The Black and White Years

Since 2006 — when Scott Butler, Landon Thompson and John Aldridge formed The Black & White Years — their sifter has been shaking beyond the status quo. They’ve released two albums and one EP. Topped radio charts. Shifted directions. Nearly broken up. Added members. Won awards. And now, a mere seven years post, what’s left at the bottom of the sieve are the undeniably solid pieces of a band arriving at a capstone.

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Black Pistol Fire

Black Pistol Fire is a Canadian Rock and Roll duo that split’s time between Toronto, Ontario and Austin, Texas. Their wild and energetic rock-and-roll sound has been described as a mix of classic southern rock and garage punk, garnering comparisons to early Kings of Leon, Creedence Clearwater Revival, The White Stripes, and Clutch. It's clear that the band's sound spans many different eras and subgenres, relying on a classic rock and roll sound that has been updated for our modern times.

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The Calm Blue Sea’s lushly textured sound is a study in contrast. The Austin, Texas band’s music, like its oceanic name, is at once beautiful and violent, transcendent and triumphant. With songs structured by minutes rather than measures, the foursome marries post-rock fugues with classically-inspired arrangements, the aggression and heaviness of metal, the artiness of indie rock and the widescreen expanse of a film score. The end result is stunning.

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The Crookes

The Crookes are at the forefront of the latest wave of music to surface in the UK. They are four English Literature graduates whose music is bound with storytelling and tinged with nostalgia. Described by NYLON magazine as the 'potential leaders of England's smart, taut NEW POP movement' they personify English charm and eloquent, intelligent songwriting. 

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Dana Falconberry and Medicine Bow

Dana Falconberry is thriving musically in her new hometown, heralded by the Austin Chronicle as one of the city's “most arresting female vocalists” and in 2011 she starred in the critically-lauded documentary on the Austin music scene, Echotone, a New York Times Critics' Pick. In addition to her solo work, Dana has worked extensively with her contemporaries, frequently collaborating with Matt Bauer (Brooklyn) and most recently providing backing vocals for the Heartless Bastards (Austin) for their spring 2012 tour.

She has shared stages with Okkervil River, Shearwater, Megafaun,Father John Misty and Dr. Dog, captivating audiences with her powerful live shows. Falconberry has retained the Leelanau band to bring the songs to life on stage, receiving praise far beyond Austin's city limits. In addition to extensive tours through the US, Europe, and Japan, Dana has recorded two Daytotter sessions and a Laundromatinee session for My Old Kentucky Blog.

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Danish/American band Gliss makes a huge departure from their old sound on the new record Langsom Dans which is gathering comparisons to Beach House, Crystal Castles and Lower Dens. The LA based band, consisting of Victoria Cecilia and Martin Klingman pour their collective musical imaginations into recording timeless art pop with a precise Scandinavian texture that steps away from their previous work. The 12-track LP features heavy synths and electronic beats with Danish expatriate, Victoria Cecilia, stepping into the role as lead singer. The passionate vocal harmonies dictate the recordings with stories of coming out of the darkness into a new life, bringing to mind The XX, Portishead and Depeche Mode.

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Mirror Travel

Formerly known as Follow That Bird, Mirror Travel is Lauren Green, Paul Brinkley, and Tiffanie Lanmon. The three piece underwent a name change in late 2012 and, with this, bring forth their first first 7" in two years on Brooklyn label, Last Bummer, followed by a full length with the Austin-based label Modern Outsider.

Their upcoming 10 song full length was recorded in Marfa, TX this past summer at Marfa Recording Company (Grouper, Yacht, Grizzly Bear) and will be the band's first official full length label release.

Their sound is "A Storm in Heaven"-era Verve meets Siouxsie and the Banshees. Think Pretenders II. Think sun-ripended and toasted southwestern haze-gaze.

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Moving Panoramas

Singer/guitarist LESLIE SISSON (of The Wooden Birds) and drummer KAREN SKLOSS (of Black Forest Fire) go way back. They met in film school and continued on to grad school together. Some years later, Karen called upon Leslie to fill-in on bass at the last minute for a Black Forest Fire tour. They realized they not only made great film buds, but also great bandmates. Meanwhile, Leslie was teaching at School of Rock where she met bassist ROZIE CASTOE, who was in an 80's show that Leslie directed.

The stars aligned when the three girls' main projects had each run their course, so they decided to combine forces. Sharing influential sounds from gazey roots inspired audial expansion into something spacey but not alienating, rocky yet still dreamy... open, encompassing, airy, moving... panoramic... and thus... MOVING PANORAMAS were born.

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With humble beginnings in the heart of Cincinnati – where neighbors throw block parties that farm animals are also invited to – two friends, Jacob Merritt and Isaac Karns, began playing music. The two grew to four including Joey Cook and, most recently, Curt Kiser, and humble song-writing turned prolific. The next three years saw the release of three full-length albums, Everything Is Alive, Everybody Come Outside and One Of Us - with the band receiving critical acclaim from the likes of KEXP, WOXY, Spin and more. And 2012 has promised us another, Heaven.

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Quiet Company

Through the release of three LPs and endless touring, the Austin, Texas band Quiet Company has been making a name for themselves nationally with their energetic live shows and their anthemic, dynamic, indie rock which critics have called a mix of The Beatles, Death Cab for Cutie, Arcade Fire and Weezer. They’ve gained a huge fanbase while gathering praise from The New York Times, TIME, NPR, Last Call with Carson Daly, Paste Magazine, Houston Chronicle, Austin Chronicle and more. 

Quiet Company won Rock Band of the Year during SXSW 2014, adding to their previous 10 Austin Music Awards including Band of the Year, Album of the Year, Rock Band of the Year, Indie Band of the Year and Song of the Year, all won on the strength of their 2011 release We Are All Where We Belong.

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Soft Swells. Sure it’s a band name (in fact, it’s this band’s name), but it is also a surfing term. Tiny, easy to ride waves that beginners keep an eye out for to build their aquatic confidence up. But what happens when you outgrow those small waves? Do you stop surfing? Or do you step up and try to tackle the biggest waves the ocean has to offer? Tim Williams, the mastermind behind Soft Swells (the band) has been moving towards this moment for years now. Tim started Soft Swells in an effort to reach new heights, and over the course of a full length and an EP, the music has gotten more sophisticated, and the sound of the band has gotten bigger. So if the band’s previous work could be described as soft swells, than their new album Floodlights is like an enormous tidal wave from an action movie. Absolutely everything about the band has gotten bigger. Where once there was just Tim with the help of producer/keyboardist Dave Lynch and a lot of studio magic, there is now a fully formed band.

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Ume (pronounced ooo-may) is an Austin trio with an explosive yet sweet aesthetic that's been catching folks off guard - in a very good way. Their sound has been described as balancing "pop hooks and sweet female vocals with crazy heavy riffing" (Chromewaves), "poppy and surprisingly heavy... powerful and charming" (Brooklyn Vegan), "beautiful, brutal, flawlessly executed, and completely unpretentious" (Austin Sound).

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