A couple of weeks back I was thinking about my annual Top 50 Songs/Top 25 Albums lists (expect those to start on 12/2), and it dawned on me that I should do something separate specifically for Austin. So, I did. There’s no particular ranking to anything in Austin Essentials, I just wanted to share with you some local stuff that I liked a lot this year. There’s 45 entries (culled from a group of about 70-80) that are spread out over three 15-track volumes, so look for a post tomorrow and then another on Wednesday. Enjoy.
By the way, if I had one goal for SOTO this year, it was to try and include more mentions for Austin artists. Overall, I think we did a solid job, but there’s definitely room to improve. Hit me up if you have any suggestions for us as we head into 2014.
:A Giant Dog – All I Wanted: Sabrina Ellis is one of Austin’s most dynamic singers, and there isn’t a single song on A Giant Dog’s Bone where her enthusiasm doesn’t shine through. This pop punk gem is my favorite track on the album. Find A Giant Dog on FB here, and buy their music here.
:Grape St – A Date With You: Harlem’s indefinite hiatus has now formed three great bands – Lace Curtains, Daytona, and Grape St. If you dig this song, then definitely pick up the album A Date With You. All of the other tracks on it are just as catchy. Find Grape St on FB here, and buy their music here.
:The Laughing – Disappear: The Laughing kind of dropped off the planet for a while, but this year they made their return via Oscillation, a 10-track effort that features some really nice pop rock tunes. Find The Laughing on FB here, and buy their music here.
:The Sour Notes – Do What May: The Sour Notes may be great friends of mine, but I can honestly say they’re listed here because they earned it. They’re one of Austin’s hardest working bands and their upcoming album, Do What May, is a really solid prog pop effort. Find The Sour Notes on FB here, and buy their music here.
:Borrisokane – Amelia Fucking Earhart (A.F.E.): For those of you who like your pop music to have an experimental side to it, there’s Borrisokane’s Murdering Teeth EP. I think it’s one of the more quirky (in a good way, of course) listens to come out of Austin in 2013. Find Borrisokane on FB here, and buy their music here.
:Love Inks – Time: Love Inks are a quality act, but they don’t seem to have the biggest of followings in Austin. We should figure out a way to change that. The band’s album, Generation Club, is a must if you like minimalist pop. Find Love Inks on FB here, and buy their music here.
:Whiite Walls – Easy Love: When I wanted something dancey this summer I either tossed on Daft Punk’s Get Lucky or Whiite Walls’ Easy Love. You can’t listen to it and not want to move. Here’s hoping the band doesn’t take too long to put out an official effort. Find Whiite Walls on FB here.
:Knifight – In The Fire: Their name makes them sound like a punk band, but they’re actually more of a New Order/Future Islands type – dark and synthy. Their debut, Dark Voices, is an intense but good listen. Find Knifight on FB here, and buy their music here.
:Zorch – We All Die Young: I love this track. It’s wild and raw and should only be listened to at the sort of volume that makes your neighbors angry. Find Zorch on FB here, and buy their music here.
:Boyfrndz – Water Weight: Boyfrndz are one of Austin’s better experimental rock acts, and I thought they did a good job of proving that on their Natures EP. Find Boyfrndz on FB here, and buy their music here.
:Major Major Major – Scream Queen: I was a late adopter of this track, but once I did I couldn’t seem to get it out of my head. Talk about infectious. If we’re lucky, the duo will wrap their EP sooner rather than later. Find Major Major Major on FB here, and buy their music here.
:Genuine Leather – Head Wound: Chris Galis (from the Gorgeous Hands) heads up this breezy pop act. Viper (Found A Good Place For My Love) is the other single that the band put out this year, and it’s also worth your time. Find Genuine Leather on FB here, and buy their music here.
:Royal Forest – Goldwallpaper: Over the years Royal Forest have really become a fine pop band. If for some reason you didn’t check out Spillway, then seek it out. It’s a nice listen. Find Royal Forest on FB here, and buy their music here.
:Walker Lukens – Dear Someone: Walker Lukens somewhat recently made the jump from NYC to Austin, and I’m happy that he did. The guy knows how to write a good pop song. Find Walker Lukens on FB here, and buy his music here.
:Yum – Take My Blue: Yum just sort of popped onto my radar one day over the summer, and ever since then I’ve been a big fan. Their album, Take My Blue, has a lot on it that plays like a lighter version of Warpaint. Find Yum on FB here, and buy their music here.