Simon Merle Drops Solo LP

To be fair to Simon, he’s received tons of coverage on this site, though that’s been entirely due to his songwriting duties in the now defunct outfit, the Bankees. Simon’s voice has always been a strong pull for me, and it remains one of the central focal points on this album, as he’s working with pretty barebones construction here, mostly wrapping his voice around soft strumming (and the occasional backing vocal) throughout the LPs entirety. But, there are moments when little details creep in, like on my favorite “I Can’t Talk.” There’s even some Bolan-esque ballads here, like “Never Be Famous,” so you’ll likely spend a good amount of time immersing yourself in the entirety of this album. Give a listen and its a NYOP download!

 

The Bankees Have a New Single

After a brief hiatus, The Bankees, returned last year with new music, and here we are with the band still pushing forward with new tunes. Their latest single has an understated feel, with the guitars twanging in the back behind the vocal performance. Those vocals carry a slight affected twang, almost drawl, allowing the band to spill syllables over into the next…all the while the drums bang on and keep pushing the tempo. Careful listens reveal a slight post-punk edge to the songwriting, so who knows what direction the band is heading…but we know we’ll be anxiously waiting.

The Bankees Are Back

It hasn’t been that long since the last release from The Bankees, but we were under the impression that Friends (2015) would be the last release from our favorite French popsters. Luckily, Simon reached out this week to drop me their new album, Sunny Days. It’s carefully crafted casual pop music, with hints of Kevin Morby or Dan Bejar, but what I love is that the track are succinct, with only a couple of the tunes stretching beyond the 3 minute mark. You’ll find this record fits perfectly into your afternoon rotation, letting you drift off into the slow crawl of the day.

The Bankees Are Back

I’m not sure if this is just a world of circumstance coming together or if the Bankees will reunite in full, but I’m glad the band is back with their new mini-album, The Family Man…even if only for a minute. While on hiatus, the members of the band had families, fell in love and moved forward in their life after toiling in the music world for some time; these songs all reflect those moments, building their new lives into new songs. Musically, the songs are light and hopeful, employing the band’s knack for using harmony and touching on the various indie elements we all love. Enjoy their new album…and hope that even if their appearances are brief, that they’re always coming back to give us more.

Good and Bad News from The Bankees

bankyIf you’ve been reading our site over the years, one of the group’s we’ve always praised has been The Bankees. I’ve enjoyed their work since the beginning, and they reached out to us yesterday to share a little bit of news with us, both good and bad. The good news is that they’ll be offering a brand new record, Friends, to all their fans. The first single is really great, it seems to encompass the history of the band’s sound all in one great pop song. But, as Simon indicates in his email, this is the final release from the band as they all are parting ways to work on various new adventures. Sad news for me, but I implore you to go visit the bands music, old and new.

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Brand New Music from The Bankees

bankyThere are some band’s you really root for; the Bankees is that band for me.  I’ve been a huge fan of the group, as this site can attest, and I’ll continue to support their consistently solid musical endeavors.  They’re prepping for the release of their new EP, Gizmo, and the first single is definitely a relaxing tune; it’s actually the first time I really feel like there’s a bit of a French inflection on the vocals (which makes sense seeing as they’re from France).  There’s a smooth little guitar cut that gives some swagger, while the rest of the song takes on a groove that warms the soul.  Look for their new EP on March 21st.

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Brand New Music from The Bankees

The Bankees VLong have I championed The Bankees, a band that deserves far more appreciation than perhaps they’ve gotten.  Honestly, everything they’ve done has affected me in some manner or another.  I got great news today that the band has completed work on their 5th album, completing some of their best songs to date.  They remind me a little bit of a dreamier version of Comet Gain, perhaps including a little bit more psychedelic elements too.  I’ve spent the afternoon listening to V, the new album, and I’m offering up one of the many great tracks featured on the record.  If you’re looking for something that encompasses pop elements whilst still challenging your ears, then grab a listen here.

[audio:https://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/07-Miley.mp3]

Download: The Bankees – Miley [MP3]

More Great Music from The Bankees

bankeesThankfully, the Bankees are going strong with their new efforts, deciding to release an EP in honor of Record Store Day.  Just a few weeks ago I put up “Heaven 1&2,” but this song has a different feel to it.  It begins slowly, with a tinkering piano and a lightly strummed guitar part, awaiting the entrance of the vocals.  A minute later, the song takes off into old school rock pastiche, with swagger and soul, just as a guitar solos in momentarily.  For me, this song shows the growth of the group over the last few years, crafting some of the most intimate pop music.  Be happy bands write tunes like this.

[audio:https://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/01-The-Plumber-Life.mp3]

Download: The Bankees – The Plumber Life [MP3http://

New Music Premiere: The Bankees – Heaven 1 & 2

bankeesI’m going to support this band until the day I die, so I’m glad they’ve let us premiere one of their most accomplished tracks to date.  If you recall, last year I doted on Home, but the band has been hard at work crafting new sounds and a new record.  It’s titled Heaven, and currently is looking for a home (hit me up if you want to put this record out, and I’ll get you in touch).  Seeing as I’m familiar with the group, you can tell that they’ve developed their sound quite a bit, dabbling a bit in psychedelia, while still holding true to their affectingly warm pop.  I pray for big things, as the songs and the band truly deserve greater recognition.

[audio:https://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Heaven-III.mp3]

Download: The Bankees – Heaven I & II [MP3]

Top Albums of 2012: 50-1

Here it is.  I know you’ll hate it; I know you’ll disagree, but that’s not the point in making an arbitrary list.  We here at ATH worked really hard to fit in the tastes of the four of us, and when we decided upon our Top 50, it really boied down to simple math.  What albums did we love when they came out?  Do we still enjoy spinning those records months later? If they’re in the Top 50, then the asnwer is probably yes.  I mean, our Top 2 records came out in January, and still play a vital part in my weekly listening.  There’s no disclaimer here.  We are who we are, we like what we like, and we hope that’s okay with you. If not, drop us a line and let us know where we went wrong.

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