Operation Every Band

Black Books – “Paradise”

 

Pairs Well With…Band of Horses, My Morning Jacket, The Flaming Lips

 

After catching on to Black Books early on (late 2011), the psychedelic tinged, slow rock band has followed through with a strong, hypnotic and surprisingly pop-focused LP.  Band of Horses comparisons will be inevitable given the similar vocals and their mid-tempo, folk-tinged rock, but there’s a little more space in Black Books music.  It’s a looseness that matches the airy nature of the band’s music, yet there’s always something grounding Black Books down, driving bass runs or even crunchy rock guitars.    

2012 Review: Black Books are a new band from Austin playing experimental rock with a pop edge.  Their sound is reminiscent of My Morning Jacket and Band of Horses, especially vocally (someone needs to trademark whatever tricks these guys use to sound so great) but also in their melodic construction.  There’s a great deal of potential here; some of their ideas work really, really well.  I especially enjoy when they embrace the a softer sound but still with a flair for the anthemic as best displayed by “The Big Idea”, the lead off track of their initial EP, An Introduction To…, released on limited edition green vinyl by European distributor Shifting Sound back in February (how hip).  They have recorded a full-length that by all indication will be released sometime early next year.  It’ll be interesting to see what direction the band takes as all tracks they’ve released show a great deal of diversity ranging from alt-country to rock/pop styles.  

SXSW 2014 Spreadsheet 45

Monday morning kicks off at OEB with a couple of emotionally grounded, rock and pop acts.  Highlights:

Black Books (8) - After catching on to Black Books early on (late 2011), the psychedelic tinged, slow rock band has followed through with a strong, hypnotic and surprisingly pop-focused LP.
Black Atlass (7) - In fact, it’s clear to see the potential for constructing sounds of true beauty in harmonic convergence by seeing the scope that Blac Atlass covers in these early tracks, especially in what can be a limiting genre given the inherent focus on minimalism.
Bear Hands (6) – Bear Hands’ latest single is “Giants”, a mix of synth-pop and glimmering rock that previews a cleaner sound for the Brooklyn quartet’s upcoming sophomore record.  Bear Hands are certainly experimenters, but they have enough pop to make for a reasonably accessible SXSW set this year.
Betty Who (6) - Pop artist Betty Who is a great example of someone aiming to bridge the past and present, in this case, the uber-pop sounds of the 80s with more personal synth-rock of the now.  While you have to be open to that super-shine and mom-pop dance beats to dig into Betty Who, her debut EP The Movement could be your groove through 2014.
Beware of Darkness (6) – Modern rock band Beware of Darkness covers a good deal of ground on their debut LP Orthodox, but what they do best is ripping up on the blues as heard on marquee track “Howl” (so good).  The rest of the record spends time in grungy 90s rock tones with a tinged of 60s psychedelia.
Diane Birch (6) – Songwriter Diane Birch dropped her sophomore record Speak a Little Louder last year and yet another artist has opened themselves up to synth pop, this time from a piano soul background.  This embrace of the 80s is a cool, sharp turn for the talented Birch and should make for a grooving SXSW set.

SXSW 2014 Spreadsheet 45


Monday morning kicks off at OEB with a couple of emotionally grounded, rock and pop acts.  Highlights:


Black Books (8) - After catching on to Black Books early on (late 2011), the psychedelic tinged, slow rock band has followed through with a strong, hypnotic and surprisingly pop-focused LP.

Black Atlass (7) - In fact, it’s clear to see the potential for constructing sounds of true beauty in harmonic convergence by seeing the scope that Blac Atlass covers in these early tracks, especially in what can be a limiting genre given the inherent focus on minimalism.

Bear Hands (6) – Bear Hands’ latest single is “Giants”, a mix of synth-pop and glimmering rock that previews a cleaner sound for the Brooklyn quartet’s upcoming sophomore record.  Bear Hands are certainly experimenters, but they have enough pop to make for a reasonably accessible SXSW set this year.

Betty Who (6) - Pop artist Betty Who is a great example of someone aiming to bridge the past and present, in this case, the uber-pop sounds of the 80s with more personal synth-rock of the now.  While you have to be open to that super-shine and mom-pop dance beats to dig into Betty Who, her debut EP The Movement could be your groove through 2014.

Beware of Darkness (6) – Modern rock band Beware of Darkness covers a good deal of ground on their debut LP Orthodox, but what they do best is ripping up on the blues as heard on marquee track “Howl” (so good).  The rest of the record spends time in grungy 90s rock tones with a tinged of 60s psychedelia.

Diane Birch (6) – Songwriter Diane Birch dropped her sophomore record Speak a Little Louder last year and yet another artist has opened themselves up to synth pop, this time from a piano soul background.  This embrace of the 80s is a cool, sharp turn for the talented Birch and should make for a grooving SXSW set.

Black Books – “Green Screen”

Black Books are a new band from Austin playing experimental rock with a pop edge.  Their sound is reminiscent of My Morning Jacket and Band of Horses, especially vocally (someone needs to trademark whatever tricks these guys use to sound so great) but also in their melodic construction.  There’s a great deal of potential here; some of their ideas work really, really well.  I especially enjoy when they embrace the a softer sound but still with a flair for the anthemic as best displayed by “The Big Idea”, the lead off track of their initial EP, An Introduction To…, released on limited edition green vinyl by European distributor Shifting Sound back in February (how hip).  They have recorded a full-length that by all indication will be released sometime early next year.  It’ll be interesting to see what direction the band takes as all tracks they’ve released show a great deal of diversity ranging from alt-country to rock/pop styles.  

SXSW 2012 Spreadsheet 2:

One strong highlight from the second SXSW set in Austin’s Black Books along with a few interesting blips:

Black Books (8): An Austin rock band with a airy and compelling vocals combined with a spacey and driving sound.
The Black and White Years (5): Another Austin rock band with an experimental electronic sound and a New Wave influence.
Cashier No. 9 (5): An almost-catchy Irish rock/pop band with a dense yet relaxed vibe.
Delay Trees (5): An indie dream pop band from Finland with slow and relaxed pace.

SXSW 2012 Spreadsheet 2:


One strong highlight from the second SXSW set in Austin’s Black Books along with a few interesting blips:


Black Books (8): An Austin rock band with a airy and compelling vocals combined with a spacey and driving sound.

The Black and White Years (5): Another Austin rock band with an experimental electronic sound and a New Wave influence.

Cashier No. 9 (5): An almost-catchy Irish rock/pop band with a dense yet relaxed vibe.

Delay Trees (5): An indie dream pop band from Finland with slow and relaxed pace.