Austin Spotlight: SHMU Releases Chroma Key

shmuHonestly, I don’t entirely know what to say in order to get you into Austin’s SHMU. There are these weird glitch elements thrown into a pot chocked full of bubbling pop melodies, creating this spectrum of musical experimentation pushed to its limits. It’s off-putting in a fascinating sense; you’re attracted to the oddity of the goings-on, yet you can’t identify precisely what it is you love.  It’s like the Radio Dept. and Working for a Nuclear Free City got mashed up by the makers of Atari. Regardless of how you want to identify the music, I think you’ll all be better off today if you spent some time listening to the most recent release, Chroma Key. It’s a pleasing head-scratcher, to say the least.

Funky Jam from Rush Midnight

rushmidnightIf it weren’t for the immediate mention of Twin Shadow in this press release, I might have skipped beyond this tune from Rush Midnight; it’s the project of Russ who tours with TS.  What I really like about this song is that the electronic element is actually understated, allowing for the groove to remain subtle.  It allows you to focus on the smooth delivery of the vocal, while still inviting you to swing your hips and dance about.  The project’s self-titled debut album will be out on May 27th via Last Gang Records; it should definitely put a nice spin on our summer listening.

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Hello Echo Return with New Single

helloechoApollo Sunshine made some pretty solid tunes, so it’s no surprise that when former singer Sean Aylward started his new project, Hello Echo, that the music would live up to the expectations of listeners.  As the band gears up for the release of their second album, Echo, they’ve taken onto the softer side of the musical world. While this song has traditional folk balladry written all across it, the additional accompaniment of piano, slide guitars and string arrangements really makes your listen something extremely special.  If it’s your thing, then grab the album on February 25th when it hits stores.

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Fuzzed Out Rocker from Odonis Odonis

odonisWarning. You’re going to want to turn down your speakers before you press play on this track.  There’s grinding guitar that bashes you over the ears, while the lyrics, though distant in the mix, maintain an atmosphere of coldness that goes in line with the modus operandi of Odonis Odonis.  This tune will be featured on the group’s up-coming LP, Hard Boiled Soft Boiled, which is said to express some diversity in the band’s songwriting.  Whatever it is, it’ll undoubtedly be loud.  You can grab it on April 15th via Buzz Records, and make sure to check out the video that accompanies this song HERE.

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New Music from Chad VanGaalen

chadvangThe last time we heard from Chad VanGaalen everything was really pretty; the songs he constructed on Diaper Island were well constructed and pristine.  While he’s taking a similar approach on his new effort, there’s a definite difference in the recording itself; it features this static wash that’s layered atop his organized songwriting process.  It leaves you with quite an impression, as the harmonious element is surrounded by a wall of discord, creating an effect that’s rather unsteadying.  I’m sure we’ll get a better look at what he’s trying to accomplish when we get the full listen to Shrink Dust, his latest effort for Sub Pop; it comes out on April 29th.

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New Pop Number from Crayonsmith

crayonsmithI’m really enjoying this new tune from Crayonsmith, which is now a trio of Irish lads.  This song works on a simple formula, but the vocals of Ciaran Smith really bring the precision of the group’s playing into light.  It’s as if the two components work in conjunction, each highlighting the other in a unique fashion. I love the rolling drums just before the two-minute mark; the angular meandering of the guitar throughout is another touch of grace.  You can grab the band’s latest album, Milk Teeth, now if you know what’s right for you.

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Fear of Men Ready Debut Album

fearofmenWhen Fear of Men release Early Fragments, it felt more like a full length than an actual EP; it was concise and organized, not to mention enduring in my own personal play list. As they prepare for the release of their debut, Loom, they’re leaking out a track today, which is in essence, two tracks.  The first is a soft interlude of vocals that leads into the more propulsive “Waterfall.”  Already, you can hear the thought given to each detail, especially to the album’s construction. The record will be out on April 22nd via Kanine Records; it’s going to be a must have for everyone.

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Spirited Number from Beaty Heart

beatyheartRemember when Animal Collective was weird and enchanting?  Yeah, I know it’s been awhile, so turn your ears towards Beaty Heart instead.  They’re using tribal influences and loops to create this oddball pop tune that’s playful, yet wholly intelligent in design.  I like the restraint shown too, as they don’t push themselves beyond the limits of absurdity, leaving the listener with a tune that defies most modern genres, yet still hold a certain level of accessibility. This single will be appear on the group’s Mixed Blessings album, which is slated to be released in May.

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Stream the Young Girls EP

youngirlsWe’ve been talking about it for weeks, and dreaming about it for even longer, but today the Young Girls EP goes live.  You can pick it up digitally from the band themselves, or you can wait two weeks and pick it up from us in a double-sided vinyl format.  Either way, we figured it was best if we let you hear it, that way you know just how much you’ll need to get your hands on it.  Things have been going pretty quickly online, so don’t wait around too long, as it’s limited to 500 copies of delicious hits.  Grab it from us HERE.

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Gaze Type Tune from Nothing

nothingThis new track from Philadelphia’s Nothing is one of those tunes that you’ve really got to turn up loud to complete let it wash over you, or wash you away…depending on what you’re looking for in the tune.  There’s distortion on the guitar from the get-go, swirling, though they definitely have a 90s alternative bent at the root. Then, just as you’re blasting off, they flip things on you, and leave you in a free-fall of atmospheric noise and quieted vocals.  It should make for quite a listen when the band release Guilty of Everything via Relapse Records on March 4th.

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