I will admit, that the “wah, wah” present from the beginning of this new Oh, Rose song might be off-putting to folks, but don’t give up, just give into the song. Singer Olivia Rose has this remarkable voice; it has this striking elegance that soars, yet is able to retreat to the faintest whisper. As you get through the song’s building emotion, the earlier “wah, wah” moments seem like a build up, and perhaps a thematic reference to the song’s title. That build up is unleashed just beyond the 2 minute mark, which is where I truly fell in love with the song before going back to and listen again and again. This tune appears on While My Father Sleeps, the new album out August 23rd via Park the Van.
In my never ending quest to find quality music with a rocking sound, I came across this incredible new track “Drink You Dry” from Michigan based group minihorse. It reminds me a great deal of the later work offered by Nada Surf if they added some droning, loud guitars to their repertoire. The repetitive nature of the song with the beautiful compliment of harmonies provided by Anna Burch, create a track that’s sure to warrant multiple plays.
Minihorse will release debut album Living Room Art on April 3rd via Park the Van Records.
Tulsa based pop group BRONCHO has picked up a ton of positive press from us over the last few years. It’s easy to write good things about a band who bring such a positive vibe to danceable pop tunes. The band’s latest track “Keep it in Line” furthers their foray into quality pop music and should firmly establish them as one of the best in the indie pop genre. Seriously, this song is so catchy and so easy to like.
BRONCHO will release new LP Bad Behavior on October 12th via Park the Van.
Toronto is known to be a musical hot bed, though that seems to have died down just a bit. That won’t be the case once people get a chance to hear the new EP from Grounders. Listening to their Wreck of a Smile EP, it’s difficult to really place their music, though the band’s creativity is clearly obvious. Cleverly, they’ve layered sounds atop sounds, all the while promoting a playful bounce that serves as the backbone for the track. If you’re interested in what you’re listening to, and you should be, then you can pick up the group’s EP on July 7th from Park the Van Records. Enjoy your day.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/ALONG-THE-LINE-M-I-XX.mp3]
Download: Grounders – Along the Line (Alt. Version) [MP3]
On their 2009 album, Con Law, the duo known as Generationals sort of left their mark by being all over the place, touching on various genres of modern indie pop. For their second album, Actor Caster, the band sounds a lot more confident, clearly having spent loads of time developing their sound into a cohesive gem of an album, ready for mass consumption by anyone and everyone.
Kicking off the party with “Ten Twenty Ten” seems like as good an option as any for the band, as it definitely has this rootsy pop-rock guitar bubbling through it, ready to boil over with melodic pop momentum. Here the band sounds really steady, and instead of hitting you over the head with hooks like on their last release, those moments slowly build beneath the songs on Actor Caster, making it more infectious the more you listen. Similarly, “I Promise” uses this jangling sunny guitar line to reach up and grab you and carry you swinging arm in arm out the door. A slight piano track in the background adds to the jangling, giving more texture to the band’s sound, again making lasting impressions.
Of course, the band will definitely find themselves compared to other groups with some of the tracks present here, namely comparisons to The Drums. But, unlike the latter, Generationals have something stronger in their summery swagger, such as “You Say It Too.” It’s got that clever little surf-rock guitar hook here, and vocals upon vocals, some oohs to boot, but it’s got more substance than other like-minded groups. In “Goose & Gander” you’ll find yourself sitting at your desk, or wherever you are, tapping your feet. You can try all you want to avoid it, but once a hook inserts itself in your subconscious, there’s nothing that will get you away from happily swaying moments from left to right.
You’ll still be able to find bits of pop experimentation on this record, so don’t go thinking it’s all same-old same-old. “Tell Me Now” is probably one of the more distinctive songs on this entire collection, and it’s the vocals that seem to take hold of you here, as opposed to the overall hooks of guitars and melodies. That’s probably one of the greatest things about listening to Generationals, they just have an arsenal of hooks and pop wonderment that will instantly win you over; there’s no fighting it folks, so you may as well just let yourself get absorbed in it all. Whether you want a jangling guitar, or a piano-laden track or even a sing-a-long chorus, you’re going to find it here.
In the end, their ability to harness that exuberant energy into a more confined sound is going to be greatly beneficial. Actor Caster is just chock full of hit after hit, begging you to open up the windows and share these joyous listening moments with anyone, and everyone, who is willing to open their ears. At the end of the day, Generationals have constructed yet another record full of tracks that you can, and should, take anywhere, as they’ll be around for some time, destined to bring you every bit of sun your heart desires.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/09_Greenleaf.mp3]
Download: Generationals – Greenleaf [MP3]
It’s time for Generationals to re-emerge as the pop-rock duo we feel in love with back during thier first record. This past year the Trust EP made its way out, but now word is that Park the Van will be releasing the group’s newest effort on March 29, titled Actor-Caster. This new single is just as full of pop hooks as the music we’ve come to expect from the group. I mean, who doesn’t love a track with some jangling piano and a nice little bit of handclap? Okay, it’s all about the handclap. Don’t forget to check out the band for their upcoming shows, including SXSW![audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/09_Greenleaf.mp3]
Download: Generationals – Greenleaf [MP3]
It’s that time of year again and the free sampler from the small indie labels continue to roll in. This one from Park the Van is super rad because it features this sweet song from The Spinto Band that I just can’t get enough of. This rather lagre sampler features 13 tracks from Spinto Band, Dr. Dog, Generationals and a whole bunch of others. Get your hand on it now.[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/01-01-Jackhammer.mp3]
Download: Spinto Band – Jackhammer [MP3]
New Orleans duo, Generationals, seem to have flown beneath the radar for quite some time, that is until Park the Van Records, home to Dr. Dog, decided to release their album Con Law. The record crosses various rivers of genre, yet always staying familiar in the listener’s ear. Here we have a complete album of pop celebration that will surely tide us over for the rest of the summer.
When “Nobody Could Change Your Mind” begins, the tinkering of electronic keyboard makes it seem like just any other neo-electroni-pop album, but then the horns kick in, stepping the album out of a purely cliche realm of music. Vocals here have a bit of an echo, which may give them a lo-fi title, but the band is nowhere near that mark.
“Angry Charlie” switches gears, and recalls the best moments of MGMT, although if you listen to this on repeat several times you will see that the usage of the organ and bounding percussion give it an entirely different light, moving the band beyond their peers. Yet, this group immediately allows for the staleness of such styles to veer in different directions. The half-hearted stomp of “Faces in the Dark” demonstrate that the band is far more than a one trick pony; they have a barrage of approaches in the writing of Con Law, allowing for the album to take on a more long-standing importance for fans.
By the time you meet the mid-section of this record, you start to wonder exactly why you hadn’t heard anything about this band up until this point in time. “”When they Fight, They Fight,” and “Our Time (2 Shine)” are both solid tracks that exemplify just how special a listening experience this will be. Both songs hold tightly to some really great hooks, while still paying homage to classic beach sounds. They might take a slight misstep from here with “Wildlife Sculpture,” as it’s one of the very few songs that doesn’t immediately make you want to press repeat on your player, whatever format.
Just as the album seems as if it will stay with electronic flourishes, “Exterior Street Date” sweeps in with ringing guitars. The vocals will take the key role for the majority of the song here, but the subtlety of the chorus somehow manages to stick inside your head. This duo is the key of under-spoken pop gems, accessible and discernible, only for those with careful ears. Following this comes “It Keeps You Up” with its bouncing piano work and vocals that appear to be sung by a mass group of fans, though it’s just one voice. Such care went into the patchwork of these songs that it’s no wonder you find yourself listening to them again and again. And such is the story of the album, you find yourself rushing back and forth to play that track over and over, wondering to yourself if it really was that good. The answer for the songs, and the album is yes!
Generationals play at Stubbs Indoors on August 6th.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/02-angry-charlie.mp3]
Download: Generationals – Angry Charlie [MP3]