I sure hope that Part Time doesn’t end up being one of those bands that everyone adores, yet everyone overlooks. I’ve mentioned before that I always appreciate the ability of David Loca to work in varying styles into his albums, and it looks here that he’s got a bedroom dream pop track ready to fit into the listening experience for you. You can just hear those twinkling synth touches working their way around the guitar chords; it’s the sort of music that probably filled many a college dorm room in the 80s…yet it fits perfectly into the modern landscape. Look for Virgo’s Maze to pop up in a few weeks via Burger Records.
One of the reasons I love listening to Part Time so much is that while there’s a consistent sound, there’s always some differentiation on his albums. This new track has a Cali feel, which isn’t surprising considering his current location. The vocals on the track are a little bit hidden between the mix, but the melody that exists below is strong enough to make the song a standout, nonetheless. Virgo’s Maze is the new album title, and it should definitely provide a nice mix of hit after hit; look for the record to be released on June 16th via Burger Records.
One of my favorite things about Part Time is how well the David Loca maneuvers in and out of different genres, yet they’re all connected so the songs have this weird cohesion. On the first single from the new album, there’s a noted difference in the way the vocals and lyrics are delivered; it’s casual, almost spoken-word, which feels like a new twist for the project. You’ll still hear chugging guitar chords with a hint of jangling pop sensibility in the background, and it’s all leading to great promise for Virgo’s Maze; that new album will be out May 19th via Burger Records.
There were hints of a softer side to Davida Loca on his last Part Time release, PDA, but you get a full glimpse with his shimmering synth pop tune that plays his part of the 7″ split with Gap Dream. It’s a relaxed tune, not moving quickly, but you get a delightful bounce through the electronic work he’s done on this tune. It should whet your appetite enough to order the release from Burger Records, but you can also grab it from them live when both bands go on tour together throughout August/September, including a date at Hotel Vegas on August 28th.
Last year Gap Dream released Shine Your Light, and it was one of those albums I told everyone they need to listen to…though I doubt many listened. Regardless, it’s nice to see Gabriel Fulvimar back again with a split-release with his touring friends, Part Time. His side of the release offers up this really dreamy pop composition. It’s the perfect sort of tune to comfort you this weekend, letting your mind drift away as you feel the bubbling pulse that warbles beneath the mix here. You can buy this split 7″ from Burger Records on August 26th, or, catch the two bands traveling around the country, inclluding an Austin date on August 28th at Hotel Vegas.
Making our year-end list of Top Albums is never something we take lightly. We realize that it’s rather arbitrary in the grand scheme of things, but we realize that our role is to at least toss out our opinion, however meaningless it may be. In the long run, we had to take the tastes of several people, and whittle it into a list of 50 great albums that we think are vital to your listening experience. We know it’s a matter of personal tastes, but the records below are reflective of our tastes and our site, so don’t get mad, they’re just opinions. But, feel free to tell us where we went wrong, or what we might have missed. If you click on the album titles, you can also read our full reviews of each album, save the ones that we didn’t get to in time. Sorry we don’t like Kanye.
50 – Wampire – Curiosity
49 – Dot Dash – Half Remembered Dream
48 – Mantles – Long Enough to Leave
47 – The Appleseed Cast – Illumination Ritual
46 – Bad Sports – Bras
45 – Part Time – PDA
44 – Dick Diver – Calendar Days
43 – Math and Physics Club – Our Hearts Beat Loud
42 – Veronica Falls – Waiting for Something to Happen
41 – Eat Skull – III
40 – The Lonely Wild – The Sun as It Comes
39 – The Love Language – Ruby Red
38 – Gun Outfit – Hard Coming Down
37 – Cate Le Bon – Mug Museum
36 – Daughn Gibson – Me Moan
35 – Andre Obin – The Arsonist
34 – Arp – More
33 – Gap Dream – Shine Your Light
32 – The Black Watch – The End of When
31 – Ty Segall – Sleeper
30 – The Stevens – A History of Hygeine
29 – Of Montreal – Lousy with Sylvianbriar
28 – Mirror Travel – Mexico
27 – Local Natives – Hummingbird
26 – Girls Names – The New Life
25 – GRMLN – Empire
24 – Small Black – Limits of Desire
23 – Audacity – Butter Knife
22 – Mikal Cronin – MCII
21 – Chelsea Wolfe – Pain is Beauty
20 – Foals – Holy Fire
19 – Radical Face – Family Tree: The Branches
18 – Youth Lagoon – Wondrous Bughouse
17 – Terry Malts – Nobody Realizes This is Nowhere
16 – Shout Out Louds – Optica
15 – Kurt Vile – Waking on a Pretty Daze
14 – Braids – Flourish//Perish
13 – Crystal Antlers – Nothing is Real
12 – Typhoon – White Lighter
11 – Ski Lodge – Big Heart
Admittedly, this album makes nods to folk troubadours of Christmas’ past, but what grabbed me from the moment I heard this record was the sincerity in what’s being created. In leaving us with a stripped down listen of folk tunes and incredible poetry, we’re asked to look into the history of American songwriting tradition; it’s been awhile since it was executed so well.
9 – The Growlers – Hung at Heart
I’d put this album on any list for one song alone, “Someday.” But, it just so happens that the rest of the album maintains the sensation that’s established on the opening track. I’ve heard it referenced as a surf-psych opus, but what’s been assured in my mine is what an incredible listen we’re all be treating to when we put Hung at Heart on our record players.
Hether Fortune seems to scare people. Her work is in your face, never making an excuse for who she is or what she believes. That attitude carries on into her music, allowing listeners to experience a musical world void of any pretense. The songs on this album are angular, dark and abrasive; the vocals have Hether dominating the scene of modern lady rock warriors. If you don’t dig it, she doesn’t care, but I do because this record rules.
While many of the songs on this effort leaked out before under various EPs, the whole masterpiece exists in the way it was tied together as a complete work. It’s operatic and grand at every corner, but it’s also undeniably a pop record. The emphasis might revolve around the more artful spectrum of pop music, but this is an album you can play for everyone in your family, and they’ll all find themselves swept up in the wonderment of Privilege.
What else really needs to be said about The National. They consistently make great albums that are lauded then often overlooked, but we didn’t want to do that to one of our favorite acts. I mean, if they played 8 shows in 8 days, we’d be at every one, and the DJ set after party. Their accolades and recognition are warranted, and it’s especially clear on this, their latest release.
When listening to Pass the Ringo, I thought of one thing: this is the sort of record that makes a small label, like Loglady Records, a household name. It’s spun around garage rock and psych rock structures, whilst still maintaining an accessibility that few people working in that genre achieve. Some albums can play in the background of your house, and might be happy to do so, but Legs created something that made me stop and listen at every turn; I’m thankful for that.
Someone For You came our way in January. On my record player, it hasn’t left since. This is one of the most rewarding power-pop records I’ve gotten my hands on, and trust me, I’ve gotten my hands on a lot of great records. Each song is filled with innate hooks and garage rock grit, encouraging you to tap your toes for the entirety of the record. You’d think after a full year our interest would have waned, but with time we’ve only grown to appreciate the record even more.
At the moment, there’s not too many people releasing music that’s the quality of Mathew Cothran and Coma Cinema. There are elements of the bizarre, similar to the work of early Elf Power, yet there’s this intimacy that artists like Eliott Smith were able to create with their listeners. You wrap that up and put it in a package of pop sensibility, and you have an album that can’t be ignored.
In today’s musical climate, we buy into the fact that artists have to be doing something strange, or something that’s vastly different from their peers. But, in the grand scheme of things, we often forget what it’s like to take enjoyment out of the music. This album was one of the many reminders that music, when it’s good, can be quite special. Every song here is a single, and worth your time; it’s the best thing Laz has done, and I feel like he’s just really getting started.
This album is about Devon Welsh. From the first instant I heard his voice, it took hold of me. Throughout the year, Impersonator, consistently played on my radio. His voice was mesmerizing, captivating audiences on several occasions in Austin, convincing us to be as quiet as a mouse, so as to hear every note. The unique quality of the album will reward listeners for years to follow. It made us believe in great music again.
San Francisco’s Part Time already have one album under their belt, but it’s their newest record, PDA that really shows the group’s acceleration into the upper tier of small-time indie bands. This collection of songs is filled with dreamy touches and swinging guitar lines that allow for musical escapism of the best sort, letting you drift into the caverns of your mind.
Opening numbers “I Want to Go” and “How Do I Move On” set the emotive quality of PDA, bringing in guitar lines that, while angular, maintain an essence of escapism, encouraging you to let yourself go as those chords seem to drift into the distance. The haunting warmth of David Speck’s vocals on these tracks further push you into a state of mind that leaves you relaxed; these aren’t forced sounds, rather they unfold slowly as dream pop should.
Of course, Part Time isn’t here merely to lull you to sleep with their melodies. They also push you towards that slow 80s body sway, especially on a song like “Living in the USA.” For my two cents, this track wouldn’t be out-of-place in a lot of nostalgic dance collections, though it maintains a softer touch, perhaps perfect for a closing dance scene in a John Hughes flick. Similarly, “Sonando de Ti,” uses the group’s synth-orchestrated backbone to kick things off into a sultry groove. It never hurts, for this listener at least, to have lyrics thrown my way in Spanish. But, while the group’s nod to the past is definitely fresh in sound, the group fares far better when they employ more prominent guitar work.
“I Belong to You” is the track from PDA that resonates the most. The vocal delivery is lackadaisical, yet still has an element of smoothness to it that makes things endearing. All the while the guitar chords provide a crisp cut throughout, increasing my willingness to float away in my mind with this number. Also, the guitar chords make way for a wash of synths on and off, which serve a nice accent, but don’t dominate the track as they do in other spaces on the record. Attention to detail goes a long way to making this one of the tracks that stands out in the ears of the listener.
While the opening moments hint at a collection full of dream pop hits, Part Time clearly has other place they’re willing to journey off into, such as “Funny Moods” with its bouncy rhythm. This actually serves the whole of PDA well, as you don’t get stuck treading in one place, one sound. You’ll find yourself getting carried away, yet you’ll be pulled into the songs as you explore the intimate details lurking here and there. It all leaves you with a diverse listening experience that both excites you and allows for escapism…the perfect blend for a solid album.
Mexican Summer is a label, though they might pigeonhole themselves a bit, pump out some great subdued/bedroom pop music on a regular basis. This new track “I Won’t Be Your Little Secret” from Part Time is no different, as it features washed out guitars, hushed vocals, and slow and steady beat throughout. Part Time are back later this year with new album PDA coming your way on July 9th via the aforementioned Mexican Summer label.
I mentioned that ATH would be sponsoring multiple events during SXSW so today I need to let you know about another great show we’re promoting during the festival. This one is a night show on Friday out on with amigos over at Cakeshop Records and Loglady Records. We know your evening options are limited so we better see you there. More deets:
Date: Friday, March 15th
Location: Trailer Space Record Store
Lineup: Dead Angle, Waxahatchee, Grandma’s Boyfriend, Permanent Collection, TV Ghost, California X, Part Time
Free and open to the public with FREE BEER for 21+.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/PC-07_Its_Alright.mp3]
Download: Permanent Collection – It’s Alright [MP3]