If you haven’t listened to Common Blah, the debut LP from Maine’s Weakened Friends, then you might be missing on some hook-laden pop rock…but fear not, there’s a new tune out there too, just to show you where you went wrong. This new track is precisely what drew me to the band (even grabbed them for our hasty SXSW show) initially; they have these huge riffs and anthemic styles. I’m also quite fond of the way Sonia Sturino has this slight hiccup in her vocal delivery…just always a fan of distinctive voices in the world. The trio have a whole slew of shows in both the Europe (September) and the US (October), so keep an eye out for ’em.
Deeper dropped their stunning self-titled LP last year via Fire Talk, and we did a lot of coverage on that album; I even booked them at my super-last-minute SXSW show, where they killed it. Now, the band are back with the announcement of a new 7″, featuring a John Maus cover and this new track below. I love the immediacy of the rhythm section here, offering up an energetic bob of right from the get-go. They don’t stray too far either, bringing in some discordant angular guitar riffs to craft the contrast where they vocals can weave in and out. This tune’s super rad, and they’ll have the 7″ on hand when they hit the road with label mates Dehd this Fall.
I honestly don’t know what it is about Devendra Banhart, but something about his songwriting always just feels like I’m at home. Maybe it’s the slight quiver just beneath his voice, or maybe its the sincerity that shines through his lyrics. On his newest single, it seems like Devendra is definitely getting personal, having penned a song in memory of three lost friends. It’s such a gentle number, with these beautiful arrangements behind Devendra’s voice and guitar; they add this textural depth that is often overlooked in his writing. His new album Ma is being released by Nonesuch on September 13th. It’ll be followed by a bunch of tour dates for the Fall, including a stop in Austin for Levitation.
Sunbelt Emptiness should be required listening for all humans, so get on that HERE. But, more importantly, Pollen Rx are back with new music! The group, as ever, remain undeniably catchy; I love how the surfy guitars work to set the scene for Maud’s vocal performance. Perhaps more important is the message the band is brandishing; the band describe this tune as their response to the ‘pervasive sexualization of women and the elevation of young women.’ It’s one of the things that make Pollen Rx so vital in our musical scene; they can deliver a hook as good as any other, but its important to note that there’s always an underlying message. Austinites will recognize this tune as a standout of the band’s recent live performances, but the rest of you should check out their tour dates as they head out in June on their way up to Chicago and back!
I’m an avid fan of Nada Surf; they’ve always found some way to connect with me personally. For me, Let Go, is my personal favorite…so it’s great to see others take notice by covering all the songs on the LP for a charity of release titled Standing at the Gates: The Songs of Nada Surf’s Let Go. There’s some heavy hitters on the list like Aimee Mann and Rogue Wave, but today we get to share with you this Ron Gallo version of standout track “Happy Kid.” It begins slowly, but takes on the song’s true spirit once it bursts forth just before the 1 minute mark. This LP will see a release on February 2nd, but don’t forget the group will also be touring the whole of the US playing Let Go in its entirety!
These days it seems like the best way to kickstart your day is with an energetic number, so just sit down in your chair and turn up this Deep State tune. The tones of the guitar from the start indicate a slight nod towards a more post-punk vibe, though the band eventually moves into a spunkier bit of folk pop. The exuberance is crystal clear, but I feel as this is one of the long lost tunes Built to Spill crafted on the back end of Nothing Wrong with Love. The group’s on tour right now, with a stop in Austin at Electric Church this evening!
You’ve all heard that Harlem is returning, at least in temporary form. The band is reuniting, and doing a bit of touring…starting with a show this Saturday at Hotel Vegas…then they go off to Australia. So, in effort to be their best, the band have been practicing non-stop, trying to guarantee good times and good vibes. Luckily, they managed to lay down a new track too…so give it a go right here! Hope you realize it’s a cover of Lana Del Rey’s “Cola.”
Ladies and germs, allow me to introduce you to Newcastle, Australia based outfit RAAVE TAPES and their impressively heavy sound. Their music definitely has some elements of bands you’ve maybe heard in the past, but never have you heard these elements all come together in one song. Think if Screaming Females managed to get even heavier and louder like say a Death From Above or Colourmusic, and you’d be pretty close. If you’re not one for comparisons, check out this new track “k bye” and let us know what you think. I’m sure it won’t disappoint.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t start off Friday with this tasty new Belle and Sebastian morsel. It’s an interesting new tune, with a pretty quick-delivering vocal attack from Stuart built around basic percussion. But, as the Belles are always like to do, the song begins to swell, layers are added, leading the song to a momentary blissful burst. They’ll be touring the US through the end of July and start of August (though sadly no Austin dates). Maybe this hints at a new record just around the corner, and I’ll take that any day.
Austin’s been fortunate to house Emily Beanblossom’sRuby Fray for the last several years, and while she’s about ready to leave our city for Chicago, it looks like she wanted to leave us with one more great track. I love the brooding bounce that really pushes this track forward, almost crafting a dream pop number as keyboards twinkle in the distance. I like the little syllabic notes she tosses in with her vocals, adding a layer of playfulness to what seems like an otherwise sullen tune. Emily and her band will head out on a Western tour of the States before heading back up to Chi-town to wrap up her work on a new album.