RSS

Tag Archives: mas ysa

Top 25 Albums Of 2015: Part 1

December 10, 2015

0 Comments

Now that I’ve completed my Top 50 Songs of 2015 list, it’s time to rundown my Top 25 Albums of the year.  Entries 15-11 are just down below.  Jump back tomorrow for the final 10 selections.  Enjoy.

PS – As always, this list is made up of stuff that I legit listened to a lot throughout the year.

25) Carly Rae Jepsen – E-MO-TION

There are a couple of tracks on Carly Rae Jepsen’s E-MO-TION that aren’t great, but overall it’s definitely one of the most fun albums that I came across in 2015.  If you’re into lady-led pop jams from the 80s/90s, you need to become one with CRJ’s latest LP.

:Carly Rae Jepsen – Let’s Get Lost:

24) Joanna Newsom – Divers

If Joanna Newsom’s Divers had come out earlier in the year, I think it might have ended up higher on my list.  Like her other efforts, this album is beautiful but dense, and it needs to be digested over lots of listens.  In another month or two I’ll be able to decide whether it’s really good or really great.

:Joanna Newsom – Leaving The City:

23) Protomartyr – The Agent Intellect

Protomartyr’s The Agent Intellect isn’t exactly what I would call an easily accessible rock album.  On the bright side, if you fully commit to it you get back a rather rewarding experience.

:Protomartyr – Why Does It Shake:

22) Desaparecidos – Payola

Payola is exactly what I wanted Desaparecidos to deliver on their sophomore effort – it’s loud, inspired, angry and crazy infectious.  Here’s hoping they don’t stick to the 13-years-between-albums thing that they currently have going on.

:Desaparecidos – City On The Hill:

21) Gal Pals – Velvet Rut

While it still bums me out that Gal Pals jumped from Austin to LA, I do like that the move got them to finally put out a debut full length.  Velvet Rut is 29 minutes of garage pop perfection.

:Gal Pals – Ex-Marionette:

20) Thee Oh Sees – Mutilator Defeated At Last

This is the fourth year in a row that Thee Oh Sees have managed to crack my Top 25 Albums list.  I don’t mind.  They make me want to be a louder person.

:Thee Oh Sees – Web:

19)  Sweet Spirit – Cokomo

I’ve jammed Sweet Spirit’s Cokomo a lot since it was released back in October.  It’s an upbeat listen that doesn’t take itself too seriously.

:Sweet Spirit – Baby When I Close My Eyes:

18) Joanna Gruesome – Peanut Butter

Joanna Gruesome‘s Peanut Butter is a completely schizo (but really fun) album.  They continue to be one of the best noise pop acts around.

:Joanna Gruesome – Honestly Do Yr Worst:

17) Sweet Talk – Double Perfect

Sweet Talk are one of the best bands in Austin, and Double Perfect is one of the year’s best straight up rock albums.  You need it.

:Sweet Talk – Witness:

16) White Reaper – White Reaper Does It Again

These fellas out of Kentucky really delivered the goods on their debut LP, White Reaper Does It Again.  It’s nothing but super catchy garage punk tunes.

:White Reaper – Make Me Wanna Die:

15) Titus Andronicus – The Most Lamentable Tragedy

A 29-track, 93-minute rock opera from the one and only Titus Andronicus?  Yeah, there was never a chance that The Most Lamentable Tragedy wouldn’t be on this list.

:Titus Andronicus – Dimed Out:

14) Colleen Green – I Want To Grow Up

Colleen Green’s musings throughout I Want To Grow Up are both insightful and relatable.  Also, there isn’t a single track on it that isn’t catchy.

:Colleen Green – TV:

13) Leon Bridges – Coming Home

Leon Bridges pretty much owned 2015.  Coming Home is a warm, inviting effort, and it may just be the year’s most accessible album.

:Leon Bridges – River:

12) Speedy Ortiz – Foil Deer

Admittedly, it took me a little while to fully come around on Foil Deer.  I think I was expecting a simple extension of Major Arcana, but their sophomore LP is way more than that – it’s them really evolving, expanding their sound and becoming an overall better band.

:Speedy Ortiz – Raising The Skate:

11) Ratatat – Magnifique

I think Magnifique is Ratatat’s best album.  From start to finish it’s loaded with really interesting sounds, and all of the songs move incredibly well.  I left it on repeat a lot in 2015.

:Ratatat – Cream On Chrome:

Continue reading...

Top 50 Songs Of 2015: Part 3

December 2, 2015

2 Comments

Here’s the next set in my Top 50 Songs of 2015 list.  Enjoy.

- 50-41
- 40-31

30)  :Chvrches – Never Ending Circles:  This is such an infectious song.  Here’s hoping that Chvrches never ditch their anthemic pop routine.  From Every Open Eye.

29)  :Mas Ysa – Look Up:  I love me some Mas Ysa (aka Thomas Arsenault).  You should slap on some headphones for this ambitious track, which features big vocals and a wonderfully textured arrangement.  From Seraph.

28)  :Julien Baker – Sprained Ankle:  If you like your music to feel as sincere as possible, then look no further than this Julien Baker song.  Her voice here cuts right through me.  From Sprained Ankle.

27)  :Kurt Vile – Pretty Pimpin:  Kurt Vile is such a great songwriter, and he shows it all throughout this silly, but really clever track.  From B’lieve I’m Goin’ Down.

26)  :Yung – Blue Uniforms:  I’m all about noisy, shoegaze-esque indie rock, and this Yung song is six and a half glorious minutes of it.  Had to put it on my list!  From the These Thoughts Are Like Mandatory Chores EP.

25)  :Protomartyr – Why Does It Shake?:  This Protomartyr track is not exactly an easy listen, but it’s totally worth the attention it requires.  Hit play, dial in and get rewarded.  From The Agent.

24)  :Amen Dunes – Song To The Siren (Tim Buckely/This Mortal Coil Cover):  Amen Dunes covered a cover (The Mortal Coil –> Tim Buckley) here, and I just really dig the way it came out.  Be warned, you’ll want whiskey about midway through this.  From Cowboy Worship.

23)  :Girlpool – Before The World Was Big:  Growing up is hard!  This Girlpool song makes me feel nostalgic (not sad, thankfully) about life before adulthood rolled in and took over.  From Before The World Was Big.

22)  :Fred Thomas – Bad Blood:  Fred Thomas and the definition of word vomit go hand in hand in this track, but that’s fine.  If only because the numerous things bouncing around in his head are all interesting and/or relatable.  From All Are Saved.

21)  :Black Milk – I Guess:  This is just an all-out, good time sort of effort by Black Milk.  He will always be one of my favorite voices in hip hop.  From the land of one-off tracks.

Continue reading...

Quickdraw: Wavves + Cloud Nothings, White Reaper, Low, Mas Ysa, Keeper

June 29, 2015

0 Comments

Music!  Enjoy.

:Wavves + Cloud Nothings – No Life For Me:  Over the weekend Ghost Ramp set free the previously announced album from Nathan Williams (Wavves) and Dylan Baldi (Cloud Nothings).  I haven’t had a chance to listen to the whole thing yet, but this sloppy, hooky track has me excited to dive into it.  No Life For Me is available now via Bandcamp.

:White Reaper – Pills:  Here’s the latest infectious single from White Reaper.  I just got sent their debut LP, and as soon as I have a chance I’m cracking it open and listening to it for forever (well, maybe not for-ev-er).  White Reaper Does It Again is due out July 17 via Polyvinyl.

:Low – No Comprende:  20+ year vets Low have put together a new full length.  This first single is pretty much what you’d expect from the band, but that’s hardly a bad thing.  Ones And Sixes is due out September 11 via Sub Pop.

:Mas Ysa – Arrows:  It’s kind of weird to hear Mas Ysa’s vulnerable voice/songwriting/everything over a club-ready arrangement, but it works.  Seraph is due out July 24 via Downtown Records.  See him at Red 7 on July 17.

:Keeper – Next To Me:  I just got around to discovering this track from Austin’s own Keeper.  It’s an R&B-inspired effort that’s been slickly produced, and I think it’s fantastic.  Moonhigh is expected out later this year via Freshmoon.

Continue reading...

Quickdraw: Titus Andronicus, Widowspeak, Lower Dens, Mas Ysa, Chelsea Wolfe

June 11, 2015

0 Comments

Music!  Enjoy.

:Titus Andronicus – Fatal Flaw:  Here’s another raucous good time from the one and only Titus Andronicus.  If this track doesn’t make you want to go wild, you should seek help immediately.  The Most Lamentable Tragedy is due out July 28 via Merge.  See them on September 20 at Red 7.

:Widowspeak – Girls:  This new Widowspeak single is one of the more pleasant things I’ve heard in 2015.  I love Molly Hamilton’s inviting vocal work and the meandering arrangement is delightful.  All Yours is due out September 4 via Captured Tracks.

:Lower Dens  – Maneater (Hall & Oates Cover):  For fun (I assume), Lower Dens performed this Hall & Oates cover live during a recent Sirius XMU session.  The original will always be my favorite version, but I definitely dig the moody twist that’s been applied here.

:Mas Ysa – Gun (Featuring Nicole Miglis):  This powerful duet with Nicole Miglis (of Hundred Waters) is the latest and greatest effort from Thomas Arsenault (aka Mas Ysa).  I’m impatiently waiting for the day I can take his debut album and devour it with a good pair of headphones.  Seraph is due out July 24 via Downtown Records.  See him July 17 at Red 7.

:Chelsea Wolfe – Carrion Flowers:  Unsurprisingly, I’m all about this crunchy, haunting wall of sound from Chelsea Wolfe.  There’s something about her weirdness that always pulls me in.  Abyss is due out August 7 via Sargent House.  See her September 19 at the Mohawk.

Continue reading...

Quickdraw: White Reaper, Mac DeMarco, Haelos, Mas Ysa, Astronautalis

May 14, 2015

0 Comments

Music!  Enjoy.

:White Reaper – I Don’t Think She Cares:  I need all of you to hurry up and jump on the White Reaper bandwagon.  They’re too rad to not be getting talked about all the time.  As for this new single, it is, of course, fiercely infectious.  White Reaper Does It Again is due out July 17 via Polyvinyl.

:Mac DeMarco – The Way You’d Love Her:  This breezy throwback from Mac DeMarco is such an ear pleaser.  I suspect that I won’t be taking it off repeat anytime soon.  The Another One mini-LP is due out August 7 via Captured Tracks.  See Mac at Stubb’s on October 20.

:Haelos – Earth Not Above:  Yesterday I came across this song by Haelos in my inbox and quickly fell for it.  I like that it’s big, well crafted and kind of moody.  The Earth Not Above EP is due out June 1 via Matador.

:Mas Ysa – Margarita:  Thomas Arsenault (aka Mas Ysa) is currently a big favorite of mine.  I love his semi-quaky vocal style and I think his arrangements are stellar.  This new track is a stunner.  Seraph is due out June 24 via Downtown Records.  See Thomas at Red 7 on July 17.

:Astronautalis – Papillon:  “It ain’t a fucking party if you do it every night.”  Astronautalis is a good dude (or at least seems to be) with a good message.  I’ll support that any day.   This one is an outtake, so grab it while you can.

Continue reading...

Mas Ysa

March 24, 2015

0 Comments

Yesterday the great Mas Ysa delivered a new tune.  I was hoping it meant an EP or LP would soon arrive, but it was actually put out to celebrate him hitting the road.  Boo!  Well, maybe not, but that’s only because the song is so goddamn fantastic.  Seriously, I can’t stop listening to it, and I fully believe that you’re going to really dig it.  Talk about enthralling stuff.  Enjoy.

:Mas Ysa – Look Up:

See Mas Ysa at the Parish on April 19.

Bonus Video:

Continue reading...

Top 50 Songs Of 2014: Part 2

December 2, 2014

0 Comments

Boom.  Here’s part two of my Top 50 Songs of 2014.  If you missed the first installment, check it out here.  The other parts will arrive each day this week!  Enjoy.

40)  :Braid – No Coast:  It was the arrival of this anthemic track that pushed me from curious to excited about Braid reuniting for a new full length (their first in 16 years).  From No Coast.

39)  :Eternal Summers – Gouge:  I’ve had this shoegazey number on repeat for just about the entirety of 2014.  I definitely think it’s Eternal Summers’ best song (so far).  From The Drop Beneath.

38)  :Letting Up Despite Great Faults – Wrapped:  This fantastic slice of dream pop is from one of my favorite bands in Austin, Letting Up Despite Great Faults.  It’ll make you dance (and maybe cry a little).  From Neon.

37)  :Mas Ysa – Shame:  Thomas Arseneault (aka Mas Ysa) churns out some really interesting stuff.  For instance, this synthy gem is somehow both very calculated and super raw.  From The Worth EP.

36)  :Alvvays – Archie, Marry Me:  Sure, Alvvays is a pretty silly name, but that doesn’t mean this song isn’t one of the best lo-fi pop efforts of the year.  From the band’s self titled album.

35)  :Pillar Point – Eyeballs:  I’m not sure that Scott Reitherman (formerly of Throw Me The Statue and now the main brain behind Pillar Point) has ever made a song that I didn’t like.  The guy sure knows how to craft quality pop music.  From the band’s self titled album.

34)  :Cymbals Eat Guitars – Chambers:  If you’ve ever wanted to hear Cymbals Eat Guitars as a full-on accessible rock act, then this is the song you’ve been looking for.  It’s a good sound for them.  From Lose.

33)  :Ariel Pink – Put Your Number In My Phone:  When it comes to Ariel Pink, I’m always impressed with the way he’s able to craft that one single every release that’s a total ear-pleaser.  I think he does it on purpose so it’s easier to dive into the bizarro creations that usually fill out his albums.  From Pom Pom.

32)  :Sylvan Esso – Coffee:  For a while I thought MS MR’s fancy remix of this track was unbeatable, but in the end I found myself partial to the minimalistic sound of Sylvan Esso’s original take.  From the band’s self titled album.

31)  :Weaves – Shithole:  Every time I listen to this song I immediately want to travel back to the 90s so that I can be angsty about having to exist in the 90s.  Thanks for that, Weaves.  From the Shithole single.

Continue reading...

5 Bands You Should See At SXSW

March 4, 2014

1 Comment

For years I’ve tried to figure out the best way to preview the music part of SXSW, and I think I’ve finally got it – the less coverage the better.  I know that seems counter intuitive given the size of the festival, but let’s face it, if you’re coming then you probably already have an epic list of artists to see.  Why should I try to add 50 acts on top of that?  And what if you’re not even going to be at the damn thing?  Well then every post isn’t SXSW related and you’re not burned out on something you’re not attending.  It’s just better for all parties that I keep it short.  So, without further adieu, here are the five bands I think you should try to see at SXSW.  Enjoy.

PS – I recommend searching around Do512, Sched.org, and the SXSW page for when these bands will be playing.

THE SUFFERS

The majority of 2014 has seen me in love with Houston’s The Suffers, and SXSW will be the perfect time for you to go see exactly why I’ve been championing them so much.  They’re definitely a must-see for those of you who have ever even remotely liked any sort of soul music.

:The Suffers – Giver (Live):

EX HEX

Betsy Wright (Fire Tapes) and Laura Harris (The Aquarium) are with the great Mary Timony in Ex Hex.  I hate that Wild Flag are no more, but Ex Hex seem like a more than suitable replacement.  Also, it’s Mary Timony!  No matter the project, she deserves all of our attention.

:Ex Hex – Hot And Cold:

MAS YSA

And my wild card pick for the festival is Mas Ysa.  Admittedly, there’s an overly intimate edge to him that may not work well within the chaos and noise of SXSW, but I still want to give him a shot.  Who knows, maybe it will end up being one of those unforgettable SXSW sets.

:Mas Ysa – Shame:

ABRAM SHOOK

There are just around 100 Austin acts that I could recommend, but since it’s SXSW 2014 I figured it made the most sense to give you Abram Shook (formerly of The Great Nostalgic), the guy responsible for the local scene’s first great album of the year.  He makes the sort of pop music that’s endlessly pleasing to the ears.

:Abram Shook – Coastal:

CURTIS HARDING

I’m excited about soul music in 2014, so in addition to The Suffers, I’m also going to tell you to see Curtis Harding.  He seems like he would put out a sweaty, wild show, and that’s always a good thing to experience in the midst of SXSW.  On a side note, I love that the guy is on Burger Records, home to a zillion punk rock acts.

:Curtis Harding – Keep On Shining:

Continue reading...

Mas Ysa

February 11, 2014

0 Comments

I’ve only known about Mas Ysa (aka Thomas Arseneault) for an hour or two, but I already consider myself a big fan.  As you’ll see for yourself when you hit play on today’s track (and the video I’ve tacked on), the guy has a really inspired sound that plays like Bon Iver, Future Islands, and M83 all rolled into one glorious thing.  Headphone are a must here!  Enjoy.

:Mas Ysa – Shame:

The Worth EP is available now via Downtown Records.

Bonus Video:

Continue reading...