I’ve Been Starting Over For A Long Time

21 May

Mikal Cronin

“Weight” – mp3

Mikal Cronin-Optimized

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“Don’t be bolder, golden life of mine
Sing for love, full force in my life
I’m not ready for the way you dance.”

……..To say “Weight” strikes a close nerve with its quisi-negativity balled in a facade of upbeat pop-rock strut would be an understatement. I’m sure I’m not the only person closing out their twenties with empty pockets and a head swarming with potential regrets but Mikal Cronin allows us to each become a positive island of morbid self-reflection where the future is ever daunting and quite possibly not worth the effort, I don’t care what aging hipsters find to shake their head at, this song is pure.

……..Unfortunately going off of what other slightly established artists are putting out lately to fully enjoy this track apparently it seems you need to have an intelligence above the current status quo of ambiguous and unpersonalized along with a willingness to give something with a clean edge a fair shake, both of which seem to be looked upon with condescension this year. Seriously, how have we become so accepting with less than important art and how has production quality become a devaluing tool?

……..This song as well as the entire MCII (Merge) album remind me a whole lot of how Ben Kweller would be sounding right now if he had continued in a natural progression rather than forcing his hand on that generic commercially aimed Kite album that was nearly impossible to sit through .

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Upcoming Local Sighting: Mohawk 6/27/13 w/ Shannon And The Clams & A Giant Dog

Mikal Cronin – Bandcamp

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Bleeding Rainbow

“Wasted Youth” –mp3

Bleeding-Rainbow

……..Reading Rainbow has now changed up their name ever so slightly and with the change have cleaned up their sound tossing away that lo-fi crutch they hid behind to reveal a band much more worthy of the Brooklyn hype they had shoveled their way when surfacing on the post-shoegaze garage-wave surface a few short years ago.

……..I definitely dug the rawness that their older songs bathed in, ultimately though what struck me on their previous efforts was a sound that was near perfect until our attention moved it from the background to foreground where it crumbled terribly, so to lose that band-next-door edge to build upon the solid foundation they were previously skating on seems to be worth the loss. The new sound, especially on “Wasted Youth,” does find them in much closer alignment with Widowspeak giving them a somewhat romanticized The Raveonettes vibe but neither band similarity is so apparent that the experience is appalling… and let’s be honest which band have you heard over the last three years that didn’t remind you of some other band from the last three years? If you come up with something keep it to yourself because they probably suck.

Upcoming Local Sighting: Get bummed cause you just missed em – 4/20 Red 7 with The Cave Singers.

Bleeding Rainbow – Facebook | Tumblr

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Steelwells

“Isolabella” – mp3

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……..Steelwells feel like a west coast Ghost Beach …that most definitely is meant endearingly.

……..Isolabella” seems like a direct response to Mikal Cronin‘s “Weight” so to hear the two practically back to back is a weird upbeat juxtaposition. I’ve been waiting for word from these guys with details on a full length but they update their info with less than desirable frequency so for now we are left with the four song Cool Kid EP from last November and nothing but gray and vague in the way of the future. You’ll know as soon as I do.

Steelwells – Facebook | Twitter | Website

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The Dead Heads

“When I’m Dead” – mp3

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……..The Dead Heads make me think of a sweatier French Films, I can’t get enough of this stuff. You know the story, two brothers and some other dude get two other dudes to make rad but noninvasive music that you and your friends will stay consistently thirsty for until Pitchfork (or AHHH! Spin) catch on to the noise and ruin it for all of us. These Australians could be those dudes and I’m not keeping it a secret to avoid the inevitable.

Bonus points go to the fact that they list “not Pink Floyd” as one of their influences on their Facebook page.

The Dead Heads – Bandcamp | Facebook | Soundcloud

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EETS FEATS

“Beer Vibes” – mp3

EETS FEATS

……..I caught EETS FEATS last fall at The Gory Details tour kick off show and have sited that set more than once when referring to upcoming local bands I’m getting more and more stoked over. Since these guys are relevant in the Austin scene it goes without saying that they show up whenever they play but what defines them apart from their peers is how they embody everything that the latest upsurge of Psyche-Surf Post-Grunge has to offer without the obnoxiousness that others carry on their sleeve as if it were a rite of passage. “Beer Vibes” has angst and energy but those are endearing tangents rather than defining elements which is fundamental as to why I’ve been playing the hell out it.

……..You can pick up this and four other songs on their cassette split with Catholic Spray via Aye Aye Aye they put out last month here, it’s worth the effort just to hear “Brano Drano” (my current favorite). You can also grab their Weed Bums Ep for free here.

Upcoming Local Sightings: May 24th @ Beerland w/ Ghost Police, Pangea, and Utero Shock

EETS FEATS – Facebook

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Japanther

“Stolen Flowers” – mp3

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……..It’s about damn time Japanther gave us something new to chew on. The wait is over! The new album Eat Like Lisa Act Like Bart (Recess Records) got here yesterday and I cannot wait until I get this weeks posts wrapped up to fully indulge myself in it. This song has been floating around for a few months now so I’m not exactly breaking ground by posting it but it’s Japanther so late or not I’m still at the party which is all I really care about. If anything “Stolen Flowers” was the perfect early release to show us that they have no intentions of reinventing the wheel but instead that they can do it again…. but better.

……..Here’s a live set where I originally caught this song along with three other songs from LLALB. They open with “Wasted Day,”  I’m keyed up to see it in a more polished form.

Japanther – Facebook | Website

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Wars

“Territorial Pissings” (Nirvana Cover) – mp3

wars

……..It’s no secret how much of a Wars kick I’ve been on lately, so my finding one more reason to put up another track from them should be no surprise, apart from that this version of Nirvana‘s “Territorial Pissings” deserves attention.

……..I’m far from a snob when it comes to covers yet when Nirvana is in the conversation I’m more often than not bored by even the thought. How many shitty high school bands have we seen destroy what once was a great band and forced it to be practically taboo to even mention the plaid saviors without a hint of irony. Keeping from desecrating the original and avoiding the latest trend of going in a way too artsy direction (e.g., Porcelain Raft) Wars manage to modernize one of the least likely Nirvana songs to cover in a way that just goes to show what I respect the most from these bros out of Vancouver (not since Fidlar have I seen a band wave a bro flag with more patriotic fever), that they are a band which manages to make solid music without taking any of it seriously in the process.

Wars – Bandcamp

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The Rich Hands

“Heartbreaker” – mp3

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……..If you haven’t figured it out yet, this is the sound of our future. The next five years are going to be so sixties and seventies rock and roll reincarnate that what we’ve fought so hard in recent years to develop will be cherry picked into submission once more. Don’t worry, historically speaking five years is the best any scene can hope to sustain itself, let us remain with only thankfulness for having lived in this place in this time which carried such rare significance. There were a lot of dudes death rattlin around from ’95 to ’04, when the smoke clears and we count our losses I’ll find solace in knowing that at least I wasn’t forced to have all my ambitions and ideals numbed to the point of extinction the way they were then.

……..As with Eets Feats, The Rich Hands ( Fountain Records ) are a three piece out of San Antonio who unashamedly shape their sound around the influences they cut their teeth on but have enough tact and skill to keep things on an inspired and enjoyable level. “Heartbreaker” opens with straight 50’s surf guitar immediately cutting into a modern channeling of British invasionesque riffs with a purely Texas touch.

……..The Rich Hands will be releasing their debut album Dreamers in stages having it digitally available on May 28th, June 4th on cassette, and finally on vinyl on July 9th.

Upcoming Local Sightings: June 15th at Hotel Vegas.

The Rich Hands – Bandcamp | Facebook | Blogspot

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Splashh

“Washed Up” – mp3

Splashh

………These guys capture that early 90’s revival in a purely psych-pop way, to not dig it would be nearly impossible. Take the piss and vinegar out of Yuck and then turn the reverb to eleven and you basically have Splashh. One listen to their 90’s revival take on psych-pop and all the hype shifting in their direction makes perfect sense. There have been rumors of an upcoming US tour but I haven’t seen anything official yet, here’s hoping they come south.

Splashh – Facebook | Twitter | Tumblr

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Eric & Magill

“Carried Away” – mp3

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……..I thought I’d fully understood what Eric & Magill were capable of until I heard “Carried Away“. The first time this song came up I went as far as checking my id3 tags to see if I hadn’t mislabeled something before accepting that this delicious piece of electro-pop is from the same dudes which gave us the somber hymn of reflection “Old Man Winter” back in 2010. For how great their Two Travellers EP is, it’s hard not to sense some inner tension within the band as to which direction they should be going in. It would be easy to say they should go acoustic because the music is more passionate but that’s not an easy sell when they can capably put out something as intricate and indulgent as this song.

Bonus: Check out this new track they leaked last week. I hope you guys are equally as stoked for their upcoming full length Night Singers which will be here on July 23rd.

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Eric & Magill – Bandcamp | Facebook | Website

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Told Slant

“Algae Bloom” – mp3

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……..In case you missed last weeks Told Slant feature

……..I am so beyond geeked about Told Slant that without exaggeration I wish I could hold every single friend of mine down and force them to listen to these guys until they finally get it, I don’t care if it would take days these dudes are so damn rad.

They’ll be heading on a mini east coast tour which starts June 1… here’s why you shouldn’t miss them…..

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Told Slant – Bandcamp | Facebook

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The Oh Hello’s

“Eat You Alive” – mp3

The Oh Hello's

“There is no courage in flirting with fear to prove you’re alive”

……..Once again I’m hoping you’ll dig The Oh Hello’s. Typically these guys kinda remind me of a Texas version of Crystal Fighters but this one reminds me completely of Saintseneca in a huge but good way. There’s something to hearing someone yell beautiful lyrics into the ether for all to experience that makes my heart feel like it’s getting high-fived by an angel. Powerful lyrics matched by a powerful delivery, what better way to present lyrics with such weight. This is one of those songs which settles in a bit more with each listen making me draw from the well again and again. This brother/sister duo are out of San Marcos and even with them so close I’m yet to catch them live, there’s talk of a summer tour so hopefully they’ll stop by the neighborhood on the way out of the state.

The Oh Hello’s – Bandcamp | Facebook

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LadyFace

“I Need You Closer” – mp3

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………On a personal level this is my favorite song on this weeks mix. The first time I heard Ladyface‘s “I Need You Closer” I couldn’t shake this repeating thought of, “Man I’ve been needing this and I didn’t even know it.” Austin has a sneaky way of making everything about denim bathed rock and roll and somehow it just becomes a part of you, it’s unreal, but all the shows and all the drugs can never build a wall high enough for a song like this not to climb and it took one four AM moment of clarity for me to realize that.

……..This is a song about that masochistic period after a breakup when you realize you still care about the other person and they realize the same thing and the truth that things can never work out is smothering weight you can’t shake, more so this is a song about the attitude we develop during those situations towards the world we feel momentarily disenfranchised from. What I’m saying is this shits good but it’s not typical and even though it may be unwaveringly honest that sure as hell doesn’t cause the emotions it pulls out to be any more pleasant.

……..Here’s a chance to get on board with a band at the very beginning; these Toronto natives put out their debut album When We Go! on April 30 and just played their first show last week.

……..Their debut is a rare piece of confident indie-pop more than worth downloading, it’s up as a Name-Your-Price through the Bandcamp link below.

Bonus:


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LadyFace – Bandcamp | Facebook

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Echopark

“Teleportation” – mp3

Echopark

………London’s Antonio Elia Forte uses his Echopark moniker to create ideal post-indie dreampop, and I mean ideal in every sense of the word. Something about “Teleportation” makes me think of how Gypsy & The Cat would sound if Trevor Powers were the lead singer or maybe if  Foals had more of a lo-fi streak to them both comparisons make me feel good about Echopark’s art and it’s place in our future. If you’re looking for a soundtrack for you’re summer this very well could be it.


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Echopark – Bandcamp | Facebook | Twitter | Soundcloud

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Young Galaxy

“New Summer” – mp3

Young Galaxy

……..How long can Young Galaxy continue to get better? 2011’s Shapeshifting remains an album I find myself consistently going back to and not a single track on it steals me anywhere near  the way “New Summer” has… this is how pop sounds when it reaches perfection. Their entire Invisible Republic album is on the same level, it’s actually kind of ridiculous how good it is.

Young Galaxy – Facebook | Twitter | Website

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Jackie Onassis

“Smoke Trails” – mp3

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……..Australia’s chill-hop duo Jackie Onassis are the first positive step forward I’ve seen in east coast influenced rap in a few years now. Why is it so rare to find someone who raps and doesn’t tell us how hard they are so frequently we start wondering if they have some sort of secret belief that if they say it enough we’ll believe them too? It’s annoying knowing that all the cars, women, and sold-out shows they generically bring to our attention are complete figments of someone’s imagination who’s life ambition is for people to think they are cool. Jackie Onassis make music instead of perpetuating lies and on “Smoke Trails” they channel a similar vibe as the incredible “Pyramids” from Frank Ocean what’s not to love?

Jackie Onassis – Facebook | Website

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Chlöe Howl

“No Strings” – mp3

Chloe Howl

……..Say what you will but for as mainstream sounding as “No Strings” is with it’s Charlotte Sometimes meets Katy Perry sound this is still a solid song regardless.

……..So why support a song like this when I’ll rip on Katy Perry to no end? It’s simple, Chlöe Howl put up the entire Rumour EP, which this song is on, for free on her website. Plain and simple, if you really care about making pop music for the sake of pop music then prove that it’s not for the money. Treat it like any decent band does and allow people to experience the art for free and tour to pay the bills, plenty of band dudes don’t agree with this and I don’t support them in the same way I don’t support the Rihanna‘s of the world. Listening to someone explain why I should have to pay for music is like listening to someone explain why Bush Jr. was a good president, I get that you really believe what you’re saying but that doesn’t make it any less retarded.

……..In defense of that sentiment I’m not saying bands should give their albums out for free but I do believe at least one song per album should be given out for free…  if a hot girl comes up and kisses you for no reason would it make you want to sleep with her any less?  I’m not exactly going out on a limb here by saying the contrary is probably much more likely.

……..Pop’s not the enemy, people who use pop to further their own big ambitions are the enemy, it’s important we learn to differentiate between the two.

Chlöe Howl Facebook | Twitter | Soundcloud | Website

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LUUUL

“Night Love'” (ft. loumar) – mp3

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……..Yet another song which would be fitting for this year’s summer mixtape. Loumar‘s optimistic lyrics patiently delivered over Romain Bauthier’s dream-synths and positive vibes makes having this on in the background feel like this is the emotional scene of  some unrealized love in your life and LUUUL has been chosen to be the soundtrack.

LUUUL – Facebook | Twitter| Soundcloud | Tumblr

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The Good Natured

“Lovers” – mp3

The Good Natured-Optimized

You and I could be lovers but you and I will never be in love

……..Now this is the kind of pop that needs not be apologized for. This is 80’s montage music, this is dank basement music, this is the song that gets played on repeat when road tripping in a car full of girls, this is pop and I absolutely love it. And guess what, The Good Natured put this one up for free.

The Good Natured – Facebook | Twitter | Tumblr | Instagram

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Oh No Oh My

“Coffee” – mp3

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……..Let’s close out with my favorite track on this weeks mix for instrumentation. Everything about “Coffee” vibes cohesively in a very driven yet passive way that’s dancable and resonating without coming across as if that was the song’s only ambition. It should definitely be noted that it’s been a moment since I’ve heard a bass line that feels this infecting.

……..Oh NO Oh My are yet another Austin band doing it better than anyone else.

Oh No Oh MyFacebook | Website

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All songs are for promotional purposes only. If you or an artist you represent would like content removed contact HCK! at Heycoolkid@yahoo.com

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