All of us in Austin are extremely familiar with Rob Lowe, not the actor, but one of the key members of Balmorhea. Don’t you dare expect anything in the vein of his previous work, as he’s clearly stepping out to craft a huge pop sound. This lead single from Slow Time is filled with funky bits of guitar stabs and synth beats bursting…all while Lowe carefully croons and bounces his way through the vocal performance. It’s almost like an uplifting soul experience, and definitely worthy of our attention. You’ll be able to grab his new release via the ultra-reliable Western Vinyl on June 2nd.
We haven’t heard from Abram Shook since 2015, but the good news for Austin, and everywhere, is that he’s back with the brand new Love at Low Speed. The batch of songs on this album is said to be of a more personal nature, which inevitably will hit home for listeners. I love how this song opens with Shook and guitar, and little else. It seems to fit the song, creating an immediate intimacy that captures the audience, before the track is built up by further accompaniment. It’s a slow-paced adventure filled by Abram’s continued sonic exploration as he seeks to reach musical perfection. My two cents? You’re close pal, so so close. New album will be out on June 16th via Western Vinyl.
It’s fine– who needs a dollar when you have not one, but three great new tracks from Dave Hartley’s Nightlands? We first got a taste of some of Hartley’s new material a month or so ago, and we were smitten with the pop sensibilities in the new music. Now, we’ve got three more new tracks to ooze over, each of which are pretty great Friday listening. I’m trading off on which song is my favorite at the moment, but the Dion cover, “Only You Know” is currently winning. It’s got this great sort of twee electro-pop vibe to it, but Hartley keeps things lo-fi with his distorted vocals and the tightly knit, jangly guitar riffs.
These tracks below are taken from Nightlands’ upcoming release,I Can Feel The Night Around Me. It’s out May 5th via Western Vinyl.
What’s this? Nightlands crafting expansive pop music? Absolutely, and this is a return to the stunning form that captured my ears when Dave Hartley first announced his product. This song’s all about the vocals, with the strumming and echo of a slide guitar merely serving to fill in the negative space for a complete sound. There’s some great vocal modulation on this tune, from this high pitched note that opens the song to a deeper vibe in the verses; it’s a really stunning recording, perfect for the rainy day we’re getting down here in Austin. Speaking of Austin, the new Nightlands album, I Can Feel the Night Around Me, will be released by our very own Western Vinyl on May 5th.
While Stranger Things has brought the spotlight to Austin’s Holodeck Records (deservingly so!), there’s still some other labels and acts not associated that are worthy of your time…like Botany. This track dropped late last Friday, so odds are that those with good taste have heard it already. It’s a movement piece, washing little bits of space-y atmospherics and twinkling atop this beautiful little piano backbone. It’s a journey and a story being told, though I think it’s completely open to your interpretation as the song takes form, and then changes. I relish the exploratory quality within the confines of this listen, and hope you’ll give it a deserved listen; look for this song on the new album, Deepak Verbera from Western Vinyl on October 14th.
It seems that Trevor Montgomery, the man fronting Young Moon, has something special. His voice and musical approach puts him somewhere in the middle between Tom Waits and Bill Callahan (I also hear a bit of Arab Strap), which will endear him to hordes of underground fans who will clamor and fight to say they were the first to hear him. Something special is coming through your speakers here, so please don’t ignore these promotional words of encouragement. His new album, Colt, will be out on June 3rd via one of our favorites, Western Vinyl.
It seems like when Mike and Jared Bell of Lymbc Systm go to work, they just go full blast. They’re fresh off a US tour with Foxing, which came on the back of their recently released (and excellent) Split Stones LP (via Western Vinyl). One of those tracks gets the remix treatment here, with some subtle touches that offer a softer approach to “Paraboloid.” The wash of atmospherics and the burst of pop emotion has been pulled back slightly, leaving you with a chilled version of the track. The duo is currently working on an EP that will be released by their label later on this year, including a remix by Austin musician Botany. You can find the original version of the song HERE, and stream the remix below. Don’t forget to grab the LP too!
This Friday you will have to rush to the record store (or online if that’s your bag) to grab a copy of Carter Tanton‘s brand new album, Jettison the Valley. Fortunately, we have another single from the album to share with you today…it’s rumored to be Carter’s favorite track on the LP. Opening percussive moments stand in like a metronome, allowing for the lofty range of Tanton’s voice to soar high in the mix, setting the tone for the track. One of my favorite things about this song, and the album as a whole, is that while many singer/songwriters rest on the tradition of voice, guitar and minimal percussion, Carter’s filling in his songs, be it backing harmonies, slide guitar or atmospheric touches; it elevates the record far beyond the norm. Look for the record this Friday courtesy of Western Vinyl.
It’s always introducing to hear what Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith comes up with when she sits down to work. A great deal of her efforts have been electronic masterpieces, based mostly on instrumental pieces…this new single has a different feel to it. Her construction is quite similar, but adding vocals to the layered mixture makes me recall some of the denser tracks from The Knife. It takes an already interesting songwriting process to the next level, and I can’t wait to hear the entirety of Ears when it’s released on April 1st by Western Vinyl. She’ll also be making her way to Austin for this year’s Levitation Fest.
So, according to the Western Vinyl Soundcloud page, this track has been up for eight days, but I’ve yet to come across the mountains of praise that it deserves, so I figured I’d share it with you. Carter Tanton hasn’t been active in a little while, but man am I glad to hear that he’s back. What’s more is that this track features the always lovely vocals of Sharon Van Etten, and though her contribution is subtle, it still adds an extra layer of pleasing harmony to the track. This song, “Twentynine Palms” is a soft blues-folk tune and it looks like it will be the first song off of Tanton’s upcoming album,Jettison The Valley which will be out March 4th through Western Vinyl.You should pre-order it here.