New Album + Music from Japancakes

IMG_0001-2It’s been nearly 9 years since we last heard from Japancakes, and there couldn’t be a better way for the band to reintroduce themselves than through this new synth driven track off their new LP. Those who’ve followed the band might notice something slightly different…the inclusion of vocals…the first time the band have used such an approach in 20 years. But, Carrie Clough hits the perfect notes, especially around the 1.43 minute mark; it soars highly before allowing for the electronic pulse to bounce back into your ears. Backing vocals get added to the rear-end of the song, emphasizing the majestic pop the band have left you with on this tune. Their self-titled release will be out on May 6th.

Track Premiere: Lymbc Systm Remix “Paraboloid”

lymbcsystmIt seems like when Mike and Jared Bell of Lymbc Systm go to work, they just go full blast. They’re fresh off a US tour with Foxing, which came on the back of their recently released (and excellent) Split Stones LP (via Western Vinyl). One of those tracks gets the remix treatment here, with some subtle touches that offer a softer approach to “Paraboloid.” The wash of atmospherics and the burst of pop emotion has been pulled back slightly, leaving you with a chilled version of the track. The duo is currently working on an EP that will be released by their label later on this year, including a remix by Austin musician Botany. You can find the original version of the song HERE, and stream the remix below. Don’t forget to grab the LP too!

ATX Spotlight: Star Parks Release Video

12742495_447276415463790_1036545225375841755_nWhen RayRay and I first met, I think we bonded over a few bands, and one of those was Wilco. Through their changes and different paths, I’ve loved the band’s sound, which is one of the many reasons I’m super interested in Austin’s Star Parks. They call to mind several acts, but their acoustic version of “Theoretical Girls” in this video definitely calls to mind the harmonies that hit the right notes, a la Wilco. You can hear the album version HERE, which has a bit more filled in musical accompaniment…namely some beautiful string/horn arrangements. All in all, this is a band to keep an eye on at the moment. They’ll be releasing their debut, Don’t Dwell, on May 13thvia Paper Trail Records.

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Striking New Song from Emily Rodgers

emilyrogersBe forewarned. Listening to this Emily Rodgers track takes some time. Not because you’ll not be immediately struck by Rodgers’ voice, but because the song sprawls over 7 minutes. In order for you to fully capture the emotion within, you’ll need to stay tuned til the end. Clearly, the voice is the star here, but I don’t think it could really shine as brightly without the various touches placed here and there; you’ll hear a slide guitar shifting towards the sunset, but a guitar with a different tone hits just after the 3.5 minute mark, building yet another layer. Oh, and Kramer (who recorded Low and Galaxie 500) did the recording of this new record, so you know it’s going to be great. The album is titled 2 years and will be released by Misra on June 10th.

Fresh Music from Carter Tanton

ctThis Friday you will have to rush to the record store (or online if that’s your bag) to grab a copy of Carter Tanton‘s brand new album, Jettison the Valley. Fortunately, we have another single from the album to share with you today…it’s rumored to be Carter’s favorite track on the LP. Opening percussive moments stand in like a metronome, allowing for the lofty range of Tanton’s voice to soar high in the mix, setting the tone for the track. One of my favorite things about this song, and the album as a whole, is that while many singer/songwriters rest on the tradition of voice, guitar and minimal percussion, Carter’s filling in his songs, be it backing harmonies, slide guitar or atmospheric touches; it elevates the record far beyond the norm. Look for the record this Friday courtesy of Western Vinyl.

Premiere: Sparrows Gate Warm Your Ears

sparrowsgateThis new Sparrows Gatetrack opens with little more than a vocal and a piano background, but within moments the song takes on deeper arrangements, offering soft percussive touches and an atmospheric bit of strings/guitars to fill in all the empty spaces. Songs such as these sink deep into your soul, pulling out the emotive notes as you gaze into the nearest fire, trying to stay warm in these winter times. As the song moves all the way forward, there’s this haunting little string piece that always sticks out to me; it’s a forlorn touch that seems to step in line with the tones of the vocals. Look for the group’s new effort, Ghost Blue, which comes out on January 22nd via Royal Oakie Tapes and Records.

New Adam Busch Single

Adam-Busch-450x300Fans of indie rock should recognize Adam Busch, though perhaps by his work in The Curious Digit or Manishevitz, and not by his name. But, what’s important is that despite all the accolades and fans over the years, Busch is preparing his first effort on his own. Our understanding is that he took off to spend some time with his family, but always busy as a songwriter, he got the itch to go at it again…studying varying styles. You can hear it in this song to, be it from the chords working atop one another (seemingly) to the overall production that comes via the crashing drums and his vocal delivery. It brings a refreshing cleanse to the landscape of folk-influence indie rock. I expect really ornate beauty from his album, River of Bricks, when it’s released on November 13th. 

Premiere: Mark Van Hoen’s Nightvision Album Is Ready

markmarkmarkIn my world (I know it’s a skewed one), there are two types of electronic music: one type makes you dance (or aims to) and the other is more of an exploratory sort. The exploratory sort seems to be the world Mark Van Hoen‘s been crafting for us; it’s the sort seeking to tell a story through one’s time spent with the music. On “I Love to Fly” there’s a simple buzz  or warble working immediately, creating this warmth through the trickling synthesized beat; I love hearing the vocal sample that pops up twice in the track, adding a nice extra layer to the story I created in my brain. What’s the story you’re crafting? Expect to find yourself creating many more when Mark releases Nightvision on November 13th via Saint Marie Records

ATX Spotlight: Ben Millburn Readies New EP

benmillburnWe’d like to take this time to really welcome Ben Millburn to Austin, though he’s been here working on his debut EP for some time. But, the Louisiana native is here for good, or for now, and he’s ready for you to hear what he’s been working on…and what’s been running through his mind. Strange Love and Consequence, his latest EP, features this powerful track, brimming with the perfect backing harmony and this swelling of huge guitar riffs that ring out in your speaker long after the tune is over. It’s a refreshing listen, not sounding like much else within the confines of the city’s current musical landscape. Give a warm welcome to Ben, if you haven’t already, and grab his new EP on December 11th via Sunglass Mustache Records.

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ATH Premiere: Historian Readies Current

krisPersonally, I enjoy searching out music that changes on you. You’re accepting one direction, you can see the tension rise, but then it turns. Sometimes, like in the case of Historian, the changes are subtle; they’re quick and simple, like the move that happens around the 2:40 mark. It sets the song off a bit, allowing for the song to grow and change into something completely new; it’s like listening to the evolution of music, right through your speakers. This quiet flare of the dramatic has won Historian, and it’s main songwriter Chris Karman, comparisons to the likes of Spiritualized and Radiohead…that leads to a great deal of promise as the band prepares to release Current on October 30th via The Record Machine.

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