I really thought we knocked it out of the park last week, covering 25 different tunes. But, it looks like we decided to one-up ourselves and post 26 for this week’s Last Week’s Jams collection. We got some of our favorite labels and bands putting out fresh new stuff, like new Tony Jay on Slumberland and new Onyon on Trouble in Mind. Plus, our friends at Keeled Scales are putting out a new LP with one of my favorite Texas songwriters, Will Johnson. All that and we haven’t even talked about how great that new Smashing Times single is. As much as it can be a challenge to cover it all, feel like we did our damndest to bring you some of the more deserving hits you might not find where the cool kids hang out.
We have shared Night Drive‘s singles from the Position II EP released to date, but today is the release date for the EP called Position II. I’ve often contended that many pretty good records should have been stunning EPs. This is a tight six song collection. Release party Saturday at the Parish has just a few tix left.
Opening track, unleash it…
We may have gone a bit overboard last week, as I see that we covered over 25 different tunes last week. But, that being said, we also ran some gosh-darned freaking hits. I loved that new jam from Split System, and have played it well over 50 times at this point. That, and that new track from Prewn pretty much made my week. I mean, there’s new stuff from Woods, Night Drive and all sorts bonus EP coverage for Death Bells and Bedroom Eyes. Plenty of stuff to dig into, so why not get on it, eh?
When this Night Drive song kicked in, I was intoxicated by the thumping pulse and the twinkling bits of synth that intermingled with the beat. Obviously, this song’s all about that stomping rhythm; you can feel yourself moved towards the club floor and pounding your feet into the cold floors as lights flash all around you. With the vocals, you get the band’s commentary on the difficulties we all face in living through the end of times, building in some ominous undertones to the pulsing groove of what lays beneath. Even with that, your body might be begging to just let go if you’ve got the volume cranked up high enough. Position II will be drop on August 4th.
We maybe be known for covering a lot of weird guitar pop and indie folk stuff, but everyone on the ATH team loves a good dancefloor banger, and no one’s been donning that cap in ATX as well as Night Drive over the last few years. This video and song sort of encompasses all the band’s come to represent, with sharp drum work combined with hip post-punk grooves; they hit you with a visual presentation too, so you can really immerse yourself in the whole experience of the group. You can always count on the group to deliver upbeat numbers with darkly tinged corners, which is what we expect when they release their new Position II EP on August 4th.
I went to see Night Drive last week. They played the hits, they played new stuff. I got some intel. Rodney says they are working through the last bits of studio time to put together the next record. Now, will it be a really tight LP or a big EP? TBD, but the new songs I heard were fantastic. They carried an additional weight and had some interesting progressions and chord foundation shifts occurring over the mandatory synth pop bliss.
Honorable mention goes to Kae Astra. Eyes on her for the future, ethereal, but big voice.
Kae Astra track share and photos after the break.
Our friends in Night Drive have covered Perfume Genius and Radiohead previously, tagged as summer covers. They also do “Psycho Killer” live, but if you haven’t heard it, that Radiohead is one of the best things to get you all swirly-eyed-lost-in-the-moment at any Night Drive show.
The latest release is a not-quite-summer cover has us reimagining The National’s “Anyone’s Ghost”. It goes slightly uptempo to disco levels and adds a pile of synthy harmony with more movement in the phrasing of the lyrical delivery versus the original. The song builds and diverts from the source material the further along you listen.
I don’t hide my love for Night Drive. They are friends and good people. They are fans of photographers here in Austin and the photographers are fans of theirs. +1 and I were long overdue for a date night/dance party.
Agenda: Empire for Emme, Moving Panoramas and Night Drive. Click through for a few thoughts from the evening along with a gallery ripe of fam.
Lists are arbitrary and burdensome, but why not join the fun everyone else is having? We gathered our lists, separate lists for all of us, then combined them into one that had 50 albums. What you get here are the four writers/contributors of ATH, giving you their meaningless opinions on what we thought was the jam in 2017. It’s alphabetical, and we put the initials next to it so you could track down your enemy!
It has been a pretty good week of electronic jams. From the new Fever Ray today to Bayonne’s latest to the Korine track. All solid offerings. Maybe you should just resolve to shimmy all weekend with this cooler weather. It is finally fall. LCD Soundsystem out at COTA seems a good way to spend Halloween. I am hoping my skwuad can rock our onesies. If you see a platypus, perhaps with a camera, say hi.
I will leave everyone with one last bit of electro-pop goodness. It is from French-born, part-time local Lou Rebecca, who with Josh Mills on programming and keys, has been turning out wonderfully crafted French disco. Holodeck picked up the pending release and we now have a full shimmy-inducing slice of heaven following the more thoughtfully subdued and bilingual lead single from the S/T EP.
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