I had to search our own site to find out how long it’s been since I’ve posted an album review and I will refrain from embarrassing myself with the exact timeframe, though you could search yourself I guess. We as an ATH staff have been neglectful as a whole when it comes to album reviews and we are hoping to rectify this moving forward. Hopefully you can understand that if an album has brought me out of my review slumber it must be a great one. The very soon to be released new album from Dan Mangan, More Or Less, is just such an album because, holy hell, it’s impressive. Hit the jump for some thoughts, photos, and tunes.
It’s almost summer around these parts for teachers, and as I struggle to make it to the finish line, I need some inspiring songs to help motivate me. This new song called “Outlandish Poetica” from Jonathan Something is sure to perk me up and help me survive the next coming weeks. The track has a very playful vibe to it, similar to something you might hear from the early days of Wilco, but with more of an explosive sound to it. Call it what you will, it’s sure to brighten your day.
An album sharing this song’s title will be released sometime in August or September via Solitaire Recordings.
Are you looking for something quiet today, something that speaks the spirit of humanity? Then stop here, have a listen to John Hufford and his new single. After a battle with Lyme disease, John took to penning songs in his home, in the vein of Elliott Smith and other like minded balladeers. But, on his latest release, he owns this quiet confidence that perfectly sets a balance in your day. There’s something warming in his vocal delivery, like a friendly whisper of encouragement giving you just a hint of light when needed. Soft guitar strumming and strong vocals always move us. Look for John’s Sleep EP to drop on December 15th.
I wish I could say I’m surprised when I discover new Austin artists since we think we know everything, but let’s get real, this town is full of up and coming artists waiting to be discovered. Take local songwriter Calvin Locklear for example. Prior to only a few days ago, I honestly had never heard his name mentioned despite my keen ear to the local scene. Well he’s recently released an EPs worth of material entitled No One is Listening and suggested we check out this track “Wet Cement” from the 6 song extended player. Immediately the voice of Locklear reminds me quite a bit of Damon Albarn (Blur/Gorillaz) which, paired with his folk rock/R&B blend, creates something really in a genre all its own. It’s refreshing to hear something new is happening in Austin.
At this point, San Francisco based singer/songwriter Andrew St. James is a not just a label mate, but also a friend. As the months go by, it’s incredible to see the amount of songs he records and pumps out. Seriously, it’s crazy. What’s even more crazy, is that all of the songs offer something unique and special. Andrew’s latest single “In the Morning” continues his recent hot streak of jams. This one offers a sort of Paul Simon vibe with it’s poppy drums and driving theme. Keep it up kid.
St. James is releasing a new album entitled The Big Ole Veronica Apology Record this Friday, June 16h.
Also don’t forget to pick up your copy of Andrew’s 7″ single we released recently on bandcamp.
Man I have been enjoying this new Paul Bergmann tune most of the evening and wanted to send it your way on this fine hump day. The track, “Old Dream”, is a true songwriter’s gem in the vein of old Tallest Man or even up and comer Andrew St. James. It’s truly a special number.
Paul currently has a 7″ single with this track and one other out now on Fairax Recordings.
Jack Ladder is an artist that I was introduced to a few years ago and I have been following him and his band The Dreamlanders ever since. Today I’m excited to hear that a new album is in the works and the first single called “To Keep and be Kept”is available for streaming. I’m loving the haunting, deep vocal style that originally made me a fan. The sweet and soothing vocal contribution from Sharon Van Etten here plays beautifully off the baritone of Jack to create an enchanting and memorable song.
Playmates is available on February 24th via Fat Possum.
Seattle based musician Chris Staples is often times more well known for the artists he frequently supports as a guitarist than for his own outstanding solo material. Today I want to put the spotlight on Chris and share with you his beauty of a new single called “Hold Onto Something”. You can expect a mellow tune that may take some time to get under your skin and find a home, but once it does, you will find it’s not going anywhere. Chris easily has one of my favorite voices in the business.
Pick up new album, American Soft, on August 12th via Barsuk Records.
As I’ve previously mentioned, I feel like Austin is really make a strong resurgence with the high number of quality musicians we are currently churning out. The last few years have really produced some memorable artists for me and I’m hoping we can continue that momentum going. Moving us in the right direction is new and upcoming songwriter Diego McCartney. Apparently Diego has been making music for quite some time on his own and has just now decided to offer his beautiful tunes up to the world. This one, “Found in Few”, is fairly simple at first, but incredibly powerful after a few more listens. The gentle guitar strumming mixed in with the perfect, emotional delivery of the vocals creates a really special moment here. Enjoy.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, we get a lot of cold music submissions on ATH and many of them are fairly mediocre. So it’s nice when we get some great music from relatively unknown musicians like singer/songwriter Tim Guy from Australia. Now Tim has been doing his thing for over a decade having written music in New Zealand, Spain, and the aforementioned Australia. He’s also done quite a bit of touring in his native land as well as some stints throughout Europe. His music brings forth images of fellow folk songwriter Bonnie Prince Billy with the down home country style feel to the songs. It’s a very real and heartfelt type of sound that makes me dream of what it might be like in the countryside of the land down under to inspire such beautiful music.
Tim is currently working on putting out a new album entitled Dreaming of a Night Mango which he plans to get to his fans sometime in early 2013.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/04-Armour-Weight.mp3]
Download: Tim Guy – Armour Weight [MP3]