Turn Up This Bad Sleep Tune

This might be one of the last songs we post in 2018, and honestly, I think I would be super happy if that’s the case. It’s an energetic pop rock tune from Olympia’s Bad Sleep, and I can’t get it out of my head. The vocals have this innate hook, even whilst being shouted at the top of the lungs. The rhythm section really keeps the song jumping up and down, and the guitar work is gritty and explosive. If you’re looking for a band who sounds like they’re having a hell of a time playing together, then look no further! You can grab the band’s self-titled LP from the folks over at Square of Opposition; it drops in January.

New Video from Tres Oui

Last week we were super excited to release Singles Going Nowhere, the debut EP from Austin’s Tres Oui (featuring members of Rose Selavy and Literature). Immediately after the band hit the road (Tour Dates), and now they want to share this great video with you from the standout tune, “Party Planner.” The video, created by Herb Shellenberger, features a whole lot of kissing, and musically, a whole lot of great energy. You’ll also hear the voice of Lomelda‘s Hannah giving an extra bit of pop to the tune. We did a limited release with our friends at Square of Opposition, so buy it HERE.

New Stuff From ATH Records

It’s the end of the week, so why not wrap it up by highlight some great tunes that came from our little ATH Records label.

The excellent Gold Flake Paint wrote up about Tres Oui‘s new single, “Prince of Pop.” You can read what Tom had to say HERE. Grab it HERE. Oh. We’re co-releasing it with Square of Opposition…who helped us start the label by sharing the OG Literature LP with us!

Then, Pure Volume hooked us up with apreview of the title track from Pollen Rx‘s debut LP, Sunbelt Emptiness. Check that piece out HERE, and grab it HERE.

And of course, extra streams below for the cause!

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ATH Alumni, Literature, Sign to Slumberland Records

litThe first record we ever put out on ATH Records was in conjunction with our good friends over at Square of Opposition Records; it was with Literature, who were at the time, an Austin act, before moving off to Philly.  That album, Arab Spring, has already gone through several presses, and we still have a few laying about, but more importantly, their new album has just been announced with Slumberland Records.  The lead single is enough to show you why they’ve quietly built a huge name for themselves, just off the gifts of their songwriting.  You’re going to want to pick up Chorus when it’s released on August 19th…and if you’re inclined, you can pick up their first LP HERE or HERE.

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Literature – Arab Spring

Rating: ★★★★½

No mincing it, we love this band. So much so that Nathan has Austin Town Hall backing the vinyl which can be ordered here. So why do we need to review the record? Probably because it is warranted. A recent blog post by Michael Corcoran lamented the mediocre Austin music scene. I simply retorted you aren’t trying.

Make no mistake, there are jams being laid down by several bands born of the Live Music Capital and Literature is one of the bands doing it in their blue collar, super pop way.. So let’s examine Arab Spring.

The album opener is a gentler affair, easing into the poppy blasts that are coming. And blasts they are with the longest track weighing in at an impressive 2:51. This pace creates the punk tension, stay on top of it, or you might miss something. So, “14 Seconds” features a break midway of guitars, a recurring theme for the rest of the album. Great introduction to the band and the interplay of Kevin and Nathaniel on vocals.

“Lily” starts to really show off the melodic constructions, from the vocals to the building guitar layers. Has a feel of Arctic Monkeys in the best way, without accents and over indulgence. “Push up Bra” brings unleashed pop, jangly riffs, quick lyrical delivery and festive backing vocal destined for sing along participation. “Criminal Kids” starts the swing into my favorite span of the album. “This town scares me.” – attributable to Corcoran? The band follows with “Arab Spring”, the title track, “Then there is you, and others too, that will be left uninvited.”

“Grifted” and “Rooney” are two songs I would use to show off our Austin scene. The former is my high point, best opening hook I have heard in a long while. Nice breakdowns and layering as the vocals resume and proper use of keys to settle the song in for the outgoing jam. The latter is the biggest song on the album, another great guitar hook that climbs and gives way to loud chords. The short run time just makes you want to play it again, right away. Again, trading vocals, trading guitar lead, all while Mike and Seth run the show with the rhythm section.

The album’s finish is composed of a three song set. “O.J.” is the tender vocal moment with a great climbing and falling bassline from Seth. “Esquire Esquire” asks what am I supposed to do? when I can’t win, can’t lose. The finale, “I am Right Here”, doesn’t let us off easy; staccato, fast, short and sweet. Vocals are delivered in a matter of fact way.

So what do I want to complain about? It is over too soon. But it has to be. Arab Spring as a collection of songs is fast, to the point and leave you wanting to do it again. Literature captures the essence of pop, bridging gaps, sometimes more serious and sometimes more playful. Most important, the album shows where we are going. Things are breaking down and our “scene” is getting back to basics. It is time to have fun at shows. It is time to get sucked into two minute blasts of energy, take a short break and do it again.


Download: Literature – Grifted [MP3]

Here is a little video of the song “Rooney” taken a few months back…

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More Hooks from Literature

We’re nearing the release date of Literature‘s Arab Spring (April 10th), which will be our first AustinTownHall Records release, working with our friend Chris over at Square of Opposition.  Sure, I’m easily biased as I believe whole-heartedly in this record, but I wanted to share another track to convince you that you’ll need a copy in your hands!  “14 Seconds” opens the album, setting the mood for a jangling indie pop record that inevitably gets you to swing your hips as the record completely sucks you in.  You definitely need to head HERE to get your pre-order on before you have to hunt down this brilliant release!


Download:Literature – 14 Seconds [MP3]

Literature Pre-Order Now Up

Okay, admittedly we’re going to give a little plug here for ourselves, but I’m totally okay with that.  As we’ve mentioned here before, we’re going to be helping put out the new album, Arab Spring, from Austin’s own Literature.  It’s a project we’re stoked to be part of, and one that we hope will help us launch our non-profit label (aren’t they all?) to help Austin/Texas bands.  Anyways, for those interested in getting your hands on it, you can preorder the album today from our partners (the other benig Cop’s Kids Records)  in this venture, Square of Opposition.  Go HERE to get yours now, and sample one of the sweet tracks from the record below!


Download: Literature – Grifted [MP3]

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