strong for the last several years, despite nixing their long-time singer and moving forward as an instrumental act. Oddly, they haven’t seemed to miss a beat, if anything growing stronger as a unit. On this brand new single, I’m a huge fan of the rhythm section, particularly the bass chords that seem to bubble up beneath cascading distorted guitars. There’s movement within the song too, which isn’t always present in instrumental pieces, changing tones and power behind the mix. Their new album Strange Weather will be filled with tunes both startling and soothing; it will be released by the super reliable (and Texas based!) Saint Marie Records on March 25th.