While we all chill inside today here in the ATX, why not take the time to check out some new tunes and listen to a few just released 2023 albums. My personal suggestion for your streaming pleasure today comes from London based outfit Hotel Lux and their just released debut LP Hands Across the Creek. We stumbled upon these guys during their appearance at SXSW last year, fell hopelessly in love, and have been following their moves ever since. This album should strike your fancy if your a fan of Brit pub rock like say Kaiser Chiefs with some slight hints of Fontaines D.C. but also touches of Idles swagger. Stream the entire album below and consider a physical purchase on blue smoke vinyl from state51.
It seems like the world has finally caught on to Jana Horn, and you’re all the better for it…as we pointed out years and years ago. Today we got news that our old pal has announced an entirely new LP, The Window is the Dream. With it, we also get this enchanting lead single that carries over the striking prowess that was visible on Optimism. In the musical element here, you get this openness that’s perfect for Horn’s storytelling; the strings and guitar work build a layer of vibrance, but they never stray over the line, instead letting Jana use her vocals to draw us inside. Her voice feels delicate, like it could trail off into time and never be heard again, but in that sense, it’s spellbinding, keeping your ear pinned to every word. I expect rave reviews from the new LP; it’s out on No Quarter Records on April 7th.
RayRay turned me onto Tearing Up late last year, and now that they’ve released Heavy, I can’t stop listening to this track. In a lot of ways, the Ontario outfit seem to be channeling the likes of acts like Rolling Blackout Coastal Fever; they craft these angular rockers that are emphatic and angular throughout, so you’ve got to be sure that the volume is up appropriately loud enough. Plus, at times, those notes are nice and dreamy, which works well behind the exuberant vocal delivery coming your way. If you’re into what you’re hearing, be sure you’re checking out the whole of their new LP!
Pittsburgh’s Animal Scream are just around the corner from releasing their sophomore LP, Heartbroke Motel, and what better way to get you into their sound than offer a listen to the record’s first single. If you go back (as you should) and listen to Nightwalk, you’ll realize that the band pull from all sorts of influences in that record, hitting on dub reggae and extensive beat work. But, the new record, based on this tune below seems to live off the beat work, apply textural synths and even build in melodic psychedelia. When the chorus hits, heavy riffs ride through the background, while the vocals hit the hook hard, like something you would have found in the classic period of Of Montreal. It’s funky and dark, drawing from the “nocturnal” influences that are abundant on the new LP. Enjoy this Friday treat.
Feel like nothing is needed more on a Monday morning than a good driving rocker, such as the tune below we’ve got from Sid Steppes. It begins in unassuming fashion, faint hints of fuzz hanging out on the edges of the tune. Once that pedal drops in, you get the full weight of those heavy riffs burrowing into your eardrums; it’s exactly the style that made everyone swoon over Ty Segall, so if that’s your fit, might I suggest turning this up loud and letting it rip. If you dig on it, Sid also just dropped In Recent Memory, a full collection of tunes for you to enjoy.
We haven’t heard from Austin artists Bayonne since 2019 and Drastic Measures, so it’s great to see the multi-instrumentalist and producer return to the fold. This tune incorporates driving rhythmic punches alongside sparkling little electronic notes; you put that next to the vocal recordings and you can practically feel the movement of the song itself beneath you. The song, much like the album itself, has a huge personal touch to it, as it was the last song Roger was able to show his father before his passing, using little soundbites from the family’s old VHS tapes. Temporary Time will be out this May!
I never really moved on from sweepingly dramatic pop music, which is why the craft of Cameron Sonnier really hits home…that and he’s from Houston, which ain’t too far away. This track drops into the hook zone immediately with the beat working beneath the jangling strum; delivering the first lines of “champagne/cocaine/magazine/I can give you anything you need,” immediately ups the ante, opening the door for this broad melody. In the production you can hear these little washes of atmospheric synths, texturing the world that Cameron’s created. This is our first listen to the work he’s composed for his forthcoming debut, Tunnels, expected to hit later this year.
Gathering members from across Ex-Cult, Nots and Hash Redactor, it seems like Ibex Clone already had a nice formula, at least to appeal to my tastes. Now, with their new album and a brand new single, it’s time to give the band’s work a nice listen. Drawing inspiration from GBV, Meat Puppets and XTC, the band’s aim are to take those pop structures and stretch those sounds into something fresh. You can certainly hear the guitar work playing into the jangling pop scene, though the fleshing out brings in a little bit more heaviness and weight; it all sort of feels like collage work, adding layers and textures from the musical touchstones and building a new piece that stands on its own. Excited to hear where All Channels Clear takes us; it’s out via Goner Records on February 3rd.
At the very tail end of last year, Rocky Lorelei released the beautiful collection titled A Sculpture in My Hands. The project is the work of Rachel Taylor, who you might know from Spinning Coin or Hairband or Slipper, and boy are you in for a treat if you’ll lend me your ears. These 11 tunes are a mixture of introspective ballads and droning pieces of art poetry, all of which share this mixture of pastoral and naturalism, accompanied by the fragility of Taylor’s voice on the recordings. For me, there are certain standout tracks like “Tomorrow is a Star” or “It’s All on My Mind,” but there’s not a single song you’d want to skip over, each offering little intimate recordings that resonate deep within your soul. Personally, I recommend carrying these tunes with you on a nice walk through the park with the sun on your back; it’s available now via a limited cassette on Rehberge Records.
We’ve been gone for a wee bit now, and with that, it’s time to revisit some of the tracks that hit as we were wrapping up 2022. Right as we ended our coverage, Ben Burroughs dropped his latest album, Any Day Now, featuring the remarkable little pop jaunt below. There’s something in the guitar line that feels like galloping through some vast expanse, the sun shining in the distance. I love Burrough’s soft voice, especially when the fuzziness of the pedals gets a little stomp and ramps up the rock n’ roll. So, if you’re looking for a nice crips piece of guitar pop, then seems like you couldn’t find a better place to kick off then right here.