Tan Cologne Share Floating Gardens

This latest single from Tan Cologne is the sweet spot in the dreamier realms of indie rock, for me at least. Crisp little notes dangle and turn, mixing it up, occasionally choosing to pursue their own adventures as various textures are built in to the distance. The vocals, they resonate like a dream themselves, feeling as if they’re layered like some haunting whisper from your past; I love how they hang with this striking patience, careful not to step out into the sunshine, lurking in their own dense caverns of drawn out pop songwriting. Another reason you should pencil in Earth Visions of Water Spaces into your September listening rotation, which is when Labrador Records will be dropping the LP.

Tan Cologne Prep New LP + Share Topaz Wave

We’ve been supporting the work of Lauren Green since she played an integral part in Austin’s musical scene, years ago. As of late, she’s been focusing on her project with Marissa Macias as Tan Cologne; they’ve got one album under their belts, and it looks like another one is on the way. This first single feels like a study in patience; the percussion and guitar lines create this melodic trance, occasionally featuring little bubbling accents. There’s a moment when you get this effortless build that sort of plays upon live sequence, crafting a steady instrumental build that opens up just as it falls back to the initial pattern. The group will drop Earth Visions of Water Spaces this September via Labrador Records.

Jesper Zacco Shares Dream Single

I’ll admit to not knowing much about Jesper Zacco, prior to this debut single for famed Labrador Records, but I’m fully on board with what he’s doing in this brand new single. The song opens with a careful vocal lurking behind some careful notes…ringing notes, synth echoes and atmospheric washes; it’s like a mischievous character playfully lurking around trees in a foggy forest. But, that mystery unfolds in the chorus, delivering this momentary clarity; it’s this sort of subtle warmth that I remember washing over me when I had early records by Nada Surf on, or maybe even the Wrens. Jesper will be releasing his debut this September, so we’ll keep you posted!

Tan Cologne Share Strange God Video

I really wanted to pair this new tun from Tan Cologne right after the latest track from HOLY we just ran because they’re both creating these huge emotional pieces, with the HOLY tune representing some sort of pulsating life force. Here, Lauren Green and Marissa Macias are creating this meditative state with “Strange God.” The absence of color in the video production calms, but also seems to evade emotions, offering up a solemnity in the world. That’s not to say there aren’t beautiful moments in the song, particularly in the meandering near the 4 minute mark with little notes echoing in the distance. If you need a moment to yourself, a moment to your thoughts, perhaps this tune can accompany you. It appears on Cave Vaults on the Moon in New Mexico, out next Friday via Labrador Records.

Tan Cologne Share First Single

I’ve always been a fan of Lauren Green’s songwriting, whether that was as part of Mirror Travel or some of her solo work; she’s now teamed up with friend Marissa Macias to form Tan Cologne. The two met while hanging out in Taos, New Mexico, which fits into the narrative of this song in particular; it feels like driving through the roads of New Mexico, almost blurring the lines between the track’s sonic and visual approaches, drifting about with the ebbs and flows. The duo will be releasing their debut album, Cave Vaults on the Moon in New Mexico via Labrador Records (which, to me, is huge!). They’ve got a handful of shows in November, including a few Austin dates for Levitation.

Club 8 Share Single from Golden Island

While we’ve covered Club 8 quite a bit during our tenure, I feel like we’ve really taken the Swedish outfit for granted; they’ve recently announced Golden Island, which will be their 10th LP. Perhaps even more impressive than their long career is this new tune; it’s a very purposeful piece of pop music. The first 40 seconds or so are pretty sparse, dominated by what can only be described as a deep pulse. In the vocals, you almost have them used as an instrument, despite their polished beauty…especially when the sampled vocal enters the picture. It’s hard not to appreciate a band that continues to involve, and in such an emphatic fashion; look for the new LP on January 26th via Labrador Records.

New Club 8 Hit

Not only are we Labrador Records fans, but we’re also huge fans of Club 8. They just dropped this darkened electronic gem to announce their brand new album Golden Island. For the most part, this number takes on more of an atmospheric vibe than the band has presented before, with the vocals coming across almost as carefully exerted breaths in the front of the mix. The song’s construction and minimalism illustrate that the group can work on varying levels, not just hitting you over the head infectious pop; this is pop music for those that think. Look for the new record in early 2018!

Show Preview: The Radio Dept @ Mohawk (2.20)

Long ago, when I was really into buying soundtracks, I picked up the Marie Antoinette CD. Admittedly, I bought it because of the Strokes, but it opened the door to my obsession with the Radio Dept. At the time, my tastes were pretty broad, indie rock speaking, but this opened an entire different world to my realm. Their songs were always playful, rooted in this expansive bit of electronica, though they tended to experiment a bit more than the other things I was listening to at that age. What struck me, probably later than my first few listens, was the band’s ability to drape political content in this airy delight that was supremely rewarding. I’ve picked up everything I could get my hands on throughout the years, with Clinging to a Scheme being my personal favorite. If you’re new to the band, I suggest Passive Aggressive, which is a great compilation from some of their best 2000-era work. They come to the Mohawk Monday night, for what I’m assured will be an exhilarating experience. It’s fresh off some rave reviews for their recent album, Running Out of Love, reigniting America’s love for these Swedes. They’ll be joined by Brooklyn’s Germans. Buy your tickets HERE. Not many make music as grand as this, but when they do, you’re better off if you come experience it live!

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Felt Like Posting This Radio Dept Song

occupiedA few days ago this Radio Dept song was birthed into the world, and while I’m a bit behind things, I had to get it up.  The band has long been one of those mysteries in the music world that begs your attention, yet declines to play by the normal rules.  They release on their own terms, like they did this week with their Occupied EP.  As per usual, they mix electronic music with varying arrangements, though this track relies more heavily on those beats.  It’s a smooth piece of electronic pop, embraced by casual vocal delivery that dares you to turn your ears away.  You can grab the EP from Labrador Records in stores now.

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The Mary Onettes – Portico

The-Mary-Onettes-PorticoRating: ★★★½☆

When The Mary Onettes released their self-titled album, everyone was enthused.  They crafted those pop songs coated in dense atmospherics that created contradicting emotions; the songs were warm, yet they offered up a cold and sterile mood.  But, along the way, they’ve experienced various changes, most recently on Hit the Waves.   That album encompassed more of a direct pop feeling to it, shying away from the dark craftsmanship that was present early on.  Now we’ve got Portico.  This record succeeds in both its brevity and its return to the days of old.

“Silence is a Gun” immediately starts with this delayed effect with an occasional note thrown in, affecting the listener almost immediately. But, while the song returns to the darker aesthetic, it doesn’t mean the group has left their pop ambitions at home.  Instead, this song represents the work the band has put in since 2007, honing their sound, finally perfecting the best of both worlds. Similarly, “Naive Dream” takes the same approach, though this song goes straight for the point, offering jangling guitars from the get-go. while dreamy vocals rest atop the mix.

Then we move into slightly darker territory with “Ritual Mind,” which seems crafted to slow things down a bit in the structure of the record. You can just take the pacing alone, here, realizing that this is a song where you just let yourself go, immerse yourself in the realm crafted by the combination of guitars and keys.  But, you’ll only have brief respite as “Everything Everything” comes along to move things back into the more danceable direction.  It’s hazy house music, crafted by a tight-knit band, making it much more enjoyable than the previous approach The Mary Onettes took a year ago.

It’s all leading in one direction however, towards the opus titled “Bells for Stranger.”  Here you’ll find the band employing more of a soundtrack approach, coating the song in layers of atmospherics and sparse notes before lyrics even enter the fold.  Personally, I love how some of the notes evolve, going out of key as they dwindle in the space left behind by the slowly delivered vocals.  It’s clear, here, that the band set out on the journey of writing Portico with something in mind, something that they had planned and mapped out carefully.  And yet, they add more to that fold by using the album’s title track as an instrumental bookend to close things out.

For me, it’s a really refreshing piece of work.  I’ve enjoyed the Mary Onettes for some time, but I’ll admit that from time to time they stay in one play, musically speaking.  Portico is not that record.  Instead, it’s an album with a purpose, a statement.  All the songs have a lineage to the group’s sound, but they’re composed and organized  in a fashion that ultimately rewards the listener.

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