Alt Pop

Algiers and Le VICE Play Bottom of the Hill - 6/23

The San Francisco based indie-pop soul band, Le VICE will be performing live at Bottom of the Hill in support of the Atlanta based grungy soul musical outfit, Algiers. We certainly recommend you attend this show because you're going to get to experience a night of a super cool pastiche of new American music.

Both band's musical styles are dipped in soul like a thick layer of chocolate on a Klondike (do they still make Klondike Bars?), but the soft center of Le VICE's style is more pop-R&B oriented in comparison to Algiers' who has a very rigid, rough 'round the edges rock style going on within its compostional core. These bands should be experienced live because listening to their recordings is just going to make you sit and ponder what exactly your ear drums are dancing to.

It's summer time! Make your way out into the fresh night air and check out Algiers and Le VICE's interpretations of thrilling soul music at Bottom of the Hill on June 23rd!

   

Artist of the Month Nominee Highlight: Taylor and the Wild Now Bring a New, Matured Sound on "Salt"

Our current poll for Artist of the Month is in full swing, and that means it's time to get familiar with the nominees y'all! This go around, we're talkin' Taylor and the Wild Now, who sent a summer firework of a song up into the Austin air early this month, and who have been playing a ton of shows and appearances since to show this gorgeous new thing off.

A deep, sensual baseline and some island-soaked guitar are the unusual and welcome framework for the new pop-dubby track “Salt” by Taylor and the Wild Now, a crew known for their approachable indie sound with a roots bent that sometimes wanders into territory that may or may not be a step or two past the country music border (depending on where you personally mark it). This most recent track from the group after last year’s promising self-titled EP, which hinted of good oddness to come from Taylor et al., “Salt” is a move away from the more heavily country/folk-influenced sound and toward something all their own, and it's a move which sees them only growing as a truly unique (a quality that is pretty rare) and enjoyable feature in the Austin indie scene. Taylor might well (though almost certainly isn’t) be singing the chorus of “Salt” to those afraid to leave the beach of genre and swim out into that deep place where the currents of different sounds mix together into something new when she croons, “I don’t even care what you say/It’s gonna happen anyway.”

And goddamn are we glad it's happening, if by it we're referring to what's going on in "Salt" musically. All elements are on their game in this track, including a bassline that gives the song both its structural background and its considerable, moonlit soul, plus remarkably inventive guitar work that is unbound by genre. That last is a strength that the group has built on since their EP, and the dynamic, unique flavor of the guitar here may just put The Wild Now in contention for most interesting guitar sound in town. Add to those remarkable bits of instrumentation some siren vocals from Taylor herself that are somethin’ to swoon for, and you've got one hell of a shimmering summer track.

The smooth, beach-at-night trance that “Salt” coaxes the listener into should, if there is any justice for artists in this universe, be what puts Taylor and the Wild Now on blogs and playlists worldwide, and on the map in a big way in the indie music scene in Austin and beyond. We wouldn’t be surprised if it lands them in some pretty high caliber gigs quite soon, especially if there is more of this experimentation-done-right to come from Taylor and the Wild Now (that is to say, tracks that only allow thoroughly vetted and chosen elements to make it in). Get up into this newness at yon Soundcloud player below, and follow these rising stars on Facebook to be the first to hear when Taylor and co bring us more beautiful music. Oh, and if you feel the itch to help this group on its way to deserved major recognition in this city, get to votin' at the right side of the page.

   

The Almighty Rhombus

Hailing from the Almighty Sudbury...this is The Almighty Rhombus. Personally I always thought the trapezoid was more imposing but that's just my opinion. I fired up the Rhombus' latest record "Lucid Living". The opening track is a quick paed pop rock tune that keeps it gritty with a nice light fuzz on the bass. Up next is a perfect track 2 "Blank"...its softer with a nice rhythm groove over tasty keyboard and guitar licks. Add in some harmonies and you're ready to go. Everything is well played, the band is on point with this record. They'll be heading to Toronto this Friday to play the Silver Dollar Room. Go enjoy the tunes at a great bar for the show.-Kris"Big City"Gies 

   

New Track: "Colors Radiate" - Camera Shy

Below is the latest track from bedroom pop project Camera Shy called "Colors Radiate," which is from the band's upcoming self-titled album. The bicoastal (Philly/San Francisco) duo is comprised of Nick Bassett (Nothing, Whirr) and Alexandre Morte (ex-Whirr). Their first full-length is schedule for release on June 14 via Run For Cover Records.

   

Mother Falcon Does the Big Band Thing with Grace on "Kid"

Mother Falcon is Austin’s premier big numbers band, which you likely already knew, but they’ve just released a new track whose strength comes from its efficiency and its singular elements, rather than from the amount of noise that a big group can make. A lot of the energy in the just-released single “Kid,” in fact, comes from the lone female voice doing the largest portion of the singing, which is all lightness-leaking breathy tones that kick the track off with just a few strummed chords and an egg shaker beat in accompaniment.

This being Mother Falcon, however, layers and instruments are quickly added, tossing in at some point everything from horns to chanting to some really nice background drones that waver from right in pitch to just off to completely dissonant and give the song a lovely off-kilter texture. There are moments where MF does do the Arcade Fire/Broken Social Scene pioneered “all of our giant band playing at once” thing, but the restraint they show as a group throughout the song and even in these moments, and the benefits that each piece in the group adds to the overall song in these cacophonous parts has Mother Falcon resembling those other influential big bands at their thoughtful song-engineering best.

Speaking of seminal 2000s bands, MF also seems to be channeling something that was going on at that time in North American music (and is much murkier these days), which was a sense of just wanting to get together with other weird kids and have a lighthearted, happy time. “Kid” has that same kind-of “temporary refuge from the suburbs,” sunny-day in the park flying kites and drinking stolen vodka in plastic cups with your also-loner friends kind-of feel to it. In this age of endless online outrage clashes and what seems like just a whole damn lot of divisions between people, this is a feeling that’s nice to see it not only expressed in MF’s newest work, but downright nailed.

The track sits here below for you to get your feel-goods from, and you can keep up with the MF at their Facebook here. This is music that’ll help you remember that sometimes it actually does stop raining, which even some of us Texas storm-lovers might need right now, and it precedes the full album release on 8/14.