New Ballad from Jennifer Castle

I feel almost obligated to write about Jennifer Castle‘s new single, at the very least due to its title, “Texas.” Musically, its quite entrancing as well, with hints of classic soul vibes peaking through the folkish sentiment. The playfulness of the video is accentuated by the careful percussive qualities of the tune, as do the “ooh ooh” backing vocals. I always appreciate a musician who can so seamlessly straddle genres, as Castle does here…only furthering the musical charm. Her new album, Angels of Death, will be released on May 18th courtesy of Paradise of Bachelors.

 

New RF Shannon Tune

While our early insight into RF Shannon‘s Trickster Blues has offered glimpses of smoky Texas folk, the songwriter clearly is making a bold statement with his latest single. Driven by a powerful piano backbone, guitar chords shoot off into the distance while Shannon croons with his baritone touch, all the while sucking listeners into this broad expanse. Sure, those little psychedelic flourishes pop up, even in just momentary guitar blips, but this is possibly the most pronounced pop version of the project we’ll get; it’s like someone from Texas decided to take a crack at topping Grizzly Bear…and it’s pretty damn near close. Look for the new LP on May 4th via Cosmic Dreamer.

The New Year Release Video for The Last Fall

Among my favorite artists from Texas, if not just in general, are the brothers Kadane. Last year they issued Snow via their band The New Year; it was a wondrous return to form that charmed long time fans such as myself. Today we’re sharing a video for album track “The Last Fall,” directed by fellow Texan Keven McAlester. I really love how the noisy element of this track coincides with a brief interlude to the video’s story. Let’s not forget how well strong the cymbals sound on this tune, riding in step with the piano lines being used. It’s a great piece, both visually and musically, giving me yet another reason to break the LP out again and give it several spins. Still a few copies of the LP HERE.

Stream the New Album from The Crystal Furs

crystalfursI have a feeling the first part of this week will be me covering hits I missed while we took a bit of a breather. One thing I actually listened to quite a bit, but hadn’t posted was this rocking indiepop record from The Crystal Furs (they released it just a few days after Christmas). Throughout the entirety of the listen you’ll hear great hooks and boundless energy, leaving you with an enduring bit of pop to spin for the rest of the week. I think my favorite tune at this point is “Never Walks,” but things could change as I spend more and more time listening. Do the same, and you’re sure to find joy.

Brand New Tune from Lomelda

lomeldaIt’s a new year, and what better way to start off than by revisiting one of my favorites, Lomelda. Hannah Read has a sensation voice, coming in with a softened smokiness here. I like the muffled strum of guitar moving just beneath the mix, with the piano twinkling brightly to add pace and rhythm to the tune. Such beauty and promise in 2017 is a remarkable way to start things off, so enjoy this tune…and look for Hannah’s voice to sparkle in the forthcoming Tres Oui EP we’re putting out in February.

Welcome Home Monk Parker

d6c9f0de-991e-448a-8ece-723319c91707Many locals around these parts venture off to greener pastures at some point in their career and Monk Parker is no different.  Having moved off to NYC a while back with his band The Low Lows, Parker is back home here in Austin after his band’s breakup.  From the ashes of his now defunct band, comes an entire LP of solo material recorded at his family farm just outside of ATX.  As a preview of the upcoming album, new single “Sadly Yes” has just been released.  To me, it’s in the vein of alt country, similar to fellow locals like Will Johnson as a solo musician or with his projectSouth San Gabriel.  Very majestic and beautiful.  Welcome back.

New album, How the Spark Loves the Tinder, is due out on August 28th via Bronze Rat.

The Demigs Deliver

imagesMy apologies to our neighbors to the north in Denton as we seemed to have missed out on their boys The Demigs over the years, but I am to make this right today.  The band just sent me this new single today called “Arches” and I’m immediately taken by the sound being created here.  Indie pop is the name of the game here and it represents the genre wonderfully.  Bright guitars, monotone vocals, and a nice build up at the end create some lovely pop moments.

A new double LP entitled Welcome to Hard Times is due out on April 14th via I Love Math Records.

Austin Hip-Hop: Tuk Da Gat & S. Dot

Austin natives and League of Extraordinary Gz members Tuk Da Gat and S. Dot have been a strong part of the LOEGz’s domination of the Austin hip-hop scene over the past few years. The duo have a couple performances during SXSW, along with a showcase with LOEGz. Tuk Da Gat and S. Dot will be performing March 17 at Flamingo Cantina and March 21 at The Palm Door. They also have new material out with rising Austin hip-hop producer Eric Dingus. Tuk Da Gat and S. Dot’s “Raw Pt. 2” featuring LOEGz affiliate Lil’ J and produced by Dingus can be streamed below.

SXSW 2015 Hip-Hop: Freddie Gibbs

freddie-gibbs-usa-flag-grungecake-thumbnailWhen Freddie Gibbs first gained attention outside of his native Gary, Indiana with his mixtape The Miseducation of Freddie Gibbs, he seemed destined for stardom. Five years, a couple EPs, and an independent album later Gibbs seems to be nowhere near the stardom some expected from him. There’s no doubt that the mainstream music audience noticed him; a member of the 2010 XXL Freshman class, a highly publicized friendship and then falling out with rapper Jeezy. So, why is Gibbs making EPs with lesser known artists like Statik Selektah and Madlib? Why did he only have mostly little known guest rappers on his album? Because he likes his specific brand of music and is clearly only interested in mainstream success if it means not compromising his artistry. Expect an authentic show to compliment his incredible delivery at his SXSW 2015 performance.  Follow the jump for video.

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SXSW 2015 Hip-Hop: IAMSU!

IAMSU! is one of the more talented acts to come out of the California Bay Area, post-Hyphy movement. IAMSU! has been making a name for himself on the west coast for a number of years and is also one of the founding members of the Heartbreak Gang (aka HBK Gang) rap group, which also includes Sage the Gemini, famous for the 2013 hit “Gas Pedal”. IAMSU! performed along with HBK Gang at Fader Fort last year and is returning for several shows this year. Confirmed performances include Bar 96 on 3/19 and Clive Bar on 3/20, along with another unspecified confirmation.

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