June is here, and while summer has officially started yet, the music scene is heating up in a major way. This is an unusually remarkable list of new tracks, featuring many brand new tracks by well established artists, as well as some new faces to the scene. So without further ado, let’s get started.
First off the bat is a brand new track from Denton group Cozy Hawks called “True Pair”. The band has always demonstrated an ability to combine strong pop hooks into their indie rock sound, and this track is no exception. Listen to it here first before they perform it Saturday at Harvest House, when the band celebrate the release of their new album, End Era. Siamese, Claire Morales, and Mother Tongue round out the bill.
As a general rule, anyone good enough to work with John Dufilho is good in my book. Not only does San Antonio singer-songwriter Douglas Miles Clarke have Dufilho playing with him, his album Serendipitous features musical cameos from Jason Garner and Rich Martin. The name of the track “Prairie Girl” may suggest a quaint folky tune, but in reality this track owes far more to the 1960’s than the 1860’s. Think Baroque pop a la Left Banke meets The Beatles, and that’s not a bad starting place. Not at all.
One of the releases I’m most anxiously awaiting about this year is Emmeline’s first full length album, Rise. Unfortunately, there is no release date as of this time, meaning fans like myself will have to wait. It’s only appropriate then that her latest track is called “I Will Wait”. And while you’ll have to continue to wait on the album, you can see her perform live this Friday at The Generator, along with Joe Phillips, Ron Bultongez, and Sean Reynolds. Donations taken at the event will go to help Animal Allies of Texas.
On the surface, Nicholas Altobelli‘s new single “Exit Polls” sounds unusually upbeat, at least by Altobelli standards. It’s one of the peppiest songs he’s ever written in terms of tempo, and probably the strongest hooks he’s ever written. In case you’re afraid that he’s suddenly started writing happy song, fear not. The melody is a mere thin veil covering the tale of a man in denial about the end of a relationship. Fans of his don’t need to look at the “Exit Polls” to know that he’s the local music scene’s President of Sad Music.
If the happy melody of Mr. Altobelli’s tune did throw me for a little of a loop, then the latest track from Un Chien (pictured above) threw me for a complete loop with “Armadillo”. Lead singer Stephen Beatty tends to be associated more with the heavier and fuzzed out side of psychedelic rock music. In this track, there’s still hints of psychedelia, but this song erases the fuzz in favor of a clear pop melody. Word is that a lot of the songs on the band’s upcoming album will be in a similar style to this song. I’m not going to lie, it’s taken me a few listens to adjust to the stylistic change. Give it more than one listen though, and this song will most certainly win your over.
In case you didn’t know, John Kuzmick from Moon Waves has another band called Acid Carousel. It will probably be no surprise, knowing Kuzmick as well as the band’s name, that this is a psych rock band. Unlike Moon Waves, however, Acid Carousel feels more like a band that owes more to 13th Floor Elevators than The Black Angels. Much of their album America’s Newest Hitmakers… has a Roky Erikson vibe to it, though my favorite track “That Girl I’d Kill For”, is one of the more electric songs on the album.
GOBL doesn’t tend to cover a large amount of rap music. Too much of modern rap has ventured away from true storytelling, focusing instead on recycled beats and cliches regarding drug use, violence, and misogyny. Elijah Heaps is first and foremost a storyteller, and his music and sound are fresh. If you need some thought-provoking hip-hop in your life, this is a great place to start. I don’t know much about this artist, but I’m hoping to learn more in the very near future.
Poor David’s Pub will host the CD release show for Elizabeth Wills’ latest, Every Little Star. This is a solid collection of well-written songs, but I’m a little partial to “This Much I Know”. Maybe it’s my weakness for the piano. Either way, I suggest you give it a listen.
I don’t remember how I deserved Hot Cotton on Soundcloud, but I did. And I’m glad I did. There’s a definite roughness in the production of “”, but I’d recommend following her on this Austin act on Soundcloud. The Ghost suspects that with a solid producer, Hot Cotton could be a hot commodity.
Nineteen year old Kaitlyn Bethel recently released her Seriously EP, a mixture of pop-rock tunes and folkish songs. For my money, Bethel is strongest when she focuses on the storytelling, as she does in the gorgeous “Couldn’t I? (Oh Moses)”. I’d love to see her develop more songs in this vein.
That’s it. What, you wanted more? Sorry, you’ve got to wait until next week. But feel free to Talk to the Ghost in the meantime if you know of some upcoming releases worthy of attention.