Thus Far….Albums of 2014.5

docIt’s still rather early in the year to start talking about best records of the year and what not, but as we’re midway through 2014, every one is doing it…so why not join in the fun.  But, with this in mind, remember that these lists are arbitrary, and if anything, pretty meaningless in the long run; you never know if your thoughts will change in six months…and really, they’re just like, our opinions man.  We’ll have two sections…one for national albums and another section of Austin albums released up to this point in 2014.   Read more

Show Pics: ATH and Side One Track One Presents @ Holy Mountain (6.20)

She SirWhat a fantastic night of local (and nearly local) talent.

She Sir opened and are getting tighter and tighter. The material from their latest effort was the perfect start to the night, engaging or the background music for patio time, you get to choose.

Young Girls played new stuff, the entire EP and a few of the hits that made us fall for them. Now a lean three piece and bolstered by Nicholas powering away on drums, Pete and Charlie split front man duties. I am biased, but I loved their set the mostest.

Ramesh is the latest in the ATH Records stable, test-pressing in Nathan’s mitts. Two members of the brand new backing band are friends from Shivery Shakes; they had about a day to learn the material. If the material can be this good live as a new ensemble, I cannot wait for them to get more time together. This record could be one of the best of the year.

Abram Shook had the backing vocalists on stage this time around and as he put it, the songs just get sexier. We love this record, go see him ASAP.

PICS A PLENTY AFTER THE BREAK!!!

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ATH & Side One Track One Presents @ Holy Mountain (6.20)

10321675_10100906098219088_7853577584341865387_oWe’ve been talking about this for weeks, and we’re just a day away from what we consider to be one of the best bills in town Friday night, if not THE best bill in town.  All four acts have released great albums or EPs this year, which alone warrants your attendance.  Doors are at 9, and at 9:30, you’ll get to hear She Sir.  Their album Go Guitars needs to be in your collection, especially if you consider yourself a fan of dreamy indiepop. Next up are Young Girls, who we helped release their Young Girls EP; it’s infectious surf pop with a dose of bad ass.  Following them will be Ramesh; we’ll be releasing his debut album on vinyl shortly, so come sample everything great he’s got in store.  And the night closes with Abram Shook, long considered one of the best songwriters in town.  If you don’t have his album Sun Marquee, you’ll want to grab it at the show! So come one, come all, and get there early to have the night of your life, with us, your friends at ATH and Side One Track One.

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She Sir – Go Guitars

LIFE105_Cover480Rating: ★★★★☆

While they’ve been working at crafting their owned dreamy indiepop for some time, the boys in She Sir have largely gone unnoticed.  But, good things come to those who wait, with the group putting together their most confident record to date, Go Guitars (Shelflife Records). There’s not a bad song on the record, and listeners will surely find several of the tracks more than memorable.

“Portese” sets the tone early, with a guitar that has angular intentions ringing immediately in the foreground, while a dreamier chord cascades in the distance.  Russell’s Karloff has this whispering gentleness to it that creates the emotional pull for the listener; his performance on this track is purposefully understated, giving you more of a feel from the song’s craftsmanship.  Then you’re off into the beautiful world of “Kissing Can Wait,” a track where the vocals are surely the winner in the tune; they playfully move in line with the progression of the bass and drums, molding the song into an upbeat number that leaves your spirit lifted.

Other songs offer more of a dream-pop style on Go Guitars, such as the album’s first single, “Condesendidents.” Karloff’s voice has this soft quality that seemingly rests in the background of the track.  Personally, I like how the group breaks out into a relaxed pop jam near the end of the track (about 1.5 minutes); it’s a special moment on the record that illustrates She Sir have decided to go in whatever direction they see fit. And, you can’t cruise through the record without taking on “Snakedom;” this is the best song that’s not on Captured Tracks.  There’s a lively beat going on in the background, while the guitars work against each other to create a swirl of blissful pop.

Honestly, those were the things I expected from the band.  What I didn’t expect were songs like “Bitter Bazaar.”  It starts innocently enough with a lightly strummed guitar line, but the steady vocal opening prepares you for the song’s driving intentions.  It sets the scene for a track that appears reserved, though your short wait will see the band pushing the pace and spinning bright guitars twirling around your ears.  This is by far one of my tracks the band has left us with, so be sure to give it your undivided attention.

While some bands might get caught up in adding too much to their music, the one thing that stands out in Go Guitars is that the band isn’t trying to do too much, musically.  They know what they’re doing, and they’re going to offer listeners the perfect version of that sound.  She Sir will leave you with a listen that merely asks for you take it all in and let the warmth of the indiepop deliciousness take care of the rest; your listen will be better off for it.

 

Show Preview: Pure Bathing Culture @ Red 7 (1/27)

Pure+Bathing+Culture+Photo+by+Cara+RobbinsYo, listen up! The weather man says it’s about to snow again, so you better get in your good tunes while you can! Tonight, there’s a great bit of tuneage going on over at Red 7.  Headlining the night will be the smooth operators of Pure Bathing Culture, offering their casual dream pop to what I expect will be a horde of eager listeners hoping to hear their favorite hit off the group’s most recent, Moon Tides.  You’ll also get a chance to see La Luz, the Seattle pop group who deserve our love, after a tour accident put a damper on the end to their 2013.  And me, I’m showing up super early for our good friends She Sir, who are destined to kill things this year with their new upcoming effort.  Here’s some jams from the openers to encourage you to show up early! Tickets are $14 at the door–doors open at 9.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/LaLuz_PinkSlime.mp3]

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/SheSir-YouCouldBeTiger.mp3]

Show Preview: Amputees and She Sir @ Hotel Vegas – Tonight!

She Sir

Date Thursday, January 16th
Location Hotel Vegas
Doors 9:00 PM
Tickets $5


Looking at this show line-up, attending this set on a Thursday night seems like a no-brainer to me.  You get the Amputees, who will be playing a three day residency in Austin, plus other really incredible acts that should already be on your radar at this point.  There’s She Sir, who we’ve already told you are set for a big year with their up-copming release, Go Guitars.  And, you’ll get to see Ruby Fray, who won tons of people over during her Free Week appearances, so there’s really no reason to skip it.  Make it a fun night, and hit up the show.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/SheSir-YouCouldBeTiger.mp3]

Download: She Sir – You Could Be Tiger [MP3]

Austin Spotlight: New She Sir Single

SheSir-4Square_smIf you read our Emerging Artists list for 2014, the footnote made a nod to She Sir.  Typically, they’d be on that list due to the excitement for their new release, Go Guitars, but we’ve loved them forever, so they’re not exactly emerging; they’re already one of our local favorites.  This new single shows just how far the group has come in the last few years, using layers of guitars to create this shimmering coat of pop goodness.  I’m really at a crossroads, as I’m not sure which of the three singles they’ve released to date will be my favorite, but what I do know is that this is a huge indicator of a wonderful record that will surely end up on many a year end list; it’ll hit stores early 2014 on Shelflife.

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Friday Top 5: Emerging Austin Artists 2014

2014 Austin BannerThose in Austin have surely taken note that the Austin music scene seems to have been on a high as of late, and 2014 is starting to look just as good for our local community.  We wanted to take a little time out of your day to harp on some new acts, or acts that we expect huge things from in the upcoming year.  They’re numbered in no particular order, just the five artists to look into. Feel free to disagree, and add on to this list so we know who else to keep an eye on. I completely expect a few of these artists to emerge beyond Austin and make some pretty heavy national waves as well.

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Austin Spotlight: She Sir Release New Track

shesirWe’ve championed She Sir for years, and this year has seen the band release several great tracks in anticipation of their forthcoming LP.  The album is titled Go Guitars, and we’ve got their third single to offer you today. It begins a touch slow, then the drums provide a proficient bounce to push the song into a more beautiful state.  It’s clear by this number that good things are in store as we approach 2014, when the album will see a release from the respected Shelflife Records.  Just enjoy the fact that you’re around to listen to such a great tune today; be thankful.

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