Last Week’s Jams (7.31 – 8.4)

I really thought we knocked it out of the park last week, covering 25 different tunes. But, it looks like we decided to one-up ourselves and post 26 for this week’s Last Week’s Jams collection. We got some of our favorite labels and bands putting out fresh new stuff, like new Tony Jay on Slumberland and new Onyon on Trouble in Mind. Plus, our friends at Keeled Scales are putting out a new LP with one of my favorite Texas songwriters, Will Johnson. All that and we haven’t even talked about how great that new Smashing Times single is. As much as it can be a challenge to cover it all, feel like we did our damndest to bring you some of the more deserving hits you might not find where the cool kids hang out.

Tele Novella Share Broomhorse Video

Dear Natalie and Jason…I’m sorry I missed this single last week. For the rest of you, please please spend your time with Tele Novella. The band have long been one of the strongest acts representing the Austin scene, but if I’m being frank (hello, its me, Frank), this new stuff is fucking amazing. I feel as if they’ve really honed their craft, and with Danny Reisch and Jason working together on production, this feels like the best bit we’ve gotten. It’s a brand of baroque pop that lately seems out of fashion, but its execution, along with the accompanying nod to Harold and Maude, have left me pretty floored. I love the chorus, where Natalie’s voice just blossoms, aided by a subtle bit from Jason too. This is just too good to not press play immediately. They release Poet’s Tooth via Kill Rock Stars on October 6th.

New Single & Video From Tele Novella

Well sometimes we slip and miss things from time to time as we wade through the mass amount of submissions and Olivia Rodrigo emails. Though we may have slipped and are a tad late on this news, we will always find time to boost our own and promote old local friends. Once such local indie legend are our pals in Tele Novella who just released this stunning new single “Hard-Hearted Way” with an accompanying, retro grade video. This band continues to pump out a staggering catalog of delightful music.

This track comes with an announcement of a new album called Poet’s Tooth coming out on October 6th via Kill Rock Stars. Pre-orders are live now.

Top Albums of 2021

Honestly, I’m pretty over lists at this point. They’re arbitrary and don’t really reflect anything but someone’s tastes, except here where they reflect the tastes of three individuals…because that’s how we roll. So, take this list with a grain of salt. These are the records we thought were the best, which mostly just means these are the ones we listened to on repeat throughout the year! Feel free to leave a comment on what you think we missed, or why we’re dumb; we love good comment trolls.

Also, because this list is really about crediting the art that made us happy, we wanted it to make you happy too, so we included purchasing links where we could. Read more

Sarah La Puerta Announces Strange Paradise

Former Austinite (now New Yorker) Sarah La Puerta was long a staple of our music scene, through various projects, but perhaps most notable was as part of the old lineup of Tele Novella; she also graced us by sharing a tune for our Slack Capital 2 project with Eric from Big Bill. Anyways, she’s just announced her debut solo effort for Perpetual Doom records, and dammit if the open single doesn’t just knock it out of the park. Upon my first listen, I thought there was this simplicity to the craft, which allowed for the vocals to really sparkle; there’s this classic beauty to her sound here, something so effortlessly timeless. Still, go back and listen to the track, you can hear little quiet bass bubbles, ornate guitar flourishes and an evolving electronic ambiance. It all makes for a powerful statement that is sure to be fulfilling upon its November 12th release!

Tele Novella Share Paper Crown Video

As anticipation builds for the release of Merlynn Belle, Tele Novella share one final video/single to entice your ears before it drops. And no offense to Jason here, but this track is completely Natalie’s show; her vocals are right in the front of the mix, showing off this insane range. Steady pop notes rise to meet quivering high notes, then dropping right into the max in this incredible playful manner; there’s also an emphatic punch that’s set up in the chorus, riding along the gallop of the drums. While I’ve always enjoyed the work of the band, this whole LP is starting to really really special. Kill Rock Stars will drop it for us all on February 5th.

Tele Novella Share Never Video

You ever turn on a song, and it just brings back memories, things you’d long forgotten? Well, I turned on this great new Tele Novella tune, and here I am flooded with nostalgia…and in a way, its not even my nostalgia. It feels like its from an unknown moment of timelessness, somewhere, me sitting in some breakfast nook with a cup of coffee and music playing in the background. It’s some beautiful ballad, and I reimagine my father or mother doing the same thing, only twenty years prior. It’s a weird feeling, but there’s something about a band and a song that can move you in that manner, transport you to a time you might not even know existed…but in doing so, there’s comfort, solace…and for me, that was this gem of a tune. It’ll appear on the group’s new LP, Merlynn Belle, out via Kill Rock Stars on February 5th.

Tele Novella Share Words That Stay

It may have taken six year for the follow-up to Trouble in Paradise, but it seems that was well worth the wait for us all, as Tele Novella appear to be at the top of their powers. Honestly, it almost feels like a different band, and Natalie, who has always had an incredible voice, only seems to have upped the ante on her singing prowess; she’s got such control over her pitch and tone that she seems to rise and fall at her every whim. Plus, the band’s artistry extends beyond the confines of recorded sound, with an incredible video being paired with the tune too. I’ve run out of mundane adjectives here, but I can truly say that this feels like something very huge; Merlynne Belle will be out February of next year courtesy of Kill Rock Stars.

Tele Novella Release Technicolor Town

It’s been almost five years since we’ve heard from Tele Novella, but today we get to listen to their first bit of new music since House of Souls. I love the forlorn weariness of Natalie’s voice that comes through here immediately, perhaps influenced by their new home in “lost in time” Lockhart; it has this timelessness, which might be the best descriptor for this group. But, as always, they layer in little doses of sublime pop, like the faint bubbling up just near the 1:10 (or 2:47) mark of this tune. This tune will appear on the group’s new album Merlynn Belle, which will come out via Kill Rock Stars.

The Perfect Bedroom Pop of Sarah La Puerta Lands on Slack Capital 2

Slack Capital 2 is a compilation of music by 27 of the greatest bands in Austin. All proceeds from the comp go to SafePlace, which provides support for victims of domestic and sexual violence. To keep things exciting, we’re unveiling one song per day.

Song of the day: Sarah La Puerta — “Don’t Make Me Do It”

You may know her as the secret weapon in baroque indie pop band Tele Novella, or as the secret weapon in the transcendental chamber-folk jams of Thor & Friends, but rising star Sarah La Puerta makes music of her own, too. Today we are excited to present “Don’t Make Me Do It,” a striking and heartfelt pop gem. Never raising her voice above speaking volume, La Puerta puts just enough character into each line to convey more than is said– particularly on the titular plea of the chorus (which incidentally, unlike the rest of the song, is not bathed in synthesizers). Yes, there it is, that Sarah La Puerta keyboard sound– playful, hopeful, but always just a little bit concerned. The song’s lyrics follow a similar path. “I’d like to know/ that your love/ is a love I can be sure of” is intoned dreamily, as if to herself. We see shadows slowly moving across a garden at night; we are slowly dancing down a cobbled Parisian alleyway, stepping gingerly on the rocks; we smell cigarette smoke, and there are lights colored orange, pink, and blue. The song ends with a deep sigh of relief. We feel OK. — Eric Braden

Pre-Order Slack Capital 2 HERE.
April 14th Release Show Info HERE.

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