Ola Podrida – Belly of the Lion

belly

Rating: ★★★★½

David Wingo easily won me over with his first album, Ola Podrida, but at the time, he was living in New York, working on various film scores and what not.  He’s returned to Austin, which makes me love him even more, and he’s just released another album, Belly of the Lion, that shouldn’t go unnoticed. Be it the warmth of his voice, or the emotional landscaping he creates with his tunes, you’ll find something enchanting throughout the duration of his second album under the Ola Podrida moniker.

For some reason, and this isn’t meant in a disenchanted way, this album feels ultimately louder than the self-titled album, well, as loud as Wingo seems to get.  “The Closest We Will Ever Be” seems like a more complete version of the songs on his first record.  Much as most of the songs are, this song has grown to include various layers to accompany David’s vocals.  Perhaps some might see this as a less-intimate affair, but rest assured, getting inside the listener is something he accomplishes with ease.

“Your Father’s Basement” was the first single to be let loose from the wonderful label Western Vinyl, and this is just one of the many tracks that will standout in your mind.  As usual, you’ll find precision guitar strumming, creating a comfort zone within the song; it’s a place for all the listeners to sit and rest.  And as you do so, you’ll find it difficult not to fall in love with Wingo’s unique vocals.  There is a familiarity in his delivery, perhaps one indebted in Texas folk musings; regardless, this song stands up to the expectations set forth by the former album’s “Jordanna.”

Songs such as “Monday Morning” and “Sink or Swim” definitely demonstrate that Wingo has done some work in the film industry.  While “Monday Morning” uses various backing tracks to create and emotional appeal throughout the story of the song, “Sink or Swim” fits perfectly into the intimate moments between a romantic encounter, one that is likely to take place in some sort of wintery wonderland.  Such is the strength of the album, as Wingo has included more in the bedroom listening he provides for his audience.

For this listener, “Lakes of Wine” is a remarkable track, aside from the fact that I consider them ALL remarkable.  He gently picks at the heart of the guitar, drawing your ears closely into the song itself.  And in doing so, you find yourself absorbed before the lyrics even jump into the tune. There is something extremely personal in both his delivery and his lyrics here, as he waxes nostalgic; you, too, will travel back into the past with him.  Such is the true art of David Wingo.

While it seems that too few people have had a proper chance to expose themselves to Ola Podrida (such is the tragedy of technology’s effect on our listening habits), Belly of the Lion is an example of a confident piece of work that was carefully crafted to draw upon every human emotion, plugging it into each song.  You’ll want to have this album on hand as we prepare for the winter, and as you prepare to make your record collection complete with masterful pieces of art.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/WV67_YFB.mp3]

Download: Ola Podrida – Your Father’s Basement [MP3]

New Tunes from Ola Podrida

daveWith our continued support and love for David Wingo and Ola Podrida, we bring you a new tune off his upcoming LP Belly of the Lion due November 10th.  Not only do we get to support a great local Austinite, but in doing so, we get to support the great local label Western Vinyl.  Here’s to that, and here’s that new tune.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/08-Roomful-of-Sparrows.mp3]

Download: Ola Podrida – Roomful of Sparrows [MP3]

New Tunes from Ola Podrida

olaAfter spending time working on various projects, David Wingo finally returns to the writing of his fantastic soft-spoken numbers under the name of Ola Podrida. Rumor has it that he’s returned to Austin, but either way, we love the quiet beauty he’s given us in the past, so we’re looking forward to the release of his new record, Belly of the Lion, on November 10th. And it doesn’t hurt that he’s releasing it on Austin’s own Western Vinyl.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/WV67_YFB.mp3]

Download: Ola Podrida – Your Father’s Basement [MP3]

ATH Interviews: Here We Go Magic

magicBefore their sold out show at the Parish, ATH stopped by End of an Ear in Austin on Tuesday for an intimate in-store performance by Brooklyn band Here we go Magic.  Shortly after the set, we had the chance to sit down with founding member Luke Temple to ask him a few questions about his newly formed band.  We talk about what it’s been like touring with Grizzly Bear, the future of his band, and tons more interesting tidbits.  Follow the jump to read our full interview with Luke Temple.

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Balmorhea @ Ballet Austin (3/13)

balmorheaIn celebration of their new LP, All is Wild, All is Silent, local boys Balmorhea are  throwing a release party at Ballet Austin (map) on Friday night.  The Wooden Birds will provide your opening band entertainment during the nights events.  Doors open up at 9:30 and entrance will cost you only $8.  Free loaders take note, New Belgium Brewery & Progress Coffee are sponsoring and will provide complimentary beverages while supplies last!  Single track “Harm & Boon” from the band’s debut LP (out now on Western Vinyl) is below.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/wv59_hb.mp3]

Download: Balmorhea – Harm & Boon [MP3]

J Tillman – Vacilando Territory Blues

Rating: ★★★ · ·

Local Austin label, Western Vinyl, has caught hold of yet another bedroom country musician, but this time with a familiar name, at least to many. J Tillman is one of the various vocalists in last year’s adored Fleet Foxes.  On his latest release, Vacilando Territory Blues, he offers the public his take on meandering folk tunes, this time sans multiple part harmonies.

While most that are unfamiliar with Tillman’s solo work will see similarities with his other group, this is an album that sonically goes outside of the spectrum of the aforementioned group.  A noticeable difference upon first listen is that he does not seem overeager to fill all the empty space.  He allows for the presence of hollow moments, or negative space if you will.  This allows him to spend more time crafting the individual song structure, but that is the role when one chooses to go solo.

Oddly, the absence of multiple harmonies reveals one telling detail, that being that his voice might hold more strength than that other guy.  There is an element of sincerity, tinged with personal clarity, that makes his songs immediately personable to the listener.  It’s as if stepping out of the shadow allows him to find himself, and he does it through his songs.

Fans of modern alt-country and folk tunes will surely find a great deal of comfort in listening to songs like “No Occasion.”  Sure, there is a definite sense of familiarity with the acoustic styling of the song, not to mention the vocal tones, but you’d be hard tapped not to notice the force behind the song.  He uses a similar pattern throughout the album, which may be his one downfall.

As each song meanders through the album, the entirety of it all gets a little tedious.  Often it’s hard to differentiate one song from the next one, though separately they all are somewhat striking.  However, the patterns just go on and on, which can easily wear on any listener who is listening half-heartedly, allowing this album to merely seep into the background.

All in all, you’ll find comfort in the listening experience you get with J. Tillman here, though you may not fall head over heels in love.  It’s an above average piece of output, but it simply needs a little extra something to push it beyond the level where it rests.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/02-no-occasion.mp3]

Download: J Tillman – No Occasion [MP3]

Here We Go Magic

Usually solo artist Luke Temple recently formed a group with some of his Brooklyn friends called Here We Go Magic.  The band is planning to release their debut self-titled LP on Feb. 24th via our local record label Western Vinyl.  First single “Tunnelvision” can be found below.  It’s getting heavy play around the ATH offices.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/here-we-go-magic-tunnelvision.mp3]

Download: Here We Go Magic – Tunnelvision [MP3]

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