Ladies and germs, the moment you have been waiting for is finally here. Levitation Festival is back in 2023 with a first wave lineup announcement and WOW, this bill is stacked with some serious heavy hitters. Beach Fossils, Slow Pulp, Blonde Redhead, Death From Above, THE CHURCH, Panda Bear… LET’S GO! Yep the bill is loaded and you can expect the entire ATH team to be out in full force. Full lineup below and on that fancy poster. Tickets are also on sale NOW. Full lineup can be seen after the jump (for style purposes) or over on that very fancy pants poster.
Launder‘s been lauded by tons of the heavy-hitting sites, claiming that his brand of “shoegaze” is super melodic, putting him on the radar of tons of people. Perhaps it caught the attention of DIIV‘s Zach and Colin, who helped pen the first two singles off the forthcoming Happening LP. The songs are really good, though I wouldn’t necessarily call them “shoegaze.” despite the sort of heavy-handed riff work being omni-present. Songwriter John Cudlip seems more fascinated by toying with melody, and the way you can work it in and out of heavier guitar sounds, with a hint of darkness at play too, which is where it kind of falls into that “gaze” category I reckon. I’m digging it, and interested to see how the rest of Happening shapes out; it’s release on July 15th via Ghostly International.
I’ve stepped out of my musical comfort zone a bit recently, and I’m glad I did, because I’ve really been enjoying the new music from Matt Dowling and his project known as SWOLL. Today I’m pleased to share with you new single, “Shudder to Think”, as the second preview of the upcoming new album. When compared to the previous, more chill single “Unwound”, this new one hits much harder and would certainly be labeled an electronic pop powerhouse of sound. A little bit hectic at times, but super catchy and full of infectious energy.
SWOLL will release new album UNWOUND on September 27th via Blight Records.
[bandcamp width=100% height=42 album=4213894432 size=small bgcol=ffffff linkcol=0687f5 track=2339488427]
SWOLL is a Baltimore based electronic project featuring Matt Dowling (vocals), Ben Schurr (bass), Erik Sleight (baritone guitar), and Zak Forrest (lights). Having already released a critically acclaimed debut self-titled album, the band now has plans to release a new LP of material entitled Unwound. Of course a new single comes along with this album announcement and you can check it out below. Immediately this new single, and title track from the record, has drawn me in with a slick ass beat and some vocals unique and weird enough to stand out on the song. Could be a little bit Animal Collective with a little bit of the chiller side of Painted Palms as well. It’s a nice.
[bandcamp width=100% height=42 album=4213894432 size=small bgcol=ffffff linkcol=0687f5 artwork=none]
The burgeoning music scene in Denton, Tx has long been known for releasing quality music; Tre Orsi is apparently going to be another one of those bands. Recently, they’ve gotten some press for their appearance on Casual Victim Pile compilation by Matador, but Devices + Emblems gives the group a more definititve sound.
From the onset of this album you can tell that there is a brooding sense of post-punk that lies beneath this record. Repetitive angular guitars seem to drive the opener “Manumission” prior to the climactic break down that kick starts the rest of the number. But, it’s “Engineer” that will undoubtedly grab your ear as it did mine. For some reason, I hear a young J. Mascis wailing away on the guitars here, or at least in the vocals. Still, people will want to toss around Unwound references, which I suppose is relevant.
One of the things that just gets me here, though never quite fulfills, is the increasing tension that is built by piling guitars atop one another in a repetitive fashion. But, while they could completely release the fury upon listeners, they use a bit of restraint–perhaps this a trait suggested by their producer Bubba Kadane. I love it all, but give me a little bit of a yelp, or just a nice solid scream.
What’s amazing on Devices + Ebmblems is how enthralling the record can be with just the simplest songwriting. Nowadays, every record seems to need a touch of electronics or string arrangements ( I do like that stuff too), but a song like “Sargasso” desmonstrates that some bands don’t really need any of the tricks. It’s refreshing to hear a song that relies a great deal on cleanly produced vocals with just a hint of some off-kilter intonation to drive the song’s message home.
Then again, perhaps this is just a record of nostalgic purposes. It’s clear cut in its goal, and it doesn’t deviate too much from where it began. You get guitars cutting in and out, along with moments that seem to build towards no ending. Yet, in using this approach, Tre Orsi strays away from every mainstay in independent music. They’ve got a stylistic approach that is all their own, but one that seems to echo every record in your collection from those teenage years. By no means is this meant as a condemnation of the group, as I definitely have an affinity for this music, and this album.
Devices + Emblems is a record that wears its influences openly, leading you to walk down memory lane with Tre Orsi. Still, something within this record is begging you to be pulled in (or it begged me), and you’ll find yourself enjoying every twist and turn of the guitar all the way until you arrive at “Declaring Space,” the last track. It’s here where it all makes sense, it all comes together; the past, the present and the future unite for a really solid record.[audio:https://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/02-The-Engineer.mp3]
Download: Tre Orsi – The Engineer [MP3]