Posts Tagged ‘Austin Texas’

Occasionally when a hip new band starts to get considerable buzz there’s usually one single in particular tied to the hype. For Austin-based indie rock group Why Bonnie, that song just might be the blistering “Athlete,” a recently released single from their “Voice Box” EP. It’s truly an attention-grabber, full of fortified feedback fuzz, screeching guitars and the unmistakable power of frontwoman Blair Howerton’s soft yet deep voice. It begins with scratchy violin strings straight out of a horror flick before the band pokes at the idea of athletic prowess “‘Athlete’ is the most ‘rock and roll’ track on the EP so we wanted to make a video that embodied that, but also felt like casual, day-in-the-life footage,” the band said in a statement.

“Kind of like watching a home movie that you found in a box in your parents’ attic, but instead of you as a three-year old on the soccer field, you’re a grown adult with about the same skill level.” “Athlete” isn’t the only star single, though: The Voice Box title track is just as attractive, but a bit closer to the dream-pop side of things. Any band who can squeeze this much beautiful noise into such a small amount of output is one to keep your eyes on.

The Austin group add:  “The video was directed by Alex  inker and is essentially just a true field day filmed on VHS. ‘Athlete’ is the most ‘rock and roll’ track on the EP so we wanted to make a video that embodied that, but also felt like casual, day-in-the-life footage.”

“Kind of like watching a home movie that you found in a box in your parents’ attic, but instead of you as a three-year old on the soccer field, you’re a grown adult with about the same skill level.”

Loosely focused on Austin, Texas, the project match skittering indie pop to some early 90s alt-rock influences. Pitting the dream-like sheen of Mazzy Star or The Cranberries against grainy, DIY production, their song writing matches a sense of classicism to a supremely personal approach.

“Voice Box” by Why Bonnie off of ‘Voice Box’, It came out April 10th, 2020 on Fat Possum Records.

Interloper sees the band adding new layers to their lush and mesmerizing songwriting style. Written about the duality between life at home and life on the road, it sees the band expanding on their most esoteric and thought-provoking themes. Holy Wave have never been your average Austin psych band. With a keyboard-forward sound that favours groovy krautrock rhythms and sunshine harmonies, they’ve always been closer to Stereolab or The Free Design than The 13th Floor Elevators or The Brian Jonestown Massacre. Their music is more interesting and varied than their rather generic name might suggest.

If you’re unfamiliar with Holy Wave, “Interloper” is a pretty good place to start. The layers of keyboards and harmonies are warm and comforting, and more than a little trippy. Much of Interloper has a half-awake feel to it, like an afternoon nap on a sunny day, and the synthesizer lines on “Escapism” and the title track float like specks of dust suspended in a beam of light pouring through the blinds. There are also a few motorik jams (“Hell Bastards,” “Buddhist Pete”), and couple milquetoast stabs at festival fodder (“R&B” sounds like Tame Impala covering Mac DeMarco), but Interloper mostly makes for a great chilled-out, lazy summer day listen. In particular, the “Schmettering” and “No Love,” with their funky, baroque arrangements, sound like a picnic under a tree. “Anyone could sing ‘la la la’ and you’d be alright,” a line from “Interloper” goes, which encapsulates the breezy vibe nicely.


“I’m Not Living in the Past Anymore” is a mantra about breaking the cycle of the mundane, “Escapism” is a dream-like meditation. “Interloper” serves as the centerpiece for this self-expanding record, asking, what happens when the world beneath your feet changes so much that you feel like a stranger in your own shoes? The band turns inward, to blissed-out moments on album opener “Schmetterling”, the saccharine haze of “R&B”, and the freak-out catharsis of live favorite “Buddhist Pete”.

Rleased July 3rd, 2020 on Reverberation Appreciation Society.

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This album was created from March 18th to April 17th by James, Steve, Greg, and Michael, with essential contributions from Mike St. Clair, Ian Salazar, Jim Vollentine, Lucas Anderson, Joshua Block, Jared Samuel, Daniel McNeill, Jim Eno, Joel Raif, Chris McGaha, Adam Chetwood, Kevin Maenen, Cedric Maes, Alessio Di Turi, Jordan Richardson, and Chad McGillivray.

Austin-based psychedelic-rock quartet White Denim recently undertook an ambitious project: create an album from start to finish in thirty days. From March 18th to April 17th, they wrote, recorded, mixed, and mastered nine full-length songs, which resulted in a new release, World as a Waiting Room.

By way of a WhatsApp group chat, recording separately at their Radio Milk Recording Studio in East Austin, constantly sanitizing their hands, and working remotely at their respective home studios, the band pulled it off while social distancing. The album brims with noisy jams reminiscent of their early years, and involved a slew of past collaborators chipping in—if you look through the album’s credits, you’ll recognize names of past band members like Josh Block and Lucas Anderson, who contributed mixing for tracks like “Go Numb” and “King Prospero,” and lyrics for the kinetic track “Work,” respectively.

While the coronavirus pandemic has by necessity brought on new modes of thinking, being, and creating, it also enabled the band to collaborate and reconnect with past creative partnerships in unexpected ways. With fifteen collaborators and thirty days to pull it off completely remotely, the album stands as an impressive reflection of the array of emotions one might feel during this strange time when life seems to have come to a halt. Following the release of World as a Waiting Room last week, we spoke to front man James Petralli about what went into making it.

Thank you to everyone that has pre-ordered and listened, and to the entire team involved in making the album!

World As A Waiting Room’ vinyl update! Thank you for your patience as our manufacturer works through some unavoidable delays with their printing vendor. The current timeline is for records to be assembled the last week of May. They’ll then be shipped to our online store warehouses in the US and UK,

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Swim Team

Austin, Texas-based songwriter Christelle Bofale will be the first to tell you the importance of family roots and mental health, considering how much those things aided her own self-discovery. Being the first American born in her family, the rich heritage of the Congo is deeply rooted in her upbringing and relationship with sounds.From singing and dancing with her mother as a child, to praying to Congolese music with her grandmother, to her father, a soukous guitar player and musical director for the Congregation at his church, Bofale’s journey as a musician has been defined in tiny intervals throughout the course of her life. As a songwriter, she infuses hints of the Congo into various aspects of her music, bridging the musical influences of the diaspora with juxtaposed elements of indie rock, soul and jazz respectively.

Weightless guitar tangents and lush, aquatic soundscapes are a vital part of what embodies Swim Team, her debut EP that serves a powerful introduction to Bofale’s budding artistry. Somewhere between influences like Joni Mitchell and Alex G, Bofale has found a sweet spot for her sound that lives between both harsh and gentle terrain, achieving a relaxing, yet rugged tonality.Each track pictured on Swim Team is brushed vividly with colors that illuminate the fear of being honest and doing that much needed personal work. Bofale’s earnest and bravery is a snapshot of black mental health and the nuance it carries. Being real isn’t easy, but it’s crucial in cultivating spaces for healthy discussion and giving other black women like Bofale a platform to do the same.


released May 31st, 2019

Written by Christelle Miller
Guitars – Christelle Miller, Jake Smith Drums- Billy Hickey, Bass- John Bergin

A new Sun June song is a nice thing to wake up to. aptly-titled for the moment, too. (there was little else released this week,  It was recorded + produced by Curtis Roush of The Bright Light Social Hour “Song Confessional” is an Austin-based podcast for which musicians and songwriters transform everyday stories into songs, and hometown band Sun June have contributed “Terrified”, a languid, calming gem. The latest edition of the podcast was released today, and you can listen to it at the NPR website now.

Band Members
Laura, Michael, Justin, Sarah, Stephen

Meanwhile the band are currently at work on their next LP, one due for release later this year.

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For the final lullaby recording during South by Southwest 2018, the London-based singer Nilüfer Yanya for her performance in the memory-filled world of Uncommon Objects. It’s a shop in Austin, Texas dedicated to sentimental curiosities of a world gone by. With that in mind, the relatively new musician with a bright future tackles a tune about something old and familiar: fond memories overwhelmed by the pain of love gone wrong.

“Baby Luv” can be found on Nilüfer Yanya’s 2018 release Do You Like Pain?The EP’s title is a line she repeats multiple times on “Baby Luv,” while her choppy guitar punctuates a weary, clock-like rhythm. That ticking beat is then amplified by the saxophone of her bandmate, Jazzi Bobbi while a camera pans a literary world of books that all seem blood-red. Objects once shiny and proud are worn and somewhat torn, with a future as uncertain as the love in this song

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Marmalakes, an Austin Texas-based rock-pop duo that infuses folky influences are “really nice guys”, their music is really nice, too. “New Sweden,” a single off of their full-length debut album Please Don’t Stop, is just a taste of what’s to come. Childhood friends Chase Weinacht (guitarist/writer) and Josh Halpern (drummer/producer) are able to capture the youthful energy of that time and make those nostalgic feelings warm, welcoming and close. And their local ties to Austin make those emotions even more palpable. “New Sweden” sounds like a homecoming of sorts, even though they’re poised to journey far and wide. Keep an eye out for Please Don’t Stopout May 11th via Austin Town Records.


Independent record label located in San Diego, CA by way of Boston, MA. Started in 2006.

Hitting up South By Southwest this year? Topshelf Records will be returning to Austin Cheer Up Charlie’s for our official SXSW showcase on Thursday, 15th March. We have an awesome lineup this year featuring GulferQueen of JeansSpecial ExplosionRatboys, and No Vacation.



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Hovvdy is a slow-moving, minimal indie band co-fronted by Charlie Martin and Will Taylor. The duo writes rhythmic, spacious tunes with hazy keyboard tones and sparse, patterned guitar movement. Their strength as a band lies in the ability to turn toward pop melodies; Hovvdy know the precise time to make that shift and sustain it just long enough to remain fresh.

Austin, TX

Band Members
Charlie Martin – Keys, Guitar, and Vocals
Will Taylor – Guitar and Vocals
Grady Bell – Bass
Ray Micarelli – Drums

Hovvdy perform on Audiotree Live, September 29, 2017.

Session Tracklist
1. Better
2. Problem
3. Meg
4. Can’t Wait
5. Friend
6. In My Head
7. Thru
8. Pretend