No Guitar came out in the latter half of last year, but it seems like Curling weren’t entirely happy with that, as they’re now prepping a deluxe edition courtesy of Royal Oakie. This new edition offers a few instrumentals and a single edit of “Shamble,” which we’ve got down below. When this rendition kicks off, there’s this swell of vibrant sunbeams. But, roll those windows down, get in your car and go for a drive, because the track drops right into classic power pop, letting sharp guitar riffs twinkle and twist in the wind. Those melodic vocals are definitely there to carry the track, and the huge wall behind only sets you up for the perfect swoon. If you’re digging, the No Guitar Deluxe Edition is out March 1st.
We covered a lot of ground in 2023, or so I like to think. And, while we were able to look back with our end of year coverage, Oakland label Royal Oakie opted to go their own way by dropping a Greatest Hits of 2023 collection, which features this really solid tune from Michael James Tapscott (among others like Half Stack and Jeff Moller). Listening, you’ll hear the rolling hills of Texas, with the twisting and turning of the guitars riding through backroads; Tapscott’s vocals have a friendly warmth too, carrying that fireside chat aura that makes everyone feel welcome. It’s a great way to hear what the label did last year, and keep an eye out for what they’ve got coming in 2024!
While there’s a fogginess that’s swept over the Oakland scene, in a certain musical sense, Half Stack are bringing something a little bit different. They’ve got a little Southern boogie to their sound, and the vocals feel neighborly. I just imagine like a J Mascis figure inviting me over to a BBQ of some sort. Still, there’s definitely a slow burn of Cali sun shining through your speakers here, which is down to the way the riffs have this sort of understated fieriness to them…well, that and the way the male and female vocalists intertwine. Sitting Pretty is out October 6th via Forged Artifacts/Royal Oakie.
It makes complete sense to me that Holy Matter is based in Los Angeles…and no, not referencing the track’s name (not entirely). Their sound has this cinematic quality to it, quickly drawing you into its depths with this sort of hazy pulse that wraps around the inside of your ears. But, at the 52 second mark, the scene changes and the texture is added to the track, blossoming into this heavy psychedelic wash that feels as if you’ve been transported back in time to find yourself sitting in some seedy living room filled with smoke and scenesters mesmerized by the performance. This track is the debut single from Leanna Kaiser’s project, courtesy of Royal Oakie.
Evan Myall has spent the better part of the last decade in Sleepy Sun, but we’re here to focus on his solo work today, as he readies the release of a new LP in May. It’s a pretty gentle pop ballad, working with a steady bounce from the drum beat and a nice melodic vocal that winds its way around the instrumentation. I loved that the string arrangements, building in the song’s lushness, came in almost instantly; they gave the song this depth and elegance that permeates through its entirety. His self-titled album is being released on May 8th via Royal Oakie.
One of the end of year LPs that really caught me was Sugar Candy Mountain; it hit just as went on our little holiday break, and I’ve been steadily to Mystic Hits every since. It takes the standard sound of modern psychedelic music, then adds touches of pop structures to make every track on the LP successful. The listen sort of makes me wish we were enjoying some warm weather, but at least we have these tunes to help do the trick. You can grab the LP from Royal Oakie as we speak.[audio:https://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/sugarcandymountain_soakupthecity.mp3]
Download: Sugar Candy Mountain – Soak Up the City [MP3]