Just a bit ago, Death Valley Girls dropped their excellent new LP, Darkness Rains, and while they just got back from a stint with the Distillers, they’re making their way across the States again with Crocodiles, stopping in Austin for Levitation Festival. The video fits today perfectly, splicing live footage of the band with horror flicks. But, more importantly, you’ll find the charm of the band in this particular tune. It’s heavy and playfully spooky, but being me, I always gravitate towards the really bright pop moments in their songs, like the semi-angelic seance of a chorus on this one. Just trying to spotlight all the great acts coming to Austin next week, but if you’re not here, check out their LP, available now via Suicide Squeeze Records.
There are two great things about this Sun Breaks tune. First, it reminds me of a long-ago friend who first introduced me to John Atkins band 764-Hero around 98′; it led me down this weird path to where I am now, in a sense. Second, John’s new project, Sun Breaks, reminds me of where I dreamed pop music would go when I first heard some of the earlier Animal Collective stuff. It’s got this inherent bounce, a natural loop feeling, though its twisted tightly around a pop-centric coil. So I guess I find this tune both nostalgic and futuristic, and it’s not everyday you come across one such tune. You’ll hear this track on the album All on Camera, which is being released by Suicide Squeeze Records on October 26th. Maybe it’ll come with that Modest Mouse split 7″ that I somehow lost in my old age.
L.A. Witch have lived up to their namesake with the latest video for “Baby in Blue Jeans,” which they shared yesterday. All haze, grit and glam of ‘classic LA,’ the band goes around town to iconic destinations, bringing the dark surfy vibe of their tunes to life in a cinematic way. It’s a fun video for an even better track, one that will let you zone out with the group. Take a peek below and then go scoop a copy of the band’s debut album on Suicide Squeeze Records.
Guantanamo Baywatch continues to impress me with the way they’re approaching their latest release, Desert Center. It bares a resemblance to their psych-tinged garage rock, but here you see them taking on a more spaghetti western vibe, then moving into some surf rock territory towards the song’s middle before firing themselves to a raucous moment that most likely resembles the band’s early work. The band’s putting all the cards on the table for this release, and I, for one, can’t wait to hear it in its entirety; look for it on August 4th via Suicide Squeeze.
I may be a little slow on the uptake on this new(ish) track from Michael Nau, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t check it out and be fashionably late to the party with me. “I Root” may be short, but it still packs quite the pop punch. It’s quiet and shimmery pop– something you may hear fluttering over speakers in a quaint, perhaps European, cafe as you sip strong coffee. There’s light percussion, Nau’s sweet and doleful vocals and solid songwriting. Take a listen below and find out what you’ve been missing out on.
Some Twist, will be out June 16th via Suicide Squeeze Records. Pre-order it here.
Michael Nau has this classic sound; it’s absolutely timeless. He seems to have this magic ability to casually craft tunes that are both poetic and endearing. I love the light bit of piano on this brand new single, though it sits carefully in the distance, allowing Nau’s voice to really take control. There’s a slight uptick at the end of the new number, but for the most part, the casually relaxation leaves you with a song you can enjoy on your own, or in the comfort of your parents’ house during after dinner drinks. Look for this new album, Some Twist, on June 16th via Suicide Squeeze Records.
A general rule over here is to continuously fawn over The Coathangers; they give you catchy songs, a bit of attitude and always put on a great live show. Earlier this year, we got to hear a new song “Parasite,” which is the title of their just announced EP. Today they drop a new song for your ears, this one illustrating the girl’s ability to craft naturally infectious tunes. The chorus of “easy come/easy go” is delightful, but what I love is the switch in pacing in that chorus…all before Julia slides her fingers down the neck of the guitar. The Parasite EP will be available on June 30th from Suicide Squeeze Records; you can also catch these constant road warriors on the road, pretty much from here until the end of June!
Its possible youve heard the work of Michael Nau in some capacity over the years through his work in several other outfits (See Cotton Jones). Mowing marks his first debut recording as a solo artist, and its a nice first album that wont hit you too hard, but will slowly work its way into your heart.
Mowing comes across as a collection of carefully crafted folk lullabies, perfect for those days when you want to dissolve into your music, or at least be carried away on its light breeze. Youll begin to understand this notion when you first enter into the album with While You Stand. Gentle acoustic guitar wafts in like wind chime, and the warm, full vocals of Nau contrast the sweetness of the only other element in the track. Simple, yes, but so elegant; a refreshing break from the usual multilayered hyper-complex music we have so much of these days. But then, The Glass, kicks things into gear with the addition of other instrumentation that puts a little spunk into the mix. Theres a nice presence of ragtime piano and the guitars are a little fuzzy and jazzier. Naus voice is smoky and smooth, riding above the rest of the mix.
The rest of the album continues in this vein, later on in the album, you get the incredible So, So Long, which really hones in on the lullaby nature of the tunes on here. But then, theres also the deep classic blues bass line that you find in alt-country. This beautiful track is followed up by instant stick out favorite, Winter Beat, which is rambunctious as Nau gets; slow simmering drums give it a jazzy flair once more, subtle strings work their way in and out of the background. Youll find yourself closing your eyes and slowly nodding your head with the beat. Its gentle music for Sunday afternoons or waking up slowly in the morning.
Whats wonderful about Mowing is its breezy carefree spirit; it never gets too bogged down in itself. At the same time, this airy lightness makes it bit too transparent at moments, during which, its easy to let the music slip out of your focus. This is a small qualm in a soothing album, and I advise you to pick up a copy and give it a spin.
VHS, or Violent Human System, have joined the impeccable lineup over at Suicide Squeeze Records and with this great news, they’ve shared a single off their upcoming record. This track, “Wheelchair” is a riot of a number– gritty guitars with plenty of distortion are accompanied by the intermittent gang vocals of the whole group joining in to blast you with a lot of hardcore energy. It’s a great punk track, and has got my excited for what awaits us onGift of Life, which will be out June 17th.
Just a reminder, I’m probably Austin’s biggest Coathangers fanboy. Watch the “making of” video on their new album, saw them six times in one SXSW…and own every little bit of music they’ve released. So, with Nosebleed Weekend, their newest album, a little over a few months away, I’ve still got time to rave on and on about the band. This week we get a chance to hear the band’s title track from the record, a slow burning bit of rock n’ roll to ease the soul. Like their last album, there’s lots of differentiation, switching singers, paces and styles…so love this song, and wait to see what they bring you next. Suicide Squeeze Records will release it on April 15th.