Posts Tagged ‘Austin’

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The latest release by Austin label Keeled Scales, Years is the debut album from fellow Austin residents Sun June. The band was formed by founding members Laura Colwell and Stephen Salisbury when they were working in Terrence Malick’s editing rooms, and even practised in the office when Malick was away. Now they’ve added Michael Bain (guitar), Sarah Schultz (drums), and Justin Harris (bass) to become the quintet that is Sun June.

Years is a record shaped and propelled by the gentle forces of the world, The album opens with the swaying slo-mo folk rock song ‘Discotheque’, Colwell showing off her impressive vocals with a kind of husky and effortless passion. The track conjures gentle winds that swirl in plaintive yearning, lifting memories and images and twisting them into a full nostalgic picture with the slow rhythm of nature. ‘Slow Rise II’ is equally patient, beginning with snake-like guitar and a kind of wary soul-bearing. “Go ahead and look me in the eye,” Colwell sings, “tell me everything will be alright, oh I’m lonely too.” It’s a moment of unguarded honesty that closes distances, and which lays the groundwork for the catharsis that comes later. The last minute of the song distils what has until then been encoded between the lines, infused with a golden energy as it whips up into a rousing finale, Colwell repeating the line “I’m coming home” with increasing fervour.

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Indeed, repetition forms a key part of Sun June’s sound on Years, a number of the tracks returning to a repeated phrase, cyclical patterns that rise in intensity like incantations, or else echo out into the fabric of the sound. ‘Young’ is an example of the former, a track we described previously as “staring back in time not to find answers or cast blame, but instead for the fleeting chance to warm your face on the now lost glow of past love.” After a restrained start, the song eventually kicks into a little eddy of motion, spurred by the catchy chorus, as though each cycle generates further motion.

Whispered and winey, ‘Johnson City’ features emotions fermented, made velvety with age, the taste haunting tongues beyond the moment, before ‘Homes’ presses forward with a sense of brooding intimacy that oozes and creeps. ‘Records’ is carried as if by a fresh spring breeze, with Colwell singing “I’ll try to love you right” and the rhythm possessing a warmth that goes halfway to fulfilling the promise. This warmth leaks through into ‘Apartments’, intensifying as the crispness is replaced by the humid heat of confused dreams, before ‘Baby Blue’ cools into an icy certainty. This is the darkest, most brooding track on the record, the drums tight and insistent, the vocals likewise, the track gathering momentum under its own motion, and though descending evenly from great height.

Released June 15th, 2018

Laura Colwell, Michael Bain, Justin Harris, Stephen Salisbury, Sarah Schultz

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Molly Burch burst onto the music scene in 2017 with her debut “Please Be Mine” a ten-track ode to unrequited romance written after studying Jazz Vocal Performance in Asheville, NC and earned immediate praise from critics for her smoky, effortless vocals and bleeding-heart lyrics. Following a year of touring all over North America, Europe and the UK alongside the likes of Ought, Alex Cameron, Grizzly Bear and Courtney Barnett amongst others, Burch then returned to Texas to decompress. Finding herself suddenly devoid of stimulation and with nothing but time on her hands, she began anew, bouncing ideas off her bandmate and boyfriend Dailey Toliver who contributed guitar parts and orches­tration suggestions – and, slowly, an album took shape; soon after, “First Flower” became real. A walk-through Burch’s most intimate thoughts her broken friendships, sibling relationships and overwhelming anxiety – First Flower is a bright, beautiful album peppered with moments of triumph with Burch’s voice as strong and dexterous as ever. First Flower is a shapely sonic stage to let Burch shine on. The composi­tion and production carefully constructed to compliment and not over power.

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I love this album. It feels more opened up and energetic from the fantastic debut album “Please Be Mine”. Molly’s voice is a treat.

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Austin-based dream-rock band Moving Panoramas have shared “Baby Blues,” the first single from their forthcoming sophomore album In Two, out February. 22nd, 2019, via Modern Outsider. The track is a breezy, summery jam, made all the more light and airy by its carefree video. Directed by singer Leslie Sisson, the video finds the band prank-warring by sea and by land. The group seem enamored by the concept of “two”—it’s in the name of their album, which is their second, with a release date of 2/22—and “Baby Blues” seems to present the motif as a symbol of both progress and stasis. Moving Panoramas have had some lineup changes, and while Sisson’s dreamy vocals and the propellant jams of their previous work are still the focus, the subject matter seems to be oriented toward how certain things change, and how certain things stay the same. “Here we are / another year / same time, same spot,” Sisson sings.

The diligence of Reddening West cannot be overstated.  this Austin-based quartet has toiled for the past couple of years over their self-released debut full-length, “Deltas”, its vibrant swaths of americana a sprawling, existential treatise on the inherently transitory nature of life, honing a particularly fastidious approach to their songwriting and cinematic arrangements in the process.

Anchored by the lead single, “Even if” and its opening number,“Marjorie,” Deltas finds Reddening West picking right up where their 2016 extended play, where we started, left off, with spacious vistas punctuated by Niamh Fahey’s swooning fiddle textures and Matt Evans’ soaring vocal melodies.  on the early standout “Holding Hours,” Evans paints a bucolic backdrop for his pondering, with syncopated guitar lines and back-beats rolled together, in search of an apex never quite discovered.  “different now” finds Evans waist-deep in reverb, again weaving observations of personal change through pristine turns of phrase and beautiful imagery.

The majesty of Deltasis contained in its sweeping gestures as much as it is in its most minute intricacies; the palate-cleansing instrumental “Inverness” is doused in nuance and contrapuntal wonders, a perfect segue to the album’s extended third act.  the penultimate cut “Diffuse” is especially affecting and tender, its propulsive nature the perfect foil for the album’s finale, “Late Summer Grass,” itself a vivid and measured punctuation mark on Reddening West’s rich, slow-burning debut.  full of nooks and crannies ripe for exploration and vast canyons of elegiac introspection,Deltas is a perfect autumnal vessel, a fine companion for changing times.

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Deltas is out tomorrow,

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Several weeks ago, there was a new track from Clark Twain his debut single ‘Fly High (Like Richard Branson)’ –  now today I’m happy to present his follow-up single ‘Try Too Hard’, newly released and available on iTunes.

Austin-based indie pop artist Clark Twain has announced his new single ‘Try Too Hard’, a serene pop offering off his coming debut album ‘Life is Wonderful’. His music is influenced by such artists as Death Cab for Cutie, the Flaming Lips, Ben Kweller, and John Mayer.

“I think of songs as little spaces. they are created to be visited: like a room in your house, a nook in your hometown, a store on your favorite street. you know where it is, have an experience with it, and can go back to it to wander around as often as you’d like. I hope these little spaces I’m creating provide some refuge, a place to dance, and maybe even a place to bring a friend and eat tacos,” says Clark Twain.
“I wrote ‘Try Too Hard’ for the people I accidentally hurt in life. I can be stubborn and unintentionally cause harm to those I love and/or work with.”

Austin’s Clark Twain Presents Easy Summer Single ‘Try to Hard’

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This new track follows up Twain’s debut single ‘Fly High (Like Richard Branson)’, a fun and upbeat track that is infectious with high positivity. The fun, high-flying accompanying video was directed by Vanessa Pla,who also co-produced it with Clark Twain.
Clark Twain is the solo moniker of Clark Nowlin, who began playing guitar at 10, cutting his teeth on Metallica and Nirvana covers with friends in the attic and starting his first band a few years later. He eventually quit his day job to fully immerse himself in the world of music “because the gig money put enough gas in my tank”. After touring and recording with Tim Halperin and Marshall Young for a few years and supporting various artists, he amassed recording gear, learned the ropes, and began producing various musical projects.

I have streaming links for both below and encourage you to download for review and playlisting purposes. This one is recommended for fans of Ben Folds, Toad The Wet Sprocket, Elliot Smith, Ben Kweller, Coldplay, Gin Blossoms, Death Cab for Cutie,

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Clark Twain’s ‘Try To Hard’ will be released on September 21st. Already now, you can find his debut single “Fly High (Like Richard Branson)” through online stores and streaming platforms such as Spotify, as well as Bandcamp.

The Texas band’s rock music is a vintage kind, an effortless, guitar infectious music that recalls the best of the best while maintaining its own steam. Their new album Performance just dropped and its their eighth album of solid tunes.

Great rock music is, above all things, a ton of fun. Texas band White Denim understand and live by this code. Just listen to their new album Performance. It’s nine songs of pure, unadulterated rock&roll. Packed with funk rhythms and guitar riffs so sharp you could cut glass with them.

‘Double Death’ is one highlight among many, the breakdown section in which could only ever be the product of four-lifetime professional musicians and ardent lovers of the genre. It’s a relentless project, album closer and heartstring puller ‘Good News’ is the closest we ever get to a ballad or downtempo number. Even that is not without its share of distorted guitars and accented drum patterns. It’s worth noting that the guitar solo in this song is perhaps the group’s finest to date. Howling fuzz against a wall of sound.

The album doesn’t suffer from a lack of variety, despite its unyielding high-octane sound. Some tracks, like ‘Performance’ are straight up rock songs. Others like ‘Double Death’ include aspects of classic funk acts like The Meters .

There’s plenty of southern rock influence to be heard too, check out the jubilant ‘It Might Get Dark’. Performance is a perfectly consistent rock record, one which is totally comfortable with what it is. Experimentation is all well and good, but White Denim have again proven once again that raw talent and unmatched songwriting skill is a rewarding well.

From the new album ‘Performance’ – OUT NOW

White Denim on later with Jools Holland TV show

One of the most prolific American psychedelic rock and roll bands are back at it on their 7th LP, the City Slang-released Performance. White Denim are an Austin staple and have come to represent the sound of the city over the years through James Petralli’s sleek guitars, Steve Terebecki’s bass groove and Petralli’s seemingly impossible vocal range. The album’s early singles harken back to the band’s finest material, especially “It Might Get Dark,” a bluesy jam with a flawless melody that is just a flat-out fun endeavor for the ears.

The Austin quartet have long pulled hard at the parameters of rock & roll, admitting garage punk, soul, psychedelia, prog, jazz and blues while holding onto its vital goodtime core. Their up-tempo drive has produced a body of work defined as much by stellar musicianship as off-the-chain exhilaration. Energy and adventurism have always been paramount.

Here are nine songs with clarity and renewed purpose as well as a truckload of attitude. A new studio, new collaborators, and new techniques for writing and recording influenced the elastic possibility and liberation felt throughout.
Theirs is music that aims for the whole body, while equally satisfying the mind. While it has morphed, expanded, and even burst apart, White Denim’s sincere, human drive and ability to spark true exhilaration have been unerring constants of the band’s existence. Ever progressing, never content to camp out on a plateau of their creative accomplishments, there is no other band quite like White Denim – unique in talent and legendarily potent as a live band, they are quite simply a very special band.

It’s safe to say when City Slang releases a record everyone listens, with White Denim now the newest Texan contingent filling the ranks of the German label. Following a longplayer this year from Calexico outta Tucson, White Denim bring the sound of Austin to the label by delivering their ninth long player in ten years. Like the artwork of performance, the music is a colourful montage that brings together saxxy jazz, mellow tropicana and distorted garage to psych rock and pop, with melancholic vocals only adding to its unique cross section of colours. A highlight for us is the ’70s Biker rock of “It Might Get Dark” and finger snappin’, vibrato heavy “Moves On”.

Glorietta is a musical project that brings Matthew Logan Vasquez of Delta Spirit together with some of his closest friends: Noah Gundersen, Kelsey Wilson, David Ramirez, Jason Robert Blum and Adrian Quesada. The group is releasing their debut, self-titled record Glorietta on August. 24th. Even Nathaniel Rateliff, who had an album with The Night Sweats come out earlier this year, joined in and learnt vocals to the track “I Know.”  The release of second single “Golden Lonesome,” which followed the premiere of “Heatstroke” last week.

The track comes from a moment of crisis for Gundersen who, before flying out to the sessions in Glorietta, N.M., was feeling the effects of a recently ended relationship. “I was having a bit of a meltdown,” Gundersen recalled. “I almost considered cancelling my flight. But instead I wrote this song and then called a Lift to the airport.”

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The lyrics of “Golden Lonesome” distinctly come from this place of pain and change: “Better to kill it quickly than to slowly watch it die,” reasons one of the lines. With the vocals at its forefront, the song generates a warm intimacy between performer and listener as a slight echo adds depth while maintaining a live rawness. “Tape ran constantly” during the band’s nine days of recording, capturing an overflowing confessional in “Golden Lonesome.”

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Hailing from the musical mecca that is Austin, Texas, Fanclub initially formed as the brainchild of Mike Lee, to re-record his favourite albums with a rotating cast of musicians. Thankfully after working with vocalist Leslie Crunkilton, Mike decided that actually, it might be a lot more fun to record his own songs. Now joined by drummer Daniel Schmidt, Fanclub as we know it were born, and this week the band have shared their debut single, “Leaves”.

Despite self deprecatingly describing their music as, “Indiepop that probably sounds like everything else”on the evidence of Leaves, Fanclub are considerably more exciting than that sounds. Energetic rhythms play off against tumbling synths and New Order-like guitar exploration, before Leslie’s hushed vocals steal the limelight. On these somewhat overly scorching summer nights, there’s something splendidly Autumnal about the track, with the lyrics references to falling leaves, you can almost feel the nights drawing in around you in their own inevitable, melancholic way. A classic, perfectly formed, indiepop song,

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Leslie sang on a couple songs Mike wrote and they quickly hit it off. They started writing songs together and soon knew there was something special. Combing Mike’s indiepop guitar sound and electronic aesthetic with Leslie’s ethereal yet poignant vocals felt just right. They recruited Mike’s old bandmate Daniel Schmidt to cover percussion duty and together they make what we now know as Fanclub.

Fanclub might just be your new favourite band. Leaves is out now.